d80 or d40


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Jan 4, 2009
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need help choosing. cant decide which camera to get narrowed it down to d80 with 18-135mm kit or d40 18-55mm kit d80 is $1199 and the d40 $$537.

will be shooting mainly landscapes buildings, family, and some night photography.

was going to get the d40 but the nightphotography is a consern due to stuff i read. dont mind having to manual focus.
Anyone charing you 1200 for that D80 package is ripping you off.
The D80 body is worth ~$700. Add another $100 for an 18-55 and you get $800 - that's what the D80 is worth. Now after knowing that, the rest is you get what you pay for. The D80 > D40 but the D80 is more expensive. Similarly D90 > D80 but D90 is even more expensive ($1000).

The D40 is just fine for starting out; it'll do all you need. The D80 does more but you don't seem to need its capabilities. Maybe after a couple years you can upgrade to a D400 (once its out).

For night photography, you need a good tripod the most. Also, film cameras are better than digital for night photography, but any camera (including the D40) will do just fine for most normal night photography (exposures of >10 seconds). It might get a bit noisy on longer exposures though.
ah, my bad. Being Canadian, I was giving prices in Canadian Dollars. Even then, after converting currencies, the D80 kit seems about $200 more than what it should be.
D80's are selling through ritz for 549.99, and a kit lens with vr is 149.99$. They did get a batch into the main warehouse in beltsville not long ago, so Nikon is shipping a few at any rate.
You can get some decent deals if you're willing to go used. I picked up a slightly used D80 (body only) on ebay last night for 430 USD with shipping. They're going for a little more on keh.com (at least now; they were closer to 400 less than a week ago). When I bought my D40 w/ kit lens I paid under 400 and now it looks like you can get them for under 350 USD w/ the kit lens. I personally would get either D40 or D80 body only (unless you can find a good deal on D80 w/ the 18-55 VR) and try to get a lens with constant f/2.8 aperture (like the Tamron 17-50) or at least VR (18-55 VR). The Tamron runs around 300-400 USD and the 18-55 VR can be had for under 200 bucks. If you're only planning on shooting landscapes and family stuff, the standard zoom may be enough.
got the d80. everywhere is sold out no d40 anywhere no d80s aswell got the last one . batt is charging now will post when batt is charged. thanks all for your help
Hmmmm... choices, choices...

If you're not doing anything professionally that might require a battery grip for extended run times, why not go for the D40? It'll do everthing you need it to for half the price. It's more compact, (I would assume) a little easier to use and can use all the same great lenses. Get the cheaper camera and spend money on the lenses. A friend of a friend of mine (as the story was related to me...) does model photography and just goofing around put one of her $2000 lenses on a "lesser" 6mp camera and when the shots were developed, was unable to tell the difference between them and the "pro" camera she normally uses at sizes up to about 11x14.
P.S. I have the D80 and am happy with it, but now I'm in the situation where I would like to get a better lens that the kit that came with and I'm kinda outta cash. Had I gone with a $500 less expensive camera to begin with, I'd be able to get the lens I am now coveting...
D80 no question.

D40 doesn't have a focus motor or top LCD display. Lack of focus motor means you won't be able to use older (cheaper) lenses. It will only focus with more expensive modern internal focus lenses. Top display is useful for showing you setting info on the fly. If these aren't important issues for you, then well... the d40's cheaper..

edit.. just realized you posted saying you got the d80 already. Congrats.
One thing I have not seen mentioned is what lenses you plan on getting in the future. The reason this matters, I just happen to be looking at Nikon's camera lineup for myself, is some lenses will not autofocus with the D40 that will with the D80. One lens in particular I was looking at was the Nikkor 24-85mm f/2.8-4.0D IF which has a note that it will not AF with the D40 and D60 because they have no lens drive mechanism.

Well he said he didn't mind manual focus, but you may in the future. It is nice on a moving object.

I would say the D80 if you take photography at all serious. Otherwise the D40.
I'd opt for a used d200 over the d80, you can get excellent "like new" d200's on "the auction site" for $500-600.

With the d200 you'll have all the options of the d80 + a pro quality all-metal build, faster shooting, and the ability to meter legacy non-cpu glass.

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