Nikon D40 v Canon S3 IS

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jackson Bryan, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing dpreview
    of
    the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother with the
    D40.

    I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    towards the Canon S3 IS.

    Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an average
    slightly demanding amateur who believes that some post-processing is often
    to the good anyway.

    It's not the money that matters to me, I just can't see what the D40 can do
    better or even what it has
    in terms of nicer handling or overall luxury/quality/feel

    It's not like i'm comparing a Punto with a BMW because they're both modest
    cameras but the theory is that an slr is
    superior even at this modest level...but where?

    If the Nikon D40 is better, I can't see it in the samples, in fact the Canon
    S3 IS samples on dpreview look way superior.

    Any and all thoughts appreciated.

    JB
    Jackson Bryan, Apr 28, 2007
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Jackson Bryan wrote:
    > I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing dpreview
    > of
    > the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother with the
    > D40.
    >
    > I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    > towards the Canon S3 IS.
    >
    > Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an average
    > slightly demanding amateur who believes that some post-processing is often
    > to the good anyway.
    >
    > It's not the money that matters to me, I just can't see what the D40 can do
    > better or even what it has
    > in terms of nicer handling or overall luxury/quality/feel
    >
    > It's not like i'm comparing a Punto with a BMW because they're both modest
    > cameras but the theory is that an slr is
    > superior even at this modest level...but where?


    Image quality, low light performance, range of lenses and accessories
    (10.5mm fisheye? 12mm wideangle? f/1.4? Extension tubes or bellows?),
    autofocus speed, shooting rate, general responsiveness. Oh, and flash;
    to get much useful you need a flash with a tilt/swivel head and which
    supports iTTL.

    I've never had an S3, but from what see in general, and certainly from
    the two P&S and two DSLRs I've owned, the image quality is night and day
    in favor of the DSLR. The small sensors in the P&S simply can't compete.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 28, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Jackson Bryan

    Charles Guest

    "Jackson Bryan" <> wrote in message
    news:f10av9$7r6$...
    >I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing dpreview
    >of
    > the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother with
    > the D40.
    >
    > I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    > towards the Canon S3 IS.
    >
    > Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an
    > average
    > slightly demanding amateur who believes that some post-processing is often
    > to the good anyway.


    Only you can answer this. DSLRs allow lens options and have larger sensors.

    > It's not the money that matters to me, I just can't see what the D40 can
    > do better or even what it has
    > in terms of nicer handling or overall luxury/quality/feel


    Generally, DSLRs are larger and do feel more robust and are much easier to
    use when the user decides to take control of the shot.

    > It's not like i'm comparing a Punto with a BMW because they're both
    > modest cameras but the theory is that an slr is
    > superior even at this modest level...but where?


    Again, lens flexibility, user control, larger sensor.

    > If the Nikon D40 is better, I can't see it in the samples, in fact the
    > Canon
    > S3 IS samples on dpreview look way superior.


    I'd ignore the samples.
    Charles, Apr 28, 2007
    #3
  4. Jackson Bryan

    Rich Guest

    On Apr 28, 4:31 pm, "Jackson Bryan" <> wrote:
    > I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing dpreview
    > of
    > the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother with the
    > D40.
    >
    > I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    > towards the Canon S3 IS.
    >
    > Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an average
    > slightly demanding amateur who believes that some post-processing is often
    > to the good anyway.
    >
    > It's not the money that matters to me, I just can't see what the D40 can do
    > better or even what it has
    > in terms of nicer handling or overall luxury/quality/feel
    >
    > It's not like i'm comparing a Punto with a BMW because they're both modest
    > cameras but the theory is that an slr is
    > superior even at this modest level...but where?
    >
    > If the Nikon D40 is better, I can't see it in the samples, in fact the Canon
    > S3 IS samples on dpreview look way superior.
    >
    > Any and all thoughts appreciated.
    >
    > JB


    In every aspect of image quality, it will stomp the Canon P&S.
    Try them both at 800 ISO, it'll make you cry.
    Rich, Apr 28, 2007
    #4
  5. Jackson Bryan wrote:
    > I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing
    > dpreview of
    > the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother
    > with the D40.
    >
    > I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    > towards the Canon S3 IS.


