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Old Jul 24, 2007, 3:43 AM   #1
RS4
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I had a rubbish point and shoot 4 mega pixel fuji camera a few years ago. 1.5 years ago I got a fuji S9500/S9000 and its a greeat camera but I think I am ready for a dslr.

I want to get the Nikon d40x or the Canon 400D/Xti. I can`t decide which one is better. Can you please help me make up my mind? Which one is the better buy?

Just wanted to say that I will get the 18-55 kit lens with the camera I decide to buy.

I have read that the nikon D40x has three focusing points and that the canon 400d has nine focusing points.

Do all the focusing points work all at once or do you just select one each time?

Won`t the canon have much much sharper and more in-focus pictures than the nikon? 9 focus points VS. 3 focus points.

Please help me understand this. Its all new to me.

Also, if it helps, 75% of the time I will be doing automotive stuff (car photoshoots, track days etc..), 5% of the time will be people pictures, 10% will be nature and landscapes and the final 10% will be random stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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Old Jul 24, 2007, 1:01 PM   #2
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Both are fine creative tools capable of excellent results when properly handled. Emphasis on the properly handled! Plan to carefully study the camera by giving more than a glance at the owner's manual. Read books, attend courses, join photo clubs but most of all shoot lots of photos and examine them critically to expand your knowledge and skills.

I would suggest visiting a camera store and handling both cameras with the lenses that interest you. Bring some memory cards and shoot a bit to see how they handle then review what you shot at home on your computer. Pick the one that feels and looks best.

You are buying into a system as you will want more lenses and other accessories so make sure the system you choose supports what you want.

Remember that DSLRs don't process the images as much as other digicams and will require some post processing to get the best out of them. You will eventually need decent photo editing software and acquire skills in using it.

The camera only uses one focus sensor at a time, usually the center one. The other focus sensors are only there in case you want to focus on something that isn't at the center of the frame.

The live sensor can be chosen automatically by the camera or manually by the photographer. Automatic selection will be according to one of the rules you have selected such as closest subject or ignore closest subject (shooting a subject behind a fence).

An example: You are shooting a humming bird at a feeder but have problems getting a focus lock on the bird because it moves away too quickly. Manually select a side sensor and get focus lock on the feeder then shoot when the bird is close to the focus point on the feeder you have chosen.

The Canon 400D will have more chances of selecting an off center focal point than the Nikon D40x. The number of focus points will have nothing to do with focus accuracy.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 4:56 PM   #3
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I completely agree with Bob Nichol. The number of focus points won't increase the sharpness of the images; it just increases the chance that the camera will focus on an off-center subject.

But there's another issue I would like to bring to your attention. One of the great advantages Canon and Nikon dSLR users have over the rest of us is the abundance of available lenses for their cameras. But that isn't true of the D40 or the D40x. Those dSLRs don't have an internal autofocus motor like other Nikon dSLRs, so most of the lenses that work with other Nikon dSLRs won't work with the D40/D40x. Only about a quarter of Nikon's lenses, and about a third of Sigma lenses will autofocus on the D40/D40x, and none of Tamron's or Tokina's lenses will.

The Nikon lenses that will work with the D40/D40x are fine, reasonably pricedlenses, but the Sigma lenses are some of their more expensive choices. If you can get along with the smaller list of available lenses, then the D40x is a fine choice, but you should know about this limitation before you buy it.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 7:58 PM   #4
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BUT!!!!

If your intentions are to stick with the kit lens, the Canon's kit lens is not up to the task. The Nikon's kit lens is optically ok. That alone would be enough to swing me to the D40x.

If the game is opened up to others (Pentax, Olympus, Nikon d80, Sony) then there may be better choices depending on individual needs. If allowing different lens choice, the Canon looksbetter than being stuck with the 18-55.




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Old Jul 24, 2007, 9:40 PM   #5
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fldspringer wrote:
Quote:
If your intentions are to stick with the kit lens, the Canon's kit lens is not up to the task. The Nikon's kit lens is optically ok. That alone would be enough to swing me to the D40x.
Yes, the Nikon kit lens is marginally better than the Canon kit lens, but ...

RS4 wrote:
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Also, if it helps, 75% of the time I will be doing automotive stuff (car photoshoots, track days etc..), 5% of the time will be people pictures, 10% will be nature and landscapes and the final 10% will be random stuff.
... I don't think he'll settle for just one lens.

In fact, he might be better off with a body (whichever) and a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 plus a medium telephoto. Of course, the Tamron 17-50 won't autofocus on the D40x.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 12:15 AM   #6
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Hi I've just recently gone through the which dslr shall I buy puzzle and there are alternatives to the Nikon D40and Canon eos 400.

The Pentax 10d is a slightly heavier but very good alternative and had the advantage of being weather proof, and the cameraI decided on the Olympus E 510 which has ISand Live view, is light in weight but not quality, a dust removal system that actually works, astraight forward and logical menu systemand has probably the best kit lenses on the market.

All these cameras have pros and cons, each one will give high quality results, each one has performance differences in differing light conditions, it come down to you choosing the one that best suits your needs. good luck and have fun.
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 9:01 AM   #7
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Napper,

You got me interested as I have always liked the Olympus brand.

One question though, very important for my applications: does the remote control on the E 510 trigger the shutter immediately or is itsimilar tolots of Olympus, like the camera blinks for 2 seconds before taking the actual shot ?
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 6:23 PM   #8
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Hi Philgib To be honest I didn't really know the answer to this. But a quick look online came up with this -



Remote Control

Operation time: 2 sec., 0 sec., bulb control available (with optional RM-1 remote control)


suggesting that the remote control can have differing operation times

Just had a quick flick through the manual and it states that you can choose to use either bulb , 2 second delay or immediate. There is a choice of either a cable remote or an infra red as far as I can see .



Hope this helps. If you've got any other questions I'll be happy to try and answer them. This is all a new ball game for me as this is my first dslr, there was so much choice out their but I am more than pleased with the Olympus e510.

My previous experience was with a canon s3 and so I thought I would buy the rebel 400xt but upon handling the 510 in John Lewis whilst trying to make up my mind, I fell in love with the feel and the sheer practical layout and accessibility of the Olympus. Now I'm having great fun just playing and experimentingwith the camera and staring to get some great shots.


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Old Jul 29, 2007, 7:13 PM   #9
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Perfect, that answers quite well to my question !

I live in Mexico and things are not easy to test here, sellers are more than reluctant to open the camera box-

Thank you so much

Phil
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Old Jul 29, 2007, 7:23 PM   #10
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Sorry Napper, can I abuse of your time ?

If the answer is yes, would you pls connect your camera to the TV and tell me wether you happen to see what you are aiming at BEFORE - so, "live" - taking the picture and not only ONCE you took the picture ?

This is also an important item for me as I take pics from the top of a pole.

Phil
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