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Old Apr 21, 2007, 8:00 AM   #1
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Thinking of buying a SLR but not sure which one . I have narrowed it down to these, Canon 350D or 400D, Nikon D40 or D40X.
The main points being the 350D/D40 about £100 less.
Any advise on which one, would be helpful.

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Old Apr 21, 2007, 9:38 AM   #2
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I'm not familiar with the Nikon's. I'm a Canon guy.

I can tell you that I have both the 350D and just bought the 400D. I just got the 400D yesterday so I'm going to go play with it today. I have had my 350D for about a year and a half and love it. Your correct that the main difference is that the 350 costs less than the 400.Feature wise,the main difference between the two is the 400 has a larger LCD screen, 2 more MP and they upgraded the autofocus function. Other than that, they are the same camera and either one will be great. If you can afford the extra for the newer 400D, I would do that. Just because it's the latest model, but if those three features arent that important to you, then the 350D will be just as good. Just because I got the 400D doesnt mean the 350D will be put on the shelf....

Hope this helps with your decision between the two Canon models. Hopefully a Nikon guy can give some insight between the two Nikon models.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 12:33 PM   #3
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First off, I'm not a Nikon person, I happen to have Pentax dSLRs.

The first thing about the D40 series cameras you should be aware of is that they don't have the lens focusing motor in the camera, so to get auto focus you might have to buy more expensive lenses in order to get auto focus. That may or may not be a problem for you - it would mean a higher initial cost but lenses last for much longer than the camera body does, and (my opinion) good glass goes a very long way toward making a good picture, no matter what camera it is on. I'm using two lenses on my Pentax camera that I bought new in 1980, and a third lens (my top of the line lens)that I bought used last summer -it hasn't been produced in 5 years. Getting that top-of-the-line lens convinced me that top quality lenses mean more to your picture than any other single factor, including megapixels!

Second, I'm a big fan of the 6 mp sensor. I have both the 6 mp K100 and the 10 mp K10 cameras (remember, I'm a Pentax owner). The ISO 1600 pictures with the 6 mp sensor has less noise than the 10 mp sensor, and I don't see much quality improvement with 10 mp. What the 10 mp does give you is extra pixels for cropping and for printing poser sized pictures. I don't print anything larger than 8x10, so there isn't much difference between full frame pictures printed between the cameras. However, I do some birding and those extra pixels sure come in handy for cropping when you are taking pictures of shy birds. So unless your primary purpose is birding/wildlife then I'd buy the D40 over the D40X.

If the D40 had been out when I was shopping for my first dSLR (a year ago January) I might be a Nikon person - it's small size and light weight would have been a huge attraction to me (I thought the D50 too big and chunky for me at the time, I never dreamed I'd end up with a camera as big as the K10). The pictures I've seen that others have shot with them are excellent quality.

The most important thing with any camera is to actually handle them - check out where the controls are. Does the camera have the features you want? I've heard that the D40 has a simple, basicset of features, while the Canons are full featured (I have no direct knowledge, just what I've heard). It's important for you to decide which features you really want in a camera and then make sure the camera you are looking for have them. It's entirely possible that the extra features the Canons offer won't be important to you, or that they will be the deciding factor.

Conclusion - if it were me, I'd have the selection down to the D40 and the two Canons - I'd skip the D40X.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 3:55 PM   #4
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Go to your local Circuit City or Best Buy and try handle all of the cameras. Oh, you're in the UK, so I'm not sure what the equivalents are there, but any big electronics stores will have them available for handling (as those are the 4 most popular consumer cameras). This is going to help you decide what you like more than any specs or advice from a bunch of people on an internet forum.

Stuff to pay attention to:
LCD screen and Display layout
Grip, etc.

The differences between the 350D and 400D are rather significant. The 400D has Canon's Anti-dust system, 2 more megapixels, a better AutoFocus system, a MUCH better LCD along with a much better interface and info layout, with a bit more robust feature system.

If you feel that the NIkon D40 is too small for your hands (as many people do, myself included), always remember you can add a battery grip to make it more substantial.

Anyway, that's my advice: go try them out. purchasing a camera you have never held before is a pretty big mistake, imo.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 4:32 PM   #5
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What types of photography are you in to? That may help the decision process. The 400D is probably the top camera in that group (with the higher price to go with). I would suggest the D40X is not worth the extra money - the only difference I believe is 10mp vs 6. And as mentioned the 400D is much better than the 350D. So, I would suggest the 400D and D40 are the two choices. Your style of photography will determine if you need the better focus system, better lens offering the 400D would afford you. Also, I agree with the advice to handle the cameras. You may find you like the ergonomics of one over the other - and that's HUGE.

I think the D40 is aimed primarily at folks who plan on just using one or two lenses (as mentioned the D40 series has no focus motor so you can't autofocus with prime lenses or with 90% of the third party lenses on the market or about half the Nikon offering). So, if you're OK with that concept and your photography doesn't require the added features of the Canon 400d you might be better off saving money on the body and buying the D40 and then buying a better lens.
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Old Apr 22, 2007, 3:52 AM   #6
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The 400D has more features than the D40, can take more lenses, and is probably better for action shots due to the more comprehensive auto focus options. The D40 is probably easier to use and learn with, and has Auto ISO option up to 1600. Image quality of both is very good, but the 400D will be better with an upmarket lens. Go with whichever you feel more comfortable with and can afford. My opnion is that the D40 with kit lens is better value at present.
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