Thursday, October 19, 2006

Digital Photography Review Favors Nikon D80 Over Canon Digital Rebel XTi

The hottest Nikon-Canon battle at the moment is between the 10.2 megapixel Nikon D80 introduced August 9 and the 10.1 megapixel Canon Digital Rebel XTi unveiled two weeks later – and one of the most respected Internet technical review sites has come down on the side of Nikon.

In its September review of the D80, Digital Photography Review (DPR) called the $999.95 (body only) Nikon a camera that “just feels right” and “worth the price difference” between it and the $799.95 Canon. On DPR’s 1-10 scale of ratings for build, ergonomics, features, image quality, speed and value, it averaged 8.8.

DPR’s review of the XTi published just last weekend gave the Canon a nearly-as-high average rating of 8.4 and praised Canon for revolutionizing the DSLR market when it broke the $1,000 price point with the original 6 megapixel Digital Rebel back in 2003. DPR said the latest version continues in the footsteps of the original and the 8 megapixel 2005 Digital Rebel XT, but laments that Canon played it safe with the successful formula and didn’t try to push the envelope. “Nikon clearly saw it coming and went one better with the D80,” DPR said. The review said the Rebel is “no longer the first or obvious choice” and urged photographers to consider the competition.

If you haven’t been to, be sure to check it out. While there have been dozens of articles written about the D80 and Rebel XTi, most are limited to writers’ personal opinions or testing that involves extensive hands-on trials but no objective laboratory tests. DPR offers extensive scientific testing and side-by-side comparisons with other cameras, much in the school of lab tests done for years by Popular Photography and Imaging and, back in the day, by Modern Photography.

You can find the DPR assessments at the following two links:

--Nikon D80 Review
--Canon Digital Rebel XTi Review

Speaking of Popular Photography and Imaging, the magazine has done its own lab tests on the D80 and the review couldn’t be more flattering: “The test numbers are stellar,” Pop said. “If you want to see real performance enhancement, grab Nikon’s new 10.2MP DSLR.” Pop gave the D80 high marks for overall image quality, resolution, color accuracy, noise, highlight/shadow detail, contrast and autofocus speed. With its decades of experience, Popular Photography is still the gold standard for lab testing of photo equipment. Click here to read the review. Popular hasn’t done its full test of the XTi yet, but says in a web-only comparison that the Nikon is sturdier and has a better TTL flash system, along with better autofocusing below EV 0. We can’t wait to see the full XTi test results.

If you haven’t seen them yet, here are the Nikon and Canon press releases announcing the D80 and XTi, complete with full technical details.

--Nikon D80 Press Release
--Canon Digital Rebel XTi Press Release

Copyright 2006


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