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Subject: "Thinking about getting a D40x" Previous topic | Next topic
stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 02:31 PM
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"Thinking about getting a D40x"


Johnson City, US
          

Hi all, I'm new to this forum and photography in general. I found this site while researching the D40x camera.

I would be best classified as a beginning photographer, I've taken quite a few photos in my lifetime so far, but never used anything more than point and shoot type digital and film cameras.

My wife has suggested (and agreed!) to get me a Nikon D40x for Christmas.

Through my research so far, I think the D40x is the best bang for the buck for my budget.

Is it easy enough to use for a beginner? Although Nikon is claiming it is, I'd like to hear of real world experiences instead.

I have seen some absolutely stunning photographs taken with this camera, but is it unreasonable to expect that I may not get the same results? Is it more about style and experience etc?

My main goal is to learn all I can about photography and proper use of settings for great looking pictures. I think the D40x will be sufficient enough for my needs (I'm not going to be doing a lot of photographs, just casually) and I can always upgrade later if I decide it's not enough

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
timkoo
31st Oct 2007
1
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
abaron
31st Oct 2007
2
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
dclarhorn Moderator
31st Oct 2007
3
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
stephen75
31st Oct 2007
4
     Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
abaron
31st Oct 2007
5
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
mtpenmaker
31st Oct 2007
6
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
stephen75
31st Oct 2007
7
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Rassie Silver Member
31st Oct 2007
8
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
JoelT
31st Oct 2007
9
     Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
stephen75
01st Nov 2007
10
          Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
mtpenmaker
01st Nov 2007
11
          Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
ilgoldstein
04th Nov 2007
16
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Fishwish
03rd Nov 2007
14
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Daryl in KY
01st Nov 2007
12
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MotoMannequin Moderator
01st Nov 2007
13
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
Broon
04th Nov 2007
15
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
stephen75
04th Nov 2007
17
Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
Daryl in KY
05th Nov 2007
18
     Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
stephen75
05th Nov 2007
19
          Reply message RE: Thinking about getting a D40x
Broon
05th Nov 2007
20

timkoo Registered since 09th Oct 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 04:06 PM
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#1. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


Urbana, US
          

Hi Stephen,

Welcome! I'm pretty new here too. For your purposes, I'd suggest you go with the D40 and not the D40x unless you really need the extra megapixels to make large prints. The D40 will save you a couple hundred, which'll give you a bit more to invest in lenses.

I played around with my D40 for a bit, but decided to go with the D50 because of the lack of auto-focus.

Either way, the D40(x) will be a great starting body.

Hope that helps a bit - Enjoy!

D200 w/ MB-D200 | D80 w/ MB-D80 | 10.5 f/2.8 | 50 f/1.8D | 17-50 f/2.8 | 85 f/1.4D | 80-200 f/2.8 AF-S | SB-800 | 3x SB-600 w/ LSII
www.timkoo.smugmug.com

  

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abaron Registered since 18th Jul 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 04:07 PM
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#2. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 1


Vancouver, CA
          

One note, the D40(X) does auto-focus, it just can't do it with non AF-S lenses.

André Baron
A Vancouver Nikonian

  

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dclarhorn Moderator In depth knowledge and high level skills in a variety of areas including landscape Nikonian since 31st Mar 2002Wed 31-Oct-07 04:12 PM
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#3. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


Berwyn Heights, US
          

Hi Stephen, and welcome to Nikonians! You've found a remarkable resource here for photographic information.

The D40x IS capable of delivering excellent results and if you like the size and feel of the camera, it's a very good choice. It offers various shooting modes and auto settings to make things easy enough for the user. The range of choices and settings may seem daunting at first, but you can start off simple and try out new things later on. As you gain experience, you will probably find yourself discovering other settings that will let you have more control over your exposures. Historically, this has been the whole point for using SLRs and now DSLRs.

Yes, stunning photographs can be taken with the D40x, but whether you can expect those results is a harder question for me to answer. I'm old school and believe that while all this technology is nice, it has its limits. An experienced photographer makes decisions based on the lighting and shooting conditions. Also, the ability and vision of the shooter to "see" the picture and compose it to make it pleasing or stunning to the viewer is based on experience, skill and talent. All of this contributes to those stunning photographs. In my opinion, you simply can't get the same kind of results, at least most of the time, with a point and shoot mentality.

Also, just as film is developed and can be adjusted and improved in the darkroom, so can the digital image with post-processing software. For some applications (small print snapshots), it's okay to simply produce images straight from your card. But, for many, some tweaking in post-proprocessing will almost certainly improve the image. My advice then, if you want to improve, is to research and learn all phases of digital photography, which extends beyond the camera.

