Nana asked in Consumer ElectronicsCameras · 1 decade ago

buying a DSLR?

so this entire time I was planning on buying a Nikon DSRL. Either the D40X or the D80. I already have lenses for a Nikon camera from my old film camera so I figured getting a Nikon would be the best deal.

But reading on the web, it seems like Nikon isn't good with low light sensitivity. Even the D200 which is a semi-professional camera. it's said that though it can take the photos, the quality is much better on Canon DSRL.

So, should I stick with the Nikon, safe money on lenses, but not have the great quality? And if I do that, which one should I get? D40X, D80, or (if my mom will buy such an expensive camera) the D200?

Should I switch back to Canon? Because I've always been pleased with their cameras. But if I do, which one should I get, and what lenses to go with it?

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Nikon D200 has been the LEADER in low light photography until the most recent introduction of the D300 and the Canon 40D. The D80 is a GREAT quality camera.

    I would choose either the D80 or D200, given that you have a stock of Nikon lenses. Some older lenses will not auto-focus on the D40 series. Even if you prefer to focus manually, there WILL be times when you just want to set it on AUTO-FOCUS and forget about it.

    Since you have been using a Nikon film camera, you might really miss the spotmeter if you switch to Canon. The D80 has one, but the XTi (400D) does not.

    I am not a professional photographer, but you are welcome to view my D200 images. You will find it hard to fault them for image quality. There are 83 images here. If you want to really evaluate critically, click on "All sizes" and then "Original" to see the best resolution, although some of these are severely downsized for speedy downloading.

    These may not be "great photography," but these are some good samples for image quality. Some have a minimum use of "unsharp mask" and others (marked "NoPhotoshop") have no image manipulation or enhancement at all.

    Be sure to take this one to full size. There is no sharpening applied to this image:

    Here's a group shot taken on an overcast day. In my opinion, you couldn't possibly want better image quality that this. The lighting is "challenged," but the IQ is excellent. I have to caution, though, that I swapped out a few body parts as detailed in the caption, so look at the overall image instead of picking out the areas where there may be evidence of Photochop manipulation. View "All sizes" then "Original."

    For the D80 vs. XTi, see the second page of this article:

    "We gave the nod to the Nikon for its highest resolution numbers at low ISOs and its ability to maintain at least 1700 lines resolution at ISO 3200-still with Very Low noise. The Canon EOS Rebel XTi sacrificed some noise suppression at higher ISOs to maintain high resolution, and it's a good balance."

  • 1 decade ago

    The people that Nikon does not have good image quality are those trying to find faults with the Nikon brand itself. These are usually hardline Canon users who think their brand is the best of the best. They more specifically argue about the CCD sensor used by Nikon and many others. This sensor is not as good as the CMOS for keeping down noise, but by know means is the image quality bad. This is simply a statement made by ignorant wanna-be photographers. In truth, anyone that knows how to use a camera can get astonishing images from a Nikon or Canon. All this arguing is an ongoing battle in the Brand Wars.

    Nikon is a great camera company. Their lenses can be used on the bodies made since the late 70s and even the 50s. Unlike Canon, who switched their system back in the 90s. The only thing with Nikon cameras is that they will AF on all the camera bodies, except for the D40/D40x. The reason being was to keep down price, and because it is designed for people who want want to buy any other lenses besides the 18-55mm kit or the 55-200mm zoom/VR. This is the real reason. So, you're older Nikon lenses wont AF on that model For AF, get a D80, which is a great stepup anyway.

    Nikon is a company built on quality. Even the cheapest DSLR is very sturdy and feels great to hold, unlike Canon's lineup, which basically says you can have great images, but you have to use a camera that feels like a child's toy. The more expensive Canon cameras are great, though.

    This is a true story: I was going to buy a Canon a Digital Rebel XT or XTi. When I got to the store, I held the XT. I was sickened by the layout and quality of the camera body. The kit lens was crap as well. I held the XTi, and it was about the same. They are both cheap cameras, but to get them cheap, Canon skipped on quality. Then, I held a Nikon D50. I was amazed at the difference. I held the D40, D70s, D80, and it was all the same; great build and great images. So, I chose a Nikon D50.

    As for the D40x and D80 debate, I would recommend the D80. I would recommend it, if you are going to get more in depth with photography, and if you plan to buy other lenses. The D80, like all Nikons feels great in the hands. The shutter is quiet, and the image quality is great. The selection of lenses is massive.

    If you are planning to buy the D40x, I would suggest buying the D40 instead. The D40x is the same exact camera as the D40, only they give it 10 mega pixels and a slightly higher frames per second. But, they lower the flash sync speed, something that is more important than mega pixels. Really, mega pixels is just a selling point that sellers will mention, saying that it gives better image quality. This is not true. More mega pixels only allows you to crop more, and have more details. The file size also eat away at the memory card. So, I would recommend the D40. Same camera, less expensive.

