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Coke versus Pepsi. Mac versus PC. Canon versus Nikon. Among these great rivalries, we can only pick out one clear winner. (Here’s a hint: It’s not the colored sugar water.) In the latest Canon-versus-Nikon entry-level digital SLR (single-lens reflex) battle, both cameras score hits against the other.
It's the DSLR version of Mac vs. PC--except without as obvious a winner.
But in the end, they’re much more similar than different. If you already use a film camera from either camera maker--and own a few lenses--don’t bother switching sides. If you’re not already invested in hardware that only works with one of them, your decision is much more nuanced. After much debate, we give a tiny edge to the Nikon D5000 for its impressive high-ISO performance. But you could just as easily fall in love with the Canon Rebel T1i for its slightly brighter, clearer LCD.
With its better high-ISO performace, we give a slight edge to the Nikon D5000. But the T1i's brighter, clearer LCD (which also auto-dims when using the viewfinder) might sway some users.
D5000 with 18-55mm VR Lens
Interval timer automatically shoots on a schedule for time-lapse movies. Good high-ISO results. In-lens stabilizer helps hold longer exposures steady. Strong overall image quality with great details.
Video clips restricted to 5 minutes. HD videos look awful with camera movement. Screen stays lit when you look through eyepiece.
EOS Digital Rebel T1i with 18-55mm IS Lens
Brighter, clearer screen. In-lens stabilizer helps hold longer exporsures steady. Strong overall image quality with great details. Screen dims when you sight through eyepiece.
1080p video mode only captures in 20fps. HD videos look awful with camera movement. Noise enters in the middle of its ISO range