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Canon T4i vs Nikon D5100 vs Pentax K-30

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Conclusion

Canon T4i, Nikon D5100, Pentax K-30

We've found that each camera has its pros an cons, and none of them are perfect.  The one that's right for you depends on your needs!

Pros and Cons

Canon Rebel T4i
Nikon D5100
Pentax K-30

+Fastest AF
+Touch-screen
+Articulating LCD
+Best for video
-Noisy sensor
-Buttons too small
-Light construction

+Fast, silent AF
+Best CDAF
+Articulating LCD
+Cheap
+Helpful guide screens
+Unlimited continuous JPEG
-Hard to hold due to small grip
-Few external controls
-Few video framerate options

+Weather-sealed
+Best handling
+100% pentaprism viewfinder
+Fully backwards-compatible w/
hundreds of lenses
+Intuitive interface

+In-body stabilization
-Most expensive
-Slower overall performance
-No microphone jack
-Conventional LCD
-Only 12-bit RAW

The Bottom Line

The Canon Rebel T4i is the best choice for those who shoot a lot of video or want the fastest autofocus.  The Nikon D5100 is the best for novices and is well-rounded overall.  Being weather-sealed, the Pentax K-30 will be preferred by outdoor shooters or those who are only interested in stills, and it has the best handling overall.

Which camera would we choose if we were a beginner looking to step up to a decent DSLR?  Assuming we had no prior investment in any DSLR lenses, it would probably be the Nikon D5100, as it gives you the best balance of features at an attractive price of just $596.95 with a lens.  The Pentax K-30 is also a solid choice, with its fantastic compatibility, build quality, and image quality.  While the Canon Rebel is great for video and has fast AF, its poor build quality, worse image quality, and relatively high price ended up discouraging us from recommending it.

Regardless of which camera you choose, however, you can rest assured that all three of these DSLRs are quality products made by manufacturers with dozens of years of industry experience, and as such, they won't disappoint!

 
Buy the K-30 vs T4i vs D5100