40D or D200

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by ukrainetz, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. ukrainetz

    ukrainetz TPF Noob!

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    Hello to all at TPF! SCROLL DOWN TO #15 OR CLICK HERE

    I am writing this because I need some experienced help and judgment in selecting a solid starting package. I would like to use it to do small, professional jobs on the side. However I am a full-time engineering student, and have a limited budget to begin with. Enough about me, lets talk about equipment!

    I have narrowed my search down to two cameras: Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D200. I know...plenty has already been said about the two, and I have done my research. Both are really good cameras that satisfy my needs and budget. But since I'm not a Canon or a Nikon guy yet, I have no real preference of one over the other. Both bodies are in the $650 - $700 range.

    The deciding factor for my choice is based on the price and quality of the optics that I can begin my work with. Basically I need at least one good quality lens, that I can use in weddings, as well as in group and portrait photos. However, I'm aiming at spending around 1k for this whole kit. What are your recommendations for both Canon and Nikon lenses that will be good glass for shooting what I want and in the given price range? I have looked at the Canon 28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens ($230) which seems to be of decent quality, but may be out of range for what I want because of the 1.6X of both cameras. I would love to get an L lens, but I don't know if I can afford it just yet (certainly #1 on the upgrade list the more I get into it). For Nikon, there seem to be mixed opinions. Some people actually claim that the lower end Nikkor lenses can be used professionally with great results. Can anyone give me any pointers for a good lens for either camera that can give me good quality for around $300? Like I said, the more I get into it, and the more work I see, the faster I'll be upgrading to something like the 27-105 F/4 L. Thank you all for reading and your recommendations!
     
  2. DSLR noob

    DSLR noob TPF Noob!

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    The 40D is around $1500 and the D200 is just a hair over $1,000, they're not in the $650 to $700 price range as you say.
     
  3. thebeatpoet

    thebeatpoet TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I just paid 1399.99 (CDN) before taxes for my 40D body. And although I don't know where you live, even if you're looking somewhere in the UK the body runs for around 750 pounds before taxes and after a rebate.
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    you could get a D20 for 650....lmfao
    d40? not so much...
     
  5. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    With your $1K budget, you are really looking at either a Canon XT, XTi, 20D or Nikon D70, D50, D40x range. The other option will be out of your budget. My 40D body cost me $1300. All the bodies I mentioned are quite capable cameras, the 20D & D70 being more rugged in construct and a couple of more added features than their consumer counter-parts. Lenses are another matter. For weddings, indoor, low-light stuff; you really should use a large aperature lens in the f/2.8 range. They are not cheap, no matter which brand you use. You will probably need a couple of lenses to start. A general purpose zoom and a fast prime for portraiture. In Canon terms, the EF 50 f/1.8 or f/1.4 are great choices for the prime and zoom wise well...you might have to stick with the stock lens until you save some more cash. The EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS is a great starter lens, but a bit slow in low-light. The EF 24-70 f/2.8 L is the lens of choice but cost more than the camera. Sigma does make a 24-70 f/2.8 but I was not impressed with it's performance. But for $400 what could I expect really. Tamron makes a 17-55 f/2.8 I believe also. If your really strapped for cash, go with the lesser body and get the better lenses. That's where the picture quality will come into play rather than megapixels.
     
  6. ukrainetz

    ukrainetz TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your opinions, and indeed the prices i said were a bit low. Both seem to obtainable for around $1000 (1100 for 40D) with all the accessories (btr & chrgr). However back to the original question of which lenses would you recommend? Should I make an investment in the D200 given that good quality glass is cheaper?
     
  7. thebeatpoet

    thebeatpoet TPF Noob!

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    But what are you looking to spend?? If you're only wanting to spend 1000 in total then both the D200 and the 40D are out of the question for you. And in terms of lenses, since I have only ever used Canon than I can really only reccomend Canon lenses. I agree with what soylentgreen in terms of what you need. For indoor weddings you can expect horrible lighting and therefore should try and stick to something f/2.8 or better if you can work a way to afford it. If you were going for the 50mm then get the f/1.4, I bought the 1.8 and am kicking myself a little for not shelling out just that little bit extra.

    Anyways, best of luck in your choice!
     
