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Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Hey guys, I'm looking to upgrade from my current ultracompact Nikon S5 to my first dSLR but I'm not sure which direction to go. I like the 40D & the D80 which, IMO, seem to be the two comparable models in their respective lines.

I've handled both of them and prefer certain ergonomic aspects of both (the weight and build of the Nikon, the overall size and LCD of the Canon) but I'm looking for some definitive answers from those who have owned either or both.

I'm not looking to buy one until around Thanksgiving, so I have plenty of time to continue my research. I'd like to keep my total purchase under $1,000 even though that'll pigeon-hole me into being stuck with the kit lens for a while. I don't see this as a major setback though since I'm a novice and won't know any better regardless, lol.

Any help you can send my way would be greatly appreciated.


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you need prices to go down further

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

The 40D with the kit is over your budget. You might look at the XSI, unless the size is a problem. The 40D and the D80 are two different class of cameras. The D300 is the one that matches up to the 40D. The D80 is an entry level along with the XSI.

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Canon 40D - Nikon D80

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

If your total price is $1,000, the Canon 40D is above your limit.

If you find a price lower than $1,000 for a 40D camera/lens kit, be careful.
There are a lot of "bait and switch" merchants that advertise to 40D kit below $1,000.
If you use Google to find the best camera price, be extra careful.
They accept advertising from questionable merchants.

If you find yourself looking at:

run away quickly.
They are "shill" sites for "bait and switch" merchants.


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My Bad

In reply to: Canon 40D - Nikon D80

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one's newer with more features

In reply to: My Bad

The XSI has more features because it's a over year and a half newer camera. I expect Nikon coming out with a D90 this fall to match up against the XSI(but that's just my opinion). If this is your first DSLR then either camera will work beyond your skill and ability. If you plan on developing your skills, which will later mean different lens, then you need to think more about which system you want to be part of. Once you make that choice, it would be an expensive thing to change to a different brand.

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Package on Nikon D40 for much less than $1000

In reply to: Canon 40D - Nikon D80

I recently purchased a Nikon D40 kit from ShopSunshine in Brooklyn, Ny over the web and got the camera with 18-55 lens and the 55-200 along with both a soft and hard camera case, telephoto lens, digital slave flash, tripod (2), 3 filter lens, charger +ac/dc charger, 4GB & !GB memory cards, +other accessories for much less than a $1000. They shipped me goods with us warrenties, didn't try to sell me what I didn't want, and provided outstanding customer service on a small problem I had. I would not be afraid to buy from them again and have recommended them to my family.

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In reply to: Package on Nikon D40 for much less than $1000

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For your budget, Nikon. For the quality in its class, Canon

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Overall, the Canon 40D and the Nikon D80 are very similar cameras'; the Nikon is considered a prosumer level camera while the Canon is considered by some as a professional level camera. They both have 10 megapixels, both are from a great company, and both have a lot of lenses and accessories to back them up. One of the biggest differences is in the fps (frames per second). The Nikon shoots at around 3fps while the Canon doubles that at 6.5fps. This means that it you put the camera into its maximum shutter speed and hold down the trigger, the Nikon or Canon will shoot 3 or 6.5fps respectively. It you are more likely to leave the camera on auto and simply take everyday pictures with it, Nikon may be the better choice. It you are planning to really get into the camera and play with the setting, such as ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, etc, Canon may be the better choice; Canon also has 3 additional slots on the mode dial that you can customize and give personal settings to. Personally, I have the 40D and love it, though I did compare it to the D80 before purchasing. One of my family members has the D80 so I do know both camera fairly well. If we go back to your budget, the Nikon D80 with a lens can probably be found for under $1000. Though, if you want to go with the Canon, you will pay around $1,200-$1,400 depending on where you shop. The first thing I recommend doing, is going to the store and picking them both up, take some pictures, and test out the cameras in person. This will give you a better idea of how they will feel being carried around on a day-to-day basis. Next, go back and really compare the features side-by-side, make a list if you have to, and see what the cameras offer, and which features you need, and don't. For a site geared specifically toward cameras, try: []. There, you can compare all of their features side-by-side, and read reviews on them. I use Cnet a lot though I have found that dpreview gives you a lot more info on cameras and they specific abilities. Good luck on your decision making. Cheers.

