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Old Mar 11, 2009, 9:27 AM   #1
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You guys probably get sick of this one, but this site has been a great help in the past...

I'm looking at getting a DSLR - I'm a typical entry-level buyer moving up from a point and shoot and I'd like to become a more serious and better photographer. I typically shoot outside with fish and wildlife subjects, but would like to shoot fly casting and other more active scenes from time to time.If I shoot sports, it would be fishing and hunting, not football or motocross (or anything elsethat is really fast paced).I'm looking for pretty much a do anything camera.

Any recommendations between the Canon XSi versus the Nikon D60 (or even the D40)? All seem to be pretty highly thought of in the reviews on this site. Are there any major differences? I'm not too concerned about the lens autofocus issue with the Nikon, as I'm sure the lenses they have available will suit my purpose, but does that issue translate into ease of capturing an image? I've used the D40 before and I like it, but I haven't tried the Canon yet. However, my film camera is a Rebel and it works great.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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There's more than one autofocus issue with the Nikon D60 (and the D40). In addition to the shortage of lenses that will autofocus on those bodies, their autofocus system isn't very good. The D60/D40 only has three autofocus points, while the XSi has 9. The XSi is more likely to be able to focus on a fishing line than the Nikons. The XSi also has a better predictive autofocus system, so it is more likely to be able to focus on moving subjects. And since the XSi is a 12MP camera, it is probaly a lot more likely to resolve the image of a fishing line than the 10MP D60 and especially the 6MP D40.
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 2:17 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help. One more question about the differences between the two...would there be a difference in using the cameras in full auto modes with autofocus? I'd like to become a better photographer and learn how to really use a camera, but most of the time I'll frankly just use an auto mode, auto focus, and snap the shot. I've heard that there are some focusing issues with the XSi in that there is a steep learning curve in really learning to use the camera. Is there a difference between Canon in Nikon in using the full-auto modes? Granted, I realize that is a somewhat heretical question for a SLR forum.
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 2:59 PM   #4
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Vandal03 wrote:
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... I've heard that there are some focusing issues with the XSi in that there is a steep learning curve in really learning to use the camera. ...
I am surprised that someone would say that.

Both the Canon XSi and the Nikon D60 are 'Entry Level' dSLRs. I can't imagine that there is much difference between the two as far as hand-holding is concerned.

When there are mulitple dLSRs, each of which would serve your purposes well, the ergonomics should be a significant deciding factor. But in this case the capabilities of the XSi are so far superior to the D60 for what you want to do, that any small advantage the D60 might have over the XSi in some otherareais not sufficient to justify its consideration, IMHO.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 1:07 PM   #5
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Thanks. It looks like there are also some great deals on the Canon 30D right now. How would that work for what I'm doing, or is that such a step up that it's apples and oranges?
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 2:03 PM   #6
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I'd say that the 30D is also a good choice. It is more capable than the XSI in some respects, and less capable in others. It also has an 8MP image sensor as opposed to 12Mp for th eXSI, and it doesn't have the 'Live View' feature that the XSi has.

Another consideration, I beleive, is that the 30D is physically larger than the XSi, so you may be more comfortable holding it.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 7:45 PM   #7
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TCav wrote:
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Vandal03 wrote:

Both the Canon XSi and the Nikon D60 are 'Entry Level' dSLRs. I can't imagine that there is much difference between the two as far as hand-holding is concerned.
I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days with friends switching cameras around. They were a Canon XSi, Nikon D60, Olympus A350, Nikon D80 and my Pentax K20D. I took a couple hundred raw photos with each and ran them through Bibble.

They all took good photos but the D60 was definitely the low end camera as far as features. The lack of internal focusing motor, while it makes the camera the least expensive of the bunch, limits the lenses it can autofocus with. It's one of those pay me now or pay me later sorts of situations. For me that's a deal killer. It also doesn't do auto-bracketing, something I often use.

For features, the Canon is more equivalent to a less well built Nikon D80 with a very slow live view tacked on. Sony's implementation of that blew all the others away.

The wonderful result of the exercise was that we all went away thinking that we had made the best purchase for our needs, even the D60 owner who will probably never buy another lens. It is a very friendly upgrade for a point and shoot user.

I had wondered about the Nikon D80 vs. my Pentax but feel that their strengths and weaknesses equaled each other out. I feel better about my purchase.
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