  8. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Other way around. Good glass is not cheaper. Nikon does offer the same range of lenses as Canon, but I highly doubt the price is much of a difference. Granted Canon L glass is sold at a premium, I am sure Nikon has their equivalent. As to your question of lens quality, any lens can take a decent picture. It's more in the photographer. Good lenses just make great pictures easier to take. IMO. While we all wish we could afford L lenses, they are a hefty investment. Anyway, great lenses can be had at any price range. It really depends on the quality of images you wish to take. Myself being very nit-picky over image quality, I went the L route.
    The D200 is quite a bit of camera. Actually specs a little higher than the 30D as was Nikon's intent. Even if you went with the D200 at $1K, you left no budget for a lens. Camera really doesn't work well without one. Hence the lesser camera options. A D40x or XT with stock lens runs about $700. A 50mm f/1.8 about $90. Leaves you about $200 to maybe get a Sigma 24-70 f/2.8. Can go the used equipment route, but I have issue with that myself. If you really want a 40D or D200 with lenses for what you want ot shoot; you need to scrape together another grand.
    BTW, I would not reccommend the EF 24-105 f/4 L for low-light shooting. As good as the lens is, that is the only draw-back.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Nikon D200 does use older lenses. If you don't mind using manual focus lenses then the D200 would be the way to go. The older lenses work very well and as long as you are not shooting anything that moves quickly. You really don't have any trouble using them for anything else.

    You can get an AId Q135mm f2.8 for around $30 which is the equivalent of having a 200mm f2.8- pretty good deal, eh?
     
  10. ukrainetz

    ukrainetz TPF Noob!

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    It is certainly hard to make a decision. In your opinion what do you think I should do...
    - XTi (640) + Tam 17-50mm f/2.8 (380) + Canon 50mm f/1.8 (80) = 1100
    - EOS 40D (1100) + same lenses as above = 1560
    - D80 (840) + Nik 50mm f/1.4 AF D (170) + Sig 24-70mm f/2.8 (390) = 1400
    - D200 (1150) + above lenses = 1710

    Or any other similar lens combos for the nikons... I know what you're thinking... I'm out of my 1k bracket. But IYO is the upgrade from the XTi to the 40D worth it? or for the extra $460 should I obtain an extra lens for my XTi (like the beautiful 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS)? All of these are available with 1 or even 2 kit lenses for slight price increase (40D for 1250 w/2 tam lenses) which is also an option. And then of course there is Costco down the street which sells XTi kit for 940 and D40x kit for 999.
    Most of the prices are from ebay and good reputable online shops. Thanks guys.
     
  11. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Well, if you made it this far, the next step to to try out the cameras. Go to a shop and play with the models. I was dead-set on getting a Nikon D70 before heading to the store. My friends shoot Nikon, Co-workers, cousin, etc. All Nikon. Played with it and was not comfortable with the controls, menu, feel, etc. Bought a Canon 20D instead. No regrets what-so-ever. All the listed kits are good, but he higher you go the more out of your budget. You do get more camera though, but do you need it right now? Just test out the cameras and see what you think. Me personally I like the mid-range cameras( 20D,D80) for their build and heft. More stable and comfortable in my hands over the lighter XTi, D40x.
     
  12. ukrainetz

    ukrainetz TPF Noob!

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    Thanks soylentgreen, I'll try to go and play with them some time this week. Other than that, I'm starting to lean towads the XTi. I figured instead of spending the extra money on the 40D for now, I'd rather get the 50mm f/1.4 lens. And maybe even if I have some extra money left over, I'll get that IS lens I want. Plus I'll need the funds for all the extra equipment: flashes, memory, batteries, grip, etc. And if I ever do upgrade to the 40D, I'll have the XTi as an extra body :). Are those after market grips on ebay any good, or do I have to shell out the extra for canon equip?

    A relative has asked me to shoot their wedding, which is in late December, and that finally gave the excuse to go ahead and start investing in the equipment I would need to do photo jobs. Don't worry, they understand I cannot promise them fully professional results, but it will be good practice and my present to them. Until then, I have some time to get my equipment together, and practice. Do you think its worthwhile to advertise around my neighborhood and offer family shots and children's portraits for discounted, "learning" fee? Especially with holidays like Thanksgiving coming up, I think there might be a window of opportunity for such work, which could give me the practice I need, and some funds for more equipment.

    Thanks for all your suggestions guys, I really appreciate all the help.
     

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