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I'm mostly concerned about the user experience...

In reply to: For your budget, Nikon. For the quality in its class, Canon


Thanks for your lengthy explanation. It helped clarify some of my issues.

Concerning the D80 & the XSi

My biggest holdup at the moment is the intuitiveness of the menu system and the degree of customization that each camera has. I've read that the D80 is the more customizable of the two, but I'm not experienced enough to notice a thing like that while I'm handling it in-store. So...which camera is the better option for personlization and why? What does one offer that the other doesn't (sans frivolous marketing gimmicks)?

I definitely want the ability to "grow into" my new camera instead of buying for the skillset I currently have. I love to take pictures of my family and since I'm a big guy (6', 220) I don't think the heavier Nikon will be an issue, but I could be wrong. So my question is whether or not the weight difference is reason enough to lean toward the XSi?

On the nature of price, both cameras are priced at $899 (with kit lens) at the local camera store, so I won't be able to decide strictly on price alone.

I hope my dilemma is a little clearer now and that someone can help me.

Again, any and all help is appreciated.


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Owner's Opinions

In reply to: I'm mostly concerned about the user experience...

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Thanks & Lenses...

In reply to: Owner's Opinions

@ snapshot2

Thanks for that link. It helped clarify a lot of my questions and it gave me some serious food for thought. I made sure to bookmark some of the reviews in order to reference later on.

One thing I didn't think to ask earlier is about the kit lenses. I know I said I'm fine settling for the kit lenses initially (and I am) but which kit lens is superior? Is it like comparing apples to apples or apples to oranges? Again, we're talking about the D80 vs. XSi.

The reason I'm asking is because I'm reading professional reviews on the D80 from 2006 and they're talking about how great the included kit lens is. Now I'm curious as to whether Canon's newer kit lens is better in any fashion and if the Nikon kit lens is indeed as good as I'm reading about.


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plusses and minuses

In reply to: Thanks & Lenses...

The D80's kit lens is a very good range, but it lacks image stabilization which you would want in the higher focal ranges. Also, large focal range lens usually are not as good as short focal length lens. If you bought the D80, I would suggest getting the body and buying a lens with VR. The Canon kit lens has been reviewed at a number of different sites giving it extremely high reviews for a kit lens. They have a lens that matches up well with the XSI kit which is the 55-250mm lens.

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Which Lens?

In reply to: plusses and minuses

@ kalel33

Thanks for the review. I wonder though if it'd be worth the extra $ to buy a VR lens straight off the bat since I'd only be saving $100 by going body-only. I think it's a pretty safe assumption that any halfway-decent VR lens is gonna run me close to $200 (minimum). Wouldn't you?

Would you say that the Canon kit is worth buying over the Nikon kit? At the end of your post, you said, "They have a lens that matches up well with the XSI kit which is the 55-250mm lens." You had been talking about the XSi kit lens in the previous sentence, and when you said "they" I got thrown off. Were you referring to Nikon or another company? Or possibly even Canon again?

Back to the D80 for a second. If I were to skip the kit lens and buy a superior lens, which would you suggest? I'm not looking to spend more than $300 though, because my budget still sits at $1,000. I'm sure that cap will severely restrict the number of lenses that I'll be looking at, lol.

Finally, as a novice, do you think I'd be able to notice any significant difference in my pictures taken with either the kit lens or the VR lens (aside from the obvious vibration reduction in telephoto & low light/high ISO shots)?


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some possible answers

In reply to: Which Lens?

Both kit lens are reviewed as performing well, but without image stabilization you could have a some blurry shots in the longer focal range. Shorter focal ranges typically perform better than their larger focal range counter parts. The difference though is that you still have a good lens in the Nikon larger focal range kit, but you would not have to change lens that often.

You could buy the 18-55mmIS lens with the XSI and later you can purchase the 55-250mm. That would give you 29-400mm(when considering the 1.6x sensor factor). The 55-250mm runs $280.

If you can find it, they used to sell a kit with the D80 with an 18-55mm, but it still does not have image stabilization. You can buy the 18-55mm VR lens for $170 off of Amazon. It would be worth the extra $70.

In the end, the difference between the lens and bodies will not be apparent in a novice's hands. Both will give you room to go and the ability to produce wonderful images. I'm still the weakest link in photos....not my camera or lens.

