Well I went for it: just bought a Nikon D40

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peapody, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. peapody macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #1
    I've always wanted to dive into the world of digital photography...so I bought myself an early xmas gift - a D40. I am excited to learn more...was just wondering what are the essentials I should have to accompany the camera. As of now, its the basic kit...I just have the camera, charger, lens, and strap (very barebones). What do you guys think?
     
  2. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #2
    Go and shoot a coupla thousand pictures... then you might have a better idea what accessories you'll need. :)
     
  3. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    #3
    D40 is a great camera, excellent for beginners...congrats
     
  4. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    thats what im planing to do tomorrow as soon as i get my XTi, how would we know what accessories we're looking for though?
     
  5. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #5
    Haha indeed...


    Also, I just installed leopard on my macbook, and I have no idea which photo managing software to use, let alone photo edititng. Are there any free programs out there that will suffice?

    I am so excited, I want to melt into a puddle!
     
  6. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #6
    well, iphoto is always good, you can also download a free trial of aperture and try that

    link

    edit: one nice thing about leopard is that preview gives you basic photo editing capabilities now too
     
  7. mitchozie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #7
    I'm in a similar position, I purchased a D40 two months ago. At a minimum I would say that you should have a clear filter to protect your lens, a tripod for low light or self portraits, the remote control, a 2 GB memory card, and a small camera bag to carry and protect your camera.

    I think you will find that the D40 takes fantastic pictures, and with iPhoto you can place them on an iPod to have a picture library in you pocket.
     
  8. Evanrude macrumors newbie

    Evanrude

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    #8
    Well of course you are going to want a comfortable, easy to carry bag for the camera that is big enough to house the camera, an extra battery or two (I really would recommend getting at least 1 spare). Getting caught on the run with no power can really destroy the day. The bag should also have room for a basic lens cleaning kit, you'll want one for the odd fingerprint or whatnot.

    Also, you will totally want a tripod. Perhaps two. A small, table-top sized tripod can be very useful in many situations.

    Do NOT get this kind... They tip over and are too small to support anything except the smallest of pocket cameras.

    [​IMG]

    Those mini-tripods are worthless!


    You want one that when opened, it's legs spread out as far as the camera is wide. Like this one.. With these nice rubber feet it can be used on a car as well if you happen to see something as you are driving that perks your interest.
    [​IMG]


    Also, invest in a nice tripod of standard size (a GOOD tripod is more of a good investment than you might think, spend too little and your images are lost). Most good tripods extend to about 4-5 feet. You'll want a *solid* tripod with a head that locks up tight. This allows you to do time-lapse photos or "bulb" type images without the camera wobbling. Also to prevent wobbling, the LEGS must be sturdy and lock tight as well. If the tripod is not well made, even when locked the legs will turn from side to side, making the tripod useless. The tripod head should also be moveable on 3 axis, front to back, side to side, and aimable up and down. It should have a quick-release kit on top so as to quickly remove your camera.

    One thing to check on the tripod, all of the small knobs that lock up the head movement, etc. Try to get a tripod that either has a metal body, or one with good craftsmanship. Some of the plastic ones will split out along the body if they are not made well.

    Anyway, my two cents :)
     
  9. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #9
    Thanks guys,

    Is iPhoto free? I can't seem to find a downloadable free version.
     
  10. davidjearly macrumors 68020

    davidjearly

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #10
    No, it comes with iLife as part of tha package. It is only 'free' when you buy a new Mac, which comes preinstalled with iLife.

    EDIT: You state you have a MacBook. This should have iLife on it. Look in the appliactions folder for a program called iPhoto.
     
  11. Evanrude macrumors newbie

    Evanrude

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    #11
    If you bought a new Mac in the last couple of years, iPhoto (should) be on it as long as it came with iLife.

    BUT... you don't 'need' it.

    There are several other options.

    One, if you have iTunes, plug in your iPod. In iTunes, click on your iPod and click the PHOTOS that should now be available. On the summary tab, first, you'll want to check "enable disk use".

    You can select a folder on the computer where you store your Final / Edited photos, and it will automatically sync that folder with your iPod. So any time you add photos to the folder, plug in the iPod and it will copy the photos. This will then allow you to view the pictures on the iPod.

