Nikon D40, poop or scoop?


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Mapster
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Interested in upping my photography game, is 220 a good price for a D40 and is it worth it?

Here.

#1 at 10:21:26 - 07/10/2008
peej
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Great camera but personally I'd go the extra mile for the D60.
#2 at 10:23:34 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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I could get Pc world to beat amazons price and get the D40 for around 200.

The D60 is a wee bit out of my price league at the moment :(
#3 at 10:27:15 - 07/10/2008
peej
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Mapster said:I could get Pc world to beat amazons price and get the D40 for around 200.

The D60 is a wee bit out of my price league at the moment :(


If you're merely upping your game from a compact then the D40 will certainly allow you a lot more control and creativity over your exposure (and of course a reasonably good hike in quality) over most compacts. If you're after something to cut your teeth on it'd probably be worth it for 200 sovs most definitely.

Really the best advice would be to go hands on with one. I compared the D40, the EOS300D and the D60 in my local Jessops and the D60 was the one that wowed me the most but as you say, it's a bit of a price hike.
#4 at 10:29:45 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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I'm upping my game from a 50 samsung 8mp compact from Argos :)
#5 at 10:31:19 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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Also, when it says D40 'lens kit' what does that mean?
#6 at 10:35:21 - 07/10/2008
peej
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Bog standard lens really, a filter too if you're lucky. Difficult to say as the Amazon description there is a bit vague.

IIRC there's a problem with D40s and certain lenses. Not sure if you can use all Nik lens types on 'em.
#7 at 10:37:37 - 07/10/2008
HairyArse
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I just got a D50 for 220 2nd hand off eBay and it's awesome.

I don't know how to use 90% of it but it's a man's camera!
#8 at 10:43:04 - 07/10/2008
Rhythm
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Buy a 2nd hand D50 or D70. The D40 is nice but these newer cameras from Nikon (D40, D60 etc) prohibit the use of a lot of older lenses whilst not actually processing the image any better.

D50s and D70s run about 150 upwards. Keep an eye on this site. His stock changes constantly but he's always very reasonable indeed
#9 at 10:44:01 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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Nice one hairy, is 220 the going price for a second hand D50?
#10 at 10:54:46 - 07/10/2008
HairyArse
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I think the standard price including lens is probably a little higher. I got mine at that price because it was 2 years old which normally would have put me off.

However, this was owned by a professional photographer and so had very much been looked after and was still boxed with all manuals.

I think including lens they're about 299+ new but keep your eye out on eBay for a 2nd hand bargain as they seem to crop up quite often.
#11 at 10:56:42 - 07/10/2008
Rhythm
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Rhythm said:Buy a 2nd hand D50 or D70. The D40 is nice but these newer cameras from Nikon (D40, D60 etc) prohibit the use of a lot of older lenses whilst not actually processing the image any better.

D50s and D70s run about 150 upwards. Keep an eye on this site. His stock changes constantly but he's always very reasonable indeed


Ahem!
#12 at 11:05:07 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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How much does he sell the D50 for when it's in stock Rythym?
#13 at 11:11:45 - 07/10/2008
Rhythm
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150ish
#14 at 11:18:33 - 07/10/2008
kalel
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peej said:Bog standard lens really, a filter too if you're lucky. Difficult to say as the Amazon description there is a bit vague.

IIRC there's a problem with D40s and certain lenses. Not sure if you can use all Nik lens types on 'em.


You get the same problem with the D60. They're basically the same camera.
#15 at 11:37:12 - 07/10/2008
HairyArse
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Rhythm said:150ish


I'm assuming that's without a lens?
#16 at 11:47:58 - 07/10/2008
Rhythm
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HairyArse said:
Rhythm said:150ish


I'm assuming that's without a lens?


Yes, but the camera's guaranteed and he often throws in memory cards or other accessories.
#17 at 11:49:25 - 07/10/2008
HairyArse
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Hmm. In my experience you get a better deal if you buy the lens bundled with the camera. The standard 18-55mm lens costs about 150 on its own.
#18 at 11:51:22 - 07/10/2008
Mapster
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What about the sony A200?

/throws cat among pigeons
#19 at 11:51:31 - 07/10/2008
Trip SkyWay
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I bought a second hand D70 a couple of years ago, so glad I did. The screen on the back's a bit small though.
#20 at 11:55:28 - 07/10/2008
Rhythm
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HairyArse said:Hmm. In my experience you get a better deal if you buy the lens bundled with the camera. The standard 18-55mm lens costs about 150 on its own.


