arrow19 Comments
  1. gaurav
    Jun 22 - 11:13 pm

    can you zoom in and out during shooting a video in both cameras?

    • Eric
      Jun 22 - 11:20 pm

      @guarav – Yes, you can zoom in and out. Just remember though, it’s all manual, so you need to get comfortable with being smooth on the zoom ring.

  2. Nadav
    Jun 27 - 10:57 am

    Comparing the photo quality, which one is better?
    I mean after all; sharpness, speed, focusing, iso. Thanks alot for the review man!

  3. John Maurer
    Jun 30 - 9:04 am

    Lack of external audio input is a significant limitation for my use. My primary concern, not considered by your review, is the >EDITED< video output quality. The end result for most folks is a BD (format) disk. – either on BD (expensive) or DVD (shorter).

    The .MOV from Canon might seem to be a better format by the time an editor expands, assembles, then re-compresses, then compresses again for the DVD format the picture quality visibly degrades. I use Mac iMovie 6.4, but a single sample example of Final Cut did not show a significant difference – both lossy. Then more losses for Toast 10 BD output compression.

    I would like to see such an end-to-end comparison test.


  4. Joel
    Jun 30 - 1:48 pm


    I’m a final cut editor and a T1i & 5D Mark II owner. I can tell you from experience that canons .MOV H264 codec will hold up better in post production then Nikons.

    Heres a good example of what the T1i is capable of (Not my video)

    As for your audio concern you could spend the extra 1500 and get the 5D Mark II or spend about $250 and get a Zoom Digital Recorder and plug a mic into that.

  5. Doug Woodward
    Jul 04 - 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the review. Very helpful — though I still can’t decide which camera is best for me — primary for home use, but wanting good quality video of family events.

    For video, I don’t use Final Cut — mostly Adobe Premiere Pro — how does the .MOV H264 codec compare with Nikon’s jpeg compression (??) in terms of ease of editing — specifically in Premiere?

    Anyone know? Thanks for the great review.

  6. Aaron
    Jul 30 - 11:04 pm

    Good review, and as someone doing low budget films with friends DLSR video is wonderful thank you for the information. I’ve used both the D90, 5D mark II and the T1i and I must say Canon’s sensor alone is much better than the Nikon on either the D90 and now I see the D5000. It’s the rolling shutter effect that plagues the D90′s video where any movement or panning makes the footage completely unusable. I see it in many other examples of video from the D5000 too, but to a less degree in your clip. The Nikon sensor is just not usable for video at this point. They have a long way to go.

    The articulating display is nice though, I will admit that, but the recent D5000 firmware bugs and not turning on pushes me to avoid it plainly.

    • Eric
      Jul 30 - 11:07 pm

      Interesting point Aaron. It’s nice to have someone with a little more of a refined eye toward video ring in. I didn’t notice a substantial issue with the rolling shutter as you described; however, it sounds like you have shot to a much greater extent than I have. Again, thanks for chiming in.

  7. Brian
    Aug 16 - 9:04 am

    In the end jpg comrpession is going to produce less quality on large screens. MOV will be better (AVI would have been even better for quality), especially if you’re going to edit it down to burn on a DVD or BluRay disc. There’s a reason the Canon files are 2x larger, they’ve not compressed the video as much. 720p is 720p, it’s the compression that determins the file size and compression ALWAYS means loss of quality, even if it’s just a little it’s still a LOSS.

    As for the D5000′s LCD screen, what can I say about it… Well, twist and turn = EASILY breakable. If you want that kind of ability buy a real HD video camera and leave the DSLR to stills like they were designed. Nobody should buy a DSLR for primary video and as such you don’t need that breakable design. The first time a dad’s kid reaches up to see what daddy is seeing and rips the screen off the camera will be the last time that daddy buys a Nikon.

    Finally, ANYONE shooting video should NEVER use the native video software on any OS. Movie Maker is junk. For <$115 you can buy Sony Vegas Studio that will do absoltuely fantastic job of editing your videos:

    They even have lower priced versions (that will do less, but still great for most people) from $55 and $85:

    MAKE NO MISTAKE, do NOT make a decision on what camera to buy based on the video or photo software that comes with your PC!

  8. David Co.
    Nov 09 - 5:28 pm

    Thanks for the info, and nice to hear Jars of Clay in the demo video!

