Canon 20D - Nikon D40x, D80 - which one (and with which lens)...?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Philipp, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Philipp

    Philipp Guest

    Good evening,

    I can't quite make up my mind on which digital SLR to get, and since I
    believe in the "Wisdom of crowds" (*), I thought I'd ask the group.

    I've finally decided to retire my old film SLR and get a digital one.
    I shoot a lot of landscapes, and I travel a lot. The new model should
    therefore be relatively compact. I want to have the possibility to
    enlarge some of the prints, which is why I probably have a slight
    preference towards cameras with >8 million pixel. Oh, and my budget is
    up to (approx.) $1200.

    I've looked at the Canon Rebel XT and XTI, but I find the grip too
    small. In the end I think that I've narrowed the choice down to a
    (used) Canon 20D or the D40x or D80 from Nikon. The 20D wasn't on my
    list originally, but then I realized that you can get them quite
    cheaply nowadays, and the review at sounds
    extremely positive (although all their Canon reviews seem pretty
    positive). Also, it seems that in terms of picture quality the 20D is
    not worse than the Nikons. The D80 is more expensive than the D40x,
    but has more advanced features; and I'm slightly unsure about the D40x
    since I haven't really seen a very in-depth review (neither nor have extensive tests or
    pictures). So... should I go for a D80? Or is the Canon better value for
    money? I'm a little hesitant here because I feel that once I've
    decided I'm pretty much locked in for years to come to either Canon or

    Next issue: for my film SLR I had lenses between 35mm and 200. The
    Canon 20D would come with a 18-55 kit lens, as would the D40x. For the
    D80, however, there is a choice between two kits (a 18-55 f/3.5-5.6
    and a 18-135 f/3.5-5.6 kit); alternatively, I could just get the D80
    body and Nikon's 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 DX lens. Again I find it kind of hard
    to decide... so help with my first lens purchase would be appreciated.

    More specifically:
    1. Which of these would you recommend: Canon 20D, Nikon D40x, Nikon
    D80 (why?)
    2. If it is the D80, which of the aforementioned lenses would you
    recommend (and again: why?)?

    Lastly: I hope that I am not missing something, i.e. is there a new
    "D80x" just around the corner and I'm the last one to see the signs...

    Thanks a lot!


    (*) See James Surowiecki, 2005, The Wisdom of Crowds, Anchor.
    Philipp, Apr 12, 2007
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  2. If you already have Nikon or Canon AF lenses, let that decide for you.
    If Nikon, the D80 has a better VF (and if you can stretch the budget
    a bit, the D200 gives you access to the plethora of reasonably priced
    MF Nikkors around, for later). The 18-70 Nikkor DX lens is very
    good (better than most kit zooms), but can be bettered by the best of
    non-zooms from the full-frame Nikon line (not surprising...;-). Don't
    worry about "vapor-gear" - there will always be something new coming
    (but it will not always be better...). The usual advice also applies - go
    handle them all (and look through the viewfinders) and see what you
    David Ruether, Apr 12, 2007
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  3. Philipp

    Guest Guest

    what film slr did you have? more specifically, what lenses? if
    they're canon or nikon, that may greatly influence your decision.
    depends what you shoot. what lenses did you find most useful with film?
    the d80 just came out, so there won't be any updates on that one for a
    little while. however, the d200 might be up for a revision soon, and
    there's an ongoing rumour of a new high end model coming.
    Guest, Apr 12, 2007
  4. Philipp

    joe mama Guest

    Look at the Pentax K10D.I bought one and can seriously vouch for its
    landscape (and portrait) useage. If yo want to stick with canikon, you'd
    probably like the D80, or 20D. I own the 20D, but use it as a backup to the
    Pentax. It is good, but nowhere as good as the Pentax. The only problem with
    the Pentax is availability of lenses. I scoured the earth for some older
    SMC, and A type Pentax lenses, and have found a few gems.

    The nikon and canon lenses are far easier to find (and rent), so they have
    pentax in spades there. to me, it was quality and affordability that
    mattered, and the Pentax won out on both.

    The D40 won't allow you to use older Nikon glass, or does so in a limited
    fashion. The D80 is probably better all around than the 20D, but the 20 D is
    a capable camera. Again, I use one as a backup.

    Get the most econmical one you can, and save your dough for the glass.
    You'll need it!
    joe mama, Apr 12, 2007
  5. Philipp

    louise Guest

    I just replaced my Nikon 6006 film camera with the D40X.
    Yes, the D80 has more to offer and is more accepting of some
    lenses, but it is heavier, bulky and ergonomically
    unsatisfactory for me - someone with relatively small hands.

    So far I've been pretty impressed with the D40X and its user
    interface - it is actually possible to find a setting and
    change it, before the light changes, or the person leaves
    town, or you yourself are too frustrated to shoot :)

    I put my very old Nikon AF zoom (something like 50 - 200) on
    the D40x. If you are willing to manually focus, and the
    viewfinder is quite clear, the old lens' definitely can be used.

    So far, no major problems or dissatisfactions - but I've
    only had it a few days.

    louise, Apr 12, 2007
  6. Philipp

    Guest Guest

    ergonomics are extremely important, however, i must take issue with the
    heavier and bulky comment. looking at the specs of both cameras, the
    d80 is approximately the same weight and about an inch narrower,
    roughly the same height and slightly thicker than a 6006.
    Guest, Apr 12, 2007
  7. You have already gotten a lot of good advice. As you can tell there are
    a number of very good cameras out there. I will add only one thing.

    You have your choices down to just a few. You should take the time to
    get each of those in your hands and go through the process of taking a
    picture, including making any adjustments. Don't think about it too much,
    feel. You want to get an idea of how comfortable that camera is in your
    hands. Do your fingers naturally fit the camera and the controls? Does it
    fit like an old shoe or is it a little tight?

    Likely you will pick one of the same make as the film camera you have
    now, but maybe not.
    Joseph Meehan, Apr 12, 2007
  8. Philipp

    louise Guest

    I was actually comparing the d40x with the d80, not with my
    old 6006.

    The measurements are not very different, but when I held
    both cameras and tried using them, I found the D80 bulkier
    to hold - it may have to do with the extra little bit of

    louise, Apr 13, 2007
  9. Philipp

    John Sheehy Guest

    You must shoot at ISO 100. The Pentax is the king of the crop for dynamic
    range at ISO 100, but for someone who shoots sports and wildlife, the Canon
    is much better IQ-wise at ISO 1600, especially when full exposure is not
    possible. The noise floor is about 1.5 stops higher in the Pentax at ISO
    1600 (but a stop lower at ISO 100).

    John Sheehy, Apr 14, 2007
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