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Advice on Digital SLR Cameras (Nikon v. Canon)
My wife has decided that she whats a dSLR. She had grown tired of waiting for our digital point-and-shoot to turn on, focus, and snap that picture. It is annoying when you miss a good should because of the camera..

I started out looking at the Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi). Mostly because my last 2 cameras where Canon (A65 and A95 Powershots). My father-in-law, who is really into photography, pointed me toward the Nikon D-40. It seems like a good camera, but the familiarity of the Canon, plus it's better speed (main reason for me getting an SLR), have me liking the XTi better..

The thing that I have read with the Canon is that the kit lens it comes with is not that great. In all honesty, neither my wife nor I could probably tell, unless pictures were side by side. With that said; I started looking at Tamron lenses..

This is what I am probably getting:.

Canon Rebel XTI Black 10.1 MP Digital Camera (Body Only).

I found it online for $269. This is the body only, no lenses. http://www.bestpricecameras.com/.../prodetails.aspx?prodid=713192&start=1.

Tamron Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto AF 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 Di-II LD Aspherical IF Macro Autofocus Lens.

This goes from 18 to 250mm (13.9x). It is about the same size and weight (it weighs one ounce more than Tamron's 17-35mm) as a standard lens. Found it for $371. http://www.millenniumcamera.com/...ewproduct.aspx?ID=3221454&l=Froogle%20.

That package is $640; free shipping on the camera. I was also looking at a 3 piece filter set, http://www.amazon.com/...d_t=201&pf_rd_p=250314001&pf_rd_i=B000IBLMHQ, for $45 and a 4gb CF card. Add a nice camera bag and I should be right around $800..

Let me know what you think! I know that there are some photography buffs on here and I value you guys opinion..

Thanks!bobapunk..

Comments (33)

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If they're not listed, or have a small number of cuistomer reviews, I'd avoid them..

Scroll down and start reading:.

Http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Best_Price_Cameras_6.

More suggested reading..

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JimChttp://www.pbase.com/jcockfield..

Comment #1

I "googled" "bestcameraprices" and "milleniumcamera", I agree with you. These scam artists do not deserve my money for their grey market merchandise. I am looking at BH, Beach, and Buydig now. The XTi Body and Tamron lens are almost double the price as bestprice and millennium, but when spending this much money, the grey market is not the place I want to put it.

A friend of mine suggested that I may want an IS lens instead of the Tamron, Think that is needed for everyday shooting?bobapunk..

Comment #2

It's not that they sell gray market goods. It's that they're scam artists and you won't get your goods at the advertised price...

Comment #3

Bobapunk wrote:.

I "googled" "bestcameraprices" and "milleniumcamera", I agree withA friend of mine suggested that I may want an IS lens instead of theTamron, Think that is needed for everyday shooting?.

IS (or VR as Nikon calls it) is a great thing - especially with a lens as long as 200mm or more (ie, 300mm or more in 35mm equivalent). It's not a matter of "everyday shooting" - IS/VR is not something you only pull out on special occasions - it's a question of avoiding camera shake at long focal lengths and relatively low shutter speeds. Even at relatively short focal lengths (ie 70-100 or thereabouts) it makes a difference..

Would you like to be able to take sharp pictures by available light with a 200mm lens at 1/25 second? The IS/VR lens makes it possible. And even at more moderate settings when you could expect to get a reasonable to good result with a normal lens, you'll see the difference with VR and the shot (in trms of sharpness) goes from "good" to "perfect"..

If you're considering a super zoom like the 18-250, you should look very seriously at the IS/VR version. Yes it costs more, but you'll get a lot more good photos out of it..

Disclaimer: I am a VR addict. .

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #4

I just got the black XTI body from Amazon for about $600 which is a good price. At this point in time this is a good online price, give or take a few bucks, so anything considerably less is very suspicious. Dealing with Amazon is nice because they offer a 30 day full refund, the products have the US warranty, and you avoid the non-sense of some of the online scammers. The last time I bought from Butterfly Photo in NJ because I could save a few bucks but was very unhappy with them in the end and wouldn't consider using them ever again. I've dealt with Cametta Camera and they are also very good...

