Canon 40D vs Nikon D300


Recommended Posts

Apollo7157

So I am planning to upgrade to a dSLR from my Canon G7, and I want to get the best camera for my money (obviously) to do wildlife photography. I had narrowed it down to the Canon 40D with the kit lens and the Tamron AF 28-300mm XR Di VC, however - I have been reading the reviews of the Nikon D300 and now I'm reconsidering. Would it be worth spending the extra money (for a serious beginner) for all of the extra features of the D300?

Link to post
Share on other sites
jkinzer
So I am planning to upgrade to a dSLR from my Canon G7, and I want to get the best camera for my money (obviously) to do wildlife photography. I had narrowed it down to the Canon 40D with the kit lens and the Tamron AF 28-300mm XR Di VC, however - I have been reading the reviews of the Nikon D300 and now I'm reconsidering. Would it be worth spending the extra money (for a serious beginner) for all of the extra features of the D300?

I just bought the Cannon Digital Rebel XTi for around $570 which is an outstanding deal. The Rebel compares favorably to the Nikon D80. Just my findings, not an expert by any means...

Link to post
Share on other sites
HawkMan

I would by far prefr the D300 it's awesome, but then I prefer Nikons over Canon anyway, but the D300 is still pure awesome :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga

The D300 is definitely the better camera. Are you willing to spend $1800 on a body and then more on lens? What's your budget?

If you want to go 40D route, skip the those lens. Pick up the body for $1100 and we can make suggestions on lens from there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
crazzy88ss

I know my next camera will be a D300. Probably in 2009, though. I don't know much about the 40D to give a good enough comparison.

Link to post
Share on other sites
goodcase

Having played with my friends father 40D and recently purchased the D300 (get it on thursday) I think I made the right choice. Reading reviews of both cameras the Nikon got the praise over the 40D. The D300 feels like a serious camera in my hands where as the 40D still feels like a toy (that is personal preference though)

But all I have to say is ISO 6500 on the D300:

256876384_nNPtV-XL.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
The D300 is definitely the better camera. Are you willing to spend $1800 on a body and then more on lens? What's your budget?

If you want to go 40D route, skip the those lens. Pick up the body for $1100 and we can make suggestions on lens from there.

what about going with the D300 and the Tamron lens that I mentioned - I could probably get away with spending around 2200

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga
what about going with the D300 and the Tamron lens that I mentioned - I could probably get away with spending around 2200

The 28-300 is a pretty sub-par and slow lens. You'll also be missing the 18-28mm focal length which is necessary on a crop camera.

If you were to get the Nikon and wanted just one lens, go for the 18-200 VR.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
The 28-300 is a pretty sub-par and slow lens. You'll also be missing the 18-28mm focal length which is necessary on a crop camera.

If you were to get the Nikon and wanted just one lens, go for the 18-200 VR.

from amazon.com

"I love this lens -- an all-purpose carry-around lens with VC built in, and very good optics. I am surprised consistently by the IQ of the photos I am taking - not what I expected from a general walk-around lens of this type.

With my previous Nikon kit -- the 18-200 was one of my favorite lenses, but the IQ was always a bit worse than what I got with any of my dedicated lenses...

Now with my Canon kit, I can clearly state that the Tamron 28-300 VC lens consistently gives me far better shots that the Nikon 18-200 ever did in the same lighting situations. The added zoom is a blessing and basically allows you to take your Canon camera, this lens, and nothing else on most photo shoots, especially when traveling.

I highly recommend this lens as an all-purpose walk-around lens, and I think you will find that the IQ is stunning -- beyond what you would imagine with a lens of this type.

My only wish -- that it was 18-300 because you DO miss the wider angle from 18-28 at times...but at this price point and this quality, I can't recommend it more. You will not be sorry with this lens, and you might, like myself, find yourself basically using this for almost all situations. It hasn't come off my Canon 40D in the two months I have had both."

however - do you think I would get better general results out of the box with the nikon combination? I would still classify myself as a beginner, but I am very willing to learn if I will ultimately get noticeably superior results from the nikon with the 18-200?