  9. Ali Yassine
    Dec 23 - 2:55 am

    Good review but as I was looking at the thing you mentioned about the video size how the Canon has 220mb/ min while the nikon has 100mb/min doesnt the Canon have 720P at 30FPS while the Nikon has 720P at only 20FPS? that could explain the difference in sizes 10 extra frames per second…

  10. Amir
    Dec 27 - 9:36 pm

    I can tell the D5000 can focus waaaaaaay better, but the FPS and the color balance on the T1i is far superior than the cell-phone-video-like color balance and FPS of the Nikon D5000.

    I’d have chosen T1i for still filming. Things like vlogging or filming a view. The colors are more lively and the FPS is better. But for anything more, you gotta give Nikon credit for not being as dumb as Canon and not skipping on critical features like a flip camera and a decent auto-focus.

    I’m gonna wait for the next gen T1i, if they don’t have what D5000 has, I’ll get the next gen of D5000.

  11. Coby
    Dec 30 - 12:33 am

    An important aspect not addressed here is manual control over camera settings during a video recording. My understanding is that no exposure settings can can be locked on the Canon, whereas aperture can be locked on the Nikon (although gain and shutter speed still float), and aperture, gain and shutter can be all simultaneously locked on the Pentax K-x.

  12. Oleg
    Jan 24 - 3:56 am

    I guess lackluster focusing of DSLRs renders them useless to film my child running around?

    I don’t expect of myself being able to focus manually using a little viewfinder without even a phase difference plate.

    looks like a cheap camcorder will do a much better job?

  13. Cyndi
    Feb 07 - 2:29 pm

    Anyone find any way around the difficulty editing the video files from the Canon T1i using Windows Live Movie Maker? I use it to slim down the file size used for uploading to my baby’s blog. I also have adobe premiere elements which can edit the Canon videos but it isn’t compatable with the blog…Any suggestions appreciated.

  14. Zetton
    Apr 14 - 4:10 pm

    The best video quality comes out of the Nikon’s D90. Period. This is also true of the cheap D5000, which is essentially the same implementation. MJPEG – this codec is better for editing. The others use a playback codec. An example is DIVX. Plays great – but don’t try to edit anything in it. It’s not what it’s designed for. Have fun editing your clips if you’re using these other cameras. 24 fps is not “jittery” unless you consider every film you’ve ever seen in your life “jittery”. Want your motion capture to have that beautiful “cinematic” look, rather than look like a soap opera? 24fps. Recently, an indy film called Reverie was shot entirely with a D90. Here is the film’s trailer: Looks pretty darned good to me. Here is a PDF download by the film’s cinematographer who discusses, at length, why he considers the D90, by far, the best choice for shooting films digitally. He considers the D90′s image quality and capability much better than other choices – including the full frame Canon EOS 5D MarkII and RED’s Scarlet camera, a professional digital camera designed to shoot theatrical film.

  15. Zetton
    Apr 14 - 4:11 pm

    Cinematorapher article discusses why D90 is best choice:

  16. Mark
    Apr 28 - 9:53 pm

    I recently sold my D100 after 5 years of lucky using It and is time to get new camera.
    This time don’t want to spend that much, I’m looking for some dslr up to $700 for body only.
    Can you guys help me to make good choice?
    Any suggestions will be appreciated.


  17. Dimitris Aspiotis
    May 22 - 6:26 am

    The video samples posted here are giving wrong information about video and sound properties, which are very important, on a serious camera review.
    Your first video sample I have downloaded from this site is an .mp4 with properties:
    Format: mp4
    Video: MPEG4 Video (H264) 640×360 24.00fps [Video]
    Audio: AAC 48000Hz mono 768kbps [Audio]
    (It would be great if Nikon D5000 could record with AAC 48000Hz mono 768kbps, but the truth is that it records in a poor sound quality)

    Nikon D5000 does NOT give this video mode in any of the camera settings.

    Let me post here the correct video properties for the Nikon D5000 as I have checked by shooting 3 different video clips with this camera:

    Nikon D5000 video modes properties:

    1. small
    Format: AVI
    Video: MJPG 320×216 24.00fps [Stream 00]
    Audio: PCM 11025Hz mono 176kbps [Stream 01]

    2. medium
    Format: AVI
    Video: MJPG 640×424 24.00fps [Stream 00]
    Audio: PCM 11025Hz mono 176kbps [Stream 01]

    3. HD
    Format: AVI
    Video: MJPG 1280×720 24.00fps [Stream 00]
    Audio: PCM 11025Hz mono 176kbps [Stream 01]

    Regards from Greece

    Dimitris Aspiotis

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