In short, the D40x should meet your needs for the time being. Upgrading later is a matter of want or need depending on how you shoot and what you demand from the camera.

Good luck!

Dan L.
http://larussoweb.com

Dan L.
http://www.danlarussophotography.com/

  

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stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 04:17 PM
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#4. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 3


Johnson City, US
          

Thanks for all the replies so far

"One note, the D40(X) does auto-focus, it just can't do it with non AF-S lenses."

This raises an interesting question to me. I know absolutely nothing about lense types, features, etc.

Will I be severely limited with this body as far as lenses?

Is the lens that comes with the kit (18-55mm I think) sufficient to start with? And is it autofocus?

  

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abaron Registered since 18th Jul 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 04:30 PM
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#5. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 4


Vancouver, CA
          

The kit lens does auto-focus

You ask "Will I be severely limited with this body as far as lenses?" The simple answer is not much, the complicated answer is "depends on how you shoot." I currently have a 50mm f/1.8 for my D40, not only does this lens not auto focus but it also doesn't even meter on the camera (it's 30+ years old), I still really enjoy using it.

You can use any lens, some jsut will be manual focus only, it takes a bit of getting used to but manual focus isn't really a big problem either.

The biggest thing that you looking at is most of the AF-S lenses out there are pro glass, so we're talking a bit of money but I foresee that Nikon will bring out more consumer level AF-S glass.

André Baron
A Vancouver Nikonian

  

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mtpenmaker Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 06:16 PM
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#6. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


Billings, US
          

I'll echo the recommendation that you get a D40 and not the D40x. Unless you want to make large prints, bigger than about 13x19, you just don't need more pixels. For about the price of a D40x with the 18-55mm kit lens, you can get a D40 with the 18-55mm kit lens plus a 55-200mm f/4-5.6 AF-S VR lens. Those two lenses would probably meet about 99% of what you would want to do with the camera, at least based on what you stated.

Gerry Rhoades
www.montanapens.com
My Nikonians Gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Wed 31-Oct-07 06:27 PM
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#7. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 6


Johnson City, US
          

>I'll echo the recommendation that you get a D40 and not the
>D40x. Unless you want to make large prints, bigger than
>about 13x19, you just don't need more pixels. For about the
>price of a D40x with the 18-55mm kit lens, you can get a D40
>with the 18-55mm kit lens plus a 55-200mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-S
>lens. Those two lenses would probably meet about 99% of
>what you would want to do with the camera, at least based on
>what you stated.


Hmmm. Ok. I did do some shopping around today and found that to be the case.

I'm not looking to do any large prints, come to think of it, I've never printed any large prints. I would like the option to be there however, if I should decide to ever do one.

So kinda torn lol. I think most of my photography will consist of scenery and wildlife (those seem to be my favorite) as well as general photos (family, pets, etc)

I've never printed anything that has been bigger than 5x7, and just about all of my prints so far have been 4x6, I couldn't ever really see myself going above 8x10.

So what to do.... Is the main difference between the D40/D40x the megapixel count? Any other advantages?

I think like most consumers that more megapixels=better quality photos regardless of size, would that be a wrong assumption?

  

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Rassie Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006Wed 31-Oct-07 07:54 PM
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#8. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 7


Milton, CA
          

>I've never printed anything that has been bigger than 5x7,
>and just about all of my prints so far have been 4x6, I
>couldn't ever really see myself going above 8x10.
>
>So what to do.... Is the main difference between the
>D40/D40x the megapixel count? Any other advantages?
>
>I think like most consumers that more megapixels=better
>quality photos regardless of size, would that be a wrong
>assumption?

Yes, wrong assumption. Most high quality pictures are printed at between 270 and 300 dpi density. The 6 mp sensor of the D40 allows a print of about 10" X 6.6" at 300 dpi. You won't see a difference in printed quality at that size or smaller between the D40 and D40X.

With decent photo editing software most people can enlarge the 10" X 6.6" size of the 6 mp picture to 13" X 19" and still end up with a beautiful picture - I've done it myself several times. Beyond that size, the more you enlarge, the more you lose quality in the picture until at some stage it just looks bad. The 10 mp of the D40X will allow you to enlarge beyond 13" X 19" (say maybe to around 16" X 24")and still have a good picture. Advantage D40X.

