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Old Feb 24, 2007, 8:15 PM   #1
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I'm looking to replace my vexing, annoying, limiting Canon A95. I love shooting in manual mode because I like the control and the creative flexibility. I tend to shoot landscapes but also closeups of plants, rocks, flowers, less frequently critters. I'd like to try shooting night scenes.

I spent some time today at a couple of camera stores "trying on" different DSLRs. I had thought going in that I'd like the way the D40 felt. I didn't. I have small hands for a guy, but the D40 still felt too small and too light. The D80 felt perfect in my hands. But it's more than I really want to spend for my first SLR.

This will be my initial dive into SLRs. So the choice I make will determine which system I will use. My initial impression is Nikon's is the most flexible in terms of lens choice and has the highest build quality. Leica is too expensive for me. What other bodies and systems should I consider? K10D? D100D? 30D? XTi? Why hasn't Fuji stepped up to the plate more in terms of DSLRs? I won't buy Sony on principle because of their embrace of DRM.
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Old Feb 24, 2007, 9:48 PM   #2
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From a camera body stanpoint, there are plenty of cameras that will fit your needs. There are several threads going on now where the subject of camera systems comes into play. I'm a Canon user, but I also like the Nikon system very much because I think both offer the greatest flexibility - not only with their own lenses and flashes but third-party as well. But all systems have their proponents.

If you don't mind shopping in the used market or manual focus, Pentax has some great bodies and any lens ever made for pentax is still usable - although in a manual focus capacity and as mentioned many of these lenses are no longer produced. But you can get some very sharp lenses at a fraction of what you pay for AF lenses in the Canon and Nikon systems. But if you prefer autofocus and buying new - I'm still think Canon and Nikonhave more to offer - even with 3rd party lens availability. Because there are more Canon & Nikon users, stores tend to have higher inventory of 3rd party lenses in those mounts.

Also, as you've already discovered - ergonomics play an important role - you have to feel comfortable with a camera and it's controls. If the D40 felt small, the Canon 400D might also be too small but it's worth a try. I'd recommend trying the two Canon's as well as the Pentax cameras - if you are comfortable you can get the lenses you want, pentax is a less expensive route to take.


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Old Feb 24, 2007, 10:58 PM   #3
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Personally, I prefer Nikon's ergonomics to Canon's, & Nikon's system to everyone elses.

To save some money, the still somewhat available D50 or D70s would be the best compromise from the D80, imo.

Best.
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 12:09 AM   #4
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If you are comfortable with the D80 (both with it in your hands and budget) then get it - they take lovely pictures. I don't think it is any better built than either the Pentax or the Canon, and all of the three are capable cameras. If you want to look at something to convince you that the D80 is the right choice for you, the K10 is the Pentax camera that would be comparible to it.

I'm a Pentax user and have both the K10 and K100. I love them both, they each have their strong points (and I love having two camera bodies - wide angle on one, telephoto on the other). They would both be worth looking at, if you just want to do some comparison shopping, but if the D80 feels good to you, why look further?
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 10:26 AM   #5
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If you want good handling and controls on a lower budget than the D80, look at the D50, or the Olympus E-500. I like both cameras, but I like the Olympus lens offerings a bit better.

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Old Feb 25, 2007, 10:31 AM   #6
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Ken-

The rumor on the street is that the Oly E-500 will probably be replaced at PMA.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 10:45 AM   #7
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fuzzygalt-

The Nikon D-80 is a wonderful camera, well worth the bit extra in cost compared to the Canon XTi. For most folks the major issues on the XTi are the grip on the camera, the "plasticky" feel of the very small camera body,and the kit lens. So I urge you to physically handle the XTi and to closely read the professional reviews.

The 18-135mm kit lens on the Nikon D-80 is a very good lens, add to that the excellent handling (which you experienced yourself), the many added features including "d-lighting" and Flash Commander Mode and the resullt is that the D-80has more features. The Canon XTi is a good camerait just does not have the features of the D-80.

The Pentax K-10 is another very good 10mp DSLR camera with full weather seals and many features. Again be sure to physically handle it.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 25, 2007, 11:08 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your informative replies. I'm going to go out today (hopefully a well-stocked camera store will be open) to handle the K10D side by side with the D80.

The weather seals on the K10D are a very attractive feature. Lots of my hiking (and shooting with my A95) has been on beaches. I took some time to closely read the reviews for both this morning. I'll probably take some time making this decision. Too bad Fuji doen't plan a camera in this class, though. I'd love to have that super CCD.
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