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.
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.