Nikon D80 vs Canon 400D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sinsinnati, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Sinsinnati macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #1
    I know this has probably been done before but I wanted to ask this question to the Apple crowd. Is there one camera that has an advantage over the other for the apple community? Are drivers, software better on one then the other? How about universal apps?

    As far as a direct comparision of the camera's themselves. I read this review in detail and compared the photos: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/page21.asp

    Seems like the Canon 400D developed sharper photos but the Nikon had better features.
     
  2. eMagine macrumors regular

    eMagine

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    #2
    You've pretty much answered your own question.

    Unless you want to use manufacturer's supplied apps to process your photos I see no reason to recommend one over the other on that basis.
    I use aperture on a daily basis and am happy with it. It will process either Nikon or Canon RAW images.
     
  3. ksz macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Agreed with the previous poster. However, also try the new Adobe Lightroom 4.1 beta. The ".1" upgrade was released 1 or 2 days ago. Lightroom now has a much improved interface and, best of all, its Curves function is now second to none. Just hover your mouse along the curve line and see how the software responds. This is the way Curves should be done!

    I was originally quite disappointed in Lightroom, but Beta 4 is beginning to change my mind.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #4
    (1) You would use the exact same software with either Nikon or Canon. Very few people really like the software that is supplied with the camera. For many people they will use iPhoto and Adobe PS Elements. Those with more cash to burd go for Aperture and CS2. There are other choises too. Many raw converters and image editor and all of themwork with both Nikon and Canon.

    (2) I see EVERY person who is buying their first SLR do what you are doing. The focus the selection process on the camera body. Don't. What you are buying is a "system" of a body and a set of llenses and maybe a strobe or two. Most of you money will go into parts of the system other then the body. Also you will keep the lenses and in a few years upgrade or replace the body. Technology changes so fast that not many peole keep older DSLR bodies around but many peole do shoot with decades old lenses that are as good as today's. It's a mistake to select a camera system based on (say) the size of the LCD screen on the D80. Year from now after the D80 has been replaced twice you will still be using your Nikon system.

    The way to choose is to step back, look at the bigger picture, think about the kt of equipment you want to own in five years and choose a brand. Then buy whatever camera body that company makes at your price point.
     
  5. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #5
    Well, sort of. Not all Nikon (or Canon) RAW images are the same. At this point in time Aperture cannot open RAW files generated by the 400D or the D80.
     
  6. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #6

    Great reply. Now may I ask what system you prefer and why? I am torn between the two cameras. I am not really interested in the Canon 30D, it is bigger, heavier and pricey. I want a camera I can wear around my neck most of the day and shoot architecture photography.

    This kit seems like a great deal and I love that the lens goes from 18mm to 135mm. Gives me a lens that can cover 90% of my photography while walking around cities.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-Digital...0/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-8563139-8407128?ie=UTF8
     
  7. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #7
    I greatly prefer the Nikon system. The flash system is much better, with the iTTL and the SB800/600.
    If you don't plan on using the "big gun" primes with IS/VR (like the 400mm f/2.8 IS, or the 500mm IS, or the 600 IS) then I think Nikon has a better selection of lenses. Go for the 18-200mm VR if you can. It is a fabulous lens for just about anything (except sports). If the 18-200mm VR is a bit much, the 18-135, or even the 18-70 is a good bet. Many of the lower end Canons are not to great.
    Nikon lenses that are great that Canon does not have: 10.5mm f/2.8 DX, 18-200mm VR, 105mm Micro VR, 200mm f/2.0. All these are fabulous lenses that I recommend.
    So, even if you might get those big prime lenses some time in the future, Nikon will probably come out with their own within a few years.
    My only big gripe about Nikon is inability to ship things on time. It is very frustrating to be on backorder for 4 months for a lens or body.
     
  8. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #8
    I noticed that Canon doesn't have a lenses equiv to the 18mm-135mm. But on dpreview.com the Canon 400D photos looked crisper then the Nikon D80:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/page22.asp

    So what lenses do you recommend for Sports? I am trying to improve on action photography at my daughters soccer games but it is hard with a team of 7 year olds bunching up during the game ;)
     
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #9
    How about Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens. It's $1700, but I think it's pretty good.

    Sigma's 100-300 f/4 sounds awesome as well, getting cheaper at $1100. There's a cheaper IF version for $800.

    Canon's 70-200 f/4 USM L is about $600 - $700.
     
  10. tiggle macrumors member

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    #10
    Regarding sharper photos by the 400d.

    From the reviews it seems that the 400d gives sharper pictures straight out of the camera. HOWEVER....if you post process them on your computer, it is better to set sharpening to zero in the camera and then do it later. So there would be no difference at all if using RAW files and post processing.

