Canon 400D, Sony 100 or Nikon D40x, suggestions please.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iSamurai, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #1
    Hi

    I have no clue of which DSLR to get because they have almost identical features, price and specs.

    I know that Sony is a new comer in the DSLR market and that the α100 is their first DSLR model, and that the α100 is slightly older than the D40x.

    So which one should I get? I'm used to many Sony Cyber-shots... and for a DSLR one has to "buy into a brand" ie. the lens, memory card, accessories etc.
     
  2. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #2
    Just a few thoughts to help you make a decision, or confuse you even more.

    Remember that the real reason for buying a DSLR is to have access to a lens system. THe DSLR you buy more or less commits you to that system.

    Sony is not exactly a new comer when you consider the a100 is based on the assets they purchased from Minolta, so it does have some history. In fact, if I remember correctly you can use some Minolta lenses on the a100. Really only useful if you already have Minolta lenses. The important point here is that Minolta, who had quite a bit of SLR/DSLR history decided to quit the game. If Sony hadn't of come along those Minolta lenses would never have seen a new body. Even if Sony's DSLR venture is successful, DSLR's will never be more then a ripple in the Sony pond.

    The story is different with Nikon, and to a lesser extent Canon. DSLR's essentially are Nikons pond. While Canon may be more diverse then Nikon, their corporate image is heavily invested in photography. The point being, there is little chance of either Nikon or Canon leaving the DSLR game.

    Sticking with the history lesson just a bit longer, Minolta (and perhaps now Sony) was more likely then either Nikon or Canon to introduce some new cutting edge wiz bang feature. Unfortunately these were not all ways well thought out. Nikon and Canon show more restraint because reliability is more important then flash for most pro's.

    Getting back to the lens system itself. I'm not familiar with what Sony has to offer, or for that matter what Minolta lenses will in deed work on the a100. I shot Minolta (7xi) back about 10 years ago, and the lenses were not bad, but there is a reason pro's shoot Nikon and Canon. While you may never buy pro quality glass, buying the D40x at least lets you play on the same ball field should you decide to do so in the future.

    So if you managed to stick with my rambling this long, I'll offer some advice. If your serious about a DSLR get the Nikon (or a Canon). Otherwise buy a nice point and shoot.
     
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #3
    I'd get the D40x because it takes nicer photos. I'm NOT suggesting Nikon because Nikon is a larger company in the dSLR world.

    If you're not going into photography as a serious hobby and investment, then I don't think it matters which brand you choose. You may as well throw Pentax into the mix as well, along with Olympus. They all offer in-body shake reduction/image stabilization except the Nikon.
     
  4. superted666 Guest

    superted666

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    #4
    What Bob says is true, The A100 has access to a massive range of Minolta manual and auto focus lenses. Some great bargains if you dont want to blow £££ on new lenses.

    He also makes a sound point about Sony being present in many markets however they have shown considerable investment in the DSLR market when they purchased all the Minolta factories and employed there engineers.

    The D40x however is also a fine camera and in my opinion Nikon is a player focused on progression which is a good thing.

    The only downside to the D40x is that (i may be wrong here) doesnt have access to all of Nikons lens range... again could be wrong but its a consideration.

    Best advice is go to a camera shop and see which system you like best in your hands.

    Ed
     
  5. scamateur macrumors member

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    #5
    You can't go wrong with Nikon or Canon. You are to a great extent "future-proof" either way.

    If you can still find one, the even the D40 (not "x") is excellent.
     
  6. iSamurai thread starter macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    #6
    I know about the acquisition of KM by Sony, but the camera body is based heavily on one of their models (couldn't remember which one). That's probably why the α100 still takes CF, with Sony's MS adapter.

    I'm more confused... I know that Nikon/Canon make good DSLRs for professionals, especially in the high-end models. I think you guys have picked up that the both models I've mentioned are "entry level", so yes, either one would be my first DSLR.

    ok good advice. and you're not wrong. I read on wikipedia that there's no built-in autofocus so not all the lens would work.

    nope. I'm not into professional photography. I just like to take pictures as a hobby (won a few competitions, and that's about it). and what an oxymoron, a serious hobby :)

    I've played around with the D40, not bad I must say, but there's something 'primitive' about it...



    NEW QUESTION: is Konica Minolta bankrupt or liquidating or any problems, what is actually the real reason that Sony bought it?
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #7
    You answered your own question. Don't look at the camera so much as the total system. Also look at the history of the companies. Sony really does not have much to offer and they have near zero history. They may not even make SLRs 10 or 15 years from now. Will sony change their lens mount and obsolite all their lenses when the industry moves to "full frame" sensors? My guess is that they will have to.

