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Nikon D40 Vs. Canon Rebel XT: I've Finally Decided!

After Extensive Research, I've Made My Decision on a New Digital SLRPam Tremble, Yahoo Contributor Network

For several years I've wanted a digital SLR camera. I had always drooled over the Canon Rebel XT (then later the XTi). But the only basis I had for fantasizing about the Canon was because I also own the Canon Rebel EOS 35mm film camera and have loved it for nearly 10 years. So I assumed my loyalties would always lie with Canon.

So why did I purchase the Nikon D40?

Yes, I bought the Nikon D40 last week, but let me back up a bit. It all started when my sister announced she was getting married in three months and wanted me to take her photos for the wedding. At first I just figured I'd use my old reliable Canon 35mm camera.

But the more I thought about the task, the more I knew it was finally time to buy a digital SLR. I've also got a cheapy point-and-shoot digital camera, but at 3.2 megapixels, it wouldn't be of much use when it came to wedding photographs. So I started my research.

I started out asking the advice of some fellow photography buffs and read some online forums and camera review websites to determine which camera were going to be in the running. Price was a factor and I wanted to keep my purchase under $750, but I also wanted to get the best camera for the money I had to spend.

Eventually two cameras emerged as the top picks for my price range and photography needs. The Nikon D40 and the Canon Rebel XT.

Both the D40 and the Rebel XT come in around 6 megapixels. For a point-and-shoot camera, this seemed low, but the more research I did, I came to realize that this resolution was fine for a DSLR. Both cameras had a plethora of lenses to choose from and both cameras performed pretty equally when comparing specs. And both cameras produced outstanding picture quality. The difference between the two cameras were minimal at best.

But I was still caught up on the lenses I already owned with my 35mm Canon Rebel EOS. they could be used with the new digital camera and it was definitely an important consideration because of the cost of new zoom lenses. However, I've found that the technology and quality of today's modern lenses far surpasses that of lenses made a decade ago. Although still usable and perfectly acceptable for continued use, I did not want to base my decision solely on these 10-year old lenses.

So the cameras were back to being equal in my mind. (I'm sure I'm going to get some flaming because many will argue for one camera or the other saying this spec or that feature is better than the other.... But essentially, these cameras offered the exact same features that were important to me.)

All my research up to this point had been online with just text and low-resolution photos of the camera bodies. But I'm a "touch-and-feel" type of person, so I needed to hold both cameras in my hands, test out the buttons, look through the view finder, experience the LCD monitor and have a chance to play.

I discovered that Best Buy has both cameras on display in their store and I took part of my lunch hour one day last week to go play with the Nikon D40 and the Canon Rebel XT in person. I was surprised at how quickly my mind was made up. It took me less than 5 minutes to determine that the Nikon D40 was the camera for me. Why?

The Nikon D40 felt "right" in my hand. The grip was comfortable, the viewfinder seemed just right, the body was light and the LCD monitor was large and easy to read. And the buttons seemed to be user friendly and easy to locate by touch.

The Canon Rebel XT was a bit bulkier in my hand - not necessarily weighing more, but a different build that didn't fit just right. I didn't like the split LCD monitor (small monitor for camera stats above a tiny LCD preview monitor). The buttons were laid out similarly to the D40, but they didn't seem as comfortable to me.

The price was also a factor. With the Nikon D40 being $100 cheaper than the Canon Rebel XT that was also part of the decision. I couldn't find any good reason to pay more money for a camera that I felt was basically the same as the cheaper one.

So it came down to fit. The Nikon D40 felt better to me and felt more comfortable in my hand. And the cheaper price tag didn't hurt either.

Now it's time to play!

Published by Pam Tremble

I am a woman who wears many hats. By day I m a graphic designer. By night I m also a graphic design as part of an amazing design agency called FourEffect. I am also a certified wedding consultant, compulsiv...  View profile





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