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Author Topic: Canon 40D And Nikon D300 Cameras  (Read 22582 times)
Killer Angel
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« on: December 23, 2007, 05:47:01 AM »
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How do the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 cameras compare to each other?Like for example,in what areas is the Canon 40D better than the Nikon D300 and in what areas also is the Nikon D300 better than the Canon 40D?
Thanks.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 09:43:58 AM »
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That's a big question.  You're best off waiting for Phil to do a D300 review to go along with his 40D review over at dpreview.com.

They look to be about the same camera to me.
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stever
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 11:01:50 AM »
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dcresource has reviewed both - his reviews are not as quantitative as Phil's, but still trustworthy

he thinks the D300 has lower high ISO noise (shown by example) with some other features such as the high resolution LCD

there is a significant price differential for the camera body, but the real decision is which system you're going to make a long term investment in
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DonWeston
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 06:47:12 AM »
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I own both for now anyway...the bottom line after testing them in different arenas, my answer is for indoor sports, I use the 40D, although it starts out with less rez, read MP, it makes better use of them at higher ISOs with one trade off compared to the D300. That being there is more noise[grain appearance on large prints looking close up] in the 40D then the D300. I have set up both cameras as close as possible in the same gym and shooting conditions. The D300 trades less noise for lack of detail. Know this is all on very close observation of 16x24 prints, smaller prints, differences would be less and either camera works fine. Compared to older models from both camps, they both have improved AWB, and focusing,  issues with this kind of shooting for both D200 and 20D and 5D bodies. The 5D while, still looks great, but suffers from poorer focusing ability in gym light, fewer keepers etc, but when it hit it right, the images were great .. so if no large prints, then either camera is fine and does better handling the difficult and high iso needs. For this I shoot with fast primes lenses, not zooms, and no flash.  For general shooting in outdoors or in door flash, the decision goes the other way, D300 all the way. I will say that the D300 has made huge changes since the D200 or D2x for noise improvement, while the 40D is most likely only half better then the 20D before it. The noise of the 40D is less then the 5D for me in these situataions. Since I do not have the 5D anymore I can tell you how it compares in outdoor shooting, my guess is that it would be very close, but the 5D would have more rez obviously. FWIW....Don
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2007, 06:57:50 AM »
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How do the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 cameras compare to each other?Like for example,in what areas is the Canon 40D better than the Nikon D300 and in what areas also is the Nikon D300 better than the Canon 40D?
Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=162662\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The main difference is in the robustness of the body. There just is no equivalent of the D300 on the Canon side. Consider it like an APS version of the 1d3.

My guess is that the real Nikon competitor of the 40D will probably be released at the PMA with a D90 naming and will feature most of the D300's specs in a body a la D80 at a price point likely to be very close to the 40D, I would say probably inferior.

As of today, I would compare the 40D to both the D80 and D300, depending on what is important for you.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 06:58:26 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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DonWeston
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2007, 07:33:45 PM »
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While no one can guarrantee you might not drop the camera, and some robustness as opposed to I guess, flimsiness, cameras today are all pretty solid. Weight doesn't always equate to solidness, but that said a D300 or 40D either of which are both solid but neither compare to a D2-3 or 1D series camera. Does it have to? Unless you are rough with your equipment, sloppy, bang them around a lot or just plain clumsy, any of these models are pretty solid and should hold up. Unless you need something special like shooting in really bad weather often, even weather seals are not always necessary. I have shot, last summer in Paris with my XTI and was in a down pour one night with out a bag or any cover beyond my umbrella, by the time I got back to the hotel, the camera, lens, and me, were all drenched. Just toweled it off[first] and allowed it to dry overnight, and it worked fine for the rest of the trip. May be I was lucky, but just goes to show you what even the consumer grade stuff can withstand. As for solidness, I would be my M8 which is lighter then all the rest, is the most robust, and has no fancy weather seals. JMHO....Don
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GregW
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2007, 09:33:32 AM »
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As Bernard says the D300 and D40 are not direct competitors.  Nikon recently confirmed it has no plans to offer direct competitors to the models available from Canon.  http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....topic=21943&hl=

In addition to Bernard's comments about weather sealing, here are some of the more obvious differences.  They do some at a price.