    As companies go Sony and Nikon are opposites. Sony makes "throw away" consumer electronics. Nikon has just one "system" has been it's main product for close to 50 years. They don't build "throw aways"
     
  8. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #8
    You may never feel the need to upgrade your first DSLR, if so then it probably doesn't matter which model you go with, and a high end point and shoot may actually be a better buy. What I'm recommending is that some where down the road, serious amateur or pro, you will make the decision to pick up another lens, and then another, then maybe a off camera flash, and another lens. Now your heavily invested in a system, and you decide that it's time for a higher end body. This is the road many of us have taken, and Nikon, Canon, Pentax, simply offer more options. To reiterate ChrisA's point, Nikon and Canon have the same passion for giving their customers the ability to create as does Apple.
     
  9. Grimace macrumors 68040

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  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    #10
    Konica-Minolta decided to get out of the photography business because for whatever reason the corporation was not willing to commit the money necessary to develop digital photo technology enough to remain competitive (they released a digital SLR that was well regarded before the sale).

    Sony bought the entire KM unit because it saw an opportunity to acquire an existing line with a user base that would buy from it, as opposed to starting an entirely new system of cameras/lenses.

    I think it's hard to say that Canon and Nikon have inherently superior technology. The biggest advantage they have is a large user base, so lenses are readily available and they can provide more lens options because there are more customers. It's a bit like Windows--there's lots more software for it than for Macs because there are so many more users. But the technology is not necessarily better.
     
  11. blackstone macrumors regular

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    #11
    Superted's given the best advice, I think. Go into a store and see which feels better in your hands, and go with that.

    Konica Minolta had great ergonomics in their cameras, and that carried over to the new Sony DSLR line. There are also a lot of used Minolta lenses available for relatively cheap prices -- good for a hobbyist.

    On the other hand, Nikon has a much broader installed base, which has the advantages that others have described.

    Either way, you're not making a bad choice. Just pick whichever you're more comfortable with.
     
  12. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Are you planning on buying a lot of different lenses? If so, consider Nikon or Canon. If not, then consider the Pentax K10D.

    Nikon is better about lenses fitting their cameras down the line (your lenses today work on your cameras tomorrow). Canon is not as good in this respect.

    D40 is a better buy than the D40x. If you need more than the D40 offers, wait for the D80 upgrade or the Canon replacement for the 5D. More megapixels just allow you to crop easier. Not worth the money.

    If you're just starting out, get the D40 from Costco or some other retailer that allows you to return it if it doesn't fit your needs.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    I don't think it's fair to say that Sony doesn't have a history, and because of this, they're "riskier". If ANY company can't keep up in terms of offering technology and features, then ANY company is at risk of going bankrupt, including Canon and Nikon. And now let's look at the number of older companies with a history that haven't done so well in the shift to digital.

    Sony has been in the "digital camera" game for awhile now, and their semiconductor business was making sensors for DSLRs and small cameras before they started offering the Alpha. Minolta has a history of making camera bodies. I think Sony will be around for awhile.


    I heard some people arguing that Nikon's mount should have been changed, but that it's a bit late now.
     
  14. srichart1 macrumors member

    srichart1

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    #14
    Sony

    I have the Sony A100 and it is a great camera with tons of options for lenses. It is durable and reliable and takes an awesome picture. You can't go wrong with the Nikon either.

    I am biased toward Sony, however. Sony products have never let me down.
     
  15. iJordo macrumors member

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    #15
    Get the Rebel XTi by Canon,
    Reasons:
    :) Tons of compatible lenses
    :) Great Picture Quality
    :) Dust Cleaning Sensor System
    :) Good prices... about same as D40x
    :) GREAT Software (can use Photo Window for tethered shooting)
    :) Instantly compatible with MAC OSX
    :) It is listed as the best selling camera on DP Review.com and has been for about a half of a year...lol
    :) I will admit that the D40x has a great feel, the menu system is more difficult though in my opinion.

    Hope it helped
     
  16. iSamurai thread starter macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

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    Now that I have updated the thread title... Is the Canon 400D any good? I've just found out that it also sells at about the same price as the other two. But the problem is that, according to wikipedia, that it's nearing the end of its shelf life. :confused: Any one know if Canon could release an update around Christmas? Also, one problem is that the 400D is already kinda heavy...
     
