Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   What Camera Should I Buy? (
-   -   [Recovered Thread: 112127] (

CreepyProps Dec 18, 2006 3:01 PM

anyone have this yet?

what are your thoughts on this camera

as I was thinking of picking up the D80, but am having second thoughts now...a fair bit cheaper...

Can't seem to find any review on the D40 yet?:?


steve Dec 18, 2006 3:15 PM

Jeff at DC Resource has a review

CreepyProps Dec 18, 2006 3:18 PM

Thanks Steve

themayor Dec 18, 2006 6:33 PM

:blah: I just bought the D-40......was going to buy the d-80...BUT the savings made sense......I LOVE THIS CAMERA....YOU COULDN'T BUY A BETTER CAMERA FOR UNDER A GRAND..... READ THE REVIEW AT THIS CAMERA BREAKS NEW GROUND....

JinE Dec 18, 2006 6:35 PM

By all accounts the D40 looks to be a great performer. It's sort of in a strange niche though. It's more of a point and shoot with interchangeable lenses. I think you will find the purists out there will probably dislike it for many reasons, lack of dedicated buttonswill be the first I mention. With a pro style camera you want as many functions on hard buttons as you can get so you can quickly adjust them. The D50 was a compromise from the D70 as far as number of hard buttons to change settings, and the D40 takes this one step further and pretty much gets rid of all of them. Looks like WB, ISO, Metering, etc will all have to be changed from the menu. It is nice that you can customize the menu so the settings you change the most will appear on your custom menu, but IMHO nothing beats a hard button and jog dial. My personal opinion is that if the D50 had left the button that the D70 hadto change the metering without having to dig into a menu it would be almost as perfect of a compact lightweight digital SLR as you could get. In this senceD40 has a very Point and Shoot feel to it, if you've never really used the hard buttons and shoot mainly in auto mode or come from a point and shoot background which I beleive is the intended target audienceof this camera you will never miss them. Personally I find when I have to dig into a menu to change a function I'm more inclined to not change that function (which is proven by my lack of use of spot metering on my D50)

The other big cavet IMHO is the lack of drive motor which limits your choice of lenses. Again for those with point and shoot backgrounds selection of lenses with built in motors is more thencapableof handling any shooting situations adequatly. Quite frankly I doubt most "point and shoot" photographers ever really care they will miss out on the absolutly great Nikkor prime lenses.I'msure the target audience of this camerawould rather have the versatility of the nice offering of zoom lenses that can fit on the camera. I don't see the consumer of this camera having a big bag with 2-3-4 lenses carrying it around, I see him as someone who just wants a single decent zoom lens and could care less what a $100 50mm prime is.

I think the D40 is going to be a huge sucsess for Nikon. I think the mass market appeal for a dirt cheap small and lightweight easy to use point and shoot dSLR is greater then that of a pro style large bodied full featured dSLR. I'm afraid those of us who want a hard button to change the metering on their camera and own a 85mm prime lens is a very small minorty, and when you are trying to deliver a quality product as cheap as possible you shoot for the needs of the majority not the minority.

JimC Dec 18, 2006 6:52 PM

It's not just most primes that won't have Autofocus. It's most lenses period, if you include third party lenses from other manufacturers (Tamron, Tokina, Sigma, Vivitar/Cosina, etc.), as well as many used Nikkor lenses without AF-S.

You're eliminating the ability to use just about any third party lens on a D40 if you want Autofocus (with the exception of some of Sigma's lenses with HSM, the vast majority of third party lenses in Nikon mount are going to require a focus motor in the body).

So, make sure you're going to be happy using Nikon's AF-S lenses if you go with a D40.

themayor Dec 18, 2006 7:13 PM

Jim..In all due respect......Isn't photography supposed to be FUN.....What's the deal with "manually focusing" a prime lens......BIG DEAL....SO WHAT.......I own a D-40 and can tell everyone that it's the most "FUN DSLR on the market "at any price.......The Canon reign is OVER.......Read the Excellent review at This camera breaks the mold!!!!!!

JimC Dec 18, 2006 7:39 PM

Whatever "floats your boat". :-) No one choice is just right for everyone. If you're happy with it, great. Not everyone will care about the lack of a focus motor in the body.

