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View Full Version : Buying soon: Xti,k10D,d40x or d80?



shrike
06-22-2007, 01:14 PM
Budget
Hard to put a price on a healthy addiction but $500-$800 body only and then glass as I can afford them. At least one decent (maybe third party) lens to start.

Size
Doesn't really matter as my I have average sized male hands

How many megapixels will suffice for you?[/B]
Quality will trump megapixels, but 10mp should be plenty

* How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10)
9-10

Do you care for manual controls?
Yes

General Usage

* What will you generally use the camera for?
I have a 2 1/2yr old and a 1 month old so a lot of kid shots. Also want to shoot really interesting landscapes/nature and some macro.

* Will you be making big prints of your photos or not?
I own a sign shop and have multiple printers and will make some up to 3' x 4' size and mount to gatorfoam

Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos?
Yes.

Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos?
Some as the boy plays more soccer and sports

Are there particular brands you like or hate?[/B]
Not really

Are there particular models you already have in mind?
As above from my last few months reading of this forum and everything else I can find. Xti/k10d/d40x/d80.

Currently I have a Canon S1IS and really am interested in moving into dslr photography. I need to have RAW support and would like the camera to lend itself to HDRable shots. I'm not sure if the Xti's partial metering is enough or if I really need true spot metering. Is IS in the camera really a deciding factor? I have read that the IS in lens is better and I realize that camera bodies are transient and glass is forever. I know that once I stroll down a brand path and have a few lenses that that is where I probably will stay so it seems even more important to get the brand right at the start as opposed to the model as I am sure all the pictures will look stunning to me for quite a while compared to what I am used to. I have ordered Understanding Exposure and Learning to See Creatively as rec. on the forum to get more fluent in the subject. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks

coldrain
06-22-2007, 01:37 PM
Strike the Nikon D40X from you list first. It lacks a lot of features, and lacks the internal motor that is till now standard Nikon, which means that a lot of lenses will not work (no autofocus) on the D40x. It has no features that other cameras do not have that make it interesting either... so slash the D40x, and your choice becomes easier.

The XTi and K10D are very different beasts. The K10D is big and heavy, it has (useless feature...) a weather sealed body, and IS in-body.

IS in-body indeed is less efficient than in-lens IS, especially with teh K10D, which IS is less efficient than the in-body IS from the Sony A100 and KM5/7D.

But, of course, in-body IS is more efficient than no IS at all.
IS is most helpful at tele focal lengths, or at shorter focal lengths where you use longer exposure tiems, for instance with flash photography where you try to "freeze" the subject while trying to get as much ambient light to show in the photo too.

So... do you prefer light and small, the XTi has the advantage. If you prefr big and more weight, the K10D is an option. The XTi has the best image quality overal, but the D80 and K10D are not bad at all either. The K10D performs not so good with JPEG, but in RAW it can compete.

The D80 sits between the XTi and K10d in size and weight. They both use the same family Sony sensor, and I personally prefer the output of the Canon sensor of the XTi.

Lenses are even more important than the sensor though... a not so great lens has a bigger impact than the performance of the sensor/processing.
The K10D has the smallest selection of lenses, there are of course some gems in the Pentax line-up, but most are quite specialized.
Again, I personally prefer the Canon lens lineup, but that should not be a factor if you don't want to get those specific Canon lenses.

Since your budget is a bit limitted, I guess you could do worse than to first get a 3rd party lens. A nice standard zoom lens (and the nicest 3rd party standard zoom lens in my opinion) is the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro.
It should be available for all three mounts, but check for availability of the Pentax mount in case you would go for the K10d.

speaklightly
06-22-2007, 05:34 PM
Quite clearly, the Canon XTi represents an excellent choice. I like mine a lot, and the small size is an added bonus.

