Which Camera Is Best for Me? Canon Rebel XTI vs. Nikon D80
I was hoping to get some advice between the Nikon D80 and the Canon Rebel XTI. I am a beginner photographer (have no existing lenses, etc) that is interested in getting a great camera and a couple of lenses that I can use for several years while I pick up this new hobby. I am planning on getting a couple books and taking some classes to gain some experience as both of these cameras will require some knowledge. I am from the states, but will be in Australia for the next few months and plan on taking some landscape/wildlife pictures coupled with shots in the city as I do some exploring here. I have looked at both cameras extensively and cannot decide which one will be the best fit for me. I have been looking at the following packages and they are almost identical in price..

Canon package includes the following lenses.- Zoom Super Wide Angle EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Autofocus Lens- EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens.



Nikon package includes the following lenses.- 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX- 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR.


1. Am I looking at the appropriate types of lenses for the type of pictures I will be taking?.

2. What camera is going to be easier to learn and will give a novice better pictures, but will also be a great camera down the road as I plan on keeping this for several years?.

3. The packages are basically identical in price and the only difference that I really see in the packages is that I believe that the Canon package the 17-85 lens comes with image stabilization if I am not mistaken. Is this correct? Is image stabilization needed on a lens like this?.

4. Who makes the better lenses out of those I am looking at? Since the Canon Body is $160 cheaper and the package total is the same the canon lenses must cost more than the Nikon. Are they worth it?.

5. Is one camera/lens package particularly better at the photos I am looking to take (landscape, wildlife, city shots)?.

I am just looking for recommendations/comments that will help me to make a decision as to what camera package is a better fit for me..

Thanks in advance...

Comments (7)

I am in the same exact boat. I hope you get some solid answers. Let me know what you come up with. Thanks...

Comment #1

I cannot speak to the Nikon, I do not have it, nor have I used it. I have the XTi and I love the camera. It allows me to do quite a bit. As for a direct comparison it comes down to which you personally like better. Both are great cameras, which one feels better for you to hold and so on..

Another big factor to consider is to you have any family or friends that would be able to loan you lens in the future for either camera. That is one reason I chose the Canon..

Feel safe in both those cameras though, they are both great.Ben..

Comment #2


One thing that you may consider is the feel of the camera in your hand. I bought the D80 about 9 months ago and was considering the same bodies you mention. The Canon is smaller and does have a differnt feel. The Nikon is a little bigger. That will be critical to taking good shots. I would recommend going and holding them if you have not already done so.

I am very happy with the D80. I have the 18-135mm lens so I cannot comment on your set up. I can tell you that 70-300 mm VR is on my wish list. I just ordered the 50 mm 1.8f and am waiting for it to be delivered. I do not have any experience with the Canon xti other than what I felt in the store..

Good luck with you decision making!Mike..

Comment #3

Here is the reseller ratings:

Both Canon and Nikon are good, but I don't recommend the kit unless it's the original one from the manufacturer..

Most people will upgrade the camera body in 3 years, lens can last at least 10-20 years. XTi is good for beginners, cheap and has enough features. The EF-S 17-55mm IS is a much better lens compares to the 17-85mm IS, there is a $70 instant rebate right now..


70-300mm IS is good, for me, it's a little bit short for sports and wildlife. I'd rather save the money for the more expensive L lens (100-400mm or 400mm).YongboPhoto Gallery:

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

Comment #4

I would say that the D80 is a slight step up form the XTi, but it's close. As far as lens quality, both manufactures produce some of the worlds very finest at the top end and really not so good at the bottom. I would rank the 17-85 canon above the 18-70 Nikon, but the 70-300 Nikon is at least as good, probably a little better ( I have used both). If you don't really NEED 300mm of reach, and since that equates to a traditional 450mm on these bodies, here is something you might consider. All of the lenses you mention are fairly "slow" lenses, meaning that the have a small maximum aperture. Rather than that 2 lens kit, for about the same price, I would much rather have the really nice and versatile Nikon 18-200 VR + a 50mm 1.8 (for really low light or when you want a shallow depth of field). Much easier to carry around too...

Comment #5

2. What camera is going to be easier to learn and will give a novicebetter pictures, but will also be a great camera down the road as Iplan on keeping this for several years?.

Although each has it's own control system, they both will be about as easy to learn. Both will have automatic modes (A, P) and semi-automatic modes (S/Tv, A/Av) that will make them almost as easy to operate as a digital P&S camera you'll only need to learn how to move the autofocus selection point at first..

Both should take high-quality pictures provided that you have attached a decent-quality lens (that isn't dirty or scratched-up or anything)..

The Nikon D80 has the better body with a larger, pentaprism-based viewfinder and dual control dials that help you to change commonly-adjusted settings without wading through the menus. The D80 can also wirelessly control SB-600 and SB-800 flashes. But as far as "down the road" is concerned, you should look at the vendor's whole system of lenses and flashes (especially the ones relevant to your interests), not just at the body...

Comment #6

Have you considered the Pentax K10D? I'm thinking of getting the K10D - it's priced cheaper, and is comparable to Nikon D80 or Canon 30D (it's ranked as a semi-pro camera, for price of amateur DSLR). I found it for $650 after rebate with the kit lens. You can buy all the old Pentax lenses. It has 72 weather seals, and dust sensor/cleaner. It has anti shake built into the body, so all the lenses you put on will have that feature. Only downside, from what I've read, is that the jpeg's, while having as much detail as the competition, are 'softer', with a more film-like appearance (edges aren't as sharp).

(for me, I'm looking to buy 1st DSLR, currently have Olympus C-700 with 10X optical zoom...mostly will be shooting family/portraits, pets, wildlife/vacation photos...scrapbooking is my hobby so want to get good photos. I'm torn between Pentax K10D, and Rebel XTi. Also looking at Nikon D40/D40X, and Pentax K100. Can anyone offer suggestions? I plan to shoot mostly in aperture priority, so not having all the program modes won't bother me that much...lately with my Oly, mostly been shooting in Aperture priority..


Comment #7

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