But, many people will care about it, and it may be better for some people to spend a bit more and get a camera that can give them Autofocus with more lenses, depending on their intended use for the camera.

A lot of DSLR owners spend more on lenses than they do on a camera body, and Autofocus with more lenses can be an important consideration, especially from a budget perspective.

So, I'm just making sure the Original Poster knows that they're giving up Autofocus with a lot of lenses, especially considering that the market is full of good glass in both Nikkor and third party lenses that don't have focus motors built in. There are pros and cons to a camera choice like this.

kenbalbari Dec 18, 2006 8:24 PM

It sounds intersting for what it is; an entry level model for point and shooters. A good first DSLR. But I'm sure many will prefer the D50 for the same price. You seem to get about the same photo quality, more on camera controls, and the ability to autofocus with alot more lenses in the D50. The D40 gives you a smaller lighter camera with more consumer oriented jpeg processing and nicer menus for newbies, but you're limited to about 16 lenses for autofocus.

But that isn't so unreasonable for the target market. It seems to be low end DSLRs are replacing prosumer digicams in this market segment. There are alot of similar models out there to look at in the under $600 range. The Rebel XT, Olympus E-500, Pentax K100d/K110D, and Nikon D40 and D50 are all available with kit lenses at that price (or less). And for $700-750 you can find the XTi or Sony A100 with kit lenses.

As lens selections go, Olympus E-system users really don't have many more lenses to chose from than D40 buyers. They often end up buying an inexpensive adaptor just to be able to use those Nikon primes manually. Pentax users often end up buying older manual focus legacy primes. There are a limited number of new Sony offerings as well.

One marketing point seems to be the small size. But it's not really any smaller and lighter than the Rebel XT or Olympus E-500, and the new E-400 is considerably smaller and lighter with it's lenses (but only available now in Europe). But this gives consumers who prefer the smaller size (again many of them migrating from smaller point and shoots) a solid Nikon option in this market segment.

One question with the D40 might be how good the kit lens is compared to the others in this group. I'm not sure there's enough info out there now to answer that. Is it better or worse than the D50 kit lens?

JimC Dec 18, 2006 9:13 PM

I'm not sure there is any real difference between the 18-55mm lenses. But, I haven't seen any controlled conditions tests.

It will probably be a good selling camera. But, it won't be the best choice for everyone. Some people may want (or need) Autofocus available with more lenses for the type of shooting they do.

I personally wouldn't want a solution that prevented me from having Autofocus with a lot of the lenses out there from other manufacturers (as well as a lot of good glass in the used market), and there is no way I'd live without the ability to use fast primes (or third party zooms for that matter) without AF using a tiny DSLR viewfinder, even with Focus confirmation using manual focus.

I imagine that Nikon will probably introduce more AF-S lenses as time passes, and I'd expect to see more lenses with built in focus motors from other manufacturers, too. Tamron, Tokina and Sigma already make lenses with motors built in (not necessarily AF-S equivalent designs, with the exception of Sigma's HSM equipped lenses), but focus motors in some other mounts. For example, all Canon EF Mount lenses have a focus motor in the lens.

But, this camera probably caught the third party lens manufacturers "off guard", and it will take a while before they decide if it's worth it to redesign more of their lenses to accomodate this camera. I wouldn't doubt that removal of the motor was part of Nikon's strategy to get more lens sales, either.

You often see the D50 and other kits packaged by vendors with third party lenses.
With the D40, you probably won't see that option since most third party lenses you see in these types of packages won't have built in focus motors, and it's doubtful that a manual focus only solution would a hot selling kit. lol I don't even think the D40 will be available as a body only solution (at least not initially).

So, from Nikon's perspective, a model like this probably has several advantages. Not only can they save on size and weight by cutting out the focus motor, but it reduces cost of manufacturer, and reduces the ability for the consumer to go with third party versus Nikkor lenses in vendor packaged kits (if they want AF). Giving it fewer external controls and an AF sensor design with fewer focus points probably saves them money, too.

Will everyone care about those issues? Nope. It may be a great choice for many users (which is why Nikon is making it). ;-) But, to many people, those issues will be important enough to go with a different entry level model.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:42 PM.