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Old Apr 9, 2007, 1:03 PM   #21
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I think the argument, as has been more eliquently pointed out by others, is between those who like the D40 and those who don't is simple:

The D40 is for consumers like myself. I want to get photos that are of 35mm quality with the automation of a modern point and shoot camera. I will do more experimintation as time passes, but will never care about prime lenses or more advanced manual control. I do like to use apature and shutter priority modes for specific situations on occasion. Also, I will purchase tha 55-200mm VR lens in the future. That's probably about it. I do want to try my son's 18-135mm zoom. (He lives in another city, a few hours away). As far as DOF goes, I had it with my Pentax Super Program and never used it as It made everything look dark. Exposure bracketing would be nice, but I'm enjoying experimenting with exposure controls.

Those photographers who are into more advanced photography should probably look elseware. The D40/D40x won't satisfy them.

I'm including a photo of pink Orchids that I took yesterday at the San Diego Botanical Garden in Balboa Park. I couldn't be happier with my camera's performance!
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 1:08 PM   #22
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1eyedeer wrote:
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JohnG says that someone who wants a new lens for the D40 will be severely limited - not true!

David Chin made a good post in the dpreview forum giving reverences to the available Nikon/Sigma options available right now:
http://nikond40.dpnotes.com/nikkor-lenses-that-af-on-the-d40/
http://nikond40.dpnotes.com/nikon-d40-and-sigma-lenses/

For Nikon I counted 9 zooms, 1 macro and 4 fixed telephoto up to 400 mm.

For Sigma I counted 17 lens with HSM, including a low light prime, 30 mm f1.4.
Working along the same lines as RJSEENEY I felt that buyers of the d40 weren't going to be buying $2000 lenses.

But, let's take your route. You counted 14 Nikon lenses. I count 47 total Nikon autofocus lenses listed on their site. So, 14/47 = 30% so you're only getting to choose from 30% of Nikon's lens offering.

But, lets go back to the premise that people buying the d40 aren't interested in the upper crust of lenses (i.e. they're not going to be buying $1000 or more lenses).

Let's say you've got someone that had a superzoom. Now they want their 400mm equivelent with the new D40. That means a 300mm lens.

A d50 owner could choose from the $460 Nikon 70-300 af-s or the older 70-300 ($170) or the Sigma 70-300 ($180) or the Tamron 70-300 ($180).

Is the newer nikon the best? yep, but it's also almost $300 more.

How 'bout that versatile 50mm 1.8 ($120 in the nikon camp) - how many nikon users have one of those? quite a few. Of course, if you never plan on buying a prime lens then I guess that's OK. But restricting yourself from ever enjoying the benefits of this inexpensive gem is POTENTIALLY short sited.

Let's say you want an inexpensive midrange zoom with 2.8. Sigma sells a 24-70 2.8 for about $430. But without autofocus it won't work on the d40. To get something similar you have to buy the nikon 17-55 af-s ($1200) or 28-70 2.8 ($1500).

That's the type of thing I'm talking about. And, if the D50 is still available you have the possibility of using the same 30% of the lenses the D40 lets you use PLUS all the rest - including lenses like the ones mentioned above.

Now, Ken mentioned he thought the d40 had some imaging improvements on teh d50. That's an interesting topic. But I guess I'm asking this: to me it seems like the d50 offers you more flexibility for the same price. What benenfit does the d40 buy you to compensate for the reduced focus performance and reduction in lens selection?


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Old Apr 9, 2007, 1:38 PM   #23
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The notion that people buying an entry level DSLR like the D40 won't need a good selection of lenses is just naive. Not on the part of Nikon though, they know what they're doing, just like did when they encrypted their raw files leaving their users no choice but to buy their raw converter.

These consumers are the same people who just a couple years ago didn't need the power of a DSLR, or didn't think it was worth the cost. Now it is. Soon, these people are going to start coming into Circuit City asking questions like, "Hey, my friend has a Canon DSLR and he's able to take great photos of his kids indoors without a flash. Why can't I?" "Oh, you'll need a fast prime for that. What camera body do you have?"
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 2:22 PM   #24
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My choice of the D40 for my use is obviously irrelevant to many people and I've only posted in favour of this camera because it seems a good choice for many new DSLR users.

