I'm liking the Nikon D40 better than the Canon 400D (Rebel Xti)
I am considering the Nikon d40 versus the Canon 400d (Rebel Xti). The price difference is small enough not to matter to me. I really want to like the Canon better, but the Nikon keeps taking better pictures. Here is what I observe.
I like the layout of the Canon controls MUCH better. It has really intelligent, well thought-out adjustments and customizable pic modes. I really like that it *always* shows the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture that it intends to use on the next pic. The Nikon always shows aperture, but only shows shutter speed if it is above some minimum value (around 1 second but seems to vary with other settings) Anything slower than this is just labeled "Lo". How stupid is this! Also, while the auto ISO feature of the d40 is wonderfully useful, it won't show me the ISO it intends to use in this mode! The only way I can see the ISO is to look at the playback info *after* taking the pic. So I'm faced with looking through the viewfinder only to see: f3.5, Lo, ISO = auto. This is just plain dumb. Put the numbers there (Is there a chance I just haven't found out how to do this? If so, please help).
So in short, I really like the layout/features of the canon much better, but no matter how much I fiddle with it, I can not get the canon to take pictures that look as good as the Nikon on a consistent basis. They are frequently underexposed, but even with a +1ev adjustment they lack the same overall quality to my eyes. I have tried changing the color modes in both the nikon (default IIIa) and also in the Canon tried boosting saturation and contrast a little to try to match the Nikon's "consumer friendly" IQ target, but I can not.
I also see significantly more distortion in many of the canon's images especially away from the center. I will try to attach a few to this post so you can see what I mean. Maybe what I am seeing is the difference in the performances of the two kit lenses these cameras come with? The Rebel Xti is supposed to be a better body, right? What do you think, could the lens account for what I am seeing here.
Note: These pictures are just for technical comparison only. They're not intended to have any artistic merit ;-) It was a yucky snowy day anyhow. However, the results are typical. The crops are from the right side of the pic near the big tree.
I had to compress these so they would be able to be uploaded to this site. I'm not sure if the jpegs I attached will contain the shooting information so I will list some parameters here:
Both cameras in P mode with evaluative exposure and center spot focus, no flash.
Thanks for any comments you might have.
EDIT: The pics are in the following order (Canon, Nikon, Canon crop, Nikon crop)