Higher resolution,  Marginal imo but it does give you a bit more cropping power.
3D autofocus tracking is very effective on the D300.
Larger viewfinder coverage
More flexible auto ISO
8 fps with battery grip
Dedicated mirror lockup button/dial
Live view, contrast detection
LCD quality
UDMA support

Some of these benefits may be important to you and your style of shooting, in which case you can look in to them more deeply.  Just before Christmas I went bird shooting with a friend who brought along a D40 - his 1D Mk III was in for an AF fix.  Anecdotally we both felt that the D300's 3D AF was acquiring faster and tracking better.  Coming from the 1D Mk III 8 fps grip was also appreciated.  That said he isn't planning on changing systems because he's very happy with his Canon lens and body line-up.  

What I'm trying to say is that while the D300 may offer more features/benefits if they are not important or useful to your style of shooting, don't fit in to your existing system or are outside your budget then it's not a better camera body for you.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 09:43:01 AM by GregW » Logged
GregW
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2007, 09:38:44 AM »
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While no one can guarrantee you might not drop the camera, and some robustness as opposed to I guess, flimsiness, cameras today are all pretty solid. Weight doesn't always equate to solidness, but that said a D300 or 40D either of which are both solid but neither compare to a D2-3 or 1D series camera. Does it have to? Unless you are rough with your equipment, sloppy, bang them around a lot or just plain clumsy, any of these models are pretty solid and should hold up.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=163939\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

While I fully agree with the general thrust of your argument I have to say that my D300 compares very favorably to my D3 regarding build quality and sealing.  Time will obviously tell but imo there has been a marked improvement over the D200 which in my experience was already very good in this respect.
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macgyver
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2007, 11:09:14 AM »
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For those of you all crazy about the 14 bit RAW stuff, tthe D300 drops to around 2.5 FPS when shooting 14 bit raw. 40D stays at the same rate always.
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DonWeston
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2007, 03:23:09 PM »
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While I fully agree with the general thrust of your argument I have to say that my D300 compares very favorably to my D3 regarding build quality and sealing.  Time will obviously tell but imo there has been a marked improvement over the D200 which in my experience was already very good in this respect.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164038\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
  I didn't want anyone to think I was insulting their D3s by my comments. I also feel that both the 40D and D300 are better constructed then their predecessors..but then I do not abuse my gear.....things just get better and better, have a happy healthy new year to all.....
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BogongBreeze
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2007, 10:46:20 PM »
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I don't have the D300, but some things I really like about the 40D are:

1. custom settings on the dial (C1, C2, C3) which retain all parameters and can be used at the flick of a dial - great for switching between landscape, action, panning etc. (I believe the D300 has a menu bank for this rather than on the dial, and the D300 menu bank doesn't retain all settings AFAIK)

2. Live view allowing one press for MLU, live exposure simulation, timed mirror lockup, dof, etc etc - a bit more useful than the D300 version - although the 40D only has normal AF with live view and doesn't include contrast detect AF, it does have a faster fps with the live view.  It also allows full operation via laptop with included free Canon software, including interval timed shots.

3. 6.5 fps in 14 bit - comparable to the D300 6 fps in 12 bit or 8fps in 12 bit with the optional grip.  (D300 14 bit doesn't seem to be quite as useful, with a small lag time for 14 bit and max 2.5 fps)

The D300 has more buttons and dials which some users prefer.  The 40D uses dials and jog wheel and more via menu - I quite like the more streamlined approach of the 40D, less need for two hands; but some prefer the D300 layout.

The D300 is apparently built more solidly, or at least is heavier.  I cannot envisage damaging the 40D which is also a solid build, but not in the same league as the heavier 1D series.

The D300 is rated for 150k shutter clicks, the 40D for 100k shutter clicks.

The D300 has 51 AF points, the 40D uses 9.  I find the 40D extremely fast and accurate in all AF modes and all light conditions.  The 40D has 9 cross-type and the centre point has additional diagonal sensitivity in addition to cross-type sensitivity.  I think the D300 has 11 cross type points - but it might be 9, not sure.  Don't know if the D300 has a super sensitive centre point.