    If it meets _YOUR_ needs then by all means go for it.

    > Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an
    > average slightly demanding amateur who believes that some
    > post-processing is often to the good anyway.


    Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S camera?

    jue
    Jürgen Exner, Apr 28, 2007
    #5
  6. Jackson Bryan

    ben brugman Guest

    "Jürgen Exner" <> schreef in bericht
    news:W7QYh.3026$Hd1.2202@trndny07...
    > Jackson Bryan wrote:
    >> I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing
    >> dpreview of
    >> the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother
    >> with the D40.
    >>
    >> I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    >> towards the Canon S3 IS.

    >
    > If it meets _YOUR_ needs then by all means go for it.
    >
    >> Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an
    >> average slightly demanding amateur who believes that some
    >> post-processing is often to the good anyway.

    >
    > Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    > reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S camera?
    >


    I have never tried to mount a 400 mm tele with build-in tripod etc. etc.
    Same as most DSLR owners have never tried this.

    Although a DSLR does offer far greater expandibility than a point and shoot.
    Most DSLR owners stick to the basics. (No 400 mm, no external flash etc.).

    So although a DSLR has more options, if somebody doesn't plan to use them
    than those options do not have value.

    I own a DSLR and have handled an S3. And I must say I was quicker used
    to the DSLR than I would get used to the S3. So I (that's me personaly) have
    choosing for a DSLR. Because of the handling, quality and options.
    (I did allready have lenses and a flash that even works on the DSLR).

    But the S3 also has advantages over a DSLR, it's easier to take with you,
    no lens changes, build in vibration reduction, large zoom. (no 28 mm
    equivalent
    though).

    So, if you can't find a reason to buy a DSLR and like the S3 go with your
    own
    choice. All those people buying a point an shoot or an advanced camera
    like the S3 can't be wrong about their choice.

    ben





    > jue
    >
    ben brugman, Apr 29, 2007
    #6
  7. ben brugman wrote:
    >
    > "Jürgen Exner" <> schreef in bericht
    > news:W7QYh.3026$Hd1.2202@trndny07...
    >> Jackson Bryan wrote:
    >>> I know the Nikon D40 is an slr but having read the almost glowing
    >>> dpreview of
    >>> the Canon S3 IS point & shoot I have to wonder just why I'd bother
    >>> with the D40.
    >>>
    >>> I've wracked my limited brains to decide which is best and still lean
    >>> towards the Canon S3 IS.

    >>
    >> If it meets _YOUR_ needs then by all means go for it.
    >>
    >>> Would someone tell me why the slr would be the better choice for an
    >>> average slightly demanding amateur who believes that some
    >>> post-processing is often to the good anyway.

    >>
    >> Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    >> reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S camera?
    >>

    >
    > I have never tried to mount a 400 mm tele with build-in tripod etc. etc.
    > Same as most DSLR owners have never tried this.
    >
    > Although a DSLR does offer far greater expandibility than a point and
    > shoot.
    > Most DSLR owners stick to the basics. (No 400 mm, no external flash etc.).


    Okay, if you say so. But I've sure known a lot of people with lenses up
    into the 400mm range. I first got one (for film) around 1973, I
    believe. And I don't think I know *anybody* with SLR cameras that
    doesn't have an external flash. I know *two* people with the Canon
    100-400 L zoom (well, one just ordered it, the other actually has it),
    neither one of whom has photography as a primary hobby.

    > So although a DSLR has more options, if somebody doesn't plan to use them
    > than those options do not have value.


    Yes, exactly; people not using those options often don't choose to get
    SLRs.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 29, 2007
    #7
  8. Jackson Bryan

    ASAAR Guest

    On Sat, 28 Apr 2007 23:10:44 -0500, David Dyer-Bennet wrote:

    >> Although a DSLR does offer far greater expandibility than a point and
    >> shoot.
    >> Most DSLR owners stick to the basics. (No 400 mm, no external flash etc.).

