I’ve finally decided to go ahead and pull the trigger on a digital SLR camera and have pretty much narrowed the choice down to a Nikon D70 or a Canon Digital Rebel XT. So far, most of the people that I’ve asked have said to go with the Nikon, but I figured I’d see if anyone had any other opinions….


17 Comments

    Cris Pierry (May 17, 2006 @ 9:46 pm)

    in the end, it often comes down to brand preference. I had been a Nikon user since the D1 came out in 2000, but I switched to Canon last year — tired of waiting for the D200. I now use a Canon 5D and a Canon 1ds mkII. If I were starting over today, I would still go w/ canon for a simple reason — performance above ISO 400. If you are going to shoot in low light situations (at home, indoors, sports) you are going to want to use high ISO, — canon is the undisputed leader here (even Nikon dieharts will agree).

    The decision also depends on what you want out of the camera, and how much you want to spend. a great all around combo today from nikon is their new D200 w/ their new 18-200 lens — awesome travel kit, but expensive.

    If you plan to purchase a few lens and maybe upgrade in the future, I would go w/ canon. Their 5D has no competition, the 1D mk II and 1DS mk II are also in a class of their own. And a new high end model will be released in the 3rd quarter. Don’t forget to consider the advantages of a full frame sensor…

    Check out rich tong’s blog — he is in the process of purchasing a new camera (and I beleive he is a Nikon user) — there are a few interesting recent photography blog entries from him… http://www.tongfamily.com/ (he is a former MSFT guy and a VC at ignition in bellevue)

    good luck, I think you really can’t go wrong w/ a curret nikon or canon – do consider spending a bit more for the D200 if you are going Nikon, or a 30D or even better a 5D if going canon.


    J K (May 18, 2006 @ 12:53 am)

    Nikon….I have a D50….Marvelous!!


    Dave Kekish (May 18, 2006 @ 1:43 am)

    I’ve owned two canon digitals. The original Digital Rebel and the 20d. I truthfully love my camera. As to which brand is better, I personally think its a toss up.

    It should come down to what features you want in a camera for what you are willing to pay. Then get the one that matches the closest.

    They will both take great pictures.

    Also, a tip. If you want to save a bit, take a look at places like Adorama and B&H. Theu both have referbished sections. Thats how I got my 20d for about 400 off the normal price.


    Jimmy Grewal (May 18, 2006 @ 7:03 am)

    I have an original Canon Digital Rebel and I think the XT fixes most of the issues I had with mine. I think the Nikon is also pretty good, having used a friend’s.

    I strongly suggest you try and find some information on the product pipeline of both companies because the problem with SLR cameras is that once you make an investment in lenses it become difficult to switch brands.

    I have bought some nice Canon stabilized lenses and I won’t switch to another brand unless there’s a really good reason…so now I’m waiting for the successor to the Digital Rebel XT for my next SLR purchase.


    Mike Moore (May 18, 2006 @ 7:58 am)

    I’ve got the Rebel XT and haven’t had any problems with it.


    dennis parrott (May 18, 2006 @ 8:12 am)

    i’m going to stir the pot! i’d suggest going to look over the olympus e-500 dslr. a recent review at dpphotographyreview.com showed that it, the digital rebel xt and a nikon were all neck and neck on the major issues. the reason to go olympus here is that the e-500 is now selling as a kit – body + 2 lenses – for $899 MSRP and there is a $100 rebate available. i’ve seen that kit with other extras like CF cards, bags, etc for less. the rebel comes with only 1 lens…

    the lenses are 14-45mm and 40-150mm — the tele is equivalent to a 300mm lens i’m told…

    our house has canon (s400, sd450, s550, g5, a620? and a 3.2 mpx whose # i forget) and olympus (c5050z + adapter and wide/tele converters) and quite frankly, i really prefer the olympus. i have gotten much better pics with it than with any of the canons.


    Victor (May 18, 2006 @ 10:43 am)

    I chose a Nikon D50 because of its value for money. Been using it like a point and shoot camera most of the time. No problems with it so far and it shoots nearly 1000 pictures per battery charge.


