Getting my 1st SLR but what should i get....

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by spoon man, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. spoon man macrumors 6502a

    spoon man

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    #1
    After long and hard use on my old camera (Fuji s9600) its finally packed in so its about time I go and get my hands on SLR but I‘m not sure would be a great cam to get to grips with. Atm I’m looking at 2 cams a nikon d40x or a Canon EOS 400D Ive had a play with both and read a lot about both but now I’m at the point were im going to buy one if not today then tomorrow but im not sure which is the better out of the two help pls......:confused:
     
  2. Hooka macrumors regular

    Hooka

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    #2
    Get a 5D, I love mine so much I bought 2 of them.
     
  3. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    What's your budget? Since you're looking at a 400D (XTi), I'm assuming you're on a low budget. If you're going to go for that, get just the body, and grab a good lens.

    If you can jump up a little bit, grab a 40D, as it has better continuous shooting and the better DIGIC III image sensor. Hooka has stated getting a 5D, which is kind of silly. :p If you DON'T have a budget, that's one of the best buys that you can get.

    Currently I have a 400D, and it's awesome. I'm going to be upgrading in the next year. Hopefully to a 5D. :D
     
  4. spoon man thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spoon man

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    #4
    My budget is £400-£450 around that kinda area i would shed a few more notes but ive got other stuff on my big list :D
     
  5. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #5
    Best to try a few out. You won't get a rubbish entry level camera as they are all good.

    No point asking on a forum what is best as most people will pimp there own marque.
     
  6. Ish macrumors 68010

    Ish

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    #6
    There's a good comparison of pics taken with them both at Camera Labs:

    http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD40x/page4.shtml


    Have you seen these comparisons on dpreview?

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page21.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page23.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page25.asp
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond40x/page26.asp

    Which one do you like the feel of most when you handle it? I changed my mind about what I wanted once I'd had a play with the two I was considering.
     
  7. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #7

    I don't think it really matters between those two cameras, or even those two brands. Get the one that feels best and easiest to use in your hands.
     
  8. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #8
    The Nikon is limited in which lenses it can use. The entry-level Nikon DSLRs have no internal focusing motor, so if you want to use shorter prime lenses, you'll have to focus them manually.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #9
    Between those two cameras, I say get the Nikon. The D40x is a nice little camera, hence its popularity.


    Anyway, I really don't think the image quality of Canon's low end is getting better. In fact, I think it has gotten worse. The image quality from the 350D was quite good, and the 400D was a step down, IMO. The 450D hasn't convinced me that things have improved, either.
     
  10. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #10
    Nikon has the best history of staying with their lens mount, sure they may have abandoned a focusing motor in the D40 and D60 series cameras, but AF-S is the wave of the future they're trying to encourage people to buy the AF-S lenses so they can abandon the camera based focusing motor altogether the mount is still the same, you can attach and meter with non AF-S lenses, just not autofocus with them. It's not like Canon when they went to the EOS mount and completely abandoned their previous lens mount. People were left holding thousands of dollars worth of Canon glass with no prospect of ever using it on a newer camera.

    At least Nikon has stayed with the F mount for a while!

    I like the D40 cameras a lot too, in my opinion (for what it's worth) they're the better of the two you've chosen.

    SLC
     
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #11
    When you buy an SLR system you get to pick a body and a lens or maybe afew lenses. These lenses you will keep for years or even decades but the bodies tend to get replaced as better ones come out. Lens technology is mature and does not change very fast but SLR bodies are like computers they might last for 15 or 20 years but believe me you will not want to use it that long. But 20 year old lenses are OK. So what happens is that when you replace the body you will need one that fits all those lenses you've collected. So if you buy a Canon you've prtyy much commited to buying another Canon body and then another one. Same for Nikon. Yu are buying into a brand. So the way to decide is look at what you want to buy over say the next 5+ years. Which company has the lenses you want and which is likely to make the replacement body you will want later.

    SLRs kind of force you into brand loyalty like nothing else I can think of. So I think picking a brand is the fist step, Ok so then the second step is to look at the LENSES that are available and decide what you want now and what you will want later. Finally buy the SLR body that will support your lens choces

    Notice that if you like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 lens or you think a used 80-200 f/2.8 might be good the D40 would not work with those lenses. So to avoid the "paint yourself into a corner" problem make the decison in this order: Brand, lenses, body.

    But for some odd reason beginers always seem to want to select the SLR body first. Why is that?
     
  12. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #12
    Because most beginners don't realize that the camera body is probably the least important aspect of a good image. Most beginners think that it's the camera body and not the lens and technique that makes the photograph.

    And ChrisA's advice to look at the lenses you want first is about the best advice you are going to get. It was the driving force behind my camera brand choice, once I got one of the FA limited's in my hand my mind was made up. Of course those are the types of lenses I'd use no matter what brand I picked, but those FA limited primes were just special for some reason.

    SLC
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    "Would not autofocus" still isn't the same as "would not work."
     
  14. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

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    #14
    Look further afield too................

    Sony and Olympus also make Good DSLR's,
    get hands on, See whats comfortable in your paw's i.e. holding the unit & using the controls, as has been mentioned maybe get the Body + a third party lens if the budgets tight?
    Nikon & Canon are the big players but the images from a Sony or Olympus are Pretty bloody good.
    If your totally unsure, why not rent a unit over a weekend :confused: say a canon 400D or a 40D then the next weekend a Nikon D40X or a D80X ??
    get a feel for what you want, either way in your hands a DSLR will feel completely different to the old Fujifilm you been using .

    happy hunting Fogle :eek:

    What compuwar Means is they will work, but there wont be any auto focus, only Manual.
     
