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Old May 28, 2007, 12:10 PM   #1
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I am amateur on photography, have started with one HP735, after 2 year this camera start to cause some problems with batteries and storage, so I have buy a Canon Ixus 60 (SD600 in USA). I am very happy with this camera, it works well and take good photos, especially macro, but at this moment I wish to buy a Digital Reflex camera, have been checking some information and prices on Internet and need some help/recommendation.

Finally I have 3 candidates:

Canon EOS 400D
Sony Alpha 100
Nikon D40x

Also some doubt with Pentax K100D (6,3MP instead of 10 MP)

All this camera have more or less same price between 700-900€ with 18-55 lens (100 Euros up or down from one to teh other) but wich one will produces better result?? and which is easy for use as first reflex camera??

Some body could help me??
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Old May 28, 2007, 1:47 PM   #2
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All of the DSLR cameras that you have listed will take excellent photos. The Canon XTi and the Nikon D-40X are very close in terms of features and capabilities, with the Canon XTi perhaps better by a very thin margin. The Canon XTi/400D has the best highISO capability, and the Sony A-100 has the least high ISO capabilities.

Any of the three will serve you well. The real key to determining which is best for you is by physically handling each camera. By determining which camera best fits your shooting style, and which camera fits best with your current selection of photo equipment.

The most important thing is to physically handle each camera and to determine how well that camera and its controls actually fit your hands. Enjoy your search, you can learn a lot during the camera purchase process.

MT/Sarah
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Old May 28, 2007, 1:48 PM   #3
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I think the best of those is the Canon 400D.

As for image quality, if you look at test shots which compare with the kit lenses, the Canon is behind the others (though narrowly). If you look at test shots which use good lenses, the 400D is on top in overall image quality (though narrowly).

Keep in mind the kit lens is adding less than $100 to the cost, and you probably wont do better at that price. But if you are willing to spend $300 for a better lens, you will get better results.

If you are looking at 10MP models, I would also include the Olympus E-410 in the mix (which I might rank--tentatively--ahead of the D40x or Sony Alpha). If you can stretch the budget a bit, the D80 might be the best overall.

On the other hand, on a budget, the 6MP models might be a better choice. There really isn't that much advantage to the higher resolution models, especially when the 6MP models end up doing a bit better on noise and need less noise reduction. They may end up looking near as good even for very large prints (and maybe better if light conditions were demanding). The D40 and K100D, for around $200 less than the 10MP models, are well worth considering if price is a big factor.

As for the indicidual differences between the models and brands, alot will depend on your own prefernces and shooting needs. They are all different ergonomically. See what feels best in your hands. Some have more complete controls (like more buttons), which might be more confusing at first, but are preferable in the long run once you take a bit of time to learn how they work. The Canon has easily the best autofocus system, the Nikon and Sony may have the best metering. The Sony and Olympus fall short at ISO 1600, especially if you intend to shoot jpeg.

And look at lens options. If you aspire to eventually move up to more professional level gear, Canon offers the best upgrade path (followed by Nikon), with the most impressive offerings of pro bodies and lenses. If you want a budget consumer zoom that covers a relatively wide range of focal lengths, Nikon seems to have the best offerings there right now. Olympus has some very good intermediate priced glass (generally in the $300-$1000 range), but is notably behind the others in third party lens support. Pentax is a bit lacking in intermediate to professional grade zoom lenses, but offers very good value for more affordable lenses, and some very nice primes.

So a big question is what your photgraphic interests are. That might make a difference in what is best for you.

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Old May 28, 2007, 1:57 PM   #4
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The cameras you've selected are all fine cameras and will serve you well.

There are some obvious distinctions among them, however.

First, the Nikon D40x does not have an internal auto-fucus motor, so it can only auto-focus with lenses that have their own motors. Nikon does have a selection of lenses that will work with the D40x, but while the other cameras you've selected have quite a broad selection of lenses from the manufacturers (especially Canon) and from third parties (Sigma, Tamron, etc.,) the same can not be said about the D40x. But if you can comfortably confine yourself to the lenses that are available to the D40x, then it should serve you well.

Second, all three cameras have "Vibration Reduction," "Image Stabilization," or "Anti-Shake" available. But the Canon and Nikon have it only with certain lenses, while the Sony has it in the camera body. This means that, with the Sony, you only have to buy it once.

There have been many heated discussions on these pagesover the benifits (real or imagined) of VR, IS or AS, and I invite you to peruse some of them.

But remember, if you've got it, you can use it or not. If you don't have it, you can't ever use it.

And if you want it, how many times do you want to pay for it?

But, as others have said, a significant part of your decision making process should be actually handling the cameras.
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Old May 28, 2007, 2:18 PM   #5
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If price is an issue, then definitely look at the 6 mp cameras - I happen to have both the Pentax K100 and the K10 and don't see much image quality difference between 6 mp and 10 mp. It makes a difference if you start doing major cropping, but I've never felt short of pixels with 6 mp, and they print very nicely up to 8x11 (never printed anything larger). I'm still using the K100 often (use both cameras with different lenses on them at the same time) and it does have a bit less noise at ISO 1600 than the 10 mp sensor does.

