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  1. #1
    DPP Member Melvin Medes's Avatar
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    Just like other newbies...



    Just like other newbies, I also share the same dilemma in buying a first DSLR.

    I have posted this thread both in Canon and Nikon forums to get the most out of the user’s ideas, objective feedbacks, thoughts and real-life experiences.

    Pasakalye

    I am a graduating college student, and for my graduation gift my mother will be giving me a sum of Php 44,100 (from two post-dated checks from her business.) Those checks are so postdated. Hehe. I can encash the money by April 17 pa, but I have already talked to my mother to give me additional money (like additional 16,000 and additional 8k from my pockets. ) to stretch my budget up to 68,000 (I know this is still a tight budget, but I can no longer go beyond this) since I have included Nikon D80 and Nikon D200 in contention. I am planning to buy on the first week of May, since the additional money will come by the end of April pa. I will be buying a brand new, sealed (of course, grey unit with my budget. Haha. ) body with kit lens ONLY, in a sealed box, including the “other” items (Body cap, battery, battery charger, and others.) Ung mga iba pang accessories, uunti-untiin ko na lang un pag nagkapera

    Considering that I recognize and have faith that:
    *It’s the Indian and not the pana.
    *The lens’ quality is more superior than the camera body as determinant in the image quality produced.
    *As what the masters say, “Invest in lens”. And that, “Bodies come and go”. But I want a body that could suppress my craving for upgrading (even for somehow) dahil super matatagalan akong palitan because of financial constraints.

    And also:
    *I have spent substantial time (the past three months of comprehensive readings – oh yes, including here in which I have been a silent reader in DPP forums, both in Nikon and Canon Forums, and since last year for camera reviews) in reading reviews of these cameras all over the net (Except for the Canon 450d), and have also scrutinized their image samples (including numerous 100% crops and 200% crops in all ISO settings) from different reviewers. Dahil sobrang ayaw ko masayang ang once in a lifetime na pagkakataong ito. As in. Once in a lifetime lang na mabigyan ako ng ganitong pera. Feeling ko wala ng susunod. (ung mga lens pag-iipunan ko na un pag nagkatrabaho. Huhuhu) Kaya hope you understand na gusto kong maging worthy ang kahihinatnan ng perang ito, at suitable ang mabibili kong camera for me. At ung camera na makakasuit ng preferences ko sa digital photography. Kaya pasensya na po kung medyo mahaba ito. Huhuhu.


    Anyway, here are the contenders (Rationales are explained at the latter part):
    Canon 400d
    Canon 450d
    Nikon d80
    Nikon d200

    Bottom line: I want the best body among the four which can offer the best overall image quality.

    What I want for a body (choices are among the contenders only):
    • My first criterion is IMAGE QUALITY that can stun even those pixel-peepers. Superior image quality – in details, sharpness, colors, noise handling and other parameters, particularly in ambient and lowlight conditions. Taking into consideration the body only, what body (if paired with a respectable lens) would most probably give me a tact edge-to-edge sharpness of an image in this scenario:
    A person is walking to and fro under a waiting shade. The time is 5:00 P.M. There is an impending rain. Distance from that person is about 100 meters. Handheld shot.
    • Punchy, lively, and vivid color rendition straight from the camera. (Though photo editing softwares are available, I want colors to be lively as they can be in-camera, so that twiddling saturation, sharpening and contrast in computer will be less- and that the final image output will not be so far from straight-from-the-camera image (in terms of these elements.)
    • Feature set that is sufficient enough for me to have controls over the images. More features, more fun but that would just be an add-on for me.
    • Weight and size does not matter to me, same with battery life (as I can always bring extra batteries or avail a generic handgrip pag nagkapera), as well as the design.
    • Durability. Does not matter, as long as it can withstand normal operations.
    * Kit lens is not in contention as I am planning to buy better lenses (after 48 years kasi said na ko. Haha )

    Note:
    I have been stunned by the image quality of Nikon D40 and D40x as well as the D60, but my preference goes to the body which can auto-focus in a wide range of lens. If only they have this auto-focus motor then I wouldn’t have second thoughts picking D40.
    I wanted to use Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8D.

    continued...

  2. #2
    DPP Member Melvin Medes's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    What will I be shooting?
    (In priority)
    • Portrait (Including portraits using a telephoto lens. Just like taking a photo, for example, a person 100meters and above away.)
    Question: What “ISO level” do you think is perfect in shooting the above scenario? “A person is walking to and fro under a waiting shade….”
    • Macro
    • Street Photography
    • Documentary
    • Nature
    • Landscape
    • Sports
    What Now?

    My first dilemma is What system should I choose?

    To narrow this down, I am only looking between Canon and Nikon. I am impressed by Sony, Pentax and Olympus too, but I feel more at home with these two brands. Just a sixth sense though.

