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Old Apr 7, 2008, 8:13 PM   #1
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This is my first post on the forums after reading up alot around this subject...
Basically I'm a 19 year old student looking for my first DSLR camera.
I was originally looking at the Nikon D80 but the price is a little out of my budget @ £500ish.

I then started to look at the Nikon D40x but have been reading it's downsides and looking at the picture quality am debating which to choose.
Throwing into the mix the lack of a auto focus motor in the D40x, does this mean if I got one I would be limited to lens types?

I have then heard Nikon have released the D60, Steve hasn't reviewed it yet and I was wondering what advantages it has over the D40x?

My main subjects for the photography will be people, especially at parties (not the rowdy drunken type), and indoors, aswell as going for some nice outdoor landscapes + floral macro shots.

I'm so sorry for all the questions but I would really like some advice from people with some real knowledge on the subject as I really am an ametuer.

If anyone knows any good UK based camera shops as well, it would be grately appreciated if you could fire some URLs my way!

Please could anyone provide me with some advice!?!?
If I'm doing the wrong thing choosing Nikons... please tell me

Thank you so much in advance!

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Old Apr 7, 2008, 9:13 PM   #2
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Hi Paul,

The issue with the Nikon D40/D60 is, as you have pointed out, the fact that the focus motor is only in the lenses, not in the body. Basically, that means you are restricted to certain lenses if you wish to use auto-focus. If you don't mind usinf manual focus, then I believe you can use all modern Nikon-compatible lenses. FWIW, I can't manually focus worth a darn unless the lens is short.

I wouldn't worry too much about image quality comparisons; all SLRs are capable of taking excellent photos, and have lots of in-camera customization options. Many SLRs across different brands even use the same sensor - for example, there are Pentaxes, Nikons and Sonys that all use the same 2 Sony sensors.

Many people consider buying an SLR as buying into a "system". For example, I have a Pentax K100D and 3 lenses. Should I decide to ditch my K100D and buy the new K20D, I can continue to use my current lenses with no problem. One can make the argument that the "buying into the system" theory is less relevent today because used lenses and bodies can easily be sold on sites like Ebay and Craigslist.

The most lenses are available for Canon and Nikon. However, unless a very specific lens is needed for a very specific purpose, I believe all the major SLR players (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Olympus) are well-represented in lens variety.

Perhaps you may want to at least take a look at the Olympus E510. It is one of the smallest, lightest SLR's available with image stabilization, and you can purchase it with 2 quality kit lenses in the US for around $650. I don't know about UK pricing.

I suppose I'm just kind of blathering on without giving you any real good advice :roll: Basically, all choices are pretty darn good. See if you can handle as many SLR bodies as possible, and determine which one feels best for you. See if there is something on sale - last October I bought my Pentax K100D w/kit lens for $363 USD, including shipping and taxes, and have been extremely pleased with it.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 1:20 PM   #3
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For the most part, I agree with the advice brokenbokeh has given you. The D40X and D60 don't have an internal autofocus motor which limits your selections of lenses to about half of Nikon's offerings, about 1/3 of Sigma's (the more expensive third, I might add), and only a few of Tamron's and Tokina's. The D80 is a good choice but it is more expensive.

There are alternatives, and you seem willing to broaden your criteria.

Canon and Nikon have the broadest selection of lenses and accessories in the industry, and not just OEM products, but from third parties as well. Canon and Nikon also rely on optical image stabilization in some of their lenses and only a few third party lenses. Those stabilized lenses are bigger, heavier and more expensive than the non-stabilized counterparts.

On the other hand, Olympus, Pentax and Sony use sensor shift image stabilization in the camera bodies, so they work with any lenses, be they OEM or third party. Of course, they have smaller selections of lenses than Canon and Nikon, except the Nikon D40X or D60.

In addition, the Nikon D40X and D60 have slower autofocus systems than the others.

What matters most, however,is what types of photography appeal to you, and how the camera feels to you.
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