I bought a 400d (Xti) several months ago and I think it's great. Dont let negative comments about the kit lens put you off. Its not that bad. The camera is reasonably priced and is easy to use. Can see myself keeping it for a good while. Also supposedly prevents dust getting on the sensor through some vibration mechanism. Does underexpose a bit but this seems to be mostly due to the (cheap) kit lens in my opinon Plenty of threads on this matter...
The Canon 17-85IS lens is much better optically and offers image stabilization. It and an XTi body would be about $1100. Canon may have further options in the works..
The Nikon D40 or D40x are great cameras too. Their kit lens is an 18-55, but it has great image quality. No image stabilization, but you don't really need it at those focal lengths. They also offer a 55-200VR lens that is image stabilized. Either Nikon camera with both lenses would be under $1000. Of course you have to change lenses with this combo.
I don't know much about the Pentaxes except that their owners are pretty enthusiastic about them. Their market share and number of lens options is far smaller than Nikon and Canon..
6 megapixels will easily make 8x10's, and really quite a bit bigger. At least 12x18..
Finally, be careful where you buy it. There are a large number of fraudulent retailers out there...
6 MPs is fine for 8x10..
The choices are overwhelming, no doubt. Take a look at the Olypmus E-510 with the two kit lenses. The Olympus kit lenses are very good and they cover a large range.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.
Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..
Pentax K100D Super is a good, basic DSLR. At the price, all the models represent good, basic DSLR. You'll not go wrong choosing any of them for your wife. And 6.1MP is more than enough to turn in good 8x10 prints without fuss..
Trouble is, choosing a DSLR system is a very personal choice. What may suit me will not suit you and what will suit you will not suit your wife. She needs to try it out first, which sort of defeats the surprise element of the present.You name it, I've broken it...
I agree that 6mp will be fine for an 8x10.
What you get should be based on how she is going to use the camera. I have the oly 510 and have enjoyed it greatly. I have not used the Pentax but the reviews have been very good. I don't think you would go wrong with either. However I would look at the K10 rather then the K100. While she is saying that she will only print 8x10, women lie!!! The 510 or the K100 can easily do 11x14 and larger..
I've got to plug the 510 as being much lighter and having better kit lenses thought..
MaddogOlympus E-500, Olympus E-510..
Thanks for the replies.I'll check out the k10d and the olympus.Thanks..