I want to keep this package as small as possible is because I will be using it while traveling in Africa, and I don't want to be bogged down by multiple lenses while also trying to do some wildlife photography

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga

The 18-200 VR is renown for its sharpness (many reviews online) so I wouldn't make that the decision factor.

What you should be looking at though is the wider focal length which you will want for African landscapes and such. I wouldn't want my "only" lens to be shortest at 28mm as that is very limiting.

The D300 is a 1.5x crop camera. So in comparison to full 35mm:

28mm * 1.5 = 42mm

18mm * 1.5 = 27mm

Large difference. Quick test outside:

28mm

IMG_8074.jpg

18mm

IMG_8077.jpg

Edited by giga
Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
The 18-200 VR is renown for its sharpness (many reviews online) so I wouldn't make that the decision factor.

What you should be looking at though is the wider focal length which you will want for African landscapes and such. I wouldn't want my "only" lens to be shortest at 28mm as that is very limiting.

The D300 is a 1.5x crop camera. So in comparison to full 35mm:

28mm * 1.5 = 42mm

18mm * 1.5 = 27mm

Large difference. Quick test outside:

28mm

IMG_8074.jpg

18mm

IMG_8077.jpg

i'm sort of now leaning towards the d300, one because of the techno geeky factor, and two because it seems to be a considerably better camera than the canon (it is considerably more $$, and has many more features).

in summary

I need a decent and fast telephoto with vibration reduction that could be used for wildlife photography

a walk around lens

i see this as being the canon + a walk around lens + a telephoto, or the nikon with the 18-200 (which seems to be able to do both) - consequently it might actually be cheaper for me to go with a nikon package

I was also hoping one of you might be able to comment on the usability of both cameras from a beginner's perspective, and which one might be a better camera for me to learn on, but one that would also give me the most expandability (and bang for my buck) in the future as I buy more lenses/equipment

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brandon

Look, the D300 is $700 more then the 40D. It offers a few more features - yes. The 40D won't disappoint though, and things like the 8FPS require an expensive battery pack. I personally think you'd want to get the 40D, a 300mm F/4 and a 1.4x Teleconverter.

That would be a great wildlife combo, giving you a sharp prime lens, along with the ability to get even closer with the teleconverter.

I actually made the switch from Nikon to Canon in January. Canon's lenses tend to be cheaper then the Nikon counterparts, and things like the 70-200 2.8, in order to get the Nikon AF-S verion, you are looking at an extra $300 or so in comparison to the Canon version.

Also, Canon includes their RAW software for free, where Nikon, it is another $150 add on.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
Look, the D300 is $700 more then the 40D. It offers a few more features - yes. The 40D won't disappoint though, and things like the 8FPS require an expensive battery pack. I personally think you'd want to get the 40D, a 300mm F/4 and a 1.4x Teleconverter.

That would be a great wildlife combo, giving you a sharp prime lens, along with the ability to get even closer with the teleconverter.

I actually made the switch from Nikon to Canon in January. Canon's lenses tend to be cheaper then the Nikon counterparts, and things like the 70-200 2.8, in order to get the Nikon AF-S verion, you are looking at an extra $300 or so in comparison to the Canon version.

Also, Canon includes their RAW software for free, where Nikon, it is another $150 add on.

but you are forgetting that I don't ONLY want to do wildlife photography - as per my last post - I need some kind of combination that will allow me to be incredibly portable while retaining the most flexibility

is there a lens that would work with the canon that would be comparable to the nikon 18-200 in terms of range/speed/quality/size (and has vibration reduction) and would keep me under 2200 for the whole package?

Link to post
Share on other sites
HawkMan
Look, the D300 is $700 more then the 40D. It offers a few more features - yes. The 40D won't disappoint though, and things like the 8FPS require an expensive battery pack. I personally think you'd want to get the 40D, a 300mm F/4 and a 1.4x Teleconverter.

That would be a great wildlife combo, giving you a sharp prime lens, along with the ability to get even closer with the teleconverter.