    >
    > Okay, if you say so. But I've sure known a lot of people with lenses up
    > into the 400mm range. I first got one (for film) around 1973, I
    > believe. And I don't think I know *anybody* with SLR cameras that
    > doesn't have an external flash. I know *two* people with the Canon
    > 100-400 L zoom (well, one just ordered it, the other actually has it),
    > neither one of whom has photography as a primary hobby.


    I'm somewhere in the middle, here. Using SLRs for too many
    decades to count, my longest lens was 300. On the other hand, it's
    effectively 450mm on my DSLR body. :) I also had several external
    flashes, from a tiny cheapy to a large Honeywell potato masher, and
    eventually to the last one, an SB-26. I'll probably add one for the
    DSLR eventually, but unlike SLRs, most DSLRs include a built-in
    flash, so I wouldn't be surprised if a smaller percentage of DSLR
    owners go the external flash route - but most of them would probably
    be better off if they did.
    ASAAR, Apr 29, 2007
    #8
  9. Rich wrote:
    []
    > In every aspect of image quality, it will stomp the Canon P&S.
    > Try them both at 800 ISO, it'll make you cry.


    ... but try holding a 400 mm eq. image-stabilised lens on that D40 for any
    period of time, or try shots where you need the swivel LCd, or try doing
    movies. Getting good pictures isn't just about image quality.

    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 29, 2007
    #9
  10. Jürgen Exner wrote:
    []
    > Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    > reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S
    > camera?
    > jue


    Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm image
    stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so carrying it
    all day long is no problem....
    David J Taylor, Apr 29, 2007
    #10
  11. Many thanks for all your replies...gave food for thought.

    JB


    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit.nor-this-part.co.uk>
    wrote in message news:G1YYh.8605$...
    > Jürgen Exner wrote:
    > []
    >> Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    >> reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S
    >> camera?
    >> jue

    >
    > Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm image
    > stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so carrying it
    > all day long is no problem....
    >
    Jackson Bryan, Apr 29, 2007
    #11
  12. Jackson Bryan

    Rich Guest

    On Apr 29, 3:44 am, "David J Taylor" <-this-
    bit.nor-this-part.co.uk> wrote:
    > Jürgen Exner wrote:
    >
    > []
    >
    > > Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    > > reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S
    > > camera?
    > > jue

    >
    > Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm image
    > stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so carrying it
    > all day long is no problem....


    If you are satisfied with cameras that produce poor quality images due
    to lack of dynamic range, noise control, etc, then there is no reason
    to switch to a DSLR. Some people don't care that their people shots
    have the heads dead centre of the frame, or that huge expanses of
    ligher areas are burned out of detail. If that is the case here,
    there is no need to switch from a P&S. DSLRs are for people looking
    for the best quality images, otherwise who would put up with the extra
    bulk, lenses, etc?
    Rich, Apr 29, 2007
    #12
  13. Rich wrote:
    > On Apr 29, 3:44 am, "David J Taylor"

    []
    >> Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm
    >> image stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so
    >> carrying it all day long is no problem....

    >
    > If you are satisfied with cameras that produce poor quality images due
    > to lack of dynamic range, noise control, etc, then there is no reason
    > to switch to a DSLR. Some people don't care that their people shots
    > have the heads dead centre of the frame, or that huge expanses of
    > ligher areas are burned out of detail. If that is the case here,
    > there is no need to switch from a P&S. DSLRs are for people looking
    > for the best quality images, otherwise who would put up with the extra
    > bulk, lenses, etc?


    It is not necessary to have the "best quality" all the time - for example,
    if all you print is 7 x 5 inch images, or your main display device is an
    HDTV with 2MP resolution. The quality of the image need only be good
    enough for the intended purpose.

    The composition or exposure of a image depends more on the photographer
    using his equipment appropriately than on buying a particular brand or
    style of camera. Both the S3 IS and the D40 are capable of producing
    excellent results.

    Better to actually get an image than to be without because your equipment
    was too heavy or bulky to carry or too valuable to take with you.

