New to SLR, looking to buy a Nikon D40...good idea?

Discussion in 'Through-the-Lens Club' started by AggiePhil, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Howdy all. I'll start off by saying that I've never owned or used an SLR or DSLR camera before. My fiance and I are going to San Francisco in about a week for our honeymoon and I'm considering making somewhat of an impulse buy and getting a Nikon D40. My current camera is a Sony PowerShot point and shoot. It takes alright pictures but I'm looking for something that can really capture a landscape or scenic view with a lot of crispness. I have quite a bit of experience in digital photo editing so I'm thinking that one of the Nikon DSLRs would be the logical next step. What I'm wondering from y'all is if I'd be getting in over my head to buy a D40. I know it'll take some time to really learn the ins and outs of the camera, but isn't it possible to basically put it in an "Auto" or "point and shoot" mode where you don't have to worry about all the special settings unless you're wanting to take a really specialized shot? Anyway, let me know what y'all think...I'm looking at the D40 bundle with the 18-55mm lens and maybe an extra memory card or two.
     
  2. Nyper

    Nyper

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    I really like the D40. I think it's a great little camera for the price.

    For what it's worth, I don't think you expect to just keep it in 'auto' mode & expect to get amazingly, stunningly better pictures.

    However, if you will take a little time to learn the camera, I think you can produce some very nice photos. Make sure you are at least familiar with adjusting exposure compensation and white balance.

    Ken Rockwell has a pretty decent guide on his site for the D40 - not too detailed, but enough to get you started.

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm
     

  3. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Would I be correct in assuming that the D40 in Auto mode will take as good or better photos than a PNS in Auto mode?
     
  4. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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  5. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Well, I don't own one, but I cannot imagine it could do worse, considering its sensor is on average 10 to 15 times larger than a compact's sensor with the same number of pixels.

    Once you learn the characteristics and moods of the camera's metering system, even in the auto mode you will be able to compensate for highlights and unusual lighting conditions.

    At the current price of ~$500 with the 18-55mm kit lens, it's a pretty incredible bargain (provided you do not want to splurge $200 more for the 18-135mm kit lens).
     
  6. nipperwolf

    nipperwolf

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    uuuuhhh, no. probably not. P%S cameras have different in-camera settings than do SLRs.

    even before I bought my D200, I quit visiting dpreview.com because it was getting flooded with threads about people wanting to know why their D40 etc. pics weren't as good as their P%S. they're were knew to SLRs, and most had not taken any time to learn it.

    don't get me wrong, the D40 is a great little camera. I think you should get one. just don't buy it a few days before a big vacation, and take it with you. Take the camera that you know. ;)

    then, when you get back, learn about SLR shooting. you'll be glad you did.

    :supergrin:
     
  7. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Already got a new D40 enroute to me that will arrive tomorrow. I'll learn all about it that I can and will take it to San Francisco with us, but I will also take one of our Cybershots. :)
     
  8. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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  9. spober

    spober

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    good avice above.never get a new camera before a big event(marrage)AND EXPECT TO GET GREAT PICS.HOWEVER,this camera in auto mode will take very nice pics.youll end up leaving it in auto for a long time because the camera is menu driven meaning alot of scrolling around to full utiliuze its capabilities.:banana:







    if i get my bonus at work this december im buying a brand spankin new anaikon D 300.O LA LA 3 inch screen 8 frames per sec.everything the 200 is but new technology!
     
  10. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    ANAIKON...is that some sort of Taiwanese NIKON knockoff brand? :supergrin: :supergrin: :supergrin:
     
  11. Nyper

    Nyper

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    Mind if I asked where you ordered the D40 from? Amazon has it for $500 w/ free shipping. Best price I've seen so far... just can't make myself pull the trigger yet. :)
     
  12. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Amazon. I'm becoming less and less a fan of them though now that half their stuff comes from other vendors and is shipped separately.
     
  13. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    I am unimpressed by some of the other vendors. Just had to return an item that was shipped in a damaged, ripped open box (internally, external packaging was perfectly intact), and I hate the hassle. On top of that they repeatedly tried to imply that the damage was done in shipping, which was a nonsense (intact external box).

    I still like and trust Amazon, but will likely pay close attention to who the item is actually coming from. Too bad, too, cause I am sure some of them are very good, but a few bad apples will hurt everyone's business.
     
  14. chip00

    chip00

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    Be sure you understand the lens limitations of the D40 before you buy it. It will not autofocus with many Nikkor lenses that do not have built in motors. So extra lens selection is limited and more expensive than other Nikon DSLRs.
     
  15. AggiePhil

    AggiePhil ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Like I said, I already ordered the D40 and shot with it exclusively on our honeymoon. It's an awesome camera that performed amazingly well. I've read almost all the literature on how to use it, but am still learning by experimenting with the different settings and whatnot. Ken Rockwell's site (http://www.kenrockwell.com) has been invaluable.

    Regarding the lens limitations, I don't think that will be a problem for me since I didn't have any lenses prior to buying this camera. The lens that came with it is awesome and if/when I'm ready to buy another lens, I'll just be sure to get one that is compatible, such as the Nikon 18-200mm pictured below.

    [​IMG]

    I would like to get a fisheye lens sometime soon, but it looks like none of the current fisheyes will autofocus with this camera. Maybe Nikon will make one that does sometime in the near future. Anybody know? Maybe that isn't something that's even possible, IDK.
     
  16. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    :needspics: