Thursday, November 29, 2007

Choosing a Digital SLR: Nikon D40s vs D300 or maybe FinePix S8000 vs Fujifilm S5 IS Pro

Digital SLR camera choosingA digital SLR camera purchasing is a grave step for a photografer. Before choosing between Nikon D40s, D80 or Nikon D300, Canon EOS 40D or EOS 400D and Fujifilm S5 / IS Pro or Sony A700 it’s better to know: are you ready to go? It is important to know SLR camera’s main distinctions from a digital compact and an SLR-like camera. Otherwise, it is possible to waste money for a useless gadget.
Digital SLR camera great advantages
- Physically large sensor: Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Full Frame - 36 x 24 mm, Nikon D40s - 23.7 x 15.6 mm instead of Fujifilm S8000 - 1/2.35 inch, Canon S5 IS – 1/2.5 inch 5.76 x 4.29 mm, as a result: higher ISO sensitivity, low noise
- Uses mirror and prism system and viewfinder, faster phase detection autofocusing, high quality viewing, as a result: no shutter lag, great shooting speed
- Swapping lenses and accessories for any photography case
- Hight quality body, long battery life
Digital SLR camera moot advantages
- More expencive, especially with lenses, flashs etc
- Less convenient than compacts, some bulky
- No support video clips with sound
- Require more photographic education to take advantage of the greater capabilities
A list of articles for digital SLR camera choosing
- Pentax K200D vs Sony A200 / A300; Weather resist SLR vs. Live-View
In comparison with newest entry-level Digital SLR cameras such as the Nikon D60, the Sony A200, the Olympus E420 and old-fashion Canon Rebel Xti, the new Pentax K200D looks quite good. After Pentax K100D / K100 Super, this solidly constructed SLR camera with weather and dust resistant body can impress even advanced photographers, who are interested in serious cameras as the Canon EOS450 / Rebel Xsi or the Sony A300 / A350.
- Sony A200 vs Pentax K200 or Nikon D60 – what’s new in Sony’s SLR
This year brings some new and interesting gadgets to the entry level DSLR’s market. There are Nikon D60, Pentax K200D and Sony A200 with 10MP APS-C sensor, low image noise, very fast shutter lag numbers and any cool features such as image stabilizer system, anti-dust and even weather-sealed body (Pentax K200). As for Canon, its new Digital SLR – the EOS Digital Rebel Xsi with 12MP 22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor is a little higher to these three and it requires a special article.
- Nikon D60 vs. Canon Xti, Sony A200, Pentax K200 and Olympus E510
After the Nikon D40 appearing in 2006 and its 10 megapixels latest upgrade – the Nikon D40x, the D60 is the third incarnation of Nikon's “cheap” entry-level SLR line, which replaced the first Nikon 'starter' model, the D50. Sure, this new digital SLR camera is a true Nikon with many good features. However, the fact that “Auto Focus only for AF-S or AF-I lenses” doubt whether makes D60’s users happy.
- Compare digital SLR cameras: Olympus E-1, E-400 vs. Nikon D80, D40x or Pentax K10D; 4/3” sensor rules in Pro hands
I already wrote that the Olympus SLR camera’s guide is not preferable over using a small 4/3 " (18.00 x 13.50 mm) sensor size. However, engineer’s opinion, which based only on physical properties, can be wrong in comparison with photographer’s opinion, which based on his one's talents and personal experience. Moreover, collecting information about Olympus SLR lenses, I at that time was envious of a great Olympus ZUIKO high quality lenses.
- Nikon D300 as a higher one to Canon 40D and even to sensor’s mommy – Sony Alpha
After my terms of intimacy with the Nikon D300, I am looking to the Canon 40D and even to my favorite Sony A700 without any transports. Of course, Sony and Canon’s middle class SLRs are good, but D300 is excellent. This is a really high-middle SLR. However, Nikon D300’s price (abt. $1800 instead of $1300 for EOS 40D and $1400 for Alpha 700) is a little high too. Let’s look through D300 features to gain a better understanding that this is a fair price.
- Canon EOS 40D features, pros and cons
There are three new middle level SLRs: the Nikon D300, the Sony A700 and the Canon 40D, which can make happy a majority of these brands users. What is more, there are some rumors about the new Pentax K20D, which would come in January. However, it is only a rumor whereas the Canon 40D just selling for $1300. Therefore, let us look through Canon 40D advantages for searching its good and poor parts.
- Sony Alpha A700: choosing a digital SLR for advanced amateurs
Alpha A700 is the next digital SLR from Sony. As the Sony A100, this new camera is a direct descendant of Konica Minolta digital SLRs such as 5D / 7D and has a lot of famous KM’s features. This is a digital SLR for advanced amateurs with a strong magnesium alloy body, a large CMOS 12 MP sensor instead of A100’s 10MP CCD and in this case it is a descendant of the Sony DSC-R1 using a CMOS sensor. With its 5 fps continious shooting, the new Sony A700 is close to any great SLRs as the Canon EOS 40D or the Nikon D200.
- Women’s reasons to choose Nikon D80
Choosing between SLR and SLR-like, comparing Nikon D80, D40x with Canon Rebel XTi or Sony A100, we look at their features, technical characteristics and think that is the main point.A lot of photographers look only at the name, opting for such brands as Nikon or Canon. For dome the criterion is the size of the camera. Some judge by lens set. Trying to understand advantages one can get purchasing a digital camera, I asked a well-known photographer what is the decisive point for her choice. And I got an answer which is a much more helpful advice for me than any reviews and summary tables featuring camera specifications.
- The summary table of Olympus SLR: E330, E500, E410 and E510 specifications
