xti or 40d senior citizen

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jer446, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. jer446 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2004
    Im looking into getting a camera for my grandfather.. I have been trying to convince him to switch to digital for the past 5 years, but he has always sworn by his 50 year old nikon. All of a sudden, he is interested. He does not know how to use a computer, so ease of use is extremely important. He basically will take the card out of the camera, bring it in to the store, and have the pictures printed.

    In your opinion, which camera is easier to use? He gets frustrated with technology pretty easily.

    I want him to get the xti body with a different lens, but he likes the 40d with kit lens he saw in the paper. He does not want to switch lenses.

    Additionally, he asked me if canon offers any time of "lessons" to teach him how to use the camera, besides the manual. If there are no lessons, any videos?

    Any other advice? I can get a decent deal on canon's so i would like to stay with them.
  2. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Actually, if he's looking for that much simplicity and lack of interchangeability, have you considered a higher-end point-n-shoot?

    The kit lenses on both the Canon & Nikon are "OK", but really junk if he's more than a snapshot taker. But, if he's not interested in changing, why have a separate body/glass anyway? A lot of the better P&S cameras have pretty fair little lenses on them (no worse than the kit lenses), and a surprising amount of features.

    Plus, if it turns out he doesn't want to go digital, a P&S is a lighter investment than a DSLR.
  3. l33r0y macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
    Your question is better suited to a photography forum, such as dpreview.com

    But in a nutshell, I'd spend the money on the better lens, such as the 17-85 EF-S, as its a good all-rounder walkabout.
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I am going to have to jump on the high-end point and shoot bandwagon here. I was once asked about a camera by a senior citizen who had an old film camera (SLR). She wanted the photos that you can get form an SLR but not the hassle. I directed her to a few, she tried some out and ended up with the Nikon 8900 or whatever that model was. $1000 out the door at the time (this was last year) and she loves it. It really was a good camera. I would certainly recommend a high end fixed lens and don't call it a point and shoot, they get wiggly. Call it a fixed lens. ;)
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    If he's looking for "simple", my subjective opinion is for him to avoid the Canon 40D. I realize that many Canon shooters will disagree with me, and will reply with, "It just takes some time to get used to it, that's all." However, in terms of being intuitive, I think your grandfather is much better off with a Nikon D80, or maybe even a 400D. The D80 is better than the 400D because the viewfinder is larger and brighter. This is important for all photographers, but even more important for older people with poorer vision.

    Even my friend, who has spent years using his 350D, needed a week to get used to the layout of the 40D. Why? Because going from the 4-way directional button to the scrolling wheel, along with some other design differences, wasn't natural for him yet. He learned the layout within 1-2 days, but it took him a week and a few gigs to get used to shooting with it.

    For me, being an (ex) Nikon D50 user, handling a D80 or D200 is entirely intuitive. Sure, placement of the buttons takes some getting use to, but if I'm given 3-4 seconds to look at the buttons, I can change the settings quite easily. The only Nikon that wasn't intuitive for me was the D40 and D40x, but that's understandable seeing as how the D40 is unique to the Nikon DSLR world in that you need to use the LCD.
  6. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    I respect Jessica's opinion, but you have to go with your knowledge of GPa's personality. Would he feel liimited by a "fixie"? A dSLR will allow him room to grow with photography. If he has no intention of growing in photography, then go with what you know and get what best suits his needs.

    If he already knows how to operate a 50 year old Nikon decently... then a dSLR will be a breeze.

    If a dSLR is in the cards for him, start him on a low end one with a kit lens. If he really takes to it, sell it and get him a higher end one. older people tend to commit longer to their interests and hobbies. And take better care of their stuff.

    He can always shoot on the "Auto" setting which gets decent results (don't get me started). The higher end POSs, I mean Point & Shoots, can be quite pricey as well. With the entry level dSLRs, lower price better camera on average.

    Kit lens + Auto mode = great results +flexibility

    I once observed a kind of camera/lens envy at a wedding when a guy with a P&S with extended lens (it stuck out like 5 inches) was bragging about how much reach(zoom) his camera had. My friend walked up with his 70-200VR on his D200 attached to my mono next to him, oblivious to what he had just said to the 3 people around him. The guy shut up really quick. Not that anything was wrong with his camera, but inside the building we were in, with lighting that wasn't so great, he didn't have an ice cube's chance in hell of getting a decent shot with his "fully extended" fixie lens handheld.

    That's stuck with me ever since in regards to higher end P&S cameras. I always just ignored them, but I'm noticing more and more SLRs in the hands of amateurs along with pretty pricey lenses. I hope this trend continues, as volume will hopefully keep bringing the price of equipment lower & lower and the average joe can better appreciate what a good photographer can do.
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    None taken. ;) I'm not married to the idea that anyone over 55 must stay away from a dSLR, just a thought. Hard enough to buy a camera for a family member, let alone a complete stranger's family member!
  8. colinmack macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2006
    If he has a Nikon film body now, I would think that would lean him towards a D80 instead of going the Canon route (especially if he has other lenses that could be used)...image quality is almost identical between Canon/Nikon now (especially if you shoot raw and eliminate the different approaches of in-camera processing), but he might have an ergonomic preference/familiarity with Nikon (which many subjectively find a bit better than Canon).

