This is kind of a "Which car for me?" question. All of the current dslrs are good cameras, so there are a lot of personal preference issues at work, like handling and ergonomics, intended subject matter, long term goals, budget, etc. With an aps size sensor, that is not "full frame," the 17mm-xx lens is handier, the 28-xx types may not be wide enough to suit. Different cameras have different advantages. If your interests are people and architecture, low or slow, the answer may be different than interests tending towards fast moving subjects, youth sports, animals and nature, etc. Budget comes intop it because there are important choices to be made in lenses as well...
You should consider any SLR as a system rather than a camera body itself. A great camera itself does not make a great system , the great example is the Pentax K10D , is such a great camera with a lot of unique features , though as a system , it is the worst in this class because lack of new lenses and Pentax is a company 's become a subsidery of Hoya...............and no one knows it's future in 2 years. Any way , you should check all lens line up of Nikon and Canon, and then you know that most of lenses especially USM motored primes are much cheaper in Canon land, and Canon has the edge in tele and super tele while Nikon has the edge in consumer zooms like 18-135 and 18-200VR. Also , if you are interested in full frame bodies in future, you better get a Canon body since Canon has much better FF lens offerings since it 's been producing FF cameras for a long time. Nikon just enterd into the FF market , though the company still does not have any FF lens yet. Nikon announced some super tele and nice pro std zooms like 24-70f2.8FX but those are super expensive and won't be available till next Summer or so.
People seem like freaking out with the Nikon 's recent announcement of it's first FF and D300 , well they are great on paper , but who cares when it is not backed by any lens or accessary yet? Nikon still has a long tough way to go catching up Canon. The 40D is a great Camera with a lot of real users backing up the fact with great photosIf you go for the Canon , get the 17-85IS or 17-55IS with eF70-200F4LIS and EF-S10-22. IF you go with the Nikon D80 , should get the 18-70DX , which is a much better lens than the 18-135(which has soft plastic mount and slow AF) with the AF-S70-300VR and 12-24DX. Both are good systems. Just never buy Pentax and Oly , they will die soon ...
Oh forgot , also consider the AF-S14-24 f2.8 , the newest Nikon lens , sounds great...
One more thing, I fogot to tell you that the bodies are all disposable and will be obsolete in a year , so save a bit on a body and get a great glass or 2. For exmaple ,until we can confirm their DX and eF-S policy firmly , better not invest too much money on a 40D or D300 kinda cam and an expensive EF-S or DX lenses like Nikon 12-24 or Canon EF-S17-55IS both of which I do own and regret buying them since I do think Canon and Nikon will dump their croppers soon. I am now replacing all my EF-S and DX lenses to their full frame counterparts. And as for a body consider a cheapest body possible in a mount unless you are going for a ff. It is not like film era , you wont keep your body for a long time since tech changes so fast in digital, see the D80 which released just 9 months after the D200 was a much better camera or the same camera in a plastic body. So if you go for a nikon get a D40X , which is like improved version of the D80 with less feature set , if you go for a Canon get a rebel XTII personally like my XTI better than my 40D regarding the IQ , there is no difference between them despite of whatever the reviews say , unless you need a fast pro grade camera , you wont need a 40D .........
So save your money and use it to get a better lensRemember , your lens keep it's value for a long time , while your body is basically disposable in a year or so. Never get a crop camera more expensive than the D80 , a more expensive crop body is just simply wasting you money. Take care...
Neither lens is much good. The 28-135 is an old design and these lenses if Canon are fine for film but not dfor digital. I have a D200 and quite a few lenses, all are full-frame film lenses. All are better than the Canon equivalent. Canon have a problem with wide-standard zooms UNLESS you pay. the 24-70L is superb, but the old 28-70mm f3.5-4.5II is AS GOOD !! (an exception, and I paid only 40 pounds for mine.
I would wait until the new year. Both Canon and Nikon will bring out models in-between your current favourites.
The Sony A100 has higher native resolution than either! And you can get one for the same price now.
The D80 can use manual lenses with metering but no autofocus whereas the Canon options have no such problems (because, worse, they changed their mount completely anyway.
The Pentax can fit ALL K lenses with it's metering and antishake and ergonomically is better-designed than any of them, but it's Jpegs lack resolution and the 18-55mm lens is as bad as the kit Canon lens.
The thing to do is ask yourself what you want to photograph.Need for SpeedII? Why have a camera anyway? How will instant results alter how you work-big clear screen? The Nikon D40x with it's VERY GOOD 18-55mm kit lens is under 400 pounds. Thinks...... The results are as good as a D200 (they are) noise is worse than a 40D, (it is)IF I Started over again I would buy the Pentax in a future revised version in which per-pixel sharpness equalled the D200, which it anyway should. You have every K mount lens ever made available, so the man who said Pentax have no lenses is , well, inaccurate. And then theres the 4:3 option. Olympus colour is very very good, their IS and anti-shake are excellent, and they are at least on average more reliable than either Canon or Nikon are at the moment.
And their pro model E3 is SPLASHPROOF and DUSTPROOF- kind of important!!!! Their lenses are too. Of course, if you do not want to go super long or sports/birdies 3 miles away, you have forgotten that there is another way. Shhhhh.... the Sony R1.
Resolution in RAW as good as any 10MP machine, A twist and flip screen ideally placed for discreet waist-level operation. It is SILENT.And with half-press focus is faster than any of the above-zero shutter delay-faster than a Leica, and the 24-120mm f2.8-f4.8 Zeiss T lens, in mint condition is superb. It can still be had for 400 pounds new. If stronger and weather[proof it would replace every DSLR on the market in it's optical range. BUT, you are not moving up, because no digicam equals film for quality, period. A $100 s/h SLR outclasses a full-frame EOS 5D.
THe digital solution lacks life, except for a Fuji and then you have, as with Sigma, other factors. The Sigmas are very good. They have EASILY the best colour and resolution at 100%, but are still less than 5 MP. They have huge advantages because the viewfinder is more than 100%. You get space all around the lens field of view- like an M4 Leica with a standard lens, so that you can compose better, faster- you can see what is coming into or going out of the frame..
You need to get technical data from competent reviewers, like here, Dpreview, etc. Or well known/qualified experts. Nikon, like Canon, has a fine array of full frame lenses - the lenses originating from use with film cameras, "full frame" film cameras. Neither Canon nor Nikon nor any other maker has announced any plans to leave the small frame dslr market. The cost advantages to producing the sensors and lenses is far more important to the broader market than the rather esoteric technical advantages of "full frame" which appeal to more advanced users. Most consumer and hobbyist users are happy to take advantage of the increased reach of the "crop factor." Start here for Nikon:.
Http://www.bythom.com/ Here for Canon:.
I recommend the Canon 20D!!.
I love that camera plus yu can mix your lenses up!!.
I have some photos that I took with it on viewbug.com.
My username is KIRK Enjoy!..
Would you chose the Canon 30D over the Nikon D80? If the price was the same. The lens on the Canon is the 28-125 IS. Thanks..
Excellent post Derik. Most of that was more informative to me than days of research. At least it refined my research somewhat. If you were to pick one lense as an all around starter, which would it be? Thanks, Colin..