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Which System is better, Canon or Nikon, for low-mid range users?
I'm a first-time DSLR purchaser. My wife is expecting in July with our first. My priority is to take great pics of my wife and the baby. I intend to buy either the D40 or XTi to learn on along with an excellent lens and then at some point upgrade to a more advanced model (keeping the lens.) That way I will have only invested approximately $500 to learn basic photography skills, have a great lens to help take better pics with initially, and still have a useful lens when I am ready to upgrade..

The next step in my analysis is which manufacturer has the better lenses between $600 and less, Canon or Nikon?.

I heard that Nikon makes better flashes..

The overarching question is which manufacturer gives you the best value?.

I have to admit that the fact that Nikon charges over $130 for firmware while other manu.'s like Canon do not charge at all is a BIG turnoff!.

Jay..

Comments (22)

Btw, I meant $500 on the body only and then no more than $600 on a lens...

Comment #1

The answer actually in that range is neither Nikor or Canon..

Olympus is a much better value. You can get an E510 for under $500 which will include in camera image stabilzation, live view, and dust redution. Neither the Canon or Nikon include these. You can maie it with an Oly 18-54 F2.8-3.5 for another $425. Total cost around $900 and you will have a system with more features then either the Nikon (which can't even use all the nikon lenses) or the Canon..

MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #2

You can get some excellent results with either. If you go with the canon, a good cheap lens is the 50mm F1.8. It's about $80. I've compared it's images to a $950 zoom and it's hard to see much difference. It's also good for low light and shallow depth of field portraits. I bought one along with the XTi and am impressed with the results. Nikon may have a similar lens...

Comment #3

Yes, but what happens when I outgrow the 510? Canon and Nikon have agreat mid-range cameras. Oly doesn't seem to have a mid-range camera at all. It goes straight to the E3, which is pricey...

Comment #4

This question has no correct answer? Do some checking on line at some to the camera web sites. Have a check list of what you want not what you need. There is a big difference. Check the price range of what you want. Armed with this information go to the local camera store have each camera in your hand see how it feels. Ask the camera sales staff to explain parts you all ready know? just to see his/her knowledge base.

Have the list facing you most of the good sales people like teachers read up side down. See what type of a discount you can get if they are hungry they will deal. I had $100.00 spread on a flash when I was going to buy one...

Comment #5

Doesn't matter. Both are up to the tasks you plan for your camera. Heck ANY DSLR would be fine because they all know how to build good cameras..

Do yourself a favor, don't waste a buch of time looking for the "perfect" choice. None of 'em are perfect, all have their faults. Buy the one that fits in your hand the best and offers you the most for your money.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #6

For a $600 lens budget and family photos, I'd suggest the Tamron 17-50mm constant f/2.8 lens (or the similar Sigma 18-50mm constant f/2.8 lens that has the autofocus motor in the lens), plus your camera vendor's 50mm f/1.8 lens. Short of going to an "all-prime" kit (e.g., 35mm f/2 + 50mm f/1.8), this would maximize your ability to take pictures with available light..

If you'd rather have more telephoto reach (at the expense of speed), something like the Nikon 18-135mm + Nikon 50mm f/1.8 or the Canon 17-85mm IS + Canon 50mm f/1.8 wouldn't be too bad..

Note that the Nikon D40 doesn't have a built-in focus motor. So lenses like the Nikon kit zooms and the HSM version of the Sigma will be convenient to use on it. Lense like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and the Tamron will have to be focused by hand (with only a focus indicator in the viewfinder for assist)..

I haven't heard of Nikon charging $130 for firmware (the software that lives inside the camera). Perhaps you're referring to one of their RAW converters (software that runs on your computer, to post-process NEF files)?..

Comment #7

A reasonable question. However the E3 really is a mid-range camera. It does not compete with the top of the line Canon's or Nikon's..

The E510 is comperable to the D80 for Nikon in quality and features. If you look at the D80 as a "mid-range" then you would already be there. The E3 is supposed to compete with the D200/D300 range..

The D300 is a little over 1700. The E3 is around 1600. The D200 is $1400. Personally I think the E3 is better then the 200 but not the 300 so it is probably priced about right. However the E3 will come down in price because it is fairly new and the Oly Flagship..

However the camera body is not as important as the glass and neither is as important as the person holding the camera. Oly has excellent glass and it will be several years before you outgrow your first DSLR if ever..

All DSLRs now take excellent shots, once you learn the camera and lens. Certainly one can argue which has better high ISO or which has faster AF or which has better build. However ALL of them will perform better at high ISO then a film camera. All will focus faster then doing it manually. So selection is often a matter of personal taste, feel and comfort of the camera and budget. Look at all of them but don't limit your potential selection to Canikons.



MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #8

My typical response to the asked 100 times a day question around here "Which is better, Nikon or Canon?"..

Which is better.Pepsi or Coke?.

Go to the store.play with them.whichever one you like the feel of in your hands.buy that one!.

