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Nikon D80 vs. Canon 40D - advice for new buyer
Looking for the sage advice of some people here. I am looking for my first digital SLR having used film SLRs before. I am strictly at an amatuer level though certainly interested and motivated to increase my skills on the digital side. I previously had narrowed down my choices to the Canon XTi/400D or the Canon 40D. Of course, I also handled several Nikon models for comparison. I was able to eliminate the XTi/400D as well as the Nikon D40/D40x as both felt a bit small.

Now I know that some would not call these two models "direct competitors" as the Canon 40D is more often compared to the Nikon D300. I also know that both are very high quality and that I would probably be happy with either in terms of IQ, etc. for my use. I also realize that I am buying into a system and that either system offers quality lenses with the edge probably going to Canon right now (though it seems that Nikon has been offering some newer lenses of late)..

I am not looking to start a Nikon v. Canon debate here as I have read a great many of the posts on that subject. Rather, I am looking for advice and opinions on the merits of these 2 particular models from those who have been in my position and/or used both. The price difference b/w the 2 models is approx. $400 and while that money could be put towards a flash, 2nd lens or other accessories (or in my pocket for that matter), it is not enough of a difference to serve as the ultimate deciding factor here. Thoughts/comments?.

Thanks in advance for all opinions..

Jeff..

Comments (7)

I am a Canon owner, 5D, so I am a little biased. Comparing the two cameras side by side, the Canon is a lot more camera, granted it costs more. It has faster frame rate, higher shutter speed, and live view, and dust reduction..

Stevehttp://vette74.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

The transition from film to digital involves more than simply finding a camera. You will ( unavoidably ) find yourself learning post processing, perhaps raw processing ( not so different from basic post processing ). If you are not familiar with this ( and I know film users do post process scans ),, and in particular with RAW files, then the level of control and how this will affect your shooting will surprise you. Do not neglect this important area..

As film is out of the equation, you have no ongoing development costs ( although printing still costs, it is far cheaper than developing - I'm sure you know this, but just to mention it )..

The quality from both cameras is very high. The D80 is a little older and the features are not quite as good, but this is not quite the same thing as saying it's not a great camera..

To my mind you should concentrate on which one you prefer holding and using. I really doubt you would be disappointed by either and they are both a lot of camera..

Live View is something I regard as a gimmick, and I'm inclined to think that an old film hand will not find it useful. The viewfinder and status LCD are the natural places for you, I'd guess..

The 40D is weather sealed, if that's an issue you have your choice..

I would say lastly that in terms of image quality there is little difference in what they can do even default settings..

An enviable choice to have to make. .

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #2

Sjgcit wrote:.

The transition from film to digital involves more than simply findinga camera. You will ( unavoidably ) find yourself learning postprocessing, perhaps raw processing ( not so different from basic postprocessing ). If you are not familiar with this ( and I know filmusers do post process scans ),, and in particular with RAW files,then the level of control and how this will affect your shootingwill surprise you. Do not neglect this important area..

As film is out of the equation, you have no ongoing development costs( although printing still costs, it is far cheaper than developing -I'm sure you know this, but just to mention it )..

The quality from both cameras is very high. The D80 is a littleolder and the features are not quite as good, but this is not quitethe same thing as saying it's not a great camera..

To my mind you should concentrate on which one you prefer holding andusing. I really doubt you would be disappointed by either and theyare both a lot of camera..

Live View is something I regard as a gimmick, and I'm inclined tothink that an old film hand will not find it useful. The viewfinderand status LCD are the natural places for you, I'd guess..

The 40D is weather sealed, if that's an issue you have your choice..

I would say lastly that in terms of image quality there is littledifference in what they can do even default settings..

An enviable choice to have to make. .

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS.

StephenG:.

I agree that Live View is gimmicky and that "feature" simply does not enter into the equation here. My "problem," if you will, is that both felt nice in hand - truly an enviable position to be in. I was actually leaning toward the XTi as that would probably be enough camera for me - with the extra money left over for an upgraded lens. Though a wonderful camera in it's own right both my wife and I felt that it did not feel as good in hand. I think where things stood last was that she slightly preferred the D80 and I preferred the 40D though she certainly would not be opposed to the 40D. I appreciate the advice..

Jeff..

Comment #3

I think that the 40D offers a lot more. It's just a different class camera. I love the next step up in Nikon bodies D200/300 (i have S5) but the D80 simply isn't in the class of the all metal 40D. Before switching to S5 I had some 10D 20D bodies around and they are just super solid...

Comment #4

All I can give you is my personal preferences, which won't help..

If the choice is really painful to make and you can comfortably use the camera your wife prefers I'd suggest the extra brownie points might be worth adding into the equation..

The Little God's Arrows are a positive curse when it comes to these things. .

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #5

Thanks StephenG. I knew the answer to that one ..

Actually after she has done some reading on the D80 she might have shifted towards preferring the 40D. Of course, she could change her mind to something altogether different if I give her enough time - but you know what they say about a woman's prerogative...

Comment #6

Merry Christmas!.

I owned a canon S3 IS for quiet sometime now and I find it very slow, my brother has a nikon D40 which when borrowed it, I find it very good. I check for some lastest models for SLR and I find these 2 models, the nikon D80 and canon 40D..

Please send me some advice for these particular models. Thank you..

Happy Holidays!..

Comment #7

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