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Very Honest Question Please
Hi All, I am not trying to start another D40x vs XTi thread here, but it may turn out that way..

I am researching dSLRs and a good starter one. I now have a Canon S3 and I do enjoy it a lot, but I just really want to try out a dSLR..

There seem to be pros and cons to each camera. I find myself working more and more in the manual settings on my S3, for this reason the XTi appeals to me more. It seems that with the more dedicated buttons on the back panel, I can make changes faster. The changes can be made on the D40x, but having to go into the menus is slower it would seem. I am not to thrilled with the kit 18-55 lens on the XTi. In my limited knowledge the 18-55 lens of the D40x does a better job..

I have been looking at many pictures on pBase shot from both cameras. Maybe I am nuts (likely), but it seems that I like the colors better on pictures taken with the D40x..

I am very confused really. It seems that the XTi is a better camera to grow with and the D40x is somewhat limited..

I really am not sure what question to ask. I guess what I am really wanting to know is if there are any of you that have gotten the D40x and a few months down the road, wished that you would have gotten the XTi?.

Thanks for any input at all..

Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comments (29)

IMVHO, they are both fine cameras, and you can feel good buying either one..

It may come down to ergonomics. Go to a store, the the sales person know you are torn between the two bodies, and you want about 10 minutes to play around with each one..

Then notice how it fits in your hands. How do you like the control layout.How does the viewfinder look, how easy is it to load/unload the memory card.

Finally, don't be bothered with buyer's remorse. The moment you buy one or the other, a good friend will tell you you should have bought the other.Buy it, and shoot it.Warm regards,DOF..

Comment #1

Thanks for the reply DOF! I have held both in my hands and the D40x feels better to me. The D40x also uses the same memory that my Canon S3 uses so that is also a plus. It is the lack of controls that is bugging me on the Nikon. Maybe I am missing something here. It seems like the XTi is more advanced in that regard..

Thanks, Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #2

Menu diving is bad. you need a camera that lets you control aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation and ISO without menu diving. some cameras do have one customizable button...

Comment #3

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Thanks for the reply DOF! I have held both in my hands and the D40xfeels better to me. The D40x also uses the same memory that my CanonS3 uses so that is also a plus. It is the lack of controls that isbugging me on the Nikon. Maybe I am missing something here. It seemslike the XTi is more advanced in that regard..

You need to remember that the D40/D40x was designed for the 90% of the people that put there camera on AUTO, and leave it there.Sounds like you are in the other 10%You could always look at other Nikons, perhaps even buy a used body.

Memory is so cheap now-adays, that re-using existing memory should not factor in too much..

Warm regards,DOF..

Comment #4

And go for a camera that allows you to shoot in manual without button gymnastics..

Go for a D80 or 30D instead..

Gene..

Comment #5

I shoot with an Oly E-1 which has a dedicated button for just about any common function that you might want to change..

My son shoots with the Nikon D40. It's true that you have to go to a menu to change some things. But what I find is that I change something, then shoot a bunch of pictures. Change another thing, shoot a bunch of pictures. It really isn't all that inhibiting. After a while you get, in your photography, that you'll know where the settings need to be and you won't be making many changes at all.



I'd go for the Nikon, because it feels better to you. A camera you enjoy holding will go with you, the one you don't enjoy will be left at home. And on that note, I'd suggest that you hold an Oly E510 as well.A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #6

If you prefer the Nikon ergonomics then you should probably go that route. Both manufacturers make fine cameras, and you really can't go horribly wrong with either..

That said, you may want to consider a used D70s over the D40x (or jest getting a D40 and spend your money on lenses). Don't get caught up in the megapixel marketting hype. All they do 99.9% of the time is chew up space on your memory card / PC. Unless you plan to print posters - you don't need a 10MP body. The D70s is compatable with lenses that don't have their own focus motor, and some will tell you that the operation of the camera is more photographer friendly than the D40 series. Your mileage may vary, and I can't attest to it personally either way..

The dust cleaning technology on the 400D is a nice feature. Not something folks coming from film think about much...

Comment #7

Money is a real issue in this equation. I also was looking at the Sony A100, but the noise issue does concern me with this camera. Other than that it seems like a pretty good value..

Thanks, Ron.

R Valentino wrote:.

And go for a camera that allows you to shoot in manual without buttongymnastics..

Go for a D80 or 30D instead..

Gene.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #8

Ron E Trees wrote:.

