Nikon D80 vs. Canon 20D

Jay42

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 14, 2005
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Ok, now that the D80 has hit the streets and a new 20D can be had for less than $1000 quite readily, which one would you choose? I don't really want a Nikon/Canon debate (I know I'm asking for one), but rather, which camera looks better at least on paper? So far, it looks like this to me:

D80 Advantages:
-Larger screen
-2 more MP
-Extra thumb wheel

20D Advantages:
-2 more fps
-Control Dial

Anything else to consider here? PS. I apologize if this has already been discussed/beaten to death.
 

Jay42

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Original poster
Jul 14, 2005
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I don't have any glass or religious affiliations to one side or the other. Mostly this camera will see general (personal) use. However, I go on a lot of hiking/climbing trips and (weight permitting) would like to preserve some of the fantastic scenery. I would also like to be able to shoot sports action such as climbing or team sports. This makes the Canon's 5fps sound enticing.
 

SpankyPenzaanz

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Sep 4, 2006
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well the 30d is out and if you are in no hurry wait till the new rebelxt/400d comes out and then make the most informed decision you can make. I have 10D from about 3 years ago and love canon's lenses. I think what d80 offeres is very nice also. I hear the 400d has the dustremoval system on the cmos sensor unfortuneately i don't know if the d80 does(sorry) But I like
http://www.dcresource.com
they are pretty good and know what they are talking about unlike places like cnet where if its not a sony digicam they're not happy
 

iGary

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May 26, 2004
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Randy's House
Jay42 said:
I don't have any glass or religious affiliations to one side or the other. Mostly this camera will see general (personal) use. However, I go on a lot of hiking/climbing trips and (weight permitting) would like to preserve some of the fantastic scenery. I would also like to be able to shoot sports action such as climbing or team sports. This makes the Canon's 5fps sound enticing.
Well it sound like the extra resolution is more useful to you than the speed, unless that is you shoot sports "a lot." If I was hooting scnery, landscape, I'd want the extra 2mp, but also consider that's more for you computer to work with/requires more space.

I'd get the D80 in your position. :)
 

Jay42

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Original poster
Jul 14, 2005
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I looked at the XTi and ruled it out because it doesn't seem like a very substantial update to the XT. And I can't really justify spending hundreds of dollars on a camera (XT or XTi) that doesn't feel right in my hand.
 

milozauckerman

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2005
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The d80 shares a viewfinder with the d200 - it should be superior to the 20d's smaller and darker viewfinder.

The 20D will likely have less noise at a given ISO than the d80 - that's just how Canon rolls.

The viewfinder is a deal-breaker for me (currently wearing glasses), so the d80 would be my choice.
 

sjl

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2004
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Melbourne, Australia
milozauckerman said:
The viewfinder is a deal-breaker for me (currently wearing glasses), so the d80 would be my choice.
Could you expand on this a bit? I find that I have three options with my 20D: I can wear glasses; I can wear contacts; or I can wear nothing at all and use the diopter adjustment dial (my vision needs a -3 diopter adjustment, which is within the 20D's adjustment range - it wasn't within the old EOS 30's range, so I never used it on that camera).

If your vision is "simply" corrected with a stock diopter lens (or it's close enough to being corrected with same) ...

Just tossing around thoughts, btw, and I'm a little curious - nothing more.
 

milozauckerman

macrumors 6502
Jun 25, 2005
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I've never particularly liked diopters - they work okay for a -1 or so, but when you're up to -2.75 or -3, that means you aren't exactly 'seeing' the scene when the camera's away from your face.
 

jaisai01

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2006
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just from my side, i have shot 100,000 shots with my 20d ... ya i know a lot. however it has been great with no major issues.
 

Reep

macrumors member
Aug 10, 2006
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SoCal
I was in a similar Nikon/Canon dilema when I bought mine. My final analysis was:

Sports and fast moving children: Canon
Portraits and still life: Nikon

I chose the Canon. Bottom line, I use the fast fps all the time and the instant startup from sleep is amazing. Here are some of my sport shots:

http://www.person.smugmug.com/Sports

I must say the really quality high ISO has come in handy also.
 

beavo451

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
483
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Reep said:
I was in a similar Nikon/Canon dilema when I bought mine. My final analysis was:

Sports and fast moving children: Canon
Portraits and still life: Nikon

I chose the Canon. Bottom line, I use the fast fps all the time and the instant startup from sleep is amazing. Here are some of my sport shots:

http://www.person.smugmug.com/Sports

I must say the really quality high ISO has come in handy also.
Nikon is instant start as well.
 

