Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 15, 2005, 2:00 AM   #1
Junior Member
Ollie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5

Firstly, I'm from the UK, and there isn's a local site as informative as this one:-)

I have the the past few weeks, been trying to decide between the Rebel XT, (as it's known over there, 350d here in the UK), and the Nikon D50. Both are superb cameras, and on paper the canon seams to beat the Nikon. I have spent many an hour in the shop with that confused/frustrated look on my face as described by many of the forum contributors. I'm pretty much sold on the Canon, except that I can't get away from the fact that the sample pictures on this website point to the Nikon as having a sharper, clearer image. I'm confused at this as the Canon has an extra 2M-pixel advantage, and an additional ISO100 setting. Has anyone else noticed this?

Could someone put my mind at rest, so I can finally spend my money?


Ollie :?
Ollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Aug 15, 2005, 6:03 AM   #2
Super Moderator
peripatetic's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,599

Hmm, dunno about that - the pics from the XT look a bit better to me.

More detail, though perhaps less sharpness and saturation - XT seems more natural - at any rate you can boost the sharpening and saturation with parameters.

You can't go wrong with either choice, both are good starter DSLRs.
peripatetic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 15, 2005, 7:41 AM   #3
Junior Member
Ollie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5

Yea, your right, there is more detail, the pictures are larger and bigger. It was the sharpness I was refering to, why should you have to boost this to match the Nikon? Are Nikon's generally 'sharper' than Canon's, am I worryang about nothing?

Ollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 15, 2005, 8:06 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Sharpening is somewhat of an optical illusion when it comes to the difference in images from two cameras that are similar otherwise (sensor quality, lens quality, image processing quality).

Most sharpening algorithms are designed to increase the contrast of bordering pixels whentransitions occur to give the illusion of more sharpness. But, if you have too much, it can start destroying real detail, as well as leaving artifacts (like halos around objects where the contrast was increased).

So, most DSLR models don't apply as much sharpening in camera (leaving it up to the user to do it using software later).

The entry level DSLR models like the D50 and 350D are going to apply a little more sharpening compared to the higher end models,since many consumers buying cameras in this market niche don't want to worry about post processing.

Likewise, other image processing parameters like contrast and saturation are usually set a little higher in these models. Metering is also not as conservative with the entry level DSLR models. They are more likely to blown highlights, since their metering is designed to make sure most of the image is well exposed, depending on the metering type and subject, which can result in brighter areas being overexposed. The D50 hasbeen criticized for this compared to the D70 (but the images from the D50 would not require as much post processing for most images, if you didn't mind some blown highlights).

Higher end models are more likely to lean towards highlight retention (at the expense of more underexposed images). But, any of them are going to require some user intervention to prevent this in many conditions.

There are pros and cons to how these types of parameters are set in a camera by default. But, these models also have a way for the user to adjust them (you can increase or decrease things like sharpening, saturation and contrast via camera settings). You can also use Exposure Compensation if you'd rather lean towardsundexposureto retain highlightscompared to the camera's defaults.

Another thing to consider when you compare sample images, is that there is likely to be a difference between lens quality. The difference is optical quality between lenses used on two cameras may be as much as the difference between 6 and 8 Megapixels. That's one of the reason you'll see such a big price difference between lenses with similar focal lengths. ;-)

I wouldn't worry about the difference in sharpness between the samples here. It's really neligible anyway, and you can increase or decrease it with camera settings in both of these models.

Keep in mind that you're looking at huge images on a monitor when you look at the full size versions, too. Chances are, you'd be hard pressed to see any difference in things like sharpness between them withtypical print sizes and viewing distances, even if you didn'tchange any camera settings.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 15, 2005, 2:29 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378


If you can wait another week or two, I'd also consider the new Konica-Minolta Maxxum 5D. This camera started shipping in Hong Kong last week. So, it should be shipping in the rest of the world soon, too. In the USA, vendors are taking preorders at $799 for the body and $899 for a body with an 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.


Make sure to see Mike Johnston's "Sunday Morning Photographer" articles. He recently purchased a Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D, and he's very enthusiastic about it:

Catch the Rave!