  15. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #15
    Being a lifelong Canon user ... from the little Rangefinders to the AE-1 - A1 - F1 and when it came time to buy into Auto-Focus cameras I had an opportunity to buy all new, all over again.

    Canon EOS meant new lenses ..... Nikon, Minolta et. al also meant new lenses.

    Well when I went to make a decision I test ALL Auto-Focus offerings and went with the FASTEST, and QUIETEST auto focus system on the market.

    I bought a Canon EOS-650.

    While other manufacturers tried to hold on to the past by doing all kind of odd things, Canon was the first to, take a step into the future, make the body of the lens an integral part of the AF motor.
    The others has strange looking lenses with motors hanging off the bottom and such. Some of those offerings back in the 1980's sounded like a truck driving down the street when they focused, not to mention how slowly they focused.

    Here we are twenty years later, and that EOS mount Canon first came out with is still in use. I still have the first 3 EOS lenses I bought and they work!

    I still have my F1's and 6 Canon FD lenses, but I for one am happy that 20 years ago Canon made that bold, and in hindsight wise move!
     
  16. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #16
    Nikon=Good side of the Force, Canon=Bad.

    Seriously, IMO Kebabselector is right on the mark. Try some out before you buy. Perhaps consider a local dealer that handles what you want in case you need some extra support, hands on instruction or even rental equipment.

    btw, did Canon copy the Nikkor lens mount?
     
  17. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #17
    You had the requirement to buy all new all over again, not the opportunity, but if you see it that way then I guess that's a good thing for you.

    Thing is, they changed the lens mount so that the older MF lenses wouldn't work at all with the new bodies, they wouldn't even attach to the cameras. At least Nikon kept their mount so that you could still attach all your favorite old manual focus lenses to the newer cameras while you built your AF arsenal. So with Nikon it was similar to where they are now, older lenses would still attach and meter, but they were manual focus only (well the old ones always were anyway) so you weren't left holding the bag so to speak.

    I lost all respect for Canon (and any desire to buy into their system) when I learned about that, I wouldn't risk being left holding a few thousand dollars worth of lenses should they decide to abandon the EOS mount a few years from now. Seeing that it's happened before I don't think that's too farfetched a concern for anyone to have.

    SLC
     
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #18

    Canon realized in the 1980's that a focusing motor inside the camera was a bad idea, Nikon is just now realizing this?

    Sooooo .... if I buy a Nikon D40 or D60 and want Auto-Focus, I *MUST* but AF-S lenses? Hmmmmmmmm Sounds sort of like what Canon did 20 years ago.

    By the way, back in the day there was an adapter available that allowed you to put non-EOS lenses on a Canon EOS camera but it was Manual Focus ONLY. I was using a couple of FD lenses on my EOS 650.

    So the ability to use older Canon lenses on the newer EOS camera was always there! :D:D:D
     
  19. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    #19
    With the D40 for autofocus must be AF-S or AF-I I believe. You can use older lenses, they just won't autofocus.
     
  20. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    #20
    That used to be true in the days of film. Now, it's about the camera body and it's sensor and associated image processing electronics. A tack-sharp, perfectly focused, perfectly composed image is worthless if its white balance is off, it's noisy, color rendition is bad...

    ...and for beginners especially, additionally, the quality of the metering and the AF speed and accuracy are critical.

    The camera body, in the modern era of photography, is the MOST important part of obtaining a technically good image. The lens is secondary.
     
  21. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Haha, ok.
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    Baloney! You can fix white balance in post- with film, you couldn't even adjust it until you were at the enlarger- digital doesn't change that. If your shot was grainy, you couldn't Noise Ninja it out either.

    Totally dependent on the subject- histograms give you *way* more feedback than shooting film ever did. Most amateurs shoot with slow enough lenses that DoF can save some AF issues, as can in-post sharpening- which has more room than using a high-actuance developer ever did. You can still shoot at the hyperfocal distance for the lens and get apparent focus wide enough to drive a truck through.

    Pretty-much every modern dSLR body is capable of so much in terms of quality that the lenses are actually making *more* of a difference now than they ever did before. The latitude comared to reciprocity failure, the basic lack of toe and shoulder in exposure, the lack of variance in chemical mixtures, temperatures, development times, water content... Heck, the ability to even shoot at ISO 800 with smooth even results _in_color_...

    With the wrong lens, you still can't get the shot. There's pretty-much no such thing as the wrong body outside of some specific corner cases these days.

    When's the last time the lab fogged your sensor accidently?
     
  23. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #23
    I would have to agree. For example, there simply is no substitute for a fast, sharp lens. No camera body can compensate for bad glass.
     
  24. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #24
    This is soooo true.

    Three decades ago a camera body was basically nothing more than a film container, what was seen through the lens was put on the film.

    Nowadays with a digital SLR, what you see through the lens may not be what you get.

    White balance is but one thing, and image can be sharpened or softened by the cameras processor. Some camera bodies do more to an image than others.

    If it truly was 'all about the lens' why are camera manufacturers talking about their image processors.

    Today, in the 21st century, it seems a camera body has more of an impact on image quality than a lens.


    Q: Why are film camera images better than digital?
    A: Because ther is nothing between the lens and the film to distort them.
     
  25. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #25
    Best advice is to try them out at the shops. When I bought my DSLR, I intended to buy the Canon xTi Rebel but when I tried it and then tried the Nikon D40x there was only one winner. The Nikon just felt so much better in my hands. Whatever works for you.

    Also, as one of the posters has commented, Nikon's mounts have stayed consistent for a very long time whereas Canon changes theirs periodically which basically means the elimination of use of older lenses.

    One caveat re: the D40x - it can only use AF-S lenses to autofocus so if you buy lenses without the focus motor built into them, you will have to manually focus the camera. (That's why I later upgraded to the D300).

    Good luck.
     

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