D40 D40x D60

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Wingnut330, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Wingnut330 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    Well - let the flaming threads begin! :p For those of you that suggest I search - I have. Feel free to ignore this post rather than just suggesting that I search.

    I'm considering a new DSLR - my first forary into this type of photography. I think I have it pretty well nailed down but want some feedback before I pull the trigger. I'm excited, but honestly intimidated by making this move. These cameras all seem very complicated/sophisticated. I'll likely take some courses regardless of which camera I purchase.

    I think I have settled in on the Nikon, although I used a friends Canon XTi last night. I liked it that the screen turned off when you held it to your face. That's pretty cool.

    Anyway, I went and held them both yesterday and I like the D40. I have a newborn son and will use it the most for pictures of him and then some general outdoor scenery shots. Most of my pictures will be taken indoors, but when I am outdoors I want to be able to get good shots of my neices and nephews playing sports etc. My 8 year old nephew is convinced he is the toughest football (American) player on the planet! :) I would like to get shots of his games without being so intrusive as I am with my P&S.

    My fear in buying the D40 is that I am buying sunsetting technology - specs that will be out of date soon. When reviewing the difference between the D40 and the D40x, I was prepared to just go with the D40.

    So I guess my question is....is the D60 worth the upgrade? In other words, is the D40 a dying breed that may be difficult to support in the future?

    People (indoors and out)
    Action Sports

    Lenses I'm considering
    18-200mm AF-S VR
    I would also like another super zoom lense for sports shots from the stands

    So, which body???

    Thanks in advance for the help. You folks rock!
  2. elmo151 Guest

    Jul 3, 2007
    the lenses are where the $$$ go. Nikon is excellent about compatibility--it's where the big profits are.

    Don't worry about being obsolete.

    check out the reviews at dpreview.com
  3. scr1968 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2007
    I got the D40x for Christmas to take pictures of my newborn as well (Congrats by the way) and have been super happy with it. The pictures have been awesome. Highly recommend it. The D40x over the D40 seems worth it for the extra 4 MPs it provides (6MPs versus 10MPs) --- unless you don't plan on making any large prints.

    The D60, as far as I know, is pretty much the same as the D40X with a few bells and whistles that may or may not be necessary. I think the D60 has stop-motion capabilities which is kinda gimmicky if you ask me.

    I got the 18-55 and the 18-200. Those are two good starter lens for sure.

  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    None of those cameras have in-body focus moters so you will be limited to using lenses that are what Nikon calls "AFS". If you were to buy a used D50 or D70 or a new D80 then you'd have more lens options. OK maybe you don't care and you would never even concider a 50mm lens or a used 70-200 f/2.8 zoom. But those two lenses would be perfect. The 70-200 is so much better for sports then the 18-200. I always tell people that thay are NOT buying just a camera body. They are buying a SLR SYSTEM. Look at the entire system of lenses, flashes and bodies you might want to own.

    That said for many people doing casual photos those new consumer grade f/5.6 zooms ar "good enough". Likely good enough for 80% to the people out there.

    I always recommend to just buy one lens and then shoot lots and lots of photos. then buy the second lens to cover all those shots you could not get wit the kit lens. Right know you don't know. Best to leave the money in the bank and spend it after 3 months and 1,000 images

    The "VR" image stabilization sounds great. They say that you can shoot with a two stops slower shutter hand held. But yu are far better off getig a lens that is two stops faster and shooting with a fastr shutter. Why? VR only address camera shake and not the motion of the subject. So even if the VR alows hand holding at 1/30th all that does is make for a sharp backgrond. If the subject moves yu get motion blur.

    For my own use, I'd much, much rather have a used 80-200 F/2.8 lens (thaey sell for between $400 and $650) then a brand new 18-200 VR. Also with the money save by not getting the expensive 18-200 I can afford to move up from the D40 to a D80. I'm not trying to tell you what to get. This is just an example of "thinking about the SYSTEM" not just which body to buy. Nothing wrong with the 18-200 it is a great lens. But think ahead to the shutter speeds you will want to use for various subjects and if a given lens will allow them.

    Don't know what shutter speeds you might prefer? Look back to where I wrote about just getting the kit lens and gaining experience before buying a second lens
  5. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    Thanks for all of the great replies.

