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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:17 pm 
Ok,
I'm looking for my first DSLR and have given the whole thing a good bit of consideration. The more I read the harder it gets to make up my mind. Can you guys offer any help?
Its between the Cannon Eos 400D with the 17 -85mm lens, because of its small size and cheaper entry price. But, I also like the sound of the Nikon D80 with the DX 18-200mm lens because of the quality reports and if I get this lens I will probably not need to change it and thus negate the issue of not having a dust removal system. The size is however a concern as my primary requirement is for a S.America trip with all the trekking that this involves. There is no point in having a good/expensive camera if it is sat at home all the time.
Then I read about the Olympus 410 which seems to be nice and small with reasonable quality.
Or what about the Nikon 40x which has lower quality results to the others, but is smaller, cheaper and again with the 18 -200 lens, very versatile.
and then ........ one could go on.
Not having the experience, it is difficult to make the choice, but any opinions on ease of use, practicalities etc may help tip the balance.
Catching the casual photo is important, wildlife and nature is of interest.
Cheers
Tuk


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:49 pm 
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Hello Tuk, and welcome to the Camera labs forum!

I made a 4 week trip around New Zealand with the D80 and mostly the VR 18-200mm. This is a great combination and you're sure to catch most opportunities that present itself. So if your budget allows, that would be a great choice. Just add a second battery and a UV-filter to keep dirt/water from your front-lens through the trip. The filter is much easier to clean under less than optimal ocnditions and if it's scratched after the trip, just replace it. At least your front lens will stay immaculate!

There are cheaper options but not really on a par with this combination.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:11 pm 
Thanks tombomba2 !
Just the sort of mail I was hoping for.
Cheers.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:50 pm 
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But, Tuk, you know that I'm pretty biased (see my signature) :lol:

You should not run out and buy this combo unless others here in this forum had a chance to make your head spin with alternative suggestions :wink:

I see lot's of people coming here for the first time and saying that the task of selecting their first DSLR makes their head spin. But you know what: If you already think of a DSLR of newer vintage there is not much that you can do wrong. So don't let the gazillion other options confuse you. I even bought my D80 without ever trying it out. It was thoroughly tested by Gordon, it had a strong followership and it fit in my budget - bingo!

Now I'm a happy photographer. And as you can see from my investment in lenses, I did never have the feeling that this decision was wrong :D

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 5:57 pm 
At lesat you are not the only one saying this is a good combo, which is also good to hear. I have just come back from looking at the two cameras in question. The 400D feels more like a toy (which I quite like) where as the D80 like a serious piece of kit (which I also like... Hmmm!).
Now I just have to decide if I will play with a toy more often or get bored quite quickly and come back to you all in 12 months, moaning I can't decide on my upgrade (God help us all). The D80 is definitely a more long term bet.
If the D40x had more than a 3 point focus I would have been tempted by that with the 18-200 lens, given its good metering and ease of use....... but it doesn't.
To save me trawling through all the sites, you don't happen to know which of the American retailers give the best bargains on the D80 do you. I can do the work but if you already know...well hey! The cheaper I can find it the easier it will be to justify.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:59 pm 
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You buy in the US, living in Budapest (btw. very nice city!)?
Please support this site by at least looking at the affiliated stores, the links of which you find at the bottom of this page: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD80/
My other suggestion is to go to one of the excellent e-tailers in Vienna, like Vienna-Camera which offer a european guaranty and are currently at 780EUR (incl. 20% you-know-VAT) for the body and 630EUR for the VR18-200mm.

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:44 pm 
I have some relatives in the US who are visiting the UK in a couple of weeks, so the buying in the US bit isn't as daft as it sounds.... honest. Thus I still think the US purchase prices are cheaper than European prices?
Is the US v European guaranty an issue?
Yes, Budapest is a lovely city, been here 15 months, due to be here another 6 months and now working on how to extend this. Then again its not the UK, so the food is always better and cheaper and the weather more sunny. Don't get me on the girls ....... I'm married, so I haven't noticed. :)
Cheers again!
Tuk
ps have been looking through affiliated stores, so if camerlabs get something for me just looking, then you are quids (£'s) in. It would be good if I could buy through one too and I am well aware of this thanks to Mr.Laing. I will even be buying my books from Amazon through the Camlabs site now.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:18 pm 
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Hi Tuk, the look and feel of a camera is very important. Some just feel so right in your hands that you WANT to go and take photos with them! So I would always recommend doing what you've done, trying them in person, and being influenced by it...

The D80 is superior to the 400D / XTi in build and features, but it is also more expensive, so it boils down to budgets - and also which lenses you prefer. The Nikkor 18-200mm is certainly a great option which will cover you for almost all situations, capturing big landscapes at one moment, then zooming in to grab a wildlife or detail shot in another.

If you can afford a D80 and 18-200mm and don't mind the size and weight when trekking, then it's a great combo. Having one lens will also minimise the risk of dust entering your camera, but remember you'll need to keep it attached!

That said, the 400D plus 17-85mm is also a nice combination, and if you want something really small and aren't bothered about anti-shake, the Olympus E-410 twin lens kit is really sweet. Or the E-510 with built-in camera shake (albeit not as cute as the E-410!)

On a practical note, I've visited South America and it's a fantastic place but I've met or known many people who've had things stolen, so you'll want a camera you can keep on or very close to your person at all times - and discreetly too. Think carefully about this when making your choice. I personally lugged round a big DSLR and two lenses without any issues, but didn't leave them slung round my neck or in a dedicated camera bag, advertising my kit!

Gordon

PS - thanks for price-checking using our links - it all helps! If you decide to buy from one of our affiliate stores, like Amazon, we can also receive a small commission. To do this, just click through to the shop from our affiliate stores page. This works for books, CDs, DVDs or anything else you buy during that session! Cheers!


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