I did not even expect that Olympus SLRs are so popular with amateur photographers. I have made a thorough research and found out that many users highly appreciate Olympus SLR cameras’ light weight, small size and very rich feature set as if they are SLR-likes. The users are especially impressed by well-known ‘Live-View’ mode. Actually Olympus Digital SLR cameras have wealthy history. In order to observe the evolution of Olympus SLRs I’m publishing a summary table including all modern models from Evolt E330. Personally I see that they are rather competitive although I still have no idea why Olympus, Matsushita or Kodak engineers choose 18.00 x 13.50mm sensor size for them.
- Olympus SLRs: E330, E400, E410, E500 and E510. Can pop-cams fight vs. Nikon D80 or Canon XTi?
There are a lot of surprises in the modern digital photo cameras market. New excellent SLR devices such as Nikon D80, Canon EOS400D / Rebel XTi, Pentax K10D or Samsung GX10 and Sony A100 are attracting photographer’s attention very little. SLR-like all-in-one pop-devices such as 8 MP Canon PowerShot S5 etc. are much more interesting for customers than cheap Canon EOS350D / Rebel XT with the same 8 MP. And it’s not important for buyers that 22.2 x 14.8 mm SLR’s CMOS sensor can take much better images than than pop SLR-like cameras.
- Olympus E410 vs Nikon D40x, claim to Canon EOS400D XTi but really fight against Canon S5
New SLR from Olympus, EVOLT E410 is not likely to rock fancy of any advanced photographer. This camera has the same as E400 17.3x13.0mm, rather small, ten megapixel sensor, which (for some unknown reasons) allows Olympus guys to say:' Thanks to a powerful 10-megapixel Live-MOS sensor, you'll see more detail in your pictures than ever before. And you'll have the flexibility to crop and still produce large, detailed prints.' Of course this new result of Kodak and Matsushita marriage may be more interesting than Olympus' previous sensors. But my skepticism about its ability to make images with low noise still remains.
- Sony A100 vs Nikon D80 more worthy than Sony A100 vs DSC-H9/H7
My favorite Sony Alpha100 stacks up well against Nikon D80 and not just in savings of two hundred. Sony's advantages include self-cleaning CCD whereas D80 has software dust mapping but this takes both forethought and post-production trouble, on-the-fly dynamic range fixes. Nikon's D-Lighting can only boost shadows and only after the shot. Sony's CCD-based anti-shake can work with any lens whereas Nikon's Vibration Reduction is available in only a few lenses. The Sony's AF is slightly faster throughout the EV range, although the Nikon AF, still better in motion tracking, has more zones, and can focus down to EV -2. Their TTL flash capabilities are comparable. The Nikon has the clear advantage in image quality (10 percent higher resolution and awesome noise control-moderately low at ISO 3200, a sensitivity the Sony doesn't even have), better in-camera color controls, and a much bigger lens list. For Nikon D40x, Canon EOS400D / RebelXTI and Pentax K10D inf.
- Canon EOS400/XTi, Nikon D40x and Pentax K10 pros& cons; SLR over SLR-like triple benefits
Collecting and analyzing all good and bad features of newest and most interesting SLR cameras such as: Canon EOS400D / Rebel XTi, Nikon D80, D40x, Sony A100 and Pentax K10D, I planned to put them in one post. But these devices have so rich abilities that it’s impossible. A great amount of SLR’s information in the Net, my own experience and users opinions can’t place in one item. There is too much material and it shows that users’ admiration of SLR cameras is enormous. Therefore I have been reviewing SLR characteristic properties thoroughly and decided to devote a few posts to this photo issue. Don’t take seriously some SLR’s drawbacks because one is worth ten SLR-like advantages.
- SLR's price-cutting: $250's Canon XT vs. $500's Canon S5; 10 motives to spit upon SLR-like and buy cheap SLR
General photo amateurs' enthusiasm for universal devices such as SLR-like ultra-zoom cameras brings down the demand for Digital SLR cameras. Moreover we can thank SLR mfrs. for creating so many excellent SLR cameras to make a big competition among them. As a result prices for all SLR cameras go down. When I look through today's SLR camera prices I want to buy another Sony A100. Compare:
- Canon PowerShot S5 vs EOS350D, Sony H9 vs A100; SLR-like cam never comes to SLR.
I was surfing in the Net and trying to choose a lens for my Sony A100 when I saw Canon's general manager’s opinion on Canon new SLR-like camera, the PowerShot S5 IS. Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. said: 'With a broad range of features and a powerful ultra-zoom lens, it is no coincidence that the PowerShot S5 IS digital camera's look and feel evokes the sense of a small, lightweight SLR'. What a clever method to take great shoots. It's as easy as ABC! No more lenses, no more choosing between Sigma, Tamron and Sony. Why must I pay $350 for Sigma 18-200 or even $450 for Sony SAL if I can buy a SLR-like and 'its feel evokes' a SLR camera's master? But there are no easy ways in this live.
- Nikon D200, Nikon D80 and Fujifilm S5pro: for Pro, for Amateur and for Artist
First of all I must say that D80, D200 and S5pro are different cameras for different photographers. We should not get confused among enormous pro cams for making money and consumer cams for entertainment and taking pictures of children, domestic animals and some exotic places. The former must not shoot slower than latter must take good pictures. That’s it! There is just one snag! It is a photo-artist which can say: it is small even to Nikon D2Xs! Off course they can wait for new super SLR ‘guns’ such Sony A1 or mystical Nikon D3H with 18-20 megapixel sensor. But I think that it may be long waiting, especially for ‘secret’ D3H!
