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Old 12-19-2006, 10:47 PM   #1
Riot Type WRX
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Default Nikon D40 for an SLR n00b

I know you guys a thread like this every day but there's not much said about the D40 yet on here and just wanted to ask for some opinions.

Ok, so I've long-since outgrown my Canon Powershot and I've been eyeing the D50 for quite some time. I heard about the D40 through my coworker, he basically said its the D50 but smaller, lighter and a nicer screen.

I'm going to need a decent digital camera as I'll be taking product pictures for my portfolio (graphic designer). As well as the occasional trips outdoors, etc. I just wanted to know if it was a smart idea to pick up a new D40 body ($350) and purchase a used entry level lens (18-55mm?) from ebay.
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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That seems like a good price... just keep in mind that the D40 has no focus drive lug, so that pretty much eliminates every prime lens out there or anything that isn't an AF-S or equivalent lens. You'll have to use only lenses with their own AF motors. (i.e. SWM or HSM) This means that the first lens you buy could likely be double the price of your body.

I have a D50, and in the 6 months that I've owned it, I've already outgrown it. The fancy vari-program modes are completely useless, and you'll likely never use them once you get the hang of things. Also, I'm not fond of the 3 focus areas on the D40. I have 5 and find it sometimes isn't enough. A larger LCD is nice, but not all that important since you aren't using it to frame your picture like a P&S.

How "into" the SLR thing do you plan to get? This will make a big difference on which model you start with. If I had known I'd enjoy photography as much as I do, I would have saved longer and started with a D200. (D80 wasn't out when I bought my D50)
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Old 12-20-2006, 08:44 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, it definitely opened my eyes a lot. That explains why the D40 w/ base lens package is $509 -- I can get a D50 w/ 18-55mm for that price.

I honestly don't dream of being a photographer, I'm a graphic designer and a good camera is something I can use. Especially when I need to take product shots (I print T-shirts). I'm considering purchasing a used D50 now... Does Canon have a comparable camera w/ similar price point?
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:03 PM   #4
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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Where would you get it for only $350?
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:20 PM   #6
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Seems like a bitchin' little camera for the price. The AF-S limitation is a bummer, but unlikely to be an issue for most of the people who'd want to pick one up. In any case, whatever lens you do use on the D40 will work on the other bodies Nikon makes, so... at that price, give it to your kid brother and upgrade to a better body if you outgrow the zooms and want to experiment with the primes.

And no, Canon doesn't have a comparable camera at the D40 price point.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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The D50 was a great camera, the D40 will be good too. If you're just using it as an entrance to DSLR from P&S, you'll like the bigger screen more.
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:32 AM   #8
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How does this package look to you guys link.

Thanks for the link to the review Tom, I've been reading through it slowly and trying to learn what it all means to me.

Just to be sure I can purchase a manual focus lens for considerably cheaper if necessary right?
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riot Type WRX View Post
How does this package look to you guys link.

Thanks for the link to the review Tom, I've been reading through it slowly and trying to learn what it all means to me.

Just to be sure I can purchase a manual focus lens for considerably cheaper if necessary right?
Expect to recieve it when Vivid ships thier stuff.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:04 AM   #10
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That means never, gotcha

I'm going to hold off until after Christmas to make a purchase then, hopefully prices will go down.
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Old 12-21-2006, 01:19 AM   #11
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You'll grow out of the D40 quickly then wish you got a D50 or D70.

I like the D40, but the D50 is a better camera. And I really don't like that it only has 3 AF points, no top LCD, and that it lacks direct entry buttons for QUAL, WB and ISO.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:38 AM   #12
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Crap, alright I'm looking at the D50 and the Canon Digital Rebel XT. My parents both have Canons and I'm going to see if any of the lenses will fit, that will be a huge bonus if I went Canon.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:39 AM   #13
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If your parent's Canons are from the last 15 years or so, they're using EF mount lenses and should fit.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #14
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The D40 can use all the other lenses... Just you will have to manually focus.. It will meter etc. through the other lenses. Both cameras the D50 and the D40 are good cameras.

you get ISO 3200 equiv. (HI 1), the ever useful customizable Auto ISO, a larger viewfinder view, shorter shutter lag and viewfinder blackout, a larger LCD monitor, a considerably nicer user interface, SDHC support, a new image processing engine, unlimited JPEG continuous shooting, in-camera retouching (including D-Lighting) and of course a smaller and lighter body. It would not therefore be fair to describe the D40 as a 'dumbed down' D50, far from it, the range of improvements and new features out-weigh those which have been removed or reduce, which would most likely not be missed by the average D40 owner.

