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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> My First dSLR: Nikon D70s vs Canon EOS 350D Help!
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08/08/2006 05:22:54 AM · #1
I'm looking for my first dSLR. My shots will be on potraits & family affairs, landscapes and macros.

Obviously Canon is cheaper than Nikon here, but pricetag aside, can anybody recommend which one is better than the other?

What is the difference between CMOS and CCD (any setbacks?).
08/08/2006 05:54:46 AM · #2
Go with the Nikon. You will get what you pay for. Search through the forums and notice the numerous Canon problems. I think this says a lot about their manufacturing process, but that is just my opinion.
08/08/2006 06:01:14 AM · #3
Originally posted by ericwoo:

Go with the Nikon. You will get what you pay for. Search through the forums and notice the numerous Canon problems. I think this says a lot about their manufacturing process, but that is just my opinion.


I'll look around. Thanx Eric!
08/08/2006 06:25:11 AM · #4
Watch the Nikon owners support Nikon and the Canon owners support Canon. A better approach: ask those who have switched from Nikon to Canon at the expense of replacing their glass why they did it.
08/08/2006 06:49:11 AM · #5
Originally posted by ericwoo:

Go with the Nikon. You will get what you pay for. Search through the forums and notice the numerous Canon problems. I think this says a lot about their manufacturing process, but that is just my opinion.


Err... I doubt that this statement is true...

With all products there are always a certain number of devices that are defective.

Let´s say for demonstration purposes that 5% of all devices are defective in some way or another. Then it is perfectly normal to see more Canon complaints on these forums rather then Nikon complaints.
Why?
Well I just did a short survey here and according to statistics on DPC we have about 13384 Canon DSLR owners vs. 6415 Nikon DSLR owners on these boards.

So by logic there should be twice as many Canon complaints vs. Nikon.

We all also know that no one posts about how great his camera is doing and that it is not broken. We only hear from those who are having problems.

Having said all that, my suggestion to the original poster is to base her choice of dslr on lenses and accessories. DSLR bodies come and go, the real investment is in the lenses.
08/08/2006 06:52:57 AM · #6
No offense, but this sort of brand vs brand - user reports based reasoning isn't exactly sensible... (2 posts up... ;)

Chances are that you will get taken care of regardless of which company you go with. Any company can have a bad unit here or there... It's just up to chance whether it ends up in your hands or not...

If it were me, I would think seriously hard about my future plans and budget.

Add to that what style of photography you prefer.

I almost went with a D70 but decided against it because at the time, Nikon bodies and glass were more expensive for what I would be getting.

Now lately, I've seen D70 bodies with reasonable shutter release numbers for 300-350 USD equiv. At that price, you would save money on the body and get to spend it on glass. That's a good thing.

Almost went ahead and bought one just to have a second body.

Here are some of the things that were important to me as I went through my own decision process. I was basing everything on a 5-6 lens kit with a few variables.

Nikon advantages:

Flash system seems to be a bit better organized. I believe that you can use the camera to control flashes without any extra gear. If you want to use off-camera flashes a lot, might be a major plus.

Metering seems to be very good.

General quality of lenses is arguably better than Canon (as mentioned above, you get what you pay for and Nikon lenses are often more expensive).

Canon advantages:

Lens prices seem to be a bit lower almost across the board. Quality is good enough to call excellent to the point that any difference Canon to Nikon is virtually irrelevant. Particularly when on a budget.

I find that in my area, the 2nd hand lens market is MUCH healthier in the Canon side.

The line of bodies is a tad more extensive if you want to go up the ladder a bit... Cameras such as the 1D series, the 1Ds and the 5D are all currently unmatched. After they get replaced, chances are Canon will maintain a significant lead for some time due to more experience as well as have more control over the 2nd hand market... My next camera will probably either be a used 5D or a used 1D Mk II.

CMOS sensors have physical advantages over CCD sensors so I like them better. Heat and Signal to noise ratio are the big issues here.

Having said all that, you need to make your own decisions because if you get a cheap body and some decent glass, you might get a better body down the line, but you probably won't upgrade beyond a certain point for glass...

If it were my mother for example, she probably would never have any reason to upgrade to anything past 3-400 dollars total for her lens kit...

For me, I consider 3-400 dollars to be approaching the extreme lower limit of what seems reasonable to pay for a single good lens.

