Still undecided... (XTi, D40, or D80)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gamerz, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. gamerz macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2006

    Yes, I am still undecided on what SLR to buy. The ones that I am currently looking at are the XTi, D40, or possibly D80. I really want to try to spend as little as possible, but if it is really worth it and I will not be changing systems for a while then I will spend the extra $$$. My goal is to not spend over $1000 canadian, including lenses, accessories, and taxes. Here are the things that really appeal to me about each camera:


    The Good
    Small and compact
    Good build quality (or so I have heard)
    Easy to use

    The Bad
    3 point Auto focus
    can only auto focus with AF-S lenses
    I might be wanting to replace it a year later...


    The Good:
    9 point auto focus
    Dust cleaning
    10 mega pixels
    Can auto focus with EF and EF-S lenses

    The Bad:
    Poor build quality
    Bigger than D40 (not that I would really mind too much)

    And I dont know much about the D80...

    Can anybody give me some side opoinons? Maybe show me some sample shots of what these cameras can do?

  2. ghostguts macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    I'm a personal owner of an XTi, and the build quality is much better than what a few individuals here and there say -- it's lasted me pretty well thus far.

    I won't go into specifics, but my recommendation is to get something that is more long-lasting, something that you'll use for a while, rather than want to replace within a year or two.

    Best of luck.
  3. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Sample images would reflect the skill of the photographer, not the relative quality of the cameras. The quality of your photos is NOT going to vary depending on the camera! You'll see more crap shots with these low-end cameras then you will with higher-end cameras, but it has nothing to do with the hardware - it's the user base.


    - If you have friends who shoot one brand or the other, strongly consider going with that brand. You may be able to coordinate lens purchases and get access to a wider range of lenses faster than if you're purchasing alone.

    - If you're used to a particular brand film SLR, consider sticking with that brand when going digital. You're likely going to feel more comfortable with the controls right off the bat.

    - Consider walking into a camera store and trying them out. See how they feel in your hand. See how the viewfinder looks to you.

    I'm a Nikon guy, but no matter what brand you get I think you'll be happy.
  4. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    I might sound like a broken record to some people on this forum but if cost is your main priority then going with an Olympus SLR is your best bet, in comparison tests they seem to have the better kit lens as well. is a good start

    Try looking for the Olympus E-400 or E-410 and they are being reduced to make way for the E-420.
    Don't be afraid because they are not Canon or Nikon either.
  5. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Buying into the lens family and sensor size you want. Bodies (sensors) are changing rapidly. Personally, I would wait until I had enough money to get a FF sensor body before diving in.
  6. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2007
    if you considering the d80 than I would say go with that choice. If not, the xti and d40 are both pretty similar but I would go with XTi because it has AEB.
  7. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Ummm, how long are you prepared to wait by the way.
  8. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Uppsala, Sweden
    If the D80 is a possible choice, I'd say check it out. I think it offers much more room to grow than the D40, has better ergonomics (IMHO) and is impressively strong. Mine survived a 2 meter fall on to an icy rock with a minor scratch/ding on the bottom corner.
  9. Somepix macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2008
    Beauce, Québec
    HI ! This is my first post !! Woohooo !

    I would go for the D80, because :

    1. It has autobracketing (for HDR)

    2. It can autofocus with AF lenses, which are cheaper

    3. The D80 is very afordable now, because it will probably be replaced in fall 2008.
  10. telf22 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    get the d80. its very solid and has a great hand grip. very durable, 11 points af's. it takes really nice shots.
  11. disdat macrumors regular


    Jul 21, 2005
    New England USA
    I don't think the build on the XTi is a "bad" as you put it. I have it, and it doesn't feel flimsy or cheap to me.

    With a good heavy lens on it, nothing feels cheap and flimsy. ;)

    Anyway, I chose the XTi over the D80, and it was mostly due to lens choices and prices. As so many other people have said on this forum, it isn't the camera, it's a whole system you are buying.

    I took a look at the lenses that I might want in the future and compared cost. I knew I needed a macro lens, and the Canon 100mm was much cheaper than the Nikon 105mm VR macro lens.

    If you don't think you will be considering that many lenses, then maybe one of the 3rd party cameras would be better.

    And I know that it's hard to figure out what lenses you might like when you haven't started shooting yet. I have a hard time with that even now.

    I am glad I chose Canon in the long run. I know that there is a great array of lenses, and I can upgrade my camera in a year or two to another model that will make me happy.

    But I still get a slight pang or two of jealousy when I see someone else shooting with a D80, but I know that I wouldn't necessarily have been able to afford all the lenses that I need with Nikon, so it all worked out for me.

    Good luck!
  12. pcypert macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2006
    People, ask what the user shoots and then recommend. It's not about getting your brand to win. You're not more of a good decision maker if someone else is convinced to join your club :D

    Different bodies are better for different things. Fuji, great studio camera. Canon 5d, great wedding/portrait camera. Some Nikons, great sports cameras.

    There's reasons beyond fact sheets for buying into a SYSTEM. You'll be locked into lenses, flashes, etc beyond the bodies. Want to shoot people? Want to one day use the 85 1.2... better to start Canon. Loads of other decision factors. Give more info and get better recs...

