Nikon d80 vs Canon xsi????

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by niko2112, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. niko2112 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #1
    Hi. I know there has been many topics on this, but i figured since the introduction of the Nikon D90, perhaps some opinions may change.

    Im looking to buy a DSLR. I was originally going to spend around $600. I was looking at d60 or canon xsi. then i happened to look at the d80, and was really impressed. its more than i was going to spend. ($800 w 2 lenes) but it seems like a much better camera than the others.

    i cant make the jump to the d90, but i also dont want to "over pay for outdated technology" with the d80.

    any insight would be great!

    thanks
    Niko
     
  2. leandroc76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    #2
    Everyone is going to tell you that it's not the camera, its the person behind the camera. I'm going to say the same!!!

    Get what your budget fits. Learn to compose, learn the zone system, learn how light your subject.

    My biggest problem when I first started out was the fact that I am an artist. A portrait artist. So in the back of my mind I thought i knew everything about how to compose, expose, light, and everything in between. But I was wrong. What I can do with paint and pastels is completely different from what I can do with a simple point and shoot camera, let alone a DSLR.

    However, putting the two together, not only opened my eyes to how art and portrature is pleasing to the eye, but it opened my eyes to the fact that I could create amazing results with a disposable camera!

    My budget is different than yours. I shoot with Nikon D200 and a slue of glass!

    I vote the D80 or D90.
     
  3. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

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    #3
    It really depends on how you shoot and what features you like. I think the specs are very similar, with a few leans toward the Canon:
    - faster frame rate if you need it
    - access to a wealth of lenses (old and new)
    - automatic sensor cleaner

    I have used both and looking through the D80 viewfinder is impressive. One of the most crisp consumer dslr I have used.

    My bias? I purchased the Canon XS. Much cheaper, similar specs to the xsi and the savings allowed me to purchase some great lenses. As well, the XS is a 10 MP camera versus 12MP for the xsi, cramming less pixels on the same view finder and thus reducing artifacting later.

    My colleague has a D80 and had trouble with the battery grip. Because it was not designed to have a grip, a cable must dangle to connect it to the camera. He damaged the connector because it is not hidden. If you want, or need, a battery grip this would be a deal breaker for me. BTW The grip on my XS is still powering the camera from December 27th. It is used almost daily in a variety of settings. Needless to say, I find the grip invaluable.
     
  4. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Go for the XSi. Why? Because it gives better image quality at higher ISOs. Less noise at ISO 800 and up.

    I use a D80 at my office, and it give awesome image quality, but when you go 800 or higher, the image starts to get noisy quick. You can solve this problem by getting faster lenses, which is what you should do anyways.

    The real argument here is: do you want a camera with a CCD, or CMOS sensor? The D80 is uses CCD, and the XSi uses CMOS. Nikon is migrating to CMOS sensors, because of the benefits for low-light performance and battery life. Canon's been using CMOS sensors for a while now, so their implementation is excellent.

    So ask yourself, if you have a budget or not. Personally, I'd go with the XSi, since as you said yourself, that you don't want to overpay for old technology.
     
  5. niko2112 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #5
    Thank you all for the quick replies.

    Question, is the canon really that much better at the high iso?
    and don't the d60 and d80 both have higher iso settings?
    (the guy at B&H in NYC told me that after you go above 800, its gonna be noisy regardless)
    Thoughts?

    thanks again
    niko
     
  6. esco macrumors 6502

    esco

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    Chicago, IL
    #6
    there are some comparison pics of the XSi and D60 at their different ISO levels here:

    http://www.anandtech.com/digitalcameras/showdoc.aspx?i=3304&p=9&cp=4

    I wasn't able to find XSi and D80 comparison pics though, sorry. I'm a Canon guy myself, but also take into account how the cameras feel in your hand. Everyone's got their own preference.
     
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #7
    I'm a Nikon guy and I far prefer the feel and interface of a Nikon, but that said...if you're just starting out and not particularly into the feel of one or the other, I'd go with the XSi. It's a newer generation of camera. Nikon's lowest end -- the D40, D60, and the D80 -- are the last of their 2nd-generation digital sensors, whereas the XSi is a newer design I believe. The D90, D300, D700, etc are all the newest 3rd-gen sensors from Nikon, which haven't made it down to the $500-$600 price point yet but are more comparable (and superior in some ways) to the latest Canon sensors in the XS(i).

    I understand the "how it feels in your hand" factor, but I just wanted to point that out too...I'm a gadget guy, I don't like buying into outgoing old-gen technology. I've got a D40 now and it's been fine for entry-level stuff, and I preferred it to the XT/XTi available at the time, but if I were buying for the first time *today* I'd have to think a little harder.
     
  8. PixelFactory macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    I would try out both cameras at a store. I have a D-80 and bought it over a comparable Canon because of how the controls work. I just wasn't as comfortable with the Canon. As far as noise at higher ISOs, it really isn't that much of a factor. I prefer how the D-80s noise looks more like film grain than digital noise. If you don't print larger than 8x10, you most likely won't notice the noise. The d-80 also has a screw drive that allows you to autofocus with older lenses such as the 50mm 1.4 (my everyday lens).

