First Setup - Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by -Troy-, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. -Troy-

    -Troy- TPF Noob!

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    Evening all, just looking for some opinions and info on the Nikon D40.

    Right before you say it, i have searched quite a lot of this forum for information on this camera, ive read lots of reviews and watched a few online videos. From what i can gather it is a decent little DSLR for a beginner like me.

    I just wanted to clear up a few things about it really -

    Does the fact that a lot of lenses wont allow auto focus matter too much?

    Although i personally dont think so, does the 6mp really matter?

    Are auto focus lenses for this camera limited?

    Is it possible to outgrow the limitations of this camera very quickly?

    as well as all this, is there anything essential i will need to get started, other than the obvious carry case/memory card/tripod.

    Does anyone know of the best place to purchase said camera in the UK? (if i decide it is the right one to go for.)

    Oh and what other cameras are of a competitive price and quality to this one so that i can do some comparisons.


    sorry for all the questions, but as you can see i am ready to learn. And thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. AlexNeo

    AlexNeo TPF Noob!

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    Does the fact that a lot of lenses wont allow auto focus matter too much?
    Depend what lens you choose...18-55mm + 55-200mm lens for beginner allow you for auto focus...but 50mm 1.8 lens you only can manual focus

    Although i personally dont think so, does the 6mp really matter?
    Not really matter...most of the time you don't need 6MP either for print out for 4R or show it at WWW

    Are auto focus lenses for this camera limited?
    Not Really

    Is it possible to outgrow the limitations of this camera very quickly?
    I think you just need to know the limitation of the camera. You can avoid some problems when you know the limitations. When you can't avoid, is time for you to upgrade the equipment.

    Just my 2 cent:mrgreen:
     
  3. -Troy-

    -Troy- TPF Noob!

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    cheers Alex, all advice is greatly appreciated.


    forgot to ask, is there anything inherently wrong with the D40, or has anyone got any reason not to buy one over its competitors?
     
  4. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    Let me first say that I highly recommend the D40 as your first dSLR. The lens situation doesn't really matter much at all, I don't think. Most lenses will work, just will not auto focus due to the body itself not having a focus motor in it and needing to rely on the lens having one built in. You can still use the non AF-S lenses and manually focus them with no problems if you really ever bought one. AF-S lenses tend to cost a bit more, but you really aren't limited as far as which lenses are available like this. You can view all of Nikon's lenses on their site to see how many are AF-S lenses they have available (not to mention the other brands like Sigma, etc). Also, the thing about lenses is you tend to keep them much longer and can use them even when/if you upgrade the body down the road. The kit 18-55mm lens alone is very versatile and will likely suit your needs for quite some time.

    The 6MP shouldn't limit you at all. If you actually print your shots, you can still easily get a decent size print out of it.

    The D40 is more than capable and there is a lot you can learn and improve on while using it before you'd ever outgrow it or need to upgrade. You won't be disappointed with the D40 if you decide on it.

    As far as competitors, I'm not very familiar with brands like Sony, Olympus and such but the closest thing that I know of would be the Canon XS. However, it would be more fair to compare the XS with a D60 rather than D40, both price-wise and feature-wise.

    Good luck.
     
  5. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    im sure youve seen a lot of comments from both camps...the antis and the pro-d40 crowd...
    as a user and lover of the d40, i can tell you that this has been a great starting point for me. i dont have any instances where the lack of af motor has hindered me. i got the kit with the 18-55 and the 55-200 (both non-VR). i also got a 18-70.

    it's been a fantastic learning tool for me. at some point i will want to upgrade to get better noise handling, and more focus points...but for now, the d40 is my baby.
    i take it everywhere.

    if your budget is the way mine was a year and a half ago...go for it.
    i have zero complaints.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You can't really go wrong with the D40 for your first DSLR.

    You might consider an alternative path. For just a bit more money, you can get a used Nikon with more features and capabilities, like:

    • Auto bracketing
    • 1/8000 shutter speed
    • Built-in vertical grip with vertical shutter release and exposure controls.
    • Auto Focus motor
    • Weather sealing
    • Metal body (instead of mostly plastic)
    I have one for sale right here in the Buy/Sell section.

