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Which SLR?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
So we're looking at getting an SLR, and at the moment I'm looking at a Canon EOS 30D and a Nikon D80.

I have a slight preference over Nikon cameras, but the Canon has a faster shutter speed, shutter lag and start up speed. It's probably not that much in the grand scheme of things, but we don't want lag.

Also, the Nikon is 10 megapixels, whereas the Canon is 8.

Anyone got either of these camera or have any recommendations?
post #2 of 21
I tried both out and prefered the Nikon, am still saving for it though
post #3 of 21
I have the Canon Rebel XT (EOS 350 D). Love it. Very user friendly for people like met that want to point and click, but Brian can make it do all kinds of neat things.
post #4 of 21
My Grandparents have a Canon (I don't know if its the same one your looking at, but theirs was around $800-$1,000 w/ the add-ons, ect.) but I love it- its really easy to use, there are a lot of awesome features on it- but its easy to use to just point and shoot!
post #5 of 21
i prefer nikon. i'm looking at one too.
post #6 of 21
I prefer Nikons, too... but I bought a Canon this last time for the things you mentioned. I swear that I can notice when I am taking pics, but I think Nikon is far superior is color quality/saturation (I don't know the technical terms) than Canon, and I do miss that.
post #7 of 21
My husband shoots concerts. Like big name concerts - Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Queensryche, Iron Maiden and the like. He's gotten to know quite a few professionals in doing this since he gets the photo/press passes. When he was shopping for an SLR, all the pros recommended Canon. The biggest reason was that everyone in the pit uses them, so if he had a problem with a lens or card he could use one of theirs (and vice versa). I thought that was pretty telling, though, that the pros use Canon, especially if you're look at action shots in low light (like concerts...or cats )
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
I found that all the professionals/semi-professionals I've spoken to recommended Nikon, and that all the people they knew were shooting with Nikon. They said they liked Canon as a point and shoot, but Nikon for an SLR....

I imagine there's not MUCH difference between them in the long run....

The Nikon comes with a "18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens", and the Canon comes with a "Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Autofocus Lens".

I assume a 18-135mm is better than a 18-55mm lens?

The packs I'm looking at around the same price.
post #9 of 21
nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon nikon


So you don't recommend the Canon?
post #11 of 21
All the photographers at work in the press gallery etc have nikons as do the few (private) photographer friends I work with.

The 18-135 will zoom better, but the 18-55mm is a good 'starter lens' (as starter as you get with a camera as advanced as a SLR)
post #12 of 21
I just graduated from point-and-shoot cameras and purchased a Canon Rebel XTi DSLR. I did a lot of research online, got advice from photographers, and looked at a bunch of pictures taken by different cameras.

The bottom line is that Nikon and Canon both make good cameras and you won't go wrong buying either one. Lenses are an important part of the decision also. Most "kit" lenses aren't worth owning from what I understand.

I recommend spending some time reading up on photography so you understand the basics on cameras and lenses. Learn what f-stop, aperture, ISO, lighting, etc, mean.

Just my two cents...
post #13 of 21
Lens choice and post-processing workflow will be at least as important as the SLR body you use.

What will your SLR lens choices be? Which focal lengths do you want to use? Will you stick with zoom lenses?

Skip the kit lens and get one that's a better match for the SLR quality that you're stepping up to. For example, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 bundled with the 30D is a $150 lens that costs only $120 as part of a 30D kit. Get the 30D body separately and you can put the $120 kit lens cost towards a much better lens, such as:
- 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS: $525 - longer zoom range, crisper images, and Image Stabilization
- 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS: $400 - much longer zoom but not as wide, crisper image, and Image Stabilization

On the 30D, the 17-85mm is equivalent to 27-136mm on a standard 35mm film camera, and the 28-135mm is equivalent to 45-216mm. A typical point & shoot compact digicam's lens is equivalent to 35-105mm, so the 17-85mm would be a comfortable transition from a compact. 17mm is wide enough to cover the family at a dinner table, and 85mm will do head & shoulders portraits from 7 feet.

If you want to go very wide, there's the 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, $700 - very crisp, great ultra-wide effects

For telephoto, you can go with the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS, $550 - nice long range
Or go super-telephoto with the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, $1400 - very crisp images, big heavy lens

Nikon lenses will be in the same price ranges. Also, there are some good 3rd party lense from Sigma and Tamron at lower prices for Canon and Nikon DSLR's.

Also consider the Canon 400D, which is $250 cheaper than the D80 and $425 cheaper than the 30D. The 400D's image quality is very close, and it only loses a few features and some build quality.
post #14 of 21
Nikon and Canon both make good lines of equipment. Yes, study them, but really, you can't go too wrong. Don't forget to check out what Pentax is offering now. They've come a long way in the past year.

