Photokina, the largest photo-trade show in the world, kicks off in Cologne, Germany on Sept.23. Predictably, manufacturers announce their top models just prior to the show, and this year it’s no different. Both Canon and Nikon just made back-to-back announcements of their top advance-amateur DSLRs (we’re still hopeful for pro announcements prior to the show!) In this radio segment, Scott and Mike take sides in a verbal shootout of the features to see if Canon’s 50D ($1,400) is a better deal than Nikon’s D90 ($1,000).
Which of these cameras is the best value? Listen to the spirited debate on the Inside Digital Photography radio show (slide forward to the 11 min mark for this segment).
Or do your own comparison with some help from the lists below:
Nikon D90 Key Features:
- 12.3 MEGAPIXEL CMOS sensor with LIve View
- Records HD movie clips (720p at 24fps, 1280×720)) up to 5 minutes on fast SD cards
- 920,000 dot 3-inch screen
- 4.5 fps burst mode, stores to SDHC card
- Built-in commander mode for external flash
- 11 point AF with scene recognition and face detection. Up to 5 faces. Auto zoom to faces in playback.
- Live view with contrast detection AF.
- New Expeed processor for fast start up and low noise
- ISO 100 (normal 200) up to 3200 (expanded to 6400).
- HD video with VR lenses activates VR during capture.
- Advantage in movie depth of field control vs most camcorders
- Built in audio mic (no external input)
- Kit lens adds 3-stop VR. AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR.
- New in camera editing and image processing includes distortion control, lens abberation, straighten, and fisheye effect.
- Shutter tested to 100,000 cycles
- Up to 850 shots CIPA rating on battery.
- New Pictmotion slideshow playback feature
- New optional GP-1 GPS unit.
- $999.95 MSRP body
- $1299.95 with 18-105 lens
- Nikon Capture NX 2 optional ($180), Camera Control Pro 2.0 Software ($149)
Canon EOS 50D Key Features:
- 15.1 MP CMOS sensor with live view function
- Built like the 40D, with magnesium alloy frame, weather seals, and 100,000 cycle shutter.
- Digic 4 processor, 14-bit A/D conversion
- ISOs from 100 to 3200, enhanced to 6400 and 12800.
- 6.3fps burst mode, with up to 90 JPEGs in one burst or 16 RAW
- Takes UDMA Compact flash cards (higher capacities available than SDHC)
- Automatic Peripheral illumination adjustment: smart term for vignetting control based on library of lenses.
- Comes with Digital photo pro software RAW converter and other neat programs.
- Auto Lighting Optimizer control—smart auto levels control.
- 3-inch, 920,000 dot LCD screen.
- HDMI video out
- 9-zone AF system with 9 cross sensors and super sensitive central sensor (works as cross even with f/5.6 lenses.
- Microadjustment feature for fine-tuning lenses.
- Creative full auto setting has adjustable controls.
- Live view mode includes QUICK MODE AF (phase detection)< LIVE MODE AF (contrast detection)< and Face detection live mode AF (contrast detection ).
- Detects up to 35 faces!
- Two small RAW formats: 7.1MP and 3.8MP
- Ultrasonic CMOS sensor cleaning system
- $1399 body, $1599 with 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens.
- Canon also announced a new 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS usm lens for $699.