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  1. #1
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    Better Optics or Better Camera

    Ive got about $800 to spend which means I can either buy a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a standard kit lens or a Nikon D40 with a upgraded lens. The Xti has a 4 MP advantage over the D40's 6.1 MP would it be better to choose the higher resolution over better optics or optics over resolution?

  2. #2
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    I am rather new to photography, but I would go for the nicer camera. It is cheaper and easier to get a better lense later down the road when you have more money. Better than having an OK camera with A nice lense.. to upgrade you got to shell out another 800

  3. #3
    Senior Member WsW-WYATT-EARP's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    you are better off with better glass .... you can have the best body and crap lens and the body won't help the output ....

    good glass on an ok body will give you good results ...

    I personally started out with an entry level body and cheap glass due to the fact of being new and not sure of what I was going to use it for ... I ended up with the setup in my signature ... I have a list of upgraded lenses I want ... but what limited me was lack of knowledge and budget constraints ... now that I have some knowledge and more $$ it is just a matter of getting the lenses I want now ...

    I get good resuts with my lenses but I know that there is much better glass out there ...
    Ben

    Bodies: Nikon D300 - Nikon D50

    Lenses: Nikkor 50mm f1.8 D - Tamron 17mm - 50mm F2.8 - Nikon 70mm - 200mm F2.8 VR - Nikon 1.7 Teleconverter

    Lighting: Nikon SB600 speedlight - AlienBees (2) B400's - Polaris Flash Meter

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  4. #4
    Poster Formerly Known as Michael Fanelli mwfanelli's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by dklco
    Ive got about $800 to spend which means I can either buy a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a standard kit lens or a Nikon D40 with a upgraded lens. The Xti has a 4 MP advantage over the D40's 6.1 MP would it be better to choose the higher resolution over better optics or optics over resolution?
    Better glass by far. The image is formed by the lens, not the camera. No contest. Don't sweat the MP difference, both cameras are nice.
    "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." --Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    Quality lenses are a much better investment than a camera body. One thing to think about when buying a new camera, is your lens selection. You may get a better lens up front if you purchase the D40 kit you mentioned, but the XTi has a much broader range of lenses to choose from.

    Thinking long term, the XTi is a better investment than the D40 simply because of the limited lens selection of the D40 IMHO.
    Mike

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  6. #6
    Iron Horse
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    also depends on how long before you can sink more money, uh, I mean upgrade anything you buy. if you're looking to make a one-time purchase and then that's it, definitely go better glass. however, you can get the XTi for ~$650 body only, and if you can swing another 2 hundred or so over your $800 limit you can get the sigma 17-70 which has gotten very good reviews (or for $50 more you can look at the Tamron 17-50 which I have been VERY happy with).
    Canon XTi
    Tamron 17-50mm
    Nifty Fifty 1.8

  7. #7
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    I don't have experience with either body, but get the better glass. it's a long term investment. both bodies will be completely obselete within a year or two compared to whatever magic those two companies are coming out with next. the glass will stay current much longer. And don't sweat the MP difference or AFS requirements of the D40. In real practice, the difference between 6 and 10 megapixels is much smaller than you would think. Both will produce gorgeous 8x12's. And dont' worry about the D40 requiring AF-S lenses limiting your choices. All modern Nikon lenses are AF-S and they will only continue to produce AF-S. In any case, both cameras will perform very well for you.

  8. #8
    Fluorite Toothpaste poker's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    Used camera and better lens is the way to go. When I started around here I always thought the great photogs here had amazing camera bodies. It turns out some had very old 6MP DSLRs but were using really good lenses. Of course you have to give primary credit to their natural (or developed) talent as photographers.

    Get really good glass now and I guarantee that you will use it with your next camera body when it is time to upgrade.
    Canon 5D MKII & Canon 7D

  9. #9
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    I agree with the concensus - put as much money towards the lens.

    I still use the "lowly" Canon 10D (6.something megapixels and over 3 years old) and I can see a big difference when I use the kit lens (24-85mm) verses the better zooms and primes.

    As mentioned previously, don't get stuck on the number of megapixels. I can get sellable 13"x19"s out of my 10D. Come to think of it, I've even sold 11x14's from my wife's cheap 5.1 mp slim point-and-shoot.
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  10. #10
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    Buying a DSLR is not like buying a P&S. With the P&S what you see is what you get. With a DSLR you are buying a system not a camera. The camera body is a small, although important, part of the system. Take some time and decide what kind(s) of photography you are interested in. Then look at the systems that interest you. Check out all of the accessories that you are interested in. Take a long look at the glass that you are interested in.

    Put the majority of that money toward good glass. A used camera body is fine to start. If you buy good glass the first time, you will not be looking to upgrade the glass you have at a later date to better glass. When the time comes to purchase a newer/better body, you have great glass for it already.

    Camaer bodies come and go but good glass, properly taken care of, will last a lifetime.

  11. #11
    Iron Horse
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    Quote Originally Posted by WCpilot
    And dont' worry about the D40 requiring AF-S lenses limiting your choices. All modern Nikon lenses are AF-S and they will only continue to produce AF-S. In any case, both cameras will perform very well for you.
    ummm, not quite true. have an XTi and my 2 lenses (or their nikon equivalents) would not work with the D40/D40x. Nikon's cheap primes (like the 50mm 1.8) aren't compatible nor are *any* Tamron lenses. it's just limiting as to which lenses you can choose...

    edit: also, the lower-end Sigmas (mostly w/o HSM) apparently don't work as well... which rules out the 18-50 and 17-70 which are the main competitors to the Tamron at that price point.
    Last edited by dante; 05-21-2007 at 10:44 AM.
    Canon XTi
    Tamron 17-50mm
    Nifty Fifty 1.8

  12. #12
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    Re: Better Optics or Better Camera

    As for as Camera body is concern I would recommend you to go for NIKON D50. Well built, better grip, very good layout. you will all the features of D40 except editing facility in D50. D50 is compatible with any Nikon AF compatible lenses and few MF lenses. You can do wonders with D50 atlease for another few years and when you wish to upgrade you can keep this as backup. You can find it from CalumetPhoto for less than $510. in Buy.com through Google Checkout with shipping you can get it for less than $510.

    As for as lense is concerned you can invest more over the period. Right now you can go for one Standard tele zoom (~18-55mm). For Standard tele zoom you can look for Nikon 18-55mm KIT lense. Please check for "II" version. I read somewhere that it is optically same as "non-II" but better Auto Focus capability.

    Body + Lens + SD Card + UV filter + Case = 510 + 120 + 40 + 20 + 20 = $710

    Any Suggestion from any one?

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