    Here are my UNDERSTANDING and SENTIMENTS, (Please don’t get me wrong for these are just MY sentiments) from reading numerous reviews all over the internet :

    Why Canon?

    I have read many webpages and seen numerous pictures taken with a Canon DSLR camera, and what stunned me are:

    Low noise even at high-ISO (Because of CMOS Sensor?)
    Very clean results. Has a serene and smooth feeling (for me.)
    And because, (as what I’ve read in one of the threads here) 70% of photographers use Canon, and that most Olympics shooters use Canon. It has an authority appeal to me.
    May something sa landscapes (unique, unexplainable finish J) na kuha ng Canon dslrs.
    It’s Canon.

    My qualms:
    Softer images (at default settings)

    Some questions:
    1.)Can I get same saturation of colors and sharpness in-camera to match the “more vivid and livelier” output of Nikon?
    2.)I like the Nikon’s Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f2.8D. Is there a counterpart in terms of specifications and image quality (or almost close to that specs) from Canon? How much?
    3.)How about Nikon’s Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR DG IF-ED? What is Canon’s counterpart for that in terms of image quality? How much?

    Why Nikon?

    It has more saturated colors, which I like.
    I don’t know if it is just me again, but the portraits taken by Nikon seem to be livelier. (Or is it just me?) May something talaga sa portraits produced by a Nikon dslr.
    It’s Nikon.
    My qualms:

    Because of the noise at higher sensitivities (Though I believe I will not be shooting more on higher sensitivities.) Is it because of CCD Sensor?

    Some questions:
    1.) What is the Nikon’s counterpart forCanon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM? (In terms of image quality produced?How much?

    Tie-breaking question:
    In general, which has the more expensive lens, Canon or Nikon?
    Does Nikon have counterparts for “L” lenses?
    Which is more expensive – Nikon’s counterpart of “L” lenses or the “L” lenses itself?
    Nikon’s best telephoto lenses OR Canon’s best telephoto lenses?

    ---------------------------
    The contenders:
    Canon 400D
    .....................................
    Canon 400D has been acclaimed all-over the internet. I guess I need not say more.

    I like the landscape shots of Canon 400D – very impressive.
    But for me it seems that Nikon has punchier results on portraits? (Or is it just me? J)

    My qualms:

    1.)Soft po ba talaga ang portraits taken by Canon 400D?

    Some questions:

    1.) How much is the Brand new, sealed Canon 400D (grey unit) at hidalgo?
    2.)Again, as for the Canon 400D, can I get same saturation of colors and sharpness in-camera to match the “more vivid and livelier” output of Nikon (particularly on portraits)?

    Favor po:
    *Can I ask portrait shots in ambient light, no pp done, only resizing, of Canon 400D (paired with a good lens). The face must fill almost the entire frame. J
    *Can I ask a portrait shot, no pp done, no resizing, taken by (of at least 100mm, ambient light) Canon 400D using a high-grade lens, cropped at 100% on the eyes? Thanks po!

    Canon 450D
    .....................................
    I wonder what changes the DIGIC III would bring on the 450D.
    How about the high-ISO performance?

    Since the official specifications of the new Canon 450D invaded the internet, many have started comparing it with Canon 40D. If in this quest for dslr Canon 400D tops Nikon contenders, I may opt for this new unit if:
    1.)It gets reviews (from different reviewers) that say a positive upgrade in terms of overall image quality from Canon 400D.
    2.)That the overall image quality is really at par with Canon 40D.
    3.)The price is below Php 44,100 in the grey market.

    Questions:
    1.)Do you think that image-quality will be better than Canon 400D?
    2.)Do you think that overall image-quality will be a dead-heat against Canon 40D?
    3.)How much do you think this would be at hidalgo? (grey unit)

    continued...

  3. #3
    DPP Member Melvin Medes's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    Nikon D80
    .....................................
    I recognize and believe that Nikon D80 is really MORE THAN a good starter dslr. It offers much in its class. It is MORE THAN a great second body for those who plan to upgrade in the future. I like its professional look – bigger than D40/x, D60 series. Plus the lcd on top. Plus the 2 command dials. It’s a pro for me.

    Kammagamma.com has this side-by-side ISO performance comparison at ISO 1600 with Nikon D200. Here’s the link http://kammagamma.com/articles/nikon...e-high-iso.php.

    They say there that Nikon D80 has more sharpening in-camera than Nikon D200. (Which I like more)

    About the noise:

    Trustedreviews.com has a 100% crop of Nikon D80’s performance up to ISO 1600. Here’s the link http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...Digital-SLR/p6.

    I can see based on the sample images by trustedreviews.com that the noise is well controlled up to ISO 800 (ISO 400 and 800 virtually has no difference) and is evident only at ISO 1600.

