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Old Jul 27, 2008, 4:36 PM   #1
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II am new to dslr camera's, but at the same time I want a camera with the options to learn using different tools. I have read many reviews on nikon and canon brand camera's. I am a little confused between the canon 40d and the nikon 300d as far as being user friendly and the differences between the two. The 300d cost more than the canon 40 d is it a better camera ? I have always had a passion for taking pictures. I will be taking pictures in a varity of different situations. Indoor , outdoor, nature, wildlife. My job allows me to travel allover the world , and I want a camera with the right gear to learn with and hopefully learn how to take so beautiful pictures.Both of these camera's are in my price range but i'm not sure what lenses are the better fit .
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Old Jul 27, 2008, 5:45 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome to Steve's.

A lot of it will be personal preference when it comes to camera control and handling, and this is a big area of the game. So for that part, haveafeel of them. The Nikon is higher up the food chain for performance however will u ever notice that? It will depend but from what you say you want to shoot the answer is probably not. What you would notice is the difference between standard glass and high quality glass. Even an entry level Canon or Nikon will take better photos than these options if you have good glass on them and standard on the 40D/D300.

So that being the case you are probably better off getting the 40D and then putting the saved money towards better lenses. With nature/wildlife depending on the sort of things you are thinking of you are probably looking at a long lens (400mm+) and/or a macro. If you are not so serious then you will be able to use at 70-300mm zoom. Again none of these are great optics but the higher end ones are OK. There is a Sigma 100-300mm f4 lens that gives stunning results apart from that expect to be praying 1.5x and more the cost of the body for the range.

You mention indoor shooting, what sort of thing? There is a chance that using an external flash will bea big help so again add that to the equation.

So the cameras might be in budget, but take that, double it, add a bit more and then keep adding for the rest of your hobby LOL.

So in closing, I would suggest doing go crazy, get the kit you need to start you off and then find the thing you want to do and can't with what you have. It's very easy to go and buy it all in one hit and find you've got it wrong.

Happy shooting,

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Old Jul 27, 2008, 6:21 PM   #3
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I definitely agree that the lenses are a huge part of the equation, and in some ways more important for image quality than the camera body (that does depend on your subject). I shoot Pentax and I can get a much better picture with the K100and a top quality lens than I can with the more expensive and feature-filledK20 and a poor quality lens (I have both cameras and use them both quite often). So make sure your budget includes room for future lenses, too. Just about any of the dSLR cameras on the market today would do well for what you want to do, so you might consider buying a less expensive, less feature-filled camera (especially if you don't have a need for these features) and buying more expensive lenses.

The best thing to do is go to a camera store and handle both cameras (along with the Sony A700 and the Pentax K20) and see which feels best in your hands. If you find the camera too heavy/light/small/large then you'll find yourself leaving it more on the shelf than carrying it around taking pictures.
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Old Jul 27, 2008, 7:11 PM   #4
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I can't agree with Mark and Harriett more. Both Cannon and Nikon are excellent cameras (and systems). If you are not too constrained by budget (and even more if you are), their suggestions in putting funds towards glass, and starting with a less capable, entry level body is the perfect suggestion. When I returned to photography, I went the same route and it was the correct way for me. I still have the Pentax K100 body and have been adding better lenses as I go foward learning and hopefully getting better.

When I say a less capable, entry level body I am not comparing a Yugo to a Porsche, but a Porsche to say a full Formula 1 race car. The difference is in the number of knobs and wheels the user has at their fingertips for instant tweaking, as opposed to going to menu systems on the back panel. You really need to go pick up and look through each of the cameras. Maybe even take an SD card and take some pictures to take back home and see what you like and do not like (the data on the pictures will tell you what camera and lens you used to take it with). You will definitely come to a conclusion as to what you like and what you do not like, based on holding and feeling the camera body as well as looking through the eyepiece. Take some pictures and use the display models in the store. You will learn quickly as to what appeals to you and what does not. Then go from there. You really can not make a bad decision, since they are really all fine cameras. What you think you like now may be completely different than the opinions you come away with.

One item that I think that you should consider first along with the various brands is that of Image Stablization. There are two types of IS - in body and in lens. Canon and Nikon have their Image Stablization in their lenses, so you would need to buy the more expensive lenses to have that capability. Pentax, Sony and Olympia have IS in the body, so that it works on any lens mounted. I will have to say that the lens based system may be a tad better, however you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Also Image Stablization does help on the longer lenses (telephoto), however in my experience it also helps in the shorter range in low light environments.

I am currently packing for a trip starting tomorrow. Traveling with a camera and lenses - If your going to be doing a lot of this, then taking a lot of lenses can be a problem. I would guess that in time you may wind up with at least 3 lenses 1) a wide angle 12mm to 24; 2) the kit range 18mm to 50 or 70mm; and 3) 50 or 70 to 200mm or 300mm. Also, you might want to do some thinking on your lighting situation. If you plan on using a flash (more equipment to carry), you can go with slower lenses (f3.5 to f4). On the other hand if you want to work with available light, then you should perhaps consider starting out with a couple of faster lenses (f2.8). If you do not know, start out with the kit set of lenses and go from there, since they are an excellent base from which to learn.

Just some suggestions - and by all means - enjoy!
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