Nikon D60 VS. Canon EOS Rebel XS

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by thouts, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. thouts macrumors regular

    thouts

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    #1
    So here's the deal.

    Both of these cameras are equally priced. I've sifted thru the specs and the biggest difference I see is that the Canon offers the "live view" function. I'm not sure if this is important to me. But I can say that I will probably be taking a lot of pictures of lighted signs at night for work. I'm wondering if night shots are difficult without live view? Does anyone have good advice about whether or not night shots are difficult thru a viewfinder?

    But I am also concerned with the other functions of the camera's as well. If anyone has owned these cameras and could provide pros/cons of each that would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I haven't used canon's version of live view, but often the view through the screen will have much less contrast and be harder to see than the view through the viewfinder. Liveview really becomes helpful when the camera is very high or low and you can't easily get your eye to the viewfinder. Research lens systems and play with the bodies. Any modern DSLR can take great pics, you just need to decide which one works best for you.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    You need to back up. choose the SLR camera body last. An SLR is a "system" of parts. Lenses, bodies and maybe flash units. The first step is to choose a brand. You will be 'locked into" this brand for a long time, additional lenses and replacement/upgrade bodies will all have to be of the same brand. Over time you become invested in the brand so much that you can't afford to switch. Don't select the brand based on which entry level camera body costs $50 less or some other trivial thing. Look at the bigger picture and where you want to be in five years. The usable life of a dSLR body is about 5 years, lenses last for decades. You will never finish buying an SLR system.

    Buy the body that fits the set of lenses you want to buy. Typically for night time work you will be looking at some "fast" lenses. Either an f/2.8 zoom or primes that open up to the f/1.4 through f/2.0 range. Those cheap f/5.6 "kit" lenses can be made to work but are not ideal for your intended use. So,.... Look to see which company has the best selection of "fast" and wide angle lenses. These will not be cheap and will represent a larger investment then the body. So it may be that choosing the "correct" brand can save you the cost of the dSLR body in lenses later. Look on the used market too, see what's available and what re-sale value are like.

    In the end which body you buy has almost zero effect on the final image you print but the lens you select makes a huge difference in the kinds of images you can take.

    One more thing: Be sure to budget about $200 for a tripod. You will be needing a good one and pick up one of those IR remote controls too. Good tripods will outlast the photographer, you will only need to buy one.

    Live view is not so useful on an SLR. In fact the reason to choose an SLR is because of the viewfinder. A good optical viewfinder projects a "perfect" image and if you have a fast lens on the camera the image is very bright even at night. Those cheap point and shoot cameras give optical viewfinders a bad name because the optics inside is "cheap" but when you look directly through a $1,000 lens with no electronics in the way the view is quite a bit better. Many times I'll use my SLR as a telescope to get a better view. But I've never been tempted to use the live view on my P&S to get a better view of anything. Also, if you are shooting static objects, like buildings and signs you can take any number of test exposures and judge them on the display and by the histogram and re-shoot until you get it perfect. You don't need live view to shoot a building. Building can wait while you think and move the tripod to some better location and reshoot.
     
  4. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #4
    I use Live View on my DSLR for two reasons mostly: tripod work and manually focusing. In these cases, it's very, very helpful.

    If you're using a tripod, it's nice not to have to lean over and look through the viewfinder, especially if you have a cap over the eyepiece for long exposures.

    If you're trying to focus manually, it sure is nice to be able to see the area around the focus point enlarged 10x on the screen. I'm able to nail the focus every time this way.

    As for investing in a lens system: I would say that Canon's or Nikon's ranges of lenses are six of one and half-dozen of another. It comes down to strengths and weaknesses in specific focal ranges, not some fundamental disparity between the brands. For example, if the OP wants an inexpensive 50mm lens that can auto-focus on his camera, then I guess he should forget about the Nikon. Conversely, there might be a gap in the Canon range that is important to him, in which case he should go with the Nikon. But unless he's down to specifics like that, he'll be fine either way.
     
  5. doej macrumors newbie

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    Feb 8, 2009
    #5
    Live View poorly implemented on Rebel?

    Review are talking about the Live View being an afterthought (marketing dept?)
    and not a serious feature on the Rebel. It sounds like you should not pick this one because of it.

    Learning about lenses and then looking for a body sounds like a plan.
     
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #6
    Okay, well I shall let other explain to you what you should look into and etc etc. but for my reply I will just explain the difference between both cause I own an XS and before that I had the same dilemma same as you, D60 or XS.

    Live View - Now I agree with some people say that XS live view isn't that useful and more like an aftermarket thought. This is how I use XS Live View, whenever I need to place the camera at some extreme angle where I cannot place my eye through the viewfinder, I will turn on live view, get the correct angle, close live view and press shutter and walaaa, focused image at the angle I want :) [XS Live View is very easy to access cause you just need to press the 'set' button which is located in the middle of the 4 directional button]

    AF Points - I have no idea why Nikon considers placing extra AF points on the D60 is bad cause frankly speaking, after the 3rd iteration, it still have only 3 AF!! While the XS has only 7 (the 450D, 40D, 50D have 9 AF) short of 2 but it is still better then 3AF.

    Sensor - XS uses CMOS sensor whereas D60 uses CCD, theoretically CMOS will output better images then CCD (well there is some reason for it and why its better for photography, google it).

    Image quality - Well this I guess depends on the user eyes, but to me I prefer the XS high ISO image then the D60 at the same ISO, check out DPReview for comparison. Too bad the XS ISO max out at 1600.

