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D40 help please
Hello, I was just about to take the plunge and buy a panasonic fz18 for general all round photography, I went to the shop and after being dealt with by a helpful knowledgable assistant, she asked have I considered an SLR ?? after a summary of what it can do I was very impressed..

My questions to anyone who can help would be :-.

I can only afford the basic kit with the 18-55 lens no AF or VR, I am worried abouthow the shots would come out without these !!.

How do I know if I am in optimum focus if I have to manually do this ?? (might be a silly question but if you dont ask you wont no).

In time and when money prevails I am sure I will upgrade the lens, but as for a starter will I be dissapointed with the lens compared to the longer zoom of the fz18? I was not really fussed on the bigger zoom on the FZ18 it just seemed to almost the pick of the bunch reading all the reviews on bridge camera's..

I know there are issues with higher iso's and IQ with the fz18 & s5 is and thats whats making me think about a budget SLR. I have looked at plenty of pics taken with the D40 on review sights and they look great, am I on the right tracks yours views would be a big help...Lee.w..

Comments (16)

The basic kit lens 18-55 does autofocus  it's AF-S lens, so achieving focus is out of your worries..

You may miss the zoom range of Fz-18, but the D40 offers great image quality. .

I bought D40 only couple of weeks ago after owning another superzoom - fuji S8000.Suehttp://picasaweb.google.com/silvia.simeonovahttp://photo.net/photos/xilin_bestThe world I see is not the same as yours,I take pictures so I can show you mine...

Comment #1

Sue, can I be nosey and ask where you got yours from and how much was it ?Thanks for your replyLee.w.

Anybody else with some helpful advise for me?..

Comment #2

Go for the D40 I bought this and I am a total Newbie to the SLR world an have had nothing but compliments on my photos they are crystal clear. and you will lone the improvement the slr makes Go for it......

Comment #3

Leew8948 wrote:.

Sue, can I be nosey and ask where you got yours from and how much wasit ?Thanks for your replyLee.w.

Sure, you can but I doubt if I'll be much help here..

I got it in Beijing, China, in a huge electronics market, for about 520 dollars..

Very capable camera, I don't think you'll regret buying it. Suehttp://picasaweb.google.com/silvia.simeonovahttp://photo.net/photos/xilin_bestThe world I see is not the same as yours,I take pictures so I can show you mine...

Comment #4

It's a fine camera and you should have fun with it. The 18-55 kit lens DOES autofocus..

There is a useful 'beginners guide' to the D40 at.

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40/users-guide/index.htm.

- which takes you in very simple terms through what settings to use and how to get started..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #5

Whether you will be happy or not depends at least to some extent on what kind of pictures you want to take. I have the panny FZ30 and get great pictures. It's an excellent camera, and I love the zoom because I take a lot of outdoor wildlife and bird pictures, BUT my pictures taken on late afternoon walks are not so good. On these winter afternoons, I've pretty much given up taking the camera with me because it gets dark so early. Increasing the ISO is not a good option because of the noise it creates. I am also not happy with the indoor pictures of my family and pictures I've taken at events in our church fellowship hall.

So my suggestion is to decide what kind of pictures you will be using the camera for most of the time. Then make your decision.Carolyn in NE Ohio.

'Let your light so shine ...'.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

My photo galleries can be seen at http://lingenfelter.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #6

Hi Carolyn, My pitcures are quite diverse, but in that diversity are some indoor shot's of my children probably 15-20 % of my picture taking, the others will be general holiday pics, this will be an all round camera for me, hence my question will the 18-55 AF lens serve my purpose early on with the poss step up to SLR world, I certainly hope it does....

Lee..

Comment #7

I faced many of these same questions. I could really use the long zoom of the Canon S5is I was considering and it's price had fallen to below $400. It was great outdoors in good light where I do most of my photography (I have a friend with the S3is, and used it on a number of occasions). However, move indoors or other low light situations and the performance falls off rapidly. It doesn't come up speed when turned on and focus as fast as a DSLR and doesn't autofocus as realiably. But on the DSLR side, all I could really afford was the D40 with the basic kit lens, and I know I'd want something with longer range than that..

Nevertheless, in the long run I'd knew I'd be happier with the D40, and had determined to suffer through the 18-55 only phase until I could afford at least the 55-200vr or perhaps the 70-300vr. Fortunately I got a boost in my camera budget simultaneously with a decent holidays deal on the 18-55 plus 55-200vr package, so I got the D40x with those two lenses. Honestly, I'm quite happy with the 18-55 lens for the moment. There are better lenses out there (at a boost in expense), but just using it provided much more satisfying photos than I got from the superzoom..

Don't worry about only having the kit lens. It does autofocus, and the VR is not as important (nice to have, though) on a non-telephoto lens. I got some very sharp shots using it indoors, handheld, without a flash at the L.A. Auto show. Absolutely blew away the same shots I took with the S3is from the previous year at the 2006 auto show. In the short run you might miss the extra reach of a superzoom, but it will be worth the wait and in all other situations where an 18-55 will serve, the DSLR will make you much happier..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Thanks Broadsword for your reply, sounds like you was in the same boat as me as what to buy super zoom or entry DSLR.. still a bit in two minds what to go with, but I must admit like the sound of having a go with an DSLR it will be my first one..

