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Which is the better first dSLR, the Nikon D60 or Canon XSI?

by jbwoy4life / May 14, 2008 1:49 AM PDT

I am looking to get into the digital SLR scene. I have a very basic point and shoot, but both myself and my wife have experience with 35mm SLR's. I have done some research and have narrowed my choices down to the D60 or the XSI. But from here I am stumped. The D60 is more affordable, but I am not convinced that it is the better camera. I am also open to other choices, maybe a Pentax. What should be some deciding factors to help me make a decision?

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DSLR cameras
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 14, 2008 8:24 AM PDT

Either camera is an excellent choice.
It is not a matter of one being better.

Go to a camera store and get your hands on both and buy the one that feels right in your hands.


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Nikon is better
by Edubarca / May 19, 2008 8:52 AM PDT
In reply to: DSLR cameras

Yes, Nikon is definitively better. I have own several Nikons from an F to the latest D300. They have the quality of a Porsche, Rolls Royce etc. That is why you have to pay more, but you will be rewarded with a beautiful piece of photo equipment. Canon is more aimed towards average consumers, it is like a Toyota which is an excellent car but cannot be compared with a Porsche or Mercedes. Nikon is aimed towards people who demand a little more than the common Joe Average. However, as some other people say, go to the store and feel both cameras, You will immediately see the difference in the feeling of each camera, the quality of manufacture etc. So just pick up the one you feel nicer. But eventually I am sure you will pick a Nikon.

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Based on this, I would say that if you want an expensive,
by Kiddpeat / May 19, 2008 11:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Nikon is better

flashy camera that makes a statement about you, buy a Nikon. You will look great with one hanging around your neck.

However, if you simply want the best images from a camera, buy a Canon.

Nah, not really. Both Canon and Nikon can produce great images. I think Canon produces better ones, but you won't go wrong with either.

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Take a look at the image quality ?
by jump1127 / May 19, 2008 2:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Nikon is better

You've not seen how good Canon 1Ds Mark III's image quality is! Nikon D3, top of the line is no competitive in every aspect. So, is it just a Toyota for average user ? I simply disagree !

If Nikon is that good, why Nikon can't manufacture its own sensor ? Correct me if I'm wrong , even the mighty D3 image sensor is still being manufactured by Sony though designed by Nikon. Imagine this for the next upcoming D3x or D4 and so on; Sony brand has the stamped on Nikon DSLR camera. Canon has long produced its own image sensor and processor. Even Sony can't step up to 14-bit technology with the new 24MP sensor.

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How many poster are there going to be saying that this is the best, but have no explanation why except for some poor reasons that are not true.

In the consumer grade area, Nikon and Canon keep leapfrogging each other with better cameras. In the professional area, Canon is not touched with the MarkIII 1D.

Now if you want the Rolls Royce, as the person above thinks Nikon is, then buy this camera.

It's only $25,000, gives you 22MP, and you'll have the best camera in any group of photographers.

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Both cameras will do fine,
by jump1127 / May 14, 2008 11:50 PM PDT

in my personal opinion, Rebel XSi has something more that D60 doesn't have.

1. 14-bit depth color technology ( more color depth and details ).

2. more 2 Megapixels ( not the significant difference )

3. more choices of lense ( all Canon EF and EF-S ), comparing to D60 ( only Nikon AF-I and AF-S lenses are applicable to the camera ) regardless of other brand lenses, such as Tamron, Sigma, and Tokina which must have motor equipped for Nikon.

4. 0.5 inches larger LCD screen

5. 0.5 frame/second more continuous shooting

Try them both and see which one you prefer. Good luck.

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Choices, choices, choices....
by forkboy1965 / May 16, 2008 12:01 PM PDT

I think I agree with the above poster who said they are both fine cameras and you will enjoy whichever you select. And while I own a Canon dSLR (40D), I was very certain that I was going to purchase the Nikon D80 until I met the 40D.

Regardless, I think it is important for you to look at the purchase process as being more than simply Rebel XSi versus Nikon D60. When you buy a dSLR you are buying into a system. A system of lenses, flashes, accessories, etc. that go with the camera body. Once you commit to either a Nikon or Canon system you can find yourself spending mind-numbing amounts of money on these other items. In the future you will find it very advantageous to stay with the same camera manufacturer if you decide to upgrade to a nicer camera body. If you stay with the same manufacturer you can (in most cases) use the lens, flashes, etc. that you purchased for the first camera, thus saving you a lot of money.