    I have a D80 with an 18-200 lens and have got excellent results shooting raw and post processing.
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #11

    Nikon allows you to set the degree of sharpening. I assume Canon does too. I think the difference you see is the difference in the default settings. It's really a trade off. Sharpening in software weter it is in-camera softwre or on the computer always adds noise and other artifacts and softening removes them.

    The "clasic" lens for you application is an 80-200 f/2.8 zoom. Both Canon and Nikon make a couple versions each has an image stabilized one and some are 70-200. But a f/2.8 zoom in that range is what you need but you may not want to pay for it. There are plenty of good used Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 for about $650. Sometimes less. Nothing wrong with used lenese, they last forever.
     
  12. kwajo.com macrumors 6502a

    kwajo.com

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    #12
    why not the Pentax K10D? It's a number of things that the 400D or D80 don't have, like image stabilization on any lens, a bigger brighter viewfinder and dust/moisture sealing for example. ;)
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    You say "wear around my neck ... and shoot architecture" Really? I'd think you'd want "attach to a tripod and cary over a shoulder all day" Buildings don't move fast and you have lots of time to set up the shot. For your use I'd think the 12-24 would be more useful then a 18-135. The other lens that would be good is the 10.5mm. When you point the camera up at a building the vertical lines converge. If you keep the camera level on a trip and use a wider lens you get a lot of foreground that needs to be cropped out but the level camera does not

    I have the 18-70mm lens and it does 80% my general purpose shooting. I like the 85mm f/1.8 and the 50mm f/1.4 for people.

    Which do I have. I've got Nikon equipment going back to the Nikon F2. I bought the first autofocus Nikon the N2020 and then some others. So then when the DSLRs came out it was easy to deside because I have lots of lenses that would fit the Nikon D50.
     
  14. bearbo macrumors 68000

    bearbo

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    #14
    im not familiar with the K10D, but from my research of D80, i believe d80 has image stabilization, or as nikon called, vibration reduction, on a range of lens. d80 has a very nice big and bright viewfinder...

    what else does Pentax k10D has?
     
  15. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #15
    Ideally, for shooting architecture you need a camera with a bellows or perspective control. Nikon has a couple of perspective control (tilt and shift) lenses for their SLRs. I think one is a 35mm and the other an 85mm. I've not used either one so can't really speak to how effective they are, but the idea is that they will resolve the issue of "keystoning." (This is where the building looks narrower at the top than at the bottom because of the perspective from which you're shooting -- ie, ground level. The more you need to point the camera and lens upwards,the more severe will be the keystoning.) At the very least, yes, you would need a very wide-angle lens for shooting architecture, too, and there you're looking at the 12-24mm zoom or the 14mm prime (the latter having less distortion). The 10.5 DX is a delightful fisheye lens and can be used to shoot architecture, but then you need to "defish" it in Nikon Capture, NX or some other software in order to straighten out the perspective and get rid of the fisheye look.

    And, yes, as has been mentioned, to shoot architecture really well and correctly, you also will need to use a tripod. Hand-held just doesn't cut the mustard. Why? Because of the depth-of field. In order to have all parts of the building in correct focus, you need to use a fairly stopped-down aperture, preferably f/22 or f/32. This is going to have an impact on your shutter speed and so a tripod really is a necessity, even on a bright day. While, sure, you can kick up the ISO, that's going to bring excessive noise into the image and you really don't want that.

    I suppose at this point, as ChrisA noted, we should be asking, just exactly what do you mean by "wearing a camera around my neck all day and shooting architecture..."?? Tourist-type activities? Shooting buildings on assignment for an architectural firm or their clients or some other agencies? Obviously if you're thinking in terms of having a D80 around your neck as you do the tourist bit through various cities and such, shooting beautiful buildings as you see them, that is very different from shooting a particular building for a client. Keystoning may not be a big deal for a tourist, but it definitely is a no-no for a client who has a particular need to have the building accurately represented! Say that indeed it's the first situation (which is what I'm thinking is the case here)....a D80 and the 18-135 kit lens or the 18-200 VR lens would be just dandy. If you need to go wider, the 12-24mm will do admirably (the 14mm is pretty expensive, not a lens for the casual shooter).

