I'm in an absolute conundrum!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Fuzzy Orange, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Fuzzy Orange macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #1
    I know there are many topics on this with the recent releases of the D80 and XTi, but those are some of the reasons I am making this thread. I hope I am not taking any of your (valuable) time.
    Anyways, I decided to get a DSLR a while ago. I even bought a Mac for this new hobby of mine(among others). So, I decided to get the Canon Digital Rebel XT. It seemed like a nice camera, and had a nice price to go with it. The next day, I go to Best Buy. I see the XT and marvel at it. Then I pick it up. It felt disgusting. Like a cheap toy. Quickly, I put it back. I wander over to the Nikon cameras and, lo and behold, was the D50. It was in my budget, and felt great. Next to it sat the D70s. I play around with that, too. More functions, and uses CF. On top of that, it was only $150 more. I thought it looked like a wise purchase, but held off so I could do my homework a bit.

    After being set on the D70s, and saving for it, I thought I could finally buy it. However, the next day, the D80 came out. It looked marvelous. Like a D200 in a plastic shell. I thought it might be what I wanted. Around a week later, the Rebel XTi was announced. It was cheaper than the D80, and was also 10 MP. That moment is when I became confounded with what to buy. My original budget was around $800, and I could have stretched it to $900. Maybe. The D80 seems a bit too far out of reach now, but the XTi looks nice. However, does anyone know if it feels he same as the XT? If it does, I'm not buying. Then come the D70s and the D50. Both look nice. Very nice, indeed. I will probably be buying one of these, but I must know: Is the extra $150-250 worth it? The extra cash I can save can be used for better/more lenses.

    So, I guess these are my options:
    -Nikon D50 w/18-55 mm DX Zoom Nikkor(would get the 18-55 and 55-200 if B&H ever had it in)=$700 ($800 if I got mentioned kit)
    -Nikon D70s w/18-70 mm DX Zoom Nikkor=$870
    -Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi w/ Canon 18-55 mm EF-S lens=$900
    I would be getting a Lexar/Sandisk 2GB CF/SD card, depending on which one I get.

    Also note that I really, really like photography. I plan on diving into it headfirst. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    One other option would be the D50 with 18-70mm lens.

    But STOP. Every beginner does this. They select a camera brand based on the features and prince of the current model entry level camera BODY. Just ignor the bodies for a while. Think about lenses and what you might want to own in 2, 5 or 10 years. Lenses cost more then bodies (well, at least good lenses do) and they have a LONG useful life span. DSLR bodies become obsolete quickly. So you invest in a set of good optics and then keep replacing the bodies as they improve the sensor technology. Lens technology moves much slower is now very mature. So,... learn enough about lenses so you can make an informed choise and a long term plan. Choose Nikon or Canon and then buy whatever body fits your prefered brand of lens and your budgt. Just remember "Lenses make the image, cameras only record the image." Look at the used lens markets too. Nothing wrong with a 10 year old lens, they work as well as new ones.
    Both Nikon and Canon make some very, very good profesional quality optics and they both make some low-end consummer stuff too. Figure out what you want BEFORE you buy a DSLR body. To put it another way: "Seems odd that which $499 DSLR body you buy today will determine which brand of $1,800 telephoto lens you can buy 10 years from now, long after that DSLR has been given away or trashed." So, go lens shopping....

    About the "megapixel count" don't worry to much about 6 vs. 8 or 8 vs. 10. That does not matter much. But 6 vs. 10 begins to matter some what. What matter more is the number of pixels ACROSS the long edge of the frame. That is what determines the maximum print size. MP is a marketing term.
     