...I have been looking at many pictures on pBase shot from both cameras.Maybe I am nuts (likely), but it seems that I like the colors betteron pictures taken with the D40x....

IMHO you should simplify life for yourself and forget about comparison of images. These are all good cameras. Under the right conditions, and with good technique, they are all capable of producing great pictures with vibrant colours etc..

Don't forget that the images you are looking at on pbase were taken by different photographers under different conditions, of different subjects..

The lighting conditions, your exposure settings and techique (etc) are much more important than any inherent differences in the camera..

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Comment #9

You are 100% correct!! Thanks!.

Ron.

Arrowman wrote:.

Ron E Trees wrote:.

...I have been looking at many pictures on pBase shot from both cameras.Maybe I am nuts (likely), but it seems that I like the colors betteron pictures taken with the D40x....

IMHO you should simplify life for yourself and forget aboutcomparison of images. These are all good cameras. Under the rightconditions, and with good technique, they are all capable ofproducing great pictures with vibrant colours etc..

Don't forget that the images you are looking at on pbase were takenby different photographers under different conditions, of differentsubjects..

The lighting conditions, your exposure settings and techique (etc)are much more important than any inherent differences in the camera..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #10

Ron E Trees wrote:.

In my limited knowledge the 18-55 lens of the D40x does a better job..

If you are interested in the Rebel XTi, you can buy the camera body without the 18-55mm lens and add a better one..

Some possibilities are the Tamron 17-50mm constant f/2.8, the Sigma 18-50mm constant f/2.8 "macro" lens, the Sigma 17-70 lens, or the Canon 18-85mm IS lens..

It might be worth even going back to the Rebel XT (350D) body (assuming that you can find any new, from a reputable dealer) if it makes the difference between upgrading the lens, and not upgrading it...

Comment #11

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Money is a real issue in this equation. I also was looking at theSony A100, but the noise issue does concern me with this camera.Other than that it seems like a pretty good value..

The review on Dpreview compares the A100 quite favorably to the D200. If you read the whole review carefully, you might feel that the A100 is a good choice after all...

Comment #12

Luxor2 wrote:.

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Money is a real issue in this equation. I also was looking at theSony A100, but the noise issue does concern me with this camera.Other than that it seems like a pretty good value..

The review on Dpreview compares the A100 quite favorably to the D200.If you read the whole review carefully, you might feel that the A100is a good choice after all..

Doesn't the D40x use the same sensor as the A100? If so, it probably has similar noise characteristics. As a SONY owner, I would not recommend the A100...but my rationalle is that SONY has terrible customer service and is arrogant to a fault. As a Nikon owner, I know that Nikon is on the other end of the customer service scale. Nikon may cost a bit more, but you get what you pay for, IMO..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #13

I use a Nikon D50, and picked it over the 300D at the time because of the Nikon's better ergonomics. Our camera at work is a 400D XTI, which I used as a backup for a friend's wedding recently. I found that with all the extra buttons, it was a lot easier for me accidentally change the metering for example, or the AF mode or something. We have a 430EX flash for it too, on which I find the flash compensation extremely difficult to change because the buttons are so deeply recessed. That being said, there's a lot to like about the XTI as well though, like the review screen that shows a histogram, flashing highlights and other info on the one screen. Like others have said, try each in your hand and see what you're comfortable with.

At the time I bought my D50, a key choice factor was that it had an AF assist light, whereas the Canon had to have the flash popped up. Seeing as I was taking pics of my new baby, I didn't want the flash to be strobing her all the time. Ken Rockwell on his site has been comparing Nikon V Canon a bit recently, so you may as well head over there and have a read too. Best of luck with it...

Comment #14

Hi Ron:.

Long but hopefully helpful. Caveat: I am more of a weekend social picture taker, and am learning to try to be more of a photographer. J.

I just did a comparison b/t the 10 mp D40/x and my 6 mp Digital Rebel (had it for 4 years). In a close call I kept the Rebel, but wanted the D40/x. J If all my Canon stuff disappeared today  I would march out to the store today and buy a Nikon D40 (6 mp) and an 18-200 VR as my first lens..

Addressing your concerns:.

Ergonomics/buttons for ISO/W/B.

