Comparing Nikon dSLRs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by MBPro825, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. MBPro825 macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2009
    I am thinking of buying my own dSLR and was wondering about your experience with some of the models. I have decided that I probably would prefer a Nikon based on using them this summer and personal preference. I don't want anything with a 4:3 ratio because I most likely will not be printing bigger photos ordinarily ​

    Right now I am comparing the Nikon D40 and the Nikon D60 and was wondering what your experience with them was. I have heard the D40 feels kind of cheap, should I be worried about that? Instead of the D40 or D60 should I consider the D3000 or an older used D50? Or should I look at a comparable Canon? Thanks ​
  2. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I've just been keeping up with them and the D3000 has a lot of nice enhancements from their better dSLR's over the D40...

    I see a lot of D40's in the online used now... ;)
  3. thebrain74 macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2006
    I was in a similar position to yours a few weeks ago. I tried out the low end cannon and the D3000 in store, and in my med-large hands, I liked the ergonomics of the Nikon, it also felt sturdier.

    I also looked at the D40. It is nearly a cult device. The D3000 is essentially an updated version with much better AF, megapixels (useful for cropping, other less so), and a VR kit lens. The lower Megapixel count in the d40 can yield a little better ISO performance.

    I'm assuming since you're looking at these low end bodies that you're not too worried about live view, video, CMOS etc?

    Also you may want to consider the Pentax k-x. it is about $100 more than the D3000 but has really good features (CMOS, live view, in camera HDR, colors)

    Anyway I am getting my new D3000 in the mail tomorrow and I can post some more impressions.
  4. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I was looking at the D40 and D60 last year, and decided to wait on getting a DSLR. Over the holidays this year, I started looking again, and was trying to decide between the updated D3000 and D5000.

    I found a great deal on the D5000 at Amazon, and decided the small increase in cost over the D3000 was worth it. You get Video, a better sensor, two more MP, live view, swivel LCD, and a couple of other items.

    I think any of these four cameras would be great, but I would stick to the D3000-D5000 unless you can save alot of money on the older D40 and D60.

    The D3000 kit was going for $499 through the holidays, and I picked up my D5000 kit for $649.

    So far, I have been very happy with my D5000.

    Check out the comparisons over at DPreview for some good information:


    The D3000 review has a nice chart comparing the D5000/D3000/D60.
  5. xkRoWx macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2007
    The D5000 have gotten a lot of good reviews. It is essentially a cheaper D90 with a slight edge in high ISO performance versus the D90 and D300.

    I still prefer the D90 because it has a top LCD and a focusing motor. The D300 provides much better weather sealing and have 4x more AF points (51 vs. 11). Of course, these features come with a price.
  6. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    Personally I wouldn't get anything below the D90 as it has the focussing motor. Having this gives you access to a much wider selection of older lenses including some of nikons finest. I started at the d200/300 level as I also wanted access to manual focus lenses and for someone used to film slrs the higher level cameras are simpler to understand. If you just stick to buying new zooms it is less of an issue
  7. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    No, you shouldn't worry, the Nikons all ave the same basic "feel," in terms of solid, thick plastics, the higher-end cameras are more solid because of metal frames, but there's nothing "cheap" feeling about the D40. I own a D3x and a D2x and when I pick up a D40 it just feels smaller, not cheaper. If you want to use AF-D lenses, then you should seriously consider a D90, if you're going to mostly use a kit or new lens, then the D40 is fine, as is the D3000.

    You should look at the Canons too, but if you're worried about "cheap feel," Canon's lower-end bodies have plastic that feels substantially thinner than anything else in their line to me. Personally, that wouldn't be a big deal to me, but if you specifically mention it then it may be to you.
  8. JeepGuy macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2008
    I agree, when you pick up a Nikon, and a Canon, you can't help but notice the difference in weight, the Nikon feels much sturdier. I have a D5000(wife), and a D300s, I think too much emphasis is put on the internal motors of the higher up Nikons, if you have a large investment in lens sure, but starting fresh there is no shortage of great lens in the AF-S range, and most older AF lens will work on a D5000 in Manual focus mode. It's more important to just find something that feels good, and get out there shooting, you can always upgrade later to a better SLR with more features.
  9. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    I bought my first dSLR May/June of last year. I decided to go with Nikon because of the feel/size, and a gut feeling.

    I looked at the D40/D60/D5000, read the reviews and tried both the D40 and D5000.

    The D40 was my choice over the D5000 because of price primarily, but also I didn't feel that the D5000 was mature yet in terms of HD video. I invested the $$ a few months later in buying a new lens to compliment the 18-55 kit lens.

    I love my D40 and don't regret the decision. If I had to buy today, I would probably go with the D3000 (a "better" D40), or go with a D90.

    my 2c.
  10. rsday75 macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Here is my $.02 for what its worth.

    If money is a major concern and you can find a D40, that is the camera I would get.

    The D3000 is new and gets lots of press, but photos at higher ISO have lots of noise. I like to use natural light if I can, so this would be a deal breaker.

    The D5000, D90, D300 and D300s all use basically the same sensor. In my mind, these are the flagship Nikon DX bodies.

    My pick right now for value to cost would be a D5000. It can be had as a refurb kit at Adorama for $525.
    I have no issue buying Nikon refurb. I own a refurb SB600 and 50mm. You could not tell they were not new.

    The best in the consumer range would be a D90, but it is more $$$. Things the D90 has over the D5000:

    Built in focus motor.
    Flash commander that allows the camera to control 1 or more off camera flash.
    More direct access to camera functions. Less "menu digging"
    Higher resolution rear LCD.
  11. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Having used (and still do) a D50 for around 3 years now, I'd give it a big recommendation if you're looking at a D40, even a D60. It's a bigger body, so the grip and ergonomics are more comfortable, it has the built-in AF screw drive, top lcd which is very handy, exceptional battery life (way better than the D40/D60 series) and excellent noise characteristics. Being a 6 megapixel camera actually helps here as the photo sensor sites/density are about the same size as the ones on the D700. The camera is very reliable and can take a beating, feels very solid in construction but is not too heavy. All in all, a great camera. Bottom line for me is it's a better choice than the D40/D60 series, and they're very reasonably priced on the used market for excellent condition, probably around $240-$260, <$300 including 18-55 lens.

    This all assumes you're comfortable in the used camera market... :)
  12. MBPro825 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2009
    Why does the D60 kit cost more than the D3000 kit? I was trying to look at what each one did and didn't have and I could not find much of a difference.
  13. Stevo B macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2009
    I own a D200 and a D60 right now and have extensively used D3, D300, D90, D40. I would definitely go for at least the D3000. If for no other reason but the autofocus. Its 11 points compared to only 3 on the D40, D40x, and D60 which makes a huge difference while using autofocus. My D200 has 11 point AF and believe me, its a great help. If you're looking for a good deal and don't mind factory refurbs, check out Cameta Camera on Amazon. Their stock changes a lot, but when they have good stock in they are the best deal around. I've bought many refurbished bodies from them and they arrive in great like brand new condition.
  14. NEiMac macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2007
    THe really dry side of the Pacific NW
    I second the D50 recommendation. It has screw drive which will allow you to auto focus many more lenses then with a D40,60,3000,5000.
  15. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Missing Info

    You forgot to mention your budget. It's kind of important, unless you have an unlimited budget, in which case, just get a D3x and send it to me if you don't like it, since you can obviously afford the charity.

    I'd recommend a D50, however. It's a better place to start than the D40/60/3000/5000 because of the AF motor, which makes it more expandable and versatile. I also prefer the LCD on the top, which Nikon since removed to shrink their entry-level cameras in favor of the battery-wasting alternative of showing shooting info on the main LCD.
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    How could there by this many posts in this thread and no one has yet asked the OP any questions about his overall budget, not just no and continueing. and what subjects he wants to shoot and how he will use the camera and what kinds of lens(es) he wants.

    There is no why anyone can give informed advice. We can make general comments about cameras but not recommends one to the OP untill we know more about the OP.

    So my general advice to him: The lens you place on the body matters a lot more than the body itself. Think a lot about lenses and do NOT BUY any SLR body until you know about lenses. What maximum apertur do you want. For f/5.6 really going to work or should you be lookig at 2.8 or 1.4 What focal lengths do you mostly use?

    Many times it makes the most sense to buy a lower ed SLR body but with one of the beter lenses. Overall you get the best bang per buck that way.

    I'd say after your first upgrade lens you should have AT LEAST one half of your budget invested in lenses. If you can't do this then you should have bought a lower priced body. Balance is the key here.

    But without knowing your budget or intended subjects no one can make specific recommendation.​
  17. thesmall macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2010
    go for it.. i m telling u that u will not regret it.. its picture qualiyt is excellent...
  18. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    Just to clarify - the D50 has 5 focus points.
  19. MBPro825 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 4, 2009
    My price range would probably be $550 if I were to get it before August (which I am leaning to).I am just starting to get into dSLR's. I have used both Canons and Nikons briefly and prefer the Nikons over the Canons personally. I plan on using the stock 18 by 55 mm lense until I figure out what I really like to photograph. I will decide what second lense to get after I get the camera and the body. The D3000 price of $550 is probably the most I am willing to spend on a body.
  20. mike dunx macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2006
    Central FL
    I've owned a d50 for about 3 years now. It's a great camera, and they are very cost effective these days.. for the price of a d40 you could get a used d50 body and a probably have enough left over for some quality nikon glass. For $550 you could probably get a d50 body and 2 quality lenses.

    The d50 also has a great flash sync speed when paired with wireless or older manual on camera flashes (like a sunpack).. I've been able to sync up to 1/4,000th of a second plenty of times with my d50. I think the d70/d70s shares this capability as well.

    I'm actually selling my d50 on ebay right now, along with a canon eos 10d which is similar to the d50 in pixel count, but sports a back lit top lcd and 7 point auto focus.

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