arrow60 Comments
  1. Andrés
    May 12 - 12:05 am

    Is it me or do the T1i pictures look way blurrier than those of the D5000 and XSi? I’ve only looked at the ISO 1600 and ISO 800 pictures of the flowers, but so far it’s a very noticeable difference.

    Maybe some AF issue? Or simple shaking?

  2. martijn nl
    May 12 - 1:54 am

    The canon is far far better!! The colors are much more clearly than the nikon!

  3. Brian Hammersley
    May 12 - 5:59 am

    While the “full size” pictures at ISO 12800 are noisy, an 8*10 with a little noise reduction applied looks good to me. Most people won’t make a print at full size, so at up to 11*14 you should be ok. Yes, I’m impressed !.

  4. George E. Norkus
    May 12 - 4:41 pm

    To me, after a simple look indicates the Canon seems to have it at the lower ISO’s and the Nikon comes on strong as the ratings get up there.

    The overall quality seems to pretty close.

    Generally it boils down to your personal preference. I’ve found that the American public prefers a more vibrant picture, (Canon), and the European’s tend to favor a more natural look, (Nikon).

    Many units now come with “in camera” color modifications. Once set they are both pretty good!

  5. Tim
    May 13 - 10:45 am

    You should have really used a tripod, the exposure was too long for a proper test..Also it seems like your white balance was set incorrectly on the d5000.

  6. Cole Neidrestein
    May 14 - 11:41 am

    I agree with Tim on the white balance. The roses appear sickly in all the D5000 photos.

  7. Asif Ranjha
    May 19 - 5:16 am

    There is no mention of the lenses used. The comparison is invalid based on just the camera models.

  8. ppp
    May 22 - 11:35 pm

    so wich one is better the nikon d5000 or the canon 500d?

  9. Tarun Karmaker
    May 27 - 5:36 am

    Canon’s color separation hundred times better than Nikon.

  10. Gordon
    May 27 - 6:48 pm

    I thought I was going to buy the D5000, but now it looks like the T1i will be my choice.

  11. Mike
    May 28 - 5:56 am

    Both look unbelieveable for 6400. I have a D200 and am in the mood to upgrade but do not want to invest in a full-frame model so I’m thinking of an entry-level camera since I seemed to have more fun with my D50 as opposed to my heavier D200. Anyway, both of these cameras look better than my D200 at 1600 iso so I would be happy with either. Though, I’ll admit, the Canon looks better as far as “on screen” and I don’t like the idea of my older lenses losing auto-focus on the D5000.

  12. Eli
    May 28 - 9:24 pm

    “Canon’s color separation hundred times better than Nikon.”

    More like, the tester didn’t set the WB nor the color correctly on the Nikon. The Canon is way more vivid in these shots, and more red, whether that’s a good thing or not.

  13. Eric
    May 28 - 9:35 pm

    @Eli – I used auto-WB on both cameras. Color was set to default settings on both cameras.

  14. Dirk Phlanser
    Jun 01 - 8:04 pm

    The T1i has kepofalit valence, as not with the Nikon. Take your pick should wooper be on your side.

  15. S Pedi
    Jun 23 - 7:29 pm

    What I simply don’t understand is why the fantastic ISO’s of this new breed of camera is not getting all the accolades and raves that it justly deserves!…

    I have always been searching for a camera that would allow me to shoot with no flash, in low existing light that would give me acceptable photos. My older Canon Rebel XT (350D) did fairly well at ISO 1600. But, a few days ago, I bought the Canon T1i after checking out in the store, what its ISO was capable of doing.

    The camera clerk set the ISO on 3200 and I took the shot!.. I was hooked!… I bought the camera.And the shots I took at ISO 6400 was also quite acceptable to me!. And yet, you don’t hear any “hoopla” from the press about this amazing ISO achievment!.. I really think this is news!….

  16. dan
    Jun 24 - 6:25 pm

    For the people with the thought ‘wow canon is so colorful’, dont let the color move you to either side. Canon has a history of pushing up their contrast therefore making the the picture colorful and drowning out the subtle differences. The power of an SLR is in the control you have with the picture and one tiny flick of the mouse in any software will make the nikon pictures equally, if not more colorful. So for a moment, ignore the colors and look at the graininess and the smoothness of the pictures.. you’ll see nikon having an edge. Thats the difference between quality and parlor tricks to sell cameras.

