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did I buy the wrong camera?
I just bought the d40x nikon. I am a complete newbie to photography as I've only used point and shoot cameras up til this point. I really want to get into shooting pro photos in the future. I feel now maybe I should have bought the d80 and I will want to upgrade from my d40x in a few months.... what do you guys think? will I be ok with the d40x if I get some great lenses? or would you return the d40x and get the d80 with a basic lens?.

I'm looking for some direction please and remember I a very new to photography..

Thanks  Amanda..

Comments (29)

Cameras come and go; good lenses are essentially timeless..

Your art and artistic vision and what you're trying to express come from you, not the camera. If you're just starting down the road, then I'd suggest getting the more basic camera and better lenses. In reality, you might want to reconsider the 40x and get the 40 and put the saved money to a lens. the more advanced cameras do make certain things easier but you have so much to learn (and learning to 'see'). You'll know when the camera is starting to hold you back (and honestly, the D40 is so small, it makes a great 'have it with me all the time' 2nd camera)...

Comment #1

Thanks, I also wanted to add that I still have time to exchange it .....

Comment #2

As the above reply stated, in a camera system the bodies come and go, it is the lens that are going to be with you along time..

There is nothing wrong with the d40x over the d40 the x gives you more pixels that you can use for cropping. and since you are a begineer you will be doing some cropping. the only disadvantage with the d40 and x is that the bodies can only accept certain lenses not the full nikon line. the image quality is not an issue; you are going to get the same pics with the d40x and the d80. you will not be able to tell the pics apart. the d80 can take all nikon lenses and has some features that the d40 and x do not.



Another possibility is to skip the d80 altogether and go to the d200. with the d300 out the d200 could have some bargain prices. there is a definate difference between the d40x/d80 and the d200. and you will not grow out of the d200 as fast, though there is more money involved..

Or you could simpl,y stay with the d40x and put any extra money into lenses. better lenses would give you an immediate and definate improvement in picture quality that no change in bodies can match..

All this means that you are going to have to do some heavy quality time thinking about your future needs and your real interest in photograohy. just how much of you are you going to invest in picture taking. the of you that you put into the picture taking with the commitement that goes with it, the more you will be getting an improved group of pictures..

You can try this website for some photo info. you want the heavy print on the left. the 3rd through 6th items.http://www.shortcourses.com/..

Comment #3

Thanks I'm feeling a bit better now .. .

What is a super great nikon lens I MUST have.... any recommendations?..

Comment #4

You purchased a good camera, now it's time to concentrate on developing your photography skills/style not worrying about if you bought the right one !!.

Simon.

Http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com/.

North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #5

Jetgirl-.

YOUR ALWAYS GOING TO WONDER IF YOU BOUGHT THE RIGHT ONE. or want another camera..

You are in nikon, which is an excellent brand, develope your skills THEN decide what you really want in your next camera. in 4-5yrs your current body will be only a memory...

Comment #6

The camera you have is very good (as they all are now). Don't be fooled by the 'entry level' label: it produces better quality images and has more features than a professional camera from not many years ago..

If you pay more for a camera (e.g. D200 compared to D40x) you *don't* get better pictures. A picture taken of your kids in the park will look the same on a Nikon D40 (300) as on a D3 (3000), assiuming correct exposure, the same lens etc..

For more money you get more physical robustness, and features that might help you to take good pictures in a wider variety of situations. For example the D200 has a high burst rate (10 pics per second I think) which would be very useful for a sports photographer. If you are not planning on shooting a lot of sports there is no point in paying for this feature that you don't need. More expensive cameras are designed to last for heavy use: are you going to take thousands of pictures a month, every month? If not a lighter and less robust camera will do you fine, it will still be way obsolete before it falls apart. more expensive cameras are weathersealed - do you plan to take pictures in the jungle, torrential rain or a desert? if not you don't need to pay extra for that. And so on..

Enjoy your camera - it is very good and has a reputation as being particulrly user-friendly for relative beginners. Save your money for extra lenses when you know what you need..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #7

It depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing and your budget. If you're a beginner, you definitely don't want to start with the most expensive lenses. A good walk-around lens to start with is the Tamron 17-50 2.8. Check the price on Amazon often. It can go down or up by quite a lot in one day...

Comment #8

Sir Stick wrote:.

It depends on what kind of shooting you'll be doing and your budget.If you're a beginner, you definitely don't want to start with themost expensive lenses. A good walk-around lens to start with is theTamron 17-50 2.8..

Yes, by all accounts this is a very good lens, but why recommend to a beginner one that won't autofocus on her camera?.

Perhaps the similar Sigma 18-50 HSM, although not quite as good (according to reviews I've seen), would be a much better choice..

PatcoA photograph is more than a bunch of pixels..

