Entry DSLR Advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rioting, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. rioting macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Hellloo. :D
    I'm looking for an entry-level DSLR and there's a few I'm interested in. The Nikon D40, Canon XT (if i can find it :cool:), or Canon XS (when it comes out).

    The Nikon seems like a nice choice but the I heard you cannot auto focus without an auto focus driver in the lens. Does this mean I cannot just press the shutter button half way and shoot? If so, how much are the lens' that have this built in?

    The XT seems really nice for the price but the only place I could find it is on beachcamera.com. And the kit that has a lens is only available in silver. :eek: Gross. The black without the kit lens is $380, and I figure I can just buy a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens for $170. Which would be $20 more than the Nikon but I'd have auto focus and IS.

    And the last is the Canon XS which I like but I don't want to spend $700 for. Would it be worth the extra money?

    So what do you suggest I get?
  2. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006
    The D40/D40x/D60 would auto-focus with any AF-S lens.

    Most lenses from Nikon now have this technology, so you really are missing only the primes and obviously the old lenses.

    The AF-S come in all prices, they can be as low as $200 or less if you buy consumer lenses, which, by the way, are excellent for learning photography and even more.

    I can't talk much about the Canon's, since I don't know them well, but they are great cameras also.

    If you ever use a non AF-S lens, then you'll need to focus manually. With practice you'll learn to be pretty good at it.
  3. rioting thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks. Do the kit lens that come with the D40 are not AF-S lens' correct?
  4. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    All of the kit lenses that come with the D40 are AF-S lenses.
  5. rioting thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    The 18-55 ones? :eek:
  6. 66217 Guest

    Jan 30, 2006

    Go to www.nikonusa.com and then see the section were they have the lenses. You'll get an idea of what you can get with AF-S.
  7. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA



    Attached Files:

  8. rioting thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Is that the same one that comes with the D40? I didn't think the default lens had VR.
  9. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    The D40 version doesn't have VR but it's a fine lens and obviously works and focuses fine (has internal motor).
  10. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    I couldn't recommend the D40 enough. I'm still relatively new, but it gave me a great medium to learn with. Really, the only drawback to me was the lack of an internal focus motor, which means you can only buy AF-S lenses (as previously stated).
    But I learned and got used to the D40, and now I'm looking to sell it and upgrade to a higher model... just not sure which one I can afford yet!
  11. rioting thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2008
    Thanks. I think I'm going for the D40. I would like a bit higher-end model but maybe later. I'd also rather have a Canon (because I only trust their point and shoots) but maybe I'll be pleases with Nikons. :D
  12. NEiMac macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2007
    THe really dry side of the Pacific NW
    I think the D40 would be great for you. The only thing that would make me hesitant to recommend a D40 would be if you had a bunch of lenses already which you don't. I think there is enough Nikon lenses out there to where you wont worry much about the no internal focus motor. If you need primes you can get 50mm and 30mm from Sigma that has the autofocus motor in them. Best thing I can recommend is to go to a store and play with the D40, the cannon, and maybe look at pentax too there pretty good camera's and get the one your most comfortable with. I totally hated the feel of the canon digital rebel when I got my Nikon D50.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Here's the deal.... For a lens to auto-focus it needs a motor, either in the lens or in the body. Without a motor you need to use hand power and rotate a ring. The bottom line is something has to turn the lens.

    The low-end Nikon bodies lack in-body motors so that work only with lenses that have their own motors. But as it turns out many, many half of Nikon's lenses have motors. The ones that lack morors are most all of the primes and some of the high-end pro-quality llenses. and all of the older lenses made more than a few years back.

    The D80 (and up and all older nikons going back to the pre-digital age) have in-body motors.

    Going back even farther, in the old days no cameras had motors and everyone had to rotate the focus ring by hand.

    With Nikon you can mix and match old with new equipment. I use a 1960's era macro lens with my Nikon DSLR. Works fine except I have to manually focus and meter.

    The way to choose a camera body is to FIRST, think about the kit of lenses yo might want to own in a few years. Then buy the body that fits those lenses. If you like the line of Nikon type "AF-S" lenses then the D40/D60 will do wel for you. But if you see that used 80-200mm f.2.8 lens and think $600 is a bargain then you will want the Nikon D80 body. The D80 can actually save you some money. For example the AF-S version of that lens cost more than $1K more. Beter to spend a few hundred now and save a thousand later. So my advice is simply to plan a year or three ahead. Look at Nikon and Canon and think about the set of lenses, maybe make a spread sheet. Think about used lenses and resale value.

    The thing about SLRs is that you are buying a system, that DSLR body is just one part of the system.
  14. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
    I would look for a nice used D70s (note the 's')

    - It has a focus motor, and a top control LCD, unlike the D40, D40x, and D60
    - It has 5-point autofocus, instead of 3 like in the D40, D40x, and D60
    - It has 2 command dials, instead of only 1 like in the D50, D40, D40x, and D60.
    - The control LCD has a light, which the D50 lacks
    - It has a bit bigger review LCD than the D70
    - The 'BGLOD death' that can happen to the D70 does not affect it.

    And finally:

  15. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2006
    Hah, I actually bought a used D70 body just for the auto focus motor for my prime 50mm lens. Now I'm looking to sell both my D70 & D40 to upgrade.
    (PM me if interested!)

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