nikon d40 - canon xsi question?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by photosoto, May 26, 2009.

  1. photosoto

    photosoto TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I was initially interested in the Canon xsi because of the positive reviews. But now I've took interest in Nikon's D-40. However, after reading such scrutinizing reviews as this one Nikon D40 and D40x Review by Thom Hogan my confusion is only amplified.

    This will be my first DSLR. I plan on using the camera for outdoor/wildlife, family,... regular snapshooting. I realize the Canon XSI has better features and supposedly more flexible. My question...

    1. Being the d40 is targeting to people like myself, what would be the first restrictions/barriers that I would run in to as I develop more as a photographer, and do these 'restrictions/barriers' I run in to justify the extra $200-300?

    2. Also, the link made note that the D40 was a relatively poor IR or UV camera, has no depth of field, exposure bracketing. I've also read repeatedly that there is limited flexibility on lense upgrades, but there are lenses that can be used but only manually. Please comment on either/both of my points if possible.
    thanks
     
  2. Pure

    Pure TPF Noob!

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    The D40 doesn't have a built in AF motor, so you can only use the newer AF-S [built in motor in the lens] lenses, or else the lenses will be manual focus. Depth of field is determined by a few things, but it comes down to sensor size, focal length, distance from target, and aperture size.
     
  3. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    i would consider myself a passionate hobbyist...certainly no pro, but not a noob either...
    i have been shooting with the D40 for just over a year now, and i havent been truly hindered by its limitations.
    i have the 2 kit lenses, and a SB600 (i picked up a 18-70 too)...
    would i like to be able to use all the old lenses?...sure. do i NEED to?...not as of yet, and if i want to i can manually focus.
    would i like to be able to bracket exposures with one snap?...sure...but i can do that manually as well.
    a lot of people crap on the D40, but for my budget and the desire to go to DSLR, i have zero regrets.
    will i upgrade?...sure...but not right now.
    when will i upgrade?....when i feel that the D40 has done all it can do for me, but i need more.
    it's a great entry level DSLR.

    let us know what you decide. :D
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have an XSI and its a great entry level camera. While it has more features that the D40, the Rebel line is Canon's beginner camera line. It is my first dSLR and I'm really enjoying it. So don't think that this camera is not for you, it is.

    I don't know much about the D40, so others can go more in depth as to its limitations and all.
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    The reason that the XSI has more features than the D40 is because the D40 wasn't built to compete against the XSI. The D40 was created during the time of the XT/XTI and was meant as a comparable option to the Rebel XT. The D60 would probably be a better comparison to the XS model and the new 5000d probably a better comparsion for the XSI.

    The D40, your first limitations might not be limitations at all...just convenience. Only having 3 AF points is one thing I'm not a huge fan of. The lens thing isn't so bad unless you decide you want to start collecting some of the nicer older Nikon glass. There are plenty of options for autofocusing lenses for the D40 and regardless of what other's say, many are very reasonably priced regardless of having the built in motor.

    Buy the D40 (body only if you can) and use that extra saved money to get you a Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (newer model has focus motor). For the price, I'd rather have a D40 +Tamron 17-50 f2.8 over a Canon XSI + kit lens.

    35mm f1.8 is a new prime that would be great on the D40 and focus due to the AF-S and it's only $200.

    As far as no depth of field, well that has nothing to do with the camera....that's all based on your aperture, focal length, and distances between photog to subject...and subject to background. D40 with 35mm f1.8 at f1.8 will have the same DOF as a XSI with 35mm f1.8 at f1.8.

    Exposure bracketing, well that's really only useful for HDR's or if using layer masks....get a tripod and you can manually bracket...not that hard and probably something you won't even use that much.
     
  6. photosoto

    photosoto TPF Noob!

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    Excuse my newbness, but isn't Tamron the kit lense that people don't seem to like? Thanks to the replies. Budget is a concern here because I'm at the most a beginner hobbyist, I just need a capable camera to make the best of what I will be using it for.
     
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    No...definitely not. The kit lens that most people don't like is the Nikon 18-55mm or Canon 18-55mm. The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is what I would call affordable pro glass. Has the quality of the 1000 Nikon variant (I'd argue that it's even better optically)....for less than half the price.