    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 29, 2007
    #13
  14. Jackson Bryan

    Rich Guest

    On Apr 29, 11:33 am, "David J Taylor" <-
    this-bit.nor-this-part.co.uk> wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    > > On Apr 29, 3:44 am, "David J Taylor"

    > []
    > >> Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm
    > >> image stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so
    > >> carrying it all day long is no problem....

    >
    > > If you are satisfied with cameras that produce poor quality images due
    > > to lack of dynamic range, noise control, etc, then there is no reason
    > > to switch to a DSLR. Some people don't care that their people shots
    > > have the heads dead centre of the frame, or that huge expanses of
    > > ligher areas are burned out of detail. If that is the case here,
    > > there is no need to switch from a P&S. DSLRs are for people looking
    > > for the best quality images, otherwise who would put up with the extra
    > > bulk, lenses, etc?

    >
    > It is not necessary to have the "best quality" all the time - for example,
    > if all you print is 7 x 5 inch images, or your main display device is an
    > HDTV with 2MP resolution. The quality of the image need only be good
    > enough for the intended purpose.
    >
    > The composition or exposure of a image depends more on the photographer
    > using his equipment appropriately than on buying a particular brand or
    > style of camera. Both the S3 IS and the D40 are capable of producing
    > excellent results.
    >
    > Better to actually get an image than to be without because your equipment
    > was too heavy or bulky to carry or too valuable to take with you.
    >
    > David


    It has the horrible 1/2.5" sensor. I don't care how good a photog you
    are, that is going to be the biggest limitation to quality.
    Rich, Apr 29, 2007
    #14
  15. Rich wrote:
    []
    > It has the horrible 1/2.5" sensor. I don't care how good a photog you
    > are, that is going to be the biggest limitation to quality.


    You seem to be saying that it is impossible to take good quality pictures
    with the Canon S3 IS - I'm sure that many of the camera's users would not
    agree with you.

    David
    David J Taylor, Apr 29, 2007
    #15
  16. Jackson Bryan

    Allen Guest

    David J Taylor wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    > []
    >> It has the horrible 1/2.5" sensor. I don't care how good a photog you
    >> are, that is going to be the biggest limitation to quality.

    >
    > You seem to be saying that it is impossible to take good quality pictures
    > with the Canon S3 IS - I'm sure that many of the camera's users would not
    > agree with you.
    >
    > David
    >
    >


    I've had an S3 IS about a month (on retirement income I couldn't afford
    a DSLR right now but I hope there's one in my future) and I've been very
    happy with it except for one thing. One of the reasons I bought it were
    to take sports pictures of my grandson--soccer and basketball. It does a
    great job on soccer (no basketball until the fall). The other reason was
    to take pictures of wildflowers, insects, etc. Now comes the unhappy
    part: both the viewfinder and the LCD are too dim outdoors on a sunny
    day. The viewfinder is so dim that it is rather hard to follow action,
    and the LCD is just about useless for flower pictures. I might also
    mention that the zoom control is very, very fast until you learn how to
    control it; cropping in software is my friend because of that.
    Otherwise, I like everything about it. I think I should say that I have
    been using film SLRs for about 45 years and I do enjoy being able to go
    out and take 100-200 exposures in an afternoon without bankrupting
    myself on film and processing cost.
    Allen
    Allen, Apr 29, 2007
    #16
  17. "Rich" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    On Apr 29, 3:44 am, "David J Taylor" <-this-
    bit.nor-this-part.co.uk> wrote:
    > Jürgen Exner wrote:
    >
    > []
    >
    > > Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    > > reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S
    > > camera?
    > > jue

    >
    > Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm image
    > stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so carrying it
    > all day long is no problem....


    If you are satisfied with cameras that produce poor quality images due
    to lack of dynamic range, noise control, etc, then there is no reason
    to switch to a DSLR. Some people don't care that their people shots
    have the heads dead centre of the frame, or that huge expanses of
    ligher areas are burned out of detail. If that is the case here,
    there is no need to switch from a P&S. DSLRs are for people looking
    for the best quality images, otherwise who would put up with the extra
    bulk, lenses, etc?