    The D200 that you mention is an even better camera, but unless you plan to become a photojounalist in the near future, dont get it.

    For Canon's lineup, I would not suggest buying anything from the Rebel lineup. The 40D is a great camera, but to me, it does not feel as sturdy and well built as the Nikon D80 and D200. It has great images, though. Really, the only cameras that I would recommend is the EOS 5d, or the 1d series. But, all these cameras cost anywhere from $3,000-$5,000. And, unless you plan to become a photojournalist in the near future, dont get them.

    One problem that I always came across with Canon cameras was their poor quality with lenses. The kit lenses, most of the cheaper lenses, which dont fall in the L series, and even the 50mm f1.8 lens are not good. Some are not even comparable to Nikon's versions. The 50mm f1.8 lens for example is a lens every photographer should have. But, the Canon version is no where near Nikon's quality, or another like the Pentax 50mm f1.4.

    So, for qulity build, great lenses, and great images, get something from the Nikon lineup, like the D80. That's what I recommend.

    For great images and expensive lenes, get something from the Canon lineup. I would suggest the 40D. But, expect to buy an expensive lens from the start. Otherwise, your images will not be crisp and clean.

    Hope this helped.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nikon is just fine with low-light sensitivity. Heck, cameras today make super high ISO images that look much better than the ISO 400 film of just a few years ago.

    I happen to own a bunch of digital SLRs and high ISO shooting is probably one of the poorest ways to judge a camera overall. Moreover, most of the people judging the cameras this way have no clue what they're doing, or worse, are simply brand-conscious (i.e. "My camera is better than a Nikon because...").

    In actual fact, you won't be able to see the differences at any reasonable print size. In fact, just about any differences you would see would be the result of lens differences, photographer skill, vibration, etc, and not because of sensor superiority/inferiority.

    BTW, the D80 is a newer camera than the D200, and the D80 is better at higher ISOs than the D200 because it's newer and a little better tuned.

    If you are absolutely concerned about high ISO shooting and image noise, look at the Fujifilm S5 Pro, which takes Nikon lenses, has a Fujifilm sensor, and makes some great images, particularly in jpeg shooting. It uses a D200 body and does well at high ISOs.

    The Nikons are more than capable of matching any of your skills and I don't think you should worry about "pixel peeping." Instead, once you get your camera, you should focus on working on your skills. Your skills at exposing properly will be far more important than the sensor characteristics. Your skills at composing properly will be more important than luminance noise. Your skills to work with the images in post-processing, should you choose to do so, will also play an important role in the final image.

    My recommendation to you: Get the D80 or the Fujifilm S5 Pro. The D80 is an excellent camera, every bit as good as the Canons. The Fujifilm S5 has incredible image quality, but it's 6mp native resolution. It uses a D200 body, so it's sturdy and tough.

    Finally, don't believe everything you read on the web. There's a lot of "pixel peepers" who are good at peeping at 100% and are lousy photographers. You can be a photographer or you can be a pixel peeper. The Nikons are just fine, and frankly, you could do a lot worse...

  • 1 decade ago

    I was debating between canon models and nikon models. I read all the reviews on the more popular ones. I even joined online photography groups like flickr and others to read which was more tried and used. I really read a LOT! many of the things said were a bit too technical for me at first, but I had to decide on Nikon d40. I had my own list of reasons to get it. And that's what it all boils down to. Which would suit your needs. But I just have to let you know, I love the camera I decided upon! good luck

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  • V2K1
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I'll bet my mortgage money you wouldn't be able to tell a Nikon shot from an Olympus from a Canon without looking at the tech data.

    Buy whatever you want -- the real difference is what's behind the viewfinder.

  • Tara
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    At $700, the Nikon D3100 is just the ticket. * Image files from ANY digital camera will work with CS5 * The quality of the images you produce will have all to do with your skills using it, NOT the camera brand or body model * Photographers mostly use Lightroom 3 to manage their photos and process RAW files. CS5 is a program designed for retouchers, post production professionals and prepress techs.

  • 1 decade ago

    in my pesonal opnion I would stick with Nikon since you already have a set of lenses which only need just to get the body itself instead of having to spend the extra money get a brand new set of lenses to go along with the camera body.

    here's another idea what you could do is to trade in your current camera and lenses and use that money to offset the cost of getting Canon which probably not be that be much but at least it's something.

  • 4 years ago

    buying dslr

  • 1 decade ago

    If you switch to Canon you'll sell your lenses.. If you can buy d300 much better.. It has better sensitivity in low light condition.. My camera is 400D.. At iso 1600 its not usable anymore..

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, Dr. Sam! Your D200 must indeed be amazing ...

    getting everybody in that big group to smile!

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