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-   -   Rebel XTi or Nikon D80? (

JMJ Jan 16, 2007 9:00 PM

Okay, so I posted this thread last Wednesday:;forum_id=9

Basically, I had decided on the Rebel XTi. I also thought getting the 17-85mm IS lense would be an excellent package for a dSLR starter. I'm by no means a professional nor will I ever be. I will however learn how to take good pictures with the equipment that I have. I don't want the cheapest equipment, nor do I want the most expensive equipment.

Over the last week I have been doing nothing but research and now I'm on the fence between the XTi or D80. Of course I'd rather spend the XTi money than the D80 money, but I don't mind spending the D80 cash if it truly is the better camera for the money. The big issue I have with the D80 right now is that I can't find the 18-200mm VR lense ANYWHERE. That is what I wanted if I was to go with the D80.

Most of my pictures will be of my 2 children, I won't be taking too many long distance shots. My wife and I like to take a lot of outdoor images, but we really want something that will take great indoor shots. We live in the northeast and winters are mostly spent indoors. We currently have a Canon SD410 "point and shoot" camera, it basically sucks for indoor usage. The pictures are horrible. It could be the camera or the fact that my wife has dropped it several times...still the camera, but with help from my wife (don't even ask to see her cell phone). If the general consensus is that the cheaper camera is the way to go and to spend more money on lenses (1 or 2 of them) then I am okay with that. If you say get one good Nikon lense with the D80, then that's good too. I'm just having a serious problem deciding at this point. From what I can see online, going with the Canon gives me a better chance at getting the equipment I want now. I haven't really seen anything in 3rd party lenses based on my research, but you know how that goes.......too much research and not enough time.

So, what would you do?

Thanks for any and all input.

O.S. Jan 16, 2007 9:32 PM

for the money you spend on d80 + 18-200mm VR you can get an XTi + 18-85mm + an external flash - which would produce much better results indoors then d80 with no flash, no matter if d80 is a better camera or not. For general use - XTi is a great camera and will take wonderfull pics.

I always use flash indoors and bounce it off the ceiling. I'd rather shoot at ISO 100 /400 with flash then iso 1600 no flash.


mtclimber Jan 16, 2007 10:14 PM


In terms of image quality, low noise, and ease of use, the Nikon D-80 will be the Canon XTi. You sure don't really need that very expensive Nikor VR 18mm to 200mm. There are other great lenses out there for less money.

If flash is the issue. The Nikon SB-800 flash will beat any of the Canon Flashes hands down. I own the Canon XT and will be buying the Nikon D-80. Still need a bit of convincing: just read the February issue of popular Photography.


peripatetic Jan 17, 2007 3:22 AM

One of the faster f2.8 zooms would be better bet for you. Nikon and Canon have some very expensive ones, but the Tamron 17-50 f2.8 (available in both Nikon and Canon mounts) is a fine lens indeed at a very reasonable price.

And a decent flashgun that will cope with a diffuser and bounce.

IMO comparative reviews tend to exagerate tiny differences that in the real world might as well not exist. Both of the cameras you are considering will do an excellent job for you.

Go try them out at a store and see which one feels better to you.

O.S. Jan 17, 2007 8:57 AM

peripatetic wrote:

IMO comparative reviews tend to exagerate tiny differences that in the real world might as well not exist. Both of the cameras you are considering will do an excellent job for you.

Go try them out at a store and see which one feels better to you.
so true.

the differences are in handling more then in anything else in my oppinion. how comfortable is it to hold each camera, how easy is it to change settings and use menus etc.

JohnG Jan 17, 2007 9:19 AM


Based on your requirements, either camera will fit the bill rather nicely. The Nikon has a richer feature set, but then you're paying more money for it. Canon and Nikon cameras don't line up together, they stagger and that's reflected in the price points. The XT is better than the D40, the D50 is arguably better thahn the XT the XTi is arguably better than the D50, the D80 is arguably better than the XTi, the 30D is arguably better than the D80, etc. And that's how the prices line up as well - it isn't an accident.

There is nothing in your list of requirements that says you NEED the added features of the D80. Only you can answer whether you WANT them or not. For your stated purposes, you'll get comparable results with both cameras. If you haven't already done so, handle both cameras yourself and simply go with the one that feels best to you.

Also, let me highlight - for your stated use for indoors - you really do want an external flash. To me that is infinitely more useful than spending your money on 2.8 lenses which still won't be fast enough for your indoor shots. Get a good flash and you can be shooting at f8 without problems.

As for a lens, in Canon system I would suggest 17-85mm and in Nikon the 18-135. Again, I don't see how spending money on a 2.8 lens will be of great benefit - kids moving around indoors - you'll get better results with the flash then you would with 2.8 (which would force you to shoot at high ISO and the kids would still have to stay still unless you have a VERY brightly lit house). Spend the money on the flash, not wide aperture lense, IMO.

So, my recommendations:

Canon XTi with 17-85mm lens and 430ex flash


Nikon D80 with 18-135 and SB-600 flash

Pick the camera that feels best to you. The good news is: you can't make a bad decision.

JMJ Jan 17, 2007 10:28 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies. I am going to go to a camera shop and handle both of these cameras and play with them a bit before making my decision.

JohnG, the packages you list there are about equal in price. Still a tough decision because one package has the better camera, while the other probably has the better lense. The longer I ponder this the harder it gets :-)

mtclimber Jan 17, 2007 10:43 AM


A trip to the camera shop is certainly the next step. So go for it and have fun. As JohnG said both cameras are excellent. There is really not a bad choice between them. Get the camera that you like, that feels best in hand, and have some fun.


algold Jan 17, 2007 10:45 AM

Both cameras are great and can take wonderful shots. As it's been said, handle both cameras in a shop and see which one feel better in your hands.

If you go for an external flash, D80 can control a remote flash in commander mode without further investments, leads etc. Thiscan be important for indoor photography and gives you an extra option that will cost you a lot with Canon. If you are going to use your flash only mounted on a camera bouncing it's light, it's not so important for you.

Really wanted D80, but did not have a budget for it, so bought Canon 350D/XT at a bargain price :-)

O.S. Jan 17, 2007 3:43 PM

just to reiterate - you need an external flash to get great results from either camera.

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