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Old Jan 3, 2007, 8:04 AM   #1
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Nikon D70s + 18-70/3,5-4,5
+ Nikon AF 50/1,8D


Canon EOS 400D + 18-55/3,5-5,6
+ Canon EF 50/1,8 II

In my currency the price is about the same, I have smallish hands so size of the 400D shouldn't be a problem, and I have no prior lenses or experience with either interface. I will be photographing my baby (and later, hyperactive toddler), mostly indoors and I need to be able to do quick shots.

I've read a gazillion reviews, forum posts and the likes, but I still need some views on this. My Canon-using friend tells me Nikon hates their customers and keeps linking me Canon-ads. But he also told me the 50/1,8 would suck and that the 18-55 would suit me just fine and that I should not listen to others on what I "need".

Please advise.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 2:35 PM   #2
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I started out with an EOS 620 (first of the autofocus cameras in the mid-1980's) when I first got married and started having kids - just like you. It was a very high end camera that has served me well and still performs beatifully. I am currently going through the same decision process. Since it is a significant investment, I am really doing the research.I don't have a huge investment so I can choose either Canon or Nikon. I also have a Canon Powershot.

Here is what my buying decision was - I hope it helps.

1) I narrowed my search down tothe Canon 400 and Nikon D80.I wanted a 2.5" LCD screen and a camera that uses SD memory (appears to be future trend), so I eliminated the D70s.The D80 is more expensive than the D70s, but I figure I am going to have the camera for the next 20 years, so it would be worth the extra cost.

2) I eliminated the Canon 18-55 "kit" lens based on reviews about construction etc. but would opt for the better 17-85 IS lens. The kit lens with the Nikon is very good as well. Some have said that the two are comparable. I believe that the Canon lens is metal mount - the Nikon isn't. The Canon has IS, the Nikon doesn't. I read all about the distortions at both ends of the zoom range but nothing convinced me to go with one vs. the other. For both lenses, all reviews were good.

3) Canon has more lens selections that Nikon but that doesn't matter to me. I'm not a user that will have 5 or more lenses.

4) External flashes were about the same price / performance - so that was not a factor. Aside: Don't be fooled about the pop-up flash - they have limited capability. You will eventually want an external flash with some better lighting power and bounce options to eliminate red-eye and shadows, and other options.

4) I read about the grip, size and weight of both in several reviews but that did not convince me. Then finally I went to the store and held both in my hands and for me, the Nikon 80D felt obviously much better. While the Nikon is heavier, it seem more balanced than the Canon and comfortable. While I like Canon products a lot, if a camera is not comfortable in your hands, you won't take pictures. My wife rarely uses my film SLR because it's too heavy for her. So it's me that must be comfortable with it - no one else.

I've decided on theNikon D80 witheither the kit 18-135 or the slightly more expensive 18-70 DX lens. It is just a matter of finding the best price.I am not too concerned about going out to 135mmright now since I will need another lens to go out to 200mm (digital)anyway. I will likely end up with a minimum 3 lenses: a portrait low f-stop lens, 18-70 and 55-200.

Regarding your friends comment about the 50mm vs the 18-55 - yes the zoom is more versitile, but my best pictures (when done correctly)were with the 50mm 1.8 (film factor) lens. Any time you can bring the f-stop down to 1.8 or lower, brilliant pictures can be had. I just wish I could afford a 1.4 f-stop.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.


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Old Jan 3, 2007, 2:45 PM   #3
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You should be comparing the Canon 400D with Nikon D80. The D70s is an older model.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 2:47 PM   #4
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Either one would be fine.

The only way to decide is to go to a shop and try them both out, see which feels better to you.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 2:59 AM   #5
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rey wrote:
You should be comparing the Canon 400D with Nikon D80. The D70s is an older model.
Yeah, I know. The D80 is very droolworthy for me, but there is a price difference.
Just the camera, not lenses or nothings looks like this in my currency/current prices:
400D: 930 USD
D80: 1300 USD.

EOS 400D + 18-55/3,5-5,6: 1030 USD
Nikon D80 + 18-135/3,5-5,6: 1700 USD

I've been considering what to do about Nikons lack of free RAW-editing software too.
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Old Jan 4, 2007, 7:54 AM   #6
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I have read that Canon'sphoto editing software is better - but that was not a personal concern of mine since I use Photoshop and Apple iPhoto and more importantly, since I am only an enthusiast, I try to take pictures that I don't have to mess around with later.

But if editing software is important to you and if the 400D is comfortable in your hand, the 400D is a better value than the D70s in my opinion. Go for it and I am sure you will be happy.
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