Trying to figure out which camera...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chase71320, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. chase71320 macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2008
    I am new to photography, and I am on a low budget. Two disadvantages when looking to purchase a camera. Having said that, I need to know from all of you experts if these deals are "too good to be true" or legitimately good deals. I already have an old 35mm Canon EOS Rebel G, and after playing with that, I want to get an inexpensive DSLR to shoot with as well. I found this website by looking around the macrumor forums, and these two Canons jumped out at me.

    Now, the most important question: Can I trust these prices as legitmate? It does say that they are "Refurbished by Canon Inc."

    My next question: The former is 8 megapixels, while the latter is 10 megapixels. Is this going to make much of a difference?

    My final question: Would purchasing a Nikon D40 (6 megapixels) be a better choice than either of these Canons?

    Any and all help is greatly appreciated.:apple:
  2. JSF macrumors member


    Mar 14, 2008
    Edmond, OK
    The prices are legitimate. Adorama is a god company and I think they have a special right now if you pay with paypal you get an additional 10% off. Any of the cameras would be a good choice you just need to decide on how much money you want to spend.
  3. jalagl macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2003
    Costa Rica
    I have a Rebel XT, and love it. However, for a $50 difference, I would go with the XTi. The main reason is that it has better and faster Autofocus. 8 vs. 10 megapixels isn't really relevant, in my opinion (especially if you are new to photography, as I was when I got the XT).

    So, I would say that you get the XTi unless you are really cash-strapped, then get the XT. Both are great cameras.

    Remeber to add in the cost of the memory card. My experience with Sandisk Ultra II CF cards has been very positive, but they are more expensive than other brands. Trascend and Kingston are also good brands (and less expensive).

    As for the D40, I would consider it if costs less than the XT. Since you mention that you already have a Rebel G, you'll probably own at least one Canon lens, so no need to purchase a lens with the camera (at first - it may not be wide enough, but then you can consider a lens like the 18-55mm IS, that has great reviews). You would need factor in the price of a lens for the D40.
  4. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Adorama is legit.

    You probably won't miss the 2mpix between 8 and 10.

    That's a personal question; choosing one camera over the next should come from analyzing a variety of sources. If you have great Canon glass, you should probably lean heavily towards a Canon DSLR.

    All these questions could have been answered by using the forum's search function. As to your final question, I suggest you use that search ability.
  5. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    My vote is also for the XTi, it is just the better camera.

    Canon really stripped the XS of a number of good features to get it to the price point it is at.
  6. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I'm an XT owner as well, and as jalagl said, for $50 go with the XTi. The additions aren't make-or-break, but the bigger buffer and some more cropping room for $50 can't hurt. If you want, you could go with the XT and put the $50 toward something like the nifty fifty, but my recommendation is to go with the XTi.

    And as FX120 said, the XTi is better than the XS in a lot of ways (most important to me would be the RAW FPS). Either way, both the XT and the XTi are fantastic cameras and neither will impose some looming limit on your ability to take photographs. Have fun! :D

    As for the D40, well, I'd still say go with the XTi (this may be a little biased though ;)). The inability to use AF lenses effectively may or may not be a deal-breaker, but in comparison with the XTi I'd say 4 megapixels is worth considering if you're going to be doing big prints, and you'll never know if you'll have to do some major cropping!
  7. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Just remember that those cameras advertised on Adorama do NOT include lenses. You need to either use your existing lenses from your Rebel G (but their effective focal length will change on the digital camera), or buy new ones.
  8. davidleon macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2006
    If you want unbiased reviews and advice from a photographer who uses Nikon, is a good Web site.
  9. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    That's misleading; the D40 has AF on all AF-S lenses. If you're going to be buying new lenses (i.e. not used or not old) anyway, this is a non-issue.

    Hahahahahahahaha, unbiased
  10. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    Ken Rockwell uses both Canons and Nikons, and while a lot of what he says is good, "unbiased" is the last word I'd use to describe him.

    For instance, he believes that DSLRs and image stabilized lenses have made tripods redundant. That is, of course, ridiculous, but that's Ken Rockwell for you.
  11. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I meant AF as in the mount, not autofocus... ;)
  12. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    Adorama is legit. I've bought from them and have never had a problem.

    I know squat about Canon so I can't help you there, but if you're thinking about switching to Nikon and are looking to save money I'd consider a used D70s or D80 before a D40. The D40 can only auto focus lenses that have their own motor. This rules out a lot of old good glass that will cost you a lot less than new glass. When trying to save money I've always preferred to go for yesterday's upper range products over today's lower range products. Others I'm sure will disagree. With the D90's ability to shoot video I'd expect a lot of used Nikons to show up after Christmas.