    J (May 18, 2006 @ 2:47 pm)

    Both are solid options – don’t get distracted by fanboys on either side. I chose Canon because it’s more compact, I’ve had good experience with their Digital Elph series and my favorite photoblogs overwhelmingly use Canon equipment. My recommendation would be to check out the top photoblogs at http://www.photobloggies.org and see what equipment they’re using on blogs you like. Then you’ll at least have the equipment to start shooting like the guys you admire.
    Some Canon examples:
    http://gosu.co.za/
    http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/
    http://www.durhamtownship.com/
    http://www.chromasia.com/iblog/
    http://www.nullstream.com/photoblog


    Nat (May 18, 2006 @ 4:49 pm)

    Just to add more confusion, I am very glad with my Pentax *istDS. The thing I really like is that it works with old manual lenses that are 30 years old. I bought some old lenses for very little money and they give outstanding results. I also really like the fact it is compact and uses SD cards instead of bulky CF.


    streams (May 18, 2006 @ 5:06 pm)

    check out Dave Black’s tutorials. He’s a Nikon only shop (D2x) and he’s a big fan of Nikon’s creative lighting system. It is unbelievable what you can do with multiple SB800 strobes. Check out his site for examples.

    http://www.daveblackphotography.com/workshop/index.htm

    Point I’m making is that in addition to the body comparisons, there are lens considerations and don’t forget about lighting ;-)

    I haven’t spent any time investigating the features of Canon’s stobe systems, but Nikon’s SB800 and SB600 are pretty amazing.


    cek (May 18, 2006 @ 5:25 pm)

    I have the D50 and love it. I am at a loss to see what the D70 has above it…


    streams (May 19, 2006 @ 7:42 am)

    Here’s a link to a chart that compares the D50 to the D70 as well as Rebel side by side:

    http://www.digitalreview.ca/cams/NikonD50vsD70SvsXT.shtml

    You get more flexibility in the D70 in terms of shutter speed, more granular control over exposure settings (1/3 stop increments), richer flash settings, etc.


    gdkzen (May 19, 2006 @ 7:51 am)

    Just some info regarding the D50 v D70s. The D50 is an entry level SLR, and has alot of the features that the 70s has, but it does not have the speed of the D70s. Alot of people move to DSLR’s because of shutterlag, and powerup time – the D50 doesn’t really have any great improvements in this area – you’ve got to go to at least the D70s.

    Also, the D70s camera/lens outfits come with good lenses. Popular Photography has noted that these are the only “outfit” lenses worth buying on their own. The canon outfits and the D50 outfits come with lenses that are seriously subpar.

    If any want to take a look at some work done with a D70s – take a look at my photo blog:

    http://gzphoto.blogspot.com

    comments welcome.


    brian thomson (May 19, 2006 @ 11:02 am)

    I second the chap with the Pentax *ist DS. A very well-thought-out sensible DSLR. Had a few quirks when it came out, but those were fixed in the V2 firmware.
    Nikon & Canon have huge marketing budgets and send journalists on all-expense-paid photo junkets. So they get all the visibility and people mistakenly think it’s a 2-horse race…


    gdkzen (May 19, 2006 @ 12:35 pm)

    In terms of market share, it is a 2-horse race. If I were to go outside of the Nikon/Canon area, I would look at Konica-Minolta (if there are any still around after their acquisition by Sony). They had image stabilization technology built into the camera body instead of the lenses. For a Nikon you’ll need to buy DX Nikkor VR lenses.

    I still come back to one thing – optics – and Nikon’s have always been superior to the others. Unless you’re interested in buying phenomenally expensive Zeiss lenses (They are now making lenses for Nikon and Canon digital platforms) you’re not going to find better glass anywhere.

    Nikon equipment is also the most robust equipment I’ve ever used. Just holding a D70, you know that this is a solid camera. I also like the noise reduction algorithms in Nikon equipment – they are second to none. You can take super low-light exposures with high-iso compatiblity and long shutter speeds and get a photo that is cleaner than film! I had to actually add graininess to a low light photo because it looked to good for what I was using it for!

    The big thing now is full frame DSLRs which are still expensive. These offer a traditional aspect ratio and a huge sensor with unparalleled color accuracy. They’re not quite at the Pro/Am level yet but they will be in a couple of years.


    KC Lemson (May 24, 2006 @ 9:49 pm)

    Canon! Canon!…

    actually I don’t care. They’re both great cameras. If you’re going to use the camera the way we are [lots o family + kids, but we like our shots to be more than snapshots], the optics in compatible lenses and the algorithms in both cameras are just fine.

    Cameras have always had their obsessive geeks, it’s just that with digital you’ve now combined the guys who used to obsess about computer stuff and given them an entirely new arena to whittle down to the base while missing the point entirely. =)


    Kevin Burns (December 21, 2006 @ 5:54 am)

    I shoot with the pentax ist dl and a sigma 70-300mm lens at iso 3200 and f5.6 for night foot ball games and have a wealth of awesome noise free images. I also shoot sun set images at iso 3200 and f32 and have very usable images with very minimal grain.
    I would agree Nikon and Canon have a wealth of advertising. Pentax has little to none. Resin being Pentax don’t need to advertise.
    Nikon and Canon can not shoot as well at the same high iso or high f stop.


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