XTi VS D80

Started Sep 6, 2006 | Discussions thread
Royson58 Regular Member • Posts: 351
From a salesman, here goes...

First, realize that I'm a camera salesman; therefore, I'll approach this from what my customers seem to think are important features. I'll also limit this to the D80 & XTi, although I have not scene any of the latter (we'll get them later this week). BTW, we also sell the Alpha 100, and, truly, the build quality seems to me as good as the others. None are in the category of the D200 & 30D.

For a customer walking into our store expressing an interest in these two cameras, they'll typically start out with some basic knowledge. Often, the only two things that they'll understand is that they are both "10 megapixel" and that the Canon is less expensive. Therefore, the Nikon will start in a bit of a hole.

From a physical point of view, it will be easy to see the size difference. Many will instantly prefer small if the grip, ect. if good for them. I would say, on average, more people prefer the larger grip of the D80 size cameras, but prefer the weight of the XT series.

After handling both cameras, in which case I always tell them "to look through the viewfinder and see which you like best." Very rarely does anyone tell me they prefer on over another. And when it does, it's usually more about the readout and focusing points rather than about the size or brightness.

On thing I expect for the customers to see at this point is the rather obvious XTi's use of the back LCD for info, and lack of LCD on top of the camera. The top LCD will have an advantage that it will use less power. But my experience with the Maxxum series leads me to think the XTi will be a big winner here. More customers than not LOVE this feature. It's big and easy to read. It rotates when you rotate the camera. You can see the buttons and LCD screen at the same time.

When we start talking about features, or feature differences between the two, the LCD will have already jumped out for the XTi. Additionally, the idea of removing dust will be an easily understood concept for most.

The D80 will also have features that the XTi does not have, but I don't think any will have the general appeal of those two listed by the Canon. I do think, with a little bit of reasoning, they will like the SD card system better (interchangeable with P&S and the "bent pin" issue).

Now there are some differences that my appeal to the more advanced photographer. The D80 viewfinder is bigger, and the on-demand grid lines can be useful. The wireless flash system is "built-in" (but it's the most difficult to set up). The ability to change the focusing points, while not as easy as the D200, are more numerous than the XTi.

Once again, some people may find unique features of the XTi like remote capture included in price as an important feature, but the vast majority will not. And, yes, there are people who use that direct print button.

Lens wise, the both will have two body w/ lens configurations. It will be interesting to see how many people would prefer the D80 w/ 18-135 v. the XTi w/ 17-85 IS for the same price.

So what do I recommend? The same thing I recommend to my customers: buy what you like best. It's a Ford/Chevy argument. From a realistic point, I know the Canon will be the better seller. It's going to start out $200 cheaper, people will like the LCD info display, and they'll worry about dust (power of suggestion). Both are terrific cameras.

Also understand that even if your salesman isn't on commission (I'm not), that doesn't mean they don't have a bias. But you don't need to buy what they like. Also, keep in mind that if the salesman gets a hint you prefer a particular camera, then they'll push that one. From a positive point, they're trying to reinforce your purchase. But that may lead them to dismiss the positive points about another product.

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