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Old Dec 7, 2008, 3:55 PM   #1
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I am looking to purchase a Digital SLR camera. I am finding that researching which camera that would be best for purchase is difficult. The biggest problem? Trying to decipher fact from myth as well as which one will be the most "bang for my buck". There are those who are Nikon people and those that are for Canon. SO I am asking for honest opinions about this subject.

I will be using this camera for portraits as well as nature pictures. Eventually I hope to submit some of my pictures to companies to be in calendars.

I have been researching the Canon 40D or the Nikon D300. Honest opinions please.

Thanks in advance,
Stormy
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Old Dec 7, 2008, 4:18 PM   #2
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I'm a Canon shooter - I've owned 3 Canon DSLRs including a 1dmkIII. But I can't see someone honestly telling you the Canon 40d is better than the D300 in any way. Comparing those two models I would choose the D300 any day.
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Old Dec 7, 2008, 4:20 PM   #3
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The D300 is typically regarded as the best serious amateur/semi pro camera available. It's faster, has better AF performance, and slightly fuller featured than the 40d (which has been replaced by the 50d). It's also more expensive, and unless you need the extra speed and features, you may be better off with the 40d with better glass that you can get with the money you save. Both are great cameras and your skills will likely play a bigger role than the choice of camera. Not comparing costs, hands down the D300 would likely be nearly everyone's choice. If budget is an issue, maybe the choice isn't so easy.

I currently shoot with a D300 as my main camera.

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Old Dec 7, 2008, 5:53 PM   #4
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If I was starting now to get into a system it would probably be Nikon, however I didn't so shoot with 3 Canon dSLRs. As has already been mentioned the glass is going to be key to getting the best shots and even a less camera than either of those mentioned will get much better results if you used good glass then if you put cheap glass on a D300 or 40/50D.

One thing you didn't tell us is what sort of shooting you want to do as this might also affect the answer, although it is more likely to affect the choice of lens than body.
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Old Dec 7, 2008, 9:34 PM   #5
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I will be shooting portraits, senior pictures and nature/scenery. I do both indoor and outdoor photography. On a more personal note, I'm also the primary "photographer" at family gatherings.

I have been working on my photography skills for three years now. It has only been in the last two years that I have decided to work at making this more than my hobby. I have done a lot of work and research. Right now I can't afford the top of the line but I also don't want to get "stuck" with a camera that doesn't suit my needs. Ultimately I am looking to spend about $2500.00.

I know that glass is important. The fun part is, every single site I go to stresses something different as being important in a DSLR. Not to mention that I have spoken with some people who swear by Canons - stating their glass is phenomenal. Then I talk to someone else who say that the Nikon is far superior in flashes, LCDs and things like that. Hopefully you understand my concern. So right now I'd like other people's thoughts/feelings/experiences with either or both cameras. OR if there is another camera (including a different model of Canon or Nikon) PLEASE share the information.

Thanks in advance,
Stormy
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Old Dec 7, 2008, 11:31 PM   #6
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The answer is YES.



In other words either one.



There is so much competition between brands that if "A" brings out a superduper widget you can rest assured that "B" has already stolen the design and will have the same superduper widget on a camera next month. Even if they don't steal from each other, they share resources (my chip is from Samsung, your chip if from Samsung... my circuit is from Intel your circuit is from Intel etc) which means eventually they will have nearly the same products with just different marketing names or a slightly different usage.



More than the camera it is what you do with the camera and what the camera can allow you to do. The cameras are nearly the same, so the rest is up to you.


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Old Dec 7, 2008, 11:40 PM   #7
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Stormy Willow wrote:
Quote:
I know that glass is important. The fun part is, every single site I go to stresses something different as being important in a DSLR.

Yes they do. Otherwise they would have nothing to talk about.

Look at the car magazines versus consumer reports. The car mag brags about the top speed, 1/4 mile etc performance of the car while consumer reports compares gas mileage and reliability.

Both are reporting on the same car!



What is the most important thing in a camera? How well it fits your hand and whether you can find the features you want/need without having to use 9 fingers and two toes. Secondly, whether the camera brand offers the range of lenses needed to support your requirements (wide angle, zoom, fstop speed of lens etc).

Some people will actually start from the lens and work backwords. Actually not a bad approach.

Then we might get to the camera itself. The camera is almost not important because in two years you will replace the camera with another one. In the mean time you are stuck with those darn lenses which cost 2,3, 20 x the cost of the camera body.

See why lens selection is important?


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Old Dec 8, 2008, 2:59 AM   #8
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Looking at the budget I would say the $500 or so that you will save on the 40D will make a big difference to what you can get additionally. The sort of kit I would suggest going for to cover your needs would be the following (this would be for both options).

Battery grip

17-50/55 (ish) f2.8

70-200 f2.8 or f4

Flash (EX580 or SB800)

Also add on memory, extra batteries too and you will be amazed to the price you have reached.

You could go for a lesser long zoom, but if you are going to seriously want to shoot senior portraits then a compromise in quality is not worth it.

Another option would be to go a different route where you could possibly lower the level of the big lens and that would be by getting a slightly longer main lens.

I use a Canon 24-105mm f4 L for a lot of my portrait work/walk aroundand keep a 12-24mm lens around for when I want to go wide.

Anyway, I hope that is some more food for thought.
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 9:10 PM   #9
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Guys, all of your replys were helpful. Everyday family photos. Kids outdoors, vacations pics, and still shots for Christmas cards etc... I'm sure both are great cameras but like some thoughts on Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80? My main interest are ease of use and quality of photos. Also. thoughts on a good all around lense. Both of these cameras get great reviews seemed equally priced.


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Old Dec 8, 2008, 9:39 PM   #10
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br-

Take a good look at the Nikon D-90, and if ease of use is a priority, take a look at the Nikkor 18-200mmVR lens. It will make a very simple and very usable set-up. If you want to save some $$, the take a look at the Olympus E-520 two lens kit. We're looking to hear more from you.

Sarah Joyce
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