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Thoughts on upgrading from a D40

kathloh

Palo Alto, US
15 posts

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kathloh Registered since 24th Jan 2011
Sun 30-Jan-11 12:37 AM

Hello!

I've had a D40 for about 4 years now. I'm at about 26,000 shutter actuations and I've got about 5,000 pictures left (after deleting a lot of the obviously terrible ones). I mostly take pictures while travelling, of food and of my dog.

I've been toying with the idea of upgrading to a D90 or D7000 for bracketing, better low ISO and just all around more flexibility. I was curious to see what other folks thought. If you have a D40 -- what are you looking to upgrade to? If you had a D40, what did you upgrade to?

In case it matters, my lenses are:
- Kit lens (don't use it much)
- Nikon 18-200 VR
- Nikon 35mm f1.8
- Sigma 8-16mm (got this yesterday! )
- A really, really old 55mm f2.8 Micro-Nikkor (Pre AF/AI anything)

Money, unfortunately, is a consideration. I can afford either, I won't starve, but I'm not rolling in dough. I had originally debated between a D90/D7000 and the Sigma 8-16 and decided that a new lens would be more interesting. But now that I've got it, I'm finding myself still wondering if I should upgrade bodies or wait another 'cycle' (~2 years, I guess?) or till my D40 dies.

Floridian

Tallahassee, Florida, US
2839 posts

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#1. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

Floridian Silver Member Nikonian since 11th Feb 2007
Sun 30-Jan-11 01:37 AM

>...I've been toying with the idea of upgrading to a D90 or D7000
>for bracketing, better low ISO and just all around more
>flexibility...

Looks like you have a good idea about why you might want to upgrade, so you'll just need to decide whether these things are worth the money to you.

I don't have any of the cameras you mentioned, but I do have a D50 that has the same sensor and image quality as a D40, and added a D300 when they came out about three years ago. I still use the D50 a lot, and frankly, for 90% of my photography you wouldn't be able to tell which of my cameras I used. If you did upgrade, my conjecture is that in most cases you wouldn't notice an improvement in your photos.

For high-ISO, if you crop a lot, or print big, then you might see a difference. So, if money is an object, if you can't look at your photos and say "This picture would look better if..." and then whatever that "if" is would be helped by the new camera, I'd say just stick with the D40 for now.

I can understand wanting a new camera, though, and if you did decide to get one the D7000 would get you more in the ISO department, plus get you the extra pixels, and other benefits. So, it is easy to say get the D7000 rather than the D90. The only reason you'd rather get the D90 is because it is less money, but for less capability. If you're thinking about upgrading because you want a more capable camera, you might as well spend the extra money and get today's state-of-the-art. Easy for me to say, since it's your money!

Randy

HHargitt

Maple Ridge, CA
532 posts

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#2. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

HHargitt Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Jan 2010
Sun 30-Jan-11 07:31 AM

Hi Kath,

The list you have can surely be filled with either camera, the question is, are they features you will use. I have gone from a D50 to D200, then last year to D700/D300s combo. The bracketing is something that I thought I would use more than I do. Only twice in the last year have I set the bracketing mode and once it took five minutes to figure out what was wrong with the camera the next time I used it . On the other hand, the higher ISO, faster focus speed and frame rate are things that I use daily. My advise... use the D40 with the new lens for a while, if in that time you have problems that a new camera will fix you'll have your answer.

Howard

Will shoot for fame...fun...food... a heck I'll shoot anytime anywhere.

HayMower

Springfield, US
203 posts

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#3. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

HayMower Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2008
Sun 30-Jan-11 06:33 PM

I had a similar situation - wanted a wide angle lens and an update from my D40X - I considered the Sigma, but went witn a Nikkor 10-24 and a D7000 - by getting the lens at the same time as the body, I got some money taken off the price of the lens. I still have the D40X and probably will keep it, too. A friend wanted to buy it, but he really wanted me to give it to him - and I decided that it was worth more than he offered, so I kept it. I'm still using it, too; although I really like the D7000.

If you are going to go up the line, I would advise that you skip a generation or two - for instance, from D40, skip the D90 and go to D7000. From D90, skip the D7000 and go to whatever turns up this summer. There are too many advances to buy every generation, especially when what you have is working and pleasing you.

Hillbilly Harry - in the Missouri Ozarks.

D7000
D40X
AF-S 10-24
AF-S 18-55 VR
AF-S 55-300 VR
AF-S 50 1.4G
AF-S 35 1.8G
SB400
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rectangularimage

San Diego, US
1127 posts

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#4. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

rectangularimage Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Oct 2009
Sun 30-Jan-11 07:31 PM

I'm in a very similar situation, I have a D40 and mainly use Nikkors 18-200mm and 35mm DX. And I don't have much to spend on cameras right now.