IQ is probably much the same between the D300 and 40D, with the 40D just slightly edging out the D300 for raw files.  But they are so close you likely wouldn't see the difference in real world useage.  The D300 native ISO is 200 - 3200.  The 40D native ISO is 100 to 1600.  Both have extra stops (D300 at 100 ISO equivalent, 40D at 3200 ISO equivalent).

Top lenses plus body with the Nikon will cost quite a bit more than top lenses plus body with the Canon.  Some Nikon lenses are better than Canon and vice versa.

Canon has a larger total system.  If you see the need for adding FF, pro bodies etc there are more options with Canon.  The Canon mount seems to take more lenses via adapters than the Nikon mount allows.

The last two points (cost and total system flexibility) were why I chose Canon in the first place.  But I doubt you'd go wrong with either choice these days.  I'd suggest picking the lenses you want and then the body that goes with them, unless you have a particular other need.

DISCLAIMER: All the above is subjective and based on using the 40D and only on what I've read about the D300 - so some things might be erroneous and/or not relevant to your needs.

Quote
How do the Canon 40D and Nikon D300 cameras compare to each other?Like for example,in what areas is the Canon 40D better than the Nikon D300 and in what areas also is the Nikon D300 better than the Canon 40D?
Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=162662\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2007, 12:00:18 PM »
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No disrespect, but this theorising about systems is really slightly crazy: nobody, other than a mad, multi-millionaire collector is ever going to need all the options or offers within any system.

In truth, any good system such as Canon or Nikon will supply more than enough hardware to cope with most things any photographer is going to throw at it - the main problem is that the photographer has to have the maturity to know what he wants out of his photography in the first place, and act accordingly. The rest is a game.

The pro has other priorities - his range of needs is often wider than any single system will solve, but then he usually won´t be asking these questions here.

Rob C
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 12:01:22 PM by Rob C » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2008, 06:00:17 AM »
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You have a point, Rob, but the OP probably wants to know if there's any fundamental advantage of one camera over the other.

My first impression from comments and previews was that the D300 was everything I would have like the 40D to be.

(1) 12mp instead of 10mp. There's not much difference between 10 & 12mp, just as there's not much difference between the 8mp of the 20D & 30D and the 10mp of the D40. But there is a noticeable difference between 8mp and 12mp, at least a more noticeable difference.

(2) The D300 appears to have noticeably less noise at really high ISOs. So my first impressions were that anyone moving from a 20D to a D300 with a couple of good lenses would find a worthwhile improvement in image quality at a fundamental level; noticeably greater resolution and detail and noticeably lower noise at high ISO.

However, now I'm not so sure. It seems that the lower noise of the D300 is at the expense of detail destroying noise reduction.
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DonWeston
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 06:58:24 AM »
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Ray - the latter statement agrees with my actual use of the D300 and 40D cameras. So far I have used both with high ISO NR on, at the highest level on the D300. I will try to use the D300 again this week with the D300 NR set to low or off and compare again. So far at the previous settings, the D300 suffered the most loss of detail at high ISO use [ISO1000-3200] and thus looked as it had far less resolution then the 40D. Just one mans experience, no previews used in this statement. ... Interesting enough, the 40D only has on and off settings for the high ISO NR, don't know if this is like auto NR like the auto ISO setting is or not, but more useable detail is noted.....MHO, Don
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gingerbaker
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 11:55:12 AM »
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Ray - the latter statement agrees with my actual use of the D300 and 40D cameras. So far I have used both with high ISO NR on, at the highest level on the D300. I will try to use the D300 again this week with the D300 NR set to low or off and compare again. So far at the previous settings, the D300 suffered the most loss of detail at high ISO use [ISO1000-3200] and thus looked as it had far less resolution then the 40D. Just one mans experience, no previews used in this statement. ... Interesting enough, the 40D only has on and off settings for the high ISO NR, don't know if this is like auto NR like the auto ISO setting is or not, but more useable detail is noted.....MHO, Don
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I have been interested in this subject.

 I must admit that I am very skeptical that Nikon , in one deft swoop,  surpassed Canon in regard to high IQ noise.  By this, I mean the native ISO noise of the sensor.

From what I have seen posted on the web, the D3, at least, has much lower high ISO noise than the Canon cameras. More specifically, it has very low chrominance noise, and I can see the smudginess inherent to noise processing going on.  At higher ISOs  100% crops look very much to me like what Fuji does with their point and shoots, although the Nikon results look better.

