Nikon D50 or D40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wattso, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. wattso macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Chester UK
    #1
    Hi guys.

    This is my first venture into slr photogrpahy, hrm that makes me sound like I have a slight idea what I'm doing, this is my first venture into Any kind of using a camera properly (aside from using macro :p)

    And I'm looking at the Nikon d50 or a nikon d40, I can get the d50 second hand for £229 with the standard lens which seemed pretty good to me, or I could buy the D40 brand new for £290 with Nikons £60 cash back anniversary deal.

    I call upon the help of the friendly neighborhood macrumors photographers for help in making my decision. I'm only 15 and price is a big deal for me, the shop also had a Nikkor 28 - 300 lens for £130 which, again, I thought was good. I don't know if this is an autofocus lens, in which case i understand i would not be able to use autofocus with the d40. So would it be to expensive for me to buy a d40 along with a 28 - 300 / 70 - 300 autofocus lens ?

    Another understanding of mine is that the d40 prides itself on ease of use and is aimed at people that do not fiddle with the settings and whatnot. Are the advance options that exist in the d50 still present for me as i delve further into dslr photography with a d40?

    Overall I just want some opinions on which camera is better / better for me.

    Oh and it would be really nice if you could reccomend me a book (proper noob book) to help me start enjoying photography.

    Thanks Sincerely

    Wattso
     
  2. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #2
    Remember that the excellent (and very inexpensive) 70-300 G telezoom lens doesn't autofocus with the D40. I use this lens on my D50 for all sorts of purposes.
     
  3. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #3
    Hi Wattso,

    I would 100% say go for the D50. There is very few benefits of the D40 over the D50 and the lack of an auto-focus motor is a major draw-back for me.

    I own the D50 as I managed to get one just after the D40 came out and I got it at a good price. I would still pay more for a new or used D50 today than I would for a new D40 or D40x.

    The standard lens, 18-55mm, that comes with either is a fantastic kit lens and you might find this serves your needs well for the first few months at least until you get to know the camera inside out. I certainly would not recommend getting a 28-300 in the place of the 18-55 as you will likely miss the wide angle more than the telephoto in most shooting conditions.

    I believe it is always better to start off with a wider lens and then build up gradually your telephoto gear as you progress as a photographer.

    I would say go for the D50.

    HTH, David
     
  4. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #4
    I have the D40x with the 18-55 lens, and both the camera and the lens are fantastic.

    The D40/x does have all the manual features you'd need, despite being an "entry-level" camera. I use manual modes exclusively, and it's fine for me.

    The D50 is also an excellent camera. Usually I try to convince people to go with the D40/x over the D50... but if older non-AF-S lenses are an issue for you, then obv the D40 may not be the camera you want.

    However, whichever camera you get I definitely advise getting the 18-55 lens with it. I use the wide end far more than the telephoto end, and there are many more situations in which I'd always use the wide angle more than I ever would a telephoto.

    On a side note, while the 70-300 (of any Nikkor flavour) is excellent, the new 55-200mm VR is excellent too, and will autofocus with the D40/x, as well as the D50 obviously.
     
  5. wattso thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Chester UK
    #5
    Thankyou very much for everyone's input.

    I'm leaning heavily towards the D50 now.

    I'll be picking it up tomorrow along with 'Digital photography for dummies' :D:p Then I'm off to Spain for two weeks so I'll be able to have a good play with my new toy:)

    Thanks again
     
  6. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #6
    It somewhat depends on what condition the D50 and lens is in, and how many times the shutter has been fired... but if it's in excellent condition I'd probably recommend the D50. They'll both produce virtually identical quality images, but the slightly larger body feels a little better for me. I have a D50, and it does really well on auto settings (the few times I've used it in that mode...,) so that's not a problem. However, you can't go wrong with either camera, so don't sweat it too much. I think plenty of options for additional lenses are either already available, or will soon be for the D40.

    Either way, have fun and start shooting! :)
     
  7. techlover828 macrumors 68020

    techlover828

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
  8. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

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    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #8
    I agree. Don't get me wrong, you'll be happy with either.
     
