Camera for a Beginner

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hoonking, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. hoonking

    hoonking TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Hey everyone. After reading and looking at/about cameras, I've decided I wanted to upgrade from a point and shoot. I've heard from a few people that the Nikon D40 is a good, cheap beginner's camera and the lens kit isn't too bad either. Just wondering if I could get a few more opinions. Also, I'm looking to spend less than $400, but the cheaper the better (until it starts to get really bad :p).

    Thanks!
     
  2. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    2
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    At under $400 w/lens the Nikon D40 is tough to beat, I still regret selling mine.
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,204
    Likes Received:
    4,999
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Much under $400 and you need to start looking for used gear. As it is, $400 will only get you an entry level DSLR with just 1 basic kit lens. The D40 is a good choice for a first DSLR on a budget.
     
  4. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,721
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    love mine :thumbup:
     
  5. Baaaark

    Baaaark TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North or South Pole... it depends
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The D40 IMO is the best option for DSLR people on a budget looking for a new camera. You can look at Olympus too, but some people will tell you not to since it isn't a Nikon or Canon.
     
  6. vivala1210

    vivala1210 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SGV, California
    I would suggest the Canon rebel xt or the xti.
     
  7. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    D40 is a great entry level camera. I'm actually planning to buy a D40 and 18-135 for my wife to use as a general use camera since my D90 is a little complex for her.
     
  8. nagigirl

    nagigirl TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    PA
    What would I look for if I was buying a used D40?
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,475
    Likes Received:
    2
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Number of actuation's, overall condition, if it includes a lens make sure there are no scratches or fungus.
     
  10. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rain City
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    1. Check for any dead pixels in the LCD by taking a few photos of different light qualities and just closely inspecting it. They should probably render white or black so take both light and dark shots to see.

    2. Remove lens and make sure there isn't a ton of dust on the mirror or focus screen above it (semi clear plastic piece). As stated above, check the lens for dust and any scratches. If anything looks like a scratch, take a lens cleaning cloth and make sure it's not just a smudge. I would even make sure there isn't too much stuff dust in the viewfinder (not on the exterior glass). If there is, that's probably a good indicator that body needs a good cleaning.

    3. Snap a shot with the scene totally blown out (use flash, 1-2 sec exposure, ISO 400 in normal light). You'll want this completely white, no detail. Then take that image, upload to laptop if you have it, and check for dead pixels on the sensor. They should show as little black dots. If you don't have your laptop, use the LCD and the zoom function the best you can. If it has any spots, pass on it.

    4. Inspect the usual camera operations. Try all the different modes, shoot on continuous mode at highest frame rate just to make sure shutter is still operating as it should (no stalling, strange noise, etc.).

    5. Check the number of actuations (shutter count). This you'll need a laptop for. First download Opanda Exif Viewer onto your computer. Take that same blown out shot you inspected the sensor with and check the EXIF data on it. The shutter count should show on the camera towards the bottom of the info. This is basically like car milage, the higher the number, the more use put on it, thus it should reflect a lower price.

    You should spend a good 15 minutes shooting and inspecting it. Ask the seller a lot of questions and really just do your best to make sure you're getting a camera that has not endured heavy use. Remember you don't get any warranty on this so it's important you find something you won't need to send in for repair soon after. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,925
    Likes Received:
    129
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i always suggest the d70 over the d40... you should be able to find a used outfit online for way under your budget.

    The d70 and d40 have about the same "raw" image quality, the differences are the extra exterior controls on the d70 and the inclusion of a focus motor so you aren't required to use the $$ af-s lenses.

    The positives of the d40 are the lcd screen size (which you pay for with battery life), and the better firmware, which makes your jpegs come out a bit better.
     
  12. no.guru

    no.guru TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    New user here, first post. Although I own an SLR already (Pentax K-1000), this thread and Ken Rockwell sold me on the D40.
     

Share This Page