Comment #9

Ah, sorry. I totally forgot about the D40(x)'s specificity...

Comment #10

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

I just bought the d40x nikon. I am a complete newbie to photographyas I've only used point and shoot cameras up til this point. I reallywant to get into shooting pro photos in the future. I feel now maybeI should have bought the d80 and I will want to upgrade from my d40xin a few months.... what do you guys think? will I be ok with thed40x if I get some great lenses? or would you return the d40x and getthe d80 with a basic lens?.

I'm looking for some direction please and remember I a very new tophotography..

Thanks  Amanda.

What features does the D80 have .... that you "have" to have .... that the D40x does not have ????.

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #11

JoePhoto wrote:.

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

I just bought the d40x nikon. I am a complete newbie to photographyas I've only used point and shoot cameras up til this point. I reallywant to get into shooting pro photos in the future. I feel now maybeI should have bought the d80 and I will want to upgrade from my d40xin a few months.... what do you guys think? will I be ok with thed40x if I get some great lenses? or would you return the d40x and getthe d80 with a basic lens?.

I'm looking for some direction please and remember I a very new tophotography..

Thanks  Amanda.

What features does the D80 have .... that you "have" to have ....that the D40x does not have ????.

Nothing one would "have" to have, but rather features that are nice to have..

The D80 has a bigger, brighter pentaprism viewfinder, compatibility with all autofocus lenses from Nikon as well as 3rd party makers, wireless flash commander mode, auto-bracketing, top LCD, auto FP to overcome the 1/200 flash sync limit, 2 command dials, and so on..

PatcoA photograph is more than a bunch of pixels..

Comment #12

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

Thanks I'm feeling a bit better now .. .

What is a super great nikon lens I MUST have.... any recommendations?.

Assuming your D40x came with the 18-55 lens, you should consider the 55-200 VR...

Comment #13

Patco wrote:.

JoePhoto wrote:.

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

I just bought the d40x nikon. I am a complete newbie to photographyas I've only used point and shoot cameras up til this point. I reallywant to get into shooting pro photos in the future. I feel now maybeI should have bought the d80 and I will want to upgrade from my d40xin a few months.... what do you guys think? will I be ok with thed40x if I get some great lenses? or would you return the d40x and getthe d80 with a basic lens?.

I'm looking for some direction please and remember I a very new tophotography..

Thanks  Amanda.

What features does the D80 have .... that you "have" to have ....that the D40x does not have ????.

Nothing one would "have" to have, but rather features that are niceto have.The D80 has a bigger, brighter pentaprism viewfinder, compatibilitywith all autofocus lenses from Nikon as well as 3rd party makers,wireless flash commander mode, auto-bracketing, top LCD, auto FP toovercome the 1/200 flash sync limit, 2 command dials, and so on..

The biggest difference to me is that the D80 has more AF points. It's also bigger and easier for someone with big hands to hold...

Comment #14

I think Joe's question was directed at the OP, and he wanted the OP to think critically about why he wanted to upgrade. Other people can always come up with reasons why or why not a particular camera would be better, but only the OP can define his needs and buy accordingly. It sounded to me as though the OP hadn't really thought it out..

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

Http://www.pbase.com/jfinite..

Comment #15

With the 40x. It is a nice camera. If you decide to move up to a more expensive model later, it is still a nice size to carry around. A good friend, who is into top of the line Nikon cameras, recent bought a 40X specifically because he didn't want to carry his big cameras around with him on vacation!..

Comment #16

Dlkeller wrote:.

With the 40x. It is a nice camera. If you decide to move up to amore expensive model later, it is still a nice size to carry around.A good friend, who is into top of the line Nikon cameras, recentbought a 40X specifically because he didn't want to carry his bigcameras around with him on vacation!.

I think she should return it and get nothing less than the D3 .... yes, absolutely, the D3..

(this advertisement paid for by Nikon).

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #17

D3 all the way.. .

A D40 is more than a beginner can handle...

Comment #18

IMO the D80 is a far better featured camera, for little extra. Better AF, more AF points, much larger VF, VF option, wireless flash via onboad unit, more options, better controls. etc etc.

But as ever..its the shots that count..

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

Clint is on holiday! Soon to return! ..

Comment #19

** First is budget..

If you could get the D80 for less than $200 more, it may be a substantial value as you improve your photography and not limit you in your picture taking the same way(s) the D40x would. If it is more like a $250 increase, that's nearing 50% of your cost, I'd say hold off and be happy w/ your D40x..

How much do you plan to spend overall? Including lenses, flash mem cards, software, and the multitude of other accessories? The more you're investing into a 'system' the less I'd suppose you'd want restrictions imposed on you by your gear..

