Digital SLR's: anyone into digital photography and can offer advice?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hey All

    Am just back from a super business trip to South Africa and Dubai, but unfortunately I have my Nikon CoolPix digital camera stolen from inside my suitcase - yes... inside!!!

    They broke the lock and took the camera out of its case, then did my suitcase back up again. I did wonder why when at Johannesburg airport while waiting for my suitcase to come off the carousel I saw many cases entirely wrapped in cellophane - apparently J'brg airport baggage staff are the worst in the world and will attempt to break into any bag not wrapped in cellophane. Mine wasn't!

    So, because I intended doing a Savanah Safari trek, I needed to purchase a camera quickly and got a lesser model Nikon Coolpix.

    Having now looked around a little more, I wish I had spent some more and invested in a digital SLR - these look superb. I don't have a need for the more expensive end models, but have been looking at the Canon EOS and the Nikon D40 models - which sell for around the £350 to £400 mark - some a little more as they come with additional 80-200mm lenses.

    Does anyone have experience with these cameras...? Are they worth that money, should I be looking to wait to see if te overall market price for digital SLR's will drop...? Are there other models I should be looking at...?

    Advice pls.
  2. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    Can't help with any advice John, but will point you in the direction of who are normally pretty good on prices for all things camera and battery.
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  4. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Either of the two cameras you have mentioned will be a good buy. I am in the market for a new SLR myself and have narrowed the choice down to these two. One of the magazines this month did a head to head comparison of the pair and the Canon came out top by 1 percentage point, so really nothing to choose between them. I will probably go for the Nikon as it produced more vibrant colour in its pictures in the comparison test I mentioned above. Jessops are doing a £60 cashback offer on the at present and along with a voucher code I got the price down to £525 for Nikon D40x, 18-55mm lens and Sigma 70-300mm lens.

    One piece of advice a friend of mine gave me was, look at the quality of the accessories, especially lenses, because you may in future change the camera body but you will keep the lenses.

    By the way, if you decide on Nikon then go for the D40x and not the D40. The D40x has a 10Meg sensor as opposed to the 6Meg on on the D40. Other than that they are pretty much the same camera.
  5. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    Don't forget to budget for memory cards and loads of spare batteries, if you have more megapixels in the sensor the file size goes up too, so you get less on a card. Like Rapier I get all mine from, excellent for accessories, memory cards especially.
    My dad has a Canon EOS Dsomething, (600?) and he's very happy with it, having had a quick try it seemed very impressive, mulitple autofocus bits in the viewfinder and all sorts.
    What I'd do is go to Jessops or somewhere where you can pick one up and try it, a lot is down to what personally suits you as regards features and so on, plus how easy the buttons are to get at, etc. Then try t'internet for comparison prices on the one you like, then see if Jessops will match it or buy online if they won't. Have a look at and amazon.
  6. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Thanks all for the advice... I may take a trip to Jessops to have a look first hand.
  7. John Brooks

    John Brooks Well-Known Member

    I have been going through the same process and have essentially arrived at the same two options. One important consideration is that the Nikon uses a proprietary battery and the Canon uses AA's. You can buy AA's just about anywhere and can easily carry a spare set of regular Duracells etc. for emergency use; not so for the Nikon.

    That's the issue I need to get sorted; other than that I also prefer the Nikon D40X.
  8. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

    I see Curry's are doing the same £60 cash back and appear cheaper than Jessops for that camera. (Although I think they maybe part of the same chain? Curry's Dixons, PC World etc.)
  9. RonBarnes

    RonBarnes Member

    There are usually lots of nearly new digital Nikons, and other makes, on eBay.
    Quite a number of people must have the latest super-mega pix camera and dispose of their old but perfectly usable cameras at knockdown prices.
    I picked up a super Nikon D70s a few months ago and it's indistinguishable from new. Even the carrying strap was still in its original cellophane wrapper.
    It was a big saving on traders prices.
  10. RussQ