    I've found KEH to be a reliable source for used camera gear. I've had decent luck and found better prices on eBay, but there's an inherent risk there.
  13. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Exactly true, his site provide lots of good information, but do yourself a favor, skip the part where he start praising or criticizing the product cause he tend to be biased towards Nikon D40 over the D40x and D60 (Im not sure which Nikon product he is biased besides the D40), and in terms between Canon and Nikon, he is more biased towards Nikon and some of his criticism on Canon product seem unrealistic to me (I bet if you dont know he own a Canon, he will sound like a Nikon fanboy, lol). But hey, I learn quite a lot of stuffs from his site and like Edge says, that's Ken Rockwell for you.
  14. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Every Nikon lens made in the past 50 years will mount on the D40. Whether you have metering or autofocus is another matter.
  15. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I find the Nikon system so confusing! :eek: Can't they just standardise? It's the Windows '95 of lens systems. Is it plug and play? Do you need drivers? Ahh, but it supports legacy systems... there you go. ;)
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Yes Adorama is on of the better companies. I'd put them at 9 on a 10 scale.

    8 vs 10 pixesl hardly mattrs at all. Resolution depends on the square root of number of pixels, not on the total So compared that way the difference is 11% larger prints

    Buy the Nikon D40 only if like Nikon the company and it's products in general better that Canon and it's line up of products. You will be locked in to the comanpy for a long time. All the lenses and replacement/upgrades will be either Nikon or Canon. If you have some expansive Canon lenses you will be able to put them on the DSLR. But do but buy Canon just so you can use the old "kit" lens from the Rebel. It's a cheap lens.
  17. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    The d40 may be a good camera, but has limitation issues around which lenses it can work with. Buying the d40 is not buying into the Nikon system, but buying into a SUB-segment of the Nikon system (the XT or XTi can use all EF and EF-S lenses by Canon and third parties). The d40 is also 6MP, which is pushing the reasonable lower limit of resolution. 8-10 is better.

    I spent a lot of time shopping for an XTi a couple of months ago, and the best price I got from a private party for a used, well-maintained XTi with low clicks for $325. Yours is a refurb from a good vendor for $25 less. It's a good price.

    Get the XTi over the XT -- bigger LCD for reviewing pictures, better auto focus system, more buffer (so less waiting for the buffer to clear regardless of what you are shooting (RAW, jpg or burst)), AND a sensor dust cleaner. Those three alone are worth $50, before touching the slight difference in mega pixels, so the 10MP is just a bonus.
  18. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    You must be joking… I find the Nikon system considerably simpler than Canon's.

    The D40, D40x, and D60 do not have auto-focus motors built-in. Therefore, only lenses that have their own auto-focus motors will be able to auto-focus. Examples of lenses with built-in AF motors are Nikon's "AF-S" lenses and Tamron's "HSM." Yes, third-party lens companies do sell lenses that are completely compatible with the D40, D40x, and D60.

    All Nikon lenses made in the past few decades will mount on any Nikon camera in production right now. Some older lenses may have limited functionality; those without built-in AF motors, for example, will not be able to autofocus (as they would on a D50, D80, D300, etc.).

    Canon, as I understand it, has three lines of sensors: 1.6x crop, 1.5x crop, and full frame. Some lenses will ONLY work with certain cameras, and will NOT physically mount. The lens just doesn't fit.

    ^^^I say that about the Canon system hesitantly, because I find the Canon system incredibly difficult to understand--I'm just not around Canons very much. I shoot Nikon, the company I work for shoots Nikon, the Yearbook shoots Nikon, my photography teacher shoots Nikon, everyone in my class who has a dSLR shoots Nikon, and now the Newspaper is switching to Nikon (at my urging, to "borrow" the Yearbook's pro glass). So I'm completely unexposed to the Canon side. (And go figure, I usually shoot sports. Weird.) I'm not suggesting Canons are inherently worse than Nikons, but I won't watch this misinformation spread. With that in mind, please correct me if what I've said above about the Canon system is incorrect.

    Compuwar... where are you? You're well versed in both systems--please help me explain that the D40 isn't completely crippled.

    Those reasons alone are worth more than $50. I'm nitpicking here, but "RAW, jpg or burst" is not a proper list. RAW and JPEG are image formats, while burst is a shooting mode. The increased buffer would be most useful when shooting bursts of RAW photos.

