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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    24

    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:

    Canon 400d:
    ISO 200
    18mm
    f6.3
    1/100
    0ev

    Nikon d40
    ISO 200
    22mm
    f5.6
    1/125
    0ev

    Both cameras in P mode with evaluative exposure and center spot focus, no flash.

    Thanks for any comments you might have.

    Rich

    EDIT: The pics are in the following order (Canon, Nikon, Canon crop, Nikon crop)
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by rpauls; 12-19-2007 at 11:08 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    268
    Are you using the XTi's kit lens? I've heard that it's not very good and that may be the reason for the difference in photo quality.
    Nikon D40x + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    24
    Yes. Both cameras are using their respective kit lenses.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    268
    Quote Originally Posted by rpauls View Post
    Yes. Both cameras are using their respective kit lenses.
    I'd re-try it with a better lens on the Canon. From what I've heard, the XTi actually has slightly better IQ than the D40.
    Nikon D40x + 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    i'll make this simple...if you cant get the shots to look as good with an xti as opposed to a d40 then its due to user error.

    the d40 takes pics "out of the box" better than an xti becasue nikon have set it up that way, its taileored for the absolute beginner and it's auto mods work better. there is no reason that an xti can;t take pics just as good once you get used to it and are able to get the most out of it. more particualrly once you move out of the auto modes and start shooting in semi-auto, (Av, Tv), or full manual.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    i'll make this simple...if you cant get the shots to look as good with an xti as opposed to a d40 then its due to user error.

    the d40 takes pics "out of the box" better than an xti becasue nikon have set it up that way, its taileored for the absolute beginner and it's auto mods work better. there is no reason that an xti can;t take pics just as good once you get used to it and are able to get the most out of it. more particualrly once you move out of the auto modes and start shooting in semi-auto, (Av, Tv), or full manual.
    Are you sure the difference can not be attributed to the differences in kit lense quality?

    If it is user error as you state, what do you think I could tweak (on the camera setup, not post processing) to make the canon shots look as good as the Nikons here?

    I will be happy to retry the test.

    Thanks,
    Rich

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    Quote Originally Posted by rpauls View Post
    Are you sure the difference can not be attributed to the differences in kit lense quality?
    no, not in the cases you mentioned. underexposure is caused by the users interaction with the cameras metering. the xti underexposes somewhat so the user has to adjust for this. almost all dslr's have something unique to them that requires the user to get used to.

    while the canon kit lens is not great, its not THAT much worse than the nikon to seriously effect the IQ of your photos. the nikon lens is sharper and there is probably better contrast with the nikon lens aswell. add to that the effect of colour mode IIIa you are using in the d40 that maxes out the contrast and colour stauration processing in camera and you get a punchier, more vibrant image.

    you can adjust this in cam to get the same effect with the xti by upping the contrast, saturation and sharpness or more preferabley, do it in PP.

    shoot the same scene in Av mode. semi auto modes in particualr with the xti work much better than full auto.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

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