** Second is time..

How fast of a learner are you, and how much time will you dedicate to 'getting pro photos'? If you are expecting to get paid work before the end of the year, a D40x hardly would seem appropriate IMHO. HOWEVER, that varies a lot depending on what kind of work. Fast access to menus, two command dials, dedicated ISO button, CLS flash system commander, an AF motor for fast primes, and a bevy of other features makes the 'upgrade' substantial IMHO..

OTOH, if you're planning to use this first dSLR as a learning tool, and soon after invest in MORE pro equipment, the D40x is a great place to start. If you keep it at least 8 months to a year, you I would easily argue you've gotten your money's worth from it if you then chose to move up..

** Third, diversity of your shooting requirements..

If you plan to shoot everything from portraits to landscapes to events, the D80 makes a lot more sense IMHO. Again, having more AF points and a top LCD display is key. So is being able to change settings more quickly on the fly..

Nikon's CLS wireless flash system is absolutely amazing. If you EVER plan to use it, you'll IMMEDIATELY negate your entire savings by having to buy an SB-800 (or SU-800) to 'command' the system. The D80 has it built in, and your FIRST SB-600 or SB-800 could already be off-camera instead of on-camera..

Forgive me, I think the 40x doesn't offer exposure bracketing. Sure you could modify your exposures individually if you're shooting landscapes on a tripod or whatnot... But the whole idea is to not invite ANY camera shake between exposures..

** Fourth, your upgrade path..

If you think a smaller body dSLR will always be more appropriate for you (due to size, weight of camera, or your hand size) then a D40x is prolly a great match. But if you think you'll ever go to something like the D300... Any spare battery you'd have from the D80 would also work. The D40x's wouldn't. Granted, you'd then have to change your mem card system to CF from whatever SD cards you've just bought....

So, then maybe a "Like New" D200 for about $1000 would be a much better opportunity for a more 'pro featured' camera instead of either the 40x or 80? Things like multiple custom White Balance settings and custom menu banks really offer a multitude of features to help you capture thru your lens what you envision. Not to say the camera can ever take 'better pictures than you'... but it can allow you to maximize your full potential thru it's features..

I had the D80 and think it's wonderful. I personally think the D300 is soooooo much stronger in every aspect that it is The Camera to have. I couldn't have imagined how much difference it can make in allowing EVERY opportunity to be photographed as I desired. From the drastically improved AWB and white balance presets to the ability to meter manual focus lenses to bracketing more than 3 frames, to custom menu banks, to custom image banks, to non-CPU lens ID, to Active D-Lighting, ... the list goes on and on..

But I digress, the D300 is nearly 300% of the price of the D40x. My overall point is, you can prolly ALWAYS want something better. And the 40x can serve you well, albeit for a potentially shorter period than an 80 if you plan to turn this into paid work..

Just some of my thoughts. Dunno if it helps. My opinions come from my own direct experience (I'm not claiming them to be 'right' or even applicable to you), and as they say YMMV..

~ davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/..

Comment #20

Well, I am going to recommend the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, partly because it won't autofocus on the D40x. This lens doesn't do anything for you, all it does is form beautifully clean, sharp images - but hey, it only costs US$100..

It is like anything else: if you want to learn about something the best way is to do it yourself. You will learn more about exposure with the camera on manual than you will with it on automatic, and you will learn more about focus by focussing than you will by letting the lens do it for you. And a fixed focal length lens is good to practice with because it makes you think about solving compositional problems photographically rather than by zooming. To complete the set, you learn about light by photographing in black and white, so I recommend that too...

Comment #21

Hi,.

You just bought a great camera. I am a Pentax user but I just saw the pictures a friend took on a trip to South Africa with his D40x + 18-55 and 55-200. I was amazed with the results: sharp, colourful pictures. VR and low noise-high ISO certainly worked..

Please stop worrying about cameras, stop reading sales information, stop reading equipment tests, stop visiting camera store websites. They will make you feel miserable with what you got..

Go out and take pictures, submit them on a forum and ask for critique and comments, you will enjoy all the advice you will get. I don't know the Nikon forum but at the Pentax forum on dpreview everybody loves to share their ideas with a beginner.Go read some nice sites about composition.http://www.nikonians.org/.../html/resources/guides/composition_101/index.htmlthis one is very simple and very effective..

Go read the lens test on photozone.de , you will find that your lens and the 55-200 offer excellent value for money, certainly better than Canon kit lenses, probably better than Pentax kit lenses.http://www.photozone.de/reviewsHis photography tips are nice too:http://www.photozone.de/reviews.

Just google "photography composition" and "painting composition" , look at the examples and try them out in your local park or wood. Once you get on the learning curve you will have a great time shooting better pictures every time you apply the things you learned..

One last link:http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/notcamera.htm.