    The sensor dust cleaner is overrated, but x2 on the mpix count.
  19. PCMacUser macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    I'm glad you had a disclaimer. :) There are indeed three sensor sizes - FF, 1.3x and 1.6x crop. The 1.3x is more of a left over from the 1D series (IIRC). But in terms of lenses, you can put any EF lens on any Canon digital SLR and it will work. It will even autofocus. It won't force your camera to cut its megapixel levels in half either. EF-S lenses are just for the 1.6x bodies which have been released since the Digital Rebel in 2003 (but these bodies still work fine with the standard EF lenses). Most semi-serious photographers avoid EF-S (except for perhaps the 10-22mm), since they are usually inferior quality. and limit options if going full frame later. So that really just leaves one type of lens to have to buy - and so little else to worry about.
  20. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Yes and no -- EF-S lenses are designed SPECIFICALLY for crops and will not work on FF. All EF full frame lenses (that's any lens for the past 15-20 years) will work on a crop camera, period. The EF-S lens was designed for crops because, with the smaller sensor, they could make smaller lenses. Most folks who may move to FF simply do not buy EF-S lenses. For others, they are an inexpensive way to get a full camera set-up.

    Yes you are nitpicking. I could easily say to folks "I am shooting RAW" or "I am shooting in burst mode" and most would understand what I am saying. Language is dynamic and made alive in use, not in rules. But given that you either work in a school or are still a student, I understand the grammar police approach.

    On the technical side, the increased buffer is good for shooting RAW even without burst mode, if you are shooting quickly enough.

    Talk to folks who have had the XT (w/out cleaner) and the XTi with cleaner. I never had the XT, but many of them told me that with the XTi, there sensor cleaning rituals diminished greatly.
  21. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Nikons system IMO has built up a lot of crud in it's naming and technical specifications over the years. Canons system becides having a far less vast library of terms is much more consistant.

    Let's look at two lenses from Nikon:

    AF-S VR NIKKOR 200mm f/2G IF-ED

    AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

    IMO it's harder to interpret as they just toss in sets of letters in any order, in the first example VR comes before the focal length, in the second it comes after the entire spec. AF vs AF-S, if you own a lower end camera you've got to know that half of the existing Nikon system won't autofocus, and sometimes won't meter.

    Then you've got the DX debaucle since up untill last year Nikon didn't have a FF DSLR, so it didn't really matter if you tried to mount a DX lens on a pro body since they were all DX sensors, with the exeption of the legacy film bodies which were an increasingly small market. So now you've got DX glass with a smaller imaging circle with the same mount as your FX glass, and now you've (finally) come out with a FF DSLR. Some of the DX glass is actually worht using too (unlike canon), so what are you to do? Oh! When you mount a DX lens to a FX body, let's just turn that wonderful FF body into a 6mp cropper.

    If you own a Canon crop body, you can take any current Canon lens out there, and mount it to your camera, and it will work as designed. Period. You can use a lowly EF-S 18-55 up to a EF 400mm F/2.8L IS and mount it to your Rebel XT and every function on that lens will work. The pro FF bodies will only take the EF lenses, but by the time you're buying a $3000+ camera hopefully you'll be able to know the difference between a crop lens and the stuff they want. Good news is that the crop lenses won't mount to the camera avoiding any confusion as to why your $8000 1DsIII isn't taking the full frame pictures you paid so much for.

    So no, the D40 isn't completley crippled, but for an "Advanced Amerature" who is wanting to expand their collection of glass, there is more of a learning curve to the Nikon system because some of the lenses won't function as advertised, point being the AF series of lenses. This is the reverse case with the Canon system as it is only the pro bodies who are limited as the crop lenses simply won't mount.
  22. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    And that's why I said "inability to use AF lenses effectively". This is all one big misunderstanding, isn't it? :confused:
  23. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'm obviously out-manned by the Canon fanboys. There's no point arguing if you are so dead-set in your devotion that you're blinded to facts.

    (I'm smoldering over the idea that a DX crop on the D3 is a bad thing! Nikon incorporated this into the D3 and D700 so that pros could use the wide DX glass they had from the pre-D3 days. If the pros want to go out and buy new wide glass, no one is stopping them--but no one is forcing them either.)
  24. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I'm no fanboi. I own 1 body (an XTi) and 3 mid-tier lenses. I went through the same purchase decision a few months ago, and went cross-eyed trying to figure out the Nikon lens options. I have nothing invested, but I did want to warn the OP about the d40. That's all. Sorry you are so defensive.
  25. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    The reason you have to caveat WHEN the lens was made is because Canon abandoned its user's investment in glass at one point and changed its lens mount and flange to film distance. I add this for completeness- it was a good move strategically for Canon, but it totally sucked if you had $30,000 in glass at the time. So, tell me how wonderful it was to be a Canon user with a full line of FD lenses when the switch happened and what sort of use they'd get today on a Canon DSLR?

