Considering purchase of a dslr but question about lens and macro
I visited a camera store and held a Nikon d40 and a Canon 400D EOS. Both cameras came with twin kit lenses. I liked the feel of the D40 (which was also more than $400AUS cheaper) But the canon was also OK but the salesman who appeared to be knowlegable was persuading me that the canon was the better camera and focussed strongly on the image stabilisation in the canon which was not in the Nikon. He suggested that the Canon lens kit was of higher quality. Is this true?.

He also talked about the poor macro ability in the DSLR's and that I should seriously consider a Hoya close up filter kit which contained 3 macro filters and also I should get filter caps to protect the lens from damage. I was of the view that (maybe wrongly) that a strength of the the dslr's was in macro photography? Whilst my main focus will not be macro - I want to take great indoor and flash pics as welol as great holiday pics - I like the idea of a reaaly good all round camera. My finances ( and my lovely wifes benevolence) only stretch to being a one man at this time..

I assumed I would use the 18-55mm lens and I am also questioning whwther I need a 55-200mm lens? In the Nikon there is no image stabilisation. In reading posts in this forum I was not convinced that this was such a big issu, but is it?Is it necessary with an 18-55 lens?.

Will either of these cameras or the olympus 510 (which also comes highly regarded but I have not held as yet) do what I wantWhich would be the best buy for me???.

Any comments/opinions would be most appreciated.

Thank you all...

Comments (5)

Canon 400D has a kit lens without IS and is considered one of the mediocre sort (as was the Sony kit lens)..

Overall Canon 400D is a better camera than Nikin 40D but do you really need all the pluses? Canon has no problem with primes, 9 focus points, 10 MP, exposure and WB bracketing, dust removal, more control on image parameters (sharpness, contrast, saturation).Nikon kit lens is better than Canon's, it has Auto ISO, better handling.VictorBucuresti, Romania

Comment #1

First of all, it doesn't sound as if the salesman knows what he is talking about and I wouldn't trust him. If you have another camera store near you, trying going there next time..

Image stabilisation (IS, aka Vibration Reduction VR, Optical Stabilisation OS and various other names) is very useful with telephoto lenses because it enables you to hand hold the camera in lower light. It is still useful with shorter focal length lenses like 17-55mm especially if you want to shoot stationary subjects in poor light, e.g. inside a church. However, at these focal lengths it is not as essential to have IS/VR..

For historical reasons Canon and Nikon both implement IS/VR in the lens and have both IS/VR and non-IS/VR lenses in their ranges. Sony, Olympus and Pentax implement IS in the body so that it works with all lenses. There is some debate about which method is best..

As another poster has said, Canon have two 17-55 kit lenses, one with IS and the other without. The one with IS is much better optically and therefore is strongly recommended over the one without..

Forget what the salesman is saying about macro photography. There is an element of truth in what he is saying because P&S cameras have greater depth of field for close up subjects, but real macro photography is almost all done with DSLRs..

As another poster has said, the 400D has a better spec than the D40 and is the one to go for if the prices are similar, but you would probably be happy with either of the cameras, or with the Olympus or with the equivalent Sony, Pentax or Samsung models. Try holding them to see which one you prefer, and certainly consider which lens or lenses you want.Chris R..

Comment #2

Oly is going to be the best deal in that selection. best kit lenses, dust reduction that works and in body IS so you don't have to buy it every time you think about buying a lens..

Oly also has a <$200 35mm macro lens that is sharp, optically excellent and one of the better deals going in the line-up..

You'd be hard pressed to do much better than the e510 given those selections listed but they all have their pros/cons..

The only real thing the Oly give away to the others is higher ISO shooting, and even that is manageable with PP..

They'll all do the job.e1 w/ grip, e510, e300 w/ grip, 8mm FE, 14-54mm, 35mm, 50mm, 40-150mm,50-200mm, fl-50, fuji - 6800..

Comment #3

The Xsi has the same guts as the 40D but with a higher megapixel count. You won't notice the difference in megapixels until you start cropping, but you will notice it there. The Xsi is a less expensive camera and will be able to do everything you want..

Every manufacture of camera and lenses lie about macro. Most zooms sport a mode called "macro;" these are not true macro lenses, but "close up" focusing zones. For a lens to be a macro, it needs to create an image 1:1 the size of the fly on the leaf is the same size as the fly on the sensor. There are specific lenses for this, the cheapest is a Phoenix lens that works amazingly well (there are no bad macro lenses), the cheapest "super quality" lens is the Tamron 90mm Macro, the prices climb from there..

Here is a link to a dpreview thread about Phoenix lenses, this poster as downloaded images from his Phoenix 100mm macro lens, you will see the quality is very good:.


It sounds like the salesman was assuming you were a cheap guy and didn't want to spend the bucks, remember the sales person is out to make a sale and will try to appeal to your "price point." If you had gone in and said - "Macro is important to me, what are the best lenses for that" - you might have gotten a different response. The lenses he recommended as add ons work, but the image can soften a bit.Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #4

The Nikon D40 is at a very inviting price in AUS atm and while it probably still is a decent camera I cant help but think though at 6MP for a DSLR it is pretty outdated and wonder how much of that good price will be absorbed because you may wish to upgrade sooner..

I considered the D40 over a year ago but ended up with a panasonic FZ50 with price being a fair factor as they were nearly $1000 body only and I decided my kit lenses from my F55 probably would do it justice and I would need the whole lense kit and caboodle aswell..

Comment #5

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