  3. Fuzzy Orange thread starter macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #3
    Well, who usually makes higher quality lenses: Canon or Nikon? Right now, I'm really liking the prospect of buying the Nikon 18-200 mm, if I could find it. One thing I did notice is that only Canon makes a digital-only Macro lens. I plan on doing lots of Macro work, so that might be good(to have a digital macro lens).
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #4
    First, hold all of the different camera bodies and decide which feels good to you. Then take a look at the lens system which accompanies that particular brand. ChrisA is right: you're not buying just a camera body, you are buying into an entire system of lenses and accessories and over the years those lenses and accessories are going to be more meaningful than the body you bought today. The body is important to a certain extent, as it dictates how comfortable and intuitive your shooting will be, but in the long run, the lenses are what is the most important. Good lenses will still work on the camera bodies of the future. I've got a few gems of lenses which work extremely well on my current D200, and yet at the time these lenses were first marketed, 35mm film SLRs were the only game in town.

    Nikon's newest DSLR, the D80, is just now appearing on store shelves. Check it out. Also look at Canon's newest offering. Handle both cameras, handle the other models available in both lines, think about what kind of shooting you like to do and scrutinise each manufacturer's listing of available lenses. Are you into macro? Sports photography? Portraits? Landscapes? Each manufacturer has its own line of lenses which may or may not suit your needs. You will be buying not just a camera body, but buying into an entire camera system. Choose wisely.
     
  5. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #5
    the 18-200 is a very good all around lens.

    You might want to avoid Canon's digital only macro lens. there is no real need for it to be digi only- all it does is prevent you from using it on a huge number of their bodies!

    Nikon and third parties make tons of macro lenses. All the nikons can be used on 35mm and DX. Some even have the latest technologies like VR.
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #6

    The 18-200mm VR is a nice walkaround, carry-everywhere lens, but it is somewhat slow (f/3.5-5.6). To a certain extent one can compensate by kicking up the ISO and taking advantage of the VR.

    As for Canon's "digital-only macro lens," this may not be an advantage when everyone eventually moves on to full-frame shooting as opposed to the current FOV of 1.5 or 1.6.

    In another post I mentioned Nikon's choices in macro, so I'll repeat that here:

    first,there are several wonderful older lenses, including the 55mm and the 70-180mm, but here is the current lineup of macro (which Nikon calls "micro") lenses:

    60mm f/2.8
    105mm f/2.8 (replaced by the VR version but may still be available)
    105mm f/2.8 VR
    200mm f/4
     
  7. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    First argument against this line of thought: the difference between the EF-S 60mm and the EF 100mm macro lenses is $AU250 RRP, $AU120 street price. That small premium for the 100mm is well worth it in my book, because I can see me (assuming copious quantities of money) going to a full frame body at some stage in the future.

    Second argument: there is nothing you can do with the EF-S 60mm that you can't do with the EF 100mm. Both will do 1x magnification (meaning the image on the sensor is the same size as the object in real life); both can focus to infinity. For macro lenses, those two are the main points I'm interested in (the 180mm macro fits that bill as well, but is far too expensive for my budget, plus I can't take it underwater - nobody makes a housing port to fit it.)

    As a rule, I'll only buy an EF-S lens if there is nothing else in the EF range that will do the job I want. That means that there's only one EF-S lens I'm likely to buy in the future: the 10-22mm. The 17-85mm is a decent lens as well, and again, there's no EF lens that will do its job (there's the 17-40mm, but that doesn't have as much telephoto ability as I'd like; although, being in effect a 28-64mm, it could work ... I'd have to get something to cover the range from 40mm to 100mm, though.)

    Or, in short: don't take this as a point in Canon's favour. There are plenty of arguments for Canon, or for Nikon, or against either, but this ain't one of them.

    On the MP issue: remember that MP is a unit of area. Take the square root to get the equivalent length/height unit for reasonable comparisons. So, comparing 8MP to 10MP is adding an extra 25% (times 1.25) in area. Square root of 1.25 is a bit over 1.1, so you're adding an extra 10% in length and height for a given resolution of the print. It is not enough to say "yes, it's worth the extra cost". 6MP to 8MP is similar (+33% in area, +15% in length and height). 6MP to 10MP, on the other hand, is enough to be swayed (+67% in area, +29% in length/height) if you're interested in large size prints. If all you want is standard print size, anything above 6MP is overkill, unless you plan on cropping the images after shooting, in which case all bets are off.

