Looking to buy my first camera

Jaaaaamie

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I've been taking pictures for a couple of months just using a 7mp compact digital camera (Sony DSC-P200) and I've started looking at some better cameras to take it up a notch.


The first one which caught my eye was the Nikon D40x. However, I found out today that you can only mount certain lenses on it, and the lenses which fit it are more expensive etc.

I was recommended a Nikon D300 and a Canon 400D. Both are 10MP (may be 10.1/10.2) but I reckon the Canon is my best deal.

What do you guys think?

Oh yeah I'm new.
 

passerby

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I've been taking pictures for a couple of months just using a 7mp compact digital camera (Sony DSC-P200) and I've started looking at some better cameras to take it up a notch.

The first one which caught my eye was the Nikon D40x. However, I found out today that you can only mount certain lenses on it, and the lenses which fit it are more expensive etc.

I was recommended a Nikon D300 and a Canon 400D. Both are 10MP (may be 10.1/10.2) but I reckon the Canon is my best deal.

What do you guys think?

Oh yeah I'm new.

I spoke with my work mate yesterday who bought Canon 40D last year complete with two - top of the class lens, short range and the telephoto. It cost him $3500. Money does not seem problem to him, he is single that's why. I asked him how much so far he has use the camera? all up maybe 200 pictures. He has not got time even to try the telephoto with the built in anti shake with it.

I asked him if I can see the pictures taken? sure he has them in his bag.
What kind of pictures are they? To me they are just pictures like taken with cheap camera. The cheap snap shooters can do the same or even better. He use the "auto"mode only to shoot.

I may ask him one day to go together to do some shooting when we have same day off.
 

Joves

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Yes with the D40 you can only use AF-S or, AF-I lenses. Ummm the D300 is a major jump from a P&S camera. It isnt a bad camera but, if you havent ever used even a film slr then you would be better served by a D80 at, a better price. The D300 has no Auto Presets so if you are looking for those as a feature then dont get it.
 

fatsheep

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Yes with the D40 you can only use AF-S or, AF-I lenses. Ummm the D300 is a major jump from a P&S camera. It isnt a bad camera but, if you havent ever used even a film slr then you would be better served by a D80 at, a better price. The D300 has no Auto Presets so if you are looking for those as a feature then dont get it.

I believe this is a misunderstanding. The D40 and D40x can only autofocus with AF-S and AF-I lenses. They can still use all the other lenses that the D80 and upper Nikon cameras can, they just can't autofocus. Manual focus is still there. If you don't mind manually focusing, you can still use any Nikon lens you want.

By the way, the reason it can only autofocus with the AF-S and AF-I lenses is because the D40 and D40x bodies have no internal autofocus motor so they rely on the lens having one. Obviously, only the AF-S and AF-I lenses have such motors that allow them to be autofocused on D40 and D40x bodies.
 

Joves

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I believe this is a misunderstanding. The D40 and D40x can only autofocus with AF-S and AF-I lenses. They can still use all the other lenses that the D80 and upper Nikon cameras can, they just can't autofocus. Manual focus is still there. If you don't mind manually focusing, you can still use any Nikon lens you want.

By the way, the reason it can only autofocus with the AF-S and AF-I lenses is because the D40 and D40x bodies have no internal autofocus motor so they rely on the lens having one. Obviously, only the AF-S and AF-I lenses have such motors that allow them to be autofocused on D40 and D40x bodies.
Yes I know and meant auto focus. It is because those lenses have internal motors. The D40 lacks a screw drive.
 

RockDawg

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I was recommended a Nikon D300 and a Canon 400D. Both are 10MP (may be 10.1/10.2) but I reckon the Canon is my best deal.

There's a huge difference betwen those two cameras. For starters, the D300 is ~$1800 (and it's 12.3 MP not 10.1)and the 400D goes for ~$600. There's much more to a camera than megapixels. I suggest doing a LOT more reading before dropping your money.
 

Seefutlung

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The Nikon D300 is not an entry level camera. The Canon 400D/XTi is an entry level camera and about half or less than a D300.

For an entry level camera the 400D is all the camera you'll need for a long long time.

A couple things to think about when you purchase a dSLR.

1) You are not buying a camera but rather a camera system. Look at the lenses available for the camera to make sure that the system satisfies your needs and requirement both in accessories and in price point.

Some General Rules-

2) Don't be fooled about MPs ... Image Quality (IQ) is not only about MPs. You will not see a dif in IQ between a 10MP, 12MP or 8MP dSLR sensor.

Up to an 8x10 at ISO's of 400 or less, you won't see a visible difference in IQ between the entry level 400D or Canon's flagship 1D cameras or any of the Nikon cameras.

3) Similar level cameras and hardware will give you similar results. So a $1000 Nikon will deliver an image indistinguishable from a $1000 Canon. (this goes for both cameras and lenses)

The availability of new and used equipment is greater with Canon and Nikon than any other brand (due to market share.) Nikon has a sad history of not meeting demand with their lenses.

4) The last thing you want to do is decide upon a camera on how it feels in your hands. Once the camera is at eye level you will completely forget about how the camera feels. Typically, one can easily adapt between different camera systems. (But then again cameras are so similar in features and performance that it may just come down to feel and looks.

5) Nikon looks a whole lot more sexy than Canon.

Canon has just announced an upgrade to the 400D ... a 450D/Xsi.


Good Luck,
Gary
 
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Jaaaaamie

Jaaaaamie

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Thanks for all the info.