Sarah Joyce

fionndruinne
06-23-2007, 12:01 PM
... I wonder why the D40x has become the first choice over and above the D40? There is very little difference aside from megapixels (slightly faster continuous mode, and one lower ISO setting, that's it for almost $200 more), and that's not terribly important. Both are nice choices, but inside of the pricerange, the XTi is a better choice, if only for the wider array of lenses.

shrike
06-24-2007, 12:33 AM
All roads do seem to be leading to Canon in my case. My wife and kids were at a horse show today and the main photographer for the show had at least $7-10k
of Canon bodies and giant white/premium lenses. Don't think that would ever be me but stranger things have happened.
I have been scouring the forum and I sure appreciate all the advice and especially coldrain,Rooz,RichNY and many other always have something helpful and intelligent to say, thanks.

Besides the previously mentioned books and of course going out and shooting a lot and becoming familiar with the tools are there any other pearls of wisdom that a beginner to dslr's like me would find interesting/valuable/priceless? :)

TooMuchButtHair
06-24-2007, 10:29 AM
Besides the previously mentioned books and of course going out and shooting a lot and becoming familiar with the tools are there any other pearls of wisdom that a beginner to dslr's like me would find interesting/valuable/priceless? :)

Go to a camera store and try out the cameras. Hold them in your hands to see if they're comfortable, and to see if they buttons are placed in a place convienent to you. I notice you live in Walnut Creek, I live in Antioch, which is only a 25 minute drive away. There are tons of absolutely amazing camera stores in Concord. Set aside a day, look in the phone book and go check them out! Several of them are great about letting you try their cameras in their store before you buy them. That's the best advice I can give.

cgl88
06-28-2007, 08:33 AM
You should still consider the Sony A100 due to the price and in-camera IS. See if you like the menu and feel. The Canon XTi has a toy feel to it, and does not have IS. However it is quite fast and takes nice photos in low light.

Whatever you decide, you probably should get a tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 or a low-light lens also, due to your subject. A sony + CZ 16-80 would be sweet but expensive.

Does anyone around here know how much more a person needs to pay for a Canon or Nikon in-lens IS solution as compared to Sony + Minolta lenses? I'm just wondering how much someone saves going the Sony route if they don't have any lenses from Minolta.

coldrain
06-28-2007, 09:26 AM
You don't save anything on a Sony A100.
That is, if you also take optical quality into consideration.

The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is not all that good. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM has way less CA, much better contrast, and is sharper. So... if you feel you need IS at that focal range, and you want a great lens, what does Sony offer? They don't have a lens of the same quality. Most people will be fine without IS in that focal range, anyway.

And then for both the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro will have the same price...

So what about longer focal lengths, where IS comes in handy a lot more often?
A Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM for about $530. What costs an equivalent for the Sony? There IS no equivalent for Sony! They have the mediocre Tamron 70-300 lens crap... best you can do is a Sigma 70-300 APO DG. But that really is no match optically for the Canon (nor AF wise).
So... you will have to get a Sigma 100-300 F4 lens to get similar oprical quality. Look up what that lens costs, and how heavy and big it is.

Saved: nothing again.

Or the Canon EF 70-200 f4 L IS USM. Costs about $1000. What does an equivalent Sony lens cost? Hmm, there IS no equivalent! You either have to get a Sigma 100-300 f4, a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 or a Sony 70-200 f2.8.
Look up the prices, size and weight of those lenses....

Again, you did not save anything. And with a Canon, even the XTi, you almost gain 2 stops in noise even! So the Canon solution offers a lot more, where IS is needed....

Are you still sure the Sony A100 is the better option, just because it has IS in body?

cgl88
06-28-2007, 09:51 AM
You don't save anything on a Sony A100.
That is, if you also take optical quality into consideration.

The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is not all that good. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM has way less CA, much better contrast, and is sharper. So... if you feel you need IS at that focal range, and you want a great lens, what does Sony offer? They don't have a lens of the same quality. Most people will be fine without IS in that focal range, anyway.

And then for both the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro will have the same price...

