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Old Aug 24, 2007, 12:43 PM   #21
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Wow, thanks for the helpful tips everyone!

Newbie as well here and also looking to get my first DSLR, and I'm narrowing my choices to these two models as well. I have read the considerations given in this thread, and I'm wondering if any of you guys can give me some pointers as which camera of the two would best fits what I need?

I'm looking to buy a entry-level DSLR and plan to use the lens kit for a while - probably a long while. The majority of shots I will be taking will be indoor low-light situations, or outdoor night panoramic shots (buildings, beaches, etc). Now I know that the kit lens is probably not the best lens for these situations, but IF your choices are limited to the two of these models and their kit lenses, which one would perform better?

Now I realize that the fit and handling of the camera is different for each person (thus the reason I'm not considering the xti for its cheapy-feel), but personally I'd hate to go for a model that fits better but performs worse.

I also understand the lens choices limitation on the D40x.. and for the sake of the discussion please ignore that aspect of D40x's weaknesses.

Thanks for the help everyone!
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 12:47 PM   #22
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That's a tough decision. The Sony has more lens choices but the Nikon has the better IQ. A few points to consider...

1) More and more lenses ARE being made with internal motors and will work on the D40/D40x.

2) The Nikon has better IQ at higher ISOs (check the reviews)

3) Both are really great cams and either will make you very happy

4) The built in stabilization I think only helped for up to 2 stops, where built in VR in the Nikon lenses is rated at 3 stops. (Just physics, 'in lens' stabilzation seems to work better in the reviews and tests)

5) I really like the point though about discounts on future lenses with your mom working there. I'm jealous!!!

Best of luck on your descision!
Ron
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 1:01 PM   #23
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Thanks for the great input! I am really leaning on getting the D80 instead of the two choices I named. For $150 more, I can get the D80 with the 55-200mm lens. I decided to get this lens since my Mom is limited to buying a certain amount of items per year. I figured I can always get the 15-55mm wide angle from somewhere cheap like Ebay or Craigslist.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 1:03 PM   #24
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Thank you TCav for all of your input. It is most appreciated. I was telling another poster that I can get the D80 for $150 more than I can get the D40x. It sounds like it may be worth the extra $$ . Have a nice weekend!
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 1:57 PM   #25
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mikul93 wrote:
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...I figured I can always get the 15-55mm wide angle from somewhere cheap like Ebay or Craigslist.
I think the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is a good substitute for the Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8G, and it costs about $750 less. I just got mine for about $450, and I see the Nikkor going for $1,200.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:13 PM   #26
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Just my opinion, but if your primary use will be indoors/low light and night photography, especially if you aren't going to be using a flash, I'd probably opt for the 6 mp D40 instead of the D40X - that sensor seems to have less noise.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:20 PM   #27
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mtngal wrote:
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Just my opinion, but if your primary use will be indoors/low light and night photography, especially if you aren't going to be using a flash, I'd probably opt for the 6 mp D40 instead of the D40X - that sensor seems to have less noise.
Yes, I just did some further reading and saw that some people mentioned the same thing ~ that the smaller MP sensor actually have less noise. People seems to say the same thing about K100D vs K10D. Interesting.. I do like the idea especially because I'm not doing lots of cropping.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:30 PM   #28
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WidjayaMan wrote:
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I'm looking to buy a entry-level DSLR and plan to use the lens kit for a while - probably a long while. The majority of shots I will be taking will be indoor low-light situations, or outdoor night panoramic shots (buildings, beaches, etc). Now I know that the kit lens is probably not the best lens for these situations, but IF your choices are limited to the two of these models and their kit lenses, which one would perform better?
If you ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY must stick with the kit lens for a while, the consensus seems to be that the Sony 18-70 kit lens is slightly better than the Nikkor 18-55 kit lens, and it's alsoslightlylonger. And the Sony has the image stabilization in the body, which will help with any lens you might add, and at no additional cost.