Reep

macrumors member
Aug 10, 2006
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SoCal
beavo451 said:
Nikon is instant start as well.
I wasn't sure if the newer one was. When I bought my 20D, the D70 was not instant start.

Personally, I believe that a person could buy either the Nikon or the Canon and be completely happy with it. There is a drop off after those two brands in my mind, but those two are tops.
 

Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
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Location Location Location
Climbing doesn't require a high fps. ;)


I'd get the Nikon D80, but I'm biased for Nikon cameras. If you go with Nikon, just go for the 20D and don't bother with the 400D. IMO, it's still too small. Right now, the lenses to me are around the same, although Nikon seems to be bringing out some exciting stuff right now.

However, if you're really keen on shooting "team sports", whatever that may entail, then the 20D is the better choice because of the higher fps.
 

beavo451

macrumors 6502
Jun 22, 2006
483
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Reep said:
I wasn't sure if the newer one was. When I bought my 20D, the D70 was not instant start.

Personally, I believe that a person could buy either the Nikon or the Canon and be completely happy with it. There is a drop off after those two brands in my mind, but those two are tops.
The D70 and the D70s are both instant start as well. At the time of the D70 introduction, this was a major feature as the Canon EOS 300D had a ~2-3 second start up time.
 

Jay42

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Original poster
Jul 14, 2005
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Abstract said:
Climbing doesn't require a high fps. ;)
I can actually think of quite a few instances where I could use 5 fps while photographing climbers. If you wanted to catch that perfect shot of someone dyno-ing for that next hold. Or catching a swinging ice tool at just the right moment.
 

Seventy5

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2006
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Dundee, Scotland
My 2 cents:

Unless you climb with your camera attached to your eye, you will miss many of these fast paced shots you are talking about (I think). Do you climb with people who are happy to wait for you to set up before they move on? I mention this because I initially thought similarly, but soon realised that by the time I stopped got the camera sorted out and started recording images, the moment had gone and I then had to pack everything away (holding others up) and move my butt.

Another thought is that although in camera metering may be very good these days, I don't think any of them (correct me here if I'm wrong) will handle high contrast snow/low winter sun conditions very well. Assuming you climb in the winter you will probably have to use the camera in manual (I know I do) to get the best out of it, which has immediately slowed you down again.

I am a Nikon man by the way. Does it show?

To redress the balance I will point out that the Nikon is probably significantly bulkier than the Canon. I know my D70 (with instant start up by the way!) was way bigger than the Canon 300D and my D200 is much the same. For me that is a winner because I feel if I drop the camera onto rocks it has half a chance of surviving, but you would be well advised to check each of them out in person. On paper it may not seem much of a difference, but carrying that weight/losing the rucsack space may not be acceptable for you.

Actually I think that was about 5 cents I gave you there. I'll need to shut up for a day or 2 now!

Steve.

PS you mentioned the second command dial somewhere. It does go some way towards speeding things up when you get used to it. The Nikon also has a layout along the lines of the D200, I think, which puts some of the main adjustments at your fingertips without having to scroll through menus. Not sure how the Canon is set up.
 

Mike Teezie

macrumors 68020
Nov 20, 2002
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20D. Better ISO performance, I like the glass choices better, and I am even in the vast minority that prefers Canon bodies to Nikon bodies.

You won't go wrong really either way, they are both great cameras.
 

SpankyPenzaanz

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2006
705
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Mike Teezie said:
20D. Better ISO performance, I like the glass choices better, and I am even in the vast minority that prefers Canon bodies to Nikon bodies.

You won't go wrong really either way, they are both great cameras.
I like the canon bodies as well its why i chose the 10d over the nikon at the time (as well as the iso and cmos vs ccd). But I agree its impossible to make a bad choice with those options
 

zzyx

macrumors newbie
Oct 4, 2006
1
0
low light

I've been comparing at the Nikon D80 and the Canon 30D. I will be doing low light indoor shooting in the near future. I heard that the D80 has more noise at high ISO than the Canon. Is that true, and if so, how noticeable is it?