Is the D40 outdated yet?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dingdongbubble, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. dingdongbubble macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Nowadays technology gets updated so darn quickly that I feel skeptical about buying anything. Its going to be almost an year after the D40 was released.

    Is the D40 old now? I mean a C2D iMac white is not exactly outdated but it is old and you can get better and faster tech now for cheaper. Basically the tech is old now. So similarily is the D40 in the same position or do dSLRs take a much longer time to get old?
     
  2. furious macrumors 65816

    furious

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    #2
    The d40 is still a great camera. Hell my EOS 300 film camera is still great.
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #3
    Cameras age much slower than computers, I am still using a D70 and other people are still using their film SLRs, so as long as it does what you want get it and some nice lenses and it will last you a long time.
     
  4. 66217 Guest

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    #4
    dSLR's take much longer to get old and outdated.

    The magic of photography is in the photographer and the lenses he uses. A good body also helps, but these two are the most important.

    The D40 is still a very good deal, and I would highly recommend getting one if you are a beginner for photography.
     
  5. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #5
    No, and I think sometimes the updates do more harm than good. For example, my compact flash Elph S400 4 MP camera delivers images that are MUCH MUCH better than my much newer SD450. The older camera has the older processing chip and fewer MPs, but exposure is much better, it's sharper more of the time, the colors are better. The D40 is making use of a great 6 MP sensor that has shown how good it is in the D70s.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    No, definitely not.
    Anything above 4/5 MP will suffice for average consumers and even pro-sumers (4x6 prints use no more than 2-3 MP!). I wouldn't go out buying stuff, just because there is a newer model out there which has `more megapixels' and `more features'. Get a new camera when either your old one breaks or you reach some of the camera's limits.
     
  7. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Yes I am a victim of that newer = better mentality. For example if the D40x was the successor to the D40 then I would think that my D40 is an absolute piece of trash and that the D40x is much better. I plan to go to Univ in 2-3 years. If I buy one now, do you think I will be good to go throughout Univ with maybe buying one or two lenses?
     
  8. Poncho macrumors 6502

    Poncho

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    #8
    I bought my D40 eight weeks ago. It's brilliant. I work for a professional design company and was told that 6mega pixels is pro standard anyway. You don't need more. Buy the D40 while it's cheap and if you want to upgrade slater spend the money on professional lenses. It's not the camera that counts anyway, it's your imagination. The D40 is a superb tool.

    Also, I have a 2,5 megapixel Sony cybershot and it beats any of the T-100, T-7s hat Sony have out now. I discovered this when I went out to buy a new compact. So I just stuck with my battered old Sony. It must be something to do with the lense being better on the old one even though it has had the **** kicked out of it it has been taken to so many places.
     
  9. Foggy macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    With the rebate Nikon were offering and the deals currently about with the D40 I managed to get a D40 + 18-55mm lens kit for £260 - thats less than I paid for my sony compact!! The images from it are fantastic as well. I was advised to get the D40 and put the money saved over the D40x towards a really good lens, which is my plan.
     
  10. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

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    #10
    No matter what you buy, and no matter when you buy it, there'll be something with more dials and buttons on sale a few weeks later. Buy your camera, then stop reading the reviews. Use that time, instead, for taking pictures. :)
     
  11. filmamigo macrumors member

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    #11
    It's interesting to hear others confirm that the march of "progress" in point-and-shoot cameras isn't all it's cracked up to be. Cramming too many pixels into a too-small chip results in lousy pictures. The photo receptors are simply too small.

    The best pictures I've ever taken with a digital point-and-shoot are from a Kodak DC260 -- that's 1.5 megapixel for those who forget. The colours are lush, the exposures are bang-on. The pictures from that camera make lovely 8x10's when printed at a photolab. If you pixel-peep the pictures don't have the absolute resolution of a DSLR, but every pixel carries meaningful information. The lens delivers everything that the chip can capture, and the results look like nicely exposed slides.

    So why don't I use that camera anymore? Mostly because of the other issues which camera development has solved since 1999 -- shutter lag, size, weight.