So plan your purchase. Try to decide if you want to go with a bunch of good 3rd party lenses or a single good lens with some other decent lenses. Or perhaps you expect to keep going to the point where it makes sense for you to drop 2500-6000 bucks on a single lens... Those choices are yours to make..

If you do happen to choose a reasonable but not extremely expensive lens kit (say 1000-1500 bucks worth all told), you will probably have a bunch of 3rd party lenses in the mix and that right there will help settle a lot of variables in your decision process..

oh and keep your eye on the upcoming Pentax scene... they have some wicked older glass and might do some interesting things with Anti-shake too... Totally irrelevant for a guy like me who lives in a part of the world where Pentax 2nd hand lenses are basically nonexistent.

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 06:56:13.
08/08/2006 07:14:20 AM · #7
Originally posted by adriannayusof:


What is the difference between CMOS and CCD (any setbacks?).


Canon images are in general smoother then Nikon.

The Canon bodies also have lower noise in higher ISO's.
08/08/2006 07:21:57 AM · #8
Difference between CCD and CMOS?

Google it....

CCD is a Charge Coupled Device... It works well, but tends to be a bit warmer and noisier.

A CMOS works a bit differently and is generally well known for operating cooler and significantly more efficiently.

These terms refer to the types of photoreceptors in the camera...

Generally speaking, when comparing the D70 to the newer Canon offerings, noise isn't really a major issue until ISO 800 (if you shoot in 1 stop increments).

If you don't do long exposures or really low light stuff, it's probably not a significant concern.

Smoothness of images is probably something more closely related to in-camera processing.

Both cameras use Bayer Interpolation to get their information, so have very similar levels of per-pixel resolution.

95% of the time, you won't be able to tell a significant difference between a shot taken with a 350D and a D70...

Also, do a bit of research to see if it's worth it to you to get the D70s as opposed to the D70 with the firmware upgrade. I believe that there isn't much of a difference camera-wise, but there might be a difference price wise.

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 07:24:39.
08/08/2006 08:45:17 AM · #9
Originally posted by adriannayusof:

I'm looking for my first dSLR. My shots will be on potraits & family affairs, landscapes and macros.

... but pricetag aside, can anybody recommend which one is better than the other?


Many have asked similar questions and most have received a miriad of answers.

1. Cannon and Nikon BOTH make good products. (as do some other manufacturers)
2. If you do not already own lenses, then your options are a bit more open.
3. A dslr system is a SYSTEM. Many components that tie together to make a "seemless" unit.
4. Photographer "comfort" cannot be overlooked. Your personal interaction with the body is paramount to your enjoyment of it. The way it feels in your hands. The weight of it. The control locations and the "reach" of your thumbs and fingers. The overall "ease" of changing settings "on the fly" while "working".

Therefore, purchase whichever system meets your needs.

As a personal observation, without any basis or data to support this position, it is my opinion that owners of brands other than Nikon, attempt to compare and explain their purchases in relation to the Nikon brand. Comments like "it is just as good as a Nikon" or "this is better than a Nikon", etc. I do not recall many consumers saying that their purchase is "just as good as a Cannon or Minolta or Pentax" etc.

Nikon owners typically are comfortable with their systems, usually because they fit their needs. Your system should fill yours.
08/08/2006 09:00:57 AM · #10
Originally posted by Flash:


Nikon owners typically are comfortable with their systems, usually because they fit their needs. Your system should fill yours.


Just a nitpic, but I´m a Canon user and I´m comfortable with my system.
Being comfortable with a system isn´t exclusive to this and that brand :)

But anyhoo, to the original poster: Go to a camera store and just try out the brands side by side. Get a feel for the Canon and the Nikon. See which one is more comfortable.
08/08/2006 09:12:44 AM · #11
Thanx for your positive feed back. I think I will go for 350D, since lenses are more available between me & my peers. But I love Nikon brand since my old digital gave me full satisfaction.
08/08/2006 09:26:17 AM · #12
Originally posted by adriannayusof:

Thanx for your positive feed back. I think I will go for 350D, since lenses are more available between me & my peers. But I love Nikon brand since my old digital gave me full satisfaction.


Cool! Hope everything goes well!

I also had the Nikon Coolpix 4300 and I was very satisfied with it.
08/08/2006 09:51:45 AM · #13
As some have said the Canon is better at high ISOs due to the CMOS technology.

The Nikon has a better flash system including flash sync to 1/500, which could be quite an advantage for portraits (outdoor fill especially) and macro. Also if I remember correctly the 350D doesn't have a spot meter.