So what about longer focal lengths, where IS comes in handy a lot more often?
A Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM for about $530. What costs an equivalent for the Sony? There IS no equivalent for Sony! They have the mediocre Tamron 70-300 lens crap... best you can do is a Sigma 70-300 APO DG. But that really is no match optically for the Canon (nor AF wise).
So... you will have to get a Sigma 100-300 F4 lens to get similar oprical quality. Look up what that lens costs, and how heavy and big it is.

Saved: nothing again.

Or the Canon EF 70-200 f4 L IS USM. Costs about $1000. What does an equivalent Sony lens cost? Hmm, there IS no equivalent! You either have to get a Sigma 100-300 f4, a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 or a Sony 70-200 f2.8.
Look up the prices, size and weight of those lenses....

Again, you did not save anything. And with a Canon, even the XTi, you almost gain 2 stops in noise even! So the Canon solution offers a lot more, where IS is needed....

Are you still sure the Sony A100 is the better option, just because it has IS in body?

Yes. The Tamron f/2.8 is $400. How much is a Canon Equivalent? Sure Canon lens will be better but how much will it cost?

Minolta 70-210mm f/4 is $150 on ebay. Canon's is $1000? That's quite a significant premium.

coldrain
06-28-2007, 10:03 AM
Yes. The Tamron f/2.8 is $400. How much is a Canon Equivalent? Sure Canon lens will be better but how much will it cost?

Minolta 70-210mm f/4 is $150 on ebay. Canon's is $1000? That's quite a significant premium.
The Tamron costs $450.
The Sigma is better and costs aroun $430.

Better always costs more. You can NOT have a lens of that quality on the Sony A100. And not a silent, accurate and fast focussing one like that Canon.
So, no reason to compare price, why not first look at quality.

Comparing the Canon 70-200 f4 L IS USM with your Minolta 70-210 f4 is silly.
The Canon is a LOT better optically, there is NO comparison again. It is like comparing a Suzuki Alto with a Porsche 911. Sure, both are quite compact. And sure, both will drive. And yes, the Alto is a lot cheaper. But is it comparable? No...

Compare a Sony 70-200 f2.8 with the Canon 70-200 f4 L IS USM. The Canon still is better in optics. The Canon also is a LOT cheaper. And lighter. And offers in lens IS.

If you want to compare the 70-120 f4 with anything, compare it with a Nikon 55-200mm VR. The Nikon will beat it, except where vignetting is concerned... and it costs something like ~$250.

cgl88
06-28-2007, 11:04 AM
We are be getting beyond the poster's original question:

" $500-$800 body only and then glass as I can afford them"

I make the price comparisons for the reason that price is a factor for this person. Therefore a Sony a100 ($600) + KM lenses should be considered.

Good point. There is no way to get a cheap lens and expect it to perform as well as expensive canon lenses. However, does a non-pro really need to spend so much? Minolta lenses are a steal. Unfortunately, prices are going up because of more alpha users :(

Maybe he should get a Nikon D40 ($540) + the Nikon 55-200mm VR ($250) + kit. That fits his budget.

swgod98
06-28-2007, 01:58 PM
The Tamron 17-50 f2.8 is not all that good. The Canon 17-55 f2.8 IS USM has way less CA, much better contrast, and is sharper. So... if you feel you need IS at that focal range, and you want a great lens, what does Sony offer? They don't have a lens of the same quality. Most people will be fine without IS in that focal range, anyway.

And then for both the Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC Macro will have the same price...

If I'm not mistaken, the Tamron and Sigma are ~$400. Put them on a Canon and you don't have IS. Put them on the Sony and you do. To get IS on the Canon, you buy the 17-50 F2.8 IS as noted. Price savings to get IS (in this range)? Over $500.

Sure, that $500 buys you some quality...but, there's always a price vs. performance consideration. To say there are no savings is misleading IMO.

shrike
07-02-2007, 02:20 PM
Been out of town for a while. Thanks for all the comments. Just finished reading Understanding Exposure and that was a treat. All explained in simple terms that make it friendly and very usable.