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In reply to: some possible answers

Kalel33, I get where you got the 400mm high-end range (250 * 1.6 = 400) but where did you get the 29mm equivalent?


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In reply to: 29-400mm?

18mm is equal to 28.8 when using the factor of 1.6. I was illustrating if you had both the 18-55mm and the 55-250mm.

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Why are you limiting yourself?

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Take a look at some of the offerings from Olympus, Sony and Pentax too. The kit lenses with all the cameras are not great, but adequate. There are a lot of used lenses that fit the Pentax. Sony took over the Minolta DSLR cameras, so all the Minolta auto lenses for 1985 on will fit and work on this body. The Olympus is a new system, so you will not find as much used for it. The advantage with all these cameras is the image stabilization is built into the body so any lens you stick on them will benefit from image stabilization. The Nikon and Canon built the IS into the lens, so you do not get stabilization with the old lenses. You must buy the stabilized lenses.

As an example, you can buy the Sony A200 with kit lens for $500, pick up several used Minolta lenses and be under your budget and have a nice system. The weak link in the Sony has been the kit lens, not the body.

Since you have lots of time, do some looking and comparing. You can get great images with any of those bodies paired up with the right glass.

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Sony's body is somewhat limited

In reply to: Why are you limiting yourself?

The Sony has very good features and produces very good photos in good light, but has problems in low light or shooting sports. Those will require higher ISO's and that's Sony's Achilles heal. Dpreview said this of the Sony A200.

"Image quality on the A200 is a bit of a double-edged affair. While at base ISO the Sony's output is fairly clean and detailed (though not very good at low-contrast detail) things go downhill once you dim the lights and switch your camera to a higher ISO setting. The A200's noise reduction is pretty aggressive and causes visible smearing of fine detail in the camera's JPEG output. Most of the A200's direct competitors can produce visibly better results in challenging light situations."

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DP review

In reply to: Sony's body is somewhat limited

I just finished reading the (very extensive) review and comparison on the Sony vs the entry level competition. If you read it all, seems you could pick any of these and get excellent images. Good comparison report.

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Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Hi there, I bought the Canon 30D and love it and will buy the 40D has a second. One thing to consider is, Canon lens's rake (if that's the word)the opposite direction to Nikon so if you are accustomed to one then using the other you may miss the shot.

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Difficult to say...

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80


I am a Nikon user and like 99% of Nikon users I will tell you to buy that brand, the same as 99% of canon users will tell you not to and get a Canon instead... it's a bit like the mac or PC thing... nobody's totally right or wrong... go to your local store, feel them, try them, check the price of the different lenses you might need in the future (don't get stuck with the manufacturers' one, I use the sigma range and love it)and let your heart decide...

and have a look at what others do with these:

for the D80

for the 40D

and there are mine, using a D80:

I hope this will help...


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As a General Rule, Go With Nikon

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

There is one thing about Nikon that Canon will NEVER match: Nikon lenses are clearly superior, particularly in their compactness but also in their optical quality. In some of the zooms with most useful focal length ranges, Canon lenses are huge and unwieldy while Nikons look like normal kit lenses.

So if you're thinking about the future, Nikon is the way to go. You will never feel buyer's remorse with the Nikon, and you probably will with anything else, including Canon.

The D80 will do anything and everything you want unless you are an experienced pro with unusually extreme demands, and Nikon makes cameras for them (the D200) too, and the cool thing is, your fine, fine Nikon and Nikkormat lenses will all still work.

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Where did you get your info?

In reply to: As a General Rule, Go With Nikon

The Nikon lens are not superior in optical quality, lighter, or more compact. That's a myth that seems to be propagated from somewhere since you are the third person to say the same thing. Give one lens from Nikon that is smaller and lighter. For the optics, show me one professional article that says that Nikon lens are superior.

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As a General Rule, Don't Rule Out Others

In reply to: As a General Rule, Go With Nikon

Not to add to the confusion, but I agree with the poster who pointed out there are other very good brands to look at.

Didn't relay exclusively on user opinions because they will always tend to be biased toward the personal side.

Look at this site instead:

Virtually no hype gets past "steves".