    If you want, check the "Include Full Resolution Photos" as well. This will copy full sized images into a folder so that if you happen to go to someone elses home, you can browse the iPod like a portable hard drive and pull up the pictures.


    The OTHER options. There are two devices to consider.

    First, Apple makes a lovely device for $30.
    [​IMG]

    It can be purchased from Apple... iPod Connector

    While you are traveling, you plug it into your ipod, plug your usb cable from your camera, and it will copy all your photos from your camera to the iPod hard drive, giving you immensely larger storage space as you travel.

    WARNING. Currently, the use of the Apple device is said to really eat the battery life of both the iPod and the Camera.

    There is another option.
    Belkin makes an iPod media reader.
    [​IMG]
    Belkin Media Reader Info

    It costs between 30 - 80 dollars depending on where you get it from. This is a pretty cool memory card reader. You plug it into the dock connector of your iPod, plug in one of six types of memory card [Supports CompactFlash® (Type 1 and 2), SmartMedia™, Secure Digital (SD), Memory Stick®, or MultiMediaCard (MMC)], and it copies the images to the iPod.

    This saves your camera's battery life, and that of the iPod, because the media reader has it's own batteries.

    The current differences in the two. With the Apple version, it places the pictures in a folder available for immediate viewing on the iPod. So you can transfer and view. With the Belkin version, the first series did not allow for photo viewing, but supposedly the latest version has fixed that, you would want to contact Belkin to find out for sure. I don't have one to test otherwise I would tell you personally!
     
  12. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #12
    wow thanks guys. I really appreciate the tidbits of advice.

    What do you think of this nikon accessory kit from ebay? I am trying to cut down costs because the camera put me back some...do you think I can put these items to good use? I already have a 4gb SDHC card so this one seems like a good fit...I am just worried that the items in the auction are garbage...what do you guys think?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Digital-S...ryZ50492QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  13. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
    There is SILKYPIX Developer Studio Free Version.
     
  14. Evanrude macrumors newbie

    Evanrude

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    #14
    Personally I would say it's not worth it really... there's a lot of STUFF their... but for $70 your getting nothing of quality. So for the price, plus shipping (approx 90 bucks total) I'd just go local.

    Not to mention , that SD card reader will not read your SDHC card.

    Unless it was specifically designed for it, most SD readers will (not) read SDHC.

    When I bought my Canon S3 iS, it came with a set exactly like that, only for Canon. The tripod is junk. I mean, literally. Fully extended and locked into place, it just sort of wobbles back and forth. The bag I think is a knock-off, and the seams started coming apart 3 weeks after I got it.

    I think you'd be better going to your local camera shop and finding a tripod, cleaning kit, and carrying bag. That way you know they are well made, and you can choose the ones that fit your budget. As for a card reader, your camera has a built in connection for connecting it directly to your computer, so it's not *completely* necessary., But I know a lot of people like to do that to "save battery life" on the camera. Although, I run mine like that and don't have problems transferring 3 and 4 gigs of pictures at a time. Doesn't seem to affect my battery life much :)

    Of course these are just my opinions :D
     
  15. motownflip macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #15
    nice purchase, I'm jealous! I've been thinking about getting a d40 or d80 or xti or ..... Tons of money though. Have fun with it!
     
  16. Poncho macrumors 6502

    Poncho

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Holland
    #16
    I did the same as you about six months ago. Never even owned a point-and-shoot or any camera.

    Have got loads of great photos on auto and love freezing water from fountains using the 'iceskater' icon. Now just moved on to 'P' mode. Got some great fireworks shots that way.

    Anyway, I bought a remote, a spare battery and a Sandisk Extreme III card. I got them all from Hong Kong on E-bay for pennies really.

    And I got a Tamrac bag from some Canadian site on E-bay for about £12 (http://www.tamrac.com/5534.htm). Perfect fit and room for expansion.

    Then I went mad and bought the 55-200mm lense and the flash, because, again, I saw them so cheap from Hong Kong on e-Bay. All arrived. All work.

    But I'm scared to swap the lenses too much in case I get dust on the sensor.

    Anyway, there aren't any more accessories i can buy now, so job complete.
     