So don't just look at the D60 and XSi, but at what you may wish to do in the future. If you think (or already know) that you will want to acquire more lenses then you should be looking at the Canon and Nikon line of lenses to help guide you in the decision making process.

For what it's worth, there is a decent German site that reviews lenses at It may help you with the process.

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Go With Nikon

I like Nikons for one simple reason: Their lenses are better.

Nikon lenses are almost always smaller and more compact than other manufacturers', including Canon's. This is particularly true of telephoto zooms. This gives the camera better balance and makes them easier to carry about.

Nikon's optics are also better, but this difference is so marginal that only real pros can notice the difference.

The idea that Canon has more available lenses, mentioned by some other contributor to this thread, is really bizarre. It simply isn't true, nor would it be relevant if it were. Every possible lens anyone could want for any potential application is available for both cameras from their manufacturers, although more lenses from third party manufacturers are available for Nikons than for Canons.

There is one caveat, however. Nikons, both the cameras and the lenses (from the manufacturer, not third-party like Sigma or Tamron), tend to be more expensive. You pay for quality.

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by kalel33-20416052469708587370302374692233 / May 17, 2008 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Go With Nikon

That's a pretty strong statement to say the lens from the Nikon are better throughout. Do you have anything to back it up? I couldn't find one site that would substantiate the claim. I always read that their both great and cannot tell the difference. The one area that Nikon has over the Canon is the 18-200mm VR lens which Canon has not come out with a comparable focal range.

Also, the weight differences between the lens is not true, even in telephoto. For example, the Nikon 70-200 f2.8 lens is 1470g and the Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens is 1310 grams. The Nikon 70-300 weighs 745g vs the Canon 70-300 weighing only 630g. The Nikons are not lighter and are not more compact(could type the dimensions too, but am tired of typing whats wrong with all the statements).

They both make great lens, but Canon has more of a selection. Third party lens are not as reliable and do not auto-focus as quick as the manufacturers lens.

Please don't use bias to push people towards one side or the other and giving false information.

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About the lenses,
by jump1127 / May 18, 2008 4:40 PM PDT
In reply to: Go With Nikon

I'm not saying that all Nikon camera has less lense choice. No offense to Nikon. Nikon D60, D50, D40, and D40X must use the lense that equipped with a motor. Therefore, number of lenses which can be used on these cameras are more limited, comparing to Canon Rebel XSi which can use any 40s EF and EF-S lenses without any limit to the camera's features.

Nikon has built a better contrast and excellent lense, comparing to Canon; I strongly agree with. However, you must select the right combination between lenses and each camera category. For instance, when using a different kind of lense, such as DX lenses on mighty Nikon D3-top of the line, you'll end up with the crop factor, not able to use FX ( full frame format ). Only G, D, and AF lenses can use every features on the mighty D3, except AF lense that doesn't allow 3D color matrix metering . Here, I've not even mentioned AF-I lenses since you already knew which camera is applicable to. So many this and that limits on Nikon lenses on each camera category. You be the judge ! Unlike Canon XSi, not every single Nikon lenses can use on each Nikon's camera category.

Not to offense Nikon's fan, but provide pure information to the new camera's user for a decision.

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Something more ?
by jump1127 / May 18, 2008 4:47 PM PDT
In reply to: About the lenses,

With a proper lense-mounting adapter, all canon can use any Nikon lenses due to the gap size between the end of lense to the reflex mirror. Nikon can't use Canon lense no matter what lense mounting-adapter. Therefore, Canon can use more kind of lenses comparing to Nikon. It's the pure fact !

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D50 operates AF-lenses
by sxorpion / June 30, 2008 8:19 PM PDT
In reply to: About the lenses,

The Nikon D50 has a build-in motor to operate AF (F-mount) lenses.
By the way:
I found Canon lenses generally are of better quality than Nikons. Nikon lenses tend to be of higher contrast in the center than Canons, but You trade off at the corners. ...which one to prefer > a matter of taste!

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which camera to choose?
by buzzvader / May 16, 2008 11:45 PM PDT

Please go to
You'll find all you need to know about which camera to choose.
I'm not even a photographer but I used this site to pick out a camera for my wife; there's a lot of help here.

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Ken Rockwell...
by forkboy1965 / May 17, 2008 6:48 AM PDT

Yes, I too used his site to help guide me through the decision making process before I made my first dSLR purchase. He is geared more towards Nikon, but so much of his site is simply dedicated to helping you get more out of whatever gear you wind up buying.

