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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:11 pm 
Hi all.

I am moving from P&S to DSLR. I need a camera that is rugged as most of my shots are landscapes and underwater. Don't get me wrong, I take
care of my gear, but this won't be used in a studio. I also love wide angle shots (necessary underwater), and will be shooting the occasion family
BBQ. I don't see using a powerful zoom anytime soon.
I also need instant manual WB controls, and a good viewfinder or live view
After seeing all the reviews and comments (great job, Gordon), I've been eyeing the Canon 400D/xti and Nikon's D80.
I've also been looking at the 18-50mm or so, especially Nikon's 18-70mm.
Will I get decent wide angle from such a lense, or it the 10-20mm absolutely necessary?
I'd like to start with one lense, the underwater housings ain't cheap. Another reason I need a camera that won't be obsolite in a few years.

Thanks all,

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:21 pm 
I would go for the D80 because the build quality, while not the greatest, is better than the Rebel XTi. I also would definetely spring for the Sigma 10-20mm, you will be glad your bought it.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:31 pm 
If Canon keeps its release schedule, every Canon model becomes obsolete in 18 months time. So, in that aspect, you're better off with Nikon.

 Post subject: D80 or 400D?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9886
Location: UK
Hi Jason,

Wow, I think your question has rocked most of us back on our heels. What features of the D80 and 400D/XTi attracted you compared with other makes? No Live View, of course, on either camera but I imagine you ruled out the Olympus E-410 on other grounds.

Gordon's D80 Review has a nice things to say about that camera and, when comparing it to the 400D, he remarks that it is "built to a higher standard". I am sure you have also read his Nikkor DX kit lens group test which includes the Nikkor DX 18-70mm you mentioned and has some nice sample landscape shots. I presume a fairly fast lens would be the ideal solution for the underwater work but looking at the price of underwater housings they put a serious dent in any budget. Similarly, I imagine low camera sensor noise at fairly high ISO is also desirable.

Don't get too concerned about your choice of camera becoming obsolete. True, both Canon and Nikon tend to refresh their consumer models every 18 months or so but that doesn't mean that the earlier models suddenly stop taking great photographs. There are many owners of EOS 20D cameras out there who are still content not to upgrade despite the fact that it is now superseded by both the 30D and the 40D.


Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:40 pm 
Thanks Bob,

1st was price- I need to stay below $1000.
2nd was manufacturer's reputation
3rd- availablity of underwater accessories.
I had an olympus p&s that I loved, but moving to SLR I wanted
to invest in something high end. The 410 and 510 have live view, but the Nikon's viewfinder is supposed to be great,
plus I'll get a magnifier for the
housing, so it's not a big deal. In the underwater world...
Shutter lag is a bigger problem than lense speed, as I usually "stalk" my subjects for a bit,
being in the same position for up to a few minutes.
A higher ISO is important as using ambient light is preferred for wide angle shots.


p.s.- how does everyone like the 18-70mm at wide angle?
and what type of filter would you recommend for topside photos (cheap protection)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:18 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Luis, there's always new models coming out, but that doesn't make the last one obselete. And if you criticise Canon for updating its consumer DSLRs every 18 months, you could equally criticise other manufacturers for not updating theirs often enough!

Ultimately who cares?! The important thing is which is the best camera to buy when you're ready to shop. And this should include brand new and older models.

I'll throw this one into the mix: the Olympus E-410 is one of the smallest DSLRs around and has an underwater housing. The Live View could also be very useful in an underwater environment...


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:23 am 
Nathan wrote:
I would go for the D80 because the build quality, while not the greatest,

In my books it pretty much seems like it ;)

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