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  1. #1
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    Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and really new to forums in general. I am really in need of some opinions/assistance and this seems to be the place to go.

    Until now I have mostly used point and shoot digital cameras. I am finally looking to upgrade for a magnitude of reasons and I am torn between 2 SLRs. I have narrowed my search to the Nikon D40x and the Canon Digital Rebel xTi 400D.

    As I mentioned I am a beginner so I am not looking for anything too difficult or too professional. I plan on using this camera for two main purposes, a cruise in Europe to take a lot of scenic pictures while on and off the boat and for sporting events. I will also use the camera for vacations etc.. but the two main purposes above is really what I will focus on.

    I love taking pictures so I would like a camera that I can continue to grow in and learn. For the Europe trip I am also looking for a wide angle lense so I am not sure if that makes a difference price wise etc...

    Every where I go it seems to rate those two cameras pretty close if not the same. It seems that the Nikon D40x is too new to get a whole lot of detail so mostly it is being compared to the D40.

    One article I read stated that the Canon is much easier to expand on over the Nikon but I have only read that once.

    I am hoping that you can assist. Thanks in advance.

    AJ

  2. #2
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    I, too, am new to the dslr world. On the film side, I've used both Canon and Nikon cameras with good results.
    Costco has a two lens D40X deal for $899. During my research, most reviewers recommended upgrading to the D80 if you are serious. Don't know your level of interest in growing with your choice of cameras.
    I was able to get the D80, two lenses - 18-55 and 70-300, case, tripod, and 4 GB card for $1299 from a local shop. Don't know if they have mail order. Their URL: http://www.samys.com/
    I will also be on an European cruise in August. Wanted to learn the thing before embarking.

  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Welcome to the site AJ. Nikon and Canon are both great brands, and I don't think you can go wrong with either. The reason that the Canon is easier to expand on over the D40, is because the D40 isn't fully compatible with all of Nikons lenses. I'm not a Nikon shooter, but it has something to do with the focusing motor. I think you can still use all of the Nikon lenses, but some will not auto focus.

    The best thing for you do oto it so to go to a local store, and get your hands on both models. You may find that one feels better than the other and that will make your choice much easier.
    Mike

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  4. #4
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    True about not all nikon lenses working on the d40, however if you choose that camera you will have no trouble finding lenses that do work. I believe its only the older ones that won't.
    For comparison, I believe the D80 is the one that is more equal with the xti and each camp has its druthers. The d80 is more expensive...not sure how much now as prices have come down on both.
    What's your budget and what do you plan to shoot?
    Keep Shooting!

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  5. #5
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Caution - if you buy Canon EF-S lenses they will not work with the 5D and 1D series because they won't let the mirror flip up to take the photo as they protrude to far into the body. If you stick with the EF lenses then they work with all of the Canon DSLR bodies.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

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  6. #6
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Welcome to the new world of DSLR. Being fairly new myself I can't add
    anymore then what others have said.
    If I had to do it all over again, and finding this forum and others. The decision
    would be harder now then when I did decide on a camera.
    I found that budget plays a lot to do with what you can purchase. Look at
    all cameras that fit your budget.

    rovowen

  7. #7
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    One other thing to keep in mind, is that you are buying into a camere system, not just a camera. Don't just look at the camera body, look at the accessories, and lens choice as well. Even tho you may not plan on buying a ton of gear right now, knowing the potential of your system for future purchases is something to consider. Both Canon & Nikon have great systems, so I don't think you will have much of an issue there, but something to keep in mind.
    Mike

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  8. #8
    Usel
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    The Nikon lenses will work with the D40/D40X, but they all won't have autofocus. Only the AF-S lenses will autofocus because the D40/X doesn't have a focusing pin. But you can use the other lenses. You just have to focus yourself.

  9. #9
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Both brands are solid capable cameras. So if it was still a world of film I'd say try them and see what suits you best. However it's not really a film world anymore so a major consideration is the sensor image quality and the performance of the camera sensor in low light. Currently the Canon camera's can't be touched on this front. They design and make their own sensors and lead the pack in this regard. So currently being impartial I'd have to say go for a Canon. That may change if Nikon gets a better sensor made for them by Sony but currently the state of play is Canon have the edge in the DSLR market IMHO.
    D
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
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  10. #10
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    I'll now don my tin helmet and stick my head back into the trench...
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
    .
    ~ Joel Meyerowitz

  11. #11
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by DEvianT
    Both brands are solid capable cameras. So if it was still a world of film I'd say try them and see what suits you best. However it's not really a film world anymore so a major consideration is the sensor image quality and the performance of the camera sensor in low light. Currently the Canon camera's can't be touched on this front. They design and make their own sensors and lead the pack in this regard. So currently being impartial I'd have to say go for a Canon. That may change if Nikon gets a better sensor made for them by Sony but currently the state of play is Canon have the edge in the DSLR market IMHO.
    D
    I'll now don my tin helmet and stick my head back into the trench.
    You should. the D40/D40X from what I've seen is pretty close to the Canon 400D/XTi on the noise front.