  17. Artam
    Aug 05 - 8:12 am

    in this sample canon is better. but u can see other sample
    my idea is Nikon is better so Nikon have realty color and better

  18. Jason
    Aug 25 - 1:34 pm

    I like Nikon camera’s better than Canon. Though they both will help in obtaining great photos, Nikon gives superior technical results from their lack of noise-reduction induced smudging, ability to correct lens defect color fringes and more reliable AF system.

  19. nakyuuto
    Sep 03 - 4:19 pm

    both of the pictures are stunning in my opinion..both cameras do did great at capturing those pics..but i think that the one captured by canon T1i is more reddish(too red) than nikon..at first glance,canon seems to be better in capturing picture.however it seems that the pic doesnt seems real compared to the one captured by nikon.look at the baby hair.it is red in canon n grey in nikon.this make me think that the nikon capture real color than canon…thank u

  20. Dee
    Sep 12 - 5:30 pm

    Its depends on personal preferences, i prefer canon colour when it is under low light. I tried using D90 and D300 and the colours seem to be dull when it is under low light.

  21. Ad
    Sep 14 - 4:15 pm

    something is amiss here … the Nikon pics seem a lill dull , which is not the case in real life. I tested both the cams mentioned amongst 4 others to settle for the Nikon cos its pics were more lively and real. there is something seriously with the samples.

  22. Jerry V
    Oct 03 - 2:30 pm

    I’m not too sure about the pictures from the D5000 here. Even under lower lighting, I have seen it deliver much better quality.

    Also the picture quality on the D5000 is as natural as any Nikon DSLR.

  23. Pat
    Oct 04 - 1:56 pm

    This was not a great “test” because the environment was not fixed (lightning, out of focus shots etc). What you can see is that Canon oversaturates pictures by default (jpg). It means you have no chance to fix them if needed. Nikon has a more conservative approache which leaves you some headroom but notice that you can change the parameters in the camera to get thos saturated pictures straight out of the camera. I’m really impressed by the Nikons ISO-performance, it would be my choice for sure.

  24. Apetsi Kumassah
    Oct 13 - 10:10 pm

    So overall which of the two would you chioce if you have to by one. l have been contemplation on which to get but cannot make a decision. Can you help.

    • Eric
      Oct 13 - 10:52 pm

      @Apetsi – I’d get the Canon. However, I’ve been a long time Canon user and have plenty of accessories and lenses for Canon. Flipping a coin between these two solid cameras would not produce a bad result either.

  25. Carmen
    Oct 20 - 1:19 pm

    If you want to see real pictures of real people taking great pictures with both of these cameras, go to flickr.com and see for yourself.

  26. Al French
    Oct 21 - 8:30 am

    At iso 100, why is the nikon so blurry, and the canon so sharp?

    I have read elsewhere that the canon provides sharper images

    please advise, as I am soon to jump in and buy a digital

    thank you

  27. Fahmi
    Oct 26 - 4:24 pm

    Hi, I’m new in photography gadget. I’m looking to buy either D5000 or 500D.I really appreciate if someone can give a suggestion for which one the best camera for the beginner like me. many thanks

  28. Paul
    Oct 27 - 6:59 pm

    Hi. There are great prices now on the Canon XSi and the Nikon D5000. Aside from the video capability on the Nikon D5000 and Canon T1i, is there any good reason to spend the extra bucks instead of getting the XSi. In addition, the Nikon kits come with a telephoto at 200mm vs. Canon’s kits at 250mm — any real advantage here?

  29. Warren
    Nov 02 - 12:09 am

    You know I can not find clout with all the reviews on this page. As was stated time and time again the two cameras are “prosumer” products above the point-and-shoot. Yet everyone threats these cameras as point-and-shoot digitals instead of DSLRs. The people buy these DSLRs should have at least some knowledge of the dynamic range afforded by the two. You should have at least taken the pictures with the proper settings. Foliage for plants, Night scene for night time (of course), Action settings for sports . . .ect. THAT is the true way to compare these two PRO-sumer products. BTW I have the D5000 and it is by far the best in my opinion with the 18 – 200mm Nikkor VRII lens.. .but that is another story and my opinion.