You want to look at these out in person. Hold them in your hand, push buttons. The Canon Digital Rebel 400D is very small. Not for everybody, but a lot of bang for the buck (I use a Canon 20D myself). But give some candidate models a try. Then decide. If you buy online, be wary of cheap prices at shady places -- or buy locally.

For lenses, if you want to grow with your system, look beyond the packaged "kit" lenses. You would do well to get a mid-grade walk-around (most purposes) lens. Tamron makes a good one. I use my Tamron 28-75 most of the time. There are others like it too. Again, do some research on lenses.

Many good books available these days on using dSLR's; too many to list here. That's also where photo forums and sites come in handy, but I don't think I can link to other forums here, can I? (posting rules?)
post #15 of 21
Some nice cat photos using the Canon 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS: http://ilind.net/gallery_2007/cats012107/index.htm

Canon lens reviews at Fred Miranda's: http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=27

Nikon lens reviews at Fred Miranda's: http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=28

Sigma lens reviews at Fred Miranda's: http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=37

30D samples gallery at Digital Photography Review: http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos30d_samples/

D80 samples gallery at Digital Photography Review: http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/nikond80_samples/

400D samples gallery at Digital Photography Review: http://www.dpreview.com/gallery/canoneos400d_samples/

Baby kitten pics: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=81886
post #16 of 21
Keep in mind that at dpreview, the forums are unmoderated, and lots of active trolling takes place. So pick your information carefully in the forum sections. No real lens reviews there, but Phil is first-rate when it comes to camera reviews. Nobody better at that job, IMO.
post #17 of 21
I recently bought a Nikon D50. I love it!
Still learning to use it though but most of the pictures I posted on here were taken with it. Its only 6.5mega pixels (I think! ) but the picture quality is so good and it takes excellent macro pictures and the pictures enlarge well.
Just waiting for some nice weather so I can get out and use it!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice - particularly PlanetOfTheCats - I really appreciate it!

I'm pregnant so want a better camera primarily for baby photos to send back to the family who are in Australia, but also just to have something that can go past the point and shoot limitations (crisp images in low light, longer range).

I've got a friend with a Canon and another with a Nikon, so I'll borrow them for a day each and see if we have any preferences between them, then buy the kit packages, learn how to use it, then look at extra lenses down the track.

We plan to do a photography course to learn how to use it properly (I can only use the point and shoot options on friends dSLR's ).

I did have a look at Pentax and other brands, but in the price range I was looking at they didn't have anything that seemed to compare to the Canon and Nikon.
post #19 of 21
First, congratulations on expecting!

Great idea to use your friends' SLR's for hands-on, just keep in mind that even within brands, handling can be different between models. For example, the 30D is larger and heavier than the 400D, and differs in control button and screen layout. The 400D also has a relatively quiet shutter sound (but still louder than a compact digicam).

Canon SLR's have usually been the leaders for low-noise low-light images, but the D80 is very competitive with the 30D and the 400D in this regard. You may need to shoot at ISO 800 or 1600 to get acceptably sharp images with lamps or window light indoors. Using flash is a workable but the results can be harsh-looking and you lose out on the mood of environmental lighting.

For the baby kitten photos, I used ISO 1600, lens aperture f/4 and shutter speed 1/60 for mid-morning window light. Note how the kitten's nose is sharp but her ears are not (a limitation of the shallow depth of field):

400D w/17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, $1180 (I highly recommend this setup)
D80 w/18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX, $1215 (longer range but no Image Stabilization)
30D w/17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, $1650

Other brands: Pentax, Olympus, Sony (fr. Minolta) - interesting, but do not offer the range of lenses & accessories available for Canon & Nikon. Camera shops in major cities will have Canon & Nikon equipment for rent - not so much for the other brands.

Storage: 1GB flash cards are about $40 each - get 2 for redundancy.
Computer Equipment: make sure you have adequate hard drive space for the photos, and use software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements to edit and organize

You're right to not worry about differences between DSLR's, b/c you're making the big jump from compact point & shoot to DSLR. Starting off by shooting in all-auto mode is fine, and you'll have lots of room to experiment when you like.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks!!!! And I love the pics of the kittens you took - they are just too adorable!!! They have very cute little faces!!!!!

We'll try a few different models if we can, talk to more people, then start pricing cameras and lenses. We'll probably get it in the next 3 months, then I'll do a photography course after I finish this semester of study, and before I'm too fat...
post #21 of 21
Thank you - the kittens' voracious energy is a real testament to my friend's dedication to rescue. The babies move around so much that the responsiveness of a DSLR greatly helps in capturing fleeting expressions - the 400D and D80 can shoot 3 frames/sec and the 30D, 5 frames/sec.

Canon and Nikon often have Spring/Summer rebates, and prices will probably drop over the next few months as new models are introduced. But price savings is balanced out by the opportunity cost - e.g. save $200 or lose 2 months of photo opportunties with the new equipment. Happy shopping!


Here's a DSLR action shot:
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