I actually made the switch from Nikon to Canon in January. Canon's lenses tend to be cheaper then the Nikon counterparts, and things like the 70-200 2.8, in order to get the Nikon AF-S verion, you are looking at an extra $300 or so in comparison to the Canon version.

Also, Canon includes their RAW software for free, where Nikon, it is another $150 add on.

Of course down the line when he wants or need to use these few extra featurs, he won't have to buy a whole new camera.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brandon
but you are forgetting that I don't ONLY want to do wildlife photography - as per my last post - I need some kind of combination that will allow me to be incredibly portable while retaining the most flexibility

is there a lens that would work with the canon that would be comparable to the nikon 18-200 in terms of range/speed/quality/size (and has vibration reduction) and would keep me under 2200 for the whole package?

Any zoom lens from any manufacturer won't be nearly as sharp as a prime lens.

If you want the zoom route, maybe the 17-85 IS and the 70-200 F/4L and a 1.4x teleconverter. The 70-200 is super sharp wide open and only around $450.

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga

They're both marvelous cameras and will be more than enough for a serious beginner into photography. A better body than the 40D? Yes. Considerably better that you'll notice differences in IQ? Not so much. (see below)

Most modern DSLRs today output pretty much the same quality of pictures that you'd be hard pressed to notice a difference in their images. If someone gave you a random batch of images without any exifs, it'd be impossible to pinpoint which camera is which and so on.

That said, I prefer to spend money on lens rather than the body as it will give the largest difference in image quality and handling. Both Canon and Nikon have a large assortment of lens for you to choose from so expandability shouldn't be a problem for either--you're basically buying into a system.

Two options here:

Nikon D300 - $1800

Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 VR - $650

Canon 40D - $1100

Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 - $400

Canon 70-200 f/4L IS - $1000

My choice from the two, preferably would be the Canon. The 40D isn't as robust as the D300, that's true--but I think it should be more than enough for you who's starting into the field. Bodies come and ago, but its really the lens that stay with you when you upgrade and that's where the 17-50 and 70-200 have the advantage compared to the 18-200. (save for convenience)

Tamron 17-50 2.8:

+Tack sharp wide open

+Constant 2.8 aperture (speed!)

+7 year warranty

+Generally fast and accurate AF (though a bit noisy)

Canon 70-200 f/4L IS

+Professional build. fully weather sealed

+Constant f/4 aperture (speed!)

+4 stop IS if you're working with slow shutter speeds (less than 1/focal length)

+One of the sharpest zoom lens out there

+USM, nearly instant quiet autofocusing

+Lightweight and small

+No lens extending when zooming, no rotating front element,

+low distortion, low CA, low vignetting

To sum it up, you're getting a better body with the D300, but better choice of lens with the 40D.

Is it possibly for you to go to a camera store and test out the lens/bodies? That's really the best way to do it.

edit: For an alternative to the Nikkor 18-200 on the Canon side, check out the Sigma 18-200 OS.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brandon
Of course down the line when he wants or need to use these few extra featurs, he won't have to buy a whole new camera.

What things though does the D300 actually offer over the 40D making it worth $700 more?

Same FPS without $300 battery grip for Nikon

More AF points, but the 40D has gotten rave reviews from its revamped AF

A few more buttons

Slower FPS when shooting 14bit RAW (slows to 2-3FPS, where the Canon stays at 6.5FPS)

D300 - Better LCD

D300 - HDMI - ??? Dont know the point of that

D-Lighting, can do the same in photoshop

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga
What things though does the D300 actually offer over the 40D making it worth $700 more?

Same FPS without $300 battery grip for Nikon

More AF points, but the 40D has gotten rave reviews from its revamped AF

A few more buttons

Slower FPS when shooting 14bit RAW (slows to 2-3FPS, where the Canon stays at 6.5FPS)

D300 - Better LCD

D300 - HDMI - ??? Dont know the point of that

D-Lighting, can do the same in photoshop

It does also have a fully sealed body and better battery life.

