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 Post subject: How about the "feel"?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:22 pm 
Hi there Everyone!

I just signed up here at this fantastic website. Amazing how good and helpful it is for a beginner like me!

And now to my issue! I have decided to buy a DSLR for the first time in my life. I been taking photos for a few years but on a VERY eazy level. There are two cameras that I have been thinking of: Canon EOS 400D and Nikon D40x. I have been reading the reviews over and over again to get all the necessary inforamtion but I still can´t decide! Almost every photosite I have visit seem to pick out Canon as the winner when the two are compared. Its seems like Canon offers a "better" and more advanced camera than Nikon. But on the other hand it seems like Nikon would be the ulitmate choice for a beginner like me. Its so hard to decide. I dont want to buy a camera that I cant stick with for years to come. I dont intend to buy a new camera for a while so I need one that I can grow with me as I get "better" and more and more interested in this hobby of mine.

Today I went to my local photoshop to have a look at these cameras and see how they worked out in real life. I wasn´t able to turn the camera on and take pictures but i could atleast get an idea of how the feel to work with. When I held the cameras in my hands there was no question which one I fell in love with. Nikon D40x seemed to fit my hands like a glove and I could reach the buttons without doing any advanced gymnastics with my fingers. Canon EOS400 felt alright but not as good as Nikon.

How should I feel about this? Should the "feel" be a factor to think of when I buy my camera or should I go with the one that obviously seems to be technically more advanced and better? (Canon) As i wrote earlier I want a camera that can grow with time so I dont have to buy a new one just because of lacking technical options. I want to be abel to take pictures with a GREAT quality. (I'm traveling a lot and have been thinking of taking photos and write articles from places I visit and get them published in some papers and magazines. If possible!)

I would be VERY happy if someone could give some smart advice! What should I do?

All the best / Daniel - Sweden


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:43 pm 
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Gordon would insist not to underestimate the importance of the "feeling". I for myself just tried once before I bought my D80, but I'm sure that the acclaimed image quality (IQ) of the D80 woud have had more weight with me than the "feeling". Fortunately both - the IQ and the "feeling" were just right for me.
But let me say this: although Gordon and others may say that the D40x lacks in some parts of the usability department, to me it's tantamount that the cam that I have does almost everything automatically.
- I never bother with white-balance :shock:
- I never bother with exposure compensation :shock:
- I never adjust ISO - just leave it on automatic :shock:
- I never do adjust anything else then aperture and shutter and switch between fully automatic, shutter- and aperture-priority :shock:
This is a good starting point for a beginner too :idea:
The exposure of my nikon is always dead on and everything else can be adjusted later (I use the fantastic CaptureNX).
So extrapolating from my D80 I would say: buy the D40x and never bother with some adjustments that are not easy to make.

Oh, and b.t.w.: a lens like the fantastic Nikkor 18-200mmVR is not available for Canon :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Hi Daniel, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

Thomas makes a very good point - even experienced photograpehrs can find themselves mostly shooting in auto, so don't be too concerned about having to press a few more buttons on the D40(x) to access things like WB, ISO etc. I only make the point in reviews for photographers who do regularly change these settings - they may feel slowed-down by the D40(x) over time...

I'd say the feel is incredibly important, so if the D40x feels better to you than the 400D - and has the right price and features for you - then that's the one to go for!

The 400D may have more AF points, but I'd swap them for the Nikon metering system any day.

Let us know how you get on!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:41 am 
Thanks Very much both Thomas and Gordon for the warm welcome and for interesting and helpful points.

As I wrote in my previous post Nikon D40x felt so much better in my hands than Canon EOS 400. My concern is that Nikon is `to simple` and therefore won´t be able to grow with me for years to come. I want to buy a camera that can stay with me for a while as I get better and better. What do you say about this? Is Nikon D40x an alright choise that can grow with time or will it be "to simple" for me in a few years?

