I am totally new to the DSLR market and I am hoping to upgrade soon from my Nikon Coolpix 4300 P&S. I have researched the internet for months now, and still can't come to a solid conclusion on which camera is best for me. I was considering a D80, but think it may be too much camera for me at this point. I am a casual shooter. Kids, nature, a little sports. I thought I had narrowed down my choice to the D40 vs. D40x. Now the D60 is in the mix! Suggestions, opinions please? Thanks,
#1. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 0
Livermore, CA, US
The general school of thought is that the D40x is better if you want to print big (greater than 11x17") or need to crop (wildlife photography), otherwise the D40 is all you'll need and the x is money better spent on lens/tripod/flash etc.
The D60 is basically a D40x which IMO only adds one interesting feature, which is sensor dust-off. Adding VR to the kit lens is also a useful feature, but presumably that lens will be available on any of these bodies. Until we know the street price of the D60 and its lens, and what it will do to D40/D40x prices, it's hard to make meaningful recommendations.
Another shool of thought with which I agree is one that says quit looking to the future and buy one of the excellent cameras available now, and use it to take excellent pictures. The images you miss while waiting for the Next Great Thing are more valuable than that new feature. But, to some extent the future is now, or at least the future is only a few weeks away. If you don't have an event in the next month you really want this camera for, then give the D60 time to hit the market and re-evaluate once prices shake out. Otherwise buy based on the first paragraph's criteria and start shooting.
#2. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 1
I completely agree with Larry. To put it a little stronger, if you plan to print posters, and I truly mean POSTERS, the kind most of us don't even have a printer to produce; or, if you crop a lot, and I don't mean taking a bit off the sides but more like getting your first crew cut kind of cropping, you seriously need more MP, and therefore, you need camera than the D40. On the other hand, for everybody else, those extra 4MP give you absolutely nothing. I am a true newbie, been taking pictures after months and months of research, for four months. It took me actually taking pictures to understand what the wise teachers on this forum were trying to tell me -- that you really don't need the extra pixels, except for making poster-size prints or heavy cropping. Stronger, those extra MP are a burden. The extra amount of time it takes to load a single photograph on most private citizen's computers, before you can even use "Quick Fix" to fix it up a little or prepare it for e-mail, is something it takes only three or four computer sessions to start to go looney tunes over. What's more, when you're posting a photograph for most internet applications, you have to downsize the photograph, throwing away MOST of the pixels, so that the picture can fit through the ether and so that it not take forever to load on somebody else's computer screen. It's truly a waste of money to spend a few hundred dollars on a few MP that you're going to be forced to throw away almost immediately after you start to take your photographs. So unless you crop or make posters, there's truly no need for the D40x or the D60.
I myself crop my pictures to death (which is one of the reasons I went for the 10MP), not because I shoot wildlife but because I make slideshows, and because I don't use zoom lenses (I can't afford the zooms that can shoot moving targets in low light). So I buy second (third?)-hand fixed focal-length lenses and zoom as much as I can with my feet; then I put the photo on the computer and crop the rest.
In making slideshows, you often end up using a small part of a photo that was taking for a completely different reason. You'll use a photo taken at a birthday party because one of the people in the picture happens to have a really great expression that you want to use at a particular part of a slideshow. When you crop, really crop the death out of a photograph, you take what started out as a 10MP picture and throw away as much as 80% of it. That will leave you with a 2MP photograph, the amount of resolution you have on a nice cell phone. (The photo will be much better, because far more than the number of pixels determine how good the picture is, but I hope you get my point.) Ideally, for a normal sized print (not e-mail photo, photo for sharing on the web, or anything else viewed on a monitor) of truly excellent quality, you need about 3MP in your photograph. Monitor-viewed photographs need far less.
With those considerations in mind, you might be able to decide how many MP you actually want, and choose your camera accordingly.
The difference between the D40 and the D40x is simply one of MP; nothing more. There are only two differences between these two cameras (three, if you include price ), and the other one is, IMHO, utterly irrelevant. Other than MP, there is nothing AT ALL that the D40x can do that the D40 can't.
On the other hand, there are lots of bells and whistles on the D60 that aren't available on the D40/x. So don't get me wrong, I don't mean that unless you need the extra MP there is no reason to buy the D60. I just think that unless you need the extra MP, you don't remotely NEED a D60.