But to answer some of JohnG's questions:

Available lenses - I bought a lower cost camera partly in order to have more money for good lenses, and I don't intend to buy "consumer grade" lenses. I bought the Sigma 10 - 20 at the same time as the camera and am waiting for delivery of the Nikon 50 mm 1.8D. Its great to be able to manually focus after the terrible compromises with a super zoom, and it doesn't seem difficult with the kit lens for static subjects. But if this does proves unsuccessful, I'll splash out for the Sigma 30 mm 1.4 (you seemed interested in that yourself John from another post)or the Nikon 105 mm f2.8.

Longer reach - I bought the D40 to complement my H5 superzoom + Sony 1.7TC. This allows me 700 mm equivalent with reasonable aperture for a total cost of £380. OK, handheld shots require good light and shutter speeds > 1/200, but I've been very pleased with the results and don't anticipate buying an expensive long reach lens to duplicate its ability to give full frame bird shots with a reasonable bokeh.

As for the D50, I would have bought the D80 if I could have tolerated the larger camera. The D80 and 30D felt good in my hands but just too big. Maybe I would have got used to the size, but I didn't want this issue to stop me taking out the camera.

I have no brand loyalty to Nikon - I probably would have chosen the 400D over the D80 if the D40 wasn't around, although I was slightly concerned regarding some negative comments about the kit lens and the fact that it didn't have spot metering. It just felt awkward in my hands.

I hope that my posters haven't caused JohnG or other posters any offence with my opinions. From your posts and photos JohnG, I would treat your comments as gospel if I was interested in action sports in low light, and yours (and several others advice has been great for me). I just feel that anyone who does not include the D40 in their recommendations or emphatically excludes it on the grounds of no AFgrounds is not providing the best advice to new users.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 2:43 PM   #25
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1eyedeer,

I can understand your logic and don't fault you. And, by all means continue to share your opinion. You've 'been there and done that' so your opinion holds a lot of value. Let's face it - every decision involves compromise. Perhaps my statements were too harshly worded. I just couldn't see what the D40 brings to the table that makes it a better choice than the d50. That is, I guess, what I'm saying. I am not trying to say - forget Nikon and buy Pentax or Canon or Oly. I'm saying I believe the Nikon system offers a better option than the D40. But again, if the d40 DOES bring something else to the table or the d50 is no longer available, then the problem is different.

But the key behind my statements is essentially this: buyint a dslr is NOT like buying a digicam. You are buying into a SYSTEM. So, it's always a good idea to plan for the future when making a purchase. Inyour case, you had a plan for what lenses you required in the future. That's great. But, for someone planning the budget lens route - they have more limits. Or for someone who doesn't know what they may want - they now have limits. So, I'll I'm suggesting is: given this down side, anyone looking at this camera should also consider other Nikon cameras if it's the Nikon system they want or other systems' entry level DSLRs that are more feature rich if it's the price point and not the system that attracted them to the camera.

But - I think you've given an excellent example of why we can't assume the target audience of the D40 will have certain predilections. A couple of us assumed people buying the d40 would be budget lens buyers. Your case has proven that assumption shouldn't be made.

In any event - I think there's enough info in the thread for the OP to see benefits and potential pitfalls of the D40 / D40x. From here on there's a point of diminishing value. But, it's been a good discussion I think.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 3:02 PM   #26
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JohnG - thank you for your comments and I also felt that the discussion was interesting.There is a very good thread on dpreview "why are there soooo many angry people on these forums" and some threads do seem to get very personal. This wasn't one of them.

Looking back at many of the entry level threads, it does seem that the experienced people like yourself are used to large cameras, and are indeed find them more normal, whereas new would be photographers like myself are just not acclimatised to the size. I can see why the "D50 is a better choice than the D40" makes such sense, but its as big as a D80. Once the D40 is not enough, I'll probably think that a D200 is compact!
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 5:13 PM   #27
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***QUOTE***However, there are certainly instances where it can be used to achieve a level of quality not achievable any other way. If you're photographing a scene with a high level of contrast, like a person standing in the foreground of a setting sun, and you want everything to look well exposed, blending a few bracketed shots taken on a tripod and blending them together in Photoshop is far and away the best way of getting that perfect exposure. If someone is serious about landscape photography or even certain kinds of indoor photography, a feature like that can be crucial.***QUOTE***

I am new to the forum, but if you are shooting a shoot like that and willing to go through all of these steps using exposure bracketing, wouldn't it not be better and easier to use RAW format if you are doing the work on the computer anyway.