    I'm far from a pro, but here's some examples of the Tamron
    http://sidersphoto.com/p792936799

    Of course this lens is available for both Canon and Nikon...but you'd be able to afford it now with the money you save by getting the D40.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A kit lens is typically a lens that is sold as a kit with the camera. Tamron is a 3rd party lens maker, similar to Tokina and Sigma, and not usually considered a kit lens. Canon will often sell their cameras bundled with a lower quality lens, which is considered kit.

    Places like ebay and amazon will often bundle the camera with a tamron or sigma lens, which some would consider a kit lens.

    The kit lens is usually a lower quality lens that comes with the camera. In the case of the XSI and other Canons, the kit lens is a Canon 18-55mm lens. Its ok to start and learn from, but most people who aim to achieve the best image quality as possible will move from the kit lens to a higher quality one.

    This is where the 3rd party lens makers come in (Tamron, Sigma, Tokina). A high end Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens will cost $1400. Its an awesome lens, and any working pro would love to have this lens (and probably does). However, for a hobbyist, this is quite expensive.

    So instead of $1400, I got a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 lens for about $500.

    The common explanation is that the higher end 3rd party lenses will be half the price of the Canon, but only deliver 90% of the image quality. For many hobbyist, this is adequate considering the price difference. For many pros, that 10% is a big thing.

    Note that even the 3rd party lenses have low end (similar to kit lenses) and higher end lenses.
     
  9. photosoto

    photosoto TPF Noob!

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    I'm guessing the kit lense 18-55 will be plenty for me. The only other lense I suspect I will want will be a 200-300mm lense for distance. I have no doubt that the Tamron lense is great but the cost of that lense itself is close to my budget for the entire camera kit. I just want to be well ahead of the game when I start and not realize I want to upgrade 3 mos. later which I'm guessing wont require a lot being I'm a beginner.
    The Nikon D40 is much closer to my price range despite I would love to go with the suggestion of a D90 or D5000, but I cant.

    This is much harder than I would have imagined... Nikon or Canon?
     
  10. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Okay, well it's generally said that for a kit lens, the Nikon is one of the better out there optically....not great, but better than most kit lenses from other competitors. That said, either one is going to be a great camera and if you don't plan to get out of the beginner stage any time soon, then both would probably suit you really well.

    Have you actually gone to a store and held/played with either camera? If not, that's the next thing you need to do. Walmart usually has both of these in stock and the canon's and nikon's feel very different to hold and shoot and the menu's are completely different. You should play with both of them and see which one suits you best and that you feel most comfortable and buy that one.
     
  11. photosoto

    photosoto TPF Noob!

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    I tried out the D40 and D60 at Best Buy. I could only hold the Canon because the display model's battery was dead. So I didn't get to gather a good opinion overall. But I'll have to say my first impression for feel leans toward the Nikons.
    As for the advantages such as higher fps, higher ISO, viewfinder, etc, do you think these are worth the extra money for a beginner like myself? Although I'm a beginner do you think the XSi is something better to grow into? or will the Nikon be plenty enough camera (in regards to the advantages I mentioned above)?
     
  12. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    It's hard to say really. I'm a Nikon buff so I lean that direction in the first place but I won't fail to admit that both systems are really good. The XSI may have higher ISO's available but they will be too grainy past 1600 to really be usable for anything more than quick snaps. The D40 has suprisingly good high ISO performance and is probably on par as far as high iso quality with the XSI.

    As far as whether each one will be enough camera for you in the future....that just depends. I outgrew my D40 really quickly, but I was working as hard as I could to improve my beginner status and spent a lot of time shooting and working on my skills. I probably would have been equally limited by an XTI (which I almost got instead of the D40). On the other side, I know some people who started out on the D40 and kit lens and were making some absolutely incredible pictures. Either system will work great and either one will hit your limits eventually if you keep trying to improve your skills.

    You need to find a place that has both of them working. Higher FPS isn't as big a deal as you'd think. My D90 has 4.5fps and I have yet to need anything that fast....and I even have to shoot a runnin 21month son. Viewfinder would be something you should compare in the store to see if it matters to you. I haven't shot with an XSI so can't really comment.

    I talk up Nikon, but Canon is an equally great system and I personally have considered switching many times myself. When selling my D70s (that's what i upgraded my D40 to) I very seriously considered switching to a 50d instead of the D90. My main reasons were 1. price and 2. menu/buttons which I much prefer the Nikon's menu and button/dial layouts over the canon system. As you can see....this is why it's important for you to play with them both in the store and compare them side by side.
     

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