Sorry to add another camera thread, but I had some questions regarding a camera purchase I finally plan on making this week. I'll be getting my wife a Nikon SLR, and have some questions. By the way, we're going Nikon so we can share lenses with family members that also have Nikon, even though I know canon makes a great DSLR.
I'm thinking of the D40 over the D40x or D60. I don't think we'll ever be blowing any pictures up to more than 8x10, so can anyone think of why I'd want the 10.2 megapixels over the 6.1 that the d40 offers? If there's no compelling reason, I can't see the benefit being worth the extra cost of the D40x.
Whats the difference between the D40 and D60 to the average user? Note, this is someone that mainly wants an slr for the start up speed and shutter response. She's tired of missing moments waiting for her point and shoot to come on and finally take the picture. Is there anything on the d60 that she'd use?
Finally, I was going to purchase a kit that has the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lens. Would it be smart to spend the extra money on the VR (vibration reduction) lens? I can see needing that feature for the 55-200, but I don't know if we'd want it on the 18-55mm.
Thanks for the advice!
Re: Camera Questions
I just bought a Canon 350D instead of the newer 400D or 450D (I refuse to use that stupid rebel name) for much the same reason you are talking about - I don't really need the extra megapixels or knobs and whistles.
I honestly don't think that the newer point and shoots are all that much worse than a SLR in terms of startup speed and being able to "catch a moment". What SLRs do offer is a lot more control over the picture, better sensors and the ability to change the optics. None of those things are going to be "missing the moment" kinds of things. With an SLR, you're possibly going to have a lens cover to contend with, camera settings to dork with (possibly), a manual zoom to contend with and something way heavier and more bulky to lug around, so you're less likely to have it around when those "moments" happen.
With the f/3.5-5.6 18-55 lens, you're going to want IS/VR if you plan on doing any low-light, hand-held photography, especially sans-flash. With that slow of an f stop, you're going to get blur because it will force longer shutter speeds in low light, especially on the 55mm end of the range where the f stop goes up to 5.6. If you're using a tripod, not such a big deal. If you're hand holding, which sounds like a reasonable assumption based on the stated requirement of "not missing moments", you're going to want IS.
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Re: Camera Questions
Have you been to dpreview.com? If not, I highly recommend going there and reviewing those cameras side-by-side. There is also a great discussion forum - you'd get a lot more input there.
I'm not familiar with Nikon, so I can't speak to the difference between those camera bodies. IMO, if the price difference between the 6.1 and 10.2 model is not major, I'd go with the larger pixel size camera simply for the fact that you don't know what your needs/wants will be in a year or two - or even sooner. Megapixels are not the end-all, be-all - but they sure do help.
As far as having VR (IS, image stabilization in Canon terms) - I really like it. Helps a lot for the running around shots - kids playing, sports, etc. I'm renting a Canon 70-200mm lens for this weekend's Punt/Pass/Kick contest and will only get the IS version. It's not a deal-breaker without - but I'm a fan of IS/VR.
Keep in mind, if you are shooting a lot of sports stuff or low-light shots - you'll want a fast lens. Something that goes down to at least 2.8.
Re: Camera Questions
Thanks for the input. Based on the above, I think we'll go with this package for $599:
Costco - $599.99 After $100 Off Nikon D40 6.1MP 2.5" 18-55 & 55-200 VR Lens 2.5 Frames Per Second
dpreview.com basically said the D60 wasn't any better than the d40x, and I can't find any package deals with the d40x so to get the d40 with the same two lenses, it would cost $950. To get the D60 package with both lenses with VR would cost $850. I don't think I can justify $250 for an extra 4 megapixels.