Camera Gurus

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jtalerico, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. jtalerico macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2005
    Hey All -

    I am in the market for a DSLR. This will be my first SLR and I will be using it for camping/hiking trips and taking it when I travel. I am currently looking at the following cameras:


    Seeing as I am very outdoorsy which camera would you suggest? I have held both of them in my hands and find that they both fit quite well.

    As far as functionality, I would like it to be as advanced as possible so I can learn from it.

    Since this is my first SLR the lenses I buy are going to be basically for this one brand, so what brand has the best bang for the buck when it comes to lenses?

  2. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a


    Apr 6, 2006
    Nassau, Bahamas
    I think you'll find that there are a TON of threads regarding D40/x vs. XTi

    There are lots of differing opinions, but when it comes down to it you'd be perfectly happy with either camera. I have the D40x and love it to death, but there are many happy XTi owners. I'd say to go with your gut.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Oh man.......loaded question. I'll let someone else handle it. :p

    I will say one thing though: Nikon D40x or D40 + Nikon 18-200 mm lens.
  4. jtalerico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2005
    I am looking at this from a build quality standpoint. I have gone through all the dpreviews and read tons of threads about the two vs. but nothing much about how rugged they are.

    Here is a new question...

    Instead of buying the top notch for entry level, should I step down one to the XT or D40 and get a extra lens?

    If stepping down is a good option how much of a quality difference would I see between the XT and D40? 8mp vs 6.1mp 3fps vs 2.5fps etc.
  5. walangij macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2007
    From a build quality standpoint, (and this is from a Canon owner), I'd side with the Nikon. I've used an XT in light misty rain and it worked fine although I was quite nervous (but needed the shot badly enough to risk it). The D4x cameras seem to be more rugged and rigid in my unscientific comparison by just holding them. I don't have any real experience w/ both, but the XT/XTi's I've used have been surprisingly durable even w/o any weather sealing, so I'd assume the Nikon is even better since I hold the rebel series inferior to most in the same class for build quality.

    Also, I'd recommend that you get an XT or D40 and a better or extra lens rather than getting the D40x or XTI. You'll enjoy having another or a nicer lens than you will w/ a better body. Also, you won't be able to tell the IQ difference between them (bodies) and the functionality is practically the same in most shooting.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Every single last new SLR buyers does the same thing. They look at the camera bodies and forget that they will need a lens or maybe three lenses and maybe a strobe.

    OK so now you have all this and four years laster you want to upgrade the body. Of course you will need to buy the brand of body that fits the set of lenses and the strobe you have. In other words you will be stuck with one brand of equipment for a long time.

    Choose a company not a camera. DSLR bodies are ephemeral you will own many of them. The lenses however tend to stay around an acumulate

    The other thing, very important. Before you buy the camera body select a set of lenses you would like to have. You don't have to buy them now, just pick out a few. Be sure and check out some used lenses too. Unlike DSLR bodies the lenses lasts "forever" so used even 10 year old lenses are good. If you select the body first your lens options are cut in half. Remember it's the lens that makes the image the DSLR body is simply a recording device. Lenses are what matters - every beginners fails to realize this

    Here is one example. Let's say you take everyone advice and decide you like the 50mm f/1.8 lens. But will it work on the D40? Maybe not Better to find out if all the parts you like will work together before you buy the first part.
    SLRs are _systems_ that you assemble they are not like a Point and Shoot that is self contained
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    This is true at the low end. Canon's low-end consumer stuff is "lower end" and not quite as well built. While Nikon's low end gear is very good. At the pro-level both are very good. The positive way to say it is that Canon offers a wider range of build qualities.

    As companies go Nikon seems to be very conservative and makes smaller incremental changes and worries more about small details of user interface while Canon is better known for being the first with new technologies.
  8. walangij macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2007
    Exactly what most new SLR buyers need to read (including the parts I left out). The OP is looking though at either Canon or Nikon, and in most consumer respects their lens systems/flash, ect are so similar that it is safe to say that both brands will be here in 10+ years as will their lens systems. Picking between Nikon and Canon gets complicated and boils down more to preference than specs. One difference that a new user would like to know is that Nikon lenses are generally a little, 3-8% more expensive than the canon counterparts. That said, Nikon is a lot more beginner friendly with excellent intro lenses such as the 18-70 (better than canon's eq) and 18-200 VR.
  9. srf4real macrumors 68040


    Jul 25, 2006
    paradise beach FL
    Pentax k10d is weather sealed and so is kit lens, lenses are not too high priced but I don't know their quality... for less than $1000 I'd take that with me hiking and camping. Any Nikon or Canon with weather seals will be $1200 and up just for the body. Weather sealed lenses, even more.
  10. freebooter macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2005
    Daegu, South Korea
    I used my D40 outdoors exclusively this summer--humid and hot mostly with quite a few rainy days. I kept it covered from the rain but it got fairly wet, nonetheless. Being small and light, yet solidly built, I took it running up and down a mountain, 10k 400m elev., about 3 times a week in a simple unpadded fanny pack all spring and summer. The sensor seems to shed dust--a spot today might well be gone tomorrow all by itself. And, it's cheap so it won't kill you if it falls in a creek, onto a rock, etc. Yet it takes nice photos. I'd say it's a great outdoorsy camera.
    This is not to say the Canon isn't, but I don't know it. Personally, I wouldn't bother with the D40x because if you feel the need for more than the D40 offers, you probably should be looking at the D80. I ended up getting one for the extra features.

    sidenote: I disagree with those who maintain that lenses are more important than "ephemeral" bodies. That is a notion held over from the film era, when the camera was largely a simple device to hold and expose film. Now the "film" and processing are built-in, and no one in the film days would have said, "any old film and chemistry will do." It is true that bodies are replaced more frequently than lenses, but bodies have an equally critical influence on output.
  11. jtalerico thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2005
    Since this topic is pretty open ended I figure I could attach some more questions.

    Since I am looking to use this camera outdoors what lenses would you all suggest for the canon and Nikon (though it seems people have already listed a couple of the Nikon).


    Also, how much difference do you guys see in CCD vs CMOS?

    Does anyone have a side by side comparison of a image from a Nikon (CCD) and Canon (CMOS). Side by side being close to the same environment / lighting etc...

    Again, thanks!
  12. Macanadian macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2006
    Found this article....

    Also, I've just finish taking an Intermediate Digital Photography course. Other students with Canons had a tendency of slightly more noise in their night shots. Which shows up alot while the instructor is showing the shots through a projector.

    Was wondering why my Pentax (CCD screen) battery life was not as long as a Canon.
  13. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    Can't go wrong, but I would

    buy a Nikon D40 with a Tamron 17-50. Good alternatives to the Tamron IMO are... Nikon 18-70 or 18-200 VR ($$).

    or..... Jump up to the Nikon D80 with same lens choices.

    Invest in glass, not bodies.

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