New DSLR! (Help).

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iLammy, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. iLammy macrumors newbie

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    Jan 1, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys.
    I'm going to buy my first DSLR.

    I've been looking at 2 different DSLR's;

    Nikon D40
    Canon 1000D (Or XS)

    Personally, i prefer the D40. It gets the job done, and it's cheap.... But!
    Some people says that they run into a "wall" with the D40, because it's such an old camera, so it doesn't support so many lenses, as the 1000D for example.

    Primary, i'm going to use the camera for nature pictures.

    Which one, do you guys think is the best one, for my needs?


    (Sorry for the bad spelling, english isn't my primary language ;))
     
  2. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    #2
    You've answered your own question so get the Canon.
     
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #3
    I personally would not look at Nikon's D40/D60 line because it does not have the built-in autofocus motor. As for the XS, that camera is very nice, I used the XTi for a while and got some nice pictures from it. If you want to go Nikon, look at a D80.
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    Of those two, I think the XS is the better choice. It has more lenses available for it that will autofocus, has live view, will do auto exposure bracketing, and has more megapixels on a sensor that can handle them well.
     
  5. iLammy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Allright.

    Nice with all your inputs, so fast - thanks ;) I'll stick with the canon then.
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #6
    Most DSLR newbies buy a camera and use the packaged kit lens to start with.

    Those who are more serious then usually buy a 50mm prime lens as a second lens. This gives a whole load of creative possibilities - it's a fast sharp lens that lets you blur backgrounds, produce great portraits etc.

    • Both Nikon and Canon produce an inexpensive f1.8 50mm lens and a more expensive (3x more) f1.4 50mm lens.
    • The f1.8 version from both brands is great, and fantastic value at around $100
    • Nikon have changed their autofocus system over the years, and the D40 is incompatible with the old system. Up until 2 or 3 months ago, the D40 couldn't autofocus either of Nikon's 50mm lenses
    • Nikon has just released a new f1.4 50mm lens - which the D40 can autofocus

    So I'd say that one important difference between the brands is the availability or not of autofocus on this great f1.8 lens.

    Now that Nikon has released the f1.4 with the new autofocus, it's not as much of a dealbreaker though, and I'd definitely encourage you to take a look at both camera bodies in a store and choose based on the one that feels best in your hands.
     
  7. iLammy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thank you! You gave me alot to think about :D
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    Quite a bit depends on your ultimate nature picture usage and budget, as well as what you think the next camera you get will be after you upgrade bodies.

    If you're looking to do wide landscape type shots, or macros then it's a toss-up.

    If you're looking to do large animals on a short budget, then the cheaper option is likely to be a D80 with an older lens like a 300/4 EDIF or a D40 with a newer 300/4 AF-S/Digital Rebel with a Canon 300/4 (about the same price lens-wise,) or if you can get away with 200mm (say shooting from a blind with large animals) then a Canon with the 70-200/4 is also a good option, or a D80 with an older Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 which will shoot in half the light of an f/4 lens.

    If you're looking to do small animals, large animals without a blind or birds, then if you're going the 3rd party lens route either manufacturer will work.

    If you may eventually want very long glass- 400-600mm primes (multi-thousand dollar lenses) then Canon is the way to go simply on lens price alone unless you can't physically handle long prime glass, in which case the Nikkor 200-400 f/4VR is really the best option in its class (IMO way better than the Canon 400/5.6.)
     
  9. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #9
    The Nikkor 200-400 ƒ/4 VR and Canon 400mm ƒ/5.6L are really not comparable as one costs $5000 and one costs $1000. And another option would be the older and lighter Canon 500mm ƒ/4.5L.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    For wildlife they are comparable, as they have the same maximum focal length. If I were to start comparing 500mm focal lengths, the 500mm f/4P Nikkor would be my 500mm baseline and the Sigma 50-500mm would be my low-end non-manufacturer option. The support you need for a non-consumer 500mm lens also tends to be the same as for a 400/2.8, but not a smaller, slower 400mm- that can be another $600-$800 and 20lb difference right there. I shoot lots of wildlife/nature- my comparisons are done with shooting in the field in mind.
     