I think what Nikon has done is something like going into LAB color, and then applying a blur to the two color channels to reduce visible chrominance noise, and then also adding a small color boost to prevent the washing out of color after the first operation.

If this is what is going on, one might be able to set up an action in photoshop to accomplish the same thing.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2008, 03:55:17 AM »
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I must admit that I am very skeptical that Nikon , in one deft swoop,  surpassed Canon in regard to high IQ noise.  By this, I mean the native ISO noise of the sensor.
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And why so?

There have been several articles published by third parties, including the universtiy of Chiago, that marvelled at the sensor technology used by the D3.

Nothing is sacred. Nikon managed to release a body with low noise now because they focussed their developement effort in these aspects while they had mostly always focused before on other aspects.

Cheers,
Bernard
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2008, 07:37:29 AM »
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And why so?

There have been several articles published by third parties, including the universtiy of Chiago, that marvelled at the sensor technology used by the D3.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166289\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The D3 had samples out before the 1Dsmk3, so at the time of their availability, the D3 collected more photons than any FF camera with the same exposure, by a good margin, but the 1Dsmk3 seems to have an improvement in microlenses, and captures any where from slightly less to slightly more photons than the D3.  Its pixel read noise is similar (samples vary, and the range overlaps), but with 21.1 vs 12.1 MP, the "image" read noise is lower for the 1Dsmk3.

Now noise reduction is another story.  Nikon files always get more nosie reduction on average in regular converters, especially the manufacturers', so Nikons will usually look less noisy to the untrained eye, AOTBE.
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2008, 07:44:27 AM »
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If this is what is going on, one might be able to set up an action in photoshop to accomplish the same thing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=166158\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

"Surface blur" on a + b does the trick pretty well.  I think "Surface blur" looks for edges and does not blur across them as much as it does in relatively uniform areas.

Back to the beginning of your post; whenever you see luminance noise and very little chroma noise in a Bayer camera, you are looking at chroma NR in software.  All Bayer cameras are equally "luma" and "chroma" noise indifferent, until the converter decides how literally to take pixel color.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2008, 10:38:41 AM »
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...

Top lenses plus body with the Nikon will cost quite a bit more than top lenses plus body with the Canon.  Some Nikon lenses are better than Canon and vice versa.

Canon has a larger total system.  If you see the need for adding FF, pro bodies etc there are more options with Canon.  The Canon mount seems to take more lenses via adapters than the Nikon mount allows.



This is the bottom line that I myself noticed: I put together a Canon 40D and a Nikon D300, plus two equivalent lenses (Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM + Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM versus Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF + Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED), and the Nikon system wound up costing almost $1,200 more to get into.

And yet, by most field-tested accounts, the Nikon D300 doen't even produce quite as nice a final product as the Canon 40D!

Like Don Weston, I don't anticipate banging my equipment around, nor do I intend to stand in the rain taking shots, so the alleged "superior build quality" and weatherproofing of the Nikon just isn't worth the extra twelve-hun$ to me.

Now, if the D300 and its lenses were producing better images also, then OK, but if at best my photos can come out "as nice" as the Canon's ... while "at worst" not quite as nice ... then I think that extra $1,200 would be better spent on a 3rd Canon L-series 70-200 lens for the Canon 40D
« Last Edit: January 28, 2008, 10:42:12 AM by JohnKoerner » Logged
cecelia
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2008, 09:37:24 PM »
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"Now, if the D300 and its lenses were producing better images also, then OK, but if at best my photos can come out "as nice" as the Canon's ... while "at worst" not quite as nice ... then I think that extra $1,200 would be better spent on a 3rd Canon L-series 70-200 lens for the Canon 40D "

Having sold my 40D and now having a 5D and a D300, I don't think the D300 files are inferior in any way to the 40D for someone who shoots RAW.  I don't like the in camera noise settings at high ISO on the D300, but I don't use them...  

The 40D and the 5D create outstanding files and are both excellent cameras.  The D300 does have some special magic in terms of handling.  The AF system is spooky good - and the file quality is moot when the image is blury.  Some of the new Nikon lenses are very compelling too.  

I am enjoying having a foot in both camps.
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