So the more pixels will allow larger prints, but at smaller print sizes you won't see a difference in quality. What you also need to keep in mind, is that one picture from the D40X takes up a lot more space on a memory card as well as on the computer's hard drive. You will fill up both a lot quicker with D40X pictures than with D40 pictures. Advantage D40.

The other main differences between the two cameras is that the lowest ISO for the D40 is 200, versus 100 on the D40X. Advantage D40X. The maximum flash synchro shutter speed on the D40 is higher than the D40X. Advantage D40. And then I've seen some statements that the D40 makes better low light pictures with less noise than the D40X. If this is true, then advantage D40 again.

In my opinion, the only reason I would choose the D40X over the D40 would be for its potential for bigger prints. Having said that, I did have to make the choice recently when I bought a new camera for my wife. I selected the D40 with the 18-55 mm kit lens and the 55-200 mm VR lens. In two years of DLSR photography I have not had the need or desire to print a picture larger than 13" X 19", and for me the 6 mp sensor is therefore sufficient.

Regards

My Nikonians gallery

  

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JoelT Basic MemberWed 31-Oct-07 08:53 PM
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#9. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

I'll go against the tide here. I'd recommend the D40x in your case. Apart from being able to go large on prints, the 10mp will also give you a little breathing room for cropping. You mentioned you like doing scenery and wildlife. Maybe you should try to print out a large 12x18" scenery pic you took at Costco (~$3) and you mind find that you'll get hooked. I did. I have a 6mp camera and let me tell you, it's those times I wish I did have the luxury of a 10mp. I had to resize everything and I lost resolution by doing so. Also, this applies to wildlife photography. Even with a 200mm focal length lens at your disposal, you'll find that it's still too short when photographing wildlife. You'll need at least a 300mm for those. With a 200mm lens and a 10mp camera, you can zoom in and crop without losing too much definition in your pictures and make it look like you took it closer than you were.


>
>I'm not looking to do any large prints, come to think of it,
>I've never printed any large prints. I would like the option
>to be there however, if I should decide to ever do one.
>
>So kinda torn lol. I think most of my photography will
>consist of scenery and wildlife (those seem to be my
>favorite) as well as general photos (family, pets, etc)
>
>I've never printed anything that has been bigger than 5x7,
>and just about all of my prints so far have been 4x6, I
>couldn't ever really see myself going above 8x10.
>

  

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stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Thu 01-Nov-07 12:08 AM
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#10. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 9


Johnson City, US
          

Just got back from a trip to the local Ritz camera to look at one of these. I will say I'm mighty impressed and darn near walked out of there with one tonight but promised my wife I'd wait until Christmas , besides I can get it cheaper online with no sales tax and free shipping.

Here is what I've discovered so far from the great folks here and what I learned at Ritz camera this evening:

- Higher megapixel does not mean better photos unless printing something huge just as everyone said, I was kind of surprised he didn't pitch the more expensive D40x to me based on that.

- The only differences between the 2 is that the D40x is 10 megapixel versus 6, and has ISO speeds down to 100 versus 200.

- They are both functionally the same beyond that from what the salesman told me

"Even with a 200mm focal length lens at your disposal, you'll find that it's still too short when photographing wildlife."

That brings up another good point. For the record, I have never taking any pictures of wildlife out in the "wild" so now that you point that out and I think about it, that makes a lot of sense.

For $200 more I can get the same kit with a D40x that I was looking at with the D40 (2 lenses, camera body, case, and 2 instructional DVD's), I'm wondering if it's just worth the extra money, $1k for a camera is a lot for me, but like anything it's an investment and you get what you pay for.

I hope to "grow" into this camera over time. Photography has always been therapeutic to me and will give me an excuse to get out of the house more instead of sitting around like I do now.

I hope this may be the last camera I ever buy, but I may become addicted and maybe not!!!

  

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mtpenmaker Registered since 23rd Aug 2007Thu 01-Nov-07 12:53 AM
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#11. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 10


Billings, US
          

To me it wasn't worth the extra money for the added 4MP, but I've been taking photos for a while and, I think, had a pretty good understanding of what the camera could actually do and what I expected it to do. So, only you can answer whether it's worth the extra money. One thing I would highly recommend is going to your local library and see if they have any books on the Zone System and also buy a copy of "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. Bryan's book is extremely good and has some outstanding photos in it, but I think it falls a bit short in explaining what a meter really does and why it does it. A good understanding of exposure will go a long way to make photography fun. You can let the camera do all the thinking for you and sometimes you will get some well exposed shots, but if you take control of the camera, you'll get a lot more well exposed shots.

