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Old Nov 21, 2008, 3:01 PM   #1
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I'm in the market for my first DSLR (and SLR for that matter). I've currently got a pentax optio w10 that isn't great, but does just fine for outdoor shots, and is wonderful for what we bought it for (girlfriend works at the aquarium, its waterproof). The W10 is awful in low light, so the DSLR has to be atleast good there, and I'd like it to have a pretty good reasonably priced Macro solution (I keep amphibians... want to be able to take photos of them)


I've been looking at the D60 and the 400D. I've pretty much eliminated the D40 simply because there only seems to be a $50 or so difference, and I've heard that the 18-55mm VR lense that the D60 comes with is nicer than the 18-55mm non-Vr lense the D40 comes with. (Is this true?). For $50 or so, I'd rather have the better lense (and dust reduction, etc).


So, I went to Best Buy last night (they were near Chilis), and played around with the D40 and 450D (their D60 wouldn't turn on, and they didn't have the 400d). In general, I thought the Canon was a little nicer in my hand, but they both felt pretty good. The display inside the viewfinder was a little tougher to read on the Canon than the Nikon (the aperture/iso/etc readout), I had to squint a little. Which is more important? The display seems more importatn to me.


I'll probably be shooting with just the kit lense for a while (and maybe a 55-200), so the lack of autofocus motor on the Nikon isn't a big deal to me. The 50mm/1.8 is the only exception. Can I handle this in manual? (I've heard the nikon 50 is nicer than the canon one. True?)

I don't want a larger body, because I think it will get left home more often, so the 80/90 aren't options, and aren't really affordable either.




I've done a ton of research and I'm to the point of almost flipping a coin here, and that just seems like a really bad idea. Are there any more questions I should be asking myself? Is there anything I'm not considering that could tip things either way?
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 3:05 PM   #2
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http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng...amera-rankings
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 3:18 PM   #3
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Nikon now makes a fast 50mm lens that has a focus motor in the lens, so you could get AF with the D40/D60 and a fast lens. I actually do a lot of manual focus as two of my favorite lenses don't have AF capabilities (date back to the '90s - I shoot Pentax and happily use lenses produced in the 1980s also). I don't mind it at all, but it's not for everyone. The viewfinder becomes critical when you do it much, and it takes practice. Also, it's easier to see something through a lens with a larger aperture (you focus with the lens wide open, the camera stops it down when you press the shutter).

If you take manual focus off the table, then go with the one that feels more comfortable to you, that you'd be willing to cart around all the time. If they feel the same, flip a coin as either camera is quite capable of taking outstanding pictures.
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 5:33 PM   #4
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Ugh, I just did some more looking around, and it looks like the 450D can be had for about the same price as the 400D. Does this swing things any?


I had heard that the lense on the D60 was much better than that on the 400D, but I think the 450D comes with the nicer IS lense. How does the IS lense compare to the VR lense that comes on the D60
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Old Nov 21, 2008, 8:54 PM   #5
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See SLRGear.com's reviews:

Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS (Tested)

Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor (Tested)

I'd call the Canon the better lens. It's much sharper and has less vignetting.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 12:32 AM   #6
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Thanks. Thats very useful information. If the canon has the better lense, that may settle things.
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Old Nov 22, 2008, 1:57 PM   #7
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D40 over D60.
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