The Nikon D3100 is an upgrade to the trusty D3000, which was in turn the predecessor for the D40, D40X and the popular D60 DSLRs. This new model uses a 14.2 MP sensor. The biggest addition is the full HD video recording functionality which was completely lacking in the D3000. Along with that feature, you get Liveview functionality. The 3-inch screen comes handy unlike the D5000, which only has a 2.7-inch screen. In terms of the other features, it’s more or less identical.
If you’re willing to spend a little more than the D3100, you’re very likely to find the D5000 attractive. 720p video recording and the folding 2.7-inch screen are part of what makes the D5000 special. The D3100 gets closer to the D5000, but there are a few things such as the burst speed performance that make the D5000 a superior machine. Although a somewhat older camera than the rest, the low price tag of the D5000 makes it an ideal companion if you’re looking for better photo quality and performance.
Canon EOS 550D
The Canon EOS 550D is an upgrade to the EOS 500D with a higher resolution sensor, full HD recording at 30 fps, and a denser LCD display, among many other features. That said, photos look great on the 3-inch LCD display of this camera, which has a resolution of 1040K pixels. Even the finest details such as a strand of hair or fur are clearly visible. It’s very useful when you have to examine the sharpness of the photos you’ve shot when viewed at 100 percent size. The large crisp display is also useful while shooting still images in live view mode and videos. The EOS 550D feels great when held thanks to excellent quality of materials used in construction and the provision of rubberized grip for your fingers and thumb. The control panel is very well laid out, with most buttons to the right of the LCD display, which helps controlling the camera entirely with your right thumb. The user interface is also very intuitive. The scores clearly indicate this camera is an ace performer. If you’re looking for a mid-range camera with a good feature set and incredible performance, this one’s for you.
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