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Old Feb 9, 2007, 4:50 PM   #1
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I've been going around and around with 'which dslr to buy' too. I like the Nikon D40 for it's features and price, but I still see some D50's around too, for $100 more. The 40 is the successor to the 50 in entry level Nikon dslrs and some features of the 50 were eliminated for economy. Can someone sum up for me the differences between them and offer any opinions as to which would be the better camera for general purposes.

Can I get 2 questions for my quarter? Anyway, I've seen the Nikon speedlights which apparently can be used remotely with the dslrs. Any comments on your experiences with them also appreciated.

Greg

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Old Feb 9, 2007, 7:18 PM   #2
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Greg-

If you are interested in wireless remote flashes you will have to head for a Nikon model that has the Commander Mode built into them. Those cameras having the Commander Mode are the D-70, the D-70s, the D-80, the D-200 and above. Also keep in mind that only the Nikon SB-800 flash can be used as the Commander Flash in a multiple flash set-up.

You can see that the D-40 and the D-50 both do NOT have the Commander Mode feature. Let's go a bit further, the D-50 can use most all of the recent Nikkor lenses as well as most third party lenses designed for the Nikon mount,because it has a focusing motor built into the D-50 camera body.

In contrast, the D-40 does not have a focusing motor built into the camera body. It can therefore only use lenses which have theirown focusing motor. That means that the D-40 is currently restricted to Nikkor AF-S and AF-I lenses, and the Sigma lenses with the HSM focusing motor.

I hopeI did not make that to complicated. So the key question to ask yourself is how often would you use the wireless remote flashes. I have both the D-40 and the D-50 and when I need a multiple flash set-up, I just use slave flashes, which is also cheaper.

If you have no third party lenses for the Nikon mount without focusing motors or Nikon brand lenses in the same category, then you are beginning fresh with no complications. An ideal beginning D-40 set-up is the Nikkor 18-55mm AF-S kit lens coupled with the Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S lens.

Oops, one other item to be aware of as well! Nikon USA made the decision that they wouldNOT initially sell the D-40 body by itself.So watch out! You will see internet dealers offering D-40 body only cameras. They are all grey market cameras. You will not be able to get firmware upgrades or warranty repair from Nikon USA.

Steve also post his D-40 review today and you will find it here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_...nikon_d40.html

MT/Sarah

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Old Feb 10, 2007, 9:34 AM   #3
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Sarah,

Thanks for your reply. I value your opinions highly. You seem to be very familiar with these cameras, so I would ask you, between the D40-D50, which would be the 'better' one?

I've also seen (and liked) the D80, which is a bit expensive, but does have some really nice features, such as the wireless trigger for flash. (Hmmm....what can I sell on eBay to get the extra $$. LOL).

Greg
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 10:49 AM   #4
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Greg-

I actually own both the D-40 and the D-50. However, I find myself using the D-40, lately a lot more than the D-50, just due to size and convenience. I honestly believe that Nikon has identified and targeted their market very well for the D-40. The D-40 is a very useable DSLR camera that due to its size and convenience will get far more use by advanced DSLR users, who have become disenchanted with the big SLR outfit.

In the very same stroke, the D-40,offers new comers to the DSLR world a warm, fuzzy, spot to easily get their feet wet in the DSLR worldand to easily improve their photo skills, while getting better photos than have ever taken before. The new SB-400 flash was a stroke of genius. It takes advantage of Nikon's excellent and very integrated flash system, and does it automatically with full bounce capability.

I am seriously considering selling off the D-50 and my extra lenses. I find that I carry the D-40 with me more often and I catch photo opportunities that I would have before just missed. So yes, Greg, at least for me, the D-40 is my choice. It is just a better tool for the job.

In years past, I have done the studio set-ups with the multiple flashes and that is fun to do especially if you have a ongoing Portrait Studio. But, that is not where I am at anymore. My shooting has become more casual and slice of life in its content.

Personally I like the Nikon system a lot. Pick out the model that will work best for you.

MT/Sarah
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 7:35 PM   #5
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Thanks again, Sarah. I pulled the trigger and ordered the D40 w/18-55 and 55-200 lenses. Should cover any ground I'm likely to need.

Greg
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Old Feb 10, 2007, 8:34 PM   #6
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Greg-

Congratulations! You are on your way. Please post some photos when it is convient to you.

MT/Sarah
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