I am not a full manual person and I dont know if I would change the ISO or White Balance several times a day (in the old days you were stuck with the film you had). If you change ISO and W/B on quite often, then Id say you have a point. Otherwise, it might be as onerous as learning a Mac command coming from a PC. Different&but; once you get it, you get it and it works well enough. I also wouldnt get too caught up in comparing Nikon with Canon, so much as comparing either DSLR with S3. In that regard, you cant go wrong with either..

In general, to me, camera ergonomics are almost as important as IQ. If I dont like holding it or fiddling with it, I wont use it, no matter how many nice pictures it takes. I liked the Nikon D40/x ergos a lot; but it's a personal thing. I did NOT like the D80 ergos  too fat for my medium hands..

Something else to consider  depending on your type of pictures you take, you may use separate flash. The Canon 430EX and 580EXII are larger than the SB600/800 flashes on the Nikons. With the 18-200 VR lens the whole unit was still really easy to manage. To get the same images with a Canon with a 70-200 4 (which I have) it is significantly heavier and a little bulkier but still decently balanced. If youre not a zoom guy, then the weight balance may appear top heavy on the Canon..

Image Quality.

As for image quality  same shots at the same settings on the Nikon and the Rebel were quite comparable. Add a little I-Photo tools  and you get equally stunning images&but; again, Im new to this, and not a pro..

The onboard flash for the Nikon worked much better than my Rebels flash  longer, stronger, and smarter. Most of the pictures inside 20 feet were much better exposed with the Nikon imho. With separate flashes (SB600 vs. 430EX), the images were comparable..

What I used:.

Nikon 40x18-5555-200VR18-200VRSB600 flash.

Canon 300D18-55Tamron 28-300 (non DI, non vibration control)70-200 2.8 (borrowed)70-200 4 IS.

In the end, I loved the Nikon, but I couldnt justify getting all new Nikon stuff, instead of just a new lens (70-200 4 IS) since I already had a bunch of Canon equipment. At over $1000 difference b/t the two options, my wife said thats too much just for "better ergonomics".  .

But I sure wanted to.  .

Hope this helps..

RNW123..

Comment #15

Ron E Trees wrote:.

Hi All, I am not trying to start another D40x vs XTi thread here, butit may turn out that way.I am researching dSLRs and a good starter one. I now have a Canon S3and I do enjoy it a lot, but I just really want to try out a dSLR.There seem to be pros and cons to each camera. I find myself workingmore and more in the manual settings on my S3, for this reason theXTi appeals to me more. It seems that with the more dedicated buttonson the back panel, I can make changes faster. The changes can be madeon the D40x, but having to go into the menus is slower it would seem.I am not to thrilled with the kit 18-55 lens on the XTi. In mylimited knowledge the 18-55 lens of the D40x does a better job.I have been looking at many pictures on pBase shot from both cameras.Maybe I am nuts (likely), but it seems that I like the colors betteron pictures taken with the D40x.I am very confused really.

I guess what I am reallywanting to know is if there are any of you that have gotten the D40xand a few months down the road, wished that you would have gotten theXTi?.

If you look for control, you will have to look at more expensive cameras like the 40D or the D80..

Another camera, very inexpensive nowadays, is the Pentax K10D. The ergonomics are really impressive on this one. If you want to mimick your S3 IS, buy a K10D with a Tamron 18-250 which will give you the equivalent of 28-375mm (vs. 36-432 on the S3) and is stabilized thanks to the SR system of the K10D. About 1000$ total..

Manu.

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Http://flickr.com/photos/10506176@N07/..

Comment #16

I really appreciate all of your feed back. It seems to me that the XTi is a bit more of an advanced camera than the D40x but it is a bit hampered by a below average lens. The D40x has a bit better lens it seems to me, but not as easy adjustability..

The Pentax K10 is a great camera, but may be a bit out of my price range for now. And the Sony A100 keeps popping back into the radar. This is not an easy choice AT ALL!!.

Thanks, RonLet's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #17

Ron E Trees wrote:.

I really appreciate all of your feed back. It seems to me that theXTi is a bit more of an advanced camera than the D40x but it is a bithampered by a below average lens. The D40x has a bit better lens itseems to me, but not as easy adjustability.The Pentax K10 is a great camera, but may be a bit out of my pricerange for now. And the Sony A100 keeps popping back into the radar.This is not an easy choice AT ALL!!.

If you are short on cash, go with a D40 (not D40x) or K100D and put more money on the lens. The end result will be better than a good body with a poor lens. If the K10D is too expensive, try the Samsung GX10. Same camera but sold by Samsung, usually cheaper. It sells for 600-700$ with a good kit lens (one of the best kit lens along with Olympus). And it has the same pro features (weather sealing, LCD on top with dials for fast access to each parameters, etc.)..

