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shieldz77 Mar 13, 2012 9:02 AM

Looking for my first DSLR
I currently own a Fuji HS20 EXR bridge camera, and I'm looking at dipping my toe into the world of the DSLR. I have my eye on 2 cameras at the moment. My budget is a bit limited at the moment (400). The 2 cameras in Question are:

Camera 1

Nikon D80
Comes with
18-55mm DX lens
55-200mm DX VR lens

Asking price 350.00

Camera 2

Canon 40d
Comes with
ef-s 17-85mm lens

Asking price 400

Both, as you are probably aware, roughly have the same pixel count, but I would like to hear peoples suggestions.

TCav Mar 13, 2012 10:03 AM

What do you want to shoot?

JimC Mar 13, 2012 11:33 AM

Those cameras aren't in the same market niche.

The Nikon D200 (a step up from the D80 you're looking at) was the closest competitor in the Nikon lineup to the 40D when those cameras were on the market.

Compared to the D80, the 40D has a much faster frame rate, making it better suited for sports shooters, as well a magnesium alloy body (versus the polycarbonate body on the D80).

The 40D also does better at higher ISO speeds compared to the D80 (especially at ISO 1600+), as the Sony 10MP Sensor in the Nikon D80 is not the greatest if you need higher ISO speeds. The D80 is also a bit prone to hot pixels at higher ISO speeds.

Also, keep in mind that the 40D is a newer camera model (the D80 was introduced about a year earlier).

Personally, I'd find the 17-85mm to be a more versatile lens option for the way I use a camera, too.

But, as TCav asked, what do you want to shoot?

Are these cameras at a dealer that includes a warranty on them?

Keep in mind that cameras do break, and you've got a lot of mechanical parts that are subject to wear in a dSLR (shutter and mirror mechanism, dials, switches, buttons, etc.), and electronics parts can deteriorate over time, too.

So, even though your budget may be limited, if these cameras do not include a warranty from a reputable dealer, you may want to consider going with a new entry level dSLR kit within your price range instead, especially since you're looking at 4+ year old camera designs.

But, if my choices were limited to those two camera kits and both were in the same condition with similar usage and wear, I'd go with the 40D.

Marawder Mar 13, 2012 1:17 PM

Go with the Canon!

shieldz77 Mar 13, 2012 3:18 PM

Thanks for the advice so far guys. I'm leaning towards sports photography, but I like snapping pretty much anything.

As for the camera's, they are both from Cash Converters (a type of pawnbroker for my non-UK cousins), so they come with a "standard warranty" worded as the following:

"When purchasing goods from the Cash Converters auction site, customers are entitled to assume: -

The goods they are purchasing are of satisfactory quality.
The goods are fit for all purposes for which they are supplied.
The goods are safe and durable.
That where any written description is applied to goods, the goods match that description.
[Any breach of the above may entitle the customer to certain remedies including refund, repair or replacement]

Nothing in this policy shall affect the statutory rights of any consumer."

TCav Mar 13, 2012 4:37 PM

The downside of buying a dSLR that way is that, if you buy the body and then get a bunch of lenses and accessories to go with it, and the camera fails, you're stuck with all the stuff you've got for a body that doesn't work anymore. From your perspective, getting your money back isn't a remedy, but that would fulfill their obligations just fine. And in situations like that, there's no way to tell how much use and abuse either one has endured.

But of the two, for sports, I'd go with the Canon.

SIMON40 Mar 13, 2012 4:39 PM

Both good camera's- but I'd certainly go for the 40D given the choice of the said pair.
A word of caution though- make sure whichever way you go- they offer a full cash refund if the item is found to be faulty in any way. Cash Converters can be very,VERY difficult with regards returns/refunds...
Check EVERYTHING in the store- rattle of a few frames- in all modes(PASM),check AF on lens/lenses,check flash,all displays,all dials/buttons.. etc...
If the batteries are flat- get THEM to charge them up so you can try in-store.

TCav Mar 13, 2012 4:39 PM

You'll still need a lens that's appropriate for the sports you wnat to shoot, though. But that's true of either one.

shieldz77 Mar 13, 2012 5:59 PM

Hmm. Looks like I'm gonna have to start looking again lol. Thanks for the advice so far.

JimC Mar 13, 2012 6:12 PM

What kind of sports?

Indoor and Outdoor sports require different types of lenses, as do sports played in the daytime versus evening.

For example, a minimum lens for something like a night football game (and I mean Rugby since you're in the U.K) would be a 70-200mm f/2.8 AF lens (around $800 for a third party Sigma lens like that, if you can find one of the older [discontinued now] models without stabilization), and even then, it's really too short to cover the entire field, even if you're shooting from the sidelines. So, don't expect to shoot everything going on. A 300mm or longer f/2.8 lens is a better bet for that kind of shooting (think several times or more for the cost of one like that that still has f/2.8 available), and your shutter speeds would still be "borderline" at ISO 3200 (which is going to be a bit noisy). Some of our members like a Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 for that type of shooting, and it's selling for around $3,200 right now in the U.S.

Indoor sports (basketball, volleyball, etc.) are also very demanding, and with a camera of that generation, a prime (fixed focal length versus zoom lens) is usually a better bet so you can get something brighter than a zoom with a camera that's limited to ISO 1600 to 3200 like the 40D. For example, something like a Canon 85mm f/1.8 AF USM lens would be a good choice (as long as you can shoot from the floor versus the stands). But, don't expect to cover the entire court with a single prime lens like that. It's selling for around $400 right now in the U.S. You might be able to get away with a 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom with a 40D shooting at ISO 3200, so you'd have the flexibility of a zoom (but, expect to pay $800 or more for a Sigma if you can find a version of it without stabilization (discontinued now), and the newer versions with stabilization built in are priced a lot higher.

Low light sports (indoor sports or sports under the lights at night) are far more demanding on the photographer, camera and lenses. So, don't understatement the type of gear needed for best results, and even then, you'll need a lot of practice to increase your percentage of keepers.

Daytime sports outdoors are less demanding on lenses needed (you don't need lenses that are as bright as you would for low light sports). But, you'd still want something with reasonably fast Autofocus stretching out to at least 300mm for a higher percentage of keepers with most sports.

I'd be more specific on exactly what type of sports you want to shoot (basketball, football, volleyball, baseball, etc.), and in what conditions (indoors, daytime outdoors, night outdoors under the lights) for better responses from some of our members that shoot a lot of sports that may see this thread.

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