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Old May 22, 2008, 1:19 PM   #1
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I have decided I'll go for these. The Sony, Pentax and Olympus all seem nice, but that is another topic.

With all said below - I own a Canon Powershot S3 right now. I like it, but miss e.g. the higher control of DOF on an SLR. I will mainly shoot birds, wildlife, flowers and maybe portraits. Some indoor photo, but it hasn't been much for me. Therefore, I will start out with a 70-300 lens, the kit lens 18-55 and a cheap 50/f1.4 or 1.8. Next up is probably a 105 or 150 macro and after that a wide-angle lens, like Sigma 10-20.

My quick question is - Canon XSi or Nikon D80 for this. It will be about the same price for the 3 starter lenses.

The longer issue for those that are not already bored by me...

Here is the deal. I am only referring to non FF cameras, btw. I want to buy either the Xsi or the Nikon D80 (yes, I know, I should maybe wait for the D90). I am really choosing between two systems, rather than the models. My research says this:

People say that Canon has better autofocus than Nikon. Is that really true (e.g. I have heard the Nikon D300 is excellent)? If so, what is the cause? The bodies or the lenses?

The noise on higher ISO is different on Canon than on the Nikon. Canon is supposed to be better performance-wise at higher ISOs. But check e.g. Ken Rockwell's site. And for me, this doesn't matter that much, because I will not sit in front of the computer looking at 200 % crops or print my picture in 30x60...

Canon has a better selection of certain lenses, especially prime lenses. This seems to be a slight artefact, because people here on the forum often states that this is due to the D40/D60 lack of internal motor.

I can't afford buying any L-series lenses right now except maybe the 70-200. I think this goes for most people starting out. The same goes for the expensive Nikon lenses. So is there really a big difference in choices between these systems for the amateur photographer? VR/IS vs non-stabilized lenses? (speaking in favor of systems with in-body stabilization, even though I'd be willing to pay for in lens-stabilization for different reasons).

An important question to ask is, what is the future? Will there be a change in these systems making one more attractive than the other? On Dpreview, somebody stated Thom Hogan writes something that Nikon is planning to go more for the "higher end" scale, partly due to them seeing a decline in sale for the next year. Will this also mean lenses? I don't know about Canon, but let's assume they have better choices for the budget photographer, then why go with Nikon?

Reasons for Nikon are e.g. better ergonomics, flash systems and better reputation for color rendering. But is this true for the middle- to low-end lenses or just the top-of-the line. I think this goes for anything. People seem to confuse this issue. Of course there is a difference, but how much does it matter in practice if you can never buy those lenses that makes the difference? And how much does it matter if you can't spot the difference in normal use, e.g. if you rarely print larger than 10x15?

Comments? Thx everybody!
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