    From Dpreview.com:
    “To be fair the D80 does not perform as well as the EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) at ISO 800 or 1600 but the differences are much less than they ever used to be, Nikon is closing the gap.”

    I can see based on the images by dpreview.com that the noise is well controlled up to ISO 400. Noise begins to intrude on the image at ISO 800 and is more evident on 1600.

    How well does Nikon D80 perform on real-world scenarios?

    And also from Cameralabs.com at http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ni.../page4ca.shtml

    My qualms:
    1.)I forgot the link but I have read a comment that “He likes D40x more because of the matrix metering system of the D80… you always compensate exposure to -.7 or else you get overexposed results.” Any insights on this? If I will be purchasing a D80, do I have to “always” compensate exposure to -.7 to avoid overexposures? Is this a factory defect or what? Elaborations on this will be appreciated. Tia
    2.)It only got a score of 8/10 in terms of overall image quality versus D40/x and Canon 400D which got 8.5/10 in dpreview.com. How would I react on this?

    Some questions:
    1.)How much is the lowest price (Brand new, sealed, grey unit J) of Nikon D80 kitlens nowadays in hidalgo?

    *Can I ask a landscape shot by Nikon D80, no pp done, only resizing?
    *Can I ask a portrait shot, no pp done, no resizing, taken by (of at least 100mm, ambient light) Nikon D80 (using any telephoto lens), cropped at 100% on the eyes? Thanks po!

    Nikon D200
    .....................................
    Some Nikon D80 users are planning to upgrade to Nikon D200.
    Which offers better overall image quality between the two?

    From http://www.naturfotograf.com/D200_rev02.html#top_page:

    They said that D200 is “Bringer of Minute Detail”. You may wish to visit the link. They have 200% crops of D200 landscape photos taken more than 2 miles from the subject, considering the “atmospheric turbulence”.

    See also this link http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD200/page4.shtml

    From Dpreview.com, to quote:
    When first announced we were interested to learn that the D200 utilized a CCD sensor, the assumption had been that Nikon had switched to CMOS sensors with the advent of the D2X. Not so however, and according to Nikon they select the sensor to match the intended function of the camera. From a noise point of view the D200's CCD sensor / electronics performed similarly to the D2X, that is to say close to Canon's benchmark CMOS sensor up to ISO 800 and then requiring more noise reduction as sensitivity increases (so much so that we loose detail to NR). One measurable difference between the two cameras was dynamic range, the D200 exhibiting about half a stop (0.5 EV) more dynamic range above middle gray than the D2X.”
    But really, as what my eyes tell me from different crops I’ve seen, ISO 100 will give you almost no noise images until ISO, where noise is minimal. But at ISO 800 and above, (subjectively) for me, is noisy than most contenders in Nikon D200’s class. It seems that Nikon D80 results at ISO 800 results are better than that of Nikon D200.

    From http://www.noendpress.com/pvachier/c...ikon_D200.php:
    Sharpness and Noise Performance
    While some people have complained about "softness" and high ISO noise on the D200, the truth is that one needs to use proper technique and the proper Image Sharpening settings to get the best performance from this camera. Case in point is the "softness" issue, which makes out-of-camera images appear rather soft or "seemingly" out-of-focus. Being a more professionally oriented camera, Nikon chose to not use a lot of in-camera sharpening on the D200. This contrasts with more consumer-oriented cameras like the D40, D50 and even D80, which perform more sharpening in-camera and thus appear sharper straight off the memory card. Most D200 users, Nikon believes, prefer to do their sharpening through post-processing rather than in-camera. The default D200 setting is for very little in-camera sharpening, but the beauty of the D200 is that you can change the sharpening levels from within the user menu to suit your preference. This gives you the flexibility to increase or decrease the sharpening settings best fit your workflow.
    So what's the difference between in-camera sharpening and sharpening in post-processing? In my experience I've found that sharpening through Photoshop's Smart Sharpen filter (or any other software's sharpen filter) gives quite a bit better results than in-camera sharpening, and this is not a big surprise. The problem with in-camera sharpening is that besides being less precise, it also sharpens image noise that's usually present in high ISO shots. Thus, in order to get the best noise-free performance out of the D200, you'll want to avoid using in-camera sharpening at higher ISOs.
    I can always increase the sharpening po diba?
    I have only three qualms in Nikon D200:

    1.Noise issue at 800 and above.
    2.Banding/striping issues. The banding /striping issue as discussed in Dpreview.com and http://www.naturfotograf.com/D200_rev02.html#top_page
    3.Softer, less saturated Landscape images when viewed 100% on screen.

