Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > Special Interest Group (SIG) Forums > Photography

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12/18/2007, 03:39 PM
Jon770 Jon770 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Miami
Posts: 421
Question Canon XTi vs. Nikon D40x vs. Nikon D80

Hi - was looking for some help in deciding on a new D-SLR. I posted the same thing on my local group's forum, but was thinking I might get more responses on an all-photography forum.

I have my first baby on the way and decided that I wanted something better than my current point and shoot. I primarily want to take pics of the family, but will also use it for tank shots, etc... I’ve come to the realization that the best ‘entry-level’ D-SLR for the money is either the Canon XTi or the Nikon D40x. Then there is always the ‘mid-level’ Nikon D80, which alot of people seem to love. As a true novice with SLR photography, I feel comfortable getting an entry level camera, but at the same time I don’t want to kick myself a couple years down the road for not spending the extra couple bucks to get the D80. While money is definitely a factor in my decision and I would prefer to save the $400, if it will make THAT big a difference, then I will pay the extra $$$ for the D80.

So….here are my options of cameras/kits to get. Which one do you think I should go with, and why?


OPTION 1: $749 – Nikon D40x with Two-Lens Bonus Outfit (18-55 & 55-200)
Main accessories besides camera body:
Nikon AF-S DX ZOOM-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED
Nikon bag and Nikon instructional DVDs

OPTION 2: $749 – Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi 2 lens Zoom Kit (18-55 & 75-300)
Main accessories besides camera body:
EF-S 18-55mm II
EF-S 75-300mm III

OPTION 3: $1,043 – Nikon D80 Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-135mm Lens
Main accessories besides camera body:
18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor lens

OPTION 4: $1,099 – Nikon D80 Digital SLR Two-Lens Bonus Outfit (18-55 & 55-200)
Main accessories besides camera body:
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Lens
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED
Nikon bag and Nikon instructional DVDs

OPTION 5: $1,149 – Nikon D80 Digital SLR Two-Lens Bonus Outfit (18-55 & VR 55-200)
Main accessories besides camera body:
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S DX Lens
Nikon 55-200 mm F/4 5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor Lens w/ Vibration Reduction
Nikon bag and Nikon instructional DVDs

  #2  
Old 12/18/2007, 06:39 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Santa Clarita,CA
Posts: 614
Send a message via AIM to Nick A
If you want to be able to autofocus with non AF-S lenses, then go with the D80. Non AF-S lenses can be used on the D40(x), its just that you have to manually focus the lens. People make such a huge issue over the D40(x) lacking non AF-S lens capability but they don't really know that the most widely used lenses are the 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, and the 70-200mm f2.8, all being AF-S lenses. The only problem about these three lenses is that they cost a pretty penny. A very nice all-around lens would be the 18-200 VR, but that can run you around $700.

The D40(x)'s main advantage is just it's size. My brother who shoots a D200 is looking at getting a D40 just for days when he doesn't want people gawking at his huge D200. In addition the D40(x) is very light, if weight is an issue to you. I got my friend into photography and he started off with a D40, but is starting the feel the need to upgrade to a D70s or D80.

The D80 allows CLS control for speedlights such as the SB-600 and SB-800, meaning you can set up the flash in such a way that it will flash wirelessly. Also you don't really need to constantly use the rear screen in order to change a setting unlike the D40(x). I have played around with my friend's D40, but prefer being able to change settings through the viewfinder or by the top screen.

As for the options listed, it would have to be option 5 as having VR is a really nice feature. I have heard of distortion issues with the 18-135, although I have seen pretty good pictures taken with it.
  #3  
Old 12/18/2007, 06:58 PM
Phyl Phyl is offline
NJ Reefers Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,406
Of the kits you have listed, I'd go with option number 5. Add in an SB-600 for good measure.

Though really a better combination would be the Nikon D80 (781) with a Nikon 17-55 ($1200), unfortunately at a higher price tag. But if you want to get great pictures of your new baby that's the lens to do it with.
__________________
Phyllis
NJRC President
MASNA Public Relations
  #4  
Old 12/18/2007, 09:41 PM
Jon770 Jon770 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Miami
Posts: 421
so no one likes the Canon XTi?
  #5  
Old 12/18/2007, 09:56 PM
beerguy beerguy is offline
RC Staff & Thread Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The left coast
Posts: 12,970
Send a message via AIM to beerguy
Quote:
Originally posted by Jon770
so no one likes the Canon XTi?
Canon holds about 65% of the DSLR market so I wouldn't say "no one"

__________________
Doug - v2.0.4

Nuclear winter solves global warming.
  #6  
Old 12/18/2007, 09:58 PM
xxxbadfishxxx xxxbadfishxxx is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Clifton Park, NY
Posts: 1,149
I got a D50 and love it, my buddy has a D80 and i like it more. I also have a friend that has the D40x, i personally dont like it, rather have the D50.

I would highly suggest getting the Nikkor 18-70mm DX Lens, thats what i got and love it.
  #7  
Old 12/18/2007, 11:43 PM
Phyl Phyl is offline
NJ Reefers Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,406
Quote:
Originally posted by beerguy
Canon holds about 65% of the DSLR market so I wouldn't say "no one"

Pfft!



