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New DSLR buyer opinion: D40 or EOS400D?
I'm planning on purchasing my first DSLR camera and am trying to decide between the Nikon D40 and Canon EOS-400D (DR XTi). I've also considered the D40x and EOS-350D (DR XT) but think the D40 and XTi are my top two. Upon evaluating both, it seems that there are advantages either way so I am looking for some expert advice. I also plan to go to a local camera shop ( http://www.rockbrookcamera.com/ ) and try these hands-on..

The D40 has fewer megapixels, but I've read that it can have a sharper image due to a smaller ratio of pixels to sensor size..

The XTi has more megapixels, but some say the image isn't as sharp as even on the older XT due to cramming more pixels on the same (or similar?) sensor..

The XTi supposedly has a dust removal feature. Some say it works well, others say it doesn't..

The XTi seems to have more users and is more popular on Flickr, if that means anything. Same with shopping sites like Amazon..

The D40 also certainly is popular as well, with a fan base including Ken Rockwell (who considers it a top favorite.) ( http://www.kenrockwell.com ).

I do intend to get one or two extra lenses a zoom lens and a wide-angle lens. I'd also like an external flash..

Currently I use a four-year-old Nikon P&S camera (E4200). I've taken about 12,500 pictures on it and have come up with some decent shots, but am consistently operating it in so-called "manual" mode and having to go through the menus to set up each shot. It's time or beyond time for an upgrade..

I've never used a Canon before, so am leaning toward the Nikon simply based on brand familiarity (also used Nikon film cameras). Though I am hearing a lot of good about the Canon XTi and XT so I don't want to rule those out if there's a good reason why I should consider either over the D40..

Opinions wanted. I've researched and would like to stay within these choices, so I'd appreciate keeping this on topic..

Thanks in advance!..

Comments (15)

Should add that as far as post-processing goes, I have Photoshop CS3 Premium and am considering adding Aperture 2.0. At the moment I am getting by with iPhoto '08 + PS...

Comment #1

Joelwnelson wrote:.

I'm planning on purchasing my first DSLR camera and am trying todecide between the Nikon D40 and Canon EOS-400D (DR XTi). I've alsoconsidered the D40x and EOS-350D (DR XT) but think the D40 and XTiare my top two. Upon evaluating both, it seems that there areadvantages either way so I am looking for some expert advice. I alsoplan to go to a local camera shop ( http://www.rockbrookcamera.com/ )and try these hands-on..

Pick the one that feels better- or the one that has the nicer kit lens. You're not likely to push the differences either way- really there's no wrong answer, and that means that either one will suit you well..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #2

Joelwnelson wrote:.

I'm planning on purchasing my first DSLR camera and am trying todecide between the Nikon D40 and Canon EOS-400D (DR XTi). I.

As covered in this thread:http://forums.dpreview.com/...ums/readflat.asp?forum=1002&thread=26999993the primary limitation of the D40/D40x/D60 will be the cheap prime lens issues..

The D40 has fewer megapixels, but I've read that it can have asharper image due to a smaller ratio of pixels to sensor size..

It's not going to be sharper, it might have a slight noise advantage due to the larger pixels. Sharpness will be more influenced by lens, stability, and processing..

The XTi seems to have more users [...] > The D40 also certainly is popular as well,.

Do you personally know anyone with Canon or Nikon D(SLRS) that you could borrow (and lend) lenses and other accessories? That may be more valuable than the online popularity..

I've never used a Canon before, so am leaning toward the Nikon simplybased on brand familiarity (also used Nikon film cameras). Though Iam hearing a lot of good about the Canon XTi and XT so I don't wantto rule those out if there's a good reason why I should considereither over the D40..

Handle both, then go with your gut and don't look back. Either one will deliver excellent images and most of the differences are not going to be significant unless you have specific needs. Covet not thy neighbors' camera..

Erik..

Comment #3

I came from Nikon SLRs and bought the CP800 because of Nikon's legacy from the film days when I ventured into digital. However since then I bought several Canon compacts and recently the XTi. Their menus are much easier to navigate and are very intuitive. Be aware that for full AF the lenses are limited with Nikon's D40 series since it lacks a lens motor in the body..

Handle both and read both of DPRs reviews for in-depth data so you'll be able to make a more informed decision.Either one is capable of great shots, so choose one and enjoy shooting..

Regards,Hank..

Comment #4

They each produce photos that look considerably different. Which do you prefer?.

I personally do not like the Canon look but the D40 is quite crippled as far as lens choice and lack of top LCD panel. I would go for a K100D super...

Comment #5

K1000Photographer wrote:.

They each produce photos that look considerably different..

I don't think this is true. I am pretty sure that you could look through a D40 gallery and an XTi gallery and not really tell much difference generally..

I also would not follow the recommendation of the person who said "get the one with the better kit lens.".

I made the mistake of buying the Canon XT with the kit lens. Hate it (the lens, not the body). But I bought a 70-200mm f/4L and you would swear it was a whole new camera. Actually it is because the lens makes all the difference..

I don't know if the D40 kit lens is that great. My uncle has one and the pictures he takes look like a P&S. Could be just him because he uses it like a P&S. I'm sure the XTi may produce similar results with the kit lens in the hands of a pure novice..

I opted for Canon because in my opinion they had a nicer line of lenses. I knew I was buying into a system, not just a camera. My brother in law shoots Nikon and really likes itthough his comment was "I started with a NIkon so now that's all I'll ever get since I have the lenses." That is really what you'll do..

I don't know that you can make a "wrong" choice here as long as it feels right to you..

I don't know anything about photography. I just like to press the shutter button and hear that sound...

Comment #6

$600? D40 with filter, class 6 SD card, and case. Maybe an extra battery..

Over 1000? Go for Canon as D40 can't use primes unless you opt for D80..

