Popular Photography Review; Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by CMan, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    I was at the store today, and I picked up a copy of Popular Photography with the Nikon D40 on the cover. Naturally, I was intrigued. I later found the article online.

    http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/3475/hands-on-nikon-d40.html

    So, basically the D40 is indeed the D50 replacement; and it has several added features. Essentially it has faster startup, equal burst rate to that of the D50, higher ISO capabilities, more battery life, in camera editing, and it's lighter. But then the cons are the fact that it auto-focuses only with AF-S lenses.

    So, what do you guys gather? I've heard some say that it's better than the D50, others say it's not as good.

    I'm withholding my opinion until I get the opportunity to handle the camera. I will say that the autofocus lens compatibility is a rather glaring issue in my sight.
     
  2. RMThompson

    RMThompson the TPF moderators rock my world!

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    It also seems to have lost the on top screen, but I can only imagine that helps with battery life.

    DPreview.com had these tidbits to say:

    "Image quality was probably the best of any current six megapixel digital SLR and good enough to question any advantage touted by an eight megapixel."

    "In everyday use the D40 is just what it set out to be, a very capable, compact, lightweight and easy to use camera which makes a perfect first step for anyone wanting to get into digital SLR photography. It provides enough control and a large enough range of manual settings to enable you to experiment and learn but also helps you to take great pictures in the process. It's one of those cameras you can just pick up and start shooting without fuss, that you can hand to a friend who's never used an SLR and know they'll be able to do the same. All of this and a pretty decent kit lens for $600, I'd say it's a bit of a bargain"

    I still think i might be better off with the D50!
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Over its history Nikon has been pretty good about dealing with backward compatibility of lenses. However, the rules have changed recently. Nikon no longer makes film cameras. If they decide not make 35mm sized sensored cameras, they will likely stop making lenses for 35mm as well. My D80 needs an AF lens just to boot up so a whole world of older lenses is no longer available for use on that camera. In that sense, it is capable of employing fewer lenses than my D50. Technology is making backward compatibility more and more difficult and expensive all the time.

    My guess is they figure the customer for the D40 won't already have a stable of lenses. If they did, they would probably buy a higher priced model. That may be a bad guess but I think they see the D40 as a platform for a new Nikon shooter so the camera is designed for the latest lens technology and AF-S is part of every new Nikkor from the cheapest zooms to the finest optics. I think we will see more of this and might as well get accustomed to it.

    The old timers will remember when AI (auto indexing) was introduced in the 1970's. In order to use the existing base of lenses, photographers buying auto indexed cameras had to have their existing lenses modified. For several years every Nikkor had AI as well as the little shoe for manually indexed meters. After a while, the shoe disappeared. This kind of thing happens and will continue to happen.
     
  4. CMan

    CMan TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I was at Best Buy today, and I picked up a D40. Let's say that I was not impressed. On a scale of 0-10;

    Ergonomics; 0.
    The camera was horribly small. There's just no place for your hands to go; it was uncomfortable to hold.

    Function; 0.
    It is definitely not an intuitive camera. Every function is hidden in menus; by trying to make this camera simpler, Nikon has instead made it much harder to use. With most camera's, if you want to adjust something, you press a button. Not with this one; instead you have to go through a complex series of menus to access the most basic adjustments.

    The D50 was built well; it was a good camera, good enough for anyone to use. Not the D40; instead, Nikon has taken the worst parts of point and shoot technology and implemented them into this camera. Bad move. Instead of performing and feeling like at least a semi-pro camera, it feels like a point and shoot. And it feels cheap.
     
  5. Tiberius

    Tiberius TPF Noob!

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    The Top LCD uses essentially no power. The drain is literally negligible. The fact that you have to use the rear LCD for even the simplest of checking or changing things means that it will make battery drain far worse.

    I think it's a Shame. Nikon's defining point has been that every lens since the AI generation works fine on all of its bodies. Having the D40 not autofocus with plain AF lenses is an absolute shame. It removes almost all budget performance options - Primes, the 80-200 AF-D, the 80-400VR, etc.
     
  6. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It sounds to me like they are trying to make a bigger differentiation between the D40 and D80 than they did with the D50. To me the D80 is just an overpriced D50 with a little bit more resolution. Perhaps comparing it to the D40 will make it seem like God's gift to photography. The D50 used to be the value sweet spot of the line. Now the D80 will be at $400 more. It makes business sense to me.
     

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