Comment #5

You can't go wrong with either the Canon 400D or the Nikon D40. My recommendation is to go with the one that feels most comfortable. That way you will take more photos, learn more features, and become more skilled..

I included my personal file for each of the cameras you are looking at. That way you will have all the documentation and customer service links in one place..

Http://personafile.com/...l-Rebel-Xti-10.1-Megapixel-18-55mm-013803066104.htm.

Http://personafile.com/....2-Megapixel-Digital-Camera-D40X-P0182080000114.htmA Few Of My Favorite:http://personafile.com/kcair/public..

Comment #6

If you are going to get a "super zoom" lens I would STRONGLY suggest, especially as a beginner, getting an optically stabilized lens -VR for Nikon or IS for Canon. The number of acceptable images you get will go up tremendously. Unless I'm forgetting one, the only 2 lenses that fit this description are the Nikon 18-200VR (really wonderful lens, though not cheap) or the new Sigma 18-200 OS which will work with either Canon or Nikon (know nothing about it, but I have real doubts it can come close to the Nikon). Another option is stabilization built into the body, for this, the Pentax K100 or even the excellent K10D would fit the bill. I have shot on Canon a lot professionally, before I switched to Fuji, but if I were a beginner, and looking to get the most out of my $1100-1400 in a single body single lens set up, I would rank my options:.

1. Nikon D40 or D40x + Nikon 18-200VR2. Pentax K10D (or K100 Super ) + Tamron 18-200/18-2503. Canon Rebel Xti + Sigma 18-200 OS.

This is mostly because I know nothing of the results of Sigma's first venture into stabilization. If it's very good, then the Canon might move to #2...

Comment #7

Im just curious.... you talked about being annnoyed that you miss good shots becuase of the slow point and shoot....

Does that mean you want this camera for taking action shots? If so, you should not really spend the extra money on Image Stabilization as it can nearly double the price of a good lense..

With action photography, you will have to have the shutter speed high enough to stop the action... the bad thing about this is that you need more light to get proper exposure... the good thing about it is that you don't have to worry about getting a blurry shot from the camera shaking..

I was in a similar situation and I went with teh Rebel XTi. I bought the "cheap" L-series lense becuase I had read such great reveiws about it. Knowing that I could get away without having to have IS I was able to afford an L-series (70-200 f/4 L)..

Image stabilization is useful in lower light situations when you need to have a slower shutter speed to allow the smaller amounts of light in for a longer duration. If you will be trying to shoot night sport events with a long lense (say 300mm) I can see how image stabilization may help if you have just enough shutter speed to stop the action, but not quite enough to avoid shake at that long zoom. For daytime photography or flash photography... I have never had to drop my shutter speed low enough where IS would ever be needed..

Just pointing this out...

Comment #8

Thanks for that info. I am not going to be shooting indoor sports with the long lens. The shutter lag thing is mostly when trying to get candids of kids, pets, friends, etc. Typically 18-50mm with the flash on.bobapunk..

Comment #9

SMPhoto wrote:.

Another option isstabilization built into the body, for this, the Pentax K100 or eventhe excellent K10D would fit the bill..

Or the Sony A100, Olympus E510, etc..

1. Nikon D40 or D40x + Nikon 18-200VR2. Pentax K10D (or K100 Super ) + Tamron 18-200/18-2503. Canon Rebel Xti + Sigma 18-200 OS.

This is mostly because I know nothing of the results of Sigma's firstventure into stabilization..

This isn't Sigma's first venture into stabilization. The 80-400 OS has been out for a few years now..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #10

Bobapunk wrote:.

Thanks for that info. I am not going to be shooting indoor sportswith the long lens. The shutter lag thing is mostly when trying toget candids of kids, pets, friends, etc. Typically 18-50mm with theflash on..