I have whittled it down to the d80 or Xti/400d. Really how important is true spot metering? The Xti does not have it but has a bit of a workaround. In the UE book he spot meters a few time for some dramatic effects. Also being that what I really want to do is shoot in RAW and fool around also with HDR are both cameras equally adept at exposure bracketing? There are really dramatic landscapes here in the SF Bay area and not too far away (Yosemite, Tahoe, SF etc.) and I want it to be able to do what I want it to do. I realize there is a learning curve and Rome wasn't built in a day but as I grow, I want to make sure I can grow into the camera and not out of it. If that means increasing the budget somewhat than so be it.

Thanks,
Tom :)

Rooz
07-02-2007, 05:07 PM
the xti is close enuf to spot metering really for general purposes. i think the dual command dials, slightly better metering, built in AF assist lamp, 11 AF points, seperate LCD screen, better ergonomics and better build quality are far more persuasive reasons to be getting a d80. then again the xti has slightly better iso performance and some people like smaller.

bottom line is that either camera will enable you to grow and take the pics you are after. both are excellent pieces of equipment.

did you mention hdr ?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/valpopando/

shrike
07-02-2007, 08:05 PM
Yes, i saw that gallery. Absolutely stunning. I checked out all your linked galleries and i think they all would take great shots with ANY camera. Time to go down to a brick & mortar store and play around and handle them until one rises to the top.

Rooz
07-02-2007, 09:09 PM
i think they all would take great shots with ANY camera. Time to go down to a brick & mortar store and play around and handle them until one rises to the top.

absolutely 100% right. many will try and tell you that <insert brand name here> has better IQ than another but most of it is complete and utter bias rubbish. do you think if valpo had a 400d instead of a D80 he wouldn;t be able to take photos as nice as that ? hardly.

all of the top line dslr's are capable of excellent photos and the differences in features and feel will sway you one way or another depending on what you beleive is more valuable to YOU.

shrike
07-11-2007, 12:25 PM
Hey all,

Thanks so much for all the advice and direction, not only in this thread but in all the others. I think I have read just about all of them.:) I have been a bit obsessive lately scouring the forums and internet sites and reading magazines and Understanding Exposure re dslr's and this one is by far the best, most helpful and most responsive site I have found. I now think I know a little bit (dangerous, I know) and went to a store and handled the Xti and the d80 and the shutter release on the Xti is sloped downward and just feels a bit awkward in my hands which are medium sized. My S1IS is similar in feel but is a P&S so I expect that.

Things have changed a little bit and I have revised my budget upwards and it is now down to the 30d or the d80. With the 40d coming out sometime soon I think I should be able to get a pretty good deal on a 30d and it would not be too much more than d80. Both feel great in my hands. I really want to get into HDR and I know to be able to get a camera that will take a 5+ exposure bracketed shot is out of my budget and the Xti is too small for my hands and I want to stay with the big 2 of Canon or Nikon. I now really understand that the body is only about 1/3 or so of what I will realistically spend on equipment in the near future.:(

Without touching off a Canon/Nikon nukefest I was wondering what some opinions are on the 30d/d80 and on lenses and cost vs. quality. Also taking into account if a bit less expensive lens is used that is a stop slower if the camera's high ISO capabilities can offset it or if the IS/VR will compensate enough when shooting indoors or in lower light. I would like to start with 10-20mm range lense and maybe one of the inexpensive, good quality 50mm prime lenses from Canon or Nikon. Since you all have real world experience your input is invaluable as I am not really that trusting of the salespeople at my local camera stores.

thanks in advance!
Tom

coldrain
07-11-2007, 12:46 PM
Generally speaking, Canon lenses are a bit cheaper than Nikon lenses.
I do not know what kind of lenses you have in mind at the moment... but with HDR you probably want something wide.

The Canon 10-22mm f3.5-4.5 USM is probably preferable over the Nikon 12-25mm f4, for 2 reasons:
The Canon has less distortion, and the Canon is quite a bit less expensive.