Manu.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://flickr.com/photos/10506176@N07/..

Comment #18

OK...so don't believe me?.

I took my own advice....it's been camera-rama around here. Had a buddy offer to buy my Rebel from me with my Tamron; AND coincidentally, I found a store at the mall with the 18-200 VR in stock and purchased it.  .

Now just need a 40 or 40x body and we're in business. Somehow I'm saving money I guess....???  The 70-200 f4 is going back..

Get the Nikon.  .

Robb..

Comment #19

I'm surprised you found the K10D too expensive. While I am a Nikon / Fuji professional shooter I do feel that in the sub $1000 range the Pentax K10d offers so much more for the dollar than anything else that it's ridiculous. Most resolution of any 10mp if shot RAW...vastly superior build quality to any short of 40D / D200 class, in body image stabilization (if you are starting out with kit lens that won't have it built in, this is a big deal) weather seals, etc. Buydig has it for $729 minus $100 rebate for kit with 18-55 lens and a 2GB SD card. That's the exact same after rebate as the D40x kit with 18-55 lens and 2GB card they sell for $629. Alternatively you could get the K10D body and 2GB card for $564 after rebate and upgrade the lens to the excellent 16-45 4.0 for $397 if you are concerned a lot with image quality, or spend the same on a Tamron 18-200 if you want versatility, which would give you something comparable to the Nikon with 18-200VR for a lot less since VR is in body...

Comment #20

I really do appreciate all of the info guys!!.

I know that the Pentax is a great camera. I am just amazed at how hard this can get, and we are talking basics here. Nothing fancy at all. What ever I get will have to last me for a long time..

Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #21

Speaking of the Pentax K10D, this seems like a screaming deal if I wanted to go that way.http://www.onecall.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=87098Price before tax would be $649.00.

Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #22

Don't feel bad, I do this everytime I add another lens to the article. You wouldn't believe how long it took me to make up my mind to switch from Canon to Fuji...lol. Wanting it to last a long time might be another reason to consider the K10D, if you don't want to spend the $ to get a 40D or D200. Go pick one up and you will notice the dramatic difference compared to other "entry level" models. Maybe I've spent to many years with pro and semipro bodies in the hand, but personally I just can't warm up to the tiny, plasticy feel of the 400D, D40, E510 class cameras...

Comment #23

I have however purchased items from BuyDig before and recieved them immediately and they state everythign is USA models, not gray market. $629 before tax.

Http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=PKK10D1855..

Comment #24

Thanks for the link to BuyDig. I will check it out also. OneCall is the internet store to a local business here in Spokane. They are called Huppins here. They have been around for a very long time and are a good place to do business with..

Ron.

Let's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #25

Is BuyDig a good place to buy from? They look like they have pretty good prices..

RonLet's Rollhttp://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v105/ront1/Canon%20S3IS/http://www.pbase.com/ront/root..

Comment #26

This is my current system.

Used pentax K100D + 28-105mm lens = 525 CAD (craigslist, local meet).

Pentax 43mm f1.9 prime = ~ 400 (new from states + rebate).

Pentax 21mm f3.2 prime = ~ 400 (new from states + rebate).

Used manual 50mm f1.9 prime = 5 dollars (yes, FIVE) (second hand store).

Used manual focus/auto meter 80-200mm f4.5 = 40 dollars (second hand store).

Vivitar 3500 thyristor flash = 10 dollars (ebay).

$1380.

5 lenses, external flash, and the pictures are great..

Food for thought..

Comment #27

The menu is really easy to use on the 40x plus the last menu item changed is the one that gets defaulted to. I shoot wildlife and haven't missed a shot yet because of the menu. Good luck with your choice!.

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Comment #28

SMPhoto wrote:.

I've spent to many years with pro and semipro bodies in the hand, butpersonally I just can't warm up to the tiny, plasticy feel of the400D, D40, E510 class cameras..

I agree with you here, I like the feel of something substantial and solid but I own the 40x and believe me, after walking around the city or the woods for hours at a time the smaller the camera the better off you are..

I'm going to get the D300 someday but I know there'll be a sacrifice when carrying it around, not to mention the fact that a D300 draws attention to you and makes candids harder to get..

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Comment #29

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