    If you need a battery grip, the D-80 does have a grip available and does not have extra wires dangling (MB-D80). It just connects directly into the battery door.
     
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #9
    Specs do not matter, really, they don't. Both cameras are comparable in most aspects and for all intents and purposes, you will get pictures of equivalent quality with both.

    Go to a store and try out both of them. Some people can't get along with Canons, some can't get along with Nikons while others get along fine with both. If you prefer, say, the way and feel of a Canon, no amount of perceived features should convince you to get a Nikon -- and vice versa.

    I'm a Nikon guy myself who happily owns a D80 since summer 2007 and the only limiting factor is me (and the 18-70 mm kit lens (which I intend to replace when I have the money to)).
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    CCD sensors are not inherently noisy, they are inherently expensive compared to CMOS, that and battery life are valid reasons. The myth that CCD sensors are noisier in low light is just that- a myth.

    When you make large quantities of anything, savings go against the bottom line. With CMOS you can make single-chip devices, with CCDs you need more supporting infrastructure. That's the primary reason Nikon is moving to CMOS, it increases their profit margins relatively significantly.

    QE is roughly equivalent these days, however CCD fill factors are still about 70% greater than CCDs - indicating that sensitivity is still better in CCDs.
    CMOS has worse dark current noise by a factor of between 10 and 50 times. In other words, for very sensitive applications, CCDs still produce less noise and have better low-light performance. CCDs are also capable of less noise in ultra-long exposures because of the dark current issues that CMOS sensors have.

    CMOS has 10x the acquisition frame rates of CCD, 10k/s instead of 1k/s- but that's more important in video. I believe CMOS also tends to run cooler in large-sensor applications.

    Here's some supporting data:

    http://www.ifp.uni-stuttgart.de/publications/phowo01/Blanc.pdf
    http://www.dalsa.com/corp/markets/CCD_vs_CMOS.aspx
    http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question362.htm

    The synopsis on the last link says it best (emphasis mine):

     
  11. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    Yes, the Canon XSi handles high ISO extremely well, better than the older sensor in the Canon 40D by most reports, and almost certainly better than the much older sensor in the Nikon D80. I recently returned from a photography trip during which the lighting I had to work in left me no choice but to shoot at least half of my shots at ISO 800. I was really impressed with its ability to pull it off with minimal noise. Those shots are all usable (at least as far as noise is concerned).

    Here is one as an example, shot it very dim light, handheld, ISO 800:

    [​IMG]

    Click on the image to see a 100% crop.

    Sure, there are more expensive cameras that can deliver even better results, but I'd be surprised if an older camera like the D80 could match this level of noise.

    Also, if you're at all interested in doing tripod work or manual focusing, you will appreciate having Live View. I don't believe the D80 has it.
     
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    Don't worry about noise, it's all about the same. Noise becomes important for settings higher than ISO 800 and yes, the D80 goes up to ISO 3200 while the XSi stops at ISO 1600.

    Note that noise levels aren't giving you the full picture: stronger noise reduction means less sharpness (see the graph of the Olympus which seemingly has the lowest noise levels; it uses a stronger noise reduction algorithm that reduces detail).
     
  13. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #13
    This all applies if you should JPEG, which I don't recommend.
     
  14. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #14
    CCDs are better for video IMO. Unless CMOS sensors use global shutters, CCDs are better for that purpose. I hate rolling shutters... :(

    Really the noise issue is depending on the image processor. Canon has a leg up on Nikon with their DIGIC III/IV. CMOS and CCDs somewhat play a factor, but not as much as the imaging processor. I should have made that more "clear".
     
  15. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #15
    First, I cant imagine choosing a cam based on CCD vs CMOS, etc... yowsa.

    Noise. The Canon is probably a bit better. OP...do you anticipate shooting a *lot* in low light circumstances? If so, the Canon may be the way to go.

    Both are good cams for the money...cant go wrong.

    I would get the Nikon D80 because of Nikon ergonomics, flash system(!!!), etc.
     
  16. niko2112 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #16
    nikon d80 vs canon xsi

    thanks for the help.

    i dont plan on doing a ton of low light, but i will never use the flash, or any flash for that matter. i prefer natural light.

    i just want the best image for the money, beit d60, d80 or xsi.

    so, still the d80?

    thanks
    niko
     
  17. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 12, 2005
    #17
    Interesting. I would feel sooooo limited creatively without my lighting gear.

    Anyway...here's a used D80 with a lot of accessories for $500.
    http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcb...&forum=137&topic_id=60026&mesg_id=60026&page=
     
  18. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    Houston, USA
    #18
    Based on that criteria there is no correct answer for you, although out of those three I would rule out the D60 based on the lack of autofocus motor in the body.
     