But bells and whistles are nice. I'm prepared to spend an extra $50 just to get a pretty color on my laptop; and I often pay a high premium on a train ticket to ride first class, not because there is any difference at all in the leg room, speed at which I'll get there, no difference in service ... but I pay an extra 50% for a ticket because it increases my chances that the seat next to me will remain empty. Bells and whistles are truly fun. The bells and whistles on the D60 are truly nice touches. Don't try to understand what they are and whether you'll use them. Most of them you won't even understand what they do until you start using it, and trust Nikon even if you don't trust me (they've got serious money riding on their judgement here) that you WILL use these particular bells and whistles, most of them without even knowing it. Nothing extra to learn, but if you get a D60, and half a year later (a month later???) you borrow somebody's D40/x, their D40/x will drive you crazy. (WHAAAAAAATTTT? Where the heck is the ..... ???!!?!???) Very nice bells, really fun and convenient whistles. But I'm just saying, to beat this point to death, that I think you by no means NEED them, regardless of what you shoot. Nobody NEEDS the leather seats or the upgraded stereo system when they buy a new car, and those that don't get them don't make that decision because they think they wouldn't "use" them. People who buy or don't buy the options and upgrades do so based on their budget, their financial values, and their spoil-myself longings, not based on their needs.
On account of resounding and utter absence of bells and/or whistles, not to mention the price differential, the D40x in my opinion just got rendered truly irrelevant.
If you are the type that likes splurging on bells and whistles, and can afford it, absolutely wait for the D60. If eith of these isn't true, buy the D40, and start having a blast.
_________________________________ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
#3. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 0
I would recommend D40x ( if you can afford only this range cost), or D80. D40x, you will get more megapixels, your pictures will finer and better if you crop or print in big size. While D40 gives only 6.1 MP, quite little in digital SLR. Both of them don't have auto-foucus motor built-in camera body. So you will need lenses that have " AF-S" , more expensive than old, non AF-S lenses, to have auto focus. ( Mostly all new Nikon lenses now are AF-S, so if you don;t think you will use old/cheap lenses, there is no problem with D40x). D60 is very identical to D40x, and costs nearly D80 body. If you plan to get D60, go ahead to D80! D80 will save you money if you update lens later besides the kit lens.
I just have D40x for a month. It's a great light,compact camera. I like it. Quality of pictures are more than perfect.However,I'm spending much $ for " AF-S" (Nikon), or HSM (Sigma) lenses.
#4. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 3
Thanks to all! Great points to consider! I may end up doing some croppping, so think I might need more megapixels. I can get a factory demo D80 on eBay for about the same cost as the D60 (guessing). I am just concerned that the learning curve for the D80 may be more than I have time to take on with 3 small children and a job as a nurse. I like the idea of the built in help on the D40X, has this be helpful to any other newbies? I am thinking the cost of the D40X may drop even more in March. On the other hand, the D60 does have a few little enhancements, just not sure if it is worth it.
#5. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 4
As a relative newbie myself (bought the D40 in June 2007) I would say if you can afford it, buy the D80 or even a D200 if you've got the cash. If those aren't in your price range, get the D40. The only thing I regret with getting the D40 over the more expensive cameras is the lack of an autofocus motor. As you get more into photography, you're gonna want better and faster lenses. Unfortunately, the only ones that will autofocus on the D40 are the extremely expensive AF-S lenses, which you'll be spending at least $1000 per lens for the faster ones.
The trade off is this. If you go with a D80 or D200, you'll spend a little more initially on a camera, and yes, may have to spend a LITTLE time learning to work it, but spend relatively little to start expanding your collection of lenses as you go since you can use older lenses.
If you go with the D40, you'll spend relatively little on the camera and use the extra money to invest in better, more expensive lenses down the road.
From what I've read, there is no reason to spend the extra dough on a D40X or D60. They have no features that warrant the $300 to $400 extra price tag. That's just money you're throwing away on a camera that you could spend on a lens.
Also, who says you have to have autofocus? I have a Nikon 35-70 f/2.8, Tokina 12-24 f/4, and a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 for my D40 right now. None of which autofocus. This allows me to work on my focusing technique. Just something to think about
#7. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 6
I bought the D40 in September '07 - I was originally thinking about the D40x, but as I use flash a lot in my photography I opted for the D40 as it has a faster flash sync speed.
I also went for the Hahnel grip to go with it - the camera is small and lightweight, but I prefer the feel of the camera with this grip and it's ability to run of two batteries in parallel gives me more 'power'. By the way, the batteries last forever!