For this use you don't need stabilization. You also don't need 18-250mm. Your money might be better spent on an external flash, like the Nikon SB600 or Canon 430EX, or whatever mid-priced flash is available for the camera you choose..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #11

Ah, I forgot about the 80-400. The 18-200 Sigma may be a great lens, who knows, I'm really impressed by the Nikon 18-200 though. I have shot most of 2 weddings with one the last 2 weeks on my S5 and have been really impressed with the results. The A100 is a perfectly good option as well, I feel like the Pentax K10D offers more body for the money, but the Sony probably has more lens options. The Olympus E510 I have not used, but the 500 I have because a friend has one. The IQ is nothing impressive and the menus and operation would give me a nervous breakdown. I find it inferior to my very first serious digicam...the Oly E-10N that is 6+ years old...

Comment #12

Interesting comparison re: the e500 vs. the E-10. I actually have a e510, and came from an E-20. I think the menus (and overall ergonomics - I hate that verticle wheel on the Canons) of the e510 are excellent (not sure if they're 100% identical to the e500). The fact that most of the shooting settings that aren't directly accessable can be brought up on the LCD in either a basic or advanced graphical representation (bypassing the menus altogether) makes changing settings simple, at least to me..

I think the e510 2-lens kit can now be found for <$800 with a little searching, which basically gives you the 35mm equivalent of 28-300mm range with some decent glass. Add IS throughout that range (becasue it's in-body) in a compact package, and the Oly e510 should at least be given a serious look when checking out the Canon Xti an Nikon D40x, as well as more 'advanced', larger cameras like the Nikon D80..

Leehttp://leem.smugmug.com..

Comment #13

It could just be that the 500 wasn't intuitive to me, and I didn't know what I was doing. It just had a P/S feel to me compared to some other DSLRs I've picked up in a similar price range, like K10D...

Comment #14

I know that 90% of the time I would not need zoom over 85mm or so, but I thought if the I got a lens that did 18-250 I would be good in 100% of situations..

This is too much information! I found the Sigma Autofocus 18-200/3.5-6.3 DC OS for $599 athttp://www.precision-camera.com. Is this better than the Tamron? Is it worth $100+ more losing 50mm of zoom but adding the IS?.

Also looked up the Canon EF-S 17-85 F4-5.6 IS USM Lens and the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens. How is there $300 price difference for the extra 30mm of zoom??.

Is it a good idea to get IS lenses in this zoom range? Some of the pics I snap with my A95 do come out blurry....bobapunk..

Comment #15

So there is really no good argument for getting the Nikon D-40 over the Canon 400D?? No one posted, this thread has been about lenses mostly. So I though I would just clarify this point..

Thanksbobapunk..

Comment #16

Bobapunk wrote:.

So there is really no good argument for getting the Nikon D-40 overthe Canon 400D?? No one posted, this thread has been about lensesmostly. So I though I would just clarify this point..

If you want a stabilized superzoom, the D40 is a viable candidate because of the Nikon 18-200VR and the upcoming Sigma 18-200 OS HSM. But if you are looking at lenses like the Tamron 18-250mm or Sigma 18-200mm, I would not consider this camera because it will not autofocus with these lenses. The D40 and D40x only autofocus with AF-S lenses, which is about 1/3 of the Nikon lineup and maybe 1/4 of the Sigma lineup, and nothing else..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #17

Unless you're really set on an all-in-one lens, you might consider getting a "fast" zoom (like the Tamron 17-50mm constant f/2.8 or Sigma 18-50mm constant f/2.8 macro), then adding another lens for the telephoto stuff..

A fast lens + judicious use of high ISO will help with getting "natural light" photos indoors...

Comment #18

Bobapunk wrote:.

This is too much information! I found the Sigma Autofocus18-200/3.5-6.3 DC OS for $599 athttp://www.precision-camera.com. Is thisbetter than the Tamron? Is it worth $100+ more losing 50mm of zoombut adding the IS?.

