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Old Jun 13, 2008, 1:07 PM   #1
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Well.. I thought I pretty much made up my mind with Sony A200 but today I had a chance to play with Sony A200 and Nikon D40.The price diffract between these 2 arearound $20 which isnot a factor.I went to 2 places. The first place ( major well known canadian chain store) and the salesperson told me to get Nikon D40. The salesperson has Nikon D40 himself ( I asked). He said that the reason Sony is on sale is that no one wants to buy it. ( Nikon was on sale too). He said that the picture quality is much better with Nikon and it is a much better camera.Basically he tried to steer me away from Sony .

Second place ( independent retailer), told me to get Sony since in his eyes it was a better camera and had more features. He did not really push me to get either but mentioned that chip in Nikon camera made from Sony. He also said that if I want to keep upgrading with lenses - to get Nikon since there are more choices there. He also said thatthey don't make Nikon D40 anymore. Is this true?

Now, I tried both of these in my hands and to be honest I found Nikon a better fit and smaller. On the other hand, Sony had less buttons, so I suspect it would be less overwhelming for an amateur? However, the thing that I did not like with Sony was that it was a bit on a noisy side with AF setting. I did not hear any noise with Nikon.

I still think Sony is pretty good deal since it has more features included. In addition : Sony is made in Japan and Nikon in Taiwan .

Back to square one. I need to make a decision because the sale ends on Sunday ( the sale is Father's day sale)

Any one has any feedback,suggestions? I read reviews for both Sony and Nikon and they are both pretty good.



Decisions, decisions....:?

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Old Jun 13, 2008, 1:23 PM   #2
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I personally think the A200 is a much better camera. I shoot with a Sony A700. So, I'm probably a bit biased. They're both good little cameras.

The A200 has a higher resolution sensor (it uses a Sony 10 Megapixel CCD and the Nikon D40 uses a Sony 6 Megapixel CCD), and a better and faster Autofocus System. The Sony A200 uses a very sensitive 9 point AF sensor assembly with a very fast built in focus motor in the camera body (1.7x as fast as the previous Sony A100), and it has a body based stabilization system that works with any lens you use on it (and it can use any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made with a good selection from reputable vendors of used gear).

The Nikon D40 (and to answer your question, yes it's now a discontinued model), Nikon D40x (Sony 10MP CCD sensor), and D60 (Sony 10MP CCD Sensor) models don't have focus motors built in. So, they won't Autofocus with many third party lenses (or even a number of Nikkor Autofocus lenses like Nikon's 50mm f/1.8 Autofocus lens).

Other than the D40, D40x and D60, other Nikon dSLR bodies do have focus motors built in. But, they removed them from their entry level bodies after the D50 was replaced. In fairness, lens choice is improving (more lens manufacturers are starting to include focus motors for these Nikon models in their newer lenses). But, your choices are still a bit limited, depending on what you want to shoot.

The Sony A200 also has a very intuitive "Quick Nav" system that makes it very easy to get to frequently used settings using the control pad to switch between them on a status screen, even if they don't have dedicated buttons. This same Quick Nav system is shared by other Sony models (so if you upgraded to a higher end body later on, you'd already know how to use it).

Here's an A700 flash presentation that shows it on the model I'm shooting with (watch the part where they're showing camera settings on screen and navigating between them). They probably have an A200 presentation somewhere, too (but, I don't have a link to it).

Watch the part just as they turn on the back display in the presentation and you'll see them quickly moving between the choices. That's the Quick Nav system shared by the Sony dSLR models.

Flash Presentation on Sony DSLR-A700

Scroll down on this page and you'll see a post from one of our members that has used both a Nikon D40 and D40x and now has a Sony A200:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=587789&forum_id=87

Here's a Sony A350 review from a Nikon D300 user's perspective (note that the D300 is a higher end Nikon model). Keep in mind that the A200 is a bit faster camera for burst rate compared to the A350 being discussed in this user review (mostly because it's 10MP files are a bit smaller compared to the 14MP files from the A350). The AF system is the same as the A200. If you read Steve's review conclusion here, you'll see that the A200 clocked at 3.4 frames per second shooting jpeg in continuous drive mode with it using a fast Sandisk Extreme III Card. The A200 can do that until a memory card is full. Of course, the D300 being discussed has a much faster frame rate, more features, etc. (it's a higher end model compared to these Sonys). ;-)

http://www.epinions.com/content_428932304516

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Old Jun 13, 2008, 2:30 PM   #3
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Nikon has a really good selection of lenses, but most of their best won't autofocus on the D40. Also, many people like the D40 because of its good high ISO performance, but that's because it has only a 6MP image sensor. (In fact, the Nikon D40 is the last dSLR on the market that still only has a 6MP image sensor.) If you don't need to shoot at higher ISO settings, you would be better off with the higher resolution.

The A200 has a better autofocus system, higher resolution, as good a selection of lenses, plus sensor shift image stabilization, and is comparably priced.

I can't imagine why an objective individual would tell you to get a D40 instead of an A200.
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Old Jun 13, 2008, 2:42 PM   #4
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TCav wrote:
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I can't imagine why an objective individual would tell you to get a D40 instead of an A200.
Most likely because he owns Nikon D40 My friend is a pro and she calls herself Nikon girl.( she told me to get Nikon D40). Another pro told me that he used toshoot with Nikons only and then switched to Canon ( he has Rebel XTI) and he loves it.
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Old Jun 13, 2008, 2:54 PM   #5
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Any of the models you've mentioned (Sony A200, Rebel XTi, Nikon D40) are capable of taking great photos in most condtions.

I personally think the Sony A200 is a much better value. But, as I mentioned before, I'm probably a bit biased since I shoot with a Sony A700. I really like the improvements Sony has made with these newer dSLR models. They're good cameras.
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Old Jun 13, 2008, 2:55 PM   #6
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vic4878 wrote:
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TCav wrote:
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I can't imagine why an objective individual would tell you to get a D40 instead of an A200.
Most likely because he owns Nikon D40 My friend is a pro and she calls herself Nikon girl.( she told me to get Nikon D40). Another pro told me that he used toshoot with Nikons only and then switched to Canon ( he has Rebel XTI) and he loves it.
I guess the key word there was 'objective'.
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