I think what you'll find is that Canonites will sing Canon praises and Nikonians will sing Nikon praises. Rarely will the two meet anywhere in what constitutes the middle.

At the end of the day you'll need to figure out which one feels better in your hand. The camera you enjoy holding will be the one that you use more often than not.
__________________
Phyllis
NJRC President
MASNA Public Relations
  #8  
Old 12/18/2007, 11:52 PM
ssbreef ssbreef is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 812
OPTION 2: $749 – Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi 2 lens Zoom Kit (18-55 & 75-300)
Main accessories besides camera body:
EF-S 18-55mm II
EF-S 75-300mm III
__________________
180g inwall, 89Xturnover, Deltec Ap1004 Skimmer, Deltec PF1001 CR, Deltec KM 500S KS, Octopus 3000, AquaZone Ozone, 1218Watts-MH+VHO+T5, 120g sump, 77g Refuge
  #9  
Old 12/19/2007, 12:25 AM
Jon770 Jon770 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Miami
Posts: 421
Thanks for all the replies....I really appreciate the input.

I'm quickly finding that Phyllis is exactly right - whatever brand people have is typically the brand they say is the best. I have not heard many people say: "I had X model Canon and hated it and swiched to X model Nikon" or vice versa. If anything, they switched different models but in the same brand.
  #10  
Old 12/19/2007, 08:39 AM
Phyl Phyl is offline
NJ Reefers Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,406
Once you buy your first lens you lock into a camera system. From that single point on, changing systems becomes a compounded expense.

Each line is stuffed with pro glass at the high end line, so you're better off replacing that X lens (55-200) with the high end model in that range (70-200 VR) than switching brands.

Put the same picture next to each other of the same subject using the same focal length, from equally skilled photogs and equally matched glass (consumer v. consumer or pro v. pro) and you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

Personally I don't like the way the canon line feels small and feeble in my hands. The feel of the D200 body is perfect (IMBO). I'm almost positive that the D80 has the same body style, if not the same materials.
__________________
Phyllis
NJRC President
MASNA Public Relations
  #11  
Old 12/19/2007, 11:47 AM
beerguy beerguy is offline
RC Staff & Thread Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The left coast
Posts: 12,970
Send a message via AIM to beerguy
Quote:
Originally posted by Phyl

At the end of the day you'll need to figure out which one feels better in your hand. The camera you enjoy holding will be the one that you use more often than not.
That's exactly the advice that I normally give even though Canon is clearly makes a better camera

__________________
Doug - v2.0.4

Nuclear winter solves global warming.
  #12  
Old 12/19/2007, 11:49 AM
beerguy beerguy is offline
RC Staff & Thread Pirate
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The left coast
Posts: 12,970
Send a message via AIM to beerguy
Quote:
Originally posted by Phyl

Personally I don't like the way the canon line feels small and feeble in my hands.

I've never heard a 5D or 1D* referred to as "small and feeble."

__________________
Doug - v2.0.4

Nuclear winter solves global warming.
  #13  
Old 12/19/2007, 01:31 PM
Phyl Phyl is offline
NJ Reefers Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NJ
Posts: 2,406
Ya think he can pony up for one of those based on the list he suggested? LOL.

I suppose I could have said the way the canon prosumer line...
__________________
Phyllis
NJRC President
MASNA Public Relations
  #14  
Old 12/19/2007, 01:43 PM
Jon770 Jon770 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Miami
Posts: 421
I agree that the Canon Rebel series feels a bit small - but so does the Nikon 40 series....

Both company's mid-level cameras (Canon 30D/40D and Nikon D80) feel alot more substantial in your hands, but on the flip-side they are pretty heavy to lug around everywhere.


Man, this choice is even harder than when I decided to propose to my wife!

  #15  
Old 12/19/2007, 02:46 PM
surfnvb7 surfnvb7 is offline
I bleed orange and maroon
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: HOKIE in Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 2,453
last year....and the previous subsequent years the Canon XT and XTi seemed to be the hot commodity. this year......it seems to be the entry level Nikons.

my guess is Nikon is winning the battle this holiday season due to the "feel" of the camera body, and the bad reputation canon got with the kit lens that comes with the XT and XTi. the entry level Nikon's probably have more bang for your buck straight out of the box.

IMO.......the entry level Nikon is probably better than the XT and XTi for the person who won't ever really get into the advanced stuff and upgrade equipment.

The Nikon's noise level at low to medium ISO's is really annoying IMO (don't even bother trying a high ISO on a Nikon)....which is why I chose Canon. That, along with Canon's superior L-glass and IS lenses if you want to pony up some $$$.

Canon also *seems* to have a larger variety in selection of 3rd party lenses and equipment.


I'm trading my XTi w/ battery grip, and telephoto L-lens to my father who wants a dSLR really bad now (he has an old film SLR). he's buying me a canon 40D, which blows the socks off of the XTi and all of the Nikon's (D80 etc.) they carry in the big box stores.
(obviously the pro type canon and nikon models are better than the 40D....but most stores don't carry them for obvious reasons)


btw......the small feeling of the XT and XTi, as well as the 40D (if you have big hands like me), can easily be fixed by the addition of a battery grip. the extra battery power alone makes it totally worth it.
__________________
~ AL ~

Richmond Reef Club

GO HOKIES!!