    On the professional level of course Canon has a significant edge, but that's not where we're talking now.

    Also, I'd like to point out that in the opinion of many shooters, Nikon's flash system is superior. I have not got a ton of experience with the canon system's flashes, just the 580EXII professional speedlite, but while it is well built and sealed, it costs almost twice as much as the comparable-power Nikon SB-800, has more confusing custom functions (no pictures just numbers, you need a manual, a great memory, or the 1D Mark III to see expanations), while the SB-800 has a significant advantage in being much smaller in physical size. The Canon 220EX is less versatile than the comparable Nikon SB-400, which is again significantly smaller and offers a built in bounce head. With D40 series cameras the camera can control the speedlight's functions directly from the camera control screens.

    I'd say the D40/x are somewhat more difficult to expand upon if you wanted to invest in older, slower focusing lenses not really optimized for the digital age.

    Basically every Nikon lens introduced in the past 8 years or so that you'd want to use on it has the AF-S motor, and all new lenses do too. Nikon is likely to update a bunch of their older lens line up to AF-S shortly as well.

    You can't really go wrong with either....so go try both out!

    Many people I know decided simply by holding each in their hands and picking the one more comfortable to shoot. I personally can't stand the grips of the Rebel series cameras, the XT and XTi in particular.
    Harrison
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  12. #12
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by deckcadet
    Also, I'd like to point out that in the opinion of many shooters, Nikon's flash system is superior. I have not got a ton of experience with the canon system's flashes, just the 580EXII professional speedlite, but while it is well built and sealed, it costs almost twice as much as the comparable-power Nikon SB-800, has more confusing custom functions (no pictures just numbers, you need a manual, a great memory, or the 1D Mark III to see expanations), while the SB-800 has a significant advantage in being much smaller in physical size. The Canon 220EX is less versatile than the comparable Nikon SB-400, which is again significantly smaller and offers a built in bounce head. With D40 series cameras the camera can control the speedlight's functions directly from the camera control screens.
    I find this statement a lot and find it unwarranted - I have a Canon 5D and a Canon Powershot Pro 1 and never had any problems with the Canon 430EX on either camera in fill mode or full auto, or manual. I believe this is a Nikon created rumour to frighten people off of the Canon flash gear. I have a Nikon, Richo, and a Fuji compact and the pictures taken with flash are no better than the Canon. Not a perfect comparison by any means.

    I can post examples of full auto if you want proof on either Canon camera.

    Like with the Nikon gear you hardly ever use flash in full auto so the camera or the flash or both are in manual mode to get the effect you want, which means that the statement is bunkum.

    Roger
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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  13. #13
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Quote Originally Posted by readingr
    I find this statement a lot and find it unwarranted - I have a Canon 5D and a Canon Powershot Pro 1 and never had any problems with the Canon 430EX on either camera in fill mode or full auto, or manual. I believe this is a Nikon created rumour to frighten people off of the Canon flash gear. I have a Nikon, Richo, and a Fuji compact and the pictures taken with flash are no better than the Canon. Not a perfect comparison by any means.

    I can post examples of full auto if you want proof on either Canon camera.

    Like with the Nikon gear you hardly ever use flash in full auto so the camera or the flash or both are in manual mode to get the effect you want, which means that the statement is bunkum.

    Roger
    I am a Canon user but I don't think the statement about Nikon flash systems being better is unwarranted. Historically speaking Nikon did blow Canon out the water for flash systems. They where easier to use and more accurate. They still are cheaper. However since ETTL-II there's not realy anything in it accuracy wise. The 430EX and 580EX I&II are spot on for exposure and powerful to boot. I do think the Nikon flashes are slightly slicker user interface though.
    Comparing them to a 580EX II on price is a bit unfair though. It's weather proofed and sync's with studio flash which adds the premium.

    To address the earlier comment about the Nikon coming close to the 400D in noise performance. It's not strictly true. Nikon seems to be using heavy noise reduction in camera to mask the noise at the expense of detail. Just my opinion from un-processed images seen.

    Strongly agree though for 'normal' use have a play with various models of camera and see what suits you. Bear in mind once you buy into a lens system though that's a big commitment so choose carefully.
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
    .
    ~ Joel Meyerowitz

  14. #14
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    nikon NR is fully customizeable and isnt heavy. Images are rendered with a filmlike noise pattern and focuses on nondestructively removing chroma noise.

    The 580EX is almost as large as the II version and lacks those features. My sb800 also has PC sync.

    I own both and shoot both systems with the latest and greatest gear. I think i can comment on usability of each system. I like the exII plenty and it works great exposurewise. Outdoors as fill i tend to have to dialin more compensation than i did with my nikons, but imho the differences that count are elsewhere. If i didnt think it was worth it i would have returned it
    Harrison
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  15. #15
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Chasseurs d'Images says..