Looking at the price comparison the camera's overhere in the UK seem to be more expensive than what you can over in the States..

Thanks for your experiences with your D40.

Cheers...Lee.w..

Comment #9

Broadsword wrote:.

Honestly, I'm quite happy with the 18-55lens for the moment. There are better lenses out there (at a boostin expense), but just using it provided much more satisfying photosthan I got from the superzoom..

Don't worry about only having the kit lens. It does autofocus, andthe VR is not as important (nice to have, though) on a non-telephotolens. I got some very sharp shots using it indoors, handheld,without a flash at the L.A. Auto show. Absolutely blew away the sameshots I took with the S3is from the previous year at the 2006 autoshow. In the short run you might miss the extra reach of asuperzoom, but it will be worth the wait and in all other situationswhere an 18-55 will serve, the DSLR will make you much happier..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

This is good to hear. From all I have read, I am looking forward to getting the D40. I expect to continue to use the my panny FZ30 for outdoor pictures in good light. For that use, it can't be beat in price, size, and amount of zoom. But I think I'll be a lot more satisfied with the D40 as a walk-around camera. I have a birthday in a couple of months...:)!Carolyn in NE Ohio.

'Let your light so shine ...'.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

My photo galleries can be seen at http://lingenfelter.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #10

Leew8948 wrote:.

Thanks Broadsword for your reply, sounds like you was in the sameboat as me as what to buy super zoom or entry DSLR.. still a bit intwo minds what to go with, but I must admit like the sound of havinga go with an DSLR it will be my first one..

Looking at the price comparison the camera's overhere in the UK seemto be more expensive than what you can over in the States..

You may find this site useful:.

Http://www.camerapricebuster.co.uk/prod267.html.

The D40 will be much better for photos of your children, indoors or out, than a bridge camera owing to [a] the speed; and [b] the high ISO performance. The 18-55 will be fine to begin with - but be aware Nikon are intending to make the 18-55 into a VR (vibration reduction) lens in the near future..

One thing I would mention is to consider a Nikon SB-400 Speedlight (external flash, Nikon's smallest and cheapest, you should get it for under 100) at some point for your indoor shots - you point the flash at the ceiling for bounce flash and get perfect exposure with no harshness or shadows. This with a Nikon D200 but the D40 will be able to do the same:.

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Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #11

Alex, the picture looks great, the colours look good, I know the d40 for a first DSLR would be a good step for me and by the looks another flash is the way to go. I just hope without VR for the moment I wont miss too many shots....Thanks again for your help and time.Lee.w..

Comment #12

Leew8948 wrote:.

Alex, the picture looks great, the colours look good, I know the d40for a first DSLR would be a good step for me and by the looks anotherflash is the way to go. I just hope without VR for the moment I wontmiss too many shots....Thanks again for your help and time..

I have 5 lenses for my D200 and only 1 is VR, I don't miss it at all - just keep the shutter speed fast enough (often by bumping up the ISO) and shake won't be a problem..

Note that VR will never help you capture a fast moving subject, only a fast shutter speed can do that..

Regards.

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #13

Thanks Alex that puts my mind at ease now..

Alex and and anyone, started to look to buy my D40 and come across some secondhand ones approx 6-12 months old with approx 2000 shots taken, will these be ok or should I give them a wide berth?? What is the life expectency of a an SLR ??.

ThanksLee.w..

Comment #14

Leew8948 wrote:.

Thanks Alex that puts my mind at ease now.Alex and and anyone, started to look to buy my D40 and come acrosssome secondhand ones approx 6-12 months old with approx 2000 shotstaken, will these be ok or should I give them a wide berth?? What isthe life expectency of a an SLR ??.

Not sure - well over 100,000 actuations (shots) at least I think and maybe several times that, before a shutter needs to be replaced..

These used D40s are probably OK but I assume you mean from a private seller rather than from a shop with a warranty. Bearing in mind you can get a new D40 kit fior under 300, I would want a hefty discount (100+ at least) before considering one. The warranty on a new camera gives such peace of mind I'd be reluctant to pay more than 150..

If you buy a new one online, I do recommend amazon as they are very good with returns if there is a problem. They are just about as cheap as anywhere:.

Http://www.amazon.co.uk/...F8&s=electronics&qid=1199565254&sr=8-1.

I've bought 2 second hand lenses and both were fine, from eBay - but I wouldn't advise that for the D40..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #15

Thanks for your advise & link, I think your probably right used ones on ebay are fetching around 230ish, does seem alot when you can get them sub 300 with a warranty..

I think I am doing the right thing buying a D40 over my original choice of a Panny fz18 as I am finding myself getting more absorbed into photography..

Thanks for your help !!Lee.w..

Comment #16

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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