    RussQ Member

    Aswell as an avid brass bander, I do quite a bit of freelance photography aswell, especially during the football season. I've got a Canon 20D, 8.2 megapixel, 5 frames per second and can highly recommend it, although it has been supersceded by the 30D. The equivalent Nikons' are just as dependable. You will find owning an SLR gives you a much wider range of shooting options, from fully automatic point and shoot to ajdusting speed or aperture to suit the conditions. Plus the battery life is much more prolonged. Around 500 shots per charge I think!
    It really depends on how much your'e willing to spend. Plus, once you've commited to a particular brand, you pretty much have to stick with it as you need to look at lenses aswell.
    IMO, you won't be disappointed if you go with Canon as their bodies are very reliable and the lenses are the sharpest you can get.
    All the best
  11. RussQ

    RussQ Member

    P.S. Try
    Everything you need will be on there.
  12. Di

    Di Active Member

    Then when you've decided which one you want, you come back to your PC, search ebay, find camera and post a link to it, like this , hit the link, bid, win and the nice man who runs this lovely forum gets some pennies back towards the running of the site. ;)
  13. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    Beaker has the Samsung GX10 which has a 10 megapixel SLR which is a direct clone of the Pentax K10d. It was about £700 so a bit pricier than those you've mentioned but comes with 2 lenses and is a spectacular camera. It also has inbuilt anti-shake - excellent having seen some of the wildlife pics Ian's taken.

    Spec far exceeds the Canon he was looking at and it's definitely VFM!

    Apparently you can buy the single lens kit for about £550.

    Rach x
  14. cornetgirl

    cornetgirl Active Member

    PS: It's £200 cheaper than the equivalent Pentax...
  15. Ruthless

    Ruthless Member

    In the past have always used Jessop to buy cameras because they have had a price match policy which is worth checking out. I just took a website price print out for a UK site and they matched it. You then get the superb customer service of Jessops rather than an internet shop.
  16. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    I've just bought a Nikon D40 kit from John Lewis, got them to price match Jacobs at £330, and will get the £60 cashback from Nikon, so it's only going to cost me £270

    I debated the D40/D40X decision, but the significant price difference, plus the comments on here: helped me decide on the D40

    I'm already taking some lovely photos, but there's a lot of things to learn...

    I've ordered an external flash (Nikon SB-400) as a bounce capable flash is highly recommended, and am planning on getting the Nikon 55-200mm VR lens.
  17. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I am starting to think it will be the Nikon D40 too. I love the look of this thing.
  18. andyh

    andyh Supporting Member

    Can I just inject a note of caution regarding pixmania? Nothing against them as retailers, as I'm sure they are perfectly reliable, but they are not a UK company and the product you get may not have an english-language manual or may not have a warranty valid in the UK. Just an observation gained from friend's experiences of buying from them.

    As for the Nikon D40(x) I would first make sure that you can get the range of lenses for it that you might want to use, as I believe it lacks the mechanical linkage that allows cameras like the D70(s) to use older AF lenses. It's also considerably smaller than you might expect. If you can get hold of a D70 or D70s that would in my view be a much better bet, or if you can stretch that far a D80...

    Andy (Nikon D70 user)

    (I also have the 18-200VR lens - happy to comment on that if anyone is considering that particular purchase)
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2007
  19. squirrel

    squirrel Member

    Yeah, pixmania usually supply grey imports, one of the reasons they're pretty cheap. You have to buy from an official dealer to get the £60 cashback offer anyway.

    The D40 and D40X do lack the in-camera autofocus motor of the more expensive models, but the most common lenses that most people will use have autofocus built in. And given the price difference (£270 for the D40 kit - £600+ for the D70/D80 kit) it's hardly a sacrifice for me.

    You have to look at the target market for the D40 - it's aimed at the likes of myself, that has only owned compact cameras before, will probably stick with the kit lens (or maybe add a telephoto zoom like the 55-200 or 70-300). It's not aimed at someone with existing equipment, or who wants to spend £1500 on fast primes - that's what the D80 is for.

    I'm sure the D80 is a better camera, it should be, it's more than twice the price, but for me the D40 is superb, it's light, easy to use, cheap enough that if it gets damaged it's not the end of the world, and I'm having fun learning to use it.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2007
  20. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

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