    Handling, Ergonomics and Usability - Okay this part here is usually more of a personal preference thing, Nikon has always had the best ergonomics regardless if its against Canon, Sony or whatever. Their DSLR ergonomics is THAT good. Now in terms of the XS vs D60 usability, to me the XS wins hands down. Why? Cause it simply have more dedicated button to commonly change function, it has a jog dial at the front which eases adjusting some settings (like AV value, TV value, ISO - just rotate the dial and the value will increase/decrease), a dedicated ISO button (very important, we change ISO very often) and a few other stuffs which I cant remember.

    So that's it, I think I covered most points correctly and If I were to make mistakes, do correct me.

    Hope this helps OP.
     
  7. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Actually, the picture quality doesn't depend on the sensor, but on how the camera processes the pictures. CMOS was actually know for taking worse pictures than CCD originally; CMOS just means longer battery life.

    As for handling, one of the most common complaints against the Rebel is the grip. Definitely try before you buy. However, I will say that after getting used to my D90, the D60's grip feels ridiculously short while the Rebel's grip, while thin, can still feel comfortable. So it really depends. As for function changing, it depends on how much you'll stray outside of using auto modes.
     
  8. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #8
    Ah okay, so beside battery life, anything else? Cause if CCD do produce better images, why is the market shifting towards CMOS? Nikon D90 and above uses CMOS.
     
  9. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Because they're also cheaper to manufacture. Remember those old cheap VGA-resolution cameras that took absolutely pictures? Those used CMOS. Engineering has reached the point where both the imager and the in-camera processing for a CMOS can render a picture that rivals a CCD in quality.
     
  10. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #10
    coincidentally, pre-CMOS Nikons are terrible (relatively speaking) at high-ISO.

    anyways, handle the D60 and D300 and compare it to the XS(i) and 50D. go through the menus, shoot some pictures, try changing settings quickly. Nikon's interface is very different from Canon's, but they're more or less constant throughout a particular manufacturer's camera line.

    i wouldn't worry about lenses, because once you move to a Nikon body with an AF motor, there's an equivalent for most Canon lenses, and a few that Canon doesn't have an answer for.
     
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Ah, didn't know that. Thanks :)

    Yup, Nikon interface is very different from Canon, but it seems Canon is doing something about their interface, the menu interface of the new XS, XSi, 50D, 5D Mark II is about the same, dont u think so? I prefer if Canon would just fix their button layout to left of the screen instead of bottom and fix the button position on top of the camera (above the top lcd). Make it consistent!!!
     
  12. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    But at the same time, Sonys don't do so well at high-ISO and they use CMOS. It's all in the processing.

    As far as lenses go, Nikon is releasing more and more AF-S lenses (like the new 35 1.8G DX, I'm rather stoked about spending a paycheck on >.>), so it's (painfully) slowly becoming more of a non-issue. Emphasis on the slowly.
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #13
    The Sony A900 and A700 use CMOS, their lower cameras use CCDs.
     
  14. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Even then, the D300 trounces the A700 in high-ISO performance, despite using similar sensors (I'm waiting on D3x reviews since the D700's pixel density is lower than the A900's).
     
  15. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
  16. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #16
    I wouldn't be so sure:

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/DxOMark-Sensor

    Note that the D300 ranks #25 in Low-Light ISO, behind such cameras as the Pentax K200D, K20D, Canon 20D, 30D, 40D, and XSi. They don't seem to have tested the A700, but these sensor tests suggest that the stellar high-ISO performance of the D300 is something of an urban myth.
     
  17. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    #17
    Dxomark.com is notorious for being anti-Nikon. I never take what they say/test as fact, but "urban myth."
     
  18. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #18
    The top three cameras in that same category (Low-Light ISO) of the DxO list are all Nikons. I would hardly call that "anti-Nikon".
     
  19. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I just go by what I see: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonydslra700/page30.asp

    On the other hand, it's odd how the D90 ranks the best out of all the APS-C cameras. So Nikon's other 12 MP APS-C camera still performs well at high-ISO.
     
  20. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #20
    That dpreview link is only showing each camera's JPEG processing, not each sensor's capabilties. DxO tests sensors using RAW format.

    I don't see why it should be odd that the D90 should score so well. It's a much newer camera than the D300.
     
  21. mikekelley macrumors member

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    #21
    Get either one. You'll have a blast either way. Neither are bad.
     
  22. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Well, despite the D90 being newer, I would think that the D90, being a slightly lower-end model, would be about the same as the D300 in performance. *shrugs*.
     
  23. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Something is WAY "off" with these rankings for iso performance. The D300 is very good...easily the equal of the Canon 40D if not slightly better. Better DR too.
    No urban myth whatsoever.

    "Stellar"...I reserve for the D3 / D700. Canon 1dmkIII, etc.
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Well, maybe the excellent dynamic range of the D300 affects subjective assessments of its low-light ISO performance? It does rank #11 for dynamic range, with only full-frame sensors above it on the list. The DxO tests are objective measurements of RAW data, so subjective factors like that would not be taken into account. I'm just grasping at a possible explanation here.
     
  25. Maxx Power macrumors 6502a

    Maxx Power

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    #25
    CMOS is king for high-iso/low light situations because of the onboard circuitry next to each pixel for independently and dynamically calibration for noise at each shot. But I suppose because of the active photocell size in the sensor's physical dimensions have been shrunk (because of addition of per-cell circuitry that is non-light sensitive) and a more stringent microlens must be used to focus light onto each pixel site, there is a consistent trend that medium and lower range CMOS cameras can't quite match the same price range CCD's for colour saturation, although they do beat the CCD's in high-iso/low light noise.

    I think i'm gonna dig up some CMOS and CCD white papers to refresh myself...
     

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