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I'm going to buy my first DSLR camera, and I want to make a good choise. Reading reviews and forums I have limited my choise to only 2 cameras: Nikon 3100d and Nikon 5000d. Which one is better?

Since this question is subject to be closed without details, I will try to describe my priorities, one by one in descending order:

  1. quality of images (less noise, more details)

  2. speed of the camera (it should take a picture when I press the button, and should be ready to take next one as fast as possible)

  3. ability to take pictures in bad conditions (dark rooms, night, direct lights, high contrast, etc)
  4. accessibility of manual controls (they should not be hidden behind multilevel software menus)
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    This is very subjective and can't really be answered in general. The question is likely to be closed. If you can frame it in terms of more specific concerns, you might be able to get more helpful advice. – mattdm Jan 8 '11 at 18:41
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    Better is entirely subjective with nothing more specific. What do you photograph, what are your priorities? – Cry Havok Jan 8 '11 at 19:50
  • Welcome to photo.se! Can you tell us more about yourself and what you would like to photograph? Otherwise, we will have a hard time answering this question. – Reid Jan 8 '11 at 20:09
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Website

Continuous Shooting

  • D3100 3 frames per sec
  • D5000's 4 frames per sec

  • D5000 is better for continuous shooting

Video Shooting

  • D3100 shoots full HD (1080p)
  • D5000 does not

  • D3100 is better for video shot from the camera

Resolution

  • D3100 has a 14.2MP sensor (23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor)
    • 4,608 x 3,072 [L]
    • 3,456 x 2,304 [M]
    • 2,304 x 1,536 [S]
  • D5000 has a 12.3MP sensor (23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor)

    • 4,288 x 2,848 [L]
    • 3,216 x 2,136 [M]
    • 2,144 x 1,424 [S]
  • No real winner here, higher resolution can mean more noise

Age

  • D5000 launched around May 2009
  • D3100 launched around August 2010

  • D3100 has newer components

Truth

  • f/8 @ 1/250 is the same on any camera!
  • Its the lenses that matter more than the body

  • This is a personal decision

What I Would Buy

I would opt for the D3100 if I was to choose between these two cameras. I believe the D5000 would be more aligned to my purposes but the fact the the D3100 is newer would sway me in that way.

Disclaimer: I own a D90 so actually would not think about purchasing any of these cameras as I would rather either a D7000 or a D300s

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