    Also, if he never wants to change lenses, Nikon has a stabilized 18-200 which is surprisingly fairly good optically, where Canon doesn't have an alternative for crop bodies.

    Given your description of what he wants to do, a D80+18-200 is probably the best fit. If you/he absolutely want to go Canon, an XTi is probably more appropriate - I would be shocked if he could tell the difference in regular prints, it would be cheaper and a bit lighter, and he could either get a 3rd-party superzoom or go with something like the 17-85 IS (which I'm not a big fan of...decent walkaround range, but too many quality compromises for the price).

    Cheers, Colin.
  9. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Personally, I'd recommend for him to stick with the 50 year old Nikon SLR...Absolutely nothing wrong wrong with that as long as it is still functioning. I use an old Nikon F3 for 75% of what I do. I still grab it over my D80 unless I absolutely need the AF or to use a speedlight.

    And no, I am not an old film user, I started out on digital, I just prefer the results film provides me.

    I don't know the man, and don't know how willing/fast he will learn all the technology. But for someone who does not know how to use a computer, I imagine getting a DSLR would be quite a challenge.
  10. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    I also don't understand why you want him to switch from Nikon to Canon.
  11. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Maybe an idea would be to get him a used F100 first, and if he is comfortable with that, then switch to digital.
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    As long as you tell him to keep it on the green box, they're both just as easy to use and will give essentially identical results.

    For the cost you're talking about, I'd suggest you get him the XTi with the Sigma 18-200 OS. Won't need to take the lens off and will have the benefit of optical stabilization. Ball-park cost of about $1200, sans card.

    Not sure what kind of lessons he wants, other than camera functions. Shooting digital or film utilizes the same skills. The difference is really in post processing, which he apparently has no interest in. He'll probably want to shoot in JPEG only since it undergoes in-camera sharpening. Probably needs to also learn about other in-camera processing tasks, too. Best place to go for such information is the Canon Digital Photography Forum (POTN).
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    OP's OP says he get's good prices on Canon.
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Since he has used a Nikon SLR in the past, get him the D80 and the 18-200mm VR lens. That will provide him with an easy-to-use,fair lightweight and flexible camera (for when he later decides he DOES want to do more than use one lens all the time) while giving him a good lens range of 18-200mm now. He won't have to change the lens until he is ready to do so.
  15. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Hands down it's the Nikon. If he has been shooting Nikon for 50 years he must have bought a low serial number "F" model and might have some lenses that will work with the D40. They will not meter or auto-focus but then a Nikon F body has no meter and does not auto focus either. He will feel more "at home" with the Nikon.

    If he has any flashes, they will work too. Of course in full manual mode
    but then that is what he is used to. I have a Nikon F2 and I can use several of my 30 year old lenses with my D50.
  17. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The F80/N80 also has two command wheels and it costs much less, around $100 ($200 like new). I think this is the best option. You will lose very little if you later decide to change it for a digital one.
  18. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    The D80 with the 18-200VR would be a REALLY good combination for the money.

    If he can wait, he can get the upgrade to the D80 in about 2-8 months if he's not in a rush.

    The D40 package w/ kit lens would be 1/3 the price.
  19. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    To meter with manual lenses you need the F100.

    But don't put Pre-AI lenses on either or you might damage the camera!

    On digital, to meter with AI lenses you need the D200.

    Same caveat about Pre-AI lenses for digital, except it seems for D40 and D40x, but which cannot meter with manual lenses.
  20. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Well, so much for staying on topic...

    The OP is looking for a Canon, as stated in the original post.
  21. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The main point is ease of use, not Canon.

    Given that he just wants to use some kit lens, I still think the best is an F80/N80 + cheap zoom, given that it is similar to the past and future, as a first/trial step.

    A 40D kit is a lot of money for something that he might not like.
  22. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Did you clear up the issue of the kit lens range on the 40D body or does he believe it starts at 28mm equiv.?
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    My advice: get the Rebel XTi body, and then go to a camera store and try different zoom lenses until he finds one he likes. The 40D is overkill for this situation, IHMO - though if money isn't a big obstacle the 40D should work too...

    Make sure he fully understands the whole crop factor situation.
  24. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    You may want to give him the opportunity to put his hands on other cameras from other brands as well. In particular, since he already owns a Nikon, perhaps he would want a Nikon again.
  25. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    If technology is confusing, keep him away from Windows - regardless of the Nikon/Canon choice!

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