I am new to DSLR's I have shot using film slrs and digital point and shoots but have decided it is time to upgrade to a dslr. I am also largely debating between the d40x and the xti, I am leaning more towards the d40x bassed soley on the fact that it feels much better in my hands. I was considering the d40 but my dad, I am a high school senior by the way, is looking to make many poster size prints for his buisness so I choose the d40x with more megapixels.

Before I make any final decision I would really apreciate any recomendations.
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Old Apr 10, 2007, 6:50 PM   #28
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Keisi9 wrote:
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I am new to the forum, but if you are shooting a shoot like that and willing to go through all of these steps using exposure bracketing, wouldn't it not be better and easier to use RAW format if you are doing the work on the computer anyway.
That's actually what I'd tend to do since I don't use a tripod much. If I did use one though, blending a proper exposure of a sky with a proper exposure of the foreground would absolutely yield better results then brightening up an underexposed foreground.

I found exposure bracketing much more useful on my Panasonic FZ30. That camera had very low dynamic range, so it was the only way to get that kind of image without severe noise. It's also a good way of capturing scenes in general when you want to be absolutely sure to get a great exposure on at least one shot.
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Old Apr 12, 2007, 7:04 AM   #29
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This has been a tough decision. I read Rockwell's review of the D40, but if you read carefully in his journal, you'll see that he kind of qualified it at the end. He hasnt given his FINAL word on the D40x. I've had my hands on both of them lately, and the D40x has a little more kick in the resolution dept, but I used the D40x with the 18-135 lens, which is a sharper lens.
The cost is almost double between the two kits however, and is it really
worth it? Well, I would say that 18-135mm (28-200) is definitely worth $230 bucks more than 55mm (18-90). That's not even a debate for me. Yes, VR would be great, and I want it, but that's another $500 clams if you can get your hands on the lend. OK, the 55-200mm VR is out there, but get ready to change lenses a lot. I'll just get the 70-300 VR and really get long.
Anyway, I can zoom one more click in on the D40x vs the D40 and I do print large, and mix images, so it seems worthy. There is some vignetting and Chromatic weirdness on the 18-135mm, but thats true of many zooms. My old film cameras didnt require these compromises,
and they lasted 10 years at a go.

The lack of an LCD screen protector and RAW+JPG FINE mode is highly annoying, although RAW conversion is not that big a deal. Frankly I can't tell ANY difference AT ALL between JPGS and TIFFS
converted from the same camera RAWs, so somebody will have to explain that to me. The onboard JPG Fine of the D40x kicks and is prob better than anything so far in this bracket. I do trust the D80 more, but
the size and weight of the D40 are such a dream, and so easy to lug around, almost like a PandS. I've heard things about heavier battery use on the D80 as well. Dont know if thats true. I agree that the D80 is a more capable camera. Kind of massively ticks me off that Nikon makes the smallest, coolest camera and then neuters it for consumers. I'll bet this body size gets an upgrade on the guts as the D60 or whatever.
Its AF is good at a high shutter speed, but prob not the greatest.
Its hard to decide to throw down 1k+ for a camera that may not do it all.
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Old Apr 19, 2007, 10:08 AM   #30
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The Nikon D40/D40X does have exposure bracketing. It is called manual exposure. Not as convenient as automatic bracketing, but it is fine for a static landscape.

Fill-in flash can also be used to reduce the contrast in some scenes.

The D40 also has a larger viewfinder magnification than the d50, this might be important for some.

The lack of AF lenses is a problem for some, but I suspect Nikon will make all digital specific lenses with built in motors from now on, and it is likely that independant lens manufacturers will move to Nikon mount lenses with built in motors.




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