View Full Version : choices, choices.....

26-05-2007, 08:29 PM
Right. I've got a bit of money to spend on a new camera.

the thing is I'm stumped for which to choose.

I'm looking at-
Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lense kit.


Canon 400D with the kit 18-55 lense, and then buying an extra lense (not sure which one though).

or as a cheaper alternative, the Nikon D40x.

What do you think?

I know the D80 is a bit more expensive, but is this because it is so much better?
Or do I go for something a bit cheaper like a 350D or a D70/s and get a better lense?
Cos someone told me that its not necesarily the camera that produces the quality but the lense.

Please help, I'm going mad!:wtf:

26-05-2007, 09:10 PM
Realistically with nikon and canon it all comes down to which camera fits your hand better, specs wise they are for the most part pretty much on par and you wont really notice any difference in the pictures.

The best bet is to look ahead to what you want to do in the future, when buying a modern dSLR its more buying into a system than buying an individual camera. You should typically spend more on lenses than on the body as a good lens will last you through several bodies with ease. There isnt much point having a 10mp camera if you stick a really cheap lens infront of it that cant resolve that high a resolution!

I dont know a great deal about the nikon side of things but on the canon side you have canon's flagship 'L' spec lenses, they are notoriously high quality producing insanely sharp pictures.

These two where shot with my 'L' spec canon lenses at an event last summer.
Canon 17-40 f4'L', Circular Polariser
http://www.mole2k.co.uk/gallery/albums/wwiregatta/SOD/normal__MG_5248.jpg (http://www.mole2k.co.uk/gallery/albums/wwiregatta/SOD/_MG_5248.jpg)
Click for larger view

Canon 70-200 f4'L'
http://www.mole2k.co.uk/gallery/albums/wwiregatta/SOD/normal__MG_5200.jpg (http://www.mole2k.co.uk/gallery/albums/wwiregatta/SOD/_MG_5200.jpg)
Click for larger view

Me Personally, I would go for the 400D and depending on what you want to shoot try and save up for another lens. At the start of last year I bought a 20D and worked off the kit lens for a few months untill I could afford the 70-200 f4'L' then saved another few months to get rid of the kit lens with a 17-40 f4'L'.

26-05-2007, 09:48 PM
The best advice is to get yourself down to the nearest branch of Jessops and try them out for fit and feel in your hand. (I'm not suggesting you actually buy from them, just make use of their facilities) Check the buttons are placed logically, try and navigate the menus a little to see how idiosyncratic they are, examine the build quality thoroughly etc. I think you'll find the 400D a bit 'plasticky' in comparison with the D80, for example.

One thing I would advise against buying is the D40 of either variety, with no in-body focus motor they're limited to the newer AF-S lenses so your used (read: budget) choice for fast glass is quite limited.

Or you could think outside the box and go for something a bit different. I'm very happy with my Pentax K10D, and the Olympus E-400 twin lens kits are getting ludicrously cheap of late...

All modern DSLRs even with 'kit' lenses are capable of producing stunning images, but as mole2k already stated lenses are what ultimately make or break a system so if you're looking for action shots a la Mr Oople you're currently better off with Canon and Nikon... go and get your hands on them, mate.

26-05-2007, 10:42 PM
The K10d was another that I was looking at too. but the nikons seem to have better reviews. and the canon seems to be (as you say) a bit more plasticky, but that probably doesn't take anything away from the pictures.

Lense wise, I take it that if you're wanting nice pics indoors you'd be needing something like an f2.8 lens or similar too.?

I've been (cough) ebaying (cough) for the last few hours to see whats out there, and I've seen a 400d for 310, local to me. which seems reasonable. but I'm still looking at the Nikon more than anything. But that all depends on extra funds.

26-05-2007, 10:54 PM
the 400d is plastic although the plastic does feel like quite a nice high grade plastic. Ideally for launching into the Canon range I would say you would want to go for the 30D+ as you get the larger easier to hold metal camera body. The 400d does have the focus system out of the 30D which works very quickly with USM lenses.

I would agree with going down to a local Jessops and try out the cameras and find which fit your hands the best, which feels most logical in their button placement to you. Personally im extremely happy with my 20D I find it fits my hands perfectly, however I do find my girlfriends 350D to be quite fiddly in my reasonably large hands.

For indoors stuff you basically want as fast a lens as possible, f2.8 is deffinately preferable but I use f4 and I still get away with using iso800-1600 and getting hand holdable shutter speeds. I have taken the occasional shot with my 50 f1.8 and its great for freezing the action with the ultra fast aperture but focal length wise it is hard to get close enough to the action. I have shot indoors with a 300 f5.6 before and found it ok but struggling to get below iso1600.

27-05-2007, 11:46 PM
cheers peeps, It looks like a trip into town is due then.

Its just that, when you're spending a decent amount of dosh, you want it to be right don't you?;)


28-05-2007, 12:24 AM
Your best bet is deffinately trying the camera and deciding based on which is most comfortable for you personally. Specs wise doesnt make that much of a difference as they are all capable cameras.

For me the decision to go with canon was because of the lenses mostly but I also I had a go with a friends 20D and that settled it for me.