Nikon D300 or Canon 40D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ravenwood, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. ravenwood macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #1
    Anyone have a solid opinion? I have read the D300 superior but is it $600 superior?

    Thanks,
    v
     
  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #2
    Don't waste your time sifting through numbers in reviews, the differences in terms of IQ are not significant enough to base your decisions on them. Also, both companies have a wide array of lenses that cover pretty much everything, and unless you need some very, very special lens (e. g. one of Nikon's `defocus' portrait lenses or Canon's loupe lens), you won't make a mistake either way. Forget about megapixels, too, although the 40D has 2 MP less (10.1 vs. 12.3), this won't be practically significant either.

    IMO it's mostly a matter of user interface: if you don't like Canon's UI, you'll gladly pay $600 more. (I know I would, can't stand Canon's UI.) But if you prefer Canon's UI, you should get the 40D.

    Have you tried both cameras? (This is the only way to find out.)
    What dslr do you currently own? Also, have you thought about getting a D200, e. g. at bhphoto? What's your budget? What lenses are you planning on getting? You could also rent first one and then the other camera and give them a try.
     
  3. ravenwood thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 25, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the advice. I'm sort of under the gun to grab something local. Going to Cairo tomorrow for an interview for and will have some free time to shoot. I've been looking to pull the trigger on a decent dslr. I've used a film nikon slr in the past. I have an inexpensive nikkor DX 55-200 4.5-6. And I'm going to try and find the kit D300 with a 18-135 at 3.5 in stock somewhere as its a decent lens for 300 as part of the kit. I'm going to hit the local stores and see what feels better. Was hoping to stay under 2k.
     
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #4
    Oreo is right, you need to try both.

    Never buy a DSLR "under the gun". You need to give yourself time to think about what you want, narrow down your choices, use both in the store to see which feels better in your hands, and consider what you already own. If you have nothing more than that one Nikon lens, then perhaps it's easy for you to say you can pick either Canon or Nikon. Also give some consideration to Pentax if you're looking to not spend more than $2k. But never buy a camera of that caliper under the gun. You'll likely regret your decision if made in haste.

    When I was moving to digital I owned Nikon glass already, but since it was older glass it was nearly understandable and easy for me to go to Canon. I didn't like the way the Canon felt in my hands. There was something about the rotating wheel that felt wrong. Or, it could have been that I used Nikon film cameras. Either way, the choice only became clear to me once I held both, used both in store for a good hour, and then went home and thought about it. I bought the Nikon the next day.
     
  5. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
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    Sendai, Japan
    #5
    If you want to stick with Nikon and you have that kind of budget, I suggest you have a look at a used/refurbished D200 and a different lens. Lenses are much more important than bodies. Tokina's 16-50 f/2.8 lens would make a good `bread-and-butter lens' that runs circles around the 18-135 (which is not such a good lens) in terms of creative freedom, image quality and built quality. This lens would complement your 55-200 zoom that you already have.
     
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    40d is going to be discontinued in the next month for the 50d, which looks pretty impressive. Now is the absolute worst time to buy a 40d, it costs MORE than it did a month ago (when Canon instant rebates were going) and its about to be EOL'd.

    D300 is a safe buy now but still expensive, it will probably drop a bit when the 50d comes out.
     
  7. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #7
    Canon continues producing its cameras a few years after the new models are introduced to the market. However, I do agree with you that with the 50D being introduced to the US market by the end of the year, that would be the best time to buy a 40D at a discount. Or just buying a 50D and paying what a 40D costs right now.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    Both cameras are absolutely useless until you attach a lens to them. Very quickly you will have a $600 difference on lenses. If you buy the Canon you will have a bunch of Canon lenses, or if you buy a Nikon you will have a bag of Nikon lenses. Don't worry about a $600 difference between the dSLR bodies. Worry insted about the set of Nikon gear you might own in a year vs. the set of Canon gear you might own in a year. SLRs are systems. Think about system vs. system not part vs. part.

    In either case the value of the lens collection should at least equal the value of the body. If not then you need a cheaper body. One thing in either case dSLR bodies need to be upgraded or replace more frequently than you'd like to think. No matter what your budget, be it $8K or $800 you will get your best bang per buck if you put more money into lenses then into the body. Don't buy an expensive D300 only to put a $100 kit lens in front of it. Better to have more "balance". Also like I said, the bodies become obsolite so soon whiole the lenses tend to last for decades.

    Buying an SLR system is a process that never ends. You have to look at your SLR budget as something that continues not as a one time thing. So over a "few" years you should be spending less than half of the budget on the dSLR bodies. But this is an average. I'd say buy the D300 only if it's price does not mean you'll have to economize it other parts of the system
     
  9. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

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    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    The 40D is under a grand right now (body only). I think the 50D will be closer to $1500 when it launches.
     
  10. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #10
    as a 40D user, get the D300. unless you want to wait for canon to release a new body.
     
  11. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #11
    $969.00 at B&H for a 40D body, which is slightly more than what I paid for it under the $200.00 instant rebate. However, since Canon upgrades the XT and 40D series within two years, it usually keeps the price fairly constant. It means that as the 50D comes to the market, more than likely it would cost under $1,200, which was the price for a new 40D when introduced to the market.

    I could be wrong, of course :)
     
  12. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #12
    Consider renting one or both cameras with lenses from a local camera shop for your trip. I agree with the poster who said 'never buy under the gun.' Unless you're gone for weeks, rental shouldn't cost you more than a couple hundred dollars.
     
  13. radiantm3 macrumors 65816

    radiantm3

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #13
    Via Engadget today regarding the new 50D:
    I bought my 40D a few weeks ago from amazon for $970 out the door. I'm extremely happy with my purchase. The Nikons are tempting, but I'm already at least 3 grand invested in canon glass so I have no desire to switch.
     

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