  11. whynot83706 macrumors 6502

    whynot83706

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    #11

    D60 has autofocus
     
  12. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #12
    iBookG4User is correct. The D60 does not have a built in autofocus motor, and can only autofocus lenses with in-lens motors (S series).
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    If you're going to nit pick (and in this case it's justified IMO) then the D-40 will autofocus with both AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses (the correct Nikon terminology.) It will also autofocus with Sigma HSM and Tamron and Tokina lenses with built-in focus motors.
     
  14. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #14
    I welcome your correction compuwar. Perhaps you could list some of the AF-I lenses that the OP might be thinking of using with a D40?

    I'm not nit-picking in correcting whynot83706. iBookG4user had not stated that there was no autofocus, merely that there was no in-body autofocus motor. The discussion point of the thread has been Nikon's lens compatibility - so the clarification is worthwhile.
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    Since the OP stated they wanted to take nature photographs, which oftentimes means birds or animals any of the three AF-I lenses are a potential match with the D40, and would save literally thousands of dollars over their AF-S equivalents. If they're looking forward, then it's an appropriate value-orientated option.

    I don't know if you're another one of those camera body snob people who think you can't get perfectly acceptable and salable images with a D40 behind a lens that costs >10x the price of the camera body, but if you are, I can assure you that you're quite mistaken.

    The other point is the clarification was incomplete or unclear and potentially misleading, since the AF-I, HSM and Tamron/Tokina offerings are not "S series" (sic) lenses.
     
  16. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #16
    They're all pretty exotic and expensive though.

    The intention of my original post (that seems to have irked you) was to stress the lack of the autofocus motor in the D60, not to play the Nikon lens historian.
    Quite the contrary. If you read my initial response to the OP (page 1) I was attempting to rescue the D40 and place it back in the running for the OP - by pointing out Nikon's recent release of 50mm f/1.4 AF-S.

    I do own both Canon and Nikon SLRs BTW, and have recommended the D40 to a number of happy colleagues.

    I'm not a Nikon fanboy though. I think Nikon has 'dropped the ball' regarding its slow update of prime lenses to AF-S, and I think that especially wide primes are better on the Canon platform. I think it's well worth pointing out to potential purchasers that the D40 and D60 are deficient in their lack of support for body-focus lenses, as for many this may be a deal-breaker.
    Well, as I've just said, my intention was not to be the lens historian - and your contribution is therefore (as I've already stated) welcome.

    Although it may displease you, 'D series', 'S series' and 'G series' are terms in common use in the Nikon community.
     
  17. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    #17
    Why does every 'which camera should I buy?' thread end up with an argument on MacRumors? :eek:

    Sometimes I wonder if anyone here actually cares about the photography itself.
     
  18. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #18
    Good wildlife and bird lenses always are (for my value of good anyway, YMMV.) That's why I recommended Canon if they intend on eventually purchasing new long primes, they're significantly cheaper than the Nikkor equivalents (trust me, I paid for a lightly used 400/2.8- I know that of which I speak.)

    It neither pleases nor displeases me but having been a member of the Nikon community since ~1992, I can say that it's not "common" in my experience[1]. More importantly, it's not helpful to potential or new owners trying to ascertain the availability of compatible lenses *and* it's also potentially confusing since Canon lenses ARE referred to thusly.

    In fact, if you use the quoted string "s series" in Google, what you'll find is that every Nikon reference in the first few pages contains "AI-S" or "AF-S," but they are completely outnumbered by the Canon references to "S series" lenses.

    This is important because people can potentially use the information here to search for more information and the wrong search string makes it difficult for people to find the information they need or validate the information that's been given.

    Furthermore, there are Perspective Control manual focus lenses in the current Nikkor catalog that are listed as D-type lenses-- even the 2008-released PC-E Micro Nikkors[2]. So, at least a few D-type lenses will function exactly the same on the D40 as on a D3x :D

    [1] Nikon uses "D-type" and "G-type" not "series" in its glossaries, but doesn't use "S type-" likely because they used that term previously for a rangefinder lens line and for large format lenses in Copal shutters.
    [2] My conjecture is that the distance information is useful for automatic flash as well as the chips being necessary for 3-D color matrix metering, in Nikon-land you need a body capable of autofocus to take advantage of a "D-type" lens, but a "D-type" lens does not need to be AF-D. As far as I can tell the tilt/shift lenses are the only MF-D (made up term) lenses in the Nikkor line, all the other MF lenses are old designs and aren't chipped AFAICT.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #19
    Old? No it's not. It is a current in-production model camera.