Nah, it's a hated lens and thus goes really cheap:

80 brand new, cheaper 2nd-hand
#21 at 12:07:44 - 07/10/2008
mal
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Yeah, I got my D70 second hand a couple of years ago as well, and it's a really nice bit of kit. As Trip says though, given the hardware's five years old now, the screen's quite low res, rather small, and pretty hard to see in strong daylight. But apart from that it's really well made - it still looks brand new, and it's really responsive to use.

Newer cameras will give you more - more megapixels, sensor cleaning, live view - but really the D70's got enough pixels that I can't view the images full-size on my laptop, I've never managed to get any dust on the sensor, and live view is a marketing gimmick as far as I can tell.

All that said, I am hankering after an upgrade because of the screen (and I'd like a better viewfinder). But I am thinking of moving up a rung, rather than buying a D90 or anything, so that's rather a big jump from a compact.
#22 at 16:02:13 - 08/10/2008
Mapster
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I've bought a Sony A200 for 227 quid off amazon.

Big mistake?

God I hope not!
#23 at 20:45:19 - 27/10/2008
HairyArse
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Does anyone have a link to a noob's guide to DSLR photography? Since getting my D50, I've mostly shot in AUTO mode as I have no idea what effect 90% of the settings will have if I start tinkering in manual.

Also, can someone explain the histogram?
#24 at 23:58:27 - 27/10/2008
mal
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There's probably loads of existing guides about the basic stuff, but anyway...

Manual mode lets you set shutter speed and aperture explicitly, and most of the time fuck up your picture unless you keep an eye on the exposure meter (in the viewfinder, usually).

Better off for learners (and most professionals) is A mode and S mode. A mode lets you set aperture but lets the camera set the shutter appropriately (if possible) to make an okay exposure. S mode lets you set the shutter speed, but lets the camera control the aperture.

The shutter speed is easiest to understand. Fast shutters freeze the moment, but slow ones show motion better. They're usually shown as fractions of a second unless there's a second symbol next to them e.g. from longest to shortest - 2" 1.6" 1.3" 1" 1.3 (1"/1.3 = 0.77") 1.6 (0.63") 2 (0.5") 2.5 (0.4") 3 (0.33") 4 (0.25") ... 6400 (0.00016") 8000 (0.00013")

Aperture's always confusing because the numbers go backwards - it's about the size of the hole light passes through, and smaller numbers mean a bigger hole. That's why you sometimes see an aperture of, say, 2 as /2 or f/2 - it's a fraction (strictly speaking the latter is more scientifically correct, since the actual diameter of the hole depends on the focal length i.e how zoomed in/out your lens is). A big aperture (i.e. a small f number) means only the exact thing you focus in on is in focus - everything else is out of focus. A small aperture (big number), like a point, means everything is pretty much in focus.

The only problem with a small aperture is that it lets such little light through, you need to extend the shutter speed to get enough light in - except that means you keep getting blurred shots because you've got a silly-long shutter speed.

The other thing is often a shot looks better if only the point of interest is in focus - e.g. in a traditional portrait, the pupil of the nearest eye is perfectly in focus, while the nose is slightly out of focus, and the shoulders completely blurred.

Auto mode tries to set an average shutter speed and an average aperture for the amount of light available. That means you can grab a reasonably instant in time but also pick the focus subject out of the picture. Controlling aperture and shutter just lets you emphasise the element of the photo you want to push - that (plus composition - waves to pete) is the skill of making a good photo.

So all I do is use A mode with a wide (i.e. lowest number) aperture if I want to show the scale of something, or pick a subject out from it's blurred background (more commonly). I'll use S mode with a quick shutter to capture motion (but bearing in mind I'll need to get the focus dead on). In my view, M mode is just for masochists... but then not everyone I know agrees with me on that.
#25 at 04:48:28 - 28/10/2008
Mapster
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Nice info there mal, I'm gonna need it :)

My sony a200 should arrive today, does anyone have any experience with one?
#26 at 11:13:21 - 30/10/2008
strangeed
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Having failed to read the thread and knowing little about photography, my girlfriend is very pleased with her D40X, which she prefers to the D60 because it's a bit smaller and lighter.
#27 at 11:26:24 - 30/10/2008
Mapster
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I've decided to ignore everyone and just get the Sony A200. By all accounts the Nikon D40 is a smashing camera but I liked the sound of the extra feature set and in built anti shake on the sony.

If the D40 is a better camera, I've done enough reading to convince myself that there is so little in it that it ought not to matter.

My first baby steps into the DSLR world are complete, now, what does this big button on the back do?

/fiddles
#28 at 10:25:47 - 31/10/2008
ecosse_011172
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I got the D40 a few months ago with the Vibration Reduction Lens, a bargain and ideal first SLR, I just need to stop being shit when taking photos .-)
#29 at 11:55:20 - 07/11/2008

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