DSLR update timeframe: should I buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Rower_CPU, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I've been wanting to step up from my Sony F707 to something more serious for my photography. I've been really impressed with the Canon 20D and Nikon D70, but it seems like both have been out for a while.

    Do the camera manufacturers stick to any kind of regular timeframe for updates? Are there any rumors out there about the replacements for either of these?

    Also, does the new Digital Rebel 350D/XT undercut the 20D in terms of value enough to make it better choice?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #2
    The Rebel is a good deal if you don't need a few things:

    Raw speed - the 20D has a bigger buffer and a higher FPS rating. This is obviously critical if you plan to do any sports, wildlife or action photography.

    Durability - My Rebel was well put together, but at the end of the day, it doesn't have a magnesium body. Simply as a mate of opinion, I like the feel of the 20D so much better (rubber grips on the body) and it has withstood near constant abuse from me.

    The scroll wheel on the back of the 20D is much easier to use (trust me - the Rebels controls stink), but I do like that the Rebels LCD and status panel are on the back. Using the 20D, you basically have to memorize what the switches do, and how many clicks mean what. You can just look at them on the Rebel. That said, I'd never give up the quickness of the scroller on the 20D. Ever.

    Besides that, it's all in little features you may or may not use. I'd recommend reading the entire reviews of both cameras at dpreview.com to make up your mind.

    If you already have an extensive Nikon lens collection, your choice is really made, if you have a Canon lens collection, likewise.

    To answer your real question:

    The 20D will most likely not get an update anytime soon. The 1Ds MKII is due first, then the 1D and THEN the 20D. Rebel is after that, if past updating schedules hold true again.

    Good luck. If you plan on keeping the camera for more than three years or so, I'd go with the 20D, simply more durable.

    I'm sure some Nikon owners here can help you out with the Nikon.
     
  3. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #3
    I am a Canon person--got my 20D a few months before the 350D was released-- but that has already been covered by the previous poster. I do know, however, that Nikon just released two new beginner DSLR's. Check out dpreview.com or an equivalent site. Since I'm not in the market, I didn't do a lot of investigating, but for your it would be worth it.

    For what it is worth, I love the 20D and highly recommend it to anyone.
     
  4. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    Oct 5, 2001
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    #4
    I'm not committed either way, as far as lenses go. This'll be my first SLR. :D

    I've spent my time on dpreview, but was just looking for any "insider" info or direct "real world" comparisons of the Rebel and the 20D. Thanks for your input, guys. :)
     
  5. andrewfee macrumors 6502

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    Aug 29, 2004
    #5
    I'm in the same situation as you; I made a topic similar to this a couple of months ago. There's a lot of good information there, so you might want to check it out.

    Lots of things happened at the time, so I ended up not being able to get one, and am in the market again. I've basically narrowed it down to two cameras in my price range: Canon's EOS350D, or Nikon's D70s.

    They're both very capable cameras, and either one is a good buy. There are a few things that might push you either way though. The D70(s) generally produces sharper shots than the 350D, however this comes at a cost. Moiré will happen on any camera, but it's more likely you'll see it on the D70 than the 350D.

    The colour balance from the Nikon cameras are a lot more "true to life" than Canon's. Greys are very neutral. The 350D on the other hand, seems to give everything a "warm" cast. (which may be good if you're doing a lot of portrait work)

    Ultimately it depends on what you're shooting, and most of this can be fixed with Photoshop etc relatively quickly. (although I'm not too sure about Moiré)
    But then, do you really want to be doing a lot of post-processing on everything you shoot?

    While the Canon has ISO100 for virtually noise-free shooting, Nikon's noise is much more monochromatic, which means it's less likely to ruin a shot.

    The D70 certainly looks a bit more rugged than the Canon, but it's a bit heavier, and the Canon is smaller, so is easier to carry about with you more often.


    What it boiled down to for me though was the lenses. While the kit lens with the D70/s is better than the kit lens on the Canon, I've had a quick look around, and it looks like there's nothing on offer from Nikon that is an equivalent to Canon's 17-85mm IS Lens, or the 75-300mm IS Lens.

    Now, I don't know how Nikon's glass compares, but from what I've seen, they don't offer an image stabilizer, at least not in that price range. (about £400-450)
    While a tripod is necessary for some things, I would rather only have to use one as a last resort, and there are places where you simply can't use one.
     
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

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    VA
    #6
    The D70s just came out, so Nikon is up to date. As for Canon, not sure when the newer one will come out. If you have the means, stick with the 20D over the 350D.

    D
     
  7. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #7
    Nikon's term for image stabilization is VR, and yes, they have many VR lenses.
     
  8. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    #8
    Thanks, I did have a look, but I couldn't see anything less than £1000 that had it.

    Just had a quick search for "Nikon VR Lens" and they offer a 24-120mm VR lens for about £450... I don't suppose you know how that would compare to Canon's 17-85mm IS lens?

    This is really the deciding factor for me between the two. I like Nikon's colour balance better than Canon's (although I'm sure it can probably be adjusted in-camera anyway?) but I'm really thinking that, as it's really just a hobby I want to spend my cash one one really good lens to go along with (or replace) the kit one. (this will be bought a couple of months after the camera)

    As I didn't think there was a VR lens from Nikon in that price range (well, I didn't know the term was VR, so I wasn't finding much at all) it had basically made the decision for me. Although the Moiré I've been hearing about on the D70 does worry me...
     
  9. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #9
    Personally, I have a Canon DSLR and I love it.

    The 350D is pretty up to date, so if you want that, go for it.
    The 20D has been out for a pretty long time, and it will probably be updated in or around August (if Canon sticks to their annual update schedule).

    I have 3 lenses for my camera, but the one I almost always use is the 28-135mm USM AF /w ImageStabalizer. It's a great lens and it's extremely versatile.
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    Oct 15, 2003
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    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #10
    I have the original D70, and have used the original Canon Digital Rebel. Between those two the D70 wins hands down for lens quality and (what you'd likely notice the most) speed. The original Canon is quite slow - there's about a 3 second delay between power on and shooting, or between power-saver mode and shooting (and these cameras go into power save mode all the bloody time). The Nikon is truly instant-on - it's amazing.

    The Canon 350D seems to have addressed the slowness issues. You've got to ask yourself if the 8 megapixel sensor will make any practical difference to you - if the answer is yes then get that camera for sure. For most folks I think it will have no practical advantages; but if you're going to want to make a lot of big posters then... :D

    Nikon's kit lens is most definitely superior to Canon's.

    Basically I'd say get the D70s, but if you get the 350D you'll likely also be very happy. I think the first generation had the possibility of being a win/lose proposition for some; but now it's win/win.

    Edit: toned down some wording. :D
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
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    CT
    #11
    I've also been looking into a SLR but I was thinking of a film camera since they are so cheap now. Will I regret going film over digital?
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

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    Sol III - Terra
    #12
    That depends somewhat on how much shooting you plan to do.

    For film you have the added costs of film and developing. If you want extra prints you hae to send the negatives for them or you need to scan the print of negative with the cost of a scanner that is decent enough to capture a decent scan or you could pay for scans when the film is developed.

    If you're only shooting a few rolls a year, it won't matter much. If you shoot a lot, the savings on film and developing will make up for the cost of the digital slr body.
     
  13. Bear macrumors G3

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    #13
    General advice on buying a Digital-SLR

    Make sure you go look at the cameras in the store, hold them in your hands, see how they feel in your hands.

    Also, check out the menus - see if one makes more sense than the other to you. Both Canon & Nikon make decent cameras but ssome people prefer the feel of one over the other.

    For SLRs there is no regular timetable. The point and shoot digital cameras are currently on a 6 month timetable.

    Compare the specs for both of them. Hold both of them in your hands - you might not like the feel of one or the other. In truth, people with larger hands tend to have issues with the Digital Rebel.

    And finally go to DPReview - they have specs for all the digital cameras. They have a comparisson tool. And they have forums with lots of photographers of all levels on them.