Also none of the cameras listed doesn't have mirror lock-up that is extremely useful with macro. If macro is really important I'd look at Olympus also. There is also a samll chance that Nikon's D80 (?) announcement tommorrow might include MLU.
08/08/2006 10:01:31 AM · #14
While it's true that for all manufacturers a certain percentage of their products may turn out to be defective in some way, one needs to know how well a given manufacturer provides service and will support their products. In the case of Canon, unless you are an owner of one of their professional bodies, there have been many complaints about the timeliness and effectiveness of support and service they supply to owners of their consumer grade cameras. There have been two ongoing forum discussion (that I know of) here on DPC regarding disgruntled and disaffected Canon shooters.
08/08/2006 10:08:40 AM · #15
Go with Canon. Unlike Nikon, they have cameras (5d etc.) that have full frame sensors that you can upgrade to later. Make sure that you compare the auto focus speeds for the lens you want to buy. Form my limited experience, I have found even the top of the line Nikon auto focus a little slow and noisy compared to Canon's USM L series lenses. I was on the fence between canon and nikon. I'm really glad I went canon.
08/08/2006 10:14:31 AM · #16
Originally posted by bvoi:

Go with Canon. Unlike Nikon, they have cameras (5d etc.) that have full frame sensors that you can upgrade to later.

What's the advantage to this user?

Originally posted by bvoi:

Make sure that you compare the auto focus speeds for the lens you want to buy. Form my limited experience, I have found even the top of the line Nikon auto focus a little slow and noisy compared to Canon's USM L series lenses.

All recent high-end Nikon lenses include the "S" monikor, "Silent Wave", making them virtually silent when auto-focusing (many also have VR - "Vibration Reduction", or image stabilization). Slow? No.
08/08/2006 10:20:36 AM · #17
Just go to a shop and try all the cameras in your budget and go with the one that feels most natural.

My first dSLR was a D70 even though I went into the camera shop intending to get a 300D.

You will be able to get great images whichever system you choose, once you have your system and learn how to use it then you will start to appreciate the 'advantages' of your choice and any 'shortcomings' will become irrelevant.
08/08/2006 10:25:36 AM · #18
Hi, I have a Canon 30D now but prior to that one I went through two (!) Canon 350Ds in a month. My husband bought me the first 350D and bits as a pressie for finishing my degree however my usage is quite high and within two weeks and many hundreds of photos later it acquired some dirt behind the mirror bit that we couldn't blow out. We returned this body to the shop and it was replaced immediately with another body of the same model. Unfortunately, literally two weeks later the same problem occurred. My husband put it down to the model being one of the company's 'specials' and therefore not having the same Canon quality. We decided to upgrade to the 30D rather than keep on replacing the body every two weeks and I have had no problems whatsoever.

If you are going to go for a Canon make sure its not a shop-special version.

Enjoy it whatever you decide to go for.
08/08/2006 10:27:17 AM · #19
Originally posted by JacquiD:

Hi, I have a Canon 30D now but prior to that one I went through two (!) Canon 350Ds in a month. My husband bought me the first 350D and bits as a pressie for finishing my degree however my usage is quite high and within two weeks and many hundreds of photos later it acquired some dirt behind the mirror bit that we couldn't blow out. We returned this body to the shop and it was replaced immediately with another body of the same model. Unfortunately, literally two weeks later the same problem occurred. My husband put it down to the model being one of the company's 'specials' and therefore not having the same Canon quality. We decided to upgrade to the 30D rather than keep on replacing the body every two weeks and I have had no problems whatsoever.

If you are going to go for a Canon make sure its not a shop-special version.

Enjoy it whatever you decide to go for.


Sensor dirt is an inevitability on any dslr. Your 30D will have it eventually.

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 10:27:30.
08/08/2006 10:42:06 AM · #20
I’d suggest trying the new Sony A100 as well. The stabilized body teamed with a 50mm f1.7 (which is less than 100$) could be a real joy indoors – no flash, no tripod. Also, compatible Minolta glass has a good name too. Bonus: 10 MP and some other nice features.
08/08/2006 10:58:27 AM · #21
I’ve been researching cameras for about 2 months now and here’s what I can tell you. Go with what feels comfortable in your hand. I have big hands and most of the Canon’s in my price range were too small with regard to the grip. Not only were they thin but I found the camera’s to be short; so short my pinky would not sit on the camera….very annoying and uncomfortable for me.

