[Updated: Added to the table Panasonic GH1's burst speed mode and movie length. The burst speed is 3fps (high) and 2fps (low) while movie length is limited only by the memory size]
I know of some camera owners would be all riled up when someone attempts to compare their cameras to the cameras owned by others. Even an off-hand remark such as “the other camera has a larger resolution than your camera does” could invite a “lecture” about megapixels and why resolution does not always matter.
But not making comparison between camera models — especially if they are new entrants to the market and of the same price range and “class” — is like asking Brazilians not to watch the Brazil team playing in the World Cup final or asking U2 fans not to listen to “No Line on the Horizon”.
So long as it is fair, a comparison won’t be a problem
So when Nikon announces its new “super” entry-level camera, the D5000, it immediately attracts comparison to the Canon EOS 500D. Canon wins some but Nikon also wins in some other areas.
The 500D is stronger in terms of the megapixel count — 15.1 megapixels compared to D5000′s 12.3 megapixels — but the D5000 also has its unique feature, which is the tilt-and-swivel LCD screen.
Five years ago DSLR camera owners would have cried foul if there was any hint of attempts to incorporate compact camera features, such as video capability and vari-angle LCD screen, into DSLR cameras but things have greatly changed ever since.
I’ve been using the feature in my compact cameras and know how useful it is, especially when taking close-up pictures at ground level or overhead in the crowd.
While the 500D’s 15.1 megapixels is a huge advantage, the 5000d’s 12.3 megapixels is large enough for most users.
Here are on-paper side-by-side comparison between the two cameras, with Panasonic DMC-GH1 thrown in to spice up the party.
Canon 500D/T1i vs Nikon D5000 vs Panasonic DMC-GH1
|Canon EOS 500D/Rebel T1i||Nikon D5000||Panasonic DMC-GH1|
|Camera Type||DSLR||DSLR||Micro Four Thirds|
|Sensor||22.3 x 14.9mm CMOS||23.6 x 15.8 mm DX CMOS||4/4" Live MOS|
|15.1 Megapixels||12.3 Megapixels||12.1 Megapixels|
|Lens Mount||EF/EF-S||Nikon F mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Processor||DIGIC 4||EXPEED||Venus Engine HD|
|Dist Reduction||Filter vibration at power-on||Airflow control system||Supersonic wave filter|
|Anti-static coating||Image sensor cleaning|
|Image Sizes||(L) 4272 x 2848, (M) 3088 x 2056, (S) 2256 x 1504||(L) 4288 x 2848, (M) 3216 x 2136, (S) 2144 x 1424||4:3 (4000 x 3000, 2816 x 2112, 2048 x 1536); 3:2 (4128 x 1752, 2928 x 1952, 2064 x 1376); 16:9 (4352 x 2448, 3072 x 1728, 1920 x 1080); 1:1 (2992 x 2992, 2112 x 2112, 1504 x 1504)|
|RAW||Yes||Yes||Yes (RAW + JPEG Standard, Fine)|
|Movie||HD (16:9) 1920 X 1080p 20fps, 1280 x720p 30fps||All 24fps -- 1280 x 712, 640 x 424, 320 x 216||AVCHD: 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720|
|SD (4:3) 640 x 480 30 fps||Motion JPEG at 30 fps: 1280 x 720, 848 x 480, 640 x 480, 320 x 240|
|Movie Duration||Maximum 29m 59sec or 4GB, which ever comes first||Maximum 5 min (1280 x 720), other resolutions 20 minutes||Limited only by card's memory|
|Movie Format||Quicktime MOV||AVI (Motion JPEG)||AVCHD, Quick time motion JPEG|
|Digital Zoom||N/A||N/A||Up to 4x|
|Sensitivity||Auto (100 - 1600)||ISO 200 to 3200||Auto, Intelligent ISO|
|ISO 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800||Can also be set to ISO 100 and 6400 equivalent)||ISO 100, 200, 400, 1600, 3200|
|Shutter Speed||30 - 1/4000||30 - 1/4000||60 - 1/4000|
|Bulb||Yes||Yes||Yes (up to 8 minutes)|
|Continuous Shot||3.4 fps||4 fps||3fps (high), 2fps (low)|
|Exposure Modes Modes||Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, No Flash, Movie, Program AE , Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Auto Depth-of-Field||Program Auto (P), Shutter priority (S), Aperture priority (A), Manual (M), Auto||Program AE, Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, Auto|
|Picture Styles/Scene Modes||Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined (x3)||Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close-up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Pet portrait, Candlelight, Blossom, Autumn colors, Food, Silhouette, High key, Low key)||Portrait, Soft Skin, Outdoor Portrait, Indoor Portrait, Creative Portrait, Scenery, Nature, Architecture, Creative Scenery, Sports, Outdoor Sports, Indoor Sports, Creative Sports, Flower, Food, Objects, Creative Close-Up, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, Illuminations, Creative Night Scenery, Sunset, Party, Baby 1, 2, Pet|
|Focus||9 AF points (f/5.6 cross type at centre, extra sensitivity at f/2.8)||11 focus points||Auto Focus|
|F5.6 cross-type at center, extra sensitivity at F2.8||Live view||Face Detection|
|AF working range: -0.5 to 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)||AF Tracking|
|Predictive AF up to 10 m|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom||Auto, presets (12), manual preset, white balance bracketing||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Halogen, Flash, Custom 1, Custom 2, Kelvin temp (2500 - 10000 K, 100K steps)|
|Vari-angle Tilt and Swivel LCD Monitor||No||Yes||Yes|
|3.0" TFT LCD monitor||2.7" TFT LCD monitor||3.0" TFT LCD monitor|
|100% frame coverage||100% frame coverage||Approx 100% frame coverage|
|920,000 pixels||Approx. 230,000 dots||460,000 dots|