I use mine as a semi-pro and I'm really happy with it.
#8. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 7
As I said, I am a complete newbie to the DSLR world. What does the slower sync speed (1/500 vs. 1/200) and ISO (ISO 200 base vs. ISO 100 base) mean to me when comparing the D40X or D60 to the D40? Should this being something of concern? I don't see myself ever purchasing a lot of lenses. I will probably just stick with kit lens for a bit, then add a 55-200 VR. I am leaning toward the D60, but the above two issues...hmmm? I do a lot of shots of my kids indoors, and I have 18-20 foot ceilings in my great room. Thanks again. Your input is very much appreciated.
#9. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 6
"In digital, newer is always better"
I agree with this but NOT ALMOST case.
The issue is that is it worth to spend $200 more for D60 instead of geting D40 or D40x? And, which one, D80 or D60 is worth to choose since they are amlost same price? I would go with D80, definately. D60 is little advanced more than D40/x but still much below the D80 level, that what I think.
#10. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 8
"D60 is little advanced more than D40/x but still much below the D80 level, that what I think."
True, but the poster sounds like they won't be concerned with the additional benefits/advances of the D80.
The D40s & D60 are smaller and lighter than the D80, and I find them a bit easier to use and navigate, especially for a newbie - assuming you're looking a bit more for point & shoot. And easier to transport.
I assume you're never going to have to worry about flash sync of 1/200 vs 1/500. 1/500+ will help fill in sunlight, and help if you are taking action shots.
ISO 100 vs 200, if you primarily shoot indoors you'll never use ISO 100. The higher the ISO number the more sensitive your camera is to light... but pics also get grainy when you get too high - but I don't think you have to worry about it with any of the options you're looking at.
Whatever camera you get you'll love. I think the D60 has a couple extra features the D40s don't that are kind of cool, but I have no idea what the price diff is and whether or not it's worth it.
I have a D40, and absolutely love it. I've taken an obscene amount of pictures in the two months I've had it and only regret I didn't buy it sooner.
#11. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 4 Sat 02-Feb-08 06:42 AM by KazooTom
I bought a D40 shortly before Christmas '07. I have been extremely pleased with that decision. I got the 2 lens kit that included both the 18-55 and 55-200 non VR lenses. Both lenses have been producing very good quality results. I have been shooting Nikon film cameras for years and have several lenses from my manual focus F3.
BTW, I can use all my old AIS (non autofocus) lenses on my D40 but loose autofocus AND metering on the camera. The must be used in fully manual mode.
I was caught up in the pixel wars myself when I started looking. I then realized that the D40 was enough to produce virtually anything I would ever take to print. The cropping factor is definately something to consideer. I have been very impressed at what the D40 can do, even with extreme cropping of an image. I have included two links below to a picture I took with the D40 and Kit 18-55 lense. the first is the original image and the second is the crop from that image. I printed it out at 12" x 18" and it looks great, even on plain paper as opposed to photo paper.
The D40 - and D40X and D60 are very easy to use. You'll feel comfortable with any of them in a short time. If it were me, I would likely opt for the D40 and spend the difference for a good flash like the SB600 or SB800.
#12. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 8
The sync speed, which for me was an overriding issue, only matters when you are looking to use flashguns.
The sync speed is the maximum shutter speed at which you can fire the camera at, using flash, and still get a properly exposed image - to go higher than the sync speed (for example 1/1000th) would mean that the shutter would have opened, then closed before the flash could deliver all its energy. This results in a black band down one side of your exposure.
A higher sync speed also means that if you are trying to do fill-flash, that you can use a smaller aperture (by which I mean a smaller number aperture such as f4 as opposed to f8) and that means that you dont work the flash guns as hard.
#13. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 4
Oops! One thing all of us newbies are forgetting to mention (fortunately a veteran gave ME this advice when I was at the same place you were) is that the camera has to FEEL GREAT in your hands.
I wanted a D40 as well, and was trying to figure out whether I should get the D40x (this was a few months ago, and nobody on the planet could have predicted that there would BE a D60, certainly not this spring, certainly not as an alternative to the D40/x) ...
and then the vet told me to go to the store and hold it, and fake like I was taking pictures with it.
And the decision was made immediately: for me it had to be a D80. I can't hold a D40/x properly in my hands without them cramping up. It's too small.
