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Old Jul 6, 2008, 3:24 PM   #1
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I'm looking at getting a dslr soon and would like to here peoples views on these 2 please.

Nikon D40 Digital SLR Camera (18-55mm Lens Kit)
Sony DSLR-A200K Digital SLR Camera (18-70mm F3.5-5.6 Lens Kit)

I can buy either of these from amazon uk for around £270.

Both get good reviews but I don't know which to go for, or should I be looking at something else??

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Steve

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Old Jul 6, 2008, 5:53 PM   #2
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The Sony A200 is a 10MP camera; the Nikon D40 is 6MP.

The Sony has a good selection of lenses, including an extensive selection of 100% compatible used Minolta Maxxum and third party lenses; the Nikon has a limited selection of new lenses and virtually no 100% compatible used lenses.

The Sony has sensor shift image stabilization; the Nikon can use lenses with optical image stabilization ('VR' for 'Vibration Reduction'), but they arefew andexpensive.
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 7:44 PM   #3
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I don't have either camera because I shoot Pentax and have the K100 and used to have the K10. They are supposed to use the same sensors that are in the cameras you are looking at (K100 has the 6 mp sensor and the K10 has the 10 mp sensor). My experience was that the 6 mp sensor was better at higher ISO levels. If you do lots of shooting using ISO 1600, I'd look first at the d40 over the A200. If not, then it doesn't matter as both have low noise levels up to about ISO 800.

Having 10 mp is nice if you crop a lot (useful for macros and wildlife). If not, then both can provide nice prints up to 8x11 - the largest I've ever printed.

In-camera stabilization on the Sony comes in really handy for some people - others who don't push the envelope with slower shutter speeds won't particularly care (I'm a big believer of having anti-shake for myself, but can understand why others won't particularly care about it).

AS far as lenses go - while TCav has a good point about a number of the Nikon lenses not auto focusing with the D40, that might not be a big deal unless you want one of those lenses. If you want a fast prime lens (Nikon doesn't make one that will AF with the D40 at the moment), then Sony would be a much better way to go.

Both cameras are capable of taking excellent pictures.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 1:39 AM   #4
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Sony.
but 40 complact and light.
if it's not significant - Sony again.

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Old Jul 9, 2008, 5:35 AM   #5
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You don't mention the sort of photography you are looking to do, this can be an important consideration. Other very important things are to look at where your photography might go as once you are in a 'system' then changing is expensive and how does the camera feel in your hand?

I would say the Sony is going to give the better results, have a look at Steve's review here and check out the sample shots, you will see that at ISO 3200 they both perform in a similar way however the Sony is higher res.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 5:37 AM   #6
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TCav wrote
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The Sony has a good selection of lenses, including an extensive selection of 100% compatible used Minolta Maxxum and third party lenses; the Nikon has a limited selection of new lenses and virtually no 100% compatible used lenses.

The Sony has sensor shift image stabilization; the Nikon can use lenses with optical image stabilization ('VR' for 'Vibration Reduction'), but they arefew andexpensive.
This has been discussed to death, and people still continue to make things sound worse than they truly are. Yes, the D60 is not completely compatible with the entire lineup due to the lack of AF motor. The d60 can meter with any AF lens...focus will be manual, but the lenses are still usable (although it's not ideal). As of now there are over 70 lenses that will be fully function on the D40-40x-60. All bases are covered from pro to consumer level, except for fast primes which may or may not be important to some. There are even inexpensive VR lenses (the 18-55 and 55-200, less than $500 for the pair). 3rd party manufacturers are continuing to release compatible lenses. In reality, unless you've got a bunch of old glass already, the D60 has more than enough compatible glass out there to cover all shooting needs. That doesn't mean it's the right choice for everyone...the 3pt AF system and missing prime lens lineup can be a deal killer for some.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 8:34 AM   #7
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yeah, until Nikon releases something to counter new Sony models(D60 too weak, but shoot not bad if you plan to stick to Kit lens FOREVER
until then - D40 definitely not for everyone(and similar D0x and D60).

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Old Jul 9, 2008, 9:01 AM   #8
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With the Sony, you'd have a better 9 point Autofocus system, the ability to shoot jpeg fine + raw if desired (the Nikon D40 can only use jpeg basic + raw), the ability to control Sony flashes like the HVL-36AM, HVL-42AM and HVL-56AM wirelessly via the camera's built in flash.

The Nikon D40 can't use it's built in flash that way, so you'd need to buy the the SU-800 wireless Speedlight commander to wirelessly control the Nikon SB-800, 600 or R200 flash units (or buy another Nikon external flash and use it in the hotshoe to control off camera Nikon flashes). That may or may not matter to you.

The Sony would also give you compatibility with any Minolta Autofocus lens ever made (with stablization, thanks to a body based solution), whereas the Nikon D40 is limited to Nikon F mount lenses with focus motors built in if you want Autofocus (making it incompatible with many lenses you'll find in the used market for Nikon models unless you want to use manual focus with them). The A200 also has a higher resolution sensor (the A200 uses a Sony 10MP sensor, and the Nikon D40 uses a Sony 6MP sensor).

But, either of these cameras are capable of taking great photos in most conditions, and your familiarity with it and skill using one is going to be more important than the camera you choose. I'd try them out in a store and see what you're more comfortable with.

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Old Jul 9, 2008, 9:03 AM   #9
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SkyShoot wrote:
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yeah, until Nikon releases something to counter new Sony models(D60 too weak, but shoot not bad if you plan to stick to Kit lens FOREVER
until then - D40 definitely not for everyone(and similar D0x and D60).
And many will just stick to the kit lens(es). Not everyone, (in fact probably most) don't have a need or desire (or the budget)to step up to pro glass. If you're shooting with pro glass, you're probably not going to use the entry level cameras anyway, although most of the pro glass is AF-s and will work on the D40-40x-60. Which renders most of the not enough glass talk somewhat of a moot point.
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Old Jul 9, 2008, 9:06 AM   #10
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SkyShoot wrote:
Quote:
yeah, until Nikon releases something to counter new Sony models(D60 too weak, but shoot not bad if you plan to stick to Kit lens FOREVER
until then - D40 definitely not for everyone(and similar D0x and D60).
SkyShoot,

Out of curiosity what is your hands-on experience with these cameras or any DSLR?

I've seen a lot of strong opinions from you on DSLRs but I thought you yourself were looking to buy your first DSLR?

Or am I mistaken?

And, there's nothing wrong with not having hands-on experience. But I think it's important for people reading these posts to understand the experience level of people giving advice - especially when they voice such staunch opinions. And again, nothing wrong with having strong opinions. But it helps people out in how much weight to give various opinions when they know how much actual experience (vs. just reading) you're basing those opinions on.

Please let us know.

Thanks!
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