The Canon Rebel T1i and Nikon D5000 are the two new consumer-level DSLRs from the leading brands in the business right now. Over the past month or so, I’ve shot extensively, almost exclusively, with these new DSLRs. While there are a number of features that make these cameras stand out, the one that I keep coming back to is their ability to manage noise, even at higher ISOs.
Both cameras do something new in the entry-level category by turning up the sensitivity. The Canon Rebel T1i tops out at ISO 12800, while the Nikon D5000 pushes its sensitivity one-stop lower to ISO 6400. In my day-to-day shooting, I would have no problem shooting with either camera at ISO 3200 for snapshots that will make my wife or mom happy to have in the family photo album. Truth be told, they probably wouldn’t notice the difference between ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 in either camera. The Rebel T1i’s spec of ISO 12800 may be a bit much for most applications; however, in a bind, you can likely get some decent black and whites at that level.