You'll hate setting auto on them and will love full manual... Somehow auto on D40 is useless on most conditions....

D40 has the upper hand on saturation, but you need to see if the colors suit youy needs...

Comment #7

At the end of the day what ever feels more comfortable - both handling and menu useage will be the right camera. both are nice cameras so you can't go wrong either way.

Phil..

Comment #8

First,I would say more mega pixels is more digital info.So it will give you sharper result than the fewer one,ASSUMING THAT ...The sensor is in the same technology.The lens is the same, plusThe lens is sharp enough to resolve the sensor..

Fewer MP inthe same sensor size and inthe same technologyMEANS THATthe dynamic range is greater,more sensitive, andthe noise is less..

We could not compare D40 & 400D just from the megapixelssince they are different brand and technology..

Both Cameras are excelent.The glass that you use is more important for your picture.Feel the grip, are you comfort with them.Whatever you feel it's better for you, choose it..

I have 400D beside my 30D,It's a great camera.SO does Nikon D40..

ENJOY your new CAMERA !..

Comment #9

Canon has a difficult time to show differences in fine shading and this has been one thing that has kept me away. This leads to a plastic look to skin. Some like that smoothed over look, I do not..

If you go Nikon, do not look at anything below the D80. The D40 is too limited in how it works and lens choice..

I still recommend the K100D super. It will function properly with all PK lenses, has AS and is a camera one can grow with. They are really inexpensive right now, too...

Comment #10

Thanks for the recommendations so far. Most of the photography I do is landscape and night. For those who have used either of these, is one better than the other at landscape (colors, shadows, etc.) or night (stars, moon, cityscapes, etc.)?..

Comment #11

Joelwnelson wrote:.

The D40 has fewer megapixels, but I've read that it can have asharper image due to a smaller ratio of pixels to sensor size..

Sharpness depends on a bunch of things, but all things being equal, more megapixels gives you more sharpness. Take your theory to an extreme. How sharp would an image from a 1 pixel sensor be? Even if it is APS-C size?.

The XTi has more megapixels, but some say the image isn't as sharp aseven on the older XT due to cramming more pixels on the same (orsimilar?) sensor..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/page28.asp.

400D has higher resolution than 350D.

You might be confused by the wording here:.

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos400d/page24.asp.

"the eight megapixel (EOS 350D) image looks slightly sharper 'per pixel' than the ten megapixel image from the EOS 400D.".

That doesn't mean the 350D is sharper, it is sharper per pixel. The 400D has more pixels. Check the martini label crops..

The XTi supposedly has a dust removal feature. Some say it workswell, others say it doesn't..

It's really not much of an issue. That feature would be last on my list if I were comparing DSLRs..

The XTi seems to have more users and is more popular on Flickr.

Doesn't matter, pick what is right for you..

The D40 also certainly is popular as well, with a fan base includingKen Rockwell (who considers it a top favorite.).

To many here, myself included, that would be considered a strong negative..

I do intend to get one or two extra lenses a zoom lens and awide-angle lens. I'd also like an external flash..

I assume by "zoom" you mean telephoto zoom, right? Zoom just means you have a choice of focal lengths. The kit lens is a zoom..

Currently I use a four-year-old Nikon P&S camera (E4200). I've takenabout 12,500 pictures on it and have come up with some decent shots,but am consistently operating it in so-called "manual" mode andhaving to go through the menus to set up each shot. It's time orbeyond time for an upgrade..

For manual mode, I recommend you step up one level, to the Nikon D80 or Canon 40D (or 30D, if you can still find one on closeout). These cameras have two control wheels, so in manual mode one is shutter, the other aperture. With the cameras you are looking at, there is only 1 control wheel, and you have to hold a button while spinning the wheel. Sounds like a little thing, but it's one of those little things that really affects handling. Plus, on the Nikon side, the D80 gives you AF on all Nikon and third party AF lenses, the D40 does not..

Thanks in advance!.

You're welcome..

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

Comment #12

For night, I would go K100D, K100D Super, K20D or D300...

Comment #13

Nickleback wrote:.

I assume by "zoom" you mean telephoto zoom, right? Zoom just meansyou have a choice of focal lengths. The kit lens is a zoom..

Correct telephoto lens. Up to 300mm would be my preference at the introductory level..

Currently I use a four-year-old Nikon P&S camera (E4200). I've takenabout 12,500 pictures on it and have come up with some decent shots,but am consistently operating it in so-called "manual" mode andhaving to go through the menus to set up each shot. It's time orbeyond time for an upgrade..

For manual mode, I recommend you step up one level, to the Nikon D80or Canon 40D (or 30D, if you can still find one on closeout). Thesecameras have two control wheels, so in manual mode one is shutter,the other aperture. With the cameras you are looking at, there isonly 1 control wheel, and you have to hold a button while spinningthe wheel. Sounds like a little thing, but it's one of those littlethings that really affects handling. Plus, on the Nikon side, theD80 gives you AF on all Nikon and third party AF lenses, the D40 doesnot..

Looked at a D80 today and it's neat but I think a little above my price range. After handling and testing cameras today I think I'm going with the Canon EOS-400D (XTi). I like the way it feels in my hand, the positioning of the buttons, and the lens availability. Plus it won't break the budget...

Comment #14

Joelwnelson wrote:.

Looked at a D80 today and it's neat but I think a little above myprice range. After handling and testing cameras today I think I'mgoing with the Canon EOS-400D (XTi). I like the way it feels in myhand, the positioning of the buttons, and the lens availability. Plusit won't break the budget..

Good choice......I'm very happy with mine but I bought the body only and 18-55IS later for starters. Look into the Canon SLR forum for other lens samples, i.e, ........http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=27014507.

Regards,Hank..

Comment #15

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