Compare and Constrast: Nikon D-50, Cannon Rebel XT

Apr 12, 2005
Crofton, Nebraska
Hello everyone...
I've been saving for quite some time now and am getting close so I figured this would be a good time to form my final opinions about what I wanted...
Basically this is going to be my first digital SLR and I have it down too these 2 cameras because of the features they have and the period of time I plan to use it for...
I thought that maybe I could some opinions from the people who share the interests of what I am mainly going to be using this camera for, chase and weather photography and just some regular photography on the side... post your opinions here and thanks alot for contributing...
Either of these two cameras is an excellent choice for your purposes. I had to make the same decision, and I ended up going with the D50. It is less expensive and more ruggedly built than the XT, although the drawback is less resolution and slower/less buffer capacity. If you buy the body with the kit lens (18-55 mm) the Nikon is of much greater quality. My main thing with the XT was its size - felt too small in my hands, though it was perfect for my fiancee's.

The key, however is that if you are going to spend 1000+ on an SLR system, make sure it is something YOU are comfortable with. Play around with the two cameras as much as possible, borrow one from a friend for a day or two if you know someone who already owns one, find out which one you believe is the most intuitive and easiest to customize and set up. You can read reviews all day long, but in the end the decision is up to you.
The more I'm in this the more I feel Canon is the better of the two companies. They seem to be a step ahead the most when it comes to still photography.

If there is one thing to be said on here about this I feel it is this: Tim Samaras was a Nikon guy(from what it sounded like). He sold all his Nikon lenses and the D70 he bought to make the switch to Canon. That says at least something.

Go Canon! It isn't just a camera either, it is a line of lenses you are buying with this decision. Which company do you feel you'll be happy with is probably the question if just getting stuff. I'd decide on the company first and then get the body of your choice because you'll certainly be upgrading the body down the road while your lens collection isn't all that likely to be outdated as quick.

Best of luck.... be as honest as possible, things are probably so close at this point there probably isn't much of a difference. It'd be fun to have both camera systems and see first hand for oneself. I guess it'd be cool if Tim chimed in again on his big choice to do what he did. Something must have stood out somewhere.

If you go with Canon get the 5D....hehe. No crop factor with that so a 17mm lens is 17mm. With the others you are cropped in like 1.6. So a wide angle isn't as wide and so it is harder to get a nice wide angle. Then again I feel 17mm is just wide enough for chasing anyway.

2nd edit:

What might be interesting on here is a poll of who uses what. Could be just Nikon or Canon. I'd be interested in seeing that result. I bet it is close but that Canon edges out Nikon.
My main thing with the XT was its size - felt too small in my hands, though it was perfect for my fiancee's.

This has become my biggest concern with buying the Rebel XT too. I don't question its photographic capabilities but after testing the XT it almost seems to not fit quite right and is too small for my large hands. Maybe it's just the feel of having a new camera in my hands after being attached to another for so long but I am going to get my hands on a 20D to see what the difference between the two is and make a decision from there.

I need to go to the big and tall camera store ;)
I recently decided to go with the XT, and all the complaints about it I think are fair - but that said it takes just as good of pictures as the 20D, minus a few insignificant pixels. I'm amazed at how good even 800 iso looks with this camera. Yes, it seems small in your hands initially, but after using it for a few weeks, I've quickly adapted and I don't even notice it anymore. The viewfinder is dark, and some of the controls are a bit awkward - and that sucks, but it's not a showstopper imo when you consider the $500 difference in price. In 2-3 years you'll be wanting a new body, and a lot more prepared to buy it saving the money now imo. I'm holding out for the full size sensor, like is in the 5D now, to get a sub 1k price tag in a prosumer platform (like the 20D), and expect that to be here in a few more years, and will then be much more comfortable paying a little extra for a more durable body and fancier controls I'll hopefully then use for at least 3-5 years.

Mike wrote:

I guess it'd be cool if Tim chimed in again on his big choice to do what he did. Something must have stood out somewhere.

Well, at the time, I was able to borrow a Canon 10D, and LOVED it! So much so that I bought the Nikon D70(??) to compliment the lenses I had.

Well, after several test runs, I found the Nikon unit picture quality less than what I found with the Canon. Two biggies to me were color balance and autofocus. Yes, I use autofocus when I'm not using it for chasing. I used the Nikon for a family event, and I found the pictures less than perfect. Now, I set the camera to "dumb" mode, and if I took the time to manually set the features, I'm sure the shots would have come out better.

Mike Umsheid has my Nikon now, and he's done some astounding photography! Go visit his page to have a look.

At the time, I really thought (still do) that Canon is ahead of everybody else when it came to DSLR cameras. I think Nikon is catching up with their release of their latest camera, but for me..its too late.

I kept my F3HP for my oldest daughter to use, but other than that...I have NO film cameras any more. Oh, I still have my Mamaya RB67 (two lenses, pentaprism, 120 back)--that's going bye-bye real soon.

My prefrence is Sony for video, and Canon for stills.

It's funny....Canon's video cameras are HORRIBLE (XL-1/2 and GL-2) for chasing, and Sony's DSLR attempts are just as bad (DSC-F717, DSC-F828).

My personal opinions..for what they're worth..