Nikon D40 at Best Buy for $400

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Bob Graz, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    Best Buy is selling out their Nikon D40 stock for $400 with the 18-55mm DX zoom lens. Does the quality and technology of the D40 still stand up today? It seems like a pretty good buy on a new DSLR that was pretty well respected when it was introduced. I'm not interested in movie capability. I'm interested in A DSLR that is high quality and affordable. I could spend $650 or so and get a D5000, but don't see the need if the D40 will meet my general purpose demands for several hundred $ less.
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Really depends on what's good enough for your forseeable needs.

    IIRC, the D40 is just 6MP, which is perfectly fine for casual use (and probably
    more, if you make the most of it), but you may eventually find this a bit
    limiting if you venture much beyond casual uses. Also, the sensor tech has
    indeed advanced enough in this case to justify paying more for a more recent
    camera even if you don't care about the added video capability (which ain't
    exactly ready for mainstream prime time yet anyway). How much more the
    improvement is worth to you is a YMMV thing of course.

    There are other functionality issues to consider as well, eg. the low grade 3-
    point AF system, the lack of AF support for older style non-AFS lenses,
    probably low grade viewfinder view, etc. OTOH, I'm not familiar enough w/
    the D5000 to know how that compares in such areas -- it might be
    essentially identical in most such. If price is the main issue, there's also the
    D3000 to consider as well although I know nothing about it.

    Alternatively, given a low enough entry price point, you could always just treat the little D40 as your carry-most-anywhere casual cam and get something else more substantial later if/when the need arises. That's essentially what many/most enthusiasts (and probably even some pros) find themselves doing in the long run as it's good to have the right tool for the right job.

    Hope that helps some...

    _Man_
     
  3. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    There's no Live View on it. That's a deal-breaker, imo.
     
  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Does Live View really work all *THAT* well on any of these consumer level DSLRs?


    I haven't really missed it much since switching to a DSLR as my primary camera several years ago -- I still use a compact digicam on rare occasions and usually miss good/fast AF to go w/ a good optical viewfinder (in my D200) more than the other way around.


    Yes, there are certain specific occasions when Live View probably makes a significant diff, but it's not really that many though unless you shoot a lot of macros (and/or very often use unusual POVs) -- and then, you'd probably need a flip-out LCD for that to be all that effective anyway. For most relatively casual off-angle shots, you can probably do fine enough just learning to "see" and aim the camera w/out use of viewfinder -- it may take a few shots to get what you want (at least until you get the hang of it), but it's often quite doable (and probably good practice for your photography skills). And unless you have a DSLR Live View w/ flip-out LCD that allows fast AF/response w/ good display refresh rate (and w/out any other significant side-effects), it probably won't be all that much more effective than learning how to shoot w/out viewfinder anyway.


    IF you're talking about shooting video, then that would be very different of course.


    _Man_
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I am with Man on the Live View function. My Canon 40D has the feature, and I never use it. It's too cumbersome to use, and I prefer looking through the viewfinder -- I'm used to doing that from my days shooting film, and never felt comfortable using an LCD screen on point & shoot digital cameras.


    I can see where the feature may be useful in very specific circumstances (like macro work), though, but not for general shooting.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I really missed my flip-out LCD screen this past weekend when I was finally using my XSi at a convention, and needed to take shots aimed downward (but I had to hold the camera high above my head to get a good shot), so my shots ended up with more angle to them, instead of being able to shot straight on in a downward fashion. My A650 with the flip-out LCD is useful in these types of conditions. But other than that, the dSLR produces better shots. But I did see someone with a Canon G11 with the flip-out LCD and he really enjoyed that feature of the camera.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Haha... Pat, bring both.


    _Man_
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I owned that same Canon Powershot G3, Man. In my case, though, the flip-out screen ended up malfunctioning so that the camera would turn off whenever I moved it. So, it became a fixed LCD screen camera for me, and is probably why I've never been fond of that feature since -- it's just another thing that can break on the camera.


    The camera still works fine, despite the screen issue. I gave it to my father after getting my first dSLR, and he still uses the G3.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Scott,


    I should probably have added that I didn't actually maneuver/flip-out the screen that often and usually just kept it flush against the back (facing out like any other non-adjustable camera). I only flipped it out, etc. on (rare?) occasion for certain shots. I ended up selling it to a coworker friend some time after going DSLR -- and it's probably still working perfectly fine for him since I hadn't heard of any problems w/ it (and he hasn't bought a new camera to replace it AFAIK).


    Also, I was definitely not married to the preference of optical viewfinder before going DSLR since I never owned a quality film camera before -- and was basically just starting to learn photography w/ the G3. And before researching into DSLRs, I always wondered why some folks were so married to that preference even on these compacts that had very poor optical ones that offered very mediocre, off-centered coverage (w/ parallax problem) vs the virtually 100% TTL coverage of the live view LCD (on most of the better compacts) -- that's besides the additional exposure aids offered along w/ more instant feedback on the live view LCD of many compacts.


    Actually, I guess most of them just complained a lot about the lame optical viewfinders -- the G3's was even partially blocked by the lens at some focal lengths, IIRC -- and just (grudgingly in some cases) accepted the live view LCD (or EVF in some cases). Many of them also complained about the smallish OVF view of many lower end DSLRs too -- and couldn't wait to go FF in part for a bigger OVF view. I guess most of them are old school folks who shot full manual for decades -- and a bigger OVF view probably helps a lot for manual focusing on top of other things. Yeah, I like the bigger view on my daughter's Nikon FM2a too.


    _Man_
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Man, in m y case I grew up looking through the viewfinders of film cameras, and could never get used to holding a camera away from my body in order to look at an LCD screen while composing and shooting. Also, it is much more difficult to hold the camera steady at arms length than anchoring it properly while looking through a viewfinder.


    I guess it all boils down to what you are used to.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I have presbyopia, so even if I use the LCD on a P-n-S camera, I need reading glasses to see what's on the screen if it gets inside a foot of my eyes. Getting old sucks.
     

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