    Disclosure: I have a Nikon D100 and have gotten excellent photos with it. I personally would recommend Nikon. I do not work for a camera company.
     
  14. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    Dec 7, 2003
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #14
    I have got the D70. I have shot ~56,000 photos and I have never had a problem with moiré and can not notice any noise at iso 200. Also Nikon glass is great. I have 3 lens and they are all superb. I personally like the feel of Nikon over Canon. But thats just me.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    For me, too, beyond this argument, its simply true that if I have to go get film, manage it in my camera, get it developed, etc, etc, and *scan* it, I will take a lot less pictures than I do with my digital. I have a few print pictures sitting around, actually, that I need to scan...hmmm. I should find them and take them with me to my parents' house today, since they have a scanner. Of course I can do it at school too. But anyway, I personally have less interest in my pictures in print, and more electronically, so from that standpoint, it would take a lot to get me to use film again.

    But on the other hand, there are advantages...for instance, unless your budget includes a *really nice* DSLR, if you're into wide-angle photography, you won't have FOV crop. Which means you won't have to go hunting for 16 mm lenses because they act at 23-24mm on your camera. :) Or you could do it anyway, and get insane wide-angles. :D

    Oh, and if you shop with upgrading in mind, based on the previously-mentioned fact that lenses for Canon and Nikon hold value so well, then the cost of ditching your camera body in favor of the same brand's digital body might not be so bad.... But you will be locking yourself into that brand, sort of, unless you have the patience to sell all your lenses one by one. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    #16
    Canon has a rebate program going on now, link, $100 off a 20d and $15-$50 off various ef lenses, just picked up a 50mm 1.4, now I just have to remenber to send that rebate form in :D
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #17
    Yeah, I know! I was excited when I found a trustable and good condition 1.4 for $40 less than the lowest rebated price I could find, but I figured one way or another, it was lens buying time! :D
     
  18. PCM macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2005
    #18
    The canon stuff is cool for sure...they make the best point and shoot digitals hands down....however, the DSLR arena is a bit tricky as for which to go with...

    If you do ANYTHING flash...the NIkon is the better choice hands down. THe ittl (and wireless TTL flash) is honestly a superior system to ettl. Ask any HONEST photographer who's used both and they will tell you this much. I have two sb800's that I use with great success...they are powerful enough to pop a 16x20 softbox and are high quality lights.

    The 20d is a slightly better camera image wise, but I find the controls awkward. The glass between both companies is pretty equal, with each side taking the lead in certain areas (canon has journalism nailed with their long lenses). Nikon's 50 f 1.8 (75 mm equiv), is only 93 bucks and is the sharpest lens around in that arena.

    It used to be the case that Canon had a better updrade path, but the d2x that Nikon came out with is an amazing camera and can hold its own against the 1d mark II (i think that's the one- the 16mp canon...).

    You won't be dissapointed with the d70- I've done many professional shoots with it and it hasn't let me down yet. Battery life is unbelievable.
     
  19. PCM macrumors regular

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    Mar 6, 2005
    #19
    yes.
     
  20. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

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    San Diego, CA
    #20
    Well, I'm actually demoing the Rebel XT right now - my wife and I bought it as a gift for her Dad - so I'll be able to evaluate it pretty heavily.

    Coming from my F707 the main thing I notice is the speed - startup is near instant and the AF/shutter lag is amazingly quick. Sony's manual controls seemed nicer, but then, I've been using that camera since 2002. ;)

    I'll see what I think after some more shooting today...

    [edit - Went shooting today down at the USS Midway museum here in San Diego. I got more familiar with the controls and found them to be pretty good. One thing I guess I'll have to get used to with a DSLR is not seeing my settings in the viewfinder. I also like the feel of the body a bit better with my Sony, since I have large hands and the Rebel seems to be a bit skinnier in my right hand.

    From the shots I've downloaded, the noise level is great (especially shooting at ISO 100) compared to my Sony, which was noisy as heck.

    All in all, though I'd feel comfortable buying the XT if it came right down to it, but I think I'll wait to see about a 20D update before I buy.]
     

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