D40 vs. D80

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Krafty, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #1
    I was thinking about selling my D40 and some other stuff to get a D80 body. However, my friend who does photoshooting already and has a D300, says the D40 body is better, but when I used my friends D80 I was in love with it more than my D40, so is it worth it?
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

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    Dec 31, 2007
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    #2
    *cough*
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #3
    What do you want the D80 for? If you're happy with the D40 personally I would wait at least until the D90 is at D80 prices and get one of those, at least the D90 is significantly better, image wise.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #4
    I like to do large portraits and landscape, and comparing the image sizes of the D80 and D40, I noticed the D80 was better, and the AF is faster. I couldn't really understand what my friend meant when he said the D40 was better. I also found the display at the top better than having to press a button on the D40 everytime to view the info.

    For some reason, I handle bigger SLRs better than smaller ones.
     
  5. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #5
    The only thing I could imagine is that the D40 is better for high ISO, like a slightly improved D50 in this respect.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  7. macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    #7
    The D80 is a little aged and has been replaced by the D90. I shoot with a D80 which I got last summer and have been very happy with the results. Feature, body and usability wise it is much better than the D40. One of the deciding factors when I purchased mine was the separate aperture and shutter controls and the small screen up top. Not having to go to the menus to change settings is much faster and easier.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe you also have a larger selection of lens with the D80 due to it having a AF motor in the body or something like that.

    Great camera overall.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    #8
    I have owned both a D40 and a D80. The major differences I have found are:

    1) I personally found that the higher ISOs on the D40 to come out a little better than the same ISOs on the D80. I am mostly talking about the 400-600 range. The D90 (the newer replacement to the D80) does a much better job at these ISOs and higher.

    2) The metering (and to a lesser extent the white balance) on the D40 in my opinion is better than the D80. This is ESPECIALLY true with matrix metering. If you do batch processes of photos (dump your pictures into Adobe Lightroom or Bridge and apply the same exposure / white balance to multiple pictures) you will find out what I'm talking about in about 5 seconds. :) You can solve most of the problems by setting a specific white balance (and then fix them during post processing) and spot metering, but it can be frustrating when you are not used to these modes.

    Here are the definate advantages of the d80 vs the d40 and why I purchased the d80:

    1) At the time the d90 had just come out, but the darn thing was 1,000 bucks body only. The advantages (better / higher ISOs, etc.) just wasn't worth it in my opinion, although since the "newness" has gone away the d90 is a very good camera for the $.

    2) If you have older lenses you can use the auto focus motor on the d80, but not the d40. The d40 doesn't have an autofocus motor so the older (and cheaper I might add) lenses such as the 1.8f 50mm (perfect for head shots / portraits with the crop factor) will work much better and you will get more / better shots instead of missing some of those low DOF moments when your sharp focus is only like 1 or 2 inches. You can find some great deals on used, older, fast lenses that will work great with your d80.

    3) The d80 has a built in commander for wireless external off camera flash control. The d40 would require either purchasing an after market controller and be another piece of equipment you would need to keep track of. I have an sb600 that works great as an external flash by putting my camera's flash into commander mode.

    4) The d80 has a few more megapixels than the d40, although by the time you get to the level of a dslr quality camera, this doesn't matter much unless you are doing some significant cropping of your images. In this case a few extra megapixels help somewhat.

    5) The d80 has all your camera settings on the top display. It also has an extra dial and the ability to quickly change your various camera modes / settings. This you will find as a SIGNIFICANT advantage from your d40. Hunting those menus is a total pain, and drove me insane with my d40 because I would miss a great shot because my camera was set to iso 200 and the light was dim. With the d80 you just hit one button and dial the click wheel to change ISO / various settings.

    My personal recommendation is this:

    If you have the extra $$ to spend, get the d90, you will probably be happier with the choice, but if you are wanting to save some money and get a few more features than you have with your d40, you could do much worse than getting a d80. You will however need to play around with the camera a bit especially if you are still using the "auto" mode on your d40 most of the time. This could be an excellent opportunity to upgrade your camera and start using the other modes on that dial. :)
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #9
    Thanks for the great insights, I rarely use the Auto mode on my D40, but a portion of that comes from the fact that the AF engine in my stock lens is dead somehow.

    I chose the D80 cause if I sold the D40, I could probably just rack up a few more bucks and get one off Craigslist, as the D90's are still going for $1000. But if the D90 is worth it, I can hold off, see how much my summer job can pay (cause I'm still saving for a MacBook Pro). If not, I'll get the MBP and hold off. Gotta get what I need first before the wants (especially since I'm in college).
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    jaseone

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, USA
    #10
    I wouldn't count on the D80 fixing your lens issue, I don't even know if it would try to use the AF motor in the body with a lens that has a focus motor broken or not.

    To me it just doesn't sound like a D80 is going to give you enough bang for your buck for it to be worthwhile, why not forget about a new body all together and get a lens instead? That seems to be your real issue (the broken lens) and not really any restriction in the camera body anyway.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    #11
    Well the Auto mode does more than just auto focus. It also sets aperture and shutter speed based mostly upon the built in light meeter. To get your d40 up and running again, you might need to bring it in to your local pro camera shop to see if they can make sure it is your lens (it could be the motor in the AF-S kit lens you probably have) or the camera itself. It could be the communication between the body and the lens. It could be as simple as some loose connection between the lens and the camera body. If it's still under warranty you could get it fixed for free. :)

    Well the good thing about the macbook pro is that you can work on post processing your images which will also help you take better photographs. Post processing really helps you develop what is "wrong" with your images and helps you to identify key parts of your photography techniques that you identify as needing work.