  19. niko2112 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #19
    nikon d80 vs xsi

    i just love natural light. i dont like to lug more than i need, and even in doors, i prefer natural light.
    so, that said, ive heard that nikon has higher iso, up to 3200, but is it good? film grain can be cool, but digital noise is definitely not!

    i also only have an old 50mm E series lens. no auto focus, so that doesn't matter to me at all.

    thanks again for all the good insight

    niko
     
  20. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    If you're shooting a lot of low-light photography, then I'd go with the XSi. I wouldn't recommend going any higher than 1600 on these cameras anyway (which only the Nikon has). It gets so noisy that even the details get nullified.

    I'd recommend getting a very fast, L series prime lens (if you're going for the XSi). I have both the 24mm and 32mm at f1.4 and they're amazing in low-light performance.
     
  21. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #21
    The higher ISO capabilities really shouldn't be your criteria for a purchasing decision, they aren't going to make all that much of a difference in real life use.

    You mention you already have a Nikon compatible lens so there is one vote for the Nikon right there, however I have no idea on the quality of said lens so it may not be much of a vote especially as a Google reveals the E series lenses were a budget series produced by Nikon.

    My suggestion, go into a store and muck around with the Canon and the Nikon to see what feels best in your hand then make your decision on the spot, don't overthink the process and don't read extensive forum threads debating the merits of each camera, just go with what works best for you!
     
  22. ArtandStructure macrumors member

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    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    #22
    At this stage in the digital game, noise reduction is generally destructive. As someone mentioned a few posts back more noise reduction generally means loss of detail. Canon's noise reduction is more aggressive than Nikon's by default. They "blur" it more to "look" like less noise but they are taking out detail as well.

    I am also of the camp that Nikon's noise "looks" more "natural" or "film-like" than Canon's and is therefore more appealing to me with less processing than Canon's (and perhaps why Nikon is less aggressive in their default NR, leaving more detail).

    As far as current generation technology from either company goes, I disagree that Canon has better NR than Nikon right now ("better" being subjective anyway). From the images I have seen posted from each camp, Nikon's current bodies are producing much more appealing images at high ISOs to my eye.

    xsi to D80, the D80 is probably noisier, though again I prefer the look of Nikon's noise and there are a number of other features which make the D80 a tempting purchase against the xsi including the ~$200 price difference you could put toward better low light glass which would neutralize or even enhance the D80's noise performance versus the xsi. Tough call though. Among other features you could compare, the D80 can act as a commander for external flashes while the xsi can not to my knowledge (though the original poster apparently has no need for this),

    Regarding...

    The Canon photos definitely seem more aggressive in the NR than the Nikons and are losing some detail, though I don't think it would be noticeable in print here and it would be subjective to try and point out. What is especially evident though is that the Canon is clearly suffering from fairly strong blooming problems. Note especially the edges of the white text on the black boxes in comparison to the Nikon photos. This blooming is evident in several other areas of the photos. I don't know if this is related to Canon's NR process or something else altogether.

    I use Nikon cameras, but I am not saying "just buy a Nikon". As others say, play with both in your hands and see what feels best, what makes the most sense to operate, what YOU value in the feature sets, etc. I am merely elucidating some misconceptions.


    Take care
    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure design studio
     
  23. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2004
    #23
    It's best to leave the noise reduction features on the cameras off. If you're using NR on the camera, then obviously it'll lose some detailing. It's best to post-process afterwards if needed.

    IMO the D80's noise is less film-like, but that's just me. :p Now, the D90 on the other hand...Much better and looks more film-like.
     
  24. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #24
    If you compare it to ISO 100, no, but you can get usable shots. Have you ever shot film which was rated ISO 3200? Back in the film days, ISO 3200 was very high ISO, films with even higher ISO were very rare and expensive. Have a look here (click in the image to get a fullscreen version): I can tell you that the D80 looks a lot cleaner, the only difference is that people (and I include myself in that group) think that film grain `is cool' and `looks great' while it's the devil in dslrs.

    Always keep in mind that noise, dynamic range and corner sharpness don't matter one bit if you miss the shot. Really, none of that matters: if you like the camera, you'll take better pictures, no matter the noise levels or the dynamic range.

    Canons and Nikons of the same generation have typically similar noise behavior (although the D90 can do up to ISO 6400 at no loss of dynamic range; consumer-grade Canons top out at ISO 1600).
     
  25. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #25
    Actually all "ISO 3200" films weren't ISO 3200, I believe the highest base ISO was 1250 (at least for B&W, Konica color may have had an ISO 1600 base, but I can't find a data sheet.) Anything more was just a push in development, and many high-ISO films (even Kodak surveillance film) were based around ISO 800 with several stops of push and/or special developers. In fact, the manufacturers generally danced around the ISO speed on the boxes.

    TMZ's (TMAX P3200) data sheet says:

    Delta 3200's sheet says:

    I generally shot Delta 3200 at EI 800 to process in PMK in 120/220.
     

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