Last edited by surfnvb7; 12/19/2007 at 02:52 PM.
  #16  
Old 12/20/2007, 09:57 AM
juniormc8704 juniormc8704 is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Detroit Michigan
Posts: 205
Send a message via AIM to juniormc8704
i had a d40, liked it, didnt love it. sold it, and bought the d80, and love it. i would buy the same again anytime, unless i had a bunch of extra cash then i would go for the canon 40D.
  #17  
Old 12/21/2007, 11:13 PM
ssbreef ssbreef is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 812
40D? really?...why not the nikon D200?
__________________
180g inwall, 89Xturnover, Deltec Ap1004 Skimmer, Deltec PF1001 CR, Deltec KM 500S KS, Octopus 3000, AquaZone Ozone, 1218Watts-MH+VHO+T5, 120g sump, 77g Refuge
  #18  
Old 12/21/2007, 11:48 PM
RoseFishWatcher RoseFishWatcher is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2
I just got a D40 as an early Xmas present. I'm new to photography in general (was using an old crappy point&shoot digital before), but I'm liking it a lot.

Here's a pic of my favorite hermit. I used manual settings (didn't know how to adjust aperture at the time since I'd only had the camera a few days, so it's pretty much just manual focus), so most pics are not in focus. He's right against the glass. The lens is the 18-55mm that comes with the camera.

(click for the full size pic)



Obviously, I haven't owned any of the other cameras on your list, so I can't really compare. Good luck with the decision!
  #19  
Old 12/25/2007, 01:16 AM
JeffReef JeffReef is offline
Got Zoa Pox?
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Natomas Park Sacramento, CA
Posts: 568
If you're still open for suggestions I'd recommend Canon 40D and a Sigma 18-50 2.8 EX DG Macro. This combo would run you about $1700 but it's well worth the money.

Next paycheck, get the Sigma 50-150mm 2.8 EX DG and a Canon 580EX II flash. This will set you back another $1300.

Last, get the Sigma 150mm EX HSM for a true 1:1 macro lens, a Gitzo carbon tripod and a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter for your 50-150mm lens and you'd be good to go. This, btw, will set you back another $1300.
__________________
The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.

-Jacques Yves Cousteau
  #20  
Old 12/30/2007, 02:12 AM
jccash jccash is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Longwood, Florida
Posts: 128
Perhaps you should buy a used Nikon D200

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/sitem/sku=800555571&is=USE
  #21  
Old 12/30/2007, 11:19 AM
smmscott smmscott is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Cleveland (parma)
Posts: 381
I have held both Nikon and canon. In my limited experience I like the color rendition out of the canons a little better. Nikon to me seems to favor reds and the canon did better with blues. I agree with what others are saying and go to a store and pick them up and hold them and go through the menus and find what feels right to you.
  #22  
Old 12/31/2007, 02:02 PM
chris0942 chris0942 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: indy
Posts: 34
pick up a nikon 40d today no special lens, but got the mag. glass and I like it. I'm going to get a better zoom lens.
  #23  
Old 12/31/2007, 02:20 PM
surfnvb7 surfnvb7 is offline
I bleed orange and maroon
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: HOKIE in Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 2,453
Quote:
Originally posted by chris0942
pick up a nikon 40d today no special lens, but got the mag. glass and I like it. I'm going to get a better zoom lens.
canon has the 40D

nikon has the d40

.....BIIIIIIIIIIIG difference......
__________________
~ AL ~

Richmond Reef Club

GO HOKIES!!
  #24  
Old 12/31/2007, 09:06 PM
chris0942 chris0942 is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: indy
Posts: 34
i like the 40d. pick one up today myself.
  #25  
Old 01/01/2008, 12:07 AM
MightyWarMonger MightyWarMonger is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 74
I just bought the Canon XTI (body only) and bought seperatly a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras total $950 the camera comes on the 2nd and I can wait. I went to a couple of sites that reveiw products and reveiwed the cannon xti and a nikon D40 or D80 (can't remember wich) and decided to go with canon because as this is my first SLR camera I couldn't justify the extra money for the Nikon (wich I have no real idea on how to use either of them). I held the canon in a store before I bought it and it felt comfratible enugh to me, and I bought the body only because I was going to buy differnt lenses any way so I figured I would ave the extra $150-$200 that they charge for the 18-55mm lense and put it twords the one I wanted. unfortunatly now I need to save up another $400 for a macro lense. and realy I have no experiance to give you advice on the cameras just thought I would share my buying experiance and decison.

Quote:
Originally posted by beerguy
That's exactly the advice that I normally give even though Canon is clearly makes a better camera

Oh and beerguy this post ha ha I like it and almost missed the end of it and I agree
__________________
I know I can't spell thanx :)

You will be sorry when I'm gone, dead, or armed

Last edited by MightyWarMonger; 01/01/2008 at 12:14 AM.
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central™ Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2009