    Quote Originally Posted by readingr
    I find this statement a lot and find it unwarranted - I have a Canon 5D and a Canon Powershot Pro 1 and never had any problems with the Canon 430EX on either camera in fill mode or full auto, or manual. I believe this is a Nikon created rumour to frighten people off of the Canon flash gear. I have a Nikon, Richo, and a Fuji compact and the pictures taken with flash are no better than the Canon. Not a perfect comparison by any means.

    I can post examples of full auto if you want proof on either Canon camera.

    Like with the Nikon gear you hardly ever use flash in full auto so the camera or the flash or both are in manual mode to get the effect you want, which means that the statement is bunkum.

    Roger
    I have been reading camera reviews in the French press for years (Chasseurs d'Images, Reponses Photo, Le Photographe). These guys spend all their time testing gear and they have the labs to do it. The result has always been the same - the Nikon flash system is ahead of the Canon flash system.

    Finally yesterday's "Le Photographe" did say that the 580 EX II was getting close but you had to juggle with manual power settings to get a balance between ambient and flash that has been easier to achive with the Nikon system since - the D70.
    Charles

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  16. #16
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    So the ideal system would be Canon image quality and Nikon iTTL?
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
    .
    ~ Joel Meyerowitz

  17. #17
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Despite shooting both systems, I think that the gap in image quality is much smaller than most internet sites would lead you to believe. I've shot most everything for testing in both brands' lineups. In terms of noise, I find the Nikons have less chroma noise in relation to total noise and a more filmlike rendering, while overall the high end Canons don't have as much noise in general.

    I like the output from my 1D mark III, though I am still trying to find the right balance of settings to get out of camera images like I want. I find it easier to get good results out of 3rd party converters with the Mark III, while the Nikon Capture NX program which is the RAW converter of choice when I shoot my D200's and other Nikons gives really great images with minimal processing. it's a complicated situation getting used to processing the new files.

    But yes, I'd say ideally that a 1D mark III with the same speed, a firmware update to get AF to full reliability, image review functionality like Nikons offer with a higher density LCD, a Nikon AWB system, hybrid image processor, Canon dual writing with adoption of UDMA and PIO's latest iterations, Nikon style image parameters with canon-range adjustments, Both brands' lenses, Nikon/Canon hybrid metering (Nikon's 1005 (or higher) pixel 3D color matrix metering II, either brand's center weight, hybrid spot, and Canon Partial metering), and i-TTL flash with a line of weather resistant units would be ideal. With files that could be processed with a faster version of Capture NX

    In the meantime, I just shoot with both.
    Harrison
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  18. #18
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    LOL! Excellently put points thanks for the detail.

    Have to say for RAW processing I have to vote firmly for Capture 1 Pro. Tried the rest and it's just the best IMHO.
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
    .
    ~ Joel Meyerowitz

  19. #19
    Check out our D300 Pro Review! deckcadet's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    I actually met one of the key developers from Phase One at Apple's WWDC this past month, he works on Capture one. Version 4 is coming out soon and will be amazing, he said.

    I'm not using the current version yet on the 1D Mk3 but I'm about to try it out.

    ACR 4.1 for CS3 is pretty good for the mk3 but worthless for nikons IMHO, Aperture does a great job cross systems.
    Harrison
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  20. #20
    DEviaNT Photographer DEvianT's Avatar
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    About to switch to CS3 so pleased to know about the ACR 4.1

    As for C1 version 4.0 I've heard great things about the speed specifically. Supposedly it's blazing fast. Which would be a very nice thing I think to myself as I sit processing 1800 RAW files...
    DEviaNT Photographer

    'Tough' meant it was an uncompromising image, something that came from your gut, out of instinct, raw, of the moment, something that couldn’t be described in any other way. So it was tough. Tough to like, tough to see, tough to make, tough to understand. The tougher they were the more beautiful they became.
    .
    ~ Joel Meyerowitz

  21. #21
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    I Just purchased a Canon 30D DSLR. I did extensive research and tons of touchy/feely. In the final analysis, I chose the Canon for two reasons- 1 because it simply felt better in my hands, and 2 because i've been shooting a Canon EOS 35mm SLR for quite some time and I have a good choice of Canon lenses for that camera. Truth be known, I've been a Canon person for a very long time. By the way, the 30D is well..............I don't think they've invented a word for how awesome it is!!!!!!! Good luck in your choice, the final decision is of course yours !!

  22. #22
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    Re: Canon vs Nikon SLR

    Now that the "Nikonians" and the "Canonites" have had a round of fist-a-cuffs.
    The two cameras you are looking at, both are very nice and would do about the same for what you are looking for.
    A lot of stores carry both these models and I would make a trip and try each model to see how each feels. Ask questions on where the main controls are located. If you go to a deptment store be ready to know more then the clerk. If you go to a camera store, I'm sure the advice would be more helpful.
    But look at camerasand lens, you may want in the future, For really, you are buying into a system.
    The anguish seems to go on forever but when you finally decide wish to buy. You will have a camera that you will come to love.

    Have a great time on your Trip

    rovowen

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