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Old Feb 1, 2009, 11:55 AM   #1
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I am about tobe afirst timemom and I decided to get a new camera before the new baby. I have always used just point and shoot, but want to get a DSLR. I"ve done a ton of research. Although, I am beginner photographer I think the D40 is not going to work because of its lack of autofocus capabilities and some other functions I think would be limiting after over time. After reading reviews, I've narrowed it down to the Canon Rebel XSI or the D80.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"A couple of questions - how important is the live view feature of the Canon? Since, I've been using a point and shoot inthe past, I thought it could be helpful, but I'm not sure.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Also, is D80 going to be "too" advanced for a somewhat beginner?

Lastly, I have a two sigma lenses a 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 Mini Zoom Macro II Aspherical and a 70-300mm F4-5.6 DL Macro Super II both of which have been discontinued by Sigma. I have been told that these will likely work on a Nikon, but they may not autofocus and no one will guarantee that they will work on a canon. They were on my mom's oldNikon 65. If they work, should I just buy the body of a camera not get a lense that comes with the camera?

Sorry for some questions and streams of thought, any advice would bemuch appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Feb 1, 2009, 2:15 PM   #2
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gte253f wrote:
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A couple of questions - how important is the live view feature of the Canon? Since, I've been using a point and shoot inthe past, I thought it could be helpful, but I'm not sure.
For a P&S digicam, 'Live View' can be useful. But dSLRs are bigger and heavier, so trying to use 'Live View' for any length of time can be classified as self-abuse. It can be useful in dimly lit areas, and for macrophotography, but neither of the dSLRs you've mentioned is stabilized, and only Nikon has a stabilized macro lens, so that means 'tripod'.

gte253f wrote:
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Also, is D80 going to be "too" advanced for a somewhat beginner?
Not too advanced, such that it's more advanced than the Canon XSi, though the XSi is newer and therefore might be easier to understand and use.

An important consideration should be how the camera feels to you. If you can't hold it comfortably, if you can't find the commands and controls when you need them, then you'll miss some shots.

While the Nikon D80 and the Canon XSI are quite good, they are quite different in a number of respects. Could you tell us how you narrowed your selection down to just these two?
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Old Feb 1, 2009, 2:23 PM   #3
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hello and welcome!

Well, let me say the 2 lenses you have aren't worth very much. I can guarantee they won't work on Canon but not sure about Nikon. In any case, they're not very good lenses so I wouldn't make a decision based upon them.

To answer some of your questions:

1. I don't think the live view is worth very much. It works well for certain types of shooting - macro, product etc where you want critical sharpness and have the time to get it. For general shooting it's not very useful. And without the use of a tripod, trying to hold a DSLR like a point-and-shoot and use the LCD will yield poorer results than holding it up to your face. The reason being a DSLR is heavier and holding it away from your body is a less stable shooting position. I wouldn't worry about it one bit.

2. No, the nikon is not too advanced. It has an auto mode.

I suggest you go to a store and handle both cameras - make sure you like the ergonomics. They're a bit different than one another so one may appeal to you more. Otherwise either one is a fine camera and will suit your general purpose shooting needs. The extra MP of the canon are really negligible.

When you decide on one here is what I would suggest:

Buy the camera with kit lens

Buy an external flash

Buy a 50mm 1.8 lens (<$100 in each system)

You're going to want shots that will require a flash and an external bouncable flash will improve your flash shots 10-fold. The 50mm 1.8 will allow you to take some available light shots indoors and some shallow-DOF portrait shots which are one of the true benefits of a DSLR over a point-and-shoot.
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Old Feb 1, 2009, 5:07 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for this info! Especially about the lenses I had no idea and it's good to know that I should really just let them be with the non-digital camera AND the live view function. I am so glad I found this website.

I narrowed down my choices based on Consumer Reports, word of mouth, and brand recognition (Nikon and Canon). I also looked at the D40x, but price wise I found a D80 for about $100 more and it seemed like I should get a camera with more functions for that much more. Are there others that you think I should consider?

Another bonus is that a local college is having a "getting to know your Nikon DSLR" before this baby comes and if I get a Nikon I would really be able to learn how to use the camera. So, if the Canon and Nikon are really similar then I am kinda leaning towards the Nikon.

Thank you again for the advice - it is invaluable!
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