The only test I've seen on the two major forms of image stabilization used the Olympus E-510 (Sensor Shift Image Stabilization) with the Leica 14-50 (Optical Image Stabilization). In this test, the sensor shift outperformed the optical, but only slightly. See http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE510/Olympus_E510_with_Leica_14-50mm.shtml.

And as to image quality:

"The camera's image stabilization combines with good high-ISO performance -- speeds go up to ISO 1600, and we shot at ISO 800 with less grain than you'd get from a comparably fast film -- to give you more freedom with existing-light photography." - Popular Photography, July/August 2007

Though I will admit that the D40X's image quality is better at higher ISO settings.
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Old Aug 24, 2007, 2:43 PM   #29
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Yeah, but I sure wouldn't mind having a few more short fast lenses. I am NOT, however, going to spend $1,350 for a 35mm f/1.4 for my KM5D. I guess I'll just have to get along with my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. (What a jewel!)
So, get a used Minolta 35mm f/1.4, or give up a stop and get a Minolta 28mm f/2 or 35mm f/2 (still twice as bright as your f/2.8 zoom), or go with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC Autofocus lens (which is a pretty decent lens by most accounts).

Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC Autofocus Lens in Minolta Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha mount for $429 at B&H

For my KM Maxxum 5D, I've got the Minolta 28mm f/2, Minolta 50mm f/1.7, Minolta 100mm f/2, Minolta 135mm f/2.8, Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, Minolta 35-70mm f/4 Macro, Konica Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6; Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, Tamron SP 35-105mm f2/8; and Vivitar Series I 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO lenses (all autofocus).

My two most expensive Minolta lenses are the Minolta 28mm f/2 and 100mm f/2. I spent $299 each for them. Sorry, no $1,350 35mm f/1.4s here. lol

My Minolta 28mm f/2 AF Lens came from CametaAuctions (a popular Ebay vendor) in a Minolta factory Box stamped as reconditioned. I could not distinquish that it wasn't a brand new lens Cameta sold them as factory demos. The other "expensive" lens I got for my KM 5D is the Minolta 100mm f/2 AF lens (from Adorama.com for $299 in EX- condition). It also looks like new.

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Old Aug 24, 2007, 3:06 PM   #30
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JimC wrote:
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So, get a used Minolta 35mm f/1.4, or give up a stop and get a Minolta 28mm f/2 or 35mm f/2, ...
I've been keeping my eye on KEH, Adorama and B&H for exactly those lenses. KEH had the 35mm f/2 on their website for about 15 minutes and I missed it.

JimC wrote:
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...or go with a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC Autofocus lens (which is a pretty decent lens by most accounts).
Yes, Iocassionally drool over this lens, but as a to-me-from-me, I gave myself the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for my last birthday. It has worked out very well for most things that my 50mm f/1.7 can't handle.

And I've had trouble finding the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 in the Alpha/Maxxum mount. I've often been tempted to go with their 28mm f/1.8 instead (half an f-stop for $150 doesn't sound bad.), but I never bit the bullet.

JimC wrote:
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For my KM Maxxum 5D, I've got the Minolta 28mm f/2, Minolta 50mm f/1.7, Minolta 100mm f/2, Minolta 135mm f/2.8, Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, Minolta 35-70mm f/4 Macro, Konica Minolta 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6; Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5, Tamron SP 35-105mm f2/8; and Vivitar Series I 70-210mm f/2.8-4 APO lenses (all autofocus).

My two most expensive lenses are the Minolta 28mm f/2 and 100mm f/2. I spent $299 each for them.
In addition to the 50mm f/1.7 and the 17-50mm f/2.8, I got a beercan fromAdorama for $145 (It needed some cleaning. Now, it's in better shape than they called it.), a KM 75-300 that I've mentioned before in these forums, a KM 28-105 that I'm very pleased with, a KM 35-70mmf/3.5-4.5 ($25. Excellent optics in a POS barrel.), a KM 18-200 that I complain about here regularly, anda Quantaray 2X TC. I also have an angle-finder that I use a lot more than I thought I would when I bought it.

The only stuff I bought new was the KM5D, the 18-200 and the 17-50.
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