    This is exactly what interests me....can you say without doubt that all slrs
    such as the d40
    will not have burned out detail, noise etc too.These problems are hardly
    just found in point & shoots.
    I don't know because I'm on a learning curve but dpreviews seem to have
    plenty of "cons" to
    go with all the "pros" where all dlsrs are concerned too.

    JB
    Jackson Bryan, Apr 30, 2007
    #17
  18. Just thought I would pass on my experience after 3 happy years
    shooting a Pana FZ5, I had no problem with image quality up to A4. And
    the size/convenince factor is right up there. That is why I still own
    and use it.
    But I have recently acquired a dslr, and the handling and usability is
    light years ahead (and yes, the detail in the images is waaay ahead).
    Biggest single thing I like is being able to zoom with the lens barrel
    - particularly good for sports where those subjects just wont stay
    still. Closely followed by speed of autofocus. Now I get pretty
    reasonable results off the FZ5, but using the dslr is in another
    dimension, it is just a thousand times easier to get the photo I want.

    Cheers
    Steve
    bartshumandad, Apr 30, 2007
    #18
  19. Jackson Bryan

    Over G Guest

    On Apr 30, 2:27 am, "Jackson Bryan" <> wrote:
    > "Rich" <> wrote in message
    >
    > news:...
    > On Apr 29, 3:44 am, "David J Taylor" <-this-
    >
    > bit.nor-this-part.co.uk> wrote:
    > > Jürgen Exner wrote:

    >
    > > []

    >
    > > > Ever tried to mount a 400mm tele with build-in tripod (aka vibration
    > > > reduction) or a 10.5mm fisheye or a f/1.2 ultrafast lens to a P&S
    > > > camera?
    > > > jue

    >
    > > Both my wife and I have cameras which already include a 36 - 432 mm image
    > > stabilised telephoto lens, and mine only weighs about 300g so carrying it
    > > all day long is no problem....

    >
    > If you are satisfied with cameras that produce poor quality images due
    > to lack of dynamic range, noise control, etc, then there is no reason
    > to switch to a DSLR. Some people don't care that their people shots
    > have the heads dead centre of the frame, or that huge expanses of
    > ligher areas are burned out of detail. If that is the case here,
    > there is no need to switch from a P&S. DSLRs are for people looking
    > for the best quality images, otherwise who would put up with the extra
    > bulk, lenses, etc?
    >
    > This is exactly what interests me....can you say without doubt that all slrs
    > such as the d40
    > will not have burned out detail, noise etc too.These problems are hardly
    > just found in point & shoots.
    > I don't know because I'm on a learning curve but dpreviews seem to have
    > plenty of "cons" to
    > go with all the "pros" where all dlsrs are concerned too.
    >
    > JB


    I would suggest to check the Fuji,
    while the Sl provide nice hype,
    the Fuji provide a 28 mm lens,
    a zoom ring (like SLR )
    and a CCD sensor that give the DSLR a real pain !

    Until iso 400 there is no much diffrent!

    check the Fuji S6000
    and the Fuji s91000
    amazing camers,
    the only real prob is the Stabilizer there..
    (doesn't really exist , they have some trick there,, bu tnot real
    stabilizer.. )

    I would wait For the next Fuji model.
    and won't touch the canon,
    it doesn't oofer 28MM lens, which means that altough it has nice zoom,
    it can not produce amazing landscapes l;ike the DSLR .
    also the ISO noise in canon is not as good as Fuji AMAZING sensor.

    check it out.
    Over G, Apr 30, 2007
    #19
  20. Jackson Bryan

    Rich Guest

    On Apr 29, 3:42 am, "David J Taylor" <-this-
    bit.nor-this-part.co.uk> wrote:
    > Rich wrote:
    >
    > []
    >
    > > In every aspect of image quality, it will stomp the Canon P&S.
    > > Try them both at 800 ISO, it'll make you cry.

    >
    > .. but try holding a 400 mm eq. image-stabilised lens on that D40 for any
    > period of time, or try shots where you need the swivel LCd, or try doing
    > movies. Getting good pictures isn't just about image quality.
    >
    > David


    All true, and completely irrelevant if your goal is high quality
    images in any of those areas.
    Rich, May 1, 2007
    #20
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