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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> D40 vs Rebel XT
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07/03/2007 04:25:19 PM · #1
Hi folks! First time posting here.. I'm debating whether I want a Nikon d40 or a Canon Rebel XT. This will be my first SLR of any kind, but I intend to advance and could eventually see myself doing weddings/potrtaits semi-professionally. My gut tells me that the XT might be a better choice because there is a better (and more affordable) selection of lenses I can buy in the future. On the other hand, I prefer the feel and menu setup of the Nikon... Any thoughts from the crowd?
07/03/2007 04:44:35 PM · #2
If you do a search on the Forums you will find tons of debates like this.

I have a Rebel XT and I may be bias because I love it so much but here goes... GO CANON!!! *Waits for Nikon people to jump all over him*

I definitly like the selection of lenses and accessories for the camera. Do some reading on the site and see what people are saying about them.
07/03/2007 04:49:50 PM · #3
Originally posted by macleodn:

GO CANON!!! *Waits for Nikon people to jump all over him*


I've got your back buddy. And yeah, GO CANON!

But in all seriousness, both are good cameras. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but to each his own and results may vary. Choose what you think feels like a better fit to you but also consider the system you're buying into since that is the most important thing.
07/03/2007 04:51:32 PM · #4
CANON!!!
07/03/2007 04:59:12 PM · #5
I would say get to feel both of them. Get one of eah in your hand and try to use it if posible. Recently I tried a friend's Sony Alpha 100 and I really didn't liked it but he don't like my rebel XT either so it's only a question of tastes.

Also take note that your lense choice will be limited on the D40 because of some obscure reason that I don't know at all.
07/03/2007 05:02:35 PM · #6
Originally posted by DaveSM:

Also take note that your lense choice will be limited on the D40 because of some obscure reason that I don't know at all.


The body doesn't have an internal focus drive motor. This will get rid of options of any lenses that use the body's drive motor and not one that's integrated into the lens. So no Tokina, Tamron, or non-HSM Sigma lenses. Not sure what Nikon lenses use the internal drive motor, but you are significantly reducing your choices without that motor. Sigma HSM lenses will work since they have a built in motor, but they are naturally more expensive than the non-HSM ones.
07/03/2007 05:06:27 PM · #7
You can't go wrong either way. As all SLR owners learn, you're not really buying a camera, you're buying into a lens family. SLR bodies will come and go, but the lenses you buy in the next few years will dictate which way you'll go. You can't go wrong because both Canon and Nikon have a great selection of high quality "glass" available.
07/03/2007 05:07:55 PM · #8
Another vote for Canon :) I have the XTi and love it. But as mentioned before it will prob come down to personal taste and also recommend either just trying them in the store or see if you can rent them for a day and choose from there.

-dave
07/03/2007 05:09:46 PM · #9
Go PENTAX! Sorry, just had to say something...I will go back to my cave now...so, sorry, didn't mean to tread on any toes. :)

Pentax K100D/K100D Super/K10D.

Okay said my bit, oh, and all those lenses!

I'm going now...
07/03/2007 05:10:13 PM · #10
Originally posted by dknourek:

Another vote for Canon :) I have the XTi and love it. But as mentioned before it will prob come down to personal taste and also recommend either just trying them in the store or see if you can rent them for a day and choose from there.

-dave


I haven't heard many people who like the Rebel XTi. Have you owned the XT before it? The people I talk to say they would go back to the XT any day. That is one of the reasons why I got the XT insted of the XTi, well that and price.
07/03/2007 05:20:20 PM · #11
Actually thanks to a great return policy where I bought my camera I originally bought an XT but returned it for the XTi after trying the XT for a couple weeks ;) . The main reasons for that was the 10.1mp on the XTi but also I like to keep things simple and liked having everything on the 1 LCD on the XTi.

-dave
07/03/2007 05:23:56 PM · #12
I know this is a canon site but from what I read random places the d40 is better.
07/03/2007 05:28:50 PM · #13
Both cameras are good. Find the lenses you can buy now, and later, and pick based on glass. The Pentax line would be a bit cheaper than both of these if you intend to go with image stabilization, since it's built in.

I recently changed from an XT to a Nikon D80. I don't know about the D40, but the viewfinder on the D80 was much better than my old Rebel or RebelXT. I always felt the RebelXT was too dark, and I had problems with the eyecup not blocking enough light, making it even more difficult. But of course, that may all be attributable to the difference between a Pentaprism and Pentamirror. (Pentaprism is better.) The D40 probably has a pentamirror like the Rebel.