But keep in mind, his website is filled with his opinions and while they are based upon his years of experience you may find that some things he does don't or won't work for you. It's always good to read as many different reviews and opinions that you can.

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consider details and extras
by craigbob / May 17, 2008 9:31 AM PDT

Both are great cameras. I own a canon digital rebel xt.

I first suggest going to a retailer and comparing hands-on various DSLRs. Ask a lot of questions.

You may also want to research various photography discussion forums to see what types of questions and problems current owners have. Ask about the pros and cons of the software the camara manufacturers' provide with the camera. Is it intuitive and easy to use? Is it compatible with your operating system? (This could be a significant problem if it is not compatible, for example with a new mac or vista computer, or if your operating system is older).

Some minor things to consider are the costs of extras. How much storage card capacity do you require? On a recent vacation I took 5 gigabytes worth of pictures. The xsi uses SD cards - its a bonus if you happen to have a camera or other devices that use sd cards. There are other means of downloading pictures for storage, but I find extra memory cards to be cost effective and use little space in a camera bag.

Whatever camera you choose I recommend getting a second battery. Keeping a backup, fully charged battery is very useful. You may want to comparison shop the availablity and cost of backup batteries, depending on the camera.

You may also want to consider the costs of additional lenses, external flash, etc. I suggest you shop around online. Both nikon and canon offer excellent lenses. (I use canon, tamron, and sigma lenses). Regardless, compatibility and cost may be important to you. What you may save in the initial purchase may be forfeited in the cost of any additional accessories.

You will find that canon, nikon, pentax, sony and others all take excellent pictures. Although you won't enjoy your new camera if its difficult to find accessories, they're expensive; or the camera uploads slowly, or is incompatible with your operating system, etc.

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Chose the system
by lookzovt / May 18, 2008 2:57 AM PDT

First of all, you have to choose the system not camera. You are looking for your _first_ dSLR, so I think you can buy next in the future. So probably you will buy some lenses. Then when you will next dSLR, you probably stay with you first camera system.

So choose Canon Happy

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Quandary of conflicting evidence?
by richteral / May 18, 2008 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Chose the system

Just flip a coin, or you may never make a decision. It's not about the camera but whose hand is holding it, anyway.

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He's exactly right

We can talk all we want about which one's better, but the weak link will be the person behind the lens, and for most will always be the weak link. Usually it's the camera being held back by the person taking the photo. I know I still have not come close to making my skills equivalent to the ability that my camera can produce. That's we we keep shooting and learning.

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Your post "He's exactly right." Right ON!
by nervaz3 / May 18, 2008 1:28 PM PDT
In reply to: He's exactly right

Don't get lost in the Gizmo. Work on your Art. For what the average amateur really needs in a camera system is versatility. If you don't know a working pro, then talk to the good people in your favorite camera store. Be sure to tell more experienced people that you want to get bang for your buck and that you are mostly interested in meaningful photos.

Once you have a system which does what you want it to, quit reading.

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Strawberry or Chocolate?
by mggordon / May 19, 2008 3:33 AM PDT

Nikon and Canon have a slightly different tradition and very different marketing (similar to Mac vs PC in computers). PC is for business, Mac is for artists and rebels; Canon even calls their cameras "Rebel". It is an emotional label rather than descriptive or technical.

Nikon cameras have a tradition of being preferred by news reporters; their cameras are very fast and easy to use. I almost never have to look at my camera to operate its controls, it is almost an extension of my hand.

Canon cameras have a tradition of portraiture and weddings, also wildlife photographers use Canon because of the huge (and very expensive) telephoto lenses available for Canon.

That said, I believe you will find a combination of make and model that is clearly superior for any given situation. My mentor used both Nikon and Canon but I cannot afford two entire systems and more often than not I prefer the "quick grab" capabilities of the Nikon and 18-200mm superzoom while receiving the benefit of the larger sensor (as compared to a "point and shoot" pocket camera).

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dSLR Camera Decision
by feline1618 / May 19, 2008 10:25 AM PDT

Just last year in making my decision on what digital SLR to purchase,
I researched the features they all had online first. Made some notes on what was important to me. Then I looked at what I could afford to purchase,and decided some bells and whistles I did not really need for the price. After then going to the dealers and actually looking at them, I decided on an Olympus Evolt E-5OO. Came with a dual lens kit too. Check it out sometime, I really enjoy mine.

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You are right about a Pentax option

If you try a Pentax K200D (cheaper) or a K20D (more expensive) you will forget the others. Do go to a shop and try all of them in your hands.

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