    Oh -- in answer to your other questions.... I'm a Nikon shooter, have been for many years. I started out with a Nikon N90 SLR back in the day, having "graduated" from various Minoltas and such. After going through a period of shooting with different Coolpixes once I got into digital imaging, I eventually bought the Nikon D70. That was followed by the D200 in December of 2005. As Chris A brings up, the bottom line here is that the camera bodies are not as important, though, as the lenses. I have amassed a rather extensive collection of Nikkor lenses which will go with me through the years as I move on to other Nikon camera bodies.... While I dearly love my D200 right now, I know that in the next two or three years Nikon will bring out some other new camera body which will be irresistible....and just as I've moved on from the D70 one day I will also move on from the D200, but my lenses will be going with me. Today I can slip my 70-200mm VR on to a D50, a D70, a D70s, a D80, a D200, a D2X, a D2Xs, a D2Hs.....not to mention all of Nikon's older generation of digital bodies and film bodies. That's pretty cool. What's even cooler is that in a year or two or three I'll be able to slip my same lens on to a new Nikon body.....

    The D80 is a very nice little camera and it has apparently melded together many of the features from the D70/D70s, the D50 and the D200, so that for the price, it's a pretty darned good deal. If I were beginning to shop for a DSLR I wouldn't hesitate to snap up a D80.

    Most important factor here, though, is how the camera feels in your hands. It's extremely important to have a camera which feels right to you, feels intuitive to you. Before you purchase any camera, please hold them all and play with their various features and see what seems right for you. That, in combination with a system which offers plenty of choices in lenses, is where you need to put your money.
     
  16. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #16
    ChrisA, I do a lot of walking tours of cities and attend many festivals and want to be able to have my camera around my neck with a lens that is going to cover 90% of my photography. I do plenty of tripod photography also but I also need mobility.

    You can see some of my photos here: http://www.pbase.com/cincyimages/cities

    I went to one of the local camera stores here in Cincinnati and I must say that the 400D/XTi is now off the list. I just didn't like the feel of it and the components felt cheap. I should rename the title of the thread: Nikon D80 vs Canon 30D as I caught myself looking at the 30D more then the 400D/XTI.

    Right now I am leaning heavily toward the Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lens. It just seems like the best package for me right now.
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17

    Yeah, the difference in the photos has to do with the processing (ie: level of sharpening, smoothing, colour saturation, etc that's done before being output by the camera as a JPEG). If you look at their RAW files, you'll see that the photos they produce are exactly the same.

    Also, the noise in the Nikon D80 is entirely black-white monochromatic rather than colour noise (ie: imagine little green and red pixels covering your black sky when the camera is set at ISO 1600). So while Canons produce less noise (generally speaking, although the D50 and D80 do handle it very well), chroma noise is much more annoying than monochromatic noise, IMO.

    And it really depends on what he wants to shoot. Yes a Nikon 12-24 mm, Sigma wideangle lens (cheaper and very good), or Tokina 12-24 mm lens (what I have) is very good for shooting buildings, but maybe he won't appreciate the distortion at 12 and 24 mm which would make the sides of the building look curved. It really depends how hard-core you're going to be about shooting buildings and such. Maybe a wide angle prime lens is a good idea.


    I also love Nikon and came to the same conclusion after handling a 350D. I have never held a 400D and can't comment on the feel. If you're going to be a general photographer, I say get a Nikon D80 with 18-200 mm VR and be done with it. Best general photography lens around coupled with an amazing camera.

    And as a sidenote: A lot of your building photos tend to be taken straight-on from the front, which really is kind of a boring way to shoot a building. A better way would be to find an interesting angle. Shooting the building so that it looks flat makes the photo "flat" as well. :eek:
     
  18. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #18
    The 18-200mm VR lens seems like an amazing lens, but I don't think I can swallow $900 for a lens. Yikes!

    Anyone have any feedback on the 18-135mm lens?
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    I have only read one review on it so far, and it said that the lens was very very sharp. However, there's a maximum barrel and pincushion distortion of well over 1%, which is considered high (and is something to think about when shooting buildings, although not that significant for things), and a somewhat significant amount of distortion at a large range of focal lengths. While this distortion is unavoidable in lenses that cover such a wide range, and is a problem with the Nikon 18-200 mm as well, it probably won't affect your photography much at all.

    I think the 18-135 mm range is very very useful, and you'll use this lens pretty much all the time unless you're going to try aiming at shooting something very specific or have a specific need (eg: low light shooting, sports, true macro, birds, etc).
     
  20. Sinsinnati thread starter macrumors regular

    Sinsinnati

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    #20
    I do shoot sports photography (daughter's soccer & softball games). What lenses do you recommend for that?

    What do you recommend for low light?
     
  21. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #21
    For sports? Lenses for shooting sports costs a lot, and since you said the Nikon 18-200 mm is cost prohibitive, I'm going to assume I have an idea of your budget. ;)

    If her sports are played when the light is very good, even a 70-300 mm can "zoom in" enough to take good photos of her. Just use a tripod (or monopod if it's handier).