    But this does bring up a point. You really do need to take a look at what lenses you want and make sure the body will work well with them. You say "nature" but this is a wide term. If you means "wildlife" then you will find that you will be spending a lot more on lenses then on the body. So pick the lens first. In fast pick out a few. Decide on whch body to get last.

    The D40 (and the D60) lack an in-body focus motor so there are some Nikon Lenses that will not automatically focus on the D40/60. But will you ever want any of these?
     
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #20
    Hello to the op,
    Well back in awhile ago, I had the same dilemma as you. To me its either the D40, D60, 1000D (Rebel XS, Kiss F), or 450D (XSi). I end up with the 1000D as I mentioned earlier. Here is why I chose it and not the others.

    For this purpose I will only comment on the D40 and 1000D since their bigger/newer brother is about the same except with a few things better.

    The 1000D like I mention has a lot of functions that will come useful to you as you get more interested into photography and by learning this functions earlier, it will help you understanding more advance bodies faster. Besides this what I like about the 1000D is that is has a dedicated ISO button, a jog dial which is useful when changing the aperture/shutter value. Things that I dont like is that it is very plasticky and the way Canon made their EF-S lenses like a no value lens (since its not compatible with Canon Full Frame bodies).

    The D40 is my another choice, Nikon ergonomics is legendary (I used my friend D40x which is just a "upgrade" over the D40 and it feels really good in my hand), problem with the D40 is that its too basic and like some photographer told me, if you want to be serious in photography eventhough you are a beginner, ignore the D40/D60 and go for the D80/D90. Why did he tell me that? Cause honestly the D40/D60 is just too basic, you will quickly overgrown the camera and will want a better body to upgrade to since you are missing quite a lot. And I do consider the Nikon entry level bodies as the weakest in Nikon lineup cause there is no proper button to access to common use functions. But the D40 will of course still take excellent pictures. Now what the others are fighting over is the lack of build in autofocus motor in the D40/D40x/D60, but with Nikon introduction of AF-S lens, this wont be a problem anymore.

    So I like the competition that both companies is having now, Nikon is certainly giving Canon a punch or two especially at the high end side, their D300 and D700 is AMAZING, whereas Canon is whacking Nikon on the lower end (450D and 50D - is certainly a superb camera bodies considering the pricepoint).

    Okay now in terms of looks, I prefer Canon cleaner look (body and lens). I like how Canon lenses are designed, it looks clean and modern rather then the traditional look that Nikon has been using which I am quite impressed.

    So in the end I end up with Canon thanks to its features which I have been using most of it.
     
  21. natebookpro macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Basically you cant go wrong with either. I personally have the D40 and love it. That being said it is getting a bit long in the tooth. There is also the lack of an autofocus motor in the body. I would probably go with the Canon, but like I said you will definitely be happy with either one.
     
  22. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #22
    I should think so. The 50mm 1.8 AF-D is a cheap and superb lens that just happens to be unable to autofocus on a D40. If you use a D40, you exclude yourself from being able to fully use a wide range of previous generation Nikon lenses, (I realize you can manually focus, but that's always a challenge in my mind) some of which are professional quality. There have been professional photographers for generations, and AF-S glass has only been around for about a decade now. Glass that once went for a high price can sometimes be had for much less than what it once went for. One lens that I've thought about getting is the Nikkor 35-70 2.8, which has a sterling reputation. Can't autofocus with it on a D40. It's a lot cheaper than a Nikkor 24-70, which is the gold standard of regular zooms right now, but comes very close to it in terms of its optics. It's not so effective by comparison if you're using a cropped camera (i.e. most DSLRs), but for full frame, it's right there.

    I'm a Nikon guy in part because I like the layouts of Nikon's cameras, especially when it comes to the one I own (the D300). Ergonomically, there's no comparison in my mind. But, to each their own :).
     
  23. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #23
    I fully agree, I've extensively checked older lenses that have good reputations because they are so cheap for what you get. Such as the Canon 28-70mm ƒ/2.8, I've seen them for up to $500 off of what a new 24-70mm would cost and the 28-70mm has a better reputation! You should never discount the older lenses and that would be why I would also advise against the D40/D60 line.
     
  24. iLammy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Thanks alot guys. I'll go with the canon, it sounds more "future safe" - if you know what i mean. :)
     
  25. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #25
    Yeah, Its amazing that I had the same idea as you when I first bought my DSLR.
     

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