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Old Oct 2, 2007, 11:47 AM   #1
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Looking for some guidance. i do travel writing and need a good all around camera. i take lots of shots ofpeople , sites, both indoor and outdoor. i have been using a lumix fz30 and have been fairly happy. i did notice several things that bother me enough to look at an upgrade. first, low light pics are brutal with it. also adjusting exposure and balance on the fly is a bit awkward and time consuming. i have missed several shots pressing buttons.

I have narrowed my choices to the d80 and e30d. they are close in price and seem close in features. i was told the canon has some special sensor that makes better use of the glass. also was told the nikon actually takes a pic of about 80% of what u see in the viewfinder. both aside, several associates all use the d80 and i have seen the camera in action and it looks great. i know there is a few mp diffrence but my shots are rarely enlarged enuf to matter. i could really use some direction if there are significant differences i shoudl consider. thanks
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 12:23 PM   #2
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bj50111 wrote:
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i was told the canon has some special sensor that makes better use of the glass.
While, unlike Nikon,Canon does make its own image sensors, even Canon's marketing drivel doesn't say anything like this.

bj50111 wrote:
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also was told the nikon actually takes a pic of about 80% of what u see in the viewfinder.
Not so. Both the 30D and the D80 display approximately 95% of the final image throught the optical viewfinder.

bj50111 wrote:
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both aside, several associates all use the d80 ...
Therein lies the best reason to get a D80: if you've got a question, you can ask any of severalpeople you already know, that do the same type of photography as you, and will have had more experience than youwith your own camera.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 12:29 PM   #3
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my initial thought was to go straight to the d80 but had second thoughts after i found out two things. one being that the onboard sensor makes better use of the glass on the canon and second consumer reports rated the canon a bit better. is there any significant difference in warranty, accesory costs, or battery life?

i am sure users here have tried both and can offer their thoughts. as you said use my friends as a guide and unless i hear a compelling reason not to i probably will go nikon.
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Old Oct 2, 2007, 1:17 PM   #4
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bj50111 wrote:
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my initial thought was to go straight to the d80 but had second thoughts after i found out two things. one being that the onboard sensor makes better use of the glass on the canon
I'm intrigued. How did you find that out?
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 9:14 AM   #5
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I would like to know the info on the last question too as not something I've heard.

For general shooting I would be happy with either camera. The Canon does better in low light situations due to great high ISO abilities and also it is better for sports shooting (should you wish to do it), again because of the ISO ability and also having 5 fps shooting rather than 3 frames on the Nikon.

TCav makes a valuable point about being able to learn from the people around you, also see how the two bodies feel in your hand as that is important.

One area you need to look at to get the best from either of these cameras is good lenses otherwise you will limit their performance.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 10:24 AM   #6
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what i heard was that the canon makes use of an ultrasonic motor which makes better use of the glass and therefore a slightly better picture. my assumption is that this occurs within the body but if i am mistaken please let me know. from what i am hearing my choice seems like the 30d
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 10:35 AM   #7
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An Ultrasonic Motor (USM) is actually in the lens and a technology also used by Nikon. All it is doing is focusing, not changing the lens qualities but as it allows fast focus you have a better chance of getting the shot.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 10:56 AM   #8
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What you seem to be referring to is Canon's Ultrasonic Motor.

From Canon's EOS Camera System Brochure Fall 2007 :

"Canon developed the world's first lens-based Ultrasonic Motor (USM) to power the lens autofocus mechanism. Instead of large noisy drive trains powered by conventional motors, Canon USM lenses employ the minute electronic vibrations created by piezoelectric ceramic elements. The focusing action of the lens is fast and quiet, with virtually instantaneous stops and starts. USM lenses also draw minimal power from the camera, ensuring longer battery life. Canon makes two types of Ultrasonic Motor lenses. Ring-type USM lenses, found in large aperture and supertelephoto designs, permit manual focusing without first switching out of the auto mode. Micro USM designs bring the performance benefits of Canon's USM technology to a wide assortment of affordable EF lenses."

While Canon was the first to offer compact, low power, ultrasonic motors in their lenses, they aren't the only ones.

Nikon has it's Silent Wave Motor. From http://nikonimaging.com/global/techn...kkor/index.htm:

"Nikon's unique Silent Wave Motor (SWM) technology converte "traveling waves" into rotational energy to focus the optics, allowing accurate, uncommonly high-speed autofocusing. Standard on all AF-S Nikkors, SWM has enjoyed universal praise from Professional photographers."

And Sigma has it's Hyper-Sonic Motor. From http://www.sigmaphoto.com/downloads/...ns-English.pdf:

"Hyper-Sonic Motor (HSM): This lens uses a motor driven by ultrasonic waves to provide a quiet, high speed AF."

I believe this is what you were referring to, and it is not uniquely Canon. And, btw, it happens in the lens, not the body.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 11:20 AM   #9
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And as to Consumer Reports, I am a long time member and big-time proponent. They stand virtually alone as a watch dog for consumer safety issues. Their annual product reliability survey is the most far reaching effort of it's kind, second only to the decennial census performed by the US Census Bureau.

If you're looking for a safe, reliable automobile, pick up an issue of Consumer Reports. If you're looking for a high perfomance automobile, pick up an issue of Car & Driver or Motor Trend.

If you're looking for a safe, reliable audio system, pick up an issue of Consumer Reports. If you're looking for a high perfomance audio system, pick up an issue of The Audio Critic or The Audio Perfectionist.

If you're looking for a safe, reliable computer, pick up an issue of Consumer Reports. If you're looking for a high perfomance computer, pick up an issue of PC Magazine.

If you're looking for a safe, reliable camera, pick up an issue of Consumer Reports. If you're looking for a high perfomance camera system that will suit your needs, pick up an issue of Popular Photography,or better yet, come here.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 11:42 AM   #10
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I agree with TCAV regarding consumer reports on every point. You don't use them for high end audio, high end computer or high end DSLR gear. They're just not qualified and it really isn't their target audience. Most cars and appliances they're a great resource for.

As Mark mentioned - the USM thing is a lens function not a body and Nikon has a similar system. Now, having said that - there are quite a number of Nikon lenses and third-party-for-nikon lenses that do not employ a focus motor. But those are the lower quality lenses. And if you're interested in quality you probably don't want to be using them anyway.

Either body and either system is fantastic. There is no wrong choice.

For what it's worth I use the Canon system - but have no qualms about recommending the D80 as an excellent choice. Handle both cameras - it's very likely the interface of one might appeal to you over the other and that's important. But from a system & body standpoint there's no clear-cut winner.
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