Nikon D40x vs. D80

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mthao00, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. mthao00 macrumors member

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    #1
    Now, with advice from my friend who owns a studio, recommends me to get the D80. I was leaning towards the D40x based on it being my first Dslr and budget.

    The D80 does provide me with more flexibility in the long run both in functionality and lenses. The D40x is a great learning unit and takes awesome pictures.

    Is the extra $200-$300 worth it? More with a quality lense... Still kind of leaning towards the D40x.
     
  2. dogbait macrumors regular

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    #2
    I just bought a D40X today actually and have to say that it's a gem of a camera. However it does lack in functionality when it comes to changing ISO or WB quickly, requiring the user to fiddle with the menus.

    I'm coming from a D200 so I'm doubtless being unfair since the D200 has a button to change just about everything very quickly. The D80 straddles between the two, the only problem is it's not much less than a D200.
     
  3. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #3
    D80 not much less than D200, D40x not much less than D80, D40 not much less than D40x etc...

    My advice is, if you can budget the D80 and 18-70/18-135/18-200VR lens with it then go for it. I have a D40x and I love it to death, but my parents bought it for me so I had no way to get a D80, which I would have got had I been buying it. The D80 has better button placement (big deal for some), a top status display, support for older lenses, a battery grip option, and most importantly for me, a commander mode for Nikon's Creative Lighting System so the Sb-600/800 will work wirelessly out of the box.

    That being said, the D40x is a hell of a camera, great image quality, and I love it.

    You're in a great position where you can't really go wrong either way.

    Hope this helped some.
     
  4. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #4
    While both of those cameras are very good and capable, why is it that you think you need 10MP? Perhaps you could consider the D40 with a good lens, such as the 18-200mm VR. Either way though, I'm sure you'll be happy :)
     
  5. libertyterran macrumors member

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    #5
    You've done your homework, go with D80 or D40. Drop the D40x. :).
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    Here's a short list of advantages of the D80 over the D40X:
    (i) Larger viewfinder (this is a very, very important difference!)
    (ii) You have a lot more choices when it comes to lenses as the D40X doesn't have an AF motor.

    There are other benefits of getting the D80, but I think these are the most relevant ones. For me -- as someone who wears glasses -- both are deal breakers, but it really depends on you. If you want to get the 18-200 zoom anyway, then you couldn't care less about (ii) and to judge whether (i) is important, have a look at both cameras.
     
  7. mthao00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    OP here...

    I went into a local camera store the other day and checked out both the d40x and d80. They are both awesome in their own rights. No doubt.

    I'm still leaning towards the d40x because of my budget and the possibility of using that extra $ to purchase either the 18-200 mm VR or 55-200 mm VR (plus accessories...) down the road. d40's cool but need the extra MP's to crop.

    Additionally, I consider myself a beginner just learning about light, aperture, shutter speed, etc... The dSLR is the next step up from my Powershot SD700 (I know I know). I do a ton of photoshop and illustrator work building my advertising portfolio and other freelance. I'm a graphic designer/creative/copywriter first.

    One of the main reasons to get a dSLR: I'm tired of purchasing pictures from iStock :D

    Still haven't decided though... it's a tough decision. Budget/beginner/hobby-semi-serious ;) vs. Longevity/features/older lenses...

    What about picture quality (consider all ISO's, etc...) between the two? Yes, I've read all the reviews I could. Just wanted to get first-hand experience.
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #8
    If you are a `one-lens-photographer', then you can go ahead for the D40X + 18-200 combo.
    Don't worry about differences in image quality, that won't matter for your decision, honestly.
     
  9. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    #9
    Why bother with the D40x? Beside being a teensy bit faster and having more MP, (and a slower flash sync) there is no difference between the D40 and the 'x.
    I would say the choice ought to be between the D40 and the D80. If you think you'll need 10 MP over 6 Mp then you'll probably also need the other features the D80 has over the '40s.
    I really like the D40 I have, but I just bought a D80 because I want extra MPs to crop when needed (which the D40x has) and the added power/flexibility in the focus and flash department (which the D40x does not have).
    Photo quality? Not sure yet since I bought since I bought on the D80 on Saturday, I've been busy and the weather has been really, really wet. I like photo-ing in the rain but not with a brand-spanking-new camera... :) From what I've seen so far, though, the D80 may be a bit 'noisier.'
     
  10. mthao00 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    That's actually a really good point. Man, it's a hard decision.

    The d80 with more noise?
     
