Nikon D40 vs D60

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by timmyb, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. timmyb macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I'm going for buy my first DSLR in the next couple of days. I had been all set for the Nikon D40 but in the last day of so have been wondering if it's the best option. The D40 is £250 and the D60 is £350. My funds are by no means without limit but I can afford to spend an extra £100 to get the D60 if it's the 'right' thing to do. The D80 is out of my price range.

    I know that the D40 is a great camera and I'd be really happy with it, but I'm worried that 1-2 years down the line I'd regret not spending the extra money.

    As I see it, the benefit of going for the D60 is that I get more MP, (so I could go for the odd huge print,) and the kit lens it comes with is VR. On the other hand the D40 saves me £100, which I can then put towards accessories - tripod, Aperture, zoom lens a bit down the line.

    What would people recommend?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ryox macrumors 6502a

    Ryox

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    #3
    The D80 is only £399 now, if you can spare another £49 its a much better DSLR than the D60 with superior ergonomics and usability.
    But between the D60 and D40, the D60 is the better camera
    10 Mega Pixels
    It has anti-dust facilities
    accelerometer that rotates the screen when on portrait orientation
    proximity sensors to turn off the LCD when shooting
    It still doesn't have the built in motor that allows you to AF on older or some 3rd party lenses
    If you can find a D40x that might be the best bang for your buck in my opinion.
     
  3. timmyb thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    This will be my first SLR of any description.
    It's a very slippery slope! At the moment I can't really afford to spend £400 on the camera alone. The memory card, case, uv filter (I'm told these are needed?) and introductory book will set be back at least another £50 on top and I can see myself wanting a tripod pretty soon after that!
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    Are you sure? The D80 is curently discounted. I don't know the exact exchange rate today but I think B&H is selling the D80 for ther price you gave for the D60.

    OK if it really must be either the 40 or 60. The way to decide is to know what you will do with the image files. Do you look at them on screen or make prints? If prints what size.

    No screen as six megapixels so event he d40 is overkill for on-screen images. At 300 DPI the d40 can make 10 inch wide prints. The D60 about 2 inches wider. Will yo makes prints 10" or less?

    All that said. I'd prefer to have a used D50 to either the 40 or 60. The lack of afocus motor in the 40 and 60 is a deal breaker for me. But with yourr budget I'd go with the D80.
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #6
    Neither the D40 nor the D60 has an in-body focus motor. This means you have to use lenses that have the motor in them if you want auto-focus to work. Otherwise you can focus manually.
     
  6. Ryox macrumors 6502a

    Ryox

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    #7
    Well the D40x has the Same 10mp sensor as the D60 just without anti dust capabilities. If you can find one, that would be the best value for money, although I think you have better kit lens options with the D60 so thats something to consider as well.
    Yes you will need a SD memory card. UV filter and cases are optional but its well worth having one.
     
  7. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    You do NOT need a case. you do not need a UV filter and the camera comes with a well written user manual. All of those items are just high mergin items deals user to take your money after they hook you with a highly discounted camera. "Just say NO".

    What to put the camera in if not a "case". A nylon insulated lunch bag. They sell for well under $10. The Filter is simply of no use. OK they say it will "protect" the lens. But protect it from what? Look at the risk to cost ratio. There is very little chance the filter will ever do enything for you and a good one costs half as much as the lens is worth. Not a good bet.

    If budget really is such an issue buy a used D50.
     
  8. timmyb thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Thanks for everyone's help on this, much appreciated. The more time I spend thinking about it the more I seem to change my mind! I haven't been able to get to a shop to make a decision but will be going tomorrow so it'll be decided one way or another shortly.

    I'm erring back towards the D40 as on reflection it seems to be the 'best first step' for me. I can play around with everything to really get a feel for what sort of photography I enjoy and what is important for me in a camera - something I have no way of knowing at the moment. I don't think I've ever printed one of my photos larger than 5x7 so 6MP should be ok. Again if I find myself really wanting to print larger then that will be a requirement going forwards.

    The money saved can go towards accessories as I experiment - tripod, Aperture, lenses (again the type would depend on what I like to photograph; I know I'll be limited to ones with a motor but this doesn't seem a huge problem) - and then in a couple of years or so I can go for the camera I know will suit me, bringing the accessories along. At that point, (unless the world economy goes to hell in a handbasket in the intervening period,) I should be settled in my career so will have a bigger budget than my 'just-graduated' status currently allows! By doing this I think I'll waste less and end up with a better suited camera.

    ChrisA - I'm really grateful for your advice. However with regards the D50 I don't like the idea of buying a second-hand one online, particularly as I don't have any experience buying SLRs so would rather have a feel in the shop first. Also the UK options seem to be more limited than US. As for the book, I'm getting one to learn about the theory of photography rather than how to use the camera. Experimenting will be a massive part of my learning but I always find things easier to understand something if I know the science underlying it.
     