And for my personal opinion and from my personal economic standpoint, Pentax was my choice; has been for years. (Their 1980s LX film camera still fetches upwards of $600 on the used market!)

Why Pentax?

1. Shake reduction

2. Automatic dust removal

3. You can use EVERY lens Pentax ever made for their cameras, including the screw mount flavors and medium format lenses!

4. My son - the photog student - has dropped his K100D twice. It's like the old Timex watches - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

5. Price. He got his new for half the original retail.

And remember - a photo is only as good as the man behind the camera...
Just my humble opinion.

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As a General Rule - footnote

In reply to: As a General Rule, Don't Rule Out Others

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Final note

In reply to: As a General Rule - footnote

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In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Why not go for a D40/D40x (6/10MP respectively) and get a better lens, heck even an 18-200.

Check out the shots on and flickr taken with those cameras.

I speak from the experience of owning a D40, D80, D300 (x2), and D3 and many professional Nikon lenses.

Cameras come and go but lenses are where you want to invest your money as they will last from body to body. Pick the system you're most comfortable with - Canon or Nikon and go for the glass. You won't regret it a year or two down the road when you're looking to replace the body and already have some cool glass to use with it.

Best of luck in your decision.

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Check out the Reviews on 40D & D80

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Here is some more websites I was checking out when deciding which camera to buy as well. Some review cameras with lens, one or two review both seperately.

I recently purchased a D80 with 18-70 kit lens. Took it to the White Mountains N.H. for my holidays & got some wonderful shots of July 4th fireworks, waterfalls and lookoffs. It will take some time to learn all the possible functions it has, but it sure is a big improvement to change settings over my P&S digital camera.

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Canon 40D vs Nikon D80

In reply to: Canon 40D vs. Nikon D80

Hi. A lot depends on what you would like to do with the camera. I would recommend trying to play around with both cameras. If you would like to take just basic pictures that you can transfer to your pc, then I would recommend the Nikon.
I have used the Nikon D50 for the past few years. I have 2 lenses: the 18 to 55 and the 55 to 200, and I like them both. Also, I have an external flash unit (the SD-600). I have taken it with me to the U.K. 3 times as well as to Northern New York and to Florida since I have had it. I have had no problems with using it in all of the places that I have taken it.
I think the only problem that I have had with the camera is that I need to have a battery that last a longer time then I have in the camera, but, all in all, I have throughly enjoyed the camera. Also, a lot would depend on the computer that you have. If you have a computer that has all of the slots that you want to use for the transfer of the pictures to the disc, then you have the right computer that you can transfer.
I hope that this helps with the choice of the camera.

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Canon, Nikon or Pentax

In reply to: Canon 40D vs Nikon D80

This is the perfect timing for this discussion. I to have been looking at Canon 40D and Nikon D80, but I also have been looking at the Pentax K20 and K200 because I own a Pentax SLR. I want to buy my wife a new dSLR, but cannot make up my mind. She will not be using a lot of settings, but she likes to take a lot of pictures (inside and outside). I don't want to buy way more than she needs, but I want something that she will enjoy. One thing I like about the Pentax is that the image stabilizer is in the camera and not the lense.

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Going with the D80, but I still have a few questions...

In reply to: Canon, Nikon or Pentax

Hey guys, thanks for all the input. I've done my research on everything, both before and after the suggestions, and I've decided to stick with the D80 (although the E-510 caught my eye for a second). My question right now is whether or not you feel that the package deals found on eBay are worth the money spent. I realize the lenses in the link I'm providing aren't VR, so please don't mention it. In addition, I'm not particularly interested in any of the additional "throw-ins" so their quality isn't a sticking point for me. In conclusion, what I'd really like to know is if you feel that ~$1100 is a good deal for the D80, the 70-300 mm, 18-55 mm & 50 mm lenses as well as two lens adapters (wide-angle & telephoto).
Everything else included in the deal is just an added bonus if they provided any decent return for the money.

Here's the link:

Thanks for your help.

P.S. - I have a deal in the local camera store for a D80 with two lenses, an 18-55 mm & 55-200 mm (if I remember correctly) for $999. They also throw in some extra junk (cheap camera bag, flimsy tripod, etc.) and I'm not sure whether or not the lenses are VR. Is this deal better than the one found on eBay?

Thanks again.

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