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #17
    If you think the 400D is heavy, then please don't buy a DSLR. The 400D is light and small. To me, the camera is shaped in a way that makes it only slightly more comfortable to hold than an Olympus E-410. The difference is that the E-410 is the smallest DSLR in the world, and it was (sort of) intentionally made to be "too small" to hold well. It's also the most portable and easy to lug around on long-haul trips. Would be very nice on my upcoming 3 week trip to Japan.

    Unfortunately, I'm getting a D300, so I guess the E-410 will have to wait.
     
  18. mattwe macrumors member

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    #18
    I will say the same thing I have said in other threads - the best thing you can do is go hold/handle the cameras you are considering. I did, and it immediately eliminated Canon from the field. One of my good friends only shoots Canon - she doesn't like how Nikon's handle.

    Do yourself a favor and go handle them.
     
  19. superted666 Guest

    superted666

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    #19

    Lol, Perhaps a little jaded view of the situation.

    Sony have two SLR Cameras now and have 2 more in the next 12 months coming along. The A100 is rumoured to be replaced with a updated version however prices/specs havent even spread yet.

    Sony bought up all of Konico Minolta who are regarded very highly. They made lenses for lecia for a long time and throughout the years have provided many of the innovations we use today. Its this history your buying into regardless of who pays the bills or the badge on the front.

    Also they have invested heavily in the A-Mount, if it was going to change they would of done so when they took over but they have stated in many places the A-Mount is where there setting up camp. Besides the mount already has Full frame lenses (most are) so there is no need for a change in the first place.

    Ed
     
  20. SLC Flyfishing macrumors 65816

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #20
    For a great DSLR in that price range that will blow any of those cameras away, check out the Pentax K10D. It has every feature that any of those have, and a few that none of them have. Plus it's compatible with over 25 million Pentax branded lenses that have been built since the late 70's, as well as who knows how many million Tamron/Sigma/Tokina etc lenses. Then there are the screwmount lenses from the pre K-mount era which can be used with a $5 adapter.

    The camera body is weather and dust sealed, built like a tank (unlike the Canon, Sony, and Nikon D40) and has a 10 megapixel sensor (the same one used in the Nikon D80).

    In January, Pentax will release a new group of DSLR's as well as a boatload of new lenses, and they recently merged with Hoya glass, the manufacturer of Nikon's lens blanks so they will be receiving money each time someone buys a Nikon lens.

    You can buy a Pentax K10D for as low as $650 with a kit lens if you look around hard enough.

    SLC
     
  21. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #21
    From what I understand, just the auto-focus won't work but you can still use the old lenses with manual focus. Some of them are great anyway.
     
  22. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #22
    And it's only the D40 that has autofocus problems as the D40x fixes that with a nice built-in AF motor.

    The thing about all of the cameras you've listed above is that they're all similar, if not the same, feature-wise. The only factors that differ are their lens systems, layouts and size/weight. Bearing that in mind, the first thing you'll want to do is go to a decent camera store and try out each of the SLRs you're interested in; see which one feels better to grip, what layout you prefer.

    Next on the list is glass. Both Canon and Nikon have similar lens lineups for a beginner as you don't want to tie yourself down to a specific area of photography until you've experimented with different styles.

    Once you've found your favoured style (I have three: macro, portraiture and street) you can begin to narrow down your glass to suit whichever photographic path you happen to like.
     
  23. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #23
    No it doesn't. The D40X is a D40 with a 10 MP sensor. That's it.

    There are no AF problems. There just isn't an AF motor for screw-type lenses. It'll focus well with AF-S lenses, along with HSM lenses by Sigma. Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you're just taking casual photos, the Nikon kit lens is actually TACK sharp. It will also focus on a D40x, as would the excellent 55-200 mm VR lens. Check any review --- they're good lenses. The new Nikon 18-55 mm VR lens, which may end up as the kit lens, is optically different, but I can't imagine Nikon coming out with something much worse than the previous lens, particularly when the new Canon 18-55 mm is now one of the sharpest, if not THE sharpest, kit lens on the market.

    Nikon 18-55 mm kit lens
    Canon 18-55 mm kit lens (just got replaced)
    Canon 18-55 mm VR kit lens (new)
     
  24. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    #24
    Why do you say the D40x over the XTi?
     
  25. Shaduu macrumors 6502a

    Shaduu

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    #25
    Really? I could've sworn the D40x had an AF motor. I stand corrected. :)

    Slightly off topic but that's incredibly stupid of Nikon seeing how every other SLR in the D40x's price bracket has full AF compatibility and some even feature body-based IS.

    If you like autofocus, go for the 400D.
     

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