Obviously I know that the amount of MP isn't entirely what defines the quality of a camera. (Unless of course I'm printing BIG) But I'm not too familiar with what else to look for in cameras to be honest so I've just been basing my options on what I already know.

if the Canon 400D will last me a long time, able to fit a whole bunch of different lenses on it and is 10MP theni guess it's probably my best choice.

Unless there are any other cameras in this price range which I would benefit more from?
 

Mav

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Go try the cameras out for FEEL. See if the menu systems make sense. See if you can reach the controls and the ergonomics are right. All of this matters a lot more than number of MP's. Even 6MP is fine for up to 20 x 30" prints and beyond, so don't shop based on megapixels. I've made giant prints off of my 6MP D40 so I know first hand.
 

sabbath999

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if the Canon 400D will last me a long time, able to fit a whole bunch of different lenses on it and is 10MP theni guess it's probably my best choice.

Unless there are any other cameras in this price range which I would benefit more from?

First, let me state that the only really important thing to consider is which lenses you like best, Canon or Nikon (or Pentax, etc.). Camera bodies are obsolete in 2 years anyways, but the lenses last a long time... so make sure first and foremost that you are happy with your future lens selections.

Most newbies ignore this, and those that do often regret it.

I preffer the D80 which is very similar to the 400D in that price range. I own a D80 and at work I use a 400D. The 400D feels like a cheap plastic toy in comparison, but that is me.

Image quality wise, they are very similar. The 400D has a slight edge in High ISO performance over the D80, but it doesn't have nearly the build quality that the D80 has. It is all back and forth, both cameras have their advantages and disadvantages.

The real deal is which LENSES you like best (and I am not talking kit lenses here, the standard Nikon kit lens is vastly superior to the Canon one, but PLEASE do not make any decisions based on that... neither lens is your answer long-term anyway).
 

fatsheep

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First, let me state that the only really important thing to consider is which lenses you like best, Canon or Nikon (or Pentax, etc.). Camera bodies are obsolete in 2 years anyways, but the lenses last a long time... so make sure first and foremost that you are happy with your future lens selections.

Most newbies ignore this, and those that do often regret it.

I preffer the D80 which is very similar to the 400D in that price range. I own a D80 and at work I use a 400D. The 400D feels like a cheap plastic toy in comparison, but that is me.

Image quality wise, they are very similar. The 400D has a slight edge in High ISO performance over the D80, but it doesn't have nearly the build quality that the D80 has. It is all back and forth, both cameras have their advantages and disadvantages.

The real deal is which LENSES you like best (and I am not talking kit lenses here, the standard Nikon kit lens is vastly superior to the Canon one, but PLEASE do not make any decisions based on that... neither lens is your answer long-term anyway).

Sounds like good advice to me. I'm by no means an expert on this but Canon and Nikon seem to offer a lot of the same stuff in terms of lenses (i.e. VR = IS), what would make me choose one product line over the other?
 

jlykins

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My first DSLR was the D40. I quickly realized that I needed to upgrade due to lens limitations, so I bought a used D70 off of a friend. No one has thrown that option out there to you yet, what about a used camera to start off with. I found many used Nikon d70's on ebay and such for between $400-$600. It's just a thought since it truly is the lens that matters the most.
 

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If you can find a place that still has the Pentax K10D in stock, it is THE best deal on a DLSR ....Period. In camera antishake, which means ANY lens you attach to it is Image stabilized. Even 40 year old fully manual lenses. And Pentax has made some VERY good lenses.
 

TheOtherBob

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4) The last thing you want to do is decide upon a camera on how it feels in your hands. Once the camera is at eye level you will completely forget about how the camera feels. Typically, one can easily adapt between different camera systems. (But then again cameras are so similar in features and performance that it may just come down to feel and looks.

I'd actually disagree with the first part of that statement, though obviously everyone is different. How the camera feels, how intuitively it works for you, seems to me to be a key factor (particularly given that, as you say, most of the major brands are otherwise largely equivalent). I've had plenty of days where the camera didn't leave my hand for several hours (if not the entire day). If it feels right, it feels like an extension of you - and the camera "goes away," so to speak, and lets you just take the picture. If it feels wrong, it gets in the way. So I'm definitely of the school that says to choose a camera system based at least partially on feel.
 

Seefutlung

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I'd actually disagree with the first part of that statement, though obviously everyone is different. How the camera feels, how intuitively it works for you, seems to me to be a key factor (particularly given that, as you say, most of the major brands are otherwise largely equivalent). I've had plenty of days where the camera didn't leave my hand for several hours (if not the entire day). If it feels right, it feels like an extension of you - and the camera "goes away," so to speak, and lets you just take the picture. If it feels wrong, it gets in the way. So I'm definitely of the school that says to choose a camera system based at least partially on feel.

As a former professional, (news photog), I shot everyday ... there were times in the field when I even slept with the camera.

I'm not gonna argue with you (as we are all entitled to our opinions) ... but to perhaps further clarify my point I will add the following:

Although that "feelie" stuff is prevalant here on the forums ... I and my peers found that adjusting to different cameras (formats and manufactors) was just a matter of time (and for most not a lot of time.)

It is much more important to get a camera that ... say ... has a high FPS (if one is shooting sports) than one that feels good ... or a camera sensor that delivers the highest IQ in low light situations (if you plan on shooting at elevated ISOs) than a camera that feels good ... because after a while they will all feel the same and you may end up with a camera that isn't as suitable for your subject matter as it could have been. (Choose features over comfort.)

As stated eariler ... sure ... use "feel" as a consideration ... but I recommend that you make it your final and least important consideration.

Gary
 

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