I switched to the Nikon partly because I wanted a good superzoom lens with stabilization. The Nikon 18-200 is a very good lens (though hard to find and expensive), and would also work on the D40. The only equivalent is the new Sigma 18-200 OS on the Rebel. It's cheaper than the Nikon, but has a shorter warranty and my old Sigma 18-125 broke after 1.5 years or so, so that worried me. (Plus the focusing on the Nikon lens is great.)

Other than the viewfinder, the only thing I really disliked about the Rebel XT was that it would forget that I was in bracket mode if I turned off the camera, or changed lenses. It wouldn't forget that I was in high speed shoot mode, so I'd end up with 5 shots of the same thing with the exact same exposure. Pretty stupid. But otherwise, it was a great compact SLR.

The best advice is to try a few cameras, and judge for yourself. Look at the viewfinders, the general handling and controls, and the lenses you want. If compactness or IS/VR/AS is a concern, factor availability and price of those lenses in.
07/03/2007 05:29:14 PM · #14
Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the moment you've all been waiting for!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiin the red corner, and all the way from Japan. Weighing in at 1.2lbs it's the autofocusless wonder.... the Nikon 'Nockout' D40 !!!

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiin the blue corner, and also all the way from Japan. And also Weighing in at 1.2lbs, it's the spotmeterless miracle .... the Canon 'Crusher' XT !!!
07/03/2007 05:31:05 PM · #15
I'm leaning towards Canon - Looking at this site, there are a whole lot of fantastic photos taken with the XT, but not too many with the D40. I'm sure some of this is because the Nikon hasn't been around as long, but it seems (don't get mad!) that there is a bit more room for growth... Thanks for the reminder that I'd really be buying into a family of lenses. In that case, I think Canon seems the way to go - a lot more 3rd party lenses available with this camera (at least right now).

One question about the Nikon though - I read that Nikon's RAW conversion software is NOT included with the camera. Does this mean that I wouldn't be able to process RAW files on my computer (photoshop 7.0) unless I purchased Nikon's extra software? To me, that could be a dealbreaker...
07/03/2007 05:33:32 PM · #16
Originally posted by benee:

Looking at this site, there are a whole lot of fantastic photos taken with the XT, but not too many with the D40. I'm sure some of this is because the Nikon hasn't been around as long, but it seems (don't get mad!) that there is a bit more room for growth...

Nah. They'll get mad with your first sentence, not your second one.
07/03/2007 05:42:40 PM · #17
As you can see, I own the XT. A friend of mine recently bought the D40x so I had the chance to play with both side by side ... Here are my 2 cents:

- BOTH ARE GREAT CAMERAS, regardless which one you choose you won't go wrong!!

- the most significant thing to keep in mind about the D40 and D40x, IMO: the lens needs to have the auto-focus motor built in! It means that most lenses in the Nikon line-up won't be able to auto-focus on this body. The kit lenses obviously will work just fine, but it WILL restrict your ability to choose lenses in the future. Study this matter carefully, at more length than I have time to explain here.

- the Nikon feels slightly smaller / lighter. For some that's a good thing, for other folks it's not (might say if feels "cheaper")

- the viewfinder on the Nikon IS better: a bit bigger and more clear

- the user interface is quite different as the XT has the status LCD panel which is separate from the main LCD. I like it a lot. The Nikon does not have one, but on the flip side the main LCD is significantly bigger.

These are the differences that would matter to me, unless I'm forgetting something here.

I won't claim I'm anywhere near good enough to say that one or the other produce better images. Based on my own experience, and what I've seen from other, I would say they both make FANTASTIC pics.

Best,
Matei

Message edited by author 2007-07-03 17:45:07.
07/03/2007 05:45:35 PM · #18
Originally posted by jhonan:

Originally posted by benee:

Looking at this site, there are a whole lot of fantastic photos taken with the XT, but not too many with the D40. I'm sure some of this is because the Nikon hasn't been around as long, but it seems (don't get mad!) that there is a bit more room for growth...

Nah. They'll get mad with your first sentence, not your second one.


I agree with you on that one, just remember its the Artist and not the Brush that creates the masterpiece.