I'd probably be looking at the K100 and D40 first (as I indicated, I'm a fan of the 6 mp sensor). K100 has the advantage of image stabilization in the camera so all lenses are stabilized, but that might not be important to you. The D40 is smaller and lighter - that would appeal to someone like me with small hands, but would be a disadvantage to others. The Nikon and Pentax kit lenses are supposed to be better than Canon's - I know that I've been very happy with my Pentax kit lens and still use it all the time. Canon does have some really awesome lenses available - but they aren't cheap (the saying "you get what you pay for" applies here).

Just my opinion, but I think you are better off buying a cheaper camera and spending the money on better lenses. I have several lenses, including one top-of-the-line lens, and it takes great pictures on either the K100 or the K10. On the other hand, I have a mediocre lens that has never taken a good picture on either camera - it will (at best) take mediocre pictures.
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Old May 28, 2007, 2:52 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
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The cameras you've selected are al fine cameras and will serve you well.

There are some obvious distinctions among them, however.

First, the Nikon D40x does not have an internal auto-fucus motor, so it can only auto-focus with lenses that have their own motors. Nikon does have a selection of lenses that will work with the D40x, but while the other cameras you've selected have quite a broad selection of lenses from the manufacturers (especially Canon) and from third parties (Sigma, Tamron, etc.,) the same can not be said about the D40x. But if you can comfortably confine yourself to the lenses that are available to the D40x, then it should serve you well.

Second, all three cameras have "Vibration Reduction," "Image Stabilization," or "Anti-Shake" available, the Canon and Nikon have it only with certain lenses, while the Sony has it in the camera body. This means that, with the Sony, you only have to buy it once.

There have been many heated discussions on these pagesover the benifits (real or imagined) of VR, IS or AS, and I invite you to peruse some of them.

But remember, if you've got it, you can use it or not. If you don't have it, you can't ever use it.

And if you want it, how many times do you want to pay for it?

But, as others have said, a significant part of your decision making process should be actually handling the cameras.
TCav um not entirely true,

Sigma is also compatible with their HSM lenses linefor the D40 and D40x. The list is about 40 lenses between them and Nikon. I don't think that is very small to choose from. Besides how many lenses do you need?

The D40 and D40x are being made out like something that is limited but I in fact have the Pentax ist DS, Pentax K100D and Nikon D40. What I am saying is from first hand experience and not what someone said or I read somewhere.

The D40 straight out of the camera in Normal jpeg at the normal settings far outdoes the Pentax's I have. I expect it should since it is a newer camera. This isn't always necessarily true I know, but that is what consumers expectfrom a newer camera.

The D40 delivers. I am happy with using the 18-200mm VR II lens on it and the kit lens is very good. Being a low level cheapo dSLR it blows me away. Best jpegs I have gotten thus far from any camera I have or used.


Recently, the backward compatability of K-mount lenses for the past 40 years had been one of the stronger selling points of getting a Pentax. The Pentax line is also very good. Now the prices have skyrocketed due to the K100D and K10D having SR built into the body. I can sayit is not as effective as the VR in my Nikon lens. I can say this because again I have these and not just reading it or casually borrowed it from a friend for the weekend.

I wish the D40 came out sooner. I would not have gotten the K100D.
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Old May 28, 2007, 3:37 PM   #7
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Thank you, vIZnquest. I stand corrected.

Sigma's Lens Chart lists all their currently available lenses, and all the lenses with "HSM" or "H" (17 of Sigma's 45 lenses) are compatible with Nikon's D40 and D40x. It seems, however, that the Sigma lenses that will autofocus on the D40 and D40x are some of the more expensive in the Sigma lineup.

Also, 23 of Nikon's 49 current auto-focus lenses are fully compatible as well, and they seem to be reasonably priced and of good quality.

Tamron and Tokina, however, have no lenses that autofocus on the D40 or D40x.

All this info comes from the currently available marketing material, so anything new might not have made it into these numbers.


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Old May 28, 2007, 8:20 PM   #8
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One other distinction is that the Canon XTi and the Nikon D40x use pentamirrors in their veiwfinder, while the Sony A-100 uses a pentaprism.

Pentamirrors are lighter and cheaper than pentaprisms, but pentaprisms are smaller, brighter and more durable than pentamirrors.

Edit: Corrected with updated info.
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Old May 28, 2007, 8:35 PM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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One other distinction is that the Nikon D40 uses a pentamirror in its veiwfinder, while the Canon XTi and the Sony A-100 use a pentaprism.

Pentamirrors are lighter and cheaper than pentaprisms, but pentaprisms are smaller, brighter and more durable than pentamirrors.
I believe all three of those use pentamirrors. The only entry level camera that uses a pentaprism is Pentax. All the rest use mirrors.
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Old May 28, 2007, 9:33 PM   #10
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fldspringer wrote:
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I believe all three of those use pentamirrors. The only entry level camera that uses a pentaprism is Pentax. All the rest use mirrors.
You are partially correct.The Canon XTi and the Nikon D40x both usepentamirrors. The Sony A-100 uses a pentaprism.

And, in fact, the Pentax K100D and K110D use pentamirrors as well. The K10D is the only Pentax dSLR that uses a pentaprism.
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