    I would definitely say that the d90 is worth it if you can wait. If you can't or can't justify the cost between the 80 and the 90 then the d80 is a good choice.

    p.s. If the lens is bad, then you will still not be able to auto focus if the lens that isn't working is an AF-S lens. The AF-S lenses have a built in auto focus motor that is dependent on the camera body to auto focus. It doesn't have a screw that an auto focus motor will connect to on the d80 auto focus motor.
     
  12. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Some people don't like the way the D80's light meter, when set to "matrix" handles exposure. BUt the d80 has an in-body focus motor which opens up a lot more lenses. I've thought that a D80 upgrade could pay for itself quickly by allowing us of soe great used lenses that would not fit the D40. For example with a D40 you could get a $600 80-200 f/2.8 zoom but the the d40 you'd need the much more expensice version of the f/2.8 zoom. Pretty much instant payback.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #13
    Alright. I don't think it's under warranty. Nikon told me to send it in, but I can't cause I need it for class, and my friends wont let me use theirs (cause most of them have other sets of lens, so I can understand the feeling of everyday hoping your friend hasnt broken $200+ worth of merchandise). I still don't know how the AF died, havent dropped it.

    I knew the D80 wouldn't fix the lens, but I wasn't sure whether to get another pair of lens, and work with the D40 for sometime until I come near the ability to get a D80 (which will be a hell of a long time), but since the lens was alright, its just the motor, I figured I would suck it up and manual focus until I got a new pair. My friend had a 17-50mm (Tamco? I'm not sure, she got it in Korea), so I thought working with a 18-55mm would be alright since I'm mostly used to it.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    #14
    not trying to butt in...

    but, the D40 and the D0 are both aged where the D80 still has more benefits since it's a "pro-sumer" targeted camera and the D40 is clear entry level.

    If you can I would hold off for a d90 (you can get them for under 1k if you spend time shopping around) but make sure you get the stock VR lens as well.

    Personally I love my D90 (coming from a Olympus E series) but I don't undersntand you friends not borrowing you a lens for a while. At 200 bucks I would say, well if you break it you buy it. now borrowing a 500+ lens that's a different story but a normal zoom lens (18-55 for example) should not be a problem.

    Nikon will charge you btw even if they dont fix it because you tell them not to if they tell you the problem.

    Now you are saying you want to shoot large landscapes and portraits. Instead of buying a new body (for a few megapixels), I would get a 50mm lens and a ultra wide angle. They both will cost you , especially with built in AF, but I don't see why your current camera wouldn't be able to capture images that could be printed big.

    But thena gain, that's just me.
     
  15. Guest

    sangosimo

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2008
    #15
    d80 is better in every way. get a proper camera with dedicated buttons and you can use more lenses.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™
    #16
    ^thats the best advice^,
    and get a nice wide lens, I use the Sigma 10-20mm, a lot of fun in a small package, or just look around for a used 18-70mm lens, there are loads floating around, and cheap too, and it's still a good lens, i blow the dust off mine now and then, but mainly leave the 10-20mm on it these days.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #17
    I'll also give a nod for D90, it's about $900 for the body now, really good camera for the price.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #18
    The 18-55mm only goes for about $100 on Amazon if I remember correctly, and I have the stock 18-55mm lens. She had a 55-200mm that I feel in love with (see, I fall in love with all my friends better gadgets).

    Is that a fixed? My friend let me borrow her fixed 50mm and I could not master it for the life of me. The viewfinder would look crystal clear but on-screen there's still a little blur.

    Alright, I was actually looking at some Sigmas for my D40. I think I made a topic here and no one responded (happens quite often).
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    #19
    Sigmas

    Personally I think Sigmas are great lenses but some are also way below par. The 70-300mm DC is dirt cheap and it might be a great entry level lens but as soon as you want to get sharpness etc. it will not perform.

    for walk around lenses I prefer Nikon (Nikkor) though.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #20
    A guy is offering $525 for a D80 body, but perhaps I should keep re-loading my budget on lens first? (Or at least something to replace the broken ones?)

    Or will $1000 be the entire kit?
     
  21. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #21
    You can get it with 1 year Cameta warranty for that kind of money.

    Check out their ebay store.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 601

    Krafty

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    La La Land
    #22
    After past experiences, I don't mess with fee-bay anymore.
     
  23. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #23
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    #24
    actually

    here is the D90 with the nice VR lens : from ADORAMA

    999USD with NIKON Warranty.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #25
    I have the D80, and I love it (I also have a D70s-IR, also good, but D40 would be better if not for IR needs).

    There are some limitations on the D80 (mainly the ISO is poor after 400, after 800 don't bother unless you actually are trying to get the high noise in your photo for artistic sake).

    The D80 is also 10MP versus 6MP in a D40 (D40x = 10MP). Thats a good size jump. After 10MP the next jump would have to be quite high to justify a move only on MP alone.

    The D80 has an internal focus motor so some of the older lenses will focus (the ones without the internal focusing motors) so you don't have to spend as much for the newest AFS lenses.

    Beyond those three issues, unless you NEED a better camera I'd say hold on to your money and enjoy the D40. Its still a great camera and in 6-12 months the prices will be lower and the cameras will be better.

    Thats what I'm doing now, saving up for a D700 (or equivalent), as I have almost reached the limit of what I can do with the D80 in my style of shooting (handheld).
     

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