-dave
07/03/2007 05:47:55 PM · #19
Originally posted by The_Dentist:

As you can see, I own the XT. A friend of mine recently bought the D40x so I had the chance to play with both side by side ... Here are my 2 cents:

- BOTH ARE GREAT CAMERAS, regardless which one you choose you won't go wrong!!

- the most significant thing to keep in mind about the D40 and D40x, IMO: the lens needs to have the auto-focus motor built in! It means that most lenses in the Nikon line-up won't be able to auto-focus on this body. The kit lenses obviously will work just fine, but it WILL restrict your ability to choose lenses in the future. Study this matter carefully, at more length than I have time to explain here.

- the Nikon feels slightly smaller / lighter. For some that's a good thing, for other folks it's not (might say if feels "cheaper")

- the viewfinder on the Nikon IS better: a bit bigger and more clear

- the user interface is quite different as the XT has the status LCD panel which is separate from the main LCD. I like it a lot. The Nikon does not have one, but on the flip side the main LCD is significantly bigger.

These are the differences that would matter to me, unless I'm forgetting something here.

Best,
Matei


The small LCD to show all the details of the photo (aperature, Shutter, battery, photos left, etc.) is definitly one of my favorite features. I don't really use the Canon LCD for playback unless I want to know if a picture is bright enough. You really can't tell if the focus of a photo is good on any built in LCD.

I did notice that no one mentioned Sensor size for the two. Are they the same? That seemed to be one of the problems with the XTi.
07/03/2007 06:00:52 PM · #20
Originally posted by benee:


One question about the Nikon though - I read that Nikon's RAW conversion software is NOT included with the camera. Does this mean that I wouldn't be able to process RAW files on my computer (photoshop 7.0) unless I purchased Nikon's extra software? To me, that could be a dealbreaker...


The supplied Nikon Picture Project will let you open RAW files, basic editing, and save in different formats.

Nikon Capture NX is a full fledged RAW editor. Definetly worth the $150 if you plan to shoot only RAW. I use it exclusively, though my post skills are a little pale to most on this site.
07/03/2007 06:06:49 PM · #21
Hey, one thing.... IF you buy a canon, get an XTi and not an XT. I have them both and I much prefer the XTi. Sharpness, clarity, and ease of use wins out every time IMO. It doesn't cost that much more either.
07/03/2007 06:46:11 PM · #22
I too own an XT and like it very much. I have shot with a D50, D70 and D80 and here is my 2 cents

- I prefer Canon lenses to Nikon but I don't have a good reason why. I guess much of it lies in the fact that I can go full frame with almost all my lenses, so I see an upgrade path in front of me. And Nikon just doesn't have the same lens choices as Canon.

- The AF-S thing is not a big deal in my mind. All the Nikon long lenses are AF-S and all the other lenses most people use are AF-S also. Many of the better lenses are third party and all of those are AF-S type lenses so they will work on the other cameras.

- The slightly larger sensor of the Nikons is a plus.

- The remotes for the Canons rocks, both wired and wireless. They are way better than the Nikons.

Either camera is a great place to start and both take great pictures. Good luck.

Message edited by author 2007-07-03 18:47:14.
07/03/2007 07:44:12 PM · #23
I am currently using a Nikon D80 which was sold to me by the Manager of Jessops. He said he used to have an Xti but sold it and got the Nikon for its build quality. I am impressed with the image quality from the camera too. I am not sure if I was sold a wet lemon in camera terms but I really like it.

Steve
07/03/2007 07:50:59 PM · #24
Having owned and used both cameras I prefer the Canon for it's image quality and the Nikon for it's ergonomics. Since image quality is of greater importance to me, I use the Canon XT.
07/03/2007 10:14:52 PM · #25
Originally posted by jaysonmc:

Originally posted by benee:



Thanks Jason - that alleviates my concerns - if/when I get good enough to shoot RAW all the time perhaps I'll spring goth the Nikon Capture then. At least picture project will let me open RAW and convert to Tif, etc...

One question about the Nikon though - I read that Nikon's RAW conversion software is NOT included with the camera. Does this mean that I wouldn't be able to process RAW files on my computer (photoshop 7.0) unless I purchased Nikon's extra software? To me, that could be a dealbreaker...


The supplied Nikon Picture Project will let you open RAW files, basic editing, and save in different formats.

Nikon Capture NX is a full fledged RAW editor. Definetly worth the $150 if you plan to shoot only RAW. I use it exclusively, though my post skills are a little pale to most on this site.
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