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D40x questions before buying!
I am in the market for my first DSLR and am considering the Nikon D40x and I have a few questions about the purchase (which apply regardless of the camera I purchase):.

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras need special software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAW files. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any way around this? Does this create a headache whenever you want to view/print your photos and you are not at home?.

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the one year extended service plan for about $150 because he says that digital SLRs require a thorough cleaning each year that runs around $75 and it provides you an additional level of comfort when packing your camera anywhere. Should I seriously consider the extended service plan?.

3) In the past I have purchased cameras and video equipment from warehouse operators in another state to save money. Are there reasons why you would not do this with your first DSLR?.

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor which means it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drive motor. The only lense I currently have fits a very old Minolta, so I don't have to worry about not using a lot of old lenses. Does the lack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

5) Does anyone have any specific reasons why they would not buy the D40x?.

Thanks in advance for any help you may provide on these questions...

Comments (6)

Numbers 1 and 4 are pretty good reasons. The extended service plan is expensive insurance that only you can justify. I have never had a camera cleaned..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #1

Brodak wrote:.

I am in the market for my first DSLR and am considering the NikonD40x and I have a few questions about the purchase (which applyregardless of the camera I purchase):.

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras needspecial software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAWfiles. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any wayaround this? Does this create a headache whenever you want toview/print your photos and you are not at home?.

No big deal. Lots of software can open D40x raw files. Besides, jpeg works fine..

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the oneyear extended service plan for about $150 because he says thatdigital SLRs require a thorough cleaning each year that runs around$75 and it provides you an additional level of comfort when packingyour camera anywhere. Should I seriously consider the extendedservice plan?.

I wouldn't. If you don't change lenses all the time, the sensor doesn't need cleaned. The lens comes with a 5-year warranty.

3) In the past I have purchased cameras and video equipment fromwarehouse operators in another state to save money. Are therereasons why you would not do this with your first DSLR?.

Warning, there are a lot of crooked operators out therefar more than are honest. B&H and Adorama are two good ones..

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor whichmeans it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drivemotor. The only lense I currently have fits a very old Minolta, so Idon't have to worry about not using a lot of old lenses. Does thelack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

Do you thank you'd want lenses that aren't AF-S, like primes and old lenses? There are AF-S versions of every zoom lens you could want..

5) Does anyone have any specific reasons why they would not buy theD40x?.

It's small. If you have big hands, you might prefer a D80. On the other hand, the D40x offers great image quality for the price..

Thanks in advance for any help you may provide on these questions...

Comment #2

Brodak wrote:.

I am in the market for my first DSLR and am considering the NikonD40x and I have a few questions about the purchase (which applyregardless of the camera I purchase):.

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras needspecial software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAWfiles. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any wayaround this? Does this create a headache whenever you want toview/print your photos and you are not at home?.

I recently purchased this camera, and have been playing around with it "LOTS". It seems very intuitive and I have already (by pure luck ?) some really pleasing photos. I am so impressed- the camera seems so idiot proof.For now I save images in .jpg format.

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the oneyear extended service plan for about $150 because he says thatdigital SLRs require a thorough cleaning each year that runs around$75 and it provides you an additional level of comfort when packingyour camera anywhere. Should I seriously consider the extendedservice plan?.

My personal experience with all these plans is that they are just trying to get more money out of you ! A friend of mine in the electronics products industry tells me this is a real money earner for his store- so that means we are paying for it ! Up to you though..

3) In the past I have purchased cameras and video equipment fromwarehouse operators in another state to save money. Are therereasons why you would not do this with your first DSLR?.

I did that and so far so good. Warranty in my country relates to manufacturer (Nikon) more so than store.

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor whichmeans it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drivemotor. The only lense I currently have fits a very old Minolta, so Idon't have to worry about not using a lot of old lenses. Does thelack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

Don't know.

5) Does anyone have any specific reasons why they would not buy theD40x?.

Well , I did, so , "no" !! (was originally considerring Canon 40D).

Thanks in advance for any help you may provide on these questions...

Comment #3

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras needspecial software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAWfiles. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any wayaround this? Does this create a headache whenever you want toview/print your photos and you are not at home?.

If you use Photoshop Elements there is a free plugin (Adobe Camera Raw) that opens raw files, allows you to process them, and then pass the results to photoshop. There are other free RAW editors..