That one will be the best.for you!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

From Oly E-510:.

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

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #9

Glen Barrington wrote:.

Doesn't matter. Both are up to the tasks you plan for your camera.Heck ANY DSLR would be fine because they all know how to build goodcameras..

Do yourself a favor, don't waste a buch of time looking for the"perfect" choice. None of 'em are perfect, all have their faults.Buy the one that fits in your hand the best and offers you the mostfor your money..

Glen is right again. Buy the one that fit's your hand and is easy for you to understand..

Another difference is the people that buy these camera brands..

Join your local camera club. Notice which brand of camera the obnoxious people have. Buy the other one... .

You can do the same thing by reading the dSLR forums here, but it's more fun to see them in person..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #10

One of the many reasons that I like having an Oly DSLR..

I can go just about anywhere and don't have people bugging me to borrow a lens or a flash!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

From Oly E-510:.

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

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #11

WrightStuff wrote:.

This question has no correct answer? Do some checking on line atsome to the camera web sites. Have a check list of what you want notwhat you need. There is a big difference. Check the price range ofwhat you want. Armed with this information go to the local camerastore have each camera in your hand see how it feels. Ask the camerasales staff to explain parts you all ready know? just to see his/herknowledge base.

Have the list facing you most of the good sales peoplelike teachers read up side down. See what type of a discount you canget if they are hungry they will deal. I had $100.00 spread on aflash when I was going to buy one..

There is no direct comparison..

I may not be updated with the latest lens and other accessories line up and prices. But you cannot just make comparison on prices of camera body or (kit) lens for example. Canon may have lower price 18-55 than the nikon counterpart, but you may not be satisfied with the canon and would probably satisfied with the nikon's. But if you want the canon 17-40 f/4, there is none available from the nikon for comparison. This also applies to camera bodies and other accessories such as flash. D80 costs more than 400D or 450D, but if you want to shoot using off-camera flash, with the canon, you need to spend more for the accessories, while with D80, all you need is one SB600 or SB800. Of course if you now know what exactly your need is it will be easy to make the calculation but you may find your additional needs later when you already make the purchase...

Comment #12

And if you want wireless TTL flash.then you have to go with Pentax or Sony!.

In-body image stabilizer.Olympus, Pentax or Sony..

Bottom line.they are all good.Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony, Panasonic..

None are better than the other.they all have certain things that make each stand out above the other!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #13

Jaydubbs15 wrote:.

I'm a first-time DSLR purchaser. My wife is expecting in July withour first. My priority is to take great pics of my wife and thebaby. I intend to buy either the D40 or XTi to learn on along withan excellent lens and then at some point upgrade to a more advancedmodel (keeping the lens.) That way I will have only investedapproximately $500 to learn basic photography skills, have a greatlens to help take better pics with initially, and still have a usefullens when I am ready to upgrade..

The next step in my analysis is which manufacturer has the betterlenses between $600 and less, Canon or Nikon?.

I heard that Nikon makes better flashes..

The overarching question is which manufacturer gives you the best value?.

I have to admit that the fact that Nikon charges over $130 forfirmware while other manu.'s like Canon do not charge at all is a BIGturnoff!.

Jay.

I suggest getting the least expensive body that has ergonomics that suit you. Spend most of your budget on the lens. The best choice for you may be one of the two large brands but best value for your taste may come from lesser known brands..

Pentax K100d with a 43mm lens. Iso 1600 on a entry level 6 MP body. A very good lens does make a difference..

Http://www.bhphotovideo.com/...A/Pentax_20180_SMCP_FA_43mm_f_1_9_Limited.html.

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

Comment #14

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

.....All DSLRs now take excellent shots, once you learn the camera andlens. Certainly one can argue which has better high ISO or which hasfaster AF or which has better build. However ALL of them willperform better at high ISO then a film camera..

That statement needs VERY heavy qualification. The dynamic range of negative film is still superior by a couple of stops to any DSLR whether at high or low ISO. The DR of DSLRs broadly equates to slide film. It has not got the latitude and flexibility of negative film. I do not want to get into a fire fight but the OP needs to check the dynanamic range figures at high and low ISO on any camera he is considering. They are available in the reviews on this site (Stick to one source for such figures.



All will focus faster then doing it manually. So selection is often a matter of personal taste, feel and comfort of the camera and budget. Look at all of > them but don't limit your potential selection to Canikons. Sony, Pentax, Olys are also great cameras often with more features for less $$..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #15

MusicDoctorDJ wrote:.

My typical response to the asked 100 times a day question around here"Which is better, Nikon or Canon?"..

Which is better.Pepsi or Coke?.

Go to the store.play with them.whichever one you like thefeel of in your hands.buy that one!.

That one will be the best.for you!.

He has already done that as you would know if you had troubled to read other posts in this thread..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=26794461.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #16

Mrxdimension wrote:.