    As for the 400D (XTi) vs 350D (XT) issue: I have seen, but not held, the 400D. It's tiny. The 350D was also tiny. I strongly suspect (but cannot say for certain) that it will have a similar feel to the 350D. Try to hold it in your hands before you make a firm decision; any good retailer will let you do that.

    But ultimately, as has been said, it comes down to the glass. If you know where you're likely to head, and which lenses you're likely to want, you can buy into the system you want with confidence. Otherwise, both Nikon and Canon have good quality glass available at all areas of the spectrum (although I believe Nikon has the edge at the short focal length end, and Canon has a slight edge at the long focal length end - but don't quote me on that.)

    Good luck!
     
  8. serpent macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #8
    While everybody keeps saying keep in mind what lenses your going to buy snd use that as the deciding factor, to me is just a bunch of crap! If the OP has lenses which he already owns then that might be a factor which sways him with one brand or another.
    As far as lens quality goes, if professional lens are bought the quality is probably the same between nikon and canon, with what I believe nikon winning out with less CA and Bokeh.
    IMHO, all cameras that the OP can afford are the Low End DSLR's that both manufacturers make and either will be able to make simillar high quality prints up to 11 x 14. Whats most important is whose user interface and ergonomics fit the OP!

    Serpent
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
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    #9
    Fuzzy Orange said that he wouldn't buy it if it felt cheap. I haven't held the 400D, but it's weight and size is pretty much the same as before (slight differences, of course). It's still too small, and I actually think it's too light.

    If that's the deciding factor for Fuzzy Orange, we don't need to give anymore advice. YAY! ;)


    And I'd probably wait until Photokina, which is coming up very very soon (we're talking about Sept 26th or so), and see if a Nikon D50 successor is released. An update to the D50 is due from Nikon, so I'd wait for that, or at least until after Photokina. :)
     
  10. Fuzzy Orange thread starter macrumors 6502

    Fuzzy Orange

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #10
    Well, it not the DECIDING factor, but it is important.... Anyways, I think i'm going to go with Nikon's system. I like many of their lenses, and some of them seem to be at a good price. But you say wait until Photokina for an update to the D50?
     
  11. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #11
    He there may be an update. We don't know. You just have to wait and see.

    One other thing that you get with Nikon that hasn't been mentioned is the better flash system (than Canon). It produces more consistent flash exposure than the Canon system.

    Don't think that you will only use flash in low light or just not use it at all. Flash is an excellent tool that is a whole different world. Once you learn your basics of photography and can take good pictures with available light, you can learn flash photography and make most of those natural light photos better.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Location:
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    #12
    Not saying it will happen, but looking at how long ago Nikon released the D50, and looking at trends such as how often they generally update a product, they are definitely due for an update to the D50.
    But again, what I'm telling you isn't even as solid as a MacRumours' rumour, but if someone else here also believes that the D50 is due for an update, then maybe I'll sound more credible. :p

    I'm just thinking that an updated D50 is all you really need. The difference isn't necessarily in the photo quality. In fact, the D50 is the best (read: least noisy) low light performer in Nikon's lineup (or maybe it shares the lead). In fact, if you were to look at photos from the D50, D80, and D200 (and assuming you didn't see the file sizes), there's a chance you may think that the D50's photos were the best. Who knows, really.

    Just understand that the camera body isn't always the be all and end all of making beautiful photographs. Sometimes I can't take a photo because I don't have a lens capable of taking said photo. I (almost) never tell myself that my camera body isn't capable of taking a photo.
     
  13. beavo451 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 22, 2006
  14. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #14
    Take a trip and hold both Nikon and Canon cameras and see which one feels better.

    I did that and the Canon just felt more solid for me. Don't let anyone tell you this or that, they are both great camera companies, just try and buy.
     

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