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the oneyear extended service plan for about $150 because he says thatdigital SLRs require a thorough cleaning each year that runs around$75 and it provides you an additional level of comfort when packingyour camera anywhere. Should I seriously consider the extendedservice plan?.

A total rip-off. They make much more profit on this than they do on the camera because the price competition on the hardware is so fierce. They do *not* require a thorough cleaning each year; just the occasiaonl dust removal if you change lenses a lot. So far my 5 blower has worked fine..

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor whichmeans it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drivemotor. The only lense I currently have fits a very old Minolta, so Idon't have to worry about not using a lot of old lenses. Does thelack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

You are right in that the choice of lenses is more limited for this reason (non-motorized lenses will work, but they won't autofocus). It's an issue if you are after esoteric lenses, but not an issue if your needs are fairly standard. Nikon of course make many motorized lenses for the D40x, and Sigma have released motorized versions of a lot of their popular lenses (17-70, 55-200, 30mm f/1.4 prime, etc) which cover all the range that many people will ever need. I don't think this is much of an issue for a relative beginner..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #4

Brodak wrote:.

I am in the market for my first DSLR and am considering the NikonD40x and I have a few questions about the purchase (which applyregardless of the camera I purchase):.

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras needspecial software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAWfiles. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any wayaround this? Does this create a headache whenever you want toview/print your photos and you are not at home?.

Just use jpg. For RAW I use Photoshop CS2 to process them which is fine for me..

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the oneyear extended service plan for about $150 because he says thatdigital SLRs require a thorough cleaning each year that runs around$75 and it provides you an additional level of comfort when packingyour camera anywhere. Should I seriously consider the extendedservice plan?.

Probably a waste of money. I change lenses often and a quick use of a blower every so often removes any dust from the sensor..

3) In the past I have purchased cameras and video equipment fromwarehouse operators in another state to save money. Are therereasons why you would not do this with your first DSLR?.

Pass - I'm not from the US. Only you can decide whether a retailer is reputable and likely to be trouble-free..

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor whichmeans it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drivemotor. The only lense I currently have fits a very old Minolta, so Idon't have to worry about not using a lot of old lenses. Does thelack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

Not really. I accept it would be nice to be able to autofocus with fixed lenses like the 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 which I use a lot on my D200, but there are plenty of fine zooms for the D40(x). And Sigma have just brought out a 30mm f/1.4 which will autofocus in it, so the situation is improving..

If I got one I'd end up the with the big 17-55 f/2.8 on it most of the time and those cheaper motorless (but optically very good) lenses on the D200 which would be a bit strange I suppose....

5) Does anyone have any specific reasons why they would not buy theD40x?.

No, I think it's a very good camera, I wouldn't mind one as a small backup, particularly as it's lowlight capabilities are apparently very good. But make sure you handle it to see if it feels good and is a fit for your hands..

Alex..

Comment #5

First of all welcome!.

1) It is my understanding that the lower end Nikon cameras needspecial software that costs around $150 to properly process the RAWfiles. Is this the case for comparable cameras? Is there any wayaround this? Does this create a headache whenever you want toview/print your photos and you are not at home?.

Plenty of ways around it using Elements or whatever but Nikon Capture NX is available for around $120. If you do not already have any PP software it is a decent program that will get the very best out of RAW files (and works on JPEGs too). You get a 30 day free trial with the D40x so you can give it a go and move on to something else if you do not like it..

With all cameras you will have the same problem away from home shooting RAW. a simple solution is to shoot both RAW + JPEG. There is a plug in for Window Explorer that allows you to view most RAW files. If you are regularly visiting one place it should not be a big problem to just download that..

2) The salesman at the camera store recommends that I buy the oneyear extended service plan ..... etc.

RIP OFF!.

3) In the past I have purchased cameras and video equipment fromwarehouse operators in another state to save money. Are therereasons why you would not do this with your first DSLR?.

None but chose a reliable Etailer..

4) The Nikon D40x does not have an built-in focus drive motor whichmeans it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drive.

Motor..... Does the lack of a built-in focus drive motor create unforeseen problems?.

No there are about 50 lenses available. Nikons are listed (under AF-S) here:http://www.nikonusa.com/template.php?cat=1&grp=5and Sigmas here:http://www.sigmaphoto.com/news/news.asp?nID=3356.

5) Does anyone have any specific reasons why they would not buy theD40x?.

It gets very good reviews. Consider getting it together with the 18-135 lens (unless you photograph lots of architecture in which case there are better choices). You then have an excellent combination..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #6

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