  9. AlexH macrumors 68000

    AlexH

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    #10
    For the right price, that's probably a great idea. ;)
     
  10. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #11
    This is, as pointed out, incorrect. The 40, 40x, and 60 all have the same selection of lenses that will autofocus.

    I recommend the D40 unless there's some feature that you just have to have on one of the other ones. The 6mp sensor might be lower res, but it offers more detail as there are less pixels packed into the same physical space (this is the exact reason why compact point and shoot and camera phones take poor pictures). Unless you're going to do like 10"x20" prints regularly, don't base your decision on MPs.

    The D40 has the same noise levels at ISO 200 as the 40x and 60 have at 100, which means you ultimately have more options while shooting.

    The D40 has a faster flash sync speed, 1/500th vs 1/250th, for the same reason as above.

    The D40 costs quite a bit less than the other option, money well spent on an external flash (Nikons SB400, for example), a second lens (55-200mm VR, 18-105mm VR, 18-135mm, etc), photography classes, etc.

    The D40 is a great camera and represents a huge value. The 40x and 60 are also great cameras. but don't have the same value, imo.
     
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    Nov 23, 2007
    #12
    Hmm, from what I have read (correct me if Im wrong) the D40x and the D60 is considered as a step down then the D40 because Nikon strip out the good features of the D40 out from the D40x and the D60 while adding in some other features that is not such a big deal to have or not.

    Did I get this correct?
     
  12. BrokenE macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2008
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    Houston
    #13
    ^^^ +1, on the D40. Any person who only talks only MP, i.e. "10>6, so get the 10" is not a serious photographer. There are a lot of people, and even more opinions. But visit these two sites to get some more insight.
    http://dpreview.com/
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/
    Good Luck.
     
  13. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #14
    Might want to remove your post, because its all wrong and someone looking for this topic might read your info.
     
  14. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #15
    Not exactly. Nikon added a higher resolution sensor to the 40x and 60 which comes at a cost*. They added some other features to the 60 to compensate for some of that, such as the automatic sensor cleaner. They also included "better" lenses in the kit, which accounts for some of the extra price.

    I'll reiterate that they area all good cameras, but they don't necessarily have the same value, in a performance per dollar regard.

    * The higher resolution sensor is more prone to noise, as I discuss in a previous post, which leads to the other disadvantages.
     
  15. wheelhot macrumors 68000

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    #16
    aah, didn't realize that.

    Yeah, those 3 are good cams :thumbsup:
     
  16. timmyb thread starter macrumors 6502

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    United Kingdom
    #17
    Got the D40 this weekend. It's great. I'm only just beginning to understand how much there is to learn though!

    Out of interest, how hardy is the camera? Given it's getting very autumnal now, should I avoid taking photos when it's raining even slightly or can it 'take' a bit of light drizzle?
     
  17. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    Oct 21, 2008
    #18
    I've had my D40 for about a year and half now, learning very slowly how to use it. Mostly I'm just lazy and haven't taken enough time to get to know it properly. :/

    RE: drizzle. It should be fine. Refrain from using it in a rainstorm, but if its sprinkling it'll be just fine. Mine certainly has been. :)

    I do have a question about enlargements, though: I've got some photos I took with my D40, shot in high quality JPEG mode and not in RAW. I see here people recommending against going above 8x10... I was planning on doing a 16x20. When I put it through iPhoto to order prints it doesn't give me the "Low Resolution" warning, so I'm wondering what the potential issue is with enlargement? Will it be fine, but not quite as good as a higher-end camera? I'm not a photo snob, but I want my prints to look good.
     
  18. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #19
    I'm currently in the same boat as the original poster, and while I'm leaning strongly towards the D40 at the moment, there is one feature that would swing me either way. I am unable to confirm or deny its existence though.

    Does either the D40 or the D60 have a mode of operation that allows it to take multiple exposures after a timer? In other words, could I set it up for a family shot, hit the timer, go and sit down and have it snap a few shots in rapid succession to get a few options?

    Thanks
     
  19. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

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    #20
    I took a look at the options on my D40 - I can't make it do what you want. :/ It does have a timer function, and a continuos-photo mode, but there's no way I can see to have them work in conjunction.

    It does support a remote, though, so there's always that option.
     
  20. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #21
    Thanks, I couldn't get either one to do it in the store tonight, but of course that doesn't mean it won't do it, just that I couldn't figure it out without a manual.

    I doubt that either one has that functionality but it would sway my decision, so I thought I'd ask the experts here.
     
  21. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #22
    The D40's only continuous shooting mode requires you to depress the shutter button, so I don't think it'll do that. As you mention the remote could fill this need - set a 2s timer and then just click click click with the remote.

    The Nikon IR/wireless remote is like $18 on Amazon, so not a really big deal.
     
  22. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #23
    Yeah, it looks like I can get the remote for $13 or so and probably might invest in a SB-400 flash to speed up pics/increase camera battery life. With the kids anything that improves the time between shots increases our chances of catching that instant where the perfect picture happens, which typically happened while our old camera was writing the pic we just took to the memory card.
     

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