  13. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2006
    Thanks for the replies...

    Somewhere (might have been cameralabs) I heard that the XTi was compared to the D80 as it's closest competitor. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
  14. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Pick up a Pentax K10D while they're still available. Only about $700 and every bit as good (and more feature rich) as the D80. It's weather sealed, built like a tank, has built in VR (works on all lenses), and has a new line of Pro-grade digital lenses as well as a great line of 35 mm lenses available. Hard to beat those Limited edition Prime lenses. Go to to see samples of what the K10D paired with specific lenses can produce.

  15. Holgapics macrumors newbie


    Mar 30, 2008
    North Oregon Coast
    Just because you buy into a particular brand doesn't mean you have to buy their brand lenses as you add to your system. There are third party lenses out there that have excellent reviews and often for much less money. Research is the key once you decide on a particular body and kit lens.
  16. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I'd just like to chime in and say that I'm very satisfied with the build quality of my XT, and the XTi bodies I've played with appear to be just as good.
  17. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    I'd go for the D80, no question. Of course, the risk is that the D90 will come out the day after you buy it.
  18. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    They'll all take good pictures, a camera you don't have won't take any. Flip a coin, throw darts, it doesn't matter- you're making it more difficult than it is. I can get perfectly reasonable shots from any of these cameras, and so can you. If you get hooked, you'll want a new body in 2 years anyway, so spend as little on the body as possible. The lenses you'll keep.
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    1) Don't worry so much about the number of AF points. It really does not matter. It is quicker ti focus and recompose then it is to switch the AF point. So you will mostly only use the center point.

    2) Yes the D40 lacks an in-body AF motor but what lenses are you looking to buy? Not you ever plan to buy a 50mm prime lens or will you only be using zooms? If the latter then it does not matter.

    3) Of the three camera the D80 is by far the bast but what mattrs more is which len(es) you buy. Camera bodies don't make as much of a difference as which lens you select. Pick the lens FIRST then buy the body that matches your budget.

    Beginners always thing they will buy a "camera" and have it for years. No. You will buy a camera body and a lens, then another lens and a flash and then you upgrade or replace the body and keep the lenses and flash. So you will have the lenses and other stuff like tripods and Pelican cases for decades but you will go through a number of camera bodies.
    The reason is the optical technology is mature ad has little room to improve. Some of Nikon's lenses they sell now have been unchanged in 15 years. There is just no need to update them. New bodies come out frequently. Nikon stated a goal of a new one every 18 months. Don't expect a DSLR body to last 10 or even 8 years. five is a long time for a DSLR. Lenses last a lifetime. I have some from the 70's that work fine
  20. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000


    Nov 16, 2006
    Bay Area
    If anything, I would wait until the XSI and D90 are out before making any more decisions.

    All the cameras except the D80 that you listed are currently outdated, so the prices will only go down if you are set on those models, and you can buy the better versions if you aren't.

    The d60 replaces the d40 and d40x and the XSI replaces the XT. The d90 (or whatever it is named) will replace the d80 very soon.
  21. BlueScreenX macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2008
    San Antonio TX
    I love my XTi, but it is pretty small. I suggest you hold each camera before you buy it.... (I use a battery grip with my XTi and it makes the XTi feel wonderful in my hands. It was really unwieldy with 70-200 2.8 L)

    My advice is put MORE money into a good lens, and worry about the body less. My xti with an L quality lens looks 10x better than a Mark2 with a 80$ crappy zoom.
  22. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Much of XTi's "poor build quality" rep is due to toy-like build of the kit lens than the body itself. Although the kit lens is a decent performer (and new EF-S 18-55mm IS lens is quite good), its focus mechanism and material are, even by Canon fanboy standard, poor quality.

    Nikon's entry level bodies are more rubbery and feel somewhat more substantial to be sure, but XTi is still very well made, on par with Canon's mid-end lenses.

    You should visit a store nearby and handle both cameras in person.
  23. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    I'll have to agree with taylorwilsdon and wait for the Canon 450D EOS Digital Rebel XSi. A much improved model for the price.

  24. gamerz thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2006
    Thanks for the additional opinions...

    First off, I have heard that when you buy a body, you are buying into a system of lenses, the body itself does not matter much. My question now is, which company has better lenses? I know its kind of open ended, they are both great companies, but from a user standpoint view I would like to hear opinions.

    Secondly, cameras like the D80 and XSI are slightly out of my budget... That doesn't mean I wont completely ignore them, but It would take alot of good reasons for me to dish out the extra $$$.
  25. eclipse525 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2003
    USA, New York
    You are absolutely buying into a system. That is if you start to take it serious enough to invest in a variety of lens over time. Nikon and Canon are by far the heavy weights in SLR's. Both have their pros and cons. As far as lenses go, they are both very good but the advice I can give you is that, you get what you pay for when it comes to lenses (for the most part). Lenses can really burn a hole in your wallet but the nice part is that eventually when you decide to upgrade your body, you can you use the same lenses. Hence, buying into a system.


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