And Brandon doesn't lie when he says the 40D is no slouch with autofocusing, from PopPhoto:

For reportage and action photography, autofocus performance is just as important as shooting speed. In that regard, the D300 and EOS 40D are standouts. During our tests tracking cyclists, horse riders and other fast-moving targets, we noted exceptionally swift (and roughly comparable) continuous AF speed with all sensors active. The D300's phenomenal 51-point (15 cross-type) system ? lifted intact from Nikon's $5,000 D3 ? provides virtually seamless coverage over roughly half the viewfinder. Using Dynamic-area AF with 3D-tracking, the sensors magically lit up as they followed our subjects moving across the screen, aided by color info from the camera's 1005-pixel RGB exposure meter. The EOS 40D's nine cross-type sensors are more widely spaced, so we had to exercise more care in keeping the intended point of focus covered. Surprisingly, the simpler Canon system was quicker than the D300's when acquiring initial focus in moderately low light (indoors or at dusk), an advantage augmented by Canon's super-swift USM (ultrasonic-motor) fast-aperture prime lenses. But Nikon's higher-tech system is both smarter and more "configurable".

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga

Actually, now that you said you want to keep it around $2200.

Canon 40D - $1100

Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS - $200

Canon 70-200 f/4L IS - $1000

Do you have shaky hands? :p The non-IS 70-200 f/4 is only half the price.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
Actually, now that you said you want to keep it around $2200.

Canon 40D - $1100

Canon 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS - $200

Canon 70-200 f/4L IS - $1000

Do you have shaky hands? :p The non-IS 70-200 f/4 is only half the price.

After spending several hours agonizing over the d300 and after watching about 20 video reviews on youtube, I think I will probably go with this kit. My only complaint is that the 70-200 is so freakin massive, it might be a problem when I'm in the field. To give you guys a little more detail, I'm going to be spending six weeks in south africa doing field research on a game reserve -

ok so now getting down to the details

canon 40D

Canon 18-55

I need to decide between the Canon 70-200 f4L IS, the same lens without IS,

and perhaps the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 USM without IS -

what would be the best for outdoor wildlife shooting?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Brandon
After spending several hours agonizing over the d300 and after watching about 20 video reviews on youtube, I think I will probably go with this kit. My only complaint is that the 70-200 is so freakin massive, it might be a problem when I'm in the field. To give you guys a little more detail, I'm going to be spending six weeks in south africa doing field research on a game reserve -

ok so now getting down to the details

canon 40D

Canon 18-55

I need to decide between the Canon 70-200 f4L IS, the same lens without IS,

and perhaps the Canon 70-200 f/2.8 USM without IS -

what would be the best for outdoor wildlife shooting?

the F/4 is a lot lighter then the 2.8. Personally, I'd go for the non IS, but if you plan on shooting at night a lot, then you may need the IS in order to help compensate for lower shutter speeds.

I'm upgrading to the 2.8 non-is over summer because games like football and baseball at night require it

Link to post
Share on other sites
giga

Tough decision. The 70-200 f/4s are much lighter than the f/2.8s. That said, IS won't help you with moving subjects--only your moving hands/body--that's where I would want f/2.8.

If you plan on shooting in dim conditions, opt for the IS. In addition to the IS, you're also paying for weather sealing which the 70-200 non-IS doesn't have.

By the way, make sure to get the newer 18-55 IS, not the 18-55 II. (much improved optics, 4 stop IS)

Link to post
Share on other sites
+Mirumir
18mm

IMG_8077.jpg

OMG That's my house!!! ................j/k. :laugh:

p.s. Nice neighbourhood by the way. respect.

p.s.2 yeah. definitely get a wide lens.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157
Tough decision. The 70-200 f/4s are much lighter than the f/2.8s. That said, IS won't help you with moving subjects--only your moving hands/body--that's where I would want f/2.8.

are you referring to the 70-200 f/4 IS?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Apollo7157

just to close this thread off - after playing with the Canon 40D and the Nikon D300in a local store I decided to go for the D300 with the 18-200VR. It should be here on Friday! Yay!

Thanks for all your help

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.