Canon EOS 40D for beginner?
Help! I am considering an SLR for sports shots, lots of outdoor shots and some casual portraits...Any suggestions on the best SLR for "newbies"? I have virtually NO experience except with a point and shoot...always left the camera on automatic!!!.

Also, I don't like to haul around a huge amount of "stuff", so weight and size are a consideration. Budget isn't unlimited, but I can afford "better" equipment, but the places I want to take the camera are not where I'd usually take something expensive (ex..camping, hiking, travel)....

Finally, I need one or two lenses...the fewer the better...any suggestions?.


Comments (7)

Ddm84 wrote:.

Help! I am considering an SLR for sports shots, lots of outdoorshots and some casual portraits...Any suggestions on the best SLR for"newbies"? I have virtually NO experience except with a point andshoot...always left the camera on automatic!!!.

Olympus E510 with twin lens kit will serve you well. Olympus kit lenses are the best around, and you get image-stabilzation (CCD - shift) too. Approx. $550 on amazonBest Wishes, Ajay

Comment #1

My personal recommendation would be the Nikon D40 or D40x..

Check out this comparison:

Also a comparison involving the Oly 510:

Comment #2

I have been carrying SLR's and DSLR's for 30 years on hiking, canoeing, camping, and hunting trips. They are bigger than you would like; they weigh more than you wish, and they need some "looking after". But if you want good pictures, pictures you could never get with anything less, then you learn to put up with all that, and carry them..

It all comes down to how important photography is to you. There are many ways to cope with the size and weight of the equipment during various activities. There is no way to duplicate the photographic potential of a decent DSLR with the smaller, lighter, P&S type cameras..

Look into camera bags and cases. There are innovative and effective designs out there that "cost", but will work..

Think about two main lenses of good quality. You will need a wide zoom and a mid range zoom. For the 40D you won't regret a combination like the 17-55 f2.8 IS and one of the 70-200 lenses. I carry the non IS f4 version on outdoor expeditions simply because it is much lighter and smaller than the other versions, and I also want a tripod along as well. A tripod is another accessory that you will eventually decide is worth a lot of inconvenience to have along for it's potential to get you pictures you could never get otherwise..

But to repeat myself, it all depends on whether or not you are a photographer, or just want to capture a few memories. Photographers have to carry the stuff to do their craft. Snapshots for keepsakes can be done without the equipment. Your choice..

Nothing is enough for the man to whom nothing is enough...

Comment #3


There are some stunning bargains on ebay for used Canon 20Ds.This is still a very high class camera and will produce pro-quality images.If you get hooked you can keep it as a back up body or sell it on for similiar money.The new 18-55mm is lens has received great reviews and is cheap-it will be a great starter walkabout/ wide angle lens.The equally new 55-250mm is lens will sort your longer requirements.The next piece of kit to get would be a reasonable flash gun as the built in flash is only really any good for infill - the 430ex would be ideal but you could also consider a cheaper dedicated Sigma if you wanted to..

This would be a brilliant starter set up.You could get used to the camera and lenses using the available auto mode (green square on the dial ) and gradually move on to the more creative Av and M modes.The key thing with this set up is that you could shoot pretty much any subject with it straight away from day 1.As your shooting style becomes more defined you can then make appropriate equipment choices to complement your style.Good glass is expensive-generally more than a camera body,so it is important to get the basics right before spending the big bucks.Good luck and most of allENJOY...

Comment #4

I've read all of you're previous threads and you're somewhat lost. Buying a DSLR will be overwhelming and disappointing until you understand the basics, so start with a full featured P/S..

If you know little about photography and have never used any setting other than Auto you should begin with a P/S camera with manual features before considering a DSLR. As recommended the S5 or FZ18 would encompass your criteria..

Buying the best gear will not make you a good photographer if you don't already have the skills. How did you end up with a 40D anyway?Regards,Hank..

Comment #5

A 40D is way to complex for your needs. Given you don't know what you're doing any DSLR is a bad place to start, especially as you don't like weight..

Start with a good bridge camera ( like a Fuji S9100/9600 or S6000/6500 ) or a Canon S5 IS ( might be ideal for you )..

Get a book on basic photographic technique and start from there. No matter what camera you get, get a book..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

A camera like the 40D, or the Nikon D300 for that matter, is a great waste of money for someone with little experience there are many other cameras for a lot less money that will provide you with equally good pictures..

A Canon XTi is just as good as a 40D and an XT (without the I in the name) is really good, too..


Comment #7

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