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Thread: D-SLR for outdoor photography

  1. #1
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    Default D-SLR for outdoor photography

    What would be a good D-SLR for outdoor Photography..

    I've been looking at the Nikon D40, D40X, D80

    Canon XTi and 30D

    and the Pentax K10D

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Everybody will have personal choices, and not one of those listed are bad cameras. In fact, they are all quite good. They are either 6, 8 and 10 megapixels, but difference in image quality is not large. There is an observable difference between 6 and 10, but between 6 and 8, or 8 and 10 is generally pretty hard to see. Since the prices aren't that much different, I would probably eliminate any 6 megapixel cameras unless there were compelling reasons to do otherwise.

    Some people don't like the small feel of the XTi, and others love it. There is a significant difference in handling between the XTi and the 30D however. The 30D has more controls, and feels better to hold, but it is larger and heavier too. The difference in image quality is very small, in spite of the 8 or 10 megapixels. Both have very good high ISO image quality with very low digital noise when shooting in low light. BTW, the 30D has just been replaced by the 40D, which is significant step up in features. This has caused the 30D prices to fall under $1000 in some places.

    I think the low end Nikon cameras (D40x) generally feel better in your hand than Canons of similar price points (XT, XTi), but I don't think that's true comparing the D80 to the 30D. They are different, but it's hard to say one feels better than the other. Some like the ergonomics of the control layout of one or the other, but it's all personal choice.

    Canon cameras typically have less digital noise than Nikon cameras, but you will only notice the difference if comparing closely, and only then if using ISO 800 or more. Otherwise image quality is about the same.

    All of them seem to have a good record of being reliable, but none of them can take a lot of abuse, or exposure to water. The 30D has a metal casing with an internal structure of reinforced plastic and stainless steel. I'm not sure that really helps against impact damage. Perhaps, but it would be difficult to quantify.

    The best thing that the Pentax K10D has going for it is built in Image Stabilization. To get that with the Canons or Nikons you have to by rather expensive IS or VR lenses to go with them. In my mind, IS is such a great advantage that it's always worth the extra cost to get it. Always! With the Pentax K10D you get it without paying anything extra, and it works with all your lenses. Since the image quality, reliability, and handling are comparable to the others, the addition of built in IS makes it the camera to get for a lot of people. Just my opinion of course.

    But the bottom line really comes down to how far into photography are you going to go, and how much money are you willing to part with in the long run to get there? If this is going to be a significant hobby with a significant investment possible for the future, then look at the lenses and flash units you might want someday that are being offered by Canon or Nikon or Pentax (and their costs), and base your decision on the whole system. You'll probably buy a Canon or Nikon in that case. BTW, Canon has consistently sold more cameras, and more DSLRs, than anyone else for several years, but Nikon has made healthy gains this past year because of cameras like the D40x.

    But if this just an occasional hobby, with a little interests, and/or not a lot of money to sink into it, the Pentax, with it's built in IS wins it for me. IS is that important. And if I was starting over, that's what I would get. But photography has gradually become more than this for me, and I've made enough money shooting to take those earnings and sink them into more gear. So I'm happy with the Canon gear I have. It's not cheap, but it's great stuff.

  3. #3
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    Talking Canon...

    is all I've bought from my first SLR to my last D-SLR, with that said, I've only owned two SLR's, Canon's...

    I've seen the XTi, my friend has one, & I am going to upgrade to that one very soon...

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    Went ahead and ordered the D40...its price tag was most appealing to me...Figured since It will be my first DSLR it will keep me busy for a while, then in the future I can upgrade to a higher end Nikon...

  5. #5
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    Default Blasphemer!

    Man you should have gone with the Canon...(I just biased anyways)

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    lol....I owned all canons before this camera....decided I'd give Nikon a try :P

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