    Nikon's F-mount has remained physically unchanged since ~1962- lenses that don't fit don't fit because they intrude too far back into the mirror's path for the most part. Nikon documents which lenses work on which camera bodies, and which functions work on which lenses on which camera bodies, so there should be no real surprises for users- its in the manual, it's not a secret and frankly unless you hit one of a very few stores with huge used stock, you're not likely to find many of those lenses in a situation where you can't read the manual before you buy it.

    You're discussing a technical subject, most of us tend to find being clear and delineating terms to be an advantage when that happens.

    Honestly? Because the independent testing results on the Internet show that the "cleaning" system just moves the dust around. With a Rocket Blower my sensor cleaning diminished greatly too, though I don't claim it's a ritual.

    Where the token comes in the name really doesn't make much difference to me- however if you're about to buy the first one, you've either got enough to invest in the system that you'll learn the names, or you can look in the book and see if the lens is compatible. AF-S and AF-I lenses have motors that's the only critical thing for most people. That's the only one you *have* to remember if you cheaped out on the body and got the D40/40x/60. DX or not is simply cropped or not, and VR is equivalent to IS in Canon land. So if DX is the same as -S, VR is the same as IS, then you're upset that extra information, like internal focusing or ED glass is in the name? If you take the tack that you buy into a system, the items in the name are useful if you're going to use the system for any amount of time. Otherwise you can simply ignore the tokens you don't understand if it's too difficult for you to look up the glossary or remember the tokens.

    Actually, let's break that down a little- "sometimes won't meter" isn't true of ANY "existing Nikon system" lens that I can think of. "Sometimes won't meter" is true of really old glass from an era where anyone else except Pentax can't get glass to fit their digital bodies. Pretty-much anything made in the last 18 years will meter- so yeah, if our imaginary low-budget Nikon user wants to use Grandpa's old glass then he won't get metering- and *shock and horror* both Nikon and Zeiss still sell some manual focus lenses in an F-mount- so unless you're in the three camera club that needs to look for AF-S, or you need to use some glass from more than about 20 years ago.

    If we remove the manual focus lenses from the mix (they won't AF no matter what you put them on) the current Nikkor line has 30 AF-S lenses (and 22 AF-D lenses.) We know that the D40, D40x and D60 were sold as kits only and that the average DSLR lens sale is 1.2:1- so even if they don't read their manuals, most D40/40x/60 owners won't ever notice the difference.

    Yes, Nikon ensured that their pros would be able to keep their DX lens investment working at about the same level of performance as it did on DX bodies as they introduced FX bodies- I'm not sure what you shoot, but for better than 90% of my paid product shoots 6MP is more than enough should I have to use a DX lens. As far as "finally," Nikon executives were quite adamant and exact in how long they'd pursue DX-only. Maybe you'd prefer that it be like Canon where when you switch from APS-C only glass to FF you have to lose your complete line of lenses, but I don't see how it's a negative. Flexibility in tools is nice- I rarely use the high-speed crop mode in my D2x, but if I need it, then I need it and it's there. Many folks won't use DX lenses on an FX body, but if they wanted ultra-wide and bought in, then they're not stuck re-buying.

    So, is your argument that Canon pros aren't smart enough to know which lens they're putting on their cameras? Or is it that Canon pros are happy to throw away lenses as they move up the chain?

    FWIW, my 400/2.8 Nikkor works just fine on my Business partner's D40, and every function works too.

    Then your "Advanced Amerature"(sic) isn't all that "Advanced" because the D40 is an entry level body, and that's where it's design goals, manufacturing and capabilities come in at. Your "Advanced Amateur" should have gotten a D80 or D90.

    "More of a learning curve because some of the lenses won't function?" Give me a break. Thirty first party and a bunch of third party lenses work just fine. If "remember AF-S" is a learning curve, then really your "advanced" person should stick ot a P&S camera or purchase the correct camera body for their level.

    I'm amazed that someone thinks that an $8000 camera body should mount *fewer* manufacturer's lenses than a $600 camera body. Are you really looking for the marketing slogan "Canon, it's for dumb people with money to throw away?"

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