Nikon D40x - First Digital SLR?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Emma155, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Emma155 macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2009

    I found this place whilst searching the internet for reviews of the Nikon D40x. It seems a friendly place so thought I'd ask for some advice. Does anybody own one?

    I take a lot of photographs, and at the moment own a Sony point and shoot and a 35mm SLR. Thought it was about time to get myself a digital SLR but there's a lot of them out there.
    From the cameras I've looked at so far, I think think the D40x is the one I'm going to buy - I love the vivid colours it's photo's seem to have, and the quality of the shots. I have read mixed reviews, however.
    One of the things that has been mentioned a couple of times is that it has a slow auto focus - has anybody had any problems with this?
    Is there anything else to consider before purchasing it?

    Also, if anyone could suggest any other cameras around the same price range that you think may be of interest, I'd really appreciate it. (Have seen quite a few decent photograph's on here from Canon's that have caught my eye and may end up swinging towards one of those)


  2. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    It's possible to get good images out of any modern DSLR, and it's far more likely that the images you've seen are influenced first by the person behind the camera, then by the glass, and only lastly by the body.

    Lots of people around here will tell you -- and they're right -- to focus on the glass you want (long term) rather than the body. Or at the very least, if you don't think you'll spend a lot on high-end glass in the future, go to a shop and try each of the bodies out. It's so much about handling -- some people feel good with Nikon in their hands, some with Canon, others with Sony or Pentax. In other words, don't base your purchasing decision on sample images.

    About the D40x in particular...I'd avoid it. It's the same as the D40 but with more megapixels crammed onto the same sensor -- meaning it doesn't perform as well in low light since each photocell is smaller. Also, the D40x isn't even in production anymore. It was replaced with the D60. One thing to be aware of with the D40/D60 is that they can't autofocus with many of the older Nikon lenses. I'm selling my D40 for this very reason (just ordered a D90) because, for example, I can get a great Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 for about $700 that will work on the D90, but the equivalent that would autofocus on the D40/D60 is about $1600.

    The D40 and D60 are great cameras for getting into DSLRs, and I've enjoyed my time with mine, I just think you need to be aware of their limitations. What's your budget?
  3. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    Edit: I wrote this before I saw mrogers' post, it overlaps mostly.

    I don't have a D40x, but you are probably aware that it has been effectively superseded by the D60. If you can get the D40x for less, then by all means go with it. The additions are not really directly image related. There's a chart at the end of the page here

    The D40, 40x and 60 are three fine, neat cameras and all are capable of taking great photographs. The main proviso which comes with them is that they do not have an in-body autofocus motor. This means that most old Nikon lenses, and a number of today's more inexpensive ones (notably the 50mm f/1.8) will be unable to autofocus, instead you will have to manually focus, and this is not ideal.

    Clearly Nikon do not make unusable cameras, and there are a number of lenses which work fine, such as the 18-55mm kit lens, the 18-70, the 18-105, the 55-200, the more recent 70-300 etc etc. Anything with AF-S in its name is a go, as are lenses from sigma with HSM in their name, and a few from Tamron, though I forget what they call it.

    What's right for you is dependent on its usage. If you're just looking to 'take better photographs' I would be inclined to go into a shop and look at all the DSLRs in your price range, and feel them, take some snaps. You might find one feels right. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus and Pentax all make excellent cameras. Nikon and Canon have the most complete systems, as they sell a lot of cameras to professionals who need top quality flash, optics etc. Lingering concerns over the finances of Olympus and Pentax also mean that some are hesitant to purchase them. I personally wouldn't be for this reason, if I liked the cameras.

    What do you want to do? What is your current film SLR? Do you have any lenses for it, and, as I now see mrogers has asked 'what is your budget'?
  4. JBmac macrumors member


    May 19, 2008
    Eastern, PA
    Camera choice

    Hi Emma, without knowing the price range you would like to spend for your camera, I think the d40,d40x or the d80 would be good first choices with a constrained budget. If you want to spend a little more cash, the d60, d90, or d700.

    The d40x is my first dslr, and the only thing that I wish it had now was the ablility to to take bracketed exposures so I could do some HDRI. I plan to get a second camera, but have not decided between the d80, d90, and d700(expensive) yet. I usually shoot all my pictures in manual mode using the Lensbaby,selective focus lenses.
    Check out this link too, there is a lot good information that may help you decide. or take a look around my flickr page, as I only use the d40x; except for one or two iPhone pictures:)

  5. mattyb240 macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    I was in a similar position trying to pick out my first SLR. My choices were between the D40 and D60 range and the Canon 1000d. I felt personally the ergonomics of the Nikon were better, but the lack of autofocusing lenses available within a given price range put me off. Also the Canon has buttons dedicated to your iso speed white balance etc straight away. Which I now realise is so important as you don't want to have to go through menus to change one feature. My friend has a D40X and is very pleased with it, although the lack of quick access buttons is bothering him now hes getting more into it.

    Both take stunning pictures, check out my deviant art in my sig to see a selection of photos using the canon. I find myself manual focusing as much as I do auto focusing but having the option with more popular lenses is nice. The canon may cost a little bit more, but not as much as future lenses will do which is the most important. I feel I Have invested without over investing in a camera.

    Hope this helps a little bit.

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