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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:00 pm 
Hi there everyone,

First of all, Gordon, your site is GREAT!. Best reviews on the web by far in my opinion along with a nice website layout.

I'm going to be buying my first DSLR pretty soon and over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to make a decision. I’ve pretty much decided I want to go the Nikon route as the camera and lens offerings seem nice, (no fumbling about needing to buy another lens to replace the kit lens for better image quality like the Canon).

I've pretty much decided on the D40x due to it's user friendliness which is appealing to me as I’m a first time SLR user in general with no prior experience, I’m looking to take mainly static images with the possibility of a few action shots. I know the D40x's 3 point AF wont really compare to the Canon 400d's 9 point AF but that’s something I’m willing to overlook as the metering is better on the Nikon cameras. Iv'e also been into a Jessops and picked up the canon 400d and the range of Nikon cameras and i dont really have a preference, the D80 felt a fair deal more weighty than the D40x and the 400d but it's not something that concerns me.

So getting to the point my main questions are, is it worth seriously considering the D80, can a complete novice like me learn how to use the features of the D80 quickly and easily, or am I just better off with the D40x body and upgrading when I grasp the features and understand the world of DSLr's better?

My last question is regarding dust I know that dust is a big issue for DSLR's and can never completely be avoided, can dust be removed fairly easily?, I hear the use of swabs is dangerous for the camera, is this true?

Any help that you guys can offer is appreciated, hope you haven’t fallen asleep from the long post :P

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:17 pm 
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Hi there and welcome to the forum. The D80 operates in the same way as the D40x. It has some additional features such as 11 focus points, a second LCD display on top of the camera and two thumb dials, one for setting the aperture and one for the shutter. In my opinion the two thumb wheels make the camera much easier to use in the A, S and M modes than the D40x.

I was a complete novice to the world of SLR cameras when I bought my D80 in December last year. Whilst it does take some reading to learn how to use it, you can get up and running very quickly with the camera.

As for dust, I have only had one set of photos on one day show any sign of dust. I got rid of the dust easily using a Giottos Rocket Blower. I now make sure I check the sensor before I go out with the camera. It takes a minute to take a test photo and if necessary blast the sensor with the blower.

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Nikon D80, Nikkor lenses: 35mm f1.8 G AF-S DX, 50mm f/1.8 AF D, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF AF-S DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR, SB800 flash
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:12 pm 
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Hi Mangoman, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

In addition to what Phil's said, you can find a direct comparison of features in our D40x verdict here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD40x/page6.shtml

As for dust, it sure is a pain, but it is easily removed - we have a workshop here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/workshops/dslr_dust/

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:19 pm 
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The the D80 body costs now at least 200EUR more than the D40x and it's larger+heavier.
If you invest the 200EUR in a lens like the Nikkor 18-200mm VR you're better off than buying the D80 with "only" the kit lens.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:07 pm 
Sorry for such a late response guys but I've had problems with my computer the last couple of days and I've been very busy.

Thanks for the help, getting the 18-200mm VR lens was on the list if i was picking up the D40x. I think I'm pretty much settled on the D40x and some nice quality optics now, i can always upgrade the body at a later date when i'm at a more intermediate level in the world of DSLRs.

Thanks for the dust removal workshop guide Gordon, great help. I'll make sure to pick up a rocket blower as suggested by Phil at the same time as my camera purchase.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:54 pm 
D40 is better than D40x according to http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm.

You may want to check that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:49 am 
Just to throw another favourable opinion in the direction of the D80. Like Phil Lee, I was (and still am) a complete novice to DSLR's and I went for the D80 in December as well and haven't looked back.

The D80 is a great camera, even for a novice so don't be put off by inexperience. Just reading the manual will get you up to speed on all the D80's features, then just spending time taking lots of photos will do the rest.

Obviously, you need to get the camera that feels right for you and as tombomba2 said, if the money you save on the D40 will help you buy the 18-200mm VR then that is no bad thing. That lens is just fantastic and worth every penny!

Good luck :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:05 am 
Thanks guys, I'm still deciding after all this time :S , it's an expensive purchase so i want to get it right the first time round. Still pretty much decided on the D40x, though i am seeing these Canon 400d special offer packs with a lot of money off coupons for lenses...


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 Post subject: Canon Special Offers
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:48 am 
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Quote:
though i am seeing these Canon 400d special offer packs with a lot of money off coupons for lenses...


It may be that you are not referring to the recent Canon EOS 20th Anniversary Cash Back Promotion but be aware that this promotion is now over here in the UK.

Paragraph 5 of http://canonlensacc2007.onlinerebates.com/terms.aspx states "The promotion period is 01/04/2007 to 30/06/2007".

Of course, as a 400D owner I wouldn't want to dissuade you from going the Canon route. If you want to buy into the Canon lens system but the budget is tight there is always the 350D. :?

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
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Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:07 pm 
Ohhh, thanks for that, i was referring to there 20th anniversary deal. My budget isn't all that high, but it isn't as low as purchasing a 350d :wink:

Looks like its most definitely the Nikon route then as the superior lens quality swings my decision, after looking at some more images from their respective cameras it seems that images from Nikon cameras seem more vibrant and real .


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:56 pm 
Hi Mango Man,

Just another vote here for the D80 if you could stretch your budget that far to also include the 18-200mm VR. I got my D80 just a week ago and it is my first DSLR although I did used to play around with the PASM settings on my old compact Canon S3 IS, which has helped me a lot to understand how DSLRs work.

I think you'll still be very happy with the results you get from the D40/X, my only concern is that you may come to regret very early on, after using it a few times, that you didn't jump straight in with the D80.

It took me ages to finally decide on which DSLR to get and I really am so happy with the D80. The quality of the images, even in my first few days of shooting with it, totally exceeded my expectations.

Good luck with whatever decision you end up making :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 4:53 pm 
Thanks, I've just done some more research and found out that the D40 series has no AEB which poses a problem for me as i plan to shoot some HDR images for Photoshop. This helps narrow my choice down a bit, it's either the Canon 400d or the D80 now.

I'm edging towards the D80 as i think it just looks a lot better than the 400d and did feel better built than the 400d, costs a couple of hundred quid more than the 400d for that quality though. Still a hard choice to make.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:40 pm 
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Are you planning to get a tripod? You'll need one for HDR. If you do have a tripod then the lack of AEB on the D40(x) is less of an issue as it's pretty easy to adjust the exposure manually. Of course, if you're not planning on buying a tripod then AEB becomes important, not as important as a rock solid grip though. Just something else to think about.

Zorro.

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 Post subject: Canon vs. Nikon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:28 pm 
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Not everyone regards the 350D as a significantly inferior to the 400D as the thread at http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728&highlight= shows.

A quick check of my favourite price comparison site shows that in the UK the D80 body is only £66 dearer than the EOS 400D body so the major difference in price of a body plus lens is driven by the lens you choose.

Looking at the price of a D80 with AF-S DX 18-70mm kit lens of £635.00 that leaves around £206 after buying a 400D body (£429) to find an equivalent Canon lens. There is the EF 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 USM for £219 or the EF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM II for just £169. Or you could go mad and buy an image stabilised EF 28-135mm f3.5-f/5.6 IS USM lens for a budget breaking £288. If you need the wide angle coverage of the Nikon kit lens then only the Canon kit lens seems to fit the budget.

So, in summary:

If you want to go the image stabilised route then I think Canon offers the only option on a limited budget - Nikon fans to the rescue with your posts correcting this assumption please. :!:

Conversely, unless you are happy with the 400D kit lens I don't think that the D80 is more expensive than the 400D - Canon fans to the rescue with your posts correcting this assumption please. :!:

Well, I'm glad I've cleared that up - not. :? It's not easy is it?

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, 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.


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 Post subject: Re: Canon vs. Nikon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:02 pm 
zorro wrote:
Are you planning to get a tripod? You'll need one for HDR. If you do have a tripod then the lack of AEB on the D40(x) is less of an issue as it's pretty easy to adjust the exposure manually. Of course, if you're not planning on buying a tripod then AEB becomes important, not as important as a rock solid grip though. Just something else to think about.

Zorro.



I wasn't planning on getting a tripod as a decent one would set me back about 80 quid and i feel that money could be better spent on a nice lens or a better camera body as bob has pointed out.


Bob Andersson wrote:
Not everyone regards the 350D as a significantly inferior to the 400D as the thread at http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=728&highlight= shows.

A quick check of my favourite price comparison site shows that in the UK the D80 body is only £66 dearer than the EOS 400D body so the major difference in price of a body plus lens is driven by the lens you choose.

Looking at the price of a D80 with AF-S DX 18-70mm kit lens of £635.00 that leaves around £206 after buying a 400D body (£429) to find an equivalent Canon lens. There is the EF 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 USM for £219 or the EF 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 USM II for just £169. Or you could go mad and buy an image stabilised EF 28-135mm f3.5-f/5.6 IS USM lens for a budget breaking £288. If you need the wide angle coverage of the Nikon kit lens then only the Canon kit lens seems to fit the budget.

So, in summary:

If you want to go the image stabilised route then I think Canon offers the only option on a limited budget - Nikon fans to the rescue with your posts correcting this assumption please. :!:

Conversely, unless you are happy with the 400D kit lens I don't think that the D80 is more expensive than the 400D - Canon fans to the rescue with your posts correcting this assumption please. :!:

Well, I'm glad I've cleared that up - not. :? It's not easy is it?

Bob.


I prefer the menus on the Nikon D80 over the Canon, but the Canon is then cheaper with the kit lens.
I definitely want to go the IS or VR route, each respective to their manufacturer.

This isn't easy at all :(


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