    6mp (like the D40) is probably the sweet spot for APS-C sized sensors. Yes, you can go to 10 or 12 without too much trouble, but the photo sites are just that much bigger at 6mp. I have read a number of professional recommendations on the D40 vs D40x question -- if you want to do low-light, the D40 is preferred.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    My first SLR experience was with a Canon F1, a 30+ year old camera that was capable, in the right hands, of taking outstanding pro-quality photos. A 30-year old pro camera isn't vastly different in capability from a brand new one (though the lens systems are incompatible now).

    I just bought a Rebel XT (350D), and despite being two years old it is hardly what you'd call obsolete. I plan on using it for many years.
     
  13. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #13
    Cameras aren't like computers in terms of obsolescence. I remember when a new version of quicktime came out that my 233mhz iMac wasn't fast enough to run. My 1Ghz eMac can't handle Sims II, Civ IV, or Aperture, all of which I'd like to use. That's obsolescence.

    A current DSLR won't truly become obsolete for years if not decades. They will still be able to perform their designed function and will still be able to interface with any other camera equipment you want to use (flashes, lenses, etc.)

    Further, digital cameras were in their infancy a few years ago, so we saw major strides. The difference between 1 and 2 megapixels is probably more significant than the difference between 2 and 10, and definitely than between 10 and 20. How many truly significant advances can digital cameras make at this point?
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Not many, it seems. In time I foresee the abandonment of APS-C sized sensors in favor of full-size sensors all across manufacturer's product lines, as sensors become cheaper to manufacture.

    But other than that, it seems that digital cameras have truly come of age, at least in the 35mm realm.
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #15
    The same was said of film, but it never happened, even at its cheapest, film manufacturers were trying to increase profits by decreasing size (APS anyone?)

    "Full sized" really depends on what you're shooting, but cell phone and point and shoots will continue to outsell SLRs, so the sensor-per-wafer ratio will still be important and from the manufacturer's perspective extremely important due to yields per wafer (and the fact that most processes are moving to smaller.)

    If anything, APS-C is the future- it's just mostly marketing at this point that's keeping 35mm afloat. Folks that need bigger will probably move to MF as the prices there go down, folks that don't are served well by APS-C. LF backs are getting reasonable, and MF backs will surely follow.
     
  16. dingdongbubble thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    So in your opinion is the D40 one of those products where there is not much room for improvements apart from 'numbers'? Will an upgrade likely be a practical downgrade with small features to show as upgrades like 5 AF points compared to 3?
     
  17. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #17
    I guess this is a tired argument, but why do you think that APS-C is superior to 35mm? 35mm will always give you higher resolution with less noise and greater accuracy, as well as greater depth of field and easier to design, cheaper wide angle lenses. APS-C may well be the format for amatuers, sports shooters, and wildlife photographers, but it's not like 35mm doesn't offer many advantages.
     
  18. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #18
    I thought it was the other way around, that 35mm actually gave you less DOF. Could you explain why it gives more DOF, please?
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    But there may be a time when the noise is so low on an APS-C sized sensor that there's no point shooting 35 mm equivalent. 35 mm is really just an arbitrary size. It's not "perfect", so we shouldn't compare everything to it, as though it's the holy grail of photography. Lets not idolize something that's so arbitrary. After all, I'm sure people said the same thing going from large to medium format, and again when moving from medium format to 35 mm film.

    The fact is, larger is better in photography. I'm talking about films, and I'm talking about cameras. I'm even talking about tripods. However, in the practical world, smaller is better for obvious reasons, so if APS-C can do the job and result in smaller cameras, then fantastic. I can imagine a day when APS-C sized CCDs will be capable of producing less noise than 35 mm film or todays full frame sensors. What happens afterwards? Well, people will continue to try and make smaller sensors that can achieve the same results as larger sensors. It'll be smaller than APS-C, since APS-C is also rather arbitrary and isn't the holy grail of photography either.
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Lenses for cropped sensors are definitely cheaper than their 35 mm counterparts. Remember that we aren't talking about film lenses, sensors are more sensitive to bad lenses than film and require some extra effort to have the same image quality.