  30. Jeff
    Nov 04 - 1:37 am

    A few people have mentioned this and really, what it comes down to is what will make me feel better AND what feels good in my hand. This isn’t meant to be a sexest comment so please don’t be offended but I have found many women like the Nikon lower end models because they seem to fit their hands better…this is what I’ve heard. I have friends who love their Canon’s, I also know people who have Nikon’s and love them equally. If you have canon accessories already, go with a canon, it’s a great camera. If you are like me and have about $4,000 in Nikon lenses, stick with Nikon – they deliver superior photos. Let’s face it, it’s like arguing over which roses are prettier, Red or Yellow. When it comes down to it, aren’t you happy you have roses?

    If your new, put each one in your hand and test it and buy the one that makes you feel good about spending $800 now and a lifetime of purchasing expensive lenses to get the next great shot!

  31. mike
    Nov 07 - 9:38 pm

    I ve been looking on many sites (dpreview, dcresource, imaging-resource, cameralabs etc) at the full size originals from these 2 cams. For my taste Nikon (and only this one – d5000) has an amazing Dynamic Range, very natural rendition of color and no edge sharpening (enhancement). On the other hand Canon, even though pulling a little more detail, has blown highlights all over and seems very contrasty. And dont get me started on Canon’s blue skies that on more than one occasion somehow turn out greenish. And even though this maybe a kit lens fault – but there are so much CA in canon’s pix and it looks so digital.

  32. Inst
    Dec 07 - 1:21 pm

    For most starting photographers t1i / 500D’s main advantage over the D5000 is its large viewscreen. When you have no idea what to do with shutter and aperture, being able to verify with a ~920k pixel screen is pretty helpful. The ~320k pixel articulated is not as useful on the D5000′s side.

    Regarding dynamic range, color rendition, etc… the D5000 is slightly better in this regard, and is one stop ahead of the t1i in low ISO: as you can see above, the D5000 can shoot reliably at ISO 1600, whereas 1600D is pushing it for the Canon and 800D is sometimes problematic.

    All considered, if you can fork over the money, get a D90. If not, and you don’t know what you’re doing, buy a 500D and a manual. If you need to save money, are familiar with manual options, and for some reason are not trying to hunt down a used D80 or D90, pick a D5000.

  33. Chris
    Dec 07 - 11:13 pm

    I think if you went through what I went through in the past 2 weeks you would buy the Nikon D5000….it’s definitely the best choice for beginners!!! First of all, I’m not a photographer or camera expert but the GREAT news is you really don’t need to be a camera expert to make the choice between these two. In fact a camera expert will spend WAY too much time explaining the great technologies within each that is confusing even to an engineer…they all have bias I found out too! All I did was buy each one and compare the image quality…which hopefully I can save somebody the pain of. I had to buy a D3000 and then return it for the D5000, then return it to buy a XSI…before I realized my mistake and returned the XSI and purchase the D5000. Interesting is that none of the major reviews posted on the web point out what I believe to be some pretty good flaws with the XSI.
    The XSI drove me buggy when photographing in low light…auto mode. In my case I was photographing a lighted christmas tree. I spent 4 hours and 100′s of pictures before realizing that the XSI just exxagerated the color contrasting of everything around the tree….I tried all the shooting modes. The pictures in low light almost took on a orangish color. With the D5000 on “scene mode” it captured an identical/exact replicate of the tree with no exxageration of colors. Also the bulbs looked overly bright and unrelistic with the XSI in all modes. You could actually see the glass on the bulb unlike the XSI. The D5000 is definetely a winner for the beginner here.
    The live view on the D5000 is about twice as slow as the XSI….this is why I returned the D5000 originally. However I learned the XSI is faster but doesn’t give you very good quality anyway. Any its cumbersome to get it into Live mode on the XSI. If you want a decent “live mode” then go back to a point and shoot….neither the XSI or the D5000 are any good and that’s the truth!
    Lastly the XSI seems to fail in normal ight conditions. I found out when shooting pictures during the day in my house that all pictures from the XSI were over exposed. Also the color of my yellowish walls wasn’t as vibrant with the XSI…rather a dull rendering. In another room (dull green) I found that the XSI again over exposed the photo making the walls less vibrant.
    The picture resolution of each camera is virtually identical. I was fooled by a posting from a guy that took pictures of some orange flowers showing the better resolution of the XSI. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference in resolution.
    In any case I’m sure some expert photographere could probably agjust the settings on the XSI to match the quality of the D5000….I won’t argue that. I will argue that why would you buy a camera you have to do that with if the D5000 does it automatically.
    Also, I think I found out where the bias comes from with the Canon owners. Canon spends alot of time visiting local camera shops conducting clinics explaining why there technology is better. I think the average person eats up all the technology discussion without even thinking about whether the pictures are actually better!! If you attend one of those sessions ask the Canon representative for some comparative images between Nikon and Canon….bet he/she won’t even have any.
    Happy buying …. hope this posts saves somebody some time. Don’t get caught in the technology stuff….just make sure the camera you buy truly gets you the best RESULTS and not a bunch of technology lingo to impress your friends with.

