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Old Mar 9, 2007, 3:52 PM   #11
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For what it might be worth: I own the Pentax K100D but I find that I shoot more often with my Nikon D-40 and D-50. The D-50 with its current pricing, as JimC has pointed out is a real bargain and fully capable of using the Sigma 17-70mm lens.

If i were to make the choice, my money would be on the D-50 and BTW the Sigma 17-70mm is a great lens.

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Old Mar 9, 2007, 5:17 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the great info folks!

I'm headed to the stores tonight to scope these cameras out as much as possible. I'm pretty torn at the moment. I suspect that I'd do fine with the D40 and the kit lense for now, with hope that Nikon or Sigma bring something out in the future to fill my macro fantasies ;-) There's really just this little niggle in the back of my brain saying that maybe I'll need something MORE not too far down the road...and of course the question is, will the D40 still cut it then? And if I get the D40 and want to upgrade, then I'll need to stick with Nikon I suppose since I'll have a considerableinvestment in lenses. I'm sure that's always an issue!

I'm still thinking on the D50, but it would help if I could see/hold one. Maybe I'll find one at a camera store that sells used equipment...

Anyway, thanks so much to all of you for your input, it's really helping me to put this decision together!
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 9:52 AM   #13
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I looked at all of these cameras last night, and after being able to make some direct comparisons, I made the decision to buy the Canon XTi. The final decision was easy once I was able to look at them. It was based on the focus capabilities. I found the D40 was VERY slow focusing compared to the XTi. I've had a film SLR in the past that had this issue, and I never used it...hated the thing. So that with the lens choice issue was a clincher for me!

I really appreciate all of the input from everyone here!

Once I get my camera and I'm able to get some shots, I'll post a few here.

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Old Mar 10, 2007, 10:55 AM   #14
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cheyenne wrote:

I found the D40 was VERY slow focusing compared to the XTi.
Good point - I completely forgot this was another area they cut back on the D40 - the focus. Doesn't show up in test shots and often glossed over by people who don't know better or have something better to compare to. Not indicative of all nikon dslrs as my friend has a d50 that focuses very well. Still it's great to be able to do hands on comparisons of the equipment and find what fits your requirements the best.

Enjoy your new toy!
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Old Mar 10, 2007, 11:11 AM   #15
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Yes, Nikon downgraded the AF System in the D40 compared to the D50. I haven't looked at the performance differences in any detail. But, it's a different AF Sensor assembly with 3 focus points (versus the 5 you get with the D50). You may or may not care about the number of focus points (depending on what you're shooting and with what lenses). But, sensitivity differences can have a big impact if there are any.

Canon upgraded the AF system in the XTi (compared to the XT). The XTi has the same 9 point AF sensor assembly that's in the EOS-30D now.

That upgrade helped the XTi's AF performance compared to the older XT (the D50 outperformed the older XT in low light AF tests I've seen), and the differences do tend to widen between models as light gets lower.

Lens choice makes a huge difference in AF speed (as does the type of subject, focus point used, lighting, and more). So, you have to be careful comparing AF speed between models with different lenses on them, especially if you're not using the same subjects and lighting.

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Old Mar 11, 2007, 11:54 AM   #16
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Yes, I had read about the focus points differences between the two cameras, but the responsiveness issue seems to have either not been in a problem in the D40 reviews, or it was downplayed, because in every review I read it says that it's not a problem, that the camera focused fine. I have to wonder though if it was rated well because it's an entry level camera, and people coming from a P&S wouldn't notice?? Hmmm...

Another point - I know the lense and other conditions make a big difference, but each camera was using the kit lense, obviously in the same lighting conditions. The Nikons lense is supposedly a better kit lense than the Canons lens, so I would imagine that would have given the Nikon an advantage over the Canon...yet the Canon was awesome in the low-lighting condition of the store...and the Nikon sucked. I'll admit though that I really don't know enough about the technicalites of the lense vs. focus sensitivity, so take my comments with a grain of salt if it turns out I'm full of horse hockey ;-)

Regardless, I've ordered the Canon, the Sigma 17-70, and a SanDisk Extreme III 4gb CF card. I can't wait for it to arrive!
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Old Mar 11, 2007, 1:20 PM   #17
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Excellant choice. I think you will be very pleased! You did the right thing by researching your choices thoroughly.

Happy Shooting!

Trique Daddi
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