But a used D90 seems like a good deal right now to me, as many D90 users are upgrading to D7000. I think a good used D90 could be had for around $600.

A D90 will give me
1) autobracketing (currently I manually bracket fairly often)
2) autofocus motor (I have a 50mm 1.8 AF-D I would use as a portrait style lens)
3) the extra pixels - I like to print 8x10, and sometimes after a little cropping 6 megs is a little rough.

(OTOH, I could use a new printer, and a wide angle lens would be useful)

Just my 2 cents.

...Mike

My website | My Nikonians gallery

Hotswimmer

Annapolis, US
384 posts

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#5. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

Hotswimmer Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Apr 2008
Sun 30-Jan-11 09:52 PM | edited Sun 30-Jan-11 10:26 PM by Hotswimmer

If you're determined to upgrade camera bodies then it's a no-brainer - the D7000 is next-generation technology that will serve you for many years to come, and do everything you need and more. It's a better investment than the already obsolete, though still highly capable D90, which would also meet your needs which, quite frankly, don't appear to be that demanding.

Just some thoughts, though this is a shot in the dark since your equipment profile isn't filled out:

1) What about a nice flash and learning how to use it? That can add a whole new element of creativity and beauty to your photography, and does away with at least some of the ISO concerns. There's only so much you can do with available light, and it isn't always flattering to your subject, even when it's sufficiently present. Let me tell you a little something about chasing higher ISO through upgrades, having personally spent over $5000 upgrading from a D40 to a new camera body and buying 2 fast, professional-grade lenses - there's always one more thing you just can't quite do, no matter how much money you spend.

2) What about a copy of Capture NX2, Lightroom, or some other photo editing software, and shooting RAW (or not) and using software to enhance the image, instead of messing around with bracketing?

I upgraded to a D300 from my D40, because I shoot almost exclusively sports under some very demanding circumstances, and sometimes for pay. I needed the additional external controls, ruggedness, faster frame rate, bigger buffer, better metering and autofocus, better ISO performance, and improved color handling of that camera. I would never sell my D40 - it remains my favorite camera when I'm shooting casually, especially when I'm on the move.



billcavanagh

Suffern, US
169 posts

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#6. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 4

billcavanagh Registered since 05th Jun 2009
Mon 21-Feb-11 10:25 PM

Rather than a used D90 body for $600, how about a Factory Refurbished body for $650?

I agree that the D7000 is clearly a better camera than a D90. But a D90 for $650 is an awful lot of camera for the money, and a truly worthwhile upgrade from a D40.

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machiavelli

US
12 posts

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#7. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 5

machiavelli Registered since 27th Mar 2011
Mon 28-Mar-11 03:18 AM

I have the exact same dilemma as the OP. I currently have a D40 and am trying to figure out if I want to upgrade to a D90 or D7000 (it'd be a no brainer if it wasn't about the money).

I want to upgrade for all the reasons the OP said, PLUS the fact that I have an SB600 speedlight and am sick and tired of having to connect it to my camera with a wire to use it off-camera. I would love for it to fire wirelessly.

jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
36676 posts

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#8. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter Member
Mon 28-Mar-11 09:56 AM

None of us is rolling in dough in these times. I can understand what you are saying very well.

At home we do have a D40x and a D60. Marvelous cameras.

The D60 is always with the AF-S 18-200mm VRII on.
The D40X has the kit lenses; AF-S DX Zoom-NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II and the AF-S DX VR Zoom-NIKKOR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED.

The thing is that with these lenses my family members do candid portraits, landscape, parties, travel, ... you name it. And very nicely.
When bracketing is felt needed, they do it manually.

The temptation for upgrade is there of course, D90, D300s, D7000.
So I have them using flash for the time being, with SB-700 units, for added versatility.
And they are having a great time learning bouncing and diffusing.

The time will eventually come to upgrade, so they are saving as much as they can for then.
At that time, they will also need to upgrade software: View NX, Capture NX in whatever latest versions there will be.

Have a great time :-)
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Mainly at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story
Please join the Silver, Gold and Platinum members who help this happen; upgrade.
Check our workshops at the Nikonians Academy and the Nikonians Photo Pro Shop

fdanlo

US
173 posts

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#9. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

fdanlo Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2010
Tue 29-Mar-11 05:12 AM | edited Tue 29-Mar-11 05:40 AM by fdanlo

Hi,

I just upgraded to a D90 ,a refurbished model for $650, from a D40. I work as a field biologist so I like to shoot small birds.I end up cropping quite a bit. (And I do try and get as close as possible.)I also shoot lots of photos of my dog. I debated the upgrade for awhile but life is short.
I bought what I could afford.

Good Luck!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chloesview/

billcavanagh

Suffern, US
169 posts

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#10. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 9

billcavanagh Registered since 05th Jun 2009
Sat 09-Apr-11 04:23 AM | edited Sat 09-Apr-11 04:23 AM by billcavanagh

The D90 is a great camera. I'm sure you will get great use from it.