    Some important questions:
    • Is the banding/striping issue a factory defect? Or it is inevitable in a D200 body?
    • For the D200 owners, have you all experienced this banding? Gaano po kadalas?
    • Will the banding occur on my images? It would be okay for me if banding would occur at maximum 1 out of 500 exposures. But if it would be more than that, I will not be at ease.
    • If I will be purchasing a D200 grey unit, can I ask the store warranty to repair this banding/striping issue for me?
    • Will the repair really “repair” the banding issue?
    • After being serviced for the banding issue, is there a chance that it will occur again on my exposures sometime in the future?
    • Can I get same saturation of colors by twiddling in-camera settings to get the color rendition of Nikon D80 (or almost the same color rendition)?
    • How much is the lowest price of a brand new, sealed (grey unit J) Nikon D200 in hidalgo?
    Can I ask a real scenario landscape shot, no pp done, no resizing, taken by Nikon D200, cropped at 100% on the shadowy part and on the highlights? Thanks po!

    --------------------
    Please clarify all my qualms and questions in those four camera models, and enlighten me on those bodies.


    Bottomline: Which is the best body that surfaces and tops all the other contenders in terms of image quality? Which one should I pick and why? I know it all boils down to me. But please, enlighten me. Maraming maraming salamat po.

  4. #4
    DPP Member Greg Morales's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    D60's lens mount is just like the d 40

  5. #5
    DPP Member Melvin Medes's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Morales View Post
    D60's lens mount is just like the d 40
    @Sir Greg> Yes sir they share the same mount. And D60 too doesn't have built-in focus drive motor.

  6. #6
    DPP Member kentamayo's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    Hi Melvin,

    Seems like you've done your homework quite extensively.

    Here's the lowdown and dirty.

    No matter what system you'll buy, I'm sure you'll be really happy with what you end up with.

    Here's what I think would be the best for you:

    Go with the D80... why?

    I used to own one and I've made marvelous photos with that camera, even prints as big as 30x20" and still retain a lot of detail. Noise is really not an issue when you start to get into portraiture, first of all, you'll be using the lowest possible ISO setting whenever you can, this is important in getting all that facial detail. The punchy colors the D80 puts out are pleasant but hard to work with in post processing. I usually turn everything off (saturation, sharpeneing, etc.) gives me more room to be flexible with my exposure.

    Another thing is that the D80 and D200 have veery similar output, the only difference being that the D200 has the advantage in framerate and body durability and the disadvantage of horrendous battery life. Other than that there's not much else different between the two.

    You said you wanna specialize in Portraiture right?
    Here are my recommended lenses:

    Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8 (the nifty fifty, cheapest and easiest to use)

    Nikkor AF 50mm 1.4 (very sharp and very good DOF, it's also one of the lightest and inconspicuous lenses you'll ever use)

    Micro Nikkor AF 60mm 2.8 ( tack sharp at every aperture, it's one of the sharpest Nikon has ever made)

    Nikkor AF 85mm 1.8 ( Considered one of the best portraiture focal length it provides you with silky and creamy bokeh to your hearts delight from a distance)

    Nikkor AF 85mm 1.4 ( creme de la creme of portrait primes, very expensive and very heavy)

    Nikkor AF-S 17mm-55mm 2.8 (Excellent events lens, good portrait lens, hefty price)

    Nikkor AF-S 24mm-70mm 2.8 (A well rounded competitor, it's sharpness will amaze you.. at a price)


    these are my recommendations in order of price, all of them will fit the bill perfectly and will deliver stellar results for your field.

    Let me know if you have any more questions, I'll gladly answer you via PM.

    Good Luck and Happy Shooting!
    "The greatest advice my mentor gave me was to read photography magazines and look at a lot of photos, imitate and integrate your own interpretation and style in to the final photo, it still holds true to this day as it did 5 years ago..." - Me

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  7. #7
    DPP Member kentamayo's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    You can also check out my flickr gallery for some references, I shoot mostly with the 60mm, 85mm and 17-35 (older brother of the 17-55)
    "The greatest advice my mentor gave me was to read photography magazines and look at a lot of photos, imitate and integrate your own interpretation and style in to the final photo, it still holds true to this day as it did 5 years ago..." - Me

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  8. #8
    DPP Member michael_cawayan's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    for your budget, I'd say go for the D200, or D300 if you could save some more...;-)

  9. #9
    DPP Member Melvin Medes's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...

    @Sir Ken> Thanks so much Sir Ken for reaching out. Now my ambiguity somewhat lessened for somehow. Cge sir i'll PM you if I will have more questions. Thnks again po. I've just seen your flicker sir. was the Hi-key baby picture and lomo-like shot by D80 or your new toy?

  10. #10
    DPP Member kentamayo's Avatar
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    Re: Just like other newbies...



    The D80, I only got the D2H just two weeks ago.
    "The greatest advice my mentor gave me was to read photography magazines and look at a lot of photos, imitate and integrate your own interpretation and style in to the final photo, it still holds true to this day as it did 5 years ago..." - Me

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