Gerry Rhoades
www.montanapens.com
My Nikonians Gallery

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ilgoldstein Registered since 03rd Oct 2007Sun 04-Nov-07 07:10 AM
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#16. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 10


Burbank, US
          

A word of caution on that two lens kit. The kits I have seen come with the older non-VR version of the 55-200mm lens. The exception I've seen is Costco (on my last visit, previously it had the non-VR,) which says on the box that it is a VR lens. That kit runs just under $1,000.00. (It's the DX.)

I've hardly ever even printed pictures up until now, and can't see myself printing anything over an 8 x 10, so I got the D40 and I really love it. I passed on the two lens kit for the reason I mention above, and now think I'll get a good flash unit before I invest in the longer zoom. I seem to take a lot of indoor pictures.

I do hope that since Nikon has put so many of these nifty cameras in the hands of "regular people," it will produce some lenses we can afford! I think a nice fast "normal" lens would be terrific.

Merry Christmas, whichever one you get you will be happy, just make sure you get an SD card with it, and have her charge up the battery Christmas Eve so you are ready to go. Remember what Kodak used to say in their holiday ads -- "Open Me First."

  

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Fishwish Registered since 06th Aug 2007Sat 03-Nov-07 10:05 PM
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#14. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 6


Waterbury, US
          

I also am new to the DSLR world,as such I researched this same issue for quite awhile. I finally decieded to go with the D-40.I love this piece and really don't need the extra megapixels as they aren't important to my shooting style. I'd rather keep the $200 or so in my pocket and apply it to differant lenses. I found mine at ebay on the Cameeta auction and fimnally won mine for $434.00 shipped. I had to lose a couple of auctons before gettin to this place but it was worth the wait..HTH,,David

  

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Daryl in KY Registered since 01st Nov 2007Thu 01-Nov-07 01:08 PM
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#12. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Daryl in KY, D40X w 18-135, Just a Novice

Hi Stephen,

I just bought my D40X. It is my first Nikon. I had a really tough time deciding which camera to get. My experience with cameras is probably very limited compared to most people who visit this forum. I learned what little I know with a Pentax Super ME about 30 years ago. But I learned that the big difference in my photos was due to 1)the lens, 2) the light, & 3) how good I did with the focus. I ended up choosing Nikon simply because of lens reputation. If you stage most of your photos, your most important piece of equipment will be the lens. If you shoot as the opportunity presents itself, the msot important equipment is the camera/flash and its ability to focus and meter light. I learned that my style of photography lead me to use mostly a zoom lens in the range of 20-100mm. Once I started using a zoom lens, my other lens sat in the bag unless it was a staged shot. With the newer auto focus cameras, the focus part of photography is much easier.

If you've every been in a situation where your photos just didn't turn out, $200 or $400 dollars that you didn't spend to get the right camera/equipment is just a shame. For me, the ability to crop pictures when I didn't point the camera exactly where I should have was worth the extra money to get the D40X. Memory cards are really cheap unless you buy them at the camera shop.

You have to decide how many megapixal you need for your style. Just make sure that you get a lens that works for your style and the right flash for the kind of shots that you will take.

Good luck making your decision. I'm sure that you will enjoy either camera. Just make sure you buy from a trusted source.

Daryl in KY, D40X w 18-135, Just a Novice

  

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MotoMannequin Moderator Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Nikonian since 11th Jan 2006Thu 01-Nov-07 05:41 PM
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#13. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


Livermore, CA, US
          

Hi Stephen,

First, welcome to Nikonians!

You'll find the world of SLR cameras gives you almost infinite choices, and I'm sure this will be bewildering to you.

As far as D40x vs. D40, I agree with others that the D40 is the better buy. The pixel race has been on for several generations of digital cameras, and the main reason is because when you're standing in the aisle at your local Buy More it's the easiest way to compare. But we've long since exceeded what most people need for good prints.

To say that high-quality prints require 270-300dpi only tells part of the story. For printers, that's the highest quality possible, and many pro printers will tell you that 120dpi is still sufficient to get a good print. That means a 6MP body can get you to (3000x2000)/120dpi = 25"x16.7". That means in standard sizes, with a sharp picture, 16"x24" is possible. 13"x19" is easily doable. It also means that if you're printing 5"x7" (x300dpi) = 3.1MP is the highest resolution your printer is capable of, so you're required to throw away 50% of your 6MP or 67% of your 10MP.

