Hi, thanks for taking time to check out the thread. I'm looking into getting my first SLR. Specifically, digital, because I don't want to have to develop, then scan, etc. But, I would get film if I really had to. The problem is, I've read so much stuff on the internet trying to figure out what one is right for me, I don't know which one is good for my uses anymore. edit: which one being what digital camera. I was afraid I worded this badly and someone would think the choice was between film and digital./edit I'm a highschool student, with as you can imagine, a very limited budget. That means most $1000+ cameras are way out of my range. That being said, the less expensive but still decent quality, the better. I don't need auto focus (I'm using a film SLR at school in a photography class, so I kinda know what I am doing), if I wanted that I'd just get a $100-$200 point and shoot digital camera. So, auto focus isn't a big deal I don't think (unless someone can tell me why it is a big deal?) but this is really where a lot of confusion comes in for me, I think. I could afford a Nikon d40 a lot easier then some of the higher end Canons and Nikons, but I've read that there isn't as much of a choice in lenses (and they tend to be more expensive), because the auto focus motor has to be integrated into every lens the Nikon D40 uses. Can I use other lenses besides those made for the Nikon D40 if I just don't use auto focus? Would I be better off just waiting and buying a camera twice the nikon D40's price, even though I may be looking at several years for that, instead of just 1-3 years (if that) for a Nikon D40? Should I even consider Nikons? Now I know a lot of people feel strongly about Nikon or Canon, either way... Personally, I am using a Canon film SLR at school, and it seems fine. I'm not a picky person, in general. If it works, if its inexpensive, and if it does what I want more or less, I'm happy. That being said, I've never used a Nikon. So, some guidance there as well, I guess. So, summed up before I told way too many stories and used too many words: Can I use regular lenses on the Nikon D40 if I don't use auto focus? (If no, what is the cheapest camera (canon or nikon) that I can use manual focus and no autofocus? By the way, I know that lenses made for Nikon don't fit on canon, and vice versa. Or, at least, I think thats what I've read...) Is there a reason I should go for a Canon instead of Nikon? Should I save up for a more expensive camera, even though I won't have a good camera for several years? Should I just use a film SLR and be thankful for my blessings, even if I have to get a scanner to scan stuff into my computer and develop every roll at walmart or something? Should I just get a point and shoot digital camera, because its pretty obvious I can't afford anything better (IE, film OR digital SLRs)? edit: By the way, thanks everyone for your help. I appreciate it.