-from DpReview.
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:47 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the help -- I've decided on the Canon Digital Rebel XT. Just because my family has a collection of EF lenses and my cousin offered her zoom lenses to me if I went Canon. Glass is not cheap!

$600 at Amazon, $100 more than I wanted to spend but I have Amazon dollars that aren't doing anything. I hope prices drop a bit after Christmas.
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Old 12-22-2006, 11:07 AM   #16
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Sounds like you're no longer interested, but for anyone else looking for a D40, if you buy a cheap "body only" package off the internet it's definitely a "grey market" import piece and you might have warranty troubles.

Nikon is (for now at least) ONLY selling the D40 in the US as a kit w/ the new 18-55 lens.

I've been eyeing it myself, waiting for the DP review to come out, looks like I can go read it now, but everything else seems to indicate it's a tradeoff of features from the D50. As a bonus, at some places the D50 is being heavily discounted because of the D40's release. You can actually buy a D50 for cheaper than a D40 right now at Ritz, which is arguably a better camera for less $$.

Quote:
I like the D40, but the D50 is a better camera. And I really don't like that it only has 3 AF points, no top LCD, and that it lacks direct entry buttons for QUAL, WB and ISO.
After reading the dpreview, I wouldn't necessarily agree. The pictures that come out of the D40 are clearly better than the ones from the D50 in their test shots. Unless you can't live without one of the features the D50 has that the D40 doesn't (like the in-camera AF), I'd now go for the D40.

Last edited by ForceFed4; 12-22-2006 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForceFed4 View Post
After reading the dpreview, I wouldn't necessarily agree. The pictures that come out of the D40 are clearly better than the ones from the D50 in their test shots. Unless you can't live without one of the features the D50 has that the D40 doesn't (like the in-camera AF), I'd now go for the D40.
Do you still think this ^^ ?

I'm about to hop on the DLSR wagon, looking for some advice. The D40 looks like a great little camera.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:23 AM   #18
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it is a great little camera but at least wait until the D40x is available. more megapixels isn't necessarily better, but in a D40 it is.

for a beginner or strictly consumer photographer, the D40 is great. it's small, light, takes ass-kicking shots, and will kick pants with some nice glass(upgradable)

however if you fancy yourself an artist, you should forget about the D40 and save up for the D80. i love my D50 but i'd rather have another D50 than a D40, but i'd rather have a D80 than two D50s.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:35 AM   #19
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I've been trying to decide between the D40 and the Canon Digital Rebel XT.

If I get the D40, I won't want to get a different lens due to the AF situation. I mainly like to take pictures of landscape/architecture, and cars of course Will the D40 with the 18-55mm lens work okay for this? I don't really plan on moving up in the DSLR world, I just want a pretty good DSLR to have fun with and replace my 2.1 MP Olympus P&S camera. I also want something that can take good pictures out of the box, without any computer editing.

I think I can get the D40 for ~$100 cheaper. I love the larger LCD screen of the D40, but I believe the XT has image stabilization and AF in the body. Do the XT's 7 AF points make a big difference over the D40's 3?


Thanks,
Brian
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:28 AM   #20
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the XT doesn't have image stabilization according to dpreview.com

the AF points do make a large difference but i doubt you'll notice it in 80% of your shooting.

neither kit lens will give you incredible versatility but you should be able to shoot enough to get you by.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:53 AM   #21
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Wait, IS happens in the lens, not the body... right?

My new XTi has an IS lens, but that made the whole kit bump way up in price.
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:06 AM   #22
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I have the original digital rebel and Canon Xt is a very good beginner camera. At this point in time either Canon or Nikon is a good choice since quality is outstanding on both.
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