  9. the vj macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    #9
    I am not a camera expert when I got mine and I got a D50. I am happy with it, I am discovering new things every day and I am fine with all the features. The autofocus is a must because my own focusing is not accurate.

    I am not missing anything from any other camera with the D50, I feel is a very good entry pro level camera. It could be between a BMW and a Porsche but not a Ferrari.
     
  10. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #10
    The D40 just doesn't have a built in auto focus motor. That means you have to buy AF-S lenses that have built in auto focus motors. This can cause problems if you want to use older non AF-S lenses. It doesn't mean you have to use manual all the time. :)
     
  11. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #11
    Isn't the definition of an AF-S lens "silent wave" i.e. internal motor, ergo every AF-S or IF (internal focus) lens should work with the D40(x)?
     
  12. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #12
    Yes, I think that was his point. However, many people own a collection of non AF-S lenses that won't work. In addition, some people may like to buy these second hand with the new body only to find that they won't work.
     
  13. wattso thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Location:
    Chester UK
    #13
    Well I went to town today and unfortunately the D50 had sold. However I purchased the Nikon D40 kit which comes with a AF-S 18 - 55 mm lens. I also picked up a copy of Aperture along with the book "Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies" and "Apple pro training series: Aperture 1.5"

    They'll make a photographer out of me yet :D

    Im off to have a bit of a read and a play. I leave you with these quick pictures, simply because I like looking at pictures of new stuff on the internet when someone buys something.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #14
    I have had the D50 for 10 months and it is a great camera.

    I find the D40 body too small - but that is just personal opinion.

    If you got the D50 the money you save could go towards new glass (a lens) which is perhaps the most important part of the camera.

    Examples of D50 which I have downscaled www.flickr.com/photos/bertpalmer
     
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #15
    I completely misread his post. As in completely backwards.

    Dyslexics of the world untie!
     
  16. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #16
    lol. It happens.

    To the OP: Enjoy your new camera.
     
  17. devincco macrumors member

    devincco

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2006
    #17
    OP. Either camera is a good choice, and I see you went with a D40. It will be great for you to learn on. I have a D50 and that is what I'm learning on. Eventually I'll move up to a D80, D200, D??? (whatever Nikon has when I'm ready) and I'll keep the lenses that I currently have. I look at it this way. You're buying into the lense family, not the body of the camera. If you find that you want to use some of the older lenses Nikon offers, just sell the D40 body and pick up a D50 body, or whatever number you want. Keep your exising lenses and use it on the new body.

    Also, I recomend the Magic Lantern books and the Field guide by David Busch. Great reads for the beginning photographer.
     
  18. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #18
    Go with the D50. The D50 will allow use of some of the best Nikon lenses that don't work on the D40.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #19
    Worse than that. Many of Nikon's best lenses are not AF-S. For example the 50mm f/1.4 In some cases it would actually be cheaper to buy a D80 then the D40/ Say if you were shooting sports and wanted a 80-200 f/2.8 zoom. The D80 could use a $600 version of that lens bought second hand but the D40 would require a much more expensive version of the lens that you would have to buy new.
     
  20. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #20
    I really think this issue is _way_ overblown.

    Manual focus is easy, and you don't need to rely on your eyesight even -- just twist the focus ring until the focus indicator lights up.

    Autofocus is great if you're doing a lot of shots of moving objects, and if you are you are very unlikely to be using that 50mm f/1.4 (or any other prime for that matter).

    For anything more complicated, especially with the narrow DOF at f/1.4 you're really going to be using manual focus anyway.

    My D80 is almost always on manual if I'm shooting with that lens, or if I'm doing any kind of closeup work even with the AF-S zooms.
     
  21. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #21
    Well the OP bought the camera, so as long as they're happy with it, it doesn't really matter. :)
     
  22. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #22
    Congrats..!!

    I'm always envious (just a wee bit) when someone gets to open a new box with goodies in it... you'll definately have a blast with that camera. Just make sure to post some pics once you get going with it... cheers. :)
     

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