  17. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #17
    Something to put it in. Get one of those insulated lunch sacks kids use to take their lunch to school. They cost about $6 and are perfect for cameras. They are made of fabric with foam padding and have a cary strap. And best of all they do not call attention to themselves.
     
  18. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #18
    wow I didn't even think of that. Well I am going for the Tamarac 3536 bag and a field guide from amazon for now...man this is going to be an expensive hobby...

    :(;)
     
  19. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #19
    So here is what I bought so far:

    Nikon D40 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

    Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens

    Tamrac 3535 Express 5 bag



    Haha, man I have to sell some stuff. Anyway, I wanted to keep just one lens, but after reading and talking to some people about what would be the best lens for me, do you guys think I can just stick to the 50mm? I know that it is a great all purpose lens, and is great for low light, sports shots, and various other modes. I have read that it is a good beginners lens to allow amatuers to really learn how to take quality photos. As I am trying to save money, should I keep both, or sell off the 18-55mm?
     
  20. Evanrude macrumors newbie

    Evanrude

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    #20
    Well that 50mm 1.8 is definitely a much nicer lens for low light. 18MM could be nice if you want a wider shot.

    What you *could* do is sell the spare, and get a nice dedicated Macro lens. :)
     
  21. Jdot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fairport Harbor, Ohio
    #21
    Please do not buy an xti you will spend alot of time in aperture/photoshop with your photos if you buy that camera if your gonna go canon get an eos 30D or greater if not buy a nikon D40 or greater the d40 is far less expensive then the xti and i find the quality equal or greater then in most cases.
     
  22. peapody thread starter macrumors 68040

    peapody

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    baltimore, md
    #22
    So do you guys find that the 50mm provides comparable results to the 18-55mm I have - and I mean low light situations aside. Will there be a big difference in the zoom capabilities and so on? Because if the 50mm can take the place of the 18mm I would go ahead and sell the spare lens. Man so much to learn!
     
  23. schreck macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Location:
    New England
    #23
    Out of curiosity- do you all (those who have the D40) find that 6,1 megapixels is sufficient? I've been going back and forth between the Nikon and the XT.

    I'm also curious as to why you chose the D40 over the XT. Was there any particular reason?

    Thanks,
    Alex
     
  24. form macrumors regular

    form

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    in a country
    #24
    The XTi has image quality equal to or greater than the 30D, with only slightly greater noise. Picture styles help keep things very consistent. The XTi is significantly better than the D40 in maximum raw resolution, though it lacks the same durable-feeling construction and perhaps one or two functions (spot metering). There is nothing wrong with the XTi (or the XT, which I have owned for 2 years and liked very much).
     
  25. macgruder macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    AF lens don't autofocus on D40 / Crop Factor

    I'm somewhat surprised to see Peepody having a

    Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens

    especially as this won't autofocus on the D40
    (you need an AF-S for autofocus on D40; AF lens use a motor in the camera body that the D40 doesn't have)


    Also, bear in mind that a 50mm lens on a DX camera is effectively a 75mm (in 35mm film terms) lens because of the crop factor of the DX sensor. Personally, I don't find a 75mm very useful. Too tele for general work, not tele enough for other things.

    The 1.8 is nice though but you'll need to very good to manually focus it at that F-Stop with its shallow depth of focus.

    Peepody, I'll venture you won't use the 50mm much but the zoom a lot. You definitely need the effectively 27mm - 82mm that the zoom gives you.

    Personally, I would go for a
    18-200 F3.5-5.6 VR DX lens (but it's expensive)
    or a second wide-angle
    Sigma 10-20mm zoom (ef: 15-30mm zoom)

    I'm hoping that Nikon will release a new DX wide angle non-zoom lens like a 10 or 12mm.


    I have a D40X (10Mega) which is an excellent camera. I don't think any of these cameras need to be labelled beginners cameras as such. They are just as capable of more expensive cameras of getting good shots - they tend to be lacking certain features that pros really need in terms of settings etc. But the picture quality - especially with good glass - is right up there with the best.

    One of the advantages of more pixels is that it becomes an effective zoom. With more pixels you can take pictures knowing that you can crop the outside without losing much.
     

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