Now consider the D40 & D40x are not exactly functionally equivalent. The 6MP sensor is much less noisy than the 10MP sensor because the pixel density is lower. That means much better low light performance on the D40, and that a cropped 10MP picture from a D40x is not necessarily equivalent to a D40 picture. Also, the D40 has a higher flash-sync speed, so it's easier to freeze motion using the flash. You'll get more images on a card with the D40, and the images will be faster to process on your computer.

What I suggest, especially if you want to shoot wildlife, you'll need a telephoto:

D40 with 18-55 lens + 70-300mm VR lens. This is an awesome beginner setup and should put you at about $1K. The 300mm lens will get you closer to your wildlife, and easily make up for whatever advantage cropping a 200mm/D40x image would bring.

Compare this price & function to D40x + 18-55mm + 55-200mm VR lens, I think price is about the same but the above setup kills this one for performance.

If it's out of your budget then I'd still recommend D40 + 18-55 + 55-200 VR.

Be aware there are older 55-200mm and 70-300mm lenses (non-VR, VR = Vibration Reduction = image stabilization). Be sure to get the newer VR lens. Costco & Ritz have been putting together kits to help them dump the older 55-200 lens so beware. Ask Ritz to substitute the 55-200 VR lens into a kit with the older 55-200. They did it for a friend of mine for $50 more, which is an excellent bargain.

Also, if you're concerned about auto-focus, then only buy Nikon "AF-S" or Sigma "HSM" lenses. With only a couple exceptions that I doubt you'd consider anyway, simply looking for these letters tells if you AF will work on a D40/x

HTH

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery
New: My website is live! www.tempered-light.com

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
My Nikonians gallery

www.tempered-light.com

  

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Broon Registered since 17th Jul 2007Sun 04-Nov-07 12:29 AM
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#15. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 13


GB
          

I invested in a D40 and an 18-135 lens 6 months ago. Recently adding an SB-600 flash I am soooooo happy with all the results. All images in my galleries were taken with this kit.

I have also gone down the Nikon Capture NX route.

Making a decision about getting into Nikon DSLR ?
..... D40x ..... why ?

D40 has all you need at this level.



Neil

Nikonian in the UK


My Nikonians Gallery

  

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stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Sun 04-Nov-07 06:58 PM
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#17. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 0


Johnson City, US
          

Well I took the plunge. Thanks to all who replied, it really helped me. Santa came early, I just came home from the mall with a D40x kit in hand from Ritz camera. I decided it was worth the extra money to get a higher megapixel count as I don't know where I'm going to be taking this newfound love for photography yet, very happy with it so far!

Not a bad deal at all, got the two lenses, carrying case, 2 DVD's, and a bunch of free classes

I hope to be sharing some images soon!

Snaphappy in Tennessee....

  

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Daryl in KY Registered since 01st Nov 2007Mon 05-Nov-07 01:28 PM
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#18. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 17


US
          

Daryl in KY, D40X w 18-135, Just a Novice

Congratuations, Stephen. I think that you will be pleased. I'm still trying to digest all the things that can be done with the D40/X. But it is really amazing that you can turn the camera on in Auto mode and just start taking really good pictures. You didn't say which lenses that you got, but I really like the feel/balance of my camera with the 18-135 lens.

Enjoy!

Daryl in KY, D40X w 18-135, Just a Novice

  

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stephen75 Registered since 31st Oct 2007Mon 05-Nov-07 02:12 PM
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#19. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 18


Johnson City, US
          

>Daryl in KY, D40X w 18-135, Just a Novice
>
>Congratuations, Stephen. I think that you will be pleased.
>I'm still trying to digest all the things that can be done
>with the D40/X. But it is really amazing that you can turn
>the camera on in Auto mode and just start taking really good
>pictures. You didn't say which lenses that you got, but I
>really like the feel/balance of my camera with the 18-135
>lens.
>
>Enjoy!

Thanks Daryl

I'm in the same boat, this camera has a TON of settings!!!! I got two lenses with the kit I purchased, and 18-55 and a 55-200. I may sell them at some point and just get one lens, depends on my usage going forward.

I haven't had much time to play with it, but so far I am very impressed with the pictures I have taken so far!

Great quality camera at a decent price.

  

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Broon Registered since 17th Jul 2007Mon 05-Nov-07 10:09 PM
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#20. "RE: Thinking about getting a D40x"
In response to Reply # 19


GB
          

Great news Stephen.

I love my D40 and am sure you'll love you're D40X.

Now get out there and get snapping !!



Neil

Nikonian in the UK


My Nikonians Gallery

  

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