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Which DSLR to get? Nikon D40/50/70 or Sony?

cambsno

Novice Member
Any advice and feedback would be appreciated. Looking to get a 'proper' camera! Have enjoyed a couple of Sony cybershot compacts and do like other Sony products, hence considering anything they have. Nikon however seem to be an excellent product and there are some good offers out there, which one though?

Firstly am I right in thinking that a good DSLR at say 6MP will give me better pictures than a £200 compact at 7MP?

I was initiallly onto the Nikon D40 offer from Currys (you get the 18-55 lens and the 55-200) for £399. After looking around I have seen other offers too:

- D40 + 18-55 and 55-200 lens for £399
- D70s + 18-55 lens for £399
- Sony Alpha a100 & 18-70 lens for £470
- D50 + 18-55 and 55-200 lens for £449 (just the 18-55 lens £389)

What are the main differences between the Nikon models - and which of the 4 listed would I be better off getting.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
For a Scientific comparison

Look Here
As "proper" cameras go, there are models from Canon, Pentax, Olympus which dont seem to have made it to your shortlist

Any DSLR at 6Mp is unlikely to be challenged by a compact 10Mp
See Here for why

Sony bought over the Konika Minolta system and good though the camera is ( A 100) The photography world is waiting for Sony to show a long standing commitment to that line and DSLRs in general.
Unlike you ,I'm rather more wary of Sony in some respects ( I do have 2 Sony camcorders) and don't "like" their products without reservation

All the cameras you listed ( and a few other not on your list) are capable of giving you good images.. They are all " proper " cameras but your budget, what you like photographing are a lot more helpful in advising what you might find the likeliest to get on with.
In Short, comparing them may turn out to be an academic exercise: They are all capable :thumbsup:
 

cambsno

Novice Member
Thanks for that - Budget as close to £400 as possible. Use camera for weddings, holidays etc...

I am just baffled as to what the exact difference between D40 and D50 are in particular.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks for that - Budget as close to £400 as possible. Use camera for weddings, holidays etc...

I am just baffled as to what the exact difference between D40 and D50 are in particular.

Ill let the "Nikoninans" provide any more detail : There is a diversity of opinion there;)
BUT
Simply speaking though , they are very similar .The ( newer) D40 has some enhanced features which make it give slightly better images " out of the box".
It is also smaller:)
But
It can use only certain lenses for auto focus.If you never anticipate buying another lens or are happy to use only a certain range. this may never matter to you
If you did have the D50 and became familiar with it you'll find the Images from both cameras to be identical
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
Go for the D50
If you trawl through previous threads and/or check in-depth reviews on dpreview http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Nikon/
You will or should come to the conclusion that, all round, this is the one to go for out of those you have mentioned.
I may possibly add the D70s to those under consideration. Make sure it is the D70s though, as opposed to the straight d70.
If I was in your position though, and I could only grab one camera before the ship sank, it would be the D50.
 

Strobe

Well-known Member
Happy Sony A100 user here, although I'm still learning in the DSLR world.
Just to pick up on Senu's comment regarding Sony's commitment to DSLR's world, they have taken over Minolta lens production and have also recently announced new DSLR's for the range, planned for release late 2007/early 2008. I wouldn't be concerned about them not being committed to the DSLR scene. The Sony A100 uses the existing Minolta lens mount so you are able to take your pick of all the old Minolta lenses, and with the A100 having built-in image stabilisation you do not have to pay extra for this feature in the lenses themselves.
Trust this helps.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Happy Sony A100 user here, although I'm still learning in the DSLR world.
Just to pick up on Senu's comment regarding Sony's commitment to DSLR's world, they have taken over Minolta lens production and have also recently announced new DSLR's for the range, planned for release late 2007/early 2008. I wouldn't be concerned about them not being committed to the DSLR scene. The Sony A100 uses the existing Minolta lens mount so you are able to take your pick of all the old Minolta lenses, and with the A100 having built-in image stabilisation you do not have to pay extra for this feature in the lenses themselves.
Trust this helps.

I'm quite aware of the capable nature of the A100.
However,I had just finished reading an article from the add-on to this weeks Amateur Photographer magazine : "The AP Informer" where:
Headlines were
Pregnant pause breaks Sony silence:
" a tight lipped Sony moved to reasure its Alpha DSLR users that the system is still alive and on the agenda by displaying two "concept" bodies at this years PMA show in Las Vegas. No launch date set and no assurance these concepts will be live before the autumn...
The rest of the article gives the impression that Nobody is sure where and how Sony is heading.
However it may be implied that greater things are expected but Sony is keeping them under wraps.. for now

I for one would love to see the system thrive but then again Sony's track record for abandoning ( what they consider marginal profit making ventures) is not inspiring. Examples abound.
What is true is that the Minolta system is justifiably well respected and the A100 is serious VFM
 

Strobe

Well-known Member
Haven't seen the AP article in question so can't comment on it directly.