The Tale Told by Two Pictures

Of course, I'm biased.... I plan on buying new KM DSLR soon, too. :-)

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 15, 2005, 3:35 PM   #6
Junior Member
Ollie's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5

Cheers Jim, The Konica is out of my price range here in the UK.

I think I've made up my mind, mainly with the help of this website and frequent shopping trips. I'm going for the Canon, it's slightly more expensive than the Nikon, (£50), but makes up for it in additional functionality and size.

I'm buying the camera for in time for the birth of my second child, (due in 10 days:shock, so needed to make my choice quickly. I have been taking many pictures of my first Daughter with a point and shoot 4MP camera, but craved tha ability to do more.

I'm completely new to all this, so no doubt I'll be a regular visitor:bye:

Thanks for the help,

Ollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2005, 1:23 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1


I'm new to this board and want to say hello!

Well, the reason I registered is I have the same problem Ollie has.
Nikon D50 or Canon EOS 350D (rebel XT).

It's not that easy I have to say.

Currently I have two offers by an online shop and an local dealer.

Nikon D50
Nikon 18-55 lens
1 GB SD-Card
799,- Euros

Canon EOS 350D
Canon 18-55 lens
799,- Euros (+ 1 GB CF-Card I'd be at 899,-)

So obviously the Nikon is 100 bucks cheaper. But I don't know if it's worth to spend 100 Euros more for the Canon.

Pros for the Canon are: Smaller, better pictures (according to sample photos from Steve), dealer said it's faster.
Cons for Canon: More expensive, I don't trust Canon that much (had an Ixus 400 2 years ago and was very disappointed).

Pros for Nikon: Cheaper.
Cons for Nikon: Sport sample-pictures in Steve's test made with extra lens ($ ). The sport photos from the Canon review seemed to be taken with the standard 18-55 lens. Bigger.

What I want from the camera:
- easy to use
- good pictures at concerts (low light)
- fast shutter (?) when taking pictures of moving objects
- Mac-compatible (both are)
- no "there's-the-flash-all-over-the-picture"-pictures like my Ixus 400 did.

In generally I'm pissed off by pictures where there's overall the flash. Someone shows me a picture and tells me how many billions of pixels his camera has and how great his super pocket mini camera is and then he always have to take pictures with flash otherwise its blurred (problem with Ixus). I want "natural" photos.

The Canon is my favourite right now but the experience I made with the Ixus 400 scares me a little bit off.

Thanks in advance for your tips

Best regards
Comaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2005, 2:11 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 46

I've just gone through the same dilemma, except that it was between the 350 and Nikon D70s. I went for the Nikon, due in main to the considerably better kit lens, reports from people I know who use it in semi-pro situations, the feel in the hand and that intangible 'it' quality I got when comapring the two side by side. I know the Nikon costs more but I know I've made the right choice - for me, of course.
Rob G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2005, 2:56 PM   #9
Squonk's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 78

Ollie wrote:
I'm going for the Canon, it's slightly more expensive than the Nikon, (£50), but makes up for it in additional functionality and size.
Look forward to seeing you over in the Canon DSLR forum then Ollie.

And the very best of wishes for your impending new arrival - I'm sure that whatever camera you buy you'll be taking one heck of a lot of pictures :G
Squonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 18, 2005, 5:44 PM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 12

Ollie, good luck with the new addition to your family! Blessings on you all.

I am weighing both cameras, or at least something under $1000. I used an SLR in college and have been using P&S cameras since my kids were born. They are now in elementary school and we attend the usual functions which are mostly held in a low-light gym or flourescent light classroom with little natural light. I am also the PTA's photographer, which means I get dibs on the best spots to take pictures during recitals. (Ollie, this may be good for you in a few years.)

So... has anyone had luck using available light, high ISO and good luck to take pictures in similar situations? I have lowered my expectations - these won't be "fine art" but I do want them to be better than what I used last year - a film P & S with a flash range of about 8 feet.

Happy days,

book_vender is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:50 PM.