need help choosing


TPF Noob!
Nov 26, 2007
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Hey everyone! First off, I would just like to introduce myself. My name is Tim, and I'm a 19 year old college student in TN. Due to one of my friends, I have decided to take the leap and buy my first camera and give amateur photography. My father is a journalist, so I have always had a fascination with photojournalism. I am also interested in landscape photography. Now that I have that out of the way.... I'm in the market for a DSLR. I have been looking at the Nikon d40/d40x and Canon xt/xti. I apologize for bringing this debate back up. I frequent several forums and even help run a few, so I know how frustrating it is to see the same thread pop up everyday. I have searched, I have read everything I can get my hands on, but I still can't decided. I have decided that I don't want the Canon xt. The reason I'm so frustrated is because I though that I had decided on the Rebel xti, then I saw this:

I would really like to have the extra lens from the get-go. I am going out of town the first week of January and I am taking which ever camera I buy with me. I will be taking photos of people and landscape shots in the mountains. I guess my question is should I spend the extra money on the Rebel xti, and will the kit lens (18-55) work for what I will be shooting out of town, or should I get the d40 kit for less money and both lenses?

PS - Has anyone bought from before? Are they a good site or should I shop somewhere else?
I understand your conflict. Both cameras are great and it is tough to decided if your new to the DSLR world. I did extensive research and had hands on demos in both models. When test firing both models I found myself taking most of the pictures with the Nikon's. I looked at the XTI, D80, and D40x. I decided on a D40x package which included 2 VR lenses (50 mm wide angle and 200 mm telephoto for about the same price as the Xti). Either way you can't go wrong, just go with what feels right. To me the erganomics of the D40 just felt right.
beachcamera is based out of New Jersey and is local to me. They are a legitimate retailer but I wouldn't go to them for any advice... simply a retailer. BUT.. you just can't beat BH photo... use link above.

Wasn't there a recent thread that explained the limitations of the D40 in terms of lens selection?
Both are good cameras to begin. Only to Know is that Nikon D40 or D40X can not use older lenses, only tne new ones with CPU.

I'm on a D50 which the D40 has replaced. I get some great pictures even though it's an entry level camera and the D40 should take the quality further. Go for it!
Because of the lens selection limitation I would go for the xti, however, one of the reasons I chose my D80 was because of the security of the grip in my hand. When I tried out the xti too many times I felt like it was going to fall out of my hand and my fingers felt cramped in the position they were forced in. I believe the D40 is smaller than the D80 but I'm not sure. I liked the bulkier feeling of the Nikons. Try them out at a local store.
Thanks for all the suggestions! I went to Wolf Camera after class today to get my hands on the cameras so I could see which one felt right. I've decided not to get the Nikon d40/d40x because of lens selection, but the guy at the store has me almost convinced to get a Pentax now. He showed me his k10d. So now I'm trying to decide between the Canon xti and the Pentax k10d. I haven't heard a ton about Pentax. What do you guys think? Also, Would it maybe be ok to take a step down and go for the k100d or should I stick with the 10 megapixel cameras?
I'm in the same spot you are, and just ordered the K100D. The biggest advantages of the K10D are the weather/dust seals (very nice feature)and the 10+ megapixlels (which doesn't bother me). I can't justify the cost for the jump, especially in a beginner DSLR. Don't forget, the Pentax K100D Super and K10D have a $100 rebate going on.

Check out and I got mine from because they were having a special with a additional so so telephoto lens for $499 after rebate.
Actually, the D40/x can use the older lenses, you just have to go old school with the metering and focus.

If I were you just now, I would try and find a D70/s in good shape or one cheap enough to have the shutter done and still not spend more than it's worth.

You are unlikely to need the extra Mpxls and it will use the older lenses and meter as well.

A used D50 will do nicely too.

