Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D
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Old 11-05-2006   #1
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Default Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

Hi guys,

Recently I've received a bonus at work so now I've got $2000 CAN "to spare", and I'm going to spend it on photographic equipment. Before I make any final decisions I'd welcome your advice.

Shooting with Canon film camera I've been an amateur photographer for a few years. I've always been very impressed with the results that Canon delivers, but as the price of film work has rocketed, I've been shooting less and less in order to keep my costs down. Not one to jump blindly into anything, I've been researching digital photography for the last two years, looking at things from both artistic and scientific standpoints (as well as keeping on top of any new models that come on the market). When I began considering what camera to get, my focus was on the Canon 10D, since then however I've seen two new generations of models come and go. Aside from my film equipment, at the moment I only own a compact digital camera (not DSLRs).

I guess you could consider me an advanced amateur, therefore my needs are quite substantial, but my budget is on the smaller side considering that I don't need to live off of photography.
In particular I love to photograph People, Fashion and Glamour but also Events, Still Life, and some landscapes.

I've been considering three cameras: Canon XTi, Nikon D80 and Pentax K10D. Here follows my considerations, please give me your advice on these possible choices.

Canon EOS XTi
============
Canon it's a great system, they probably have the best lenses, Canon EOS XTi has a terrific image quality and very nice features... The problem is that it feels like a small, awkward toy. I've seen this camera in a store, I held it in my hands, and even if I've small hands, it really felt like a cheap plastic toy... a very expensive toy. It also lacks a top LCD screen, which is a feature that I tend to like. The very small viewfinder is another concern.

Nikon D80
=======
Great lenses, albeit slightly more expensive than Canon. This camera is a beauty. It's packed with nice features and I really love what you get for the price. However I've a small concern about the lack of automatic sensor cleaning mechanisms. I do not like to play around with the mirror or the sensor using swabs... the thought actually frightens me. Other than that, I'd say it's a very nice camera even though the image quality at high iso may be slightly worst than the Canon EOS XTi.

Pentax K10D
========
Pentax was a brand that I had been totally ignoring, but then I read a bit about the Pentax K10D and it seemed to me the ideal camera. In fact, it has an anti-shake mechanism, a cleaning system for the sensor, and most of the nice features of the Nikon D80 and perhaps more. And if this wasn't enough, for a price similar to the Canon model, they give you a camera that feels rock solid thanks to its high-impact plastic with metal substructure and dust/weather resistant seals throughout it. All this is great. I've only two concerns though... Does the Pentax system have excellent lenses? And by excellent I mean close to the Canon L series type of excellence. And also, is it worth investing in Pentax lenses and accessories, or is it likely that we can expect Pentax to be off the market in 10/20 years? Cameras become obsolete in 2 years, but lenses should last longer. Another possible issu is that, while on paper this camera gives to the competition a run for its money, will the actual image quality be as good as that of a Canon or Nikon?

To conclude I just want to make it clear that I plan to sell my Elan 7ne, the two sigma zooms I own and possibly the 420EX flash too (unless I buy a Canon, in which case I'll keep it). In fact these items will be traded in at Henrys, if they will accept them, so that my budget may become slightly more than $2000 CAN ($2400 maybe?).

Thanks for your thoughts and answers, I know I sound confused and many of these questions are silly, but I've been waiting for 2 years and in a way I still feel bad about parting myself with two thousands hard earned dollars.

I'm more than open to other strong suggestions. For price reference I use http://henrys.com, shopping in Canadian dollars.

Thanks again.

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Old 11-05-2006   #2
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

I have one of the Canon XT's (the predecessor to the XTi) and think that it is a fine camera, With the cannon you can use the lens which you already own. Although you will want to consider adding a new wide angle lens due to the 1.6 crop factor.


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Old 11-05-2006   #3
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

Seems to me you think about lenses (Canon has the best? Nikon lenses are great. Does Pentax have good lenses?). Have you considered WHAT lenses you need for your particular shooting style? Wrote down what you think you need now, and what you think you will need as more money rolls in.

Personally, I think Canon has some pretty bad lenses. I also think that someof the L ones are overpriced for what you get, but some will argue that. I think their IS system is a nice rip-off pricewise too. Nikon has great lenses and so does Pentax. Their following will tell you the same. Nobody has the best lenses, unless you define what ones you are talking about.

The XTi has the anti-dust deal, and it is a first for Canon, and if you read around enough, you will see threads about how it needs a lot more work. Nikons can get dust, but I read more about Canons having it. Maybe because there are more of them out there, who knows?
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Old 11-06-2006   #4
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

Sorry to make your decision even more difficult, but you might add the Sony Alpha to the list.

It's in the same price range and has a good feature set. Minolta has a lot of good and decent lenses and Sony is partnering with Zeiss for more. It's a little early to tell but IMHO the decision to buy Minolta shows a desire to become a real player in the DSLR market.

They have managed to bite off a decent share of new DSLR sales right off the bat and as the product matures ....Canon & Nikon had better look out or Sony will steal away a huge portion of the entry level DSLR market and maybe even the mid range.
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Old 11-06-2006   #5
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

hmm no 30D on that list? With canon rebates the price is competitive with the XTi and D80. Pentaprism viewfinder will give you a brighter view than the pentamirror on the XTi. Due to thier size 1.6/1.5x crop bodys have smaller viewfinder's then thier full framed (35mm; 5D, 1D) brothers.

Buy into lenses. You can always upgrade to a different body later.

Give them all a try. Maybe find a place to rent and shoot for a couple days. Ergonomics plays a part as well.
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Old 11-06-2006   #6
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

couple hundred bucks more...Nikons D200 alot more rugged than the D80.....but then again, Im clumsy!
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Old 11-07-2006   #7
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Default Re: Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

Well, think about this. You are already invested in the Canon system, and are comfortable with it, yes? You said that you're going to trade in your Elan and glass - think about this - your Elan will likely not get you more than $150-200 allowance on trade in. $150 is not going to be particularly useful except perhaps for a flash model upgrade.

You said "Canon EOS XTi...Feels like a small, awkward toy." That speaks volumes. Snoop out a good used 20D, or spring for a 30D and skip having to make the investment in glass right away. As has been pointed out above, consider what you intend to be shooting, and make your decisions accordingly.

If, after time, you decide that you really don't like the system, switch to another system - put off that larger initial system investment. Even if it's not a "current" model, you'll get substantially more in allowance for a 20D or 30D with your glass than you will with your Elan. Plus, you'll have the added bonus of already having a backup body if you stay with Canon (even if only for the moment).

FWIW, I'm a Nikon guy.
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Old 11-08-2006   #8
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Default Re: to Mr. Pickles , Canon XTi vs Nikon D80 vs Pentax K10D

Mr. Pickles,

I have to agree on the Canon getting more dust inside than Nikons. I could not have said it better.
Indeed I once met a physics professor at Berkeley, expert in polymer science, as I remember.
He explained me that Canon people are using a special plastic compound, called EDA*, that, while giving the cameras a nice
dark appearance, it has, as a side effect, the nasty property of attracting dust and kicking it over the reflex mirror, where it will stick forever, due to the high impact speed. This does not happen with the Nikons (and, as far as I know, other cameras like Sony, Pentax and Olympus) using more traditional plastic for their bodies.

My two cents...
Wayne

* EDA = Efficient(Enough) Dust Attractor


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