Another issue that I found with the Canon is the inability to change some settings on the fly without having to stop shooting and dig around in menu’s to find the settings I needed to change. The Nikon D70(s) is very user friendly in this regard with the most commonly needed settings being available on camera not in menus like the Canon.

As far as image quality, both are very good. With Nikons the general tendency is to be capture more detail , with Canons the colors are more vibrant right out of the camera (though the settings of the Nikon can be tweaked to increase vibrancy). Some say that the out of camera (untweaked) images from the Nikons seem underexposed because of this. But again, this can be adjusted.

As far as glass goes, both make good product but if you want to use the family of lenses offered by a company I believe that you can still use decades old Nikon lenses on current models for the most part but that the ability to do this within the Canon family is somewhat less.

But this is my only my 2 cents…..good luck.

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 11:05:44.
08/08/2006 11:21:35 AM · #22
Originally posted by PaulE:

Watch the Nikon owners support Nikon and the Canon owners support Canon. A better approach: ask those who have switched from Nikon to Canon at the expense of replacing their glass why they did it.


You could ask the same thing at people that where shooting with canon 300D or 350XT and whanted to go better and sold everything and gone for Nikon D200.
08/08/2006 11:39:11 AM · #23
I think there's two other thinks that you should have in your mind:

1º) It's not the camera that thakes the photos - you do! So you will be as good photographer as you lear to be, not as the camera you've bought.

2º) Feel the two cameras in your hand. I've gone for the D70 because I loved the feeling of it in my hand. A few month ago I was explaining some things to a guy in a workshop and he had a canon 350D. when I picked it I could not belive how cheap and plastic it felt. Such a big difference!


08/08/2006 11:48:43 AM · #24
Krafty1, I'm not sure about what features are in menus vs buttons with the 350 to Nikon, but I can assure you that most of the adjustments I need to make on my cam are pretty seamless with buttons on the outside.

The D70 isn't really the equivalent camera to the 350XT either. It's easily a model up.

Both brands can be tweaked to get more vibrant colors etc, but most people don't use much in-camera editing once they start getting a bit more serious. As for detail, check dpreview.com for really in-depth discussions on that.

For lens compatibility, I believe that the chronology of the lens compatibility goes back farther with the Nikon camp than the Canon camp, but Canon is also a significantly newer company... Particularly in their high end stuff...

What can be said though is that for the second hand market, most of the Canon lenses that I see changing hands in my local area are newer models which are very good quality, but the Nikon lenses that I see around here are 85% old, old lenses...

While it's true that many older lenses are exceptional in quality for sharpness, many of them lack a lot of the modern features that can help you to get a particular shot under circumstances that are a bit more challenging.

I shot a graduation show for kids where I needed to take a pic of each kid with certificates being handed out. With 250 certificates being handed out, the decision was made to go very quickly. Light was poor and with a helper, the principal was able to hand out certificates at about 1 per 2-3 seconds... I had to pay attention to my feet with little ones running around in the shadows and deal with obstacles in my field of view. Sure, I could have gotten good pictures with a f/1.2 manual focus lens, but focusing would have been worse than a nightmare.

Lots of reasons that having lots of available newer glass is a good thing.

EDIT: Rather than bump again after myself...
[quote]=Nuno]I think there's two other thinks that you should have in your mind:

1º) It's not the camera that thakes the photos - you do! So you will be as good photographer as you lear to be, not as the camera you've bought.

2º) Feel the two cameras in your hand. I've gone for the D70 because I loved the feeling of it in my hand. A few month ago I was explaining some things to a guy in a workshop and he had a canon 350D. when I picked it I could not belive how cheap and plastic it felt. Such a big difference!
[/quote]

No offense guy, but what an odd pair of things to say... One says to worry about your final image rather than the gear, the next says that the 350 feels like cheap plastic...

In my hands, it feels more compact and solid, but I've always preferred small sports cars to big muscle cars too... In the end, as you said in #1 - it's the images that count and that doesn't come from the machine, it comes from your eye and your finger.

Message edited by author 2006-08-08 11:53:22.
08/08/2006 11:52:11 AM · #25
I would forget the Niokn/Canon and go with the Sony/Minolta Alpha 100.
It is 10mp has buit in antishake and has better vspecs than either of the other s you are looking at, it takes allKM lens andhas a new range including some Carl Ziess optics the alpha retails at $NZ 1699.oo
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