If you find yourself cropping a lot from the exposure, and doing it often, you may want to consider getting a longer lens.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

blw

Richmond, US
27447 posts

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#11. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Tue 12-Apr-11 06:55 AM

The OP is gone by now, but I'll simply leave a link here to what I wrote in another thread: here. In this case the OP has a good selection of gear, and given that money is an issue, I'd recommend that she stay with the D40 for a bit longer. Bracketing can be done manually (and in fact it's quite easy), better high ISO can be attacked reasonably effectively by using software - and for a lot less money than a new body; and really I'm not that sure about how much more flexible the d90 and d7000 really are. They certainly have more features, but that's not necessarily the same thing (it might be to some people). $70 spent on noise reduction software can buy you a stop or two stops worth of NR - and for a lot less money than a D90 or D7000, although likely they will still provide a better overall result (especially if the software is applied gently to their files).

Per my comments in the other thread, I recommend hanging onto the D40 until you run into something that you really cannot do with the D40.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

chewie

Petaling Jaya, MY
134 posts

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#12. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

chewie Registered since 17th Jan 2008
Mon 09-May-11 05:17 PM

I concur with what Brian said. I too had the same thoughts... meaning I had some bit of cash and was thinking of either getting myself a D90 or get more gear. When I had that thought I had 18-55mm (the non-VR kit lens) and the 18-70mm (also a kit lens). Then I bought 70-300mm (VR version), SB-600, etc. My last equipment I bought was the Kenko extension tube set (a cheap man's macro) to see if my D40 could take nice macro shots (it did).

My actual first macro shots (took me 30 mins to come up with an idea and to set it up) was a couple of transparent dice I had since I was a kid (there's a picture of it in my gallery) but yeah, my point is to concur with what Brian's advise is.

Yes, my noise is higher when I shoot at higher ISO but with Nikon Capture NX 2, shooting at RAW, it reduces a fair bit (yes, it's not as clean reduction as Noise Ninja or some other noise reduction software but I'll get one of those soon... after I get my next item - Sigma 10-20mm).

~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~

I've learned that I have alot more to learn...

m123

DK
20 posts

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#13. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 12

m123 Registered since 12th May 2011
Mon 23-May-11 10:10 AM

I've just upgraded from the D40 to the D700.

Love the D40 and think I will continue to use it often, though right now I am obsessed with my new D700. AMAZING camera.

I think the person who said, wait until you run into something you really cannot do with the D40 and find a camera that can was on the right track.

My main motivation is that I do a lot of low light photography and the D40, though sometimes making a great shot under these conditions, more often than not did not quite make it. Noise at ISO 1600 is also too much. The D700 excels under these conditions. You almost cannot make a bad shot in poor light, even the armrests of my grandmothers chairs look like works of art :-0.

Otherwise the D40 has served me wonderfully and has shown me what is possible with a DSLR and has freed me up to be creative and spontaneous with photography without thinking too much about the technology.

With the D700 I do need to think about the technology more so and have a lot to learn. But I think once I have learned, my freedom to express my creativity can return.

Willis_G

US
3 posts

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#14. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

Willis_G Registered since 29th May 2011
Mon 13-Jun-11 11:33 AM

i was in your same boat pretty recently, i had a d40 for about two years or so and i last month sold it and went and bought a d60 with a 67mm 18-125 lens and it was a very very good decision, and i got a really good deal on the camera also.. check your local craigslist or ebay also has good deals

NoWin

North Brookfield, US
52 posts

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#15. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 0

NoWin Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Dec 2009
Tue 28-Jun-11 03:37 AM

Picked up a D90 last week (upgrading from a D40). I debated that vs a D7000 for many weeks, but felt the D90 is a better "value for dollar" at this stage for me. You can't go wrong with either; it's a case of what your wallet has to offer.

By the way, I love the D90.....excellent long-term stepping stone, IMHO


/Eddie

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chewie

Petaling Jaya, MY
134 posts

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#16. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 15

chewie Registered since 17th Jan 2008
Thu 07-Jul-11 02:06 AM

I was thinking of upgrading and friend of mine suggested that I get myself a used D700. Thought it was a good idea at first then I looked at the price for a full frame lens... my goodness... that made me stick to a cropped factor digital camera...for now. Just adding to the conversation in this forum.

~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~@~

I've learned that I have alot more to learn...

CarlasCandids

US
4 posts

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#17. "RE: Thoughts on upgrading from a D40" | In response to Reply # 16

CarlasCandids Registered since 21st Jul 2011
Thu 21-Jul-11 05:04 AM

I went from a D40 to a D90. I was very happy with the step up, but now upgrading again to the full frame D700, but will keep the D90 as a serious back up.

G