  34. allan
    Dec 09 - 2:25 am

    at last, Thank you for this site. I have confirmed in here that Canon delivers more natural and Accurate color and a more dynamic range as stated in another website. I have been looking in different pictures from other websites. In Canon, green is really green. In Nikon, it becomes a different shade of green.

    However, I would buy Canon XSi and NOT T1i as it really has far more sharper images. Thank You !!!

  35. roy
    Dec 10 - 1:26 pm

    The review by Chris satisfies me to some extent. I love natural colours, so I think I wiil go for D5000.However someone could still guide me on these two cameras T1i and D5000. Thank you

  36. estee
    Dec 10 - 9:17 pm

    since we can’t go any wrong with either of the models.. hence there is no issue. go out to the shop and have a good feel of both the cameras! your instinct will tell you which to buy!

  37. russell meyer
    Dec 16 - 1:47 am

    getting into my 1st dslr help?nikon cannon?? hard to tell by reviews looks like nikon but can someone please help me and email me directly.Sooo Confused
    thank you russell

  38. NP
    Dec 18 - 10:17 pm

    Regarding the 6400 ISO shots, the Nikon seems to deliver more natural colors, while the Canon seems a little oversaturated. Without seeing the roses firsthand, I can’t comment on which color is more accurate. As for image quality, the detail and clarity are pretty much a draw. Away from the focal point, both have considerable noise (totally normal at that ISO setting), but the Canon’s noise is softer and along a tighter variance. The Nikon’s noise is all over the place, with lots of completely incorrect colors popping up all over. This difference could be caused by the difference in megapixels, but with so many factors, it’s difficult to say. Either way, I’m no closer to making a decision than I was a week ago.

  39. Chuck
    Dec 19 - 2:20 pm

    You know the more I look into this stuff and the more sites I choose, it looks like either way you can’t lose. I have going back and forth for 3 months deciding which camera I will buy. I am no closer to a decision now than I was before. I’ve read so many sites and articles and it is driving me nuts. I will say one thing though. If I were going to do articles like this, I would NOT tell you which camera took what. I would put the pictures up in random order for each comparison and then when you were finished making up your mind based on the photos, give you a link to reveal what was what. I think a lot of people have bias towards one brand or another and this method would be the only way to block any kind of cheerleadering :)

    • Eric
      Dec 19 - 3:14 pm

      @Chuck – I agree. You can’t go wrong with either camera.

      Also, that’s a good idea about using a random order for the photos. I may have to try that soon and see what the feedback is like. Thanks for the idea.

  40. John Dingler
    Dec 31 - 1:54 pm

    I too read all kinds of reviews of cameras released in 2009, in the $800-$1000 range, with video capabilities. As someone already said, a person who is moving up from a basic P&S for the first time can’t go wrong with any of them. I finally narrowed down my preferences to the Nikon D5000 and the Olympus E-P1. The latter is a so-called a micro fourt-thirds. This means that it has no optical view finder, no built-in flash, allowing one of the kit lenses to retract completely into the body, all these making the camera way smaller than the D.