    I have to say, the D1X I have for sale really does best with good lenses though.
     
  7. Agoraphobic

    Agoraphobic TPF Noob!

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    It was my first DSLR, I loved the thing. only real complaint was having to shell out a little extra for certain lenses due to AF-S

    Nikon D40
     
  8. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Without reading the other responses, here's my answers based on my experience with the D40.

    Does the fact that a lot of lenses wont allow auto focus matter too much?
    Not really. If you are just starting out you won't have incompatible lenses anyway. Once you find you need more lenses they will be expensive regardless so you may as well get AF-S lenses. One exception is the 50mm f/1.8D but you can manually focus that one easily and still meter with it.

    Although i personally dont think so, does the 6mp really matter?
    Depends, but not usually. There may be times you can't zoom enough for example, having the extra megapixels backing you up is nice.

    Are auto focus lenses for this camera limited?
    Not at all, in fact all new lenses from Nikon and other major players are coming out with built in motors.

    Is it possible to outgrow the limitations of this camera very quickly?
    Possible? Sure... Likely, not really. I quickly went from a D40 to a D80 to a D200 to a D90 and all the while missed the D40 - even with my D90 I recently purchased a D60 because I liked the more compact size.

    as well as all this, is there anything essential i will need to get started, other than the obvious carry case/memory card/tripod.
    I'd recommend a book called Nikon D40/D40x Digital Field Guide by David Busch.

    Does anyone know of the best place to purchase said camera in the UK? (if i decide it is the right one to go for.)
    Not a clue, sorry.

    Oh and what other cameras are of a competitive price and quality to this one so that i can do some comparisons.
    Nikon D60 and soon to be available D3000, I don't know much at all about Canon. I'd look closely into the D60 after owning both now that the cost difference is within $100, I think it's worth it. You'll get an 18-55 VR lens vs non-VR (vibration reduction). You also get some other goodies such as an auto shut off monitor when your eye is on the viewfinder, self cleaning sensor, auto rotating display, etc.

    Good luck and enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  9. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    I'm not sure it's a great idea to suggest a D1X to a beginner. It's very likely he could get overwhelmed with the myriad of settings, etc. Hell my head spun when I started with my D60, imagine if I'd forked out the $ for what I have now right off the bat, I might have just given up immediately.

    But for the OP, the D40 is an excellent choice for getting your feet wet. Don't worry about lens choices, as many of Nikon's great offerings are AF-S which will allow them to focus just fine on the D40.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think KmH is angling for you to purchase his used Nikon D1x body! (grin)

    Funny thing is, the image quality the D40 delivers at 6 megapixels is far better than that of a $5,000 Nikon or Canon from 2003. At higher ISO's like 800 or 1600, the D40 delivers image quality that beats the D2x at ISO 800 or at Hi 1.

    The D40 is a nice,light,small camera. I bought one for my wife when it was the hot, new small Nikon. I've shot it with kit glass as well as pro-level lenses (200/2 and 300/2.8 70-200VR, 105 DC, 85 1.4) and it delivers a good, clean image. For the price, it's a fantastic small body. Sure, it's only manual focus with AF and AF-D lenses,and the lack of an optional grip makes it hard to use with big,heavy lenses, but the imager is good.

    The D40 is an EXCELLENT body for fill-flash work in daylight--one of the best Nikons ever made for that type of work. Jessops probably has some D40 bodies. The D40 is a nice,small,easy-to-carry camera. if you want a higher MP count, there is the D40x at 10 MP instead of 6 MP.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  11. SrBiscuit

    SrBiscuit TPF Noob!

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    is this the truth? i dont have any experience with other cams, but i know my d40 iso performance is sub-par.
    lots of noise as far as im concerned.
     
  12. -Troy-

    -Troy- TPF Noob!

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    cheers for all the advice guys, all of which is really useful.

    I am hopefully going to some shops tomorrow to have a feel of some cameras. i am really starting to like the D40, and i have kind of got my heart set on it. just want to know a bit more about it's competition really, such as from Canon or from Olympus. For some reason i have always liked Nikons, but i dont want this uneducated fondness for them to steer my decision. So as always, any help appreciated.
     

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