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Old January 7th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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Question about two cameras

I did some research after hearing about the new Nikon D40 camera, and I saw that some reviews loved it, but said the Canon Rebel XT is better. Both are pretty close, with the edge going to the Rebel. Because the XT has been out a while, the price at B&H is now $599 for the camera and lens. The D40 is going for $559.

In about 2-3 months, I want to buy an SLR, but I'm more entry-level. I want to take more professional pictures, as I feel my little Canon point-and-shoot is a little too, well, consumer-ish (no offense).

I guess, to sum it up, it's like using a 1 ccd minidv camera vs. a nice DVX100a or b to shoot stuff.

So, what do you guys think of the camera choices?

Thanks,

Heath
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Old January 7th, 2007, 04:53 PM   #2
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I'm in the Nikon camp largely because when I started, I liked the D70 better than the Canon Rebel. Overall, the product offerings by both companies are incredibly similar, though each company has its specializations. Just flip a coin, but whatever you do, get at least one good wide aperture (f/1.4) , fixed focal-length lens , a shoe-mounted flash and don't keep the camera in automatic mode. Otherwise, you just end up with a Point&Shoot that is harder to carry. If a zoom lens doesn't do more than 3x zoom, that is a good thing.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #3
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I noticed the Rebel has a CMOS sensor vs. the Nikon's CCD, which may or may not explain why the Nikon gets noisey in darker shots.

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Old January 7th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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DPreview is a good place to compare the specs.

The one thing I will point out is that the D40 is smallish and also doesn't have an autofocus drive motor and has only 3 autofocus points. It also don't have a top LCD and uses a smaller battery than the D50 which is harder to find. Why I point this out is because the D50 is very similarly priced with the only drawback being it is slightly larger. So if you want a really fast lens like the Nikon 50mm f1.8 which is really cheap (and I could not live without) you can't use auto focus at all with it.

The big issue I have with Canon D-SLR is the same I have with the D40 - No top status LCD. This was a little feature to me, not a requirement when I picked up my D50. The D40 and Canon's use the back LCD to display this, but the panel is bigger and has a backlight and therefore wastes more power. The upshot is that easy to ready at night. I love it and would find it a pain to have to deal with the back one, but its a personal preference is all.

I chose Nikon because I like CCD over Cmos but this is a personal thing and takes a while to explain my personal reasons. Its a choice but both make really good images.

Keep in mind as well that Nikon and Canon have slightly different sensor size. Nikon DX is 1.5x Crop, Canon aps-c is 1.6x so its slightly smaller. So a 50mm on a nikon is like a 75 while on the canon is more like a 80. Not a big difference but one all the same. If you want to deal with higher powered zooms it means you would like slightly higher glass on the Canon. Not a big deal though or difference until you start getting into major zoom levels.

So what I'm saying is that if you specifically want to not have the more complicated manual controls then the D40 is a good bet. Its also smaller. But if you want higher end then you should compare between the Rebel XT and the D50. Neither will let you down. However you are choosing not a camera but a system. If you chose either you can always get a new body later and use your same lenses.

If you go the nikon route and are used to higher optical zooms then I would suggest the 55-200mm DX lens or the 70-300mm lens. Or if you have more money you can get a kit with the 18-200mm lens. I assume canon has the same type of lens's in the same price points.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #5
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Keith,

Thanks for all the points. I'm still a little ways off, but I think a Rebel XT or the D50 may work for me. I like CMOS, but that's just me.

Thanks again,

Heath
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Old January 7th, 2007, 11:25 PM   #6
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Heath,

remember that the camera body is only part of the story. Have a look at the lenses and accessories as well. Once you invest in a camera body you are probably stuck with a camera system for quite a while. Ask yourself, which lenses you would like to have in the future, wether image stabilizer lenses are important for you and so on.

Also try the handling of different bodies and see which you like best (the Canon 400D for example, I don't know how it's called in the US, is way to small for me, I like the big chunky ones...).
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Old January 7th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #7
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Thanks, Rainer. I'll probably start with the standard lens, then add on as I need it. I plan on getting comfortable with it first, do some portrait-style pix, nature, etc. I'm sure within a month or so, I'll go grab some new lenses.

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Old January 9th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #8
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For your first and only lens, I would get a wide zoom, such as the Nikon 18-70mm. According to reviews, it's much better than the 18-55. If you go for the 55-200mm, you will find that you will also need something wider. The 18-200mm lens seems like it would fit the bill, but realize that as you zoom, the maximum aperture is quite small.

You are robbing yourself of that pro look if you have a lens that doesn't open up to f/2.8 at 70mm or so. If you end up with an 18-70mm, go for something magical such as the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8. Then, you'll experience the joys of the DSLR.
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Old January 9th, 2007, 10:38 AM   #9
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Great advice, too, thanks!

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Old January 9th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #10
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Heath - either are great cameras / the d40 also won't take alot of second party/cheaper lenses like the sigma 18-200mm.Canon and nikon glass is costly. I'd go for an xt but I've also already bought 2 canons and am probably tilted .
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Old January 9th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #11
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I think my final decision, based on everyone's great advice, is to go with the Canon Rebel XT. I plan on making my purchase in the spring, so I'll update then.

THANKS!

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Old January 13th, 2007, 07:51 PM   #12
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To expand Heath's question a little... I am also thinking about getting a DSLR. I'll probably go with Nikon because of my familiarity with their fixed lens cameras. And I have several old lenses from my Nikon F days. One is a long third party telephoto, maybe 250 mm, but totally manual without even a DOF preview. Do these lenses work properly with the Nikon DSLR's in manual mode?

Was looking at the D80, but the D50 looks pretty nice, I don't know whether I particularly need more than 6MP and for $450 it looks like a good value. Would also leave some money to buy a good manual wide lens like this: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...uyUsed&Q=36890

I don't mind using manual focus and iris settings, in fact I would prefer it for my type of work, if the viewfinder is decent. I read somewhere that the camera will tell you when it thinks the image is in focus when using a manual lens. How well does that work? Would it be worth the extra $500 to get the D80? I read that you can't lock the mirror on the D50, is that true? Will that make it noiser than the D80 to use in a quiet theatre?

I'm really not up to speed on DSLR's, have been using a 5MP Nikon Coolpix 5700 for several years, but it has stopped working properly.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #13
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Heath, I just made the exact same decision you made, but for a slightly different reason. I found a used Rebel XT with the 18-55mm lens for $329 on BH photo. I'll repeat that: $329. The body has a few scratches, but the lens, CMOS, and LCD are in perfect condition. As of last week, I was a point and shooter, now I'm a full-blown photo geek trying to figure out how to get a 2.8 or better zoom lens 18-70mm, at least, for a decent price. One Caveat on the Canon lenses: for DSLR lenses, check BH and compare offerings between Canon and Nikon. From what I've seen, there seems to be more selection in the Nikon camp and slightly better prices.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 09:15 AM   #14
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I'll look for deals like that, thanks!

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Old January 14th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #15
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Just out of curiousity, are any of these good:

http://kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.j...equestid=13349

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