    In one intelligent and well-thought out review, the reviewer showed comparison pictures, charts, and gave opinions from his staff. He favored the E-P1; It seemed to produce less grain, rendered color more naturally over the D5000, so I was torn between the two.

    But I have my own particular values: I value aesthetics, compactness, and health in all areas of my life. I like to combine landscape/street photography/videography with exercise; I am a bicycle rider. I also value uniqueness, so I chose the Olympus E-P1.

    Its excellent image quality allows me to do high end work; Its compactness allows me to carry it easily on bike rides; And its white body makes it look less threatening when taking images of strangers on the street as well as making it stand out among the black-bodied cameras that my artist friends use.

  41. Salman
    Jan 13 - 2:57 am

    Thanks, but all this still doesn’t make it easier to decide which camera. I would suggest, write down your preferences on a piece of paper and go through reliable websites to get an informed decision. Take your time and be SURE you’ve chosen the right one.

  42. jojo
    Jan 30 - 9:53 am

    The nikon is Way better, Can you see the spine or lines in the flower much much more detailed and clear, As for the over kill on the red on the canon, you just got up the red intensifier that the d5000 offers..Nikon.ty for remaining true and crisp!

  43. Ancen
    Feb 18 - 3:14 pm
  44. Dwight Lay
    Apr 03 - 8:31 pm

    This news story is grossly inaccurate. I own a Nikon D5000, and the top ISO is 3200. The sensor is 15 megapixels. The author should have double checked his specs before publishing this.
    Dwight Lay

  45. Gimmy A. Break
    Apr 06 - 8:16 pm

    Is this a joke? The Nikon pictures are clearly out of place and poorly represented. I can take a bad image with a Canon and a good image with a Nikon and post it on a blog, so clearly misrepresented. Anyone can do that. The pictures weren’t taken with identical conditions/camera settings. This is basically a straw man comparison, portraying Nikon improperly, even if it wasn’t “meant” to take either side.

  46. I t i k k a
    Apr 17 - 9:59 am

    After carefully reading everyone’s point of view, i therefore came to a conclusion, that to stay with Nikon. Thanks to Chris, you made me decide to love Nikon even more.

  47. Menaman
    Apr 26 - 12:43 am

    okay i need help on choosing a camera. im buying it form ebay and have to options. i could go with the canon xs rebel 10 mega pixels which comes with a Camera Bag, Extra Memory 20 gig, Flash, Lens, Cleaning Kit, Memory Reader, Tripod, remote switch etc. my other option is the Nikon D5000 which comes with the basic stuff plus a 8 gig memory card, tripod,bag and a cleaning kit. the canon is brand new and the nikon may be refurbished/new. what is a better a deal!!

  48. Menaman
    Apr 26 - 12:45 am

    by the way the canon is $521 and the Nikon is $609

  49. Paul Zacharia
    Apr 30 - 1:16 am

    What a busy forum! At the end of the day it’s your photographic eye that determines your pix. We spent hours agonizing which camera does better, passing by the hundreds of images we should have taken.

    I am a contributor to an inflight magazine of Indonesia’s largest airline, and honestly I am amazed at how a simple 3MP iPhone 3GS could produce very decent images that my pals couldn’t believe it was It’s drawback is only the highlights area are easily blown away, but if you can avoid high contrast scenes, you really can produce photos BETTER than any of these 2 great contestants with comparable results.

    One other consideration is the EASE of USE and interface that will help us making fast decisions.

    I had seen CANON Took over NIKON’s leadership for the last decade, but with the D300, things started to change. The D90′s arrival confirmed their comeback, and the pro D3X seemed to succeed in winning over the NOISE issue.
    But, uniquely, CANON’s G series still won over Nikon’s COOLPIXES..

    If I used a D5000 and am very happy with it, it’s because traditionally I started with it, and although almost converted to Canon when Nikon lost their leadership, was halted by the D90′s arrival, making me return to Nikon. I felt comfortable with their results, the ease of menus and the overall feel and design, which of course is personal -

    But let’s not stop to argue which camera to choose, it’s your mind which is the MOST IMPORTANT ASSETT to produce a picture.