    Ditto for resolution, in a test by Foto Magazin, they have compared the resolution of a 16 MP Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II with a 12 MP D2X, both used ~100 mm macro lenses. At smaller aperture, the 16 MP body had a lower effective average resolution, only at f/5.6 they were both approximately equal.

    And to quote dpreview, the noise of a 5D is about the same as that of a 20D or a D2X.
     
  21. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #21
    The DOF depends on the focal length and the aperture, but not on the viewing angle. So a 200 mm lens on a Nikon DX (crop) body has the same viewing angle as a 300 mm lens on film/FX sensor. If you focus on the viewing angle (as it is the viewing angle which determines the way something looks), then the equivalent of a 300 mm/film lens on your DX body has a larger depth of field if you use the same aperture.

    However, this may be in part compensated by larger initial apertures: Olympus has a few zoom lenses with an initial aperture of 2.0 instead of 2.8.

    Edit: I obviously meant larger depth of field, not smaller.
     
  22. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #22
    I didn't say it was superior, simply that it wouldn't "win." You get all those advantages with MF with higher resolution too- . Frankly though, the big deciding factor is sensor yield per-wafer, and APS-C wins for that and is generally "good enough. As MF backs do come down, those who want wide and high-quality will likely be better-served by the MF backs than by 35mm (lets face it, landscape, architecture and portraits are all shot on tripods, no advantage to a smaller camera there.)
     
  23. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

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    #23
    Pardon my ignorance... but what constitutes "medium format" in the digital age? I know that one of Canon's 35mm 1d series gives a resolution of 16 megapixels. Hasselblad has medium format digital backs that do 22 megapixels (probably even more now).

    So, once Canon (or Nikon) have cameras that are 22 megapixels or higher - isn't that comparable to having a medium format camera? Or are there other differences that I'm just not familiar with? (I've never had the opportunity to use medium/large format cameras)
     
  24. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #24
    First of all, you're falling victim to the numbers game. All megapixels aren't created equal. For instance, a D2hs is "only" a 4MP camera, but those 4MP are really good ones. I'm going to break a personal rule here and reference Ken Rockwell, for all the hyperbole and idiocy he does sprout, there's the occasional gem on his site, in this case:

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm

    For a general overview of the issues with sensor sizes, including yield-per-wafer, as well as diffraction, see:

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-sensor-size.htm

    (though there are better illustrations out there with imperfections factored a little better, it illustrates the cost difference, which is the underlying premise to my statement that APS-C will outdo 35MM- a 400% change in gross margins for a sensor manufacturer is a lot more compelling than noise stats.)

    Finally, and really you should look at all these pages and maybe do some more research:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/sensor-design.shtml

    Covers the whole thing.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere that the sensor was the most expensive part of the camera, now do the math, knowing that the 645 chip is going to be ~2.6x the size of the 35mm chip- while prices are going down, they're not going down as quickly as say microprocessor prices because uP's get smaller, so you get higher yields per chip as you go onwards- the same will happen with sensors, smaller sensors mean higher yields, mean more out of less perfect starting wafers... It's simple economics that will kill "full frame."

    22MP out of a LF back is going to be better quality than 22MP out of a MF back is going to be better than 22MP out of a 35mm body all other things being equal- though pure resolution isn't- that's what we're facing today, 12MP on APS-C is about where physics rears its ugly head (hey, my $4000 D2x does worse at f/22 than a $400 D40!)

    While some of the original 22MP MF backs were 35mm sized sensors, the MF folks were screaming for "full frame" too- only their FF was at least 6cm x 4.5cm.

    Read the links, then look at some 12MP images from P&S cameras, then from DSLRs- equal numbers don't mean equal quality.
     
  25. scamateur macrumors member

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    #25
    I believe the OTHER fellow has it right - for a given magnification on the "film" plane size, the larger format will have less DOF. The articles and FAQ's at "DOFmaster.com," which has online and mobile DOF calculators as freeware, contain good diagrams regarding this.

    This why compact cameras have such enormous DOF, and why they're at hyperfocal distance unless the subject is rather close.

    ADD: To answer the OP, the D40 is still great for all the reasons described!
     

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