The D80 is much heavier, seriously much heavier, but if you're planning to do some really serious picture taking, you get used to the weight very quickly. It's just when you want to throw something in your purse and go with it that you really notice it's weight: it's the kind of camera you have to plan around, because it's kind of like a medium-heavy shopping bag: not something you decide not to buy because of its weight, but also not the thing you go to pick up first if you're going to be out and about carrying it all day, that kind of in-between not-prohibitive but nonetheless not-"you-don't-know-it's-with-you" kind of weight either.
So, I'd say: go to the camera store!!! See which camera (D40 or D80) "fits!"
I've now been using it for three months, and I tell you, it's wonderful. I was afraid that it would be too hard for a newbie to learn as well, but a veteran talked me into believing that I could do it. Once I got it, and my husband got the D40x, do I have to show him how to do things on his camera after I've learned how to do them on mine, I actually find it far easier to use a D80 than a D40. The D40 is built on the mobile-phone principle: access everything via a menu. The D80 is built on the button-for-each-function principle, which sounds scary, but it isn't. Learning which button you need to press is identical to learning which menu item you need to look for, except that finding the button is much easier (and less time-consuming!) than remembering and locating which menu this particular setting was located under.
Think of the camera as if it were a car. If it were operated completely by menu's -- steering, windshield wipers, lights, windows, door locks, brakes, gas, cruise control ... -- would that make it easier or harder to operate the car? It would drive me insane ...
And btw, for some odd reason this doesn't show up in any of the literature, but the D80 has a help button too!
_________________________________ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
#14. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 13
So, I'd say: go to the camera store!!! See which camera (D40 or D80) "fits!"
That is exactly what I did prior to buying my D40X. After doing a lot of research I was considering Nikon, Sony and Canon. The first unit I looked at in the store was the Sony. The first impression was it was hard to hold. This took less than 2 minutes. NEXT, the Canon. It was comfortable to hold but the menus seemed hard to get to and after closely examining the Nikon I felt the Canons features were lacking a bit in some areas but better in others. The decision was to go with the D40X and I am more than satisfied with the unit. BTW I love spell check.
#15. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 13 Sat 02-Feb-08 10:24 PM by Sidebrow
Both of LaDonna's posts are pretty spot on.
Another factor to consider is your longer term goal. Do you want to learn about photography and really get into it? Do you just want to take pictures of your family? Do you want a simple upgrade from a point and shoot?
If you simply want to take pics of your family, or you just want an upgrade from the point and shoot - I'd get a D40, you probably won't need the extra megapixels or features to justify the price diff between the 40x and 60.
If you want to get into photography, and you want to keep the cam for a long time (relatively), then maybe you should consider the D80. I agree with LaDonna that it feels better in your hands... I'm coming from an N80, and feel a bit more at home with the D80.
My personal experience, I wanted the D300... then realized I had never used photo editing software, didn't have a full understanding of exposure, and didn't know how to fully utilyze my N80 - so I figured I may be trying to drink from a firehose if I jumped into the D300. So instead of getting overwhelmed, and trying to learn too much at once I decided to get the D40 as learning tool, spend the difference on necessary (and uncessary) accessories, then jump to different model when I was ready.
Also, keep in mind final cost... with my D40 ($500) I also bought a 4gb card ($100 Lexar), tripod ($100), photo printer ($100), external flash ($200, SB-600), book about D40 ($20), DVD about D40 ($20), Lens cleaning pen ($20) batteries for flash ($5)... so I bought a $500 camera, but dropped ~$1,100 before walking out of the camera shop.
That's not including the bag I already had, or the lens I already had (that I use just as much as the kit lens - especially when I shoot inside).
#16. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 15
I've actually been to the camera store 2-3 times now and really wanted the D80 to "fit", but it just felt a little heavy and bulky for me. I have pretty small hands, and the D40(X) felt like a better fit. I don't see myself getting too heavy into photography in the near future (although I would love to). At what point I have time to take a class or two, I will probably need to update anyway. I think this narrows my choice to the D40(x) or D60. I think I will wait until the D60 hits the stores and see what the price of the D40 and D40X do. If there is a huge difference I will most likely skip the D60. Great image quality on all the shots I have seen (thanks KazooTom), from the D40 and D40X. One more question for now, as you all really know your stuff - which online camera retailer(s) would you recommend, or stay away from? I used Cameta Camera (eBay) several years ago for my Nikon P&S and had a great experience. I definitely want to get the best price, but I've heard horror stories about some on these online camera "merchants".