Ofcourse the Sony A100 may be a 'one hit wonder' but the fact that they didn't just re-release the Minolta K5d (which was generally considered on a par with the 350d and D50) but revamped it and took over prodution of the Minolta lens line-up shows some commitment to the DSLR world. The PMA concept bodies hopefully go some way to reinforce this.

If the OP wants a definite body upgrade path now then the best option would be one of the other brands who have defined ladders of models. Sony ofcourse do not have this at the moment.
 

fundraised

Standard Member
Any advice and feedback would be appreciated. Looking to get a 'proper' camera! Have enjoyed a couple of Sony cybershot compacts and do like other Sony products, hence considering anything they have. Nikon however seem to be an excellent product and there are some good offers out there, which one though?

Firstly am I right in thinking that a good DSLR at say 6MP will give me better pictures than a £200 compact at 7MP?

I was initiallly onto the Nikon D40 offer from Currys (you get the 18-55 lens and the 55-200) for £399. After looking around I have seen other offers too:

- D40 + 18-55 and 55-200 lens for £399
- D70s + 18-55 lens for £399
- Sony Alpha a100 & 18-70 lens for £470
- D50 + 18-55 and 55-200 lens for £449 (just the 18-55 lens £389)

What are the main differences between the Nikon models - and which of the 4 listed would I be better off getting.
I know what you are going through. Making your mind up is always the most difficult thing I find when researching for a new purchase such as a new Camera, Car, TV or what ever. Just when you think you've got it figured out; from nowhere someone throws a curve-ball in the form of a huge discount on an older or discontinued model, or worse still tells you there is a new and better model / version of the one you have set your heart on coming out in a few weeks and it promises to out perform its predecessor. There are of course no reviews yet; should you hang on and see how good the new model is? Probably not, there are new models coming out all the time. Just be ready to realise that almost as soon as you have made your purchase, it's going to be replaced or bumped down the model range by the next must have offering from the Far Eastern (usually) manufacturer.

My advice on choosing a camera is simple, set a budget, stick to it, and download as many photographs taken on the cameras you are investigating. Make a short-list of 3. Go to a proper camera shop and ask to try them out. Before going to the shop, make a note of the best deals you have seen on-line. It should be fairly simple to decide which camera has the best compromise of comfort and ease of use for you. Once decided negotiate hard with the shop to match the on-line price. If they won't play ball walk away and try he same in another camera shop. Jessops rolled over on a price match and then some on my Nikon D40 I bought in January. Price Matched on-line offer and through in a bag and 1Gb SD card for good measure. So ended up with D40, 15-55 & 55-200 AF-S lenses that I wanted plus the bag and memory card at the price I was willing to pay.

The camera is superb. The photographs it has allowed me to take are beyond my expectations. I am growing into it not the other way round.

The first accessory I would advise anyone with an SLR camera, especially with a long lens on it is to buy a tripod; it's like having a higher resolution camera, because you capture more detail with exposure settings that would be imposable hand-held.

Sorry to waffle on for so long.

Have fun taking pictures with what ever you decide on.
 

horribleman

Novice Member
I got the D40 with the extra lens from currys (croydon and chelmsford may still have stock).

I'm really warming to the camera. It's very easy to use and the manual is excellent.

I can't decide to sell the lens or keep it. I also tried manual focusing, and it's very easy so I wouldn't have a problem buying a lens without the built in AF motor.
 

SweetGirl

Novice Member
:D
I got the D40 with the extra lens from currys (croydon and chelmsford may still have stock).

I'm really warming to the camera. It's very easy to use and the manual is excellent.

I can't decide to sell the lens or keep it. I also tried manual focusing, and it's very easy so I wouldn't have a problem buying a lens without the built in AF motor.


Great choice in camera horribleman ?? This is where the real fun starts.:D

I absolutely love my D40. I find it very easy to use and there are lots of features such as overlay/mono/red eye etc built on the camera.

I went for the 70-300mm VR lens which is great... a little heavy but great image quality and there is no hand shake shots :D
 

cambsno

Novice Member
Went for the D40 in the end. The review comparison helped a bit, plus the fact the other lens was included.

The amount of places that have sold out of this (and the suprise on some of the people in the shop at the price) have really made me think this is one hell of a deal.
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
Went for the D40 in the end.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Don't forget to download the free manual I recommended on your Can anyone recommend a good Digital Camera beginners book post.
It'll save you a lot of frustration.
 

Manic78

Novice Member
Well, I think Pirate summed it up.

a100. Yargh.

Just bought one. Love it. The 2 control wheels are great, but.....

Go out and about and get a good feel of them.

I was pretty certain I wanted the Canon 400, but picked it up and within 5 mins it just felt wrong (For me, I hasten to add!!) a bit too small.

I guess you'll be absolutely over the moon with whichever you get, but......

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!!!!!!!

As an absolute newbie if I can impart one piece of advice, that would be it!!!

Good luck!
 

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