    I was curious what the difference between the D40 and D50 were. Apparently one of the majors is the in camera focus. I guess I don't have an opinion on that either way because I don't have a bunch of lenses to try to retro-fit. Is this a critical feature?
  6. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    There's a lot of deals in used AF (non-S) lenses, and even some of the current ones have no AF-S equivalent.
  7. mrsollars macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2006
    it just limits you to ONLY using AF-S lenses.
    the only thing is, there are TONS of phenomenal lenses that are AF-D, Ai-S, etc. for example, i have a great, cheap, old, beat up, 35 f/2 that takes stunning pictures. i wouldn't give it up for anything.

    it's just a matter of opinion i guess. i say a D50 or D80 would be a better go if you think you'll stick with it and expand your lens collection in the future.
    The af-s only is just too limiting for me to commit.

    good luck.

  8. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    D70 BGLOD - Check if Nikon fixes for free in your country.

    D70s has no such problem.

    I prefer the D70 over the D50 mainly because the control LCD has a light.
  9. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    ...to be clear (cause I'm a newbie), I still just point and click correct? The difference is that the D50/70 body focuses vs the D40 lense. Am I understanding correctly?
  10. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Just to be clear, you lose *autofocus* with AF-I and AF-D lenses, they still work just fine in good old manual focus mode.
  11. burgen macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2007
    I have the D40 and love it. 6MP is really enough for me. The updates on D60 is not worth the additional dollars. I wish Nikon would release a D40 with bracketing, more focus areas, but no. D60 is totally marketing BS.
    Right now costco has D40 with 18-55, 55-20VR for $650, pretty good deal, considering costco's excellent warranty and return policy.
  12. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Yeah, there's full auto mode in D50, D70. They even have scene modes, like any P&S.

    Program, aperture priority and shutter priority modes are also extremely easy to use.

    The only mode in a camera that requires real expertise is manual.
  13. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Of course, the sensor size and technology is about the same, which means those extra pixels will come at the price of reduced sensitivity to light. You'll need a slower shutter speed, which might make your picture actually more blurry if your object is moving or you are taking a picture in a low light situation without a tripod. That would make the picture look lower quality despite the higher number of pixels.
  14. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Most of the improvements are in the realm of controls, rather than the actual quality of the photos.

    The comments about systems are correct as you may want to go to extreme telephoto, macros or other specialized work and it is nice to know it all works well together.

    I have had great experience with the VR function when taking pics of kids cuz you have to run around to get candid shots. Under those conditions I thought the VR function was more valuable than big apertures, but everyone has different needs or desires.
  15. Wingnut330 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2008
    Central Ohio - USA
    It seems as though many of you are recommending a D50/70 over the 40. I like that someone mentioned that the D50 has scene selections as I use them quite frequently on my Casio Exilim.

    D50 Pros:
    More Lense Options
    Built in AF motor
    Scene Selections

    Anything else I should consider?
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Don't buy the D50 or the D70 unless you specifically want that model because they are older. Go with the new stuff if you don't have any bodies or lenses right now. You don't seem to want any lenses without AF-S so go for the D60 or D40x. Besides, I am sure Nikon is going to start phasing out their non AF-S lenses over time.

    The D50 it quite annoying to use in low light because the top LCD Doesn't have a backlight, and the rear LCD is the worst I have ever seen or used in my life.

    p.s. Don't take Ken Rockwell too seriously. The guy may be an okay photographer, but he's an idiot when it comes to anything else, especially the Internet and looking up facts. The D60's biggest improvement is the addition of Expeed, I don't know whether or not it will make a huge difference in IQ, but the D40 and D40x don't have it.
  17. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Yeah, he is a bit of a snob. However, I don't think he denies D60's adaptive dynamic range additions and what not, but he thinks it is better to spend the money on a D40 and additional lenses than just a D60. I think it is a reasonable argument. Besides, D60 does have a lower base ISO, does it not, which means there is a trade-off in going with D60, it is not an all around win for a higher price.
  18. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Image quality: D40 > D50 > D70
    LCD size: D40 > D50 = D70s > D70

    That doesn't mean the D70 is bad because it's older. It takes very good pictures.

    And the D70 LCD is just fine. If you want to see a bad LCD, you should look at the Kodak 14n.

    If you think you'll never buy any more lenses, no point to look at the D50 or D70. Otherwise, used plain AF is the way to go for some lenses because of affordability (manual is even cheaper, but for that one really needs a D200 at least).
  19. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    I wouldn't consider him a snob, just promoting himself and his "work" more than it's actually worth. His opinions aren't to be looked at as facts, and he barely states facts.

    He does mention the adaptive dynamic range "D-Lighting" but the missing spec is Expeed. That image processor is said to be the main reason (along with new CMOS sensors) for the low noise on the D300 and D3. I would tell someone that has a small budget to go for the D40 instead, because there isn't much improvement in the body other than the imaging chip and the firmware, but if you do have the cash, and want to spend $300 to get the 3 fps, Expeed, D-Lighting, and 10.2 MP then go for it.

    For me (and I would tell this to anyone, even my former customers at Ritz Camera) getting old cameras like they were new isn't the way to go. The D50 was decent for it's day, but it was short lived because it just wasn't what the market wanted. They basically took D70 parts and shoved them inside of a new smaller body, then hacked at what they could to get the price down to $700 or so. It's by no means a well designed body IMHO. I have one in my drawer and I nor my girlfriend shoot with it that much since we have the D200 and D80. I would sell the D50 and get a D60 or D40 in a heart beat, (just need the time to do so) The limitations on that body, and the D70/D70s screen and IQ doesn't warrant grabbing that body over the D40/D40x/D60 either. The only thing you gain is an internal motor, but you lose so much more.

    p.s. The D70 was an amazing camera for its time, but that was almost 4 years ago.
  20. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    The D40 looks like an outstanding value if you forget about the minor difference in pixels.
    10MP sounds like it's almost twice as many pixels as 6MP, but it ain't.
    Just get a big zoom lens with the difference in price.

    The photosites in the 10MP are smaller and *potentially* noisier
    than the those in the 6MP D40, since both CCDs are the same size.
    Here's an image that represents the relative difference between 6 megapixels and 10 megapixels.
  21. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    We are constantly forgetting about Expeed. The D300's sensor has much more pixels than the D40, but the noise at high ISO values is much less. That is so far the biggest reason to get a D60 if you have the cash.
  22. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
  23. ChePibe macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2005
    The big feature for me about the D60 is the dust removal system.

    I'm looking for a camera that I can take on vacation with me and one that puts up with me constantly changing lenses in adverse conditions without letting too much dust get on the sensor, and after having dust get all over the sensor of an old Digital Rebel on a trip to Europe and frequently having to make efforts to remove it. More than a few photos were ruined by a big splotch of dust that managed to get attached to the sensor without me noticing (well, most could be fixed in post-processing... others had a large, ugly black spot in the middle that could not be fixed without far more work than I wanted to do). Given that the locations I'll be visiting in the next year range from jungle to desert, this is important to me.

    The dust removal system alone is enough to turn me on to the D60, perhaps even enough to dissuade me from my earlier pick, the D80. Then again, the D80 has other advantages worthy of consideration as well. I really wish they would put a dust removal system in the D80 - that would make it just about perfect for me.
  24. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    I have a D50, and if I upgrade it'll be to a D200 or D300 for a significant increase in functionality, ruggedness and image quality. For a new dSLR beginner, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in image quality between a D50, D40 or even a D40x for most uses. As you get more experienced, and want more controls at hand without drilling through menus, the D80 and up will have some benefit in your hand, but not necessarily better images. It's all about how you plan to use the camera. If you want auto settings, they'll all work pretty much the same. So what's my point? I was getting off track... ;) well, it's that there is a difference in the sizes of the bodies, with the D40, D40x and D60 being quite a bit smaller, with the D50, D70, D80 about the same amount larger, and the D200-300 and up much heavier, bulkier. Check out what feels good in your hand. For the sports, I'd agree that finding a used f/2.8 80-200 would be great, but you'd need the D50 or any other body with a built-in focus screw drive, or be stuck manually focusing that lens during sports action (not like they didn't used to do it that way... :) ) which might be a real pain.

    I'd say get a D40 (discounted these days,) or if you can find it, a D50 and the kit 18-55 lens. The 55-200 lens has good image quality, but I find it not too useful - too long for walkaround lens, too short/slow for serious telephoto work (sports, wildlife.) It has a excruciatingly slow autofocus motor and is quite light, which doesn't help you steady it. I don't use mine much anymore. The older 80-200 f/2.8 lenses are serious, solid pro-level tools with outstanding image quality. You just need a screw drive, however.... Lots to think about - so have fun!!

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