Of course, when you would look at 3rd party lenses, like the Tokina 12-24mm f4 and Sigma 10-20mm which are available for both systems, there is no difference in lenses.

Shooting RAW, you will not see too much difference in sensor output, maybe the Canon will show better noise performance on the underexposed photos.
More than 3 photos does not necessarily make for better results, btw. Especially the movement of "subjects" like leaves and such will make the results less when you take too much time between the different photos.
So, sometimes less is more.

Factor in a tripod of course, and a remote shutter.

shrike
07-11-2007, 01:00 PM
Good point on the less is sometimes more. Sigma has had a warm place in my heart since I had my old Minolta x-700 and a Sigma 80-200 lense. Back when I was 16 I had no idea what I was doing and underutilized it and gave it up because "I couldn't figure it out". I just had no good resources to learn.

One thing. Is there a glossary somewhere that defines and explains all the abbreviation that are second nature to most? Such as the USM (I am pretty sure that means U.S. made but how is that better? I know L is "the really good Canon" but thats about it. Then there are all the DX, DC, AFS.. etc.

Thanks,
Tom

griptape
07-11-2007, 01:26 PM
the Xti is too small for my hands and I want to stay with the big 2 of Canon or Nikon.

The XTi has a battery grip available (with 2 extra batteries for $80 for the Opteka grip I bought) that extends the grip considerably, AND gives you a vertical shutter release, which is also incredibly comfortable when shooting in portrait mode. I believe a similar grip is available for the D80 also. Just thought it was worth mentioning if you didn't want to commit to the 30D just for size.

shrike
07-11-2007, 01:33 PM
That is a great point. I'm going to check that out right now!!

shrike
07-11-2007, 02:08 PM
griptape, what have you done. The best laid plans of mice and men have been torn asunder.:eek: I checked all the reviews and photos of the battery grip and it looks like that is a 100% must have. Now I need to find a store that has it in stock and marry it up with the Xti and feel it out!!

Thanks for the wonderfully helpful "problem".:)

ayhcheung
07-14-2007, 08:10 AM
One thing. Is there a glossary somewhere that defines and explains all the abbreviation that are second nature to most? Such as the USM (I am pretty sure that means U.S. made but how is that better? I know L is "the really good Canon" but thats about it. Then there are all the DX, DC, AFS.. etc.

USM actually means "Ultrasonic Motor", and refers to a type of auto-focusing motor that delivers faster and quieter focusing. (The Nikon equivalent is an AF-S lens.)

More extensive glossaries can be found here (http://www.patrickmurphystudio.com/canoneos/canonEOS-glossary.htm) (for Canon), and here (http://www.bythom.com/lensacronyms.htm) (for Nikon).

shrike
08-16-2007, 12:42 PM
:) Finally made the jump and just got my Canon Xti in UPS from B&H yesterday and stayed up pretty late playing around with it. My choice in lens was to go with the kit lens for now and as my photography quality outshines the lens I will upgrade and save that lens for harsher environments. For now I will just stop down a bit to keep it as sharp as possible and shooting in RAW I can tweak it as needed. Next week I will get the 50mm 1.8 II and the 70-300mm f4-5.6IS (I am going racing twice in the next 2 months and this lens is purposefully for this). I have spent the past couple months scouring this forum and others to figure out what I needed & wanted and the Xti and Canon just seemed to be the right fit. If I need a bigger handhold I will just get a targus battery grip! (thanks griptape for that nugget). If I had my way I would be like a kid at the candy store and have 5 or 6 lenses right off the bat.. but alas the wallet is only so big so will add lenses as I can. This forum has really made all the difference in helping me decide what is going to meet my needs so thanks again!

One last question on this thread. Since I just got the camera and have 7 days of no questions asked return policy, what are some things I should look for to make sure my camera is in top working order? I have read numerous threads on front/back focus issues. Has this ever really been a problem with a new Canon? Should I check anything else out?

Thanks again.
(new gadget addict) :cool: