d80 or d40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BuddyRockefella, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. BuddyRockefella macrumors newbie


    Oct 24, 2008
    need help choosing. cant decide which camera to get narrowed it down to d80 with 18-135mm kit or d40 18-55mm kit d80 is $1199 and the d40 $$537.

    will be shooting mainly landscapes buildings, family, and some night photography.

    was going to get the d40 but the nightphotography is a consern due to stuff i read. dont mind having to manual focus.
  2. Sigur macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2008
    I'd get the D40 and if it suites you, get the D200/300 later.
  3. Ridge08 macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I bought a camera about a month ago. For the two previous months, I`d been trying to decide between a D90 and a D40. (I had the money for either).

    I went with the D40 and I don`t regret it.

    The fact that I was trying to decide between two models of the same brand with such big price differences really indicated I didn`t know what I was doing. You sound like you`re in the position of wanting to get into DSLR photography but don`t know where to start, which is exactly where I was. I say go with the cheaper model. You can learn a huge amount on the D40; and if you get into photography more, you can use the money you save to buy another lens or two.

    You`re not going to get sharp exposures on either camera without a tripod because of the slow shutter speeds involved. I use my D40 at night all the time - with a tripod. It`s fine.

    If you haven`t done so, go pick one up in the shop and play around. Is it comfortable to hold? Have you considered other brands on a similar price point?
  4. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    where did you get the $1199 price for the D80?

    at B&H - a D80 w/ 18-135mm lens kit is $780.

    and a D40 SLR Digital Camera Kit with 18-55mm Lens is $500.

    The D40 can only autofocus with af-s lenses. whereas, the D80 can autofocus w/ "D" series lenses, as well, giving it a wider variety of lenses to choose from. this disparity of lenses though seems to be getting addressed by nikon since they recently announced a 35mm 1.8 af-s lens that will go on sale in march for around $200. this gives D40-60 owners an affordable prime lens that equates to a field of vision of 52.5mm in dx-format cameras. a more ideal "walk around lens."

    i don't think you can wrong w/ either cameras. although, i would prob go for the D80 (or even the D90) just for the top lcd panel, its more "robust" feel and one button access to many of the basic functions.
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    I would go for the D80. Why? Cause the D40 is honestly a very basic DSLR, after you got used with it and practice a lot, then you will join the "I want a D90 group", so rather then ending up in that group, just jump straight into the D80 and your next DSLR body purchase will be either a D300 or D700 or if you are rich the D3x :eek:

    So here is a list of the camera user levels and how they will upgrade:
    D40/D60 -> D80/D90 -> D300 (APS-C)/D700 (FF) -> D3x (FF)

    So by buying a D80 you are really doing yourself a favor and wont be needing to upgrade your body for a very long time till you are ready (using that time, you can concentrate on improving, and getting some nice lens which is more important then bodies), some will jump straight into FF but some will prefer to stay in APS-C due to money.

    I seen too many D40/D60 owners who end up upgrading their body in like a year or two cause of its too "basic" reason.

    Take note the D40 produces fantastic photos, as long as you know what you are doing and the same thing applies to the D80 and any other cameras.
  6. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    Personally, I'd go for the D80....less of a p&s cam than the D40.

    Also, *I* would buy used. D80's are going for around $400 in great condition at nikonians.org. Put a tamron 17-50 ($320) with it, maybe an sb600, and you've got a very nice kit.

    If you're open to spending $1200...get a D90 kit. You can find them for a little over $1000. Awesome cam.
  7. Sigur macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2008
    I bought my D40 about 2,5 years ago because it was my first DSLR and I didn't have the money for more. But I will upgrade this year to D200/300. I don't think you can set D300 and D700 on one step since the one has a full-frame sensor.
  8. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    you're right.

    the above should read:

    D40/D40x/D60 -> D80/D90 -> D200/D300 -> D700/D3/D3x
  9. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    Get the D80 or D90. I had a D40 for a year and ultimately wished I had just spent a little more at first; you'll save money in the long run if you're interested in certain lenses (since many Nikon lenses won't autofocus on the D40). I upgraded to the D90 and my very first lens purchase practically paid for the camera, versus what I would have spent on a comparable lens that would AF on the D40.

    Especially since you can find a D80 for just $400-$500, it's hard to justify a D40 in my opinion unless you are on an extreme budget. And if you can spend $1000, get the D90. It's freaking awesome.
  10. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Actually both of us correct depending on what you will be looking forward into,

    D40/D40x/D60 -> D80/D90 -> D200/D300 -> D700/D3/D3x = Nikon lineup

    D40/D60 -> D80/D90 -> D300 (APS-C)/D700 (FF) -> D3x (FF) = Commonly user upgrade line.

    Let me explain the second one, from what it seems, most user who owns a D80/D90, will either upgrade to a more pro body which is the D300 and some of them might straight away take the plunge and rather then own a D300 and a few years upgrade again to a D700, might as well get the D700 instead of the D300 (I know there is a huge price gap between both bodies but yea, some people are willing to drop a huge amount of cash in one go rather then spending again and again). As for the D3x, well only some will go till that far.

    Now for the D40/D60 owners, most of the time they will upgrade to either the D80/D90 first before upgrading to D300/D700 cause it will end up to be "a too much of a camera" sudden experience. But I must say they are some users who go from D60 -> D300, but its not common though, I rarely hear a user from D60 ends up with D700.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    What other lenses might you want later. If any one of those is a non AF-S then you need the D80. For example the 50mm f/1.8 lens is an AFd type and you'd need the D80.

    Don't worry so much about the number of pixels the big difference is the focus motor inside the D80.

    Think about older used lenses. If the D80 allows you to have a few hundred dolars later by going with a non af-s lens then it has paid for itself. Price out the entire kit as you might like it to be in a year or so.

    You upgrae path from the d80 is really D80 --> Dxx where "xx" is totally un-known because it is not on the market yet. In other words you can't even guess because in three to four years Nikon will have replaced many of the bodies in it's current lineup
  12. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    There are a number of useful differences, actually. A better autofocus system, support for bracketing, RGB histogram review, focal plane flash support, and a pentaprism finder among them.
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    You forgot "if you want to use auto focus", you can still use the 50/1.8 on the D40, you just have to manually focus it.

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