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 Post subject: d40 vs d40x vs d80????
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:27 pm 
am considering buying a digicam. having previously played with compacts, i would am exploring the idea of moving up to dslr. what i was wondering was, would i necessarily get better picture quality with a dslr compared to a compact straight from box? (while i hone my skills)

i would like a simple model but no to the point where i might outgrow it quite rapidly and require a more advance body there by wasting $$$ when i could spend a lil more and keep it longer. this is the reason i am cautious at picking up the d40/x and also the limited number of afs lens in their range (for af).

i read that there is negligible point getting the d40x over the d40 for the megapixels, therefore i was wondering if this applies to the d80? would it be a better choice in terms of output (obviously comparing like for like in terms of lens etc).

which brings me to the point which lens to pair it up with? i would have preferred to get an all-in-one as i am a beginner and to keep costs reasonable at the mo but not at the expense of picture quality. there are the main culprits to look at, after many reviews, 18-70, 18-135 and 18-200vr seem to have advantages and disadvantages. i am a lil a put off by sharpness/vignetting/chromatic abberration/geomtric issues etc. i was wondering do these problems also occur in compacts? would it be more advantageous to obtain the range over 2 lens to improve IQ as i was considering getting the 55-200vr as it seems kinda cheap.....or is it a case of you get wat yo pay for? i know that reviews on lens tend to push them to the limits so i was wondering would it be obvious to beginners of their image limitations?

sorry for the long post, but i dun wan to make a big mistake....

thx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:49 pm 
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Hello crum and welcome to the Camera Labs forum!
First you don't need to fear that taking pictures with any DSLR is more difficult than switching on, pointing and shooting :) And the automatic mode of most DSLRs really makes for great pictures. Once you get more accustomed to the system and find out what you want to do, the DSLR will let you take control step by step up to totally manual like most P&S will never let you.
With respect to the lenses you've mentioned (18-70/135/200, 55-200) there is not a huge, immediately visible difference in image quality (IQ). Remember in Gordon's reviews the critical crops are shown at 100% magnification - this is equivalent of a print of around 40x60cm! The only real thing being the image stabilization (IS) of the VR18-200mm and the VR55-200mm. If you can, get one of those lenses: Once you've shot with IS, you'll never want to do without again, unless you always carry a tripod with you and only shoot landscapes :wink:
IS really combats shake, which ruins more shots than a little deficiency in the optical sharpness of the lens.
So depending on your budget, take the VR18-200 or the 18-70mm + VR55-200mm!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:56 pm 
crum wrote:
am considering buying a digicam. having previously played with compacts, i would am exploring the idea of moving up to dslr. what i was wondering was, would i necessarily get better picture quality with a dslr compared to a compact straight from box? (while i hone my skills)


From my own experience, yes. An "out of the box" DSLR will produce better pictures than a compact.

My 6 megapixels Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm kit lens produced considerably better pictures than my previous 7 megapixels Canon Ixus 75.

While the difference between the D40 and the D40X is only sensor resolution, that between the D40 and the D80 is not only sensor resolution, but different hardware. Check Gordon's reviews on both, here and here.

As for the AF-S limitation, I don't feel this is a problem at all, unless you really need a prime (50mm or 85mm). AF-S means the lens itself will have a silent and fast motor, which is actually better than the one other cameras have inside their bodies. Besides, AF-S lens cover a wide range of needs. Again, unless you really need a prime, I don't feel being limited to AF-S is a problem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:25 pm 
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Well, If you are not totally sure in how to work a DSLR camera and use the manual settings, I wouldn't recommend heading for a D80.

I can speak for the difference between D40 and D40x but they both have 2 of the same downfalls - AF doesn't work on all the lenses, and the manual controls like WB, AF, ISO etc need to be accessed through the cameras menu, rather than having dedicated buttons.

I personally picked the Canon EOS 350D (400D will be fine too) as I knew this would really get on my nerves since I change my settings A LOT! Fiddling about with shutter, aperture, ISO, WB, for every shot, and when shooting certain things like birds or portraits (more so for moving subjects though), changing these settings as quickly as possible is often key to getting the great shots.

It all depends what camp you want to reside in, Canon or Nikon, although don't forget Sony, Samsung, Pentax, Sigma, etc. all make DSLR cameras as well.

So we can advise more could you tell us what you will mainly be shooting, e.g. landscapes, portraits, sports, wildlife, still life, macro/close up etc. and then we can maybe advise better on a camera that will suit you for the longest amount of time without you having to upgrade.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:17 am 
thx guys

[quote]With respect to the lenses you've mentioned (18-70/135/200, 55-200) there is not a huge, immediately visible difference in image quality (IQ). Remember in Gordon's reviews the critical crops are shown at 100% magnification - this is equivalent of a print of around 40x60cm! [/quote]

so i shouldn't really notice their weaknesses unless i really zoom and crop the pics?

[quote]So depending on your budget, take the VR18-200 or the 18-70mm + VR55-200mm![/quote]

i am keen to get some range from wide to tele, ideally a single solution but i dun wan to sacrifice IQ. thought abt 18-70 + 55-200 if i get a 2 lenses as there is a slight overlap and reduces the need to keep swapping around the 55-70 region. but i heard that the quality of the 55-200 is so so....and the 18-200 is good but not as a direct comparision as that wouldn't be fair.

[quote]It all depends what camp you want to reside in, Canon or Nikon, although don't forget Sony, Samsung, Pentax, Sigma, etc. all make DSLR cameras as well. [/quote]

yah i know. had a look as the possiblities and now in the process of narrowing down to one.

[quote]So we can advise more could you tell us what you will mainly be shooting, e.g. landscapes, portraits, sports, wildlife, still life, macro/close up etc. and then we can maybe advise better on a camera that will suit you for the longest amount of time without you having to upgrade.[/quote]

i generally wan a good all-rounder with some range preferably single but dual solution would be fine. dun believe that macro would play a big part at the moment. still life mainly but i dun wan to be caught out if i need it in fast/low light conditions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:59 pm 
Hi Crum
Head on to this Site for more on the lens that you are interested.

Though Gordon has done some excellent reviews
on 18-200mm found here
as well as the rest of Nikon lens here 18-55 /70 / 135

Some likes the dual options like myself - though I admit sometimes I wish I have the single 18-200mm.

As some or most of the forumers here would say - dont rush your decision.
The best thing is still go out and have a feel for the body and lens at the local store.


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