#18. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 16
"which online camera retailer(s) would you recommend"
I can speak very highly of Norman Camera in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You won't see many advertisements in the magazines, but they are an authorized Nikon dealer here and have been in business for over 50 yrs. Great store with very good staff servicing the professional and amature market in SW Michigan. They do have a web site www.normancamera.com but i would still suggest that you call for the most current prices and availability.
Others speak very highly of B&H Camera and Video and Adorama as very reliable sources.
I have personally been able to purchase over the counter at Norman for the same of lower price than the other sources.
#19. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 15
>Both of LaDonna's posts are pretty spot on.
>Also, keep in mind final cost... with my D40 ($500) I also >bought a 4gb card ($100 Lexar), tripod ($100), photo printer >($100), external flash ($200, SB-600), book about D40 ($20), >DVD about D40 ($20), Lens cleaning pen ($20) batteries for >flash ($5)... so I bought a $500 camera, but dropped ~$1,100 >before walking out of the camera shop.
Boy oh boy oh boy do I wish there were somewhere that newbie's learned this when starting out! In the beginning, I decided that I clearly didn't NEED a tripod, a ball head, a card reader, etc etc etc
etc etc etc etc etc
you get the picture.
When we buy our first car, there's always a hundred people helping us remember we need to have enough money to own and use the car, not just enough to pay for it. Where are we supposed to learn this when buying our camera's?
>a 4gb card ($100 Lexar)
I also believe that all newbie's should have a course in eBay ... just a beginner's course on how not to be robbed ... and then sent off to eBay to get all their accessories. The first SD card I purchased in a store was my last. Never again. But I do admit I've been crazy enough to be shooting with 2GB cards. Had to take a several month breather to recover from all the etc etc's
Okay, well, yeah, and to get over my fantasy lusting over the D300 so that I could accept (the final stage in the grieving process) that I really needed a new SD card ...
and buy a 4GB. It just came in the mail last week: $50, for a Sandisk Extreme III, and that includes the shipping.
$100 memory card, heaven help us newbies all ...
_________________________________ A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
#20. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 16
I had great experiences with : B&H photo, Adorama, Buydig.com or Beach camera, Amazon, when I ordered D40x and many accessories.( would someone adds more??) I would reccomend you to use this trusted website: www.resellerratings.com ( which helped me to avoid a scammer on last minute!) to check rates and customer's reviews/experiences before your made a first order on a strange website. . They list rating scores/reviews after you type the store name/web address on the Search tool.
Be alerted of unusualy low prices cameras on internet!!! Some "best" prices are great, but some make you cost much more $! After you make an order, they will call you to require much more $ for orginal documents, batteries,... accessories which included already by manufactories.!!!!!
I would not buy BRAND NEW /expensive cameras on eBay.
#21. "RE: D40 vs D40X vs D60" In response to Reply # 19
"Oh, and thanks to you too Sidebrow. Awesome photos with the D40!" Thank you!
"Boy oh boy oh boy do I wish there were somewhere that newbie's learned this when starting out! In the beginning, I decided that I clearly didn't NEED a tripod, a ball head, a card reader"
You're spot on again LaDonna. Most don't need tripods, external flashes, etc.
Personally, I wish I had purchased a carbon fiber tripod, I wasted $100 on a decent tripod when I could have gotten a really good one for ~$200 - I'm big into night photog and long exposures. Ball head would have been unnecessary, but I do like cool toys
I also suffer from extreme impatience. I would have saved about ~$100 the cam, card, tripod, flash... but I couldn't wait for it in the mail. I do agree that the card reader is unnecessary, but one came with my card and is actually convenient when I want to load pics on other people's computers when they can't find a USB, and the card reader takes up a lot less space in my bag than a USB.
As for Lexar vs. Sandisk... probably no difference, but I had a Sandisk fail on me on my point and shoot, since then I've gone with Lexar. When a Lexar fails I'll go back to Sandisk... same way I choose cell phone companies
kkcobb, if you are going to take a lot of indoor shots of your family, I'd definitely buy an external flash - haven't seen the SB-400, but I've heard it's good. Bouncing my SB-600 makes a world of difference indoors. As for a tripod, you'll likely never use it unless you want to be in the pictures with your family (use the timer, then you have 10 seconds or so to jump in the shot and pretend you aren't posing).