It's hard to say "better". They are different lenses, and at different prices. If you don't care about stabilization, the Tamron would probably be a better lens for you (less expensive, optically pretty good). If you want stabilization, the Sigma would be better..

Also looked up the Canon EF-S 17-85 F4-5.6 IS USM Lens and the CanonEF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS SLR Lens. How is there $300 pricedifference for the extra 30mm of zoom??.

Completely different lenses. Build quality on 17-85, while not stellar, is a big step above the 18-55mm lenses. Stabilization is different, too. Might want to wait and see how well the new, less expensive Canon IS lens design works (or not!)..

Is it a good idea to get IS lenses in this zoom range? Some of thepics I snap with my A95 do come out blurry.....

Depends on why they are blurry. Stabilization helps with camera shake, but it can't do anything about subject shake. This alone makes stabilization more useful at longer focal lengths you can be in a situation where the shutter speed is too slow to minimize camera shake, but it is fast enough to freeze the subject..

To me, 18-55IS is mostly a gimmick. 70-300IS is almost a necessity. The line between gimmick and necessity is somewhere in the middle. Where exactly depends on what you are shooting..

For catching kids with a flash, 18-55IS is a gimmick..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #19

Ok, Anyone seen a kit that comes with the 400D and a 17/18 - 85 lens (IS or not)??bobapunk..

Comment #20

Issue in many cases. P&S just have a long delay from when you press the shutter until it gets around to taking the picture. If you are shooting kids or animals they often decide to move while this is happening. You aren't necessarily trying to stop actionwhich a high shutter speed will still do. The issue is responsiveness, not the action stopping required in sports photograpy. Stabilization still works very well in these situations as you are often avoiding flash by using a slower shutter speed with available light...

Comment #21

Dlkeller wrote:.

If you areshooting kids or animals they often decide to move while this ishappening. [...] Stabilizationstill works very well in these situations as you are often avoidingflash by using a slower shutter speed with available light..

Stabilization doesn't typically work well in this situation. Unless you live in a palace, you are generally shooting wide angle to normal (i.e. 18-35mm), otherwise you will be cutting off your kid's limbs or falling over skateboards. At these focal lengths, safe no-IS shutter speed is around 1/60 or so. Shutter speed to catch moving kids without them being a blur is also around 1/60..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #22

Bobapunk wrote:.

Ok, Anyone seen a kit that comes with the 400D and a 17/18 - 85 lens(IS or not)??.

No kit, just buy the body and lens separately. In the 17/18-85 range, consider the Canon 17-85 IS (~ $500) or Sigma 17-70 (~ $400)..

Or try a Nikon D40 or D40x with the 18-70mm (~ $300, but lots available used for less because this was the kit lens for the D70)..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #23

Or I could get the Sigma Autofocus 18-200/3.5-6.3 DC OS for $549....

Is that a good everyday lens??bobapunk..

Comment #24

Just a tip - don't rule out the Pentax K100D Super or K10D. Both offer similar performance to the Canon/Nikon options but you gain the advantage of in-body image stabilization, which leads to less expensive options for lenses. You can also use pretty much any Pentax lens ever made, useful once you get used to the creativity you gain by going the dSLR route..

Take a look at the reviews of the Pentax cameras and read the user reviews on them also..

I picked up a Pentax K100D about 4 months ago with an 18-55 lens and a 50-200 lens for $550 after the rebates. The difference is amazing when it comes to not missing shots due to waiting on the camera and I couldn't touch that price when comparing similar options from Canon or Nikon..

Best advice I have - get each camera you are considering into your hands. You may find that one just feels right..

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/rolnslo/sets/..

Comment #25

Nickleback wrote:.

Depends on why they are blurry. Stabilization helps with camerashake, but it can't do anything about subject shake. This alonemakes stabilization more useful at longer focal lengths you can bein a situation where the shutter speed is too slow to minimize camerashake, but it is fast enough to freeze the subject..

Well, my wife has managed to take a picture of a stationary room and have it come out blurry... This was at 17mm or whatever the A95 wide open is. I think the cause is that the flash was on auto, and there was enough light for it to not be needed. The slower shutter speed + her movement caused the blur.bobapunk..

Comment #26

Bobapunk wrote:.

Nickleback wrote:.

Depends on why they are blurry. Stabilization helps with camerashake, but it can't do anything about subject shake. This alonemakes stabilization more useful at longer focal lengths you can bein a situation where the shutter speed is too slow to minimize camerashake, but it is fast enough to freeze the subject..

Well, my wife has managed to take a picture of a stationary room andhave it come out blurry... This was at 17mm or whatever the A95 wideopen is. I think the cause is that the flash was on auto, and therewas enough light for it to not be needed. The slower shutter speed +her movement caused the blur..

Right. Perfect situation where IS would have helped. Now throw a kid into the room. IS will make the walls stay still (because they are still, it was the camera that moved), but the kid will be a blur because the shutter speed isn't fast enough to stop the kid..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #27

Bobapunk wrote:.

Or I could get the Sigma Autofocus 18-200/3.5-6.3 DC OS for $549....

Is that a good everyday lens??.

Http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_18200_3563os/index.htmhttp://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/sigma_1770_2845/index.htmhttp://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_1785_456_is/index.htm.

...and in case you want to consider Nikon:.

Http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_1870_3545/index.htmhttp://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_18135_3556/index.htmhttp://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/nikkor_18200_3556vr/index.htm.

It boils down to less zoom range usually means better optics and lower cost, and more zoom range and IS costs more but is more flexible. It's a matter of picking your poison..

You can't really go wrong, it's up to you to decide what's most important to you..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #28

What about the automatic sensor cleaner on the Canon? Is that a significant difference between the Canon and the D40? I don't have either one but am looking for that feature as I research DSLRs myself. I was wondering if photographers here have experience with that..

By the way, I was in a similar position a few months ago, wanting to move up from my P&S and looking at all manner of DSLR camera. I'm an amateur and my needs are different in that I have more serious budgetary restraints, so this may not apply to you at all..

But a photographer friend of mine who has both a Nikon D100 and D70 suggested I not rule out a "bridge" camera for my needs until I have a bit more money to buy the lenses I'd really want on a DSLR..

I decided to try the Panasonic FZ50 for around $425 while I ruminate on how much I want to spend on a DSLR in the future. I honestly couldn't be happier with the camera with OIS and 35-420mm equivalent lens..

It is NOT an SLR so I'm not comparing the two technologies. It's more of a response to the original poster's comments about point-and-shoot frustrations. The fz50 has much better performance than a traditional P&S, with out the cost of a dSLR..

Hope you find a spectacular camera/lens combination!..

Comment #29

A buddy of mine has a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30K and he was telling me about the DMC-FZ50K. It is defiantly a nice camera, a good alternative to an S5 IS maybe, but not on par with an XTi, especially at high ISO settings.bobapunk..

Comment #30

The only issue you may have is with the lack of inbody focus.the low light performance will be better...

Comment #31

Oola wrote:.

What about the automatic sensor cleaner on the Canon? Is that asignificant difference between the Canon and the D40?.

Nope. Dust is not the huge issue it's made out to be..

I decided to try the Panasonic FZ50 for around $425 while Iruminate on how much I want to spend on a DSLR in the future..

If you want a DSLR with a superzoom welded onto it, a FZ50, FZ18, S5 IS, or similar will offer comparable performance (better in some ways, worse in others) for a whole lot less money..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #32

I am think of just getting the XTi with the kit lens for now. Get used to the camera, settings, etc. And adding the Sigma 18-200 OS (that review made it out to be pretty good I think; better build quality than the Tamron and with OS) at some point down the road..

EDIT, Sure sure sure... How do prices change so much in a could of days...? Amazon has the Sigma lens for $480 now... An XTi body is $590. So for $1070 I could get the XTi with the Sigma 18-200 OS Lens!bobapunk..

Comment #33

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