    A simple iPhone can do the job, a complex DSLR can produce a so-so pix, all determined by how you look at and capture the world..

  50. Winston
    Jun 04 - 1:02 pm

    When at all possible, all shots taken with a DSLR (or film SLR) the camera should be mounted on a sturdy tripod for best results. If you aren’t picky as a neophyte photographer, then buy a high end (Nikon, Olympus, Canon, Panasonic, Sony) hand-held point and shoot camera.

  51. Nad
    Jun 13 - 1:40 pm

    I not support Canon or Nikon but i prefer Canon better than Nikon , you can see the flower and both baby picture Nikon look like sick color compare with the Canon look fresh color.

  52. Janice
    Jun 27 - 5:46 pm

    I loved your side-by-side comparisons.

  53. Michael
    Jul 02 - 4:25 am

    Thanks, the comparisons were interesting. Both cameras performed quite well, but with obvious differences on close inspection.
    The Nikon rose is closer and is out of focus. The colours of the Nikon photo are MUCH better than the Canon. I think the photo suffers here from being hand held at this range, or is it a fault of the auto focus? The Canon shot is better in focus but is shot slightly further away – hence the better focus? Makes it hard to compare. The colours of the Canon photo are too yellow/orange and dismal. Both photos have their problems. IF the Nikon photo was in focus it would win the game hands down for correct white balance, better colour and overall picture quality.

  54. leo faj
    Jul 04 - 12:16 pm

    the comparison seems biased as he stated that he owns canon and will always love canon..i’d still look for other reviews rather than stick to 1.
    just think abt the sensors between these dslrs,overall features included,fps and other stuff. the d5000 still competes with the new t2i and still can’t be beat by performance…after all no matter what dslr you have it’s all abt the shooter..even if you have a d3x or a mark ii if you shoot with Auto doesn’t make you a professional photographer but a dslr owner.

    if you really want to see samples.. check flickr search the camera and look for sample images from both cameras from both types of photogs.

  55. Jake
    Jul 10 - 12:12 pm

    Both are good cameras, particularly for the price, and you can’t go wrong with either of them. I own a Nikon D5000 myself, mainly because of a promotion which included a 55-200mm lens for the same price as the kit (18-55mm) and so far I’m very happy with it. As someone stated above, chose a camera that feels comfortable in your hand.

  56. Chris
    Jul 18 - 8:32 pm

    Did you use any of the in camera noise reduction settings on those shots, or are they with high iso noise reduction off?

  57. David Holeman
    Jul 22 - 4:30 pm

    I used a Brownie box camera until Gumby sat on it and drowned it in root. Does that make any sense to any of you?

  58. Kamran Khan
    Aug 20 - 5:33 pm

    Nikon is totally crap camera I had Nikon CoolPix 10mp point and shoot camera and almost all of the pictures I took with that camera were blurry and after one month of use the dead pixels started appearing in the lcd, I sold nikon for 90 dollar, the actual price for which i bought the camera was 150
    Recently I bought a Canon Vixia Camcorder it take 3 mp still pictures. I was amazed after I downloaded the picture from the camcorder to my pc. Picture of canon’s 3mp camera are far better than Nikon’s 10mp. The picture what I have taken with canon’s 3MP camera, I could see my finger prints on the glass. While pictures what I took with Nikon Sh**t were barely clear. My camcorder’s picture inspired me to the extant that I order canon eos rebel xsi. Go to the http://www.imaging-resource.com/DIGCAM01.HTM and watch the pictures tests of canon vs nikon, you will find canon is the best and specially XSI is better than its big brother T1i. Don’t be fool by the 6400 iso of nikon the higher I iso goes up the blurry the pictures becomes. I bet canon’s 3200 ISO can beat Nikon’s 6400. And who the hell takes picture in dark out of light night? Every camera has flash. So why go for high ISO. And above all canon is compatible with more lenses than Nikon. Canon has its own more than 50 lenses available for their EOS, while on the other hand nikon is support by only 30 or more. So stop eating your brain and Buy canon EOS Rebel XSI or if your are rich buy canon 50d which is best of the best.
    Go to the immag

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