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Old Apr 2, 2008, 6:32 PM   #1
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Hello,
Photography has been a hobby for me for some time, and I now would like to make the jump into the DSLR cameras.

I currently shoot mostly wildlife and landscape shots. These are usually taken at close range (as close as I can get.):-) I want to improve these shots therefore, i am currently thinking about diving into an entry-level DSLR.

However, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed with different cameras and lens that I am currently researching. I am down to these cameras, since I am looking for an entry-level DSLR.

SONY a200
CANON Digital Rebel XTi (and now Xsi)
NIKON D40x, D80, and D60

I have a general knowledge about these cameras, but I have no idea which one or kind would suit me best. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Apr 2, 2008, 7:25 PM   #2
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They are all fine cameras, and any one of them will perform well for what you have in mind.

There are some things that distinguish them, however.

First, the new CanonXSi has a 12 Megapixel image sensor while the others all have 10 Megapixel image sensors. More Megapixels are good, especially if you need to crop or do any other post processing. The downside of more Megapixels is that it increases the pixel density which has the effect of increasing noise at high ISO settings. If you don't plan on using higher ISO settings, then it doesn't matter, but for wildlife shooting, this may not a good idea.

Second, the Sony A200 uses sensor shift image stabilization, which means that the camera senses camera shake, and moves the image sensor to counteract the effect, resulting in sharp images that might otherwise be blurred by camera shake. The cameras from Canon and Nikon rely on optical image stabilization in only certain lenses, which makes those lenses bigger, heavier, and more expensive.

Third, the Nikon D40X and D60 have autofocus systems that are not as good asyourother choices.

Fourth, the Nikon D40X and D60also don't have a built-in autofocus motor, which means that many lenses for the Nikon mount (including about half of Nikon's own lenses) won't autofocus on those cameras. If you can find the lenses you want that will autofocus on the D40X or D60, then you'll be fine, but the selection of lensesis smaller than for the Nikon D80 and Canons.

So, for what you want to do, I think the Canon XSi, and the Nikon D40X and D60 would not be a good idea.
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Old Apr 2, 2008, 7:52 PM   #3
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TCav-

With all due respect and with a great appreciation for your detailed post. I would suggest either Sony A-200 or the Sony A-300. If price is a very real issue, then take a good look at the Pentax K-100D which is available at close out prices.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 2, 2008, 8:08 PM   #4
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Sarah Joyce-

I agree that, among the choices proposed by spudman, I would pick the A200. But the Canon XTi, Nikon D80 and Sony A200 are all fine cameras without the drawbacks I mentioned for the others.

But the OP may have some other reasons for selecting one camera over another, one of which might be how it feels in his or her hands.

At this point in the discussion, I was just trying to help the OP narrow the choices a little.

BTW, how was your trip? I've seen you pop in and out of these forums occasionally, but never for very long. Are you home for a while?
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Old Apr 2, 2008, 8:21 PM   #5
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Hi TCav-

We are home until 04/25, then we head out again.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Apr 2, 2008, 10:19 PM   #6
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I'd be interested in why you ruled out the new Pentax K200. Its reported to have the same 10 mp sensor as the Nikon cameras, and would offer weather sealing, something as an outdoor person you might really appreciate (I know I have really appreciated it on my K10). It's another camera that offers anti-shake in the body, rather than in the lenses.
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