Hey Taylor… this one is for you
This is actually a fairly simple question. The two major manufactures on the market are Canon and Nikon. In 2003 Sony took over the Konica/ Minolta camera division. The Alpha 100 was the first DSLR to hit the market for Sony. To read Digital Photography Review™ follow this link Sony A100. Sony along with other known manufactures continue to make a nice showing in the trade magazines.
Nikon has just introduced the third camera in the introductory DSLR lineup the Nikon D60. The other two are the Nikon D40 and the D40x. I would choose the D60 over the other two in the series. The D60 is the latest and will have the most up to date electronics and software.
It was released shortly after the Nikon D300 and the Nikon D3, so you know it will have the latest and greatest for this price point.
Staying true to form, Canon released in late 2003 a low priced consumer DSLR. Like everything, in the camera market, as time marches forward the prices drop and features are more plentiful.
I chose a Nikon for my personal camera, not because I don’t like Canon cameras, because I do, it was for the fact I already had Nikon lenses I could use with my Nikon DSLR. However, If I didn’t already have Nikon equipment I would have most likely bought a Canon. I like Canons lenses more.
Canon has slightly better quality lenses. For years Nikon led the pack in lens technology. However when Nikon switched from glass ground lenses to a poured/molded glass and plastic lenses they slipped off the quality scale. Nikon does use glass optics in the higher end lenses, but to make the lens more price friendly they are using the poured/molded glass instead of ground glass.
In the lower end lenses Nikon uses a hybrid of glass and plastic. This makes it lower priced for the average consumer. Also, the hybrid makes the lens much lighter. This is not to say that Canon and any other manufacture aren’t doing the same with their lenses, they are, and I am just saying that Nikon has slipped off their perch.
Keep in mind with the lower priced DSLR cameras, the digital chip or CMOS sensor are not full size. The DX CMOS chips usually have an image increase factor of 1.4 (Nikon) to 1.5 (Canon). What that means is when you add a 100 mm (non-converted) lens to a Canon camera you will be shooting the equivalent of a 150mm standard lens.
The other lens would be a telephoto zoom. Nikon has a new extreme wide to telephoto zoom lens 18-200mm for less then $1,000.00
If you want to save money on lenses you can buy a lens from a third market manufacture. Sigma, Tamron and Tokina all make lenses for all the major camera manufactures. Sigma Photo has the greatest selection and verity of lenses. Just so you know I buy the lens made by Nikon. Nikon lenses are designed and built for Nikon cameras. However, sometimes I cannot afford a Nikon lens and I purchase third maket lenses. My 70-200 f2.8 is made by Tokina. It cost me $560.00 used. If I would have bought the same lens from Nikon the price would have been over $1,800.00 new.
Where to purchase?
If I buy online I go to B&H Photo first. B&H are
located in New York and they have a real good sales and support staff.
It is a mouth full of information to chew on. If you have any questions please drop me a line and I will answer them the best I can. My knowledge base is primarily Nikon and Sigma. However, it’s not always what you know as much as it is where to go to get the answers.