View Full Version : Camera buffs get in here

05-25-2007, 09:47 PM
I am thinking about buying a new camera for our trip to Germany and Greece next week. I have researched alot and decided between the Nikon D80 and Canon 30D.

Does anyone have either one of these and what is your opinion of it ? Also does anyone have an unbiased opinion between the two. From all that I have read, most of the Canon people vote for the Canon and Nikon people for Nikon with only a few unbiased opinions.

I realize that the lens is a huge factor in the picture but just trying to get more info on the camera bodies.


05-25-2007, 10:07 PM
Ken, if it's just a point and shoot thing I don't think you can go wrong with either the Nikon or Canon.

Is there a reason you want to go with the 30D?? You've seen the shots I've gotten with my Digital Rebel....why not save some money and get the XTi??

05-25-2007, 10:53 PM
As a Nikon owner/shooter.

Both of those cameras are better than 90+% of the people using them, but if your goal is the absolute lowest noise out of camera at high ISO then Canon has the upper hand. That being said, even the Canon's are noisy if you don't get the exposure right. Canon also has the only in-house full frame (35mm sensor size) upgrade path at the moment as well - but rumor has it that that will change before the year is out.

I like my D70 and D200, and Canon has nothing in their lineup that currently would cause me to want to switch.

If I were in your shoes this is what I would do:
Start out with a pre-disposition towards the Canon and go to a store that has both. Play with them both and see how they 'feel' in your hands. After that, if you have no preference go with the Canon.

Another thing to consider before you make your choice is your budget and lens needs. Both companies have similar lens lineups but each has some coverage that the other lacks. For a Nikon to travel with I would consider the following:

18-200 VR lens $750-900 (if you can find one in stock)
Either the 1.4 or 1.8 50mm lens for lower light shots
An SB-800 flash

For either:
A second battery for the camera
A good light-weight tripod (like the new Gitzo 6x Carbon Fiber 4 section)

05-25-2007, 11:42 PM
It always seems I go a little overboard at times and that is why I am looking at those two cameras. My thinking is that if I do get into the hobby a little more ,then I will have already spent the money on the camera. By the way Mike, your pictures are always great.

As far as going to the store to hold these and play with them I did that today and the Canon 30D did feel somewhat more comfortable in my hands but it also cost more.

Regarding the in-house full frame sensor upgrade I am not quite sure I now what this is. Does it upgrade it to a full frame like the 5D and D200 . I think I understand that the 30D and D80 crop the picture ( hence not full frame). How much is this upgrade?

Do you know at what size, when enlarging a picture, there starts to become a difference when using an 8.2 mp ( Canon) as compared to a 10.29 Nikon) ?

I also heard that the VR lens are great and hard to come by.

I found an almost new 30D and 18 - 55 lens for 950.00 and Ritz has the D80 new in box with 18-55 lens on sale foe 999.00 but the sale ends this Saturday so I have to make my mind up quickly.

05-26-2007, 12:06 PM
Crop = 'DX' sized sensor = sensor ~ the size of an APS film negative
Full Frame = sensor the size of a 35mm film negative
Canon also has some bodies with sensors that fall between DX and FF.
You cannot realistically upgrade a body to a new sensor, you would need to buy a new body that has the different sensor.

Canon currently has a couple of full frame bodies:
The 5D at $2700
The 1Ds at $7000

Nikon has none (currently), but there are third party cameras that are full-frame and use the Nikon platform (lenses and accessories).

The difference between FF and DX is the angle of view and depth of field you get with a given lens. See http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/Equivalent-Lenses.shtml for a full rundown on the differences, it is more complex than most people assume.

VR (or IS for Canon) lenses are not hard to come by, they are just more expensive than their non-VR counterparts. The lens I mentioned is just hard to get because Nikon severely underestimated it's popularity. A single lens that has decent (but not pro) quality and that covers the 35mm equivanlent of 27mm-300mm with VR. For 'normal' snapshots you can leave that one lens on the camera all the time.

As far as megapixels go, the jump from 8-10 is negligible. Given properly exposed and in-focus shots with both and you would be hard pressed to see any difference at any print size that were not due to the differences in the sensors and their filters/processing used by the mfg.

05-26-2007, 12:19 PM
I found an almost new 30D and 18 - 55 lens for 950.00 and Ritz has the D80 new in box with 18-55 lens on sale foe 999.00 but the sale ends this Saturday so I have to make my mind up quickly.

For what it is worth, both of those lenses are 'bottom of the barrel' lenses from both manufacturers. Good news is that they are cheap so you are only throwing away $100-200 if you later decide to upgrade. Bad news is that the lens plays a significant role in the in the final image. The initial amount of sharpness, contrast, and distortion in the image are all determined by the lens in use. If budget is an issue, I would consider getting a 'lesser' body with a better lens.

I am not saying that you CAN'T get decent images with those lenses, just that (all things being equal) you can get better quality images with better glass.

From a current Nikon standpoint be aware that the D40 has one serious limitation. It can only use AF-S (ultrasonic AF) lenses, and many of Nikon's good, cheap primes (like the 50mm's that I mentioned above) can't be used on this body for that reason (the use a mechanical 'screw' coupling for the AF motor that the D40 lacks).

05-26-2007, 12:30 PM
Here is a Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lens and 2 2GB flash cards for $1180 (no tax either). The 18-135 is still a 'cheap' lens, but would be better for travel as it has much more reach than the 18-55. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/494367-REG/Nikon_D80_SLR_Digital_Camera.html

Review on that (and other Nikon lenses): http://www.bythom.com/18135lens.htm

05-26-2007, 02:48 PM
Thanks for all the info Bart. There is alot to learn about and have to say that some of it is very confusing.

After looking at my previous post I made a mistake about the lens that comes with the 30D,it is an EF 28-135 IS USM and depending on the bidding I may be able to get it for 900.00.

If I do not get a camera before my trip this Friday I have a backup plan. My daughter just bought a D50 with two lenses. I thought I could buy a better lens for it and then either give it to her or later buy the D80 and keep the lens for myself. Am I correct in my thinking that I should buy a lens with at least a 2.8F or less?

05-26-2007, 05:50 PM
Ken, if you would like to borrow my Canon Dig Reb with 18-55mm and 75-300mm IS lens then please do. Let me know man. :thumbsup:

05-31-2007, 10:22 PM
Thanks for the offer Mike but I ended up buying the Canon 30D with the 18-55 lens and then picked up an inexpensive Tamron 70-300 with macro feature. I will see how things work out on the trip and then when the pocket book builds back up I will look for a better lens. I get a good deal on the camera and lens at 930.00 new in box.