  11. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #11
    I also find this very hard to believe. :rolleyes:
     
  12. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #12
    Indeed. Seeing as the D80 basically has the same innards as the highly touted D200, I doubt that it under performs compared to the ultra-low end entry model.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    If I were buying a Nikon camera last week, I would have bought the D80. It's not because I want to use older lenses because I wouldn't. I'd want lenses that had special coatings, etc. for digital work.

    The D80 is a good solution for people with a photography background and the D40/D40x are good for those without such a background.

    The D40x is a good camera but it seems to be hampered by putting so much into the menus. That would not be a problem for someone who has been using point and shoot cameras. It also eschews compatibility with certain lenses and that's a good thing because the point and shoot types aren't going to want to mess with lenses that might not be fully functional.

    The real question is, what do you want to do with it? If you're going to be a casual photographer, the D40x is fine. If you're okay with getting your hands dirty and suffering some frustration, you'll be okay with the D80.
     
  14. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    #14
    First, it's not a question of belief-- :rolleyes: --for me at least.
    I actually have and use both cameras. Do you?

    Second, I said the D80 "may" be a bit noisier.

    Third, it is fairly well accepted that putting more MPs on a chip can increase noise at high iso. Go to DPReview.com and look at how the reviewer bemoans the camera manufacturers' tendency to cram MPs on tiny chips for marketing reasons. While you are there check out the reviews on the D40 and D80. You may learn something.

    Fourth, taylorwilsdon saying the D40 is "ultra-low end" is just name calling. You don't seem to know how it performs, but are just judging by appearances (i.e. higher cost = better in every way).
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    I hate when people say things like "low end". The sensors are not low end. They're around the same. The sensor is not where companies differentiate the pricing of their cameras.

    Secondly, the D40's 6 MP sensor produces less noise than any Nikon DSLR ever released, so Freebooter's feeling is probably correct. The D40x, D80, and D200 all use the same 10 MP sensor, I believe. However, the D40x probably may still produce the best photo quality, despite being called "ultralow end" by some. I say this because the sensor used in the D200 and D80 are definitely the same, but the processing in the D80 is thought to be better than in the D200 because by the time Nikon released the D80, it had more time to fiddle with processing. I guess that's the downside of being the first product model that uses a new sensor.


    However, I wanted to add that the noise isn't bad at all, and doesn't take away from the photos. Print a photo, and you will likely see identical output.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #16
    I hate when people say things like "low end". The sensors are not low end. They're around the same. The sensor is not where companies differentiate the pricing of their cameras.

    Secondly, the D40's 6 MP sensor produces less noise than any Nikon DSLR ever released, so Freebooter's feeling is probably correct. The D40x, D80, and D200 all use the same 10 MP sensor, I believe. However, the D40x probably may still produce the best photo quality, despite being called "ultralow end" by some. I say this because the sensor used in the D200 and D80 are definitely the same, but the processing in the D80 is thought to be better than in the D200 because by the time Nikon released the D80, it had more time to fiddle with processing. I guess that's the downside of being the first product model that uses a new sensor.


    However, I wanted to add that the noise isn't bad at all, and doesn't take away from the photos. Print a photo, and you will likely see identical output.
     
  17. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #17
    No freebooter, I don't have both cameras. :rolleyes:

    But I'd love to see a post with identical images from both of your cameras so that we could judge for ourselves. :D

    I understand cramming more megapixels on to the same size sensor results in slightly noisier images. But I find it hard to believe that Nikon wouldn't have tweaked the image processing in the cameras to make this a moot point. Why would they want to upstage their higher-end cameras?
     
  18. libertyterran macrumors member

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    #18
    D80 and D40x will be noisier than D40 as you try to squeeze more pixels into a fix sensor size. That also explains why D80 and D40x have ISO down to 100 to ensure less noise (lowest ISO in D40 is 200).
     
  19. libertyterran macrumors member

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    #19
    I think all nikon digital sensors are made by Sony (but please correct me if I'm wrong). The main difference in D40(x) and D80, D200 are functionality available on the tip of your hand (so you don't have to go through the LCD to set ISO, WB, etc.), not the sensor inside.
     
  20. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #20
    I understand that the sensors are the same, I understand the different functionalities of the cameras.

    I just said that it was hard to believe that the D80 would be noticeably noisier after only comparing a few shots.

    I'd just like to see examples- I searched online, but wasn't able to come up with any definitive images.

    Not trying to start a flame war here, the D40 and D40x are fantastic cameras.
     
  21. freebooter macrumors 65816

    freebooter

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    #21
    Fair enough.
    I was thinking along the same lines.
    If/when I have the time (this weekend?) I will do a head to head noise test: my D40 vs my D80. Should be interesting... :)
    I'll post.
    And like Abstract says, noise isn't all bad. ( I rarely print, though.)
     

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