Another thing that haunts me is the quaility of the pictures. Is Nikon D40x (with its obvious shortcomings) a camera that can produce picturese that are so `technically advanced` that they would be alright if I had the chance to get them published in local newspapers or a small magazines? (As I travel a lot im thinking of taking photos and writing articles about the countries I visit.) How much depend on the camera and how much on the person behind it when it comes to the question about the acuall quaility of the taken picture? (Im not worried about me taking `boring` pictures its the look of them that concerns me.)

It would be VERY helpful to hear what you say about these questions. Thanks in advance.

Daniel/Sweden


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:00 am 
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The one thing that in my opinion really limits the D40(x) over time is that you have to buy AF-S lenses, because the D40-body has no motor for focussing!
So e.g. one of my favorite lenses, the Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye would not autofocus on a D40(x) :cry:

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:51 am 
Hi Daniel,
I've been in the exact same situation as you for what seems like ages! I went back and forth between what camera to buy and first it was one and then I'd read something and think..."oh no, that's no good, I'll have to find another.."...it is so difficult! For me the decision finally came down to lens choice and I decided on Canon and very, very shortly I'll be getting my first DSLR, the Canon EOS 30D.

You said that you particularly want a camera that you'll stick with for quite some time so I think for you, thinking more about available lenses would be more important then concentrating too much on which camera body to buy. Camera bodies are upgraded and come and go so quickly these days, but lenses last for years and years.

In your first post you mentioned that you were able to hold the cameras, but you weren't able to turn them on and take some pictures. Why was that? I think "feel" is very important but also, what is the viewfinder like? how bright is it? Does it feel right when you look through it? How much noise does the camera make when you take pictures? How much noise does it make when you focus? etc etc etc...there are so many important things that you can establish and can help your decision making when you view a camera in a shop. If I were you I'd go back or go to another shop and try them out as much as possible. I think if these stores want you to buy a camera then they won't mind you trying it out at all.

Good luck with your decision. I'm sure you'll make the right one because you're doing the research, which is so important.
Mark

P.S. To Thomas.....I'm sure Nikon pays you commission the way you go on about their lenses :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:27 pm 
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Oh sorry, Mark! But that reMark could not be let by without comment :wink:

Yes, I'm a fanboy of my Nikon gear, but I don't get anything out of this other than my fun working with what I bought (at normal street prices).
If I brag about Nikon lenses, I do only compare them with the bunch that I have, for cross-manufacturing comparisons we have trusty old Gordon here to settle the score.
The only exception to this rule is, when I had a lens like the Sigma 10-20mm for two weeks to try it out!

Trust me!

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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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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:12 am 
Hey Daniel,

The feel of the camera is important I think. You have to want to pick up the camera and take pictures with it. I my case, the D40x felt better than the 400D (but slighlty less good than the D80).

Another thing I considered was the fact that Nikon treats their customers very good (remember the D70 >> D70s upgrade for owners of a D70). I used to have a Canon SLR (analog) which had some problems: I send it back to Canon and I took 6 months before I got it back. Reason: they "lost" it... :shock:

Anyhow: both camera's are very good, but I would choose the D40x because of the feel, easy-to-use features and good value for money.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:15 pm 
Hello Again!

Thanks very much all for your good advices. Its been very helpful to hear your thoughts about my issue.

Yesterday I went back to my local photo shop to see the cameras once again. I played with them for a while. I liked Nikon D40x alot better. All this ended with me going back to my computer to order one online. I hope to get it later this week. Im sooo exited. I hope it can produce pictures with a quallity good enough!?

ChinaMark: It seems like you live in China? Im going there in July for 3 weeks. Do you have any idea how much i have to pay for a Nikon D40x in Beijing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:06 pm 
I always shoot in Program Mode at ISO 100 for less noise. I used the lowest ISO on my P&S but i need to learn that dslr have low iso even at iso 400 !

I use manual mode and manual focus for special occasion,. such has night shooting, ect.

and Av mode when i have a tripod


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:21 am 
danieldomstedt wrote:
All this ended with me going back to my computer to order one online. I hope to get it later this week.

Congrats on your purchase Daniel!

Darrin


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