By the time you have used one of these up, you will be ready to step up to a D300.
So I'm definitely leaning towards Pentax now. Plus I found out that my dad owns an old Pentax from the 80's so I have a few lenses to play around with if I do get a Pentax. Never knew it but apparently he was really into photojournalism while he was getting his degree in journalism. I don't know if I want the k100d. The lower price is appealing but I don't get much money very often being a college student so I don't know that I want to buy a 6mp camera and then have to upgrade. That's why I'm leaning towards the k10d. has it for $711 right now plus it has a $100 holiday mail-in rebate.

I had to decide between the K10D and the D80 just recently.

Here are a few comments made by some very helpfull people who owned K10d's:

(Sorry in advance for all the snips, I copied these comments into a txt files and lost the thread in time...was on another forum. If you want to see the thread I can look again, but these are the main points)
[FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]*********************
"the K10D, like most Pentax SLRs, is not so good at autofocus compared to something like the D80. however, that's for moving subjects like small kids or moving animals, etc. i also find the K10D less predictable in when it fails to meter correctly. i am experienced enough to know when i need to pay attention and reshoot or go to manual exposure.

bottom line, you buy into Pentax for the lenses. if you aren't going to spend the money on Pentax's mid to upper end lenses, the bodies have their shortcomings. most people can't tell the difference in image quality and it won't show up in small prints or JPG mode."

[/FONT][FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I have used a K10D of a friend of mine and I have to say that the camera is really impressive. A lot of features for much less money than the Nikon equivalent. BUT, when he put the flash on the camera, it was close to impossible to get the right exposure (totally unpredictable) when photographing people with white clothes !
The Nikon flash system is factors better, the Pentax is close to unusable....
Other than that, I would even say that the Pentax is a better body than the D80 or even the D200. User interface is excellent and featuring is unbeatable in that price range."

[/FONT][FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"Pentax's strength is lens design. they make extremely good lenses for decent prices (considering their performance). all else is distinctly average. with careful attention to the times when the bodies can misbehave, i can get results that are hard to beat by anything else out there. i am constantly amazed by the amount of lens flare that people put up with from their Nikon and Canon lenses, and many third party lenses are worse. most Pentax lenses would not flare under those conditions. including the sun in the frame is a routine thing for Pentax users.

like i said earlier, if you don't intend to get the high end Pentax lenses, there isn't anything very special about the bodies in terms of day to day performance. sure the K10D has a lot of features for the price, and very useful ones at that. however, there are idiosyncracies that you just have to watch out for or the body will let you down. flash performance is one of them. VPN is another. AWB and AF are yet other things.

i find it much more work to get good results out of the K10D than any of my Nikon bodies, but when i do the work and pay careful attention, the results are worth it...[snip]... i am shooting subjects where i just can't afford the time to monitor what is going on and i just have to trust the body, or i am way past the envelope of what the K10D's AF can dream about doing."

[/FONT][FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"Having used the K10D I feel it is a tremendous camera, but it does fall short in some areas. Handling, build quality, viewfinder are all great, but the metering and auto focus aren't up to Nikons standards."

[/FONT][FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]you get Pentax for the Pentax lenses. no-one except Zeiss makes comparable lenses to the Limiteds, and the Pentax Limiteds are almost the same price with full AF and metering while the Zeiss lenses only support full metering. build quality differences between the Limiteds and the Zeiss lenses is a wash."
In the end I chose the D80 because focus tracking speed was important to me and the Nikons metering is excellent.

EDIT: That said, I would of chosen the K10D hands down if I was doing landscape only, but there was the off chance I might shoot wildlife photography so needed the tracking speed of the nikon.
The K10D feels great, is water resistant, has dust reduction etc etc etc

Hope this helps!
Realy you need to buy the camera that feels the best to you. If you go out and buy a Nikon ora Pentax for that matter just because you got a better deal I am sure you will live to regret it. You need to remember when you buy a DSLR you buy into a system that may carry you for the rest of your life. You may not have a specific camera for that lomgbut usually once you are vested into a system you stay with it so whoy chose thw wrong one just for price.

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