- Nikon D200 body gives birth to Fujifilm S5pro. Chip D2Xs or how to win 12 megapixels from D200
I have already written about some grimaces of modern Digital SLR market. In my previous posts I told you about marketing pros which have recourse to various tricks for selling us various gadgets and even give birth to the new SLR camera brand: ‘The Great Wall’! Marketing's extremely like some obscure operation factors which have numerous values. Of course the pixel gross is the best value to make it clear for consumers that they are in real need of a new camera. With the effervescent advent of any new SLR stars as: Canon EOS 400D, PentaxK10D, Sony A100, Nikon D80 and D200, Samsung GT10 and Olympus 'family' E330, E410, E400, E500 it’s hard to surprise anybody with a 10 megapixel sensor.
- Sony A100, Samsung GX10 and Pentax K10D as Canon XTi and Nikon D80’s bad dream
There are two great mfrs.: Canon and Nikon with such many DSLR cameras which are specialized only in their bayonet types. They give birth to more and more excellent cams. And there are great many mfrs around them which make lenses, flashes, batteries etc. only for brand masters. Not for photographers. Since you buy a body you must unite it with a lot of gadgets and it’s much more expensive than the cam itself. Then when the next level of shooting with Digital SLR is coming, you have to buy a new camera for your many-thousand dollars lenses and flashes etc., not for youself. As if you are interested in another mfrs. of SLR cameras, if its abilities seem more attractive to you, you are obliged to purchase only your own Canon or Nikon (right now: Sony or Samsung). You become a slave of your brand. Are you sure this is what you are dreaming about?
- Today: Nikon D2Xs vs Canon EOS-1D Mark III. Tomorrow: Sony A1 vs The Great Wall!?
Of course the situation with digital SLR cameras or HD camcorders isn’t as critical as two years ago. Today we have many excellent and not expensive devices at less than $1000: Nikon D80, Canon Digital Rebel Xti, Sony A100, Pentax K10D and Samsung GX10. We are offered a little from Panasonic-Leica marriage: Lumix DMC-L1. Somewhere we find Olympus with EVOLT models: E510, E410, and E400 etc. Moreover here are guys rambling about from Fuji with Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro (or S5 Pro) for$1300 in their backpacks. I think that Nikon is here, too because they not only “sharpen” their lens thread under Nikon F mount. They also “sharpen” their “teeth” for buying Nikon. It is globalization, men, f…ing globalization!
- Battle of the Giants. Sony’s ‘company’ Alpha tries to extort a piece of DSLR-market from Canon and Nikon
After the triumph of Sony A-100 the next big news from this manufacturer is the announcement of two additions: A-1 and A700. Sony started with A100 having taken the best innovations of Konica-Minolta a year ago. This first DSLR model ‘grew up’ from Konica-Minolta D5D including the latest devices: sensor, processor and others from Sony. It was very successful and the most available 10 megapixel DSLR camera on the market.
- The summary table of the most interestingt 6-7-8 megapixel DSLR camera specifications
I’ve included into this table only six DSLR cameras because the only difference between the K100D and K110D is that the K100D has Pentax's own CCD-shift type 'Shake Reduction' system, as the K110D does not. There are some differences between Pentax K100 – 110 and Samsung GX-1S or GX-1L but it’s not important.
- Nikon from D50 to D40, Panasonic DMC-L1 vs. Olympus E330 – which is great?
Once I was asked why I wrote only about 10 megapixel SLR cameras. I like to take pictures with Canon EOS 350D from time to time. I preferred Nikon 8700 with 8 megapixel sensor before. As I don’t need to print posters why do I want a bigger sensor size? When I happen to test a new Nikon D40 with 6 megapixel sensor a little later I examined it rather seriously. Of course, as for technical features it concerns Nikon D40 is a step backwards because some less important features are trimmed and a range of new ones is squeezed in the camera.
- The summary table of DSLR cameras specifications
For comparison I made a summary table of the most interesting 10-megapixel DSLR camera specifications. I know that it’s useful for people who are choosing their first SLR camera. But later I will make a summary table of 9/10-megapixel Compact cameras. In fact there are so many new attractive Compacts. And they have such cool opportunities.
- Some differences of 10-megapixel DSLR Cameras
- Sony A100 kit – it’s not an expensive DSLR camera for risky trips.
- Pentax K10D vs. Nikon D80 or vs. D200? Samsung GX-10 as Canon killer?
It’s happened! The new K10D is Pentax's first foray into the serious-amateur digital SLR market. It's bigger, tougher and richer in features than any Pentax digital SLR before it and it certainly carries a wide enough range of features to make the 'big name' brands worried. Headline features include a stabilized ten megapixel CCD, high quality image processing pipeline, dust and weather proof seals, 11-point AF, continuous drive in 3 fps, unlimited JPEG, 9 images RAW and some unique exposure modes. Shake Reduction includes CCD-shift system with permanent magnets and electronic magnet coils which can compensate in x, y direction and rotational similarly Sony’s 'Super Steady Shot’.
- DSLR 10 megapixel cameras: Nikon D80, Canon EOS400D, Sony A100 – what’s better to buy?
- One more preference of DSLR: low noise
- Want to take trendy photos, smear a background with DSLRs
- DSLR camera advantages
- Digital SLR camera: quick shooting for smart babies
- Choosing DSLR camera for travelers: Do we really need it?