    If you want a decent lens to shoot sports with, the Nikon 80-200 mm f/2.8 is the lens to get. It doesn't have image stabalization, but it should be manageable with a tripod or monopod or something, since people have used that lens before IS/VR was invented.

    Another option that's smaller and lighter in weight, and easier to carry is the new Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8. It doesn't have as long a reach as the 80-200 mm f/2.8, but it's benefit (size and weight, and the practicality that comes along with owning a smaller lens) is huge. It's very very new and probably not even in many stores yet, and I haven't read a review on it, but it should be a good performer. :) Not sure about the pricing either, but it's probably around the same price as the Nikon 80-200 mm f/2.8, or maybe even cheaper.

    The 3rd option is to get a lightly-used Nikon 80-200 mm f/2.8. Check B&H for used lens prices. :)
     
  22. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

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    #22
    All true.

    As a data point, Canon also offers tilt and shift lenses in the TS-E range. You can get them at 24mm, 45mm, and 90mm focal lengths; the 24mm is an L series lens (the others aren't). Not cheap, though; the RRP is over $AU2000. If you want to go down that path, I'd strongly advocate going with a 5D body; architecture really wants wide angle, and you won't get that with a TS-E lens unless you go full frame.

    Probably not the path that a relatively new photographer wants to take, though, at least not at first.
     
  23. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #23
    OK, I've finally taken some time to look at your galleries, Sinsinnati, and I see that you've been using a Panny FZ20 to good advantage. Some really nice photos there! You've been to a lot of places! The problem is that when you move to a DSLR you won't have as much zoom range within one single lens; you'll need to have several lenses in order to achieve some of the same images. The advantage, of course, is, that you can have very fast prime lenses for low light conditions, you can have a long zoom or a fairly mid-range zoom or a very wide-angle prime or zoom, etc., etc. The images will be better for having been shot with a lens more specifically geared for its use than a bridge camera's "one-lens-does-all" approach. I've never used a Panny but I have a Nikon Coolpix 8800 which has a phenomenal zoom range...however, for me the advantage in going to a DSLR was that I got immediate shutter response, no issues with buffering, and higher-quality images due to a larger sensor. Once I went to a DSLR I never looked back.... (But, ouch, the impact on my bank account!! Unfortunately when you have a DSLR it is all too easy to catch the virulent Lens Lust Disease....)

    For shooting as you're walking around a new city, yes, you will want something fairly flexible such as the 18-135mm or the 18-200mm zooms. These are also great for festivals and events, as you can quickly zoom in close or you can get a wider view. Hopefully once the 18-200mm VR finally becomes more readily available prices will drop back down to what the lens initially cost, which was around $650 - 700.00. Right now there seems to be quite a bit of price-gouging going on.

    Shooting sports is a bit different, though, and for that you will need a fast lens. Neither the 18-135mm or the 18-200mm is fast enough, really. Ideally a lens with f/2.8 or even faster is what you need. Zooms at f/2.8 tend to be pretty expensive. Are you prepared to pay upwards of $1000 for a single lens? A fast prime lens such as the 180mm f/2.8 usually doesn't have quite enough reach and it is not as flexible as a zoom.

    Shooting in low light can be done with quite inexpensive lenses, actually: the 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 are very reasonably priced and give the photographer a lot of flexibility in shooting in ambient light and very dimly-lit situations.

    If I were starting out today, I'd get the D80 and the 18-135mm lens (since that can come as the "kit" lens with it) or the D80 and the 18-200mm VR lens (I believe that's another kit lens combination, in which case the 18-200 would be less expensive than buying it separately). I'd also pick up a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens for shooting in low light and see how these work for you before going on to explore other lenses.

    I'm talking only about Nikon cameras and lenses because that's what I have and the product line with which I'm more familiar. Others on here can discuss Canon's lineup of bodies and lenses, based on their own experiences. For instance, that was good that sjl spoke up about Canon's offerings in tilt-and-shift lenses, as this was something I didn't know and therefore couldn't address. I agree with him that in the case you were going to primarily concern yourself with architecture, most particularly shooting individual buildings, that Canon's 5D full-frame body would be the way to go. The sensor "crop factor" of 1.5x (Nikon) or 1.6x (Canon) really favors the tele lengths but is just not so good for wide angle shooters.

    I haven't had a lot of experience with third-party lenses such as Sigma, Tamron or Tokina, so have not discussed those options, but certainly they are an alternative to Nikon (or Canon) lenses....

    The D80 is a very nice camera body and if you go with it, you'll have a lot of choices in Nikon lenses to fulfill your needs..... Keep us informed about what you decide!
     

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