Art and Photography

Advice for a beginner camera: Canon SL2 VS Nikon D5300

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 15th, 2019 3:50 pm
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2015
2633 posts
Toronto, ON

Advice for a beginner camera: Canon SL2 VS Nikon D5300

Hey guys so I'm planning on getting a camera and want to know which one is a better buy for the money. I've been comparing Canon SL2 to Nikon D5300, as both have same or similar features, except the Canon has a touch screen interface, a bit slimmer. I went to Henry's and Best Buy to see the camera's, but I'm torn between the two because both have nice extensive amount of lenses used or new.

The price of the SL2 is $699 but I got a deal with Henry's for it with a bag and a UV protector. The price of D5300 is $614 at Best buy with a lens (70-300mm) bag and remote.

If you were in my scenario which one would you pick? Mostly I'm taking pictures like portrait, friends, and just places when I travel. Thanks a bunch guys!
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10 replies
Deal Guru
Jan 27, 2006
11567 posts
Vancouver, BC
If you are planning to stick with the kit lens, I would go for the Nikon. Canon has a history of producing poor kit lenses so much so that many kit buyers end up never using that lens as they quickly replace it.
Feb 12, 2017
52 posts
Get the Canon SL2 if the price is right. Canon cameras now have Dual Pixel Autofocus which allows Live View on the rear screen to focus as quickly as the normal viewfinder. That feature alone makes the Canon outperform the Nikon if you will shoot extensively with the rear screen -- the Canon will behave very much like a mirrorless camera. Nikon has Live View focusing, but it is slow and far behind every other brand.

If you will frame and shoot primarily through the viewfinder though, get the Nikon. The D5300 has a superb images sensor according to reviews, essentially the best on the market for its size.

So if you are unbiased about the accessories of each package, you could decide based on Live View AF (Canon) or maximum image quality (Nikon). I suggest you will probably not appreciate the Nikon's higher image quality unless you are an experienced, disciplined photographer (who will not use Live View often). The Live View AF on the Canon will likely be a far greater benefit to you (if you use it).
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 28, 2007
6195 posts
My wife and daughter are beginners also. I bought them each a Nikon D5500.
Deal Addict
Oct 8, 2007
1259 posts
If you are ok going used, pick up a Nikon D3200 on kijiji. You can probably get it and a kit lens for $250. Then find a good used 35mm DX prime for maybe $150. You could second shoot weddings with that with the right skills.
Sr. Member
Jan 6, 2004
693 posts
Beginner/Entry level is more D3xxx series and DPReview is a good site to research the cameras that you are interested in purchasing. Have you thought about what style of photography you'd be shooting? Portrait? Sports? Landscape? The D3xxx series is supposedly good for most people who print out photos in sizes that go into album. The bag and UV protector isn't that expensive, I'd pick the one with better hardware than amount of accessory.

I prefer Nikon over Canon but Canon has a lot more lens selections, at least the used market here (Vancouver) has way more canon hardware than Nikon.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2011
515 posts
I have a nikon d5600, I would say the only major difference between nikons and canons especially at the entry-ish level is the video capability on the canons is better. nikon autofocus tends to hunt around looking for the focus. Also up here in ottawa, it seems more canon lenses are available on the used market vs nikon lenses, so if you are going to be shooting a lot, you may very well outgrow any kit lens anyways. Just playing around the house learning the camera I'm already unhappy with the aperture on my kit lens. not sure if the 5300 has the same AF-P lenses as the 5600, but my lenses were reputed to be pretty good, but in low light conditions , it just doesn't let in enough light to allow me the faster shutter speeds I want. I'm already camping out for a fast prime lens which will come when my budget allows. Until then I will keep playing and learning.

The touch screen on my 5600 is cool but sometimes it gets in the way so not having it could be useful as well. I haven't quite gotten around figuring out how to disable or set it because around the house I'm tripod shooting things far more often. The touch screen tends to activate the shutter when I have the camera around my neck, tho like I said, that's probably more due to the user than the camera.
Deal Addict
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Nov 25, 2014
2500 posts
Toronto, ON
SL2 then get 50mm and 24mm. Or wait for the SL3.

If you have optimum points, shoppers has sl2 and the lens. It usually goes on sale
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2007
3075 posts
hows the Canon t6i compare to the Nikon D3200?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 4, 2008
6083 posts
Richmond Hill
EEE2 wrote:
Apr 15th, 2019 8:26 am
hows the Canon t6i compare to the Nikon D3200?
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Canon's "non-i" cameras align with Nikon's D3xxx series while the "i" cameras (like the one you mentioned) align with the D5xxx series. They're both entry level DSLRs, but the T6i is on the higher end of that spectrum

As for your specific comparison: the T6i will have a larger feature set and probably better image quality
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