The overarching question is which manufacturer gives you the best value?.

I have to admit that the fact that Nikon charges over $130 forfirmware while other manu.'s like Canon do not charge at all is a BIGturnoff!.

Jay,.

I think you are referring to to Capture NX. If you stick with taking jpeg shots you have zero need for it. Whether you buy Nikon or Canon you may want to purchase a software program in which case I would suggest Photoshop Elements or, if you buy Nikon then either Capture NX or Elements (Elements is a little cheaper but you will get much better results on your Nikon with NX (An almost universally acknowledged fact even from those who don't like the program)..

I suggest getting the least expensive body that has ergonomics thatsuit you. Spend most of your budget on the lens. The best choicefor you may be one of the two large brands but best value for yourtaste may come from lesser known brands..

Sound advice!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #17

Nikon's D40x/D50 aren't as feature filled as Canon's XTi/XSi entry models, but if you are willing to move up to a D80 or D90 (whenever it comes out), they're both good..

I've used both Canon and Nkon and prefer Canon. Canon isn't the best though. I am not one to fall for brand loyalty. To me, Canon is the market leader, just resting on their laurels, without any innovation. They are known for "traditional" photography strengths however like lens lineup, excellent noise control, CMOS sensors, and I actually find that they make everything very user-friendly. Nikon is just the opposite in my mind.

They have a lot of interesting technology that should be standard - 3D Color Matrix II, i-TTL flash system, compressed RAW option, on-demand grid-lines in viewfinder, D-Lighting. I guess if you want something that is less maintence and very pick-up-and-play, Canon would be the way to go. Nikon would be better if you like having much more options and "state-of-the-art" things at your disposal. I myself would switch to Nikon but only if they really changed the design of their cameras - body wise and in camera (like playback, menus, etc). I'm actually not one to not use something because of design, but with photography, it would be too costly for me to switch anyways now..

I don't want to make this any more complicated but you could also consider Fuji at this stage. They're like a hybrid of Canon and Nikon in my mind. In my opinion, they have one of the best sensor designs (they have SuperCCD, only Sigma's Foveon X3 is as unique), with low noise and good dynamic range, but their dslrs can use Nikon accessories if I'm correct. So with Fuji you could have more choice if you ever deceided to switch bodies..

Goodluck with whatever your decision is...

Comment #18

Glitched wrote:.

Nikon's D40x/D50 aren't as feature filled as Canon's XTi/XSi entrymodels, but if you are willing to move up to a D80 or D90 (wheneverit comes out), they're both good..

Check out all the cool accessories available for the Nikon D90:.

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

Just tossing out a little humor! {(:-0)}.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #19

A great feature for learning is auto bracketing.. not on the d40Xti has nor spot metering..

Sony A200 has bracketing, sport metering,.

And has a wireless flash controller build in so when you pick up an external flash form Sony, sigma, Metz.. you can start create better flash images wiht less flat light..

Plus there are some great low cost Minolta lenses on Ebay that work with it. Some of the lowe cost Nikon AF lenses won't work with the D40.

Oh and did I mention the Sony has built in stablization so even if you are shooting bargain lenses of something for low light like a $100 ebay Minolta 50mm 1.7 it is stablized..

Ken - Happy A700 Ownerhttp://www.cascadephotoworks.com..

Comment #20

Could have better noise control though. Just my 2c..

Ken_5D wrote:.

A great feature for learning is auto bracketing.. not on the d40Xti has nor spot metering..

Sony A200 has bracketing, sport metering,and has a wireless flash controller build in so when you pick up anexternal flash form Sony, sigma, Metz.. you can start create betterflash images wiht less flat light..

Plus there are some great low cost Minolta lenses on Ebay that workwith it. Some of the lowe cost Nikon AF lenses won't work with theD40.

Oh and did I mention the Sony has built in stablization so even ifyou are shooting bargain lenses of something for low light like a$100 ebay Minolta 50mm 1.7 it is stablized..

Ken - Happy A700 Ownerhttp://www.cascadephotoworks.com..

Comment #21

Glitched wrote:.

Could have better noise control though. Just my 2c..

Which model the A200 is much better than the A100 was in this area..

Ken_5D wrote:.

A great feature for learning is auto bracketing.. not on the d40Xti has nor spot metering..

Sony A200 has bracketing, sport metering,and has a wireless flash controller build in so when you pick up anexternal flash form Sony, sigma, Metz.. you can start create betterflash images wiht less flat light..

Plus there are some great low cost Minolta lenses on Ebay that workwith it. Some of the lowe cost Nikon AF lenses won't work with theD40.

Oh and did I mention the Sony has built in stablization so even ifyou are shooting bargain lenses of something for low light like a$100 ebay Minolta 50mm 1.7 it is stablized..

Ken - Happy A700 Ownerhttp://www.cascadephotoworks.com.

Ken - Happy A700 Ownerhttp://www.cascadephotoworks.com..

Comment #22

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