7 comments:

Camsman said...

I am really happy with the Canon EOS 350D. It may be small but that is one of the things I like about it when compared to the Nikon’s SLRs. The 350D is an excellent camera to take around because of its size. I have big hands and if I want a bigger grip, I just attach the battery pack for a bigger hold on the camera. The battery pack also allows me to use AA batteries. This camera works perfectly well with all my EOS lenses. I am using Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 instead of the kit lens– it works perfect for me. Photos are excellent. Simple and easy to use. I have recommended this camera and am quite happy with it.

Tommy said...

Some Canon EOS350 users are saying that there is a problem with built quality - it is not so for me.
The high ISO shots allowed me to take pictures even with 18-55mm lens in dim environment. After some cleaning, I easily printed 8X10 pictures, which looks amazing. Speed of shooting is amazing too. At 100- 400 ISO there is almost no noise.
The kit 18-55mm lens appeared to be good for value I mostly shoot on f/8 when wide open and f/11 when on 50-55 mm. The lenses are good enough to take a nice nature, portraits. However, for portraits I am using the 50mm f/2.8. Comparatively to 18-55mm, it is optically superior.
Just a little problem:
- On automate you always get 400 ISO setting whatever you shoot. For some reason it does not go below it
- ISO settings are set through the menu

fototramp said...

To Camsman
I had the SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 -- this is a good zoom. However, for my Sony Alpha is better to shoot with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8.

fototramp said...

To Tommy
I cannot agree with you. There are many users’ opinions in the Net with some claims to body's build quality and especially to Kit lens’ bad quality.

Anonymous said...

I want to buy a digital SLR camera. I am taking an on-line photography course, and I am extremely limited in what I can do because my best camera is a Canon A95, which is great as far as point and shoot goes, but I really want to get into the SLR. I am pretty sure I want at least 10 megapixels, and I want a camera that comes with a high quality lens, and of course the option of adding other high quality lenses.
Cost is somewhat of a factor, I can't afford to spend $1000 on a camera, I need a good quality, fairly priced camera for a serious amature. So where should I start, Nikon D40x, Canon XTi, or is there another off brand that is good, but cheaper?

fototramp said...

Look through the Pentax K200D, the Sony A200 / A300, the Canon EOS450 / Rebel Xsi, and the Nikon D60.

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