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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:17 am 
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Hi there, I'm buying my first digital SLR and after being convinced by several internet articles about the (lack of) necessity of 10 Megapixels have decided to go for the more affordable Nikon D40 camera.

I am buying the camera in Japan (hence the katakana Japanese spelling in the post subject) and have the choice between two kits...

- The lens kit with AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor ED 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G II at 51,500yen

- The zoom kit with AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor ED 18-55mm F3.5-5.6G II 、AF-S DX Zoom Nikkor ED 55-200mm F4-5.6G at 65,349yen

My question is, is it worth paying the extra yen for the zoom lens, or- being a beginner- should I just buy the basic lens kit now and then buy a better zoom lens once I have mastered the initial lens. I suppose the answer rests a bit on how good the zoom lens in the kit is. Any ideas?

Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:42 am 
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Hi Steve, welcome to the CameraLabs forum!

There is a new Nikon 55-200mm VR (with image stabilization) out!
My advice: don't take a tele-zoom without image-stab. If you can't efford it immediatele. just start with the basic zoom, add the tele later!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:42 am 
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Konichi-ha Steve San, Irrashaimase!

I have not tested the Nikkor 55-200mm, but some Cameralabs forum members think it is very good. It is certainly very good value.

Here is a review by Darrin, who is a Cameralabs forum member:

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=637

Nikkor has two versions of this lens. One has VR for anti-shake. One does NOT have anti-shake.

I recommend the VR model!

How much does the 55-200mm VR cost by itself in Japan? If it is cheaper in the double zoom kit, then I would recommend it.

But watch out for version without VR!

So I recommend daburu zuumu kitto with 55-200mm VR.

If the 55-200mm kit does NOT have VR, then go for D40 lenzu kitto.

Kanpai!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:02 am 
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Ok well the lens in the "zoom kit" is definately the non image stabilisation lens. Buying it separately would cost 17,499 yen, so I'm saving a minor amount by getting the kit.

Looks like its worth getting the basic lens kit and buying a separate zoom lens when I'm ready for it.

Incidentally there is a AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor ED 55-200mm F4-5.6G (IF) lens available for 32,184 yen - is this the image stabilisation one that you recommend?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:25 am 
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Er, I just realised you may not actually be Japanese Steve!

Welcome none-the-less!

Yep, the version with VR is called the:

55-200mm f/4.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:58 am 
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Yeah I'm not Japanese, I'm English but I live in Japan.

And I've just had a crisis of confidence! Several people at my workplace (my camera dilemma has brought us to a standstill :p ) swear that I should buy the "Canon EOS Kiss", which is the 400D. I was also looking at this before, and have a Canon IXY 550 which I love.

I am new to SLRs but would like something that will stand the test of time, have good potential for upgrading, and is general good for learning and growing as a photographer. I know you have detailed reviews Gordon, but basically, which should I buy!?

Canon EOS Kiss or Nikon D40...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:12 am 
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Hi Steve, I'd just be repeating myself, so I'm gonna refer you to my D40 verdict which includes comparisons with the 400D / Kiss...

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD40/page6.shtml

Gordon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:04 pm 
stevesayskanpai wrote:
I am buying the camera in Japan (hence the katakana Japanese spelling in the post subject) and have the choice between two kits...


Off topic but isn't that Romaji?

I envy you though. I wish I had my SLR when I was out there. More reason to go back I suppose. :) Good luck in your D40 purchase.

Ja ne ^^


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Yeah it is romaji, I meant it was the "katakana-ised English" version of the actual English.

And thanks! Still on a knife-edge between the Canon and the Nikon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:40 pm 
If you're anywhere near Osaka, I'd highly recommend a small mountain village just outside, called Koyasan (particularly early morning). It's a beautiful place to test drive your new D40. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:58 pm 
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Yeah I'd like to go to Koya san sometime soon. Getting back onto the Canon 400D (XTi) vs Nikon D40 debate, I've been searching the net and there seem to be several heated debates as to which is better. And I still can't decide!!


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 Post subject: Choices
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:26 pm 
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Hi Steve,

Well, if the Canon 400D (XTi) and Nikon D40 are running neck and neck maybe the Canon vs Nikon lens systems, as they satisfy your initial and projected needs, may help break the tie.

Bob.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:18 pm 
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Yeah: think of the lenses you'd like to "collect" first. They are the long term investment.
The body follows that.
As you'd probably guess, I'd recommend the Nikon system...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:52 pm 
The best way to solve your dilemma is to focus on the main diferences between the two cameras:
- autofocus - do you think you will need to buy some of the lenses that do not autofocus on the D40? Nikon will probably introduce AFS primes this year but the third-party manufacturers (who sell cheaper lenses) will need some time to put focus motors in their Nikon-mount lenses
- 10 megapixels vs. 6 - several reviews on the net suggested that the D40 might have a weaker AA filter and thus the pictures are a bit sharper that past cameras using the same (or similar) sensor. Also, D40 high ISO pictures have a little less (chroma) noise. On the other hand 10 megapixels give you more choice for cropping.
- handling - how does the camera fit in your hand, how fast/easy can you change the settings, etc. - for this you need to go to a camera shop and try both cameras

If you do choose the D40 I'd strongly recommend getting the new 55-200 VR lens.

Darrin


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 6:54 am 
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Thanks for all your comments and advice. Price is not an option between the two choices, so its really about which one I prefer. At first I was easily drawn by the 10 megapixels, but the more I read the more I realised this vs 6MP isn't such a big deal at all. Like you say, the camera is a base for future lens purchases, but I am also keen to get one that is rated in its own right, with its package lens (which to be honest I will not have the funds to upgrade for some time). In this respect the Canon 400D seems to have come in for some criticism.

Clearly both are good choices and both will deliver good results. Does having onto 3 focal points limit the Nikon at all? I am not sure how this impacts on pictures unless they are particularly busy? I am primarily interested in travel photography- landscapes, but also city scenes, close ups of people as well as places. I am leaning towards the Nikon still but like many people have said once I actually hold them both and get a feel for them I'm sure the choice will become much easier.

Thanks again for your help, and I'll let you know which way I go!

Steve


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