People either love or hate Ken Rockwell. He certainly has strong opinions and he makes you think about what YOU want to get out of photography. He is very clear: It is not about the gear, that's just a tool. It's all about what you do with the camera...

Comment #22

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

I just bought the d40x nikon....

There are no "wrong" cameras. You're just suffering from buyer's remorse...

Comment #23

Les Olson wrote:.

Well, I am going to recommend the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, partly because itwon't autofocus on the D40x. This lens doesn't do anything for you,all it does is form beautifully clean, sharp images - but hey, itonly costs US$100..

It is like anything else: if you want to learn about something thebest way is to do it yourself. You will learn more about exposurewith the camera on manual than you will with it on automatic, and youwill learn more about focus by focussing than you will by letting thelens do it for you. And a fixed focal length lens is good topractice with because it makes you think about solving compositionalproblems photographically rather than by zooming. To complete theset, you learn about light by photographing in black and white, so Irecommend that too..

I have never tried to do manual focus on a D40. I believe that it is no picnic, especially with a moving subject. The 50mm f/1.8 is indeed a good lens but it will be severely limited on a D40 by not having a means to focus it. I can focus a 50 f/1.8 just fine on an FE2 with a split prism screen but that's a far cry from the screen on a D40..

Leonard Migliore..

Comment #24

Jetgirl5167 wrote:.

I just bought the d40x nikon. I am a complete newbie to photographyas I've only used point and shoot cameras up til this point. I reallywant to get into shooting pro photos in the future. I feel now maybeI should have bought the d80 and I will want to upgrade from my d40xin a few months.... what do you guys think? will I be ok with thed40x if I get some great lenses? or would you return the d40x and getthe d80 with a basic lens?.

I'm looking for some direction please and remember I a very new tophotography..

Thanks  Amanda.

Nobody can forsee the future. For all I know, a year from now, you may no longer be interested in photography. Spend time with your d40x, learn to use it, learn photography, and shoot some pictures. Seriously, worrying about other cameras is not going to improve your photography. Any other advise then sticking with your d40x is foolish...

Comment #25

I do it a lot on the D80, but I have only done it occasionally using a D40. It is certainly easier on the D80 because the viewfinder is brighter, but you can do it on D40. But then, I just like manual focus. I realise other people don't, but the OP said she wanted to work towards professional photography, and that creates a different perspective. She shouldn't be put off any lens - let alone the best $100 lens in creation - just because it doesn't autofocus on the D40..

As Paris Hilton said, "The advantage lies with him who has been to the hard school"...

Comment #26

Les Olson wrote:.

I do it a lot on the D80, but I have only done it occasionally usinga D40. It is certainly easier on the D80 because the viewfinder isbrighter, but you can do it on D40. But then, I just like manualfocus. I realise other people don't, but the OP said she wanted towork towards professional photography, and that creates a differentperspective. She shouldn't be put off any lens - let alone the best$100 lens in creation - just because it doesn't autofocus on the D40..

As Paris Hilton said, "The advantage lies with him who has been tothe hard school"..

Neither is any good for manual focus by looking at the screen, but both have focus confirmation displays next to the shutter speed and aperture in the finder. Two little arrows showing which way to turn the focus ring, and a dot indicating correct focus..

This is fine for static subjects like formal portraits, but not for moving subjects. Most wedding photographers use zoom lenses. Many also use large aperture primes when they want shallow DOF or for existing light. If you're going to do that, use a D80 or higher...

Comment #27

I recently nearly bought a Canon Eos 5D, but then people kept telling me that the Nikon d300 was actually a better buy. But I'm wondering, is Nikon really the only viable contender to Canon? I am an amateur thinking about going pro (want to start photography school this fall) and investing in a good new camera and lens is a really big deal (as a student, $3000 is a lot of cash!). I heard that the Olympus E-3 was also quite good, as was the Sony A700 and the Fuji IS Pro. I know that Canon has the best reputation, but reputations can get outdated, and I'm worried that I'll pick the wrong camera. I'm not trolling, but I found a poll that compares the 5 cameras I just mentioned here: http://www.pollsb.com/.../poll/6088/which-digital-slr-camera-would-you-choose.

I figure I'm gonna monitor the results and go with the majority when it comes to buying my new "baby" in a couple of months. Maybe it will help you out too. You guys will probably be hearing from me a lot because I have soooo many questions! I haven't even started thinking about Lenses yet.....

Comment #28

Sylvieb wrote:.

I recently nearly bought a Canon Eos 5D, but then people kept tellingme that the Nikon d300 was actually a better buy. But I'm wondering,is Nikon really the only viable contender to Canon? I am an amateurthinking about going pro (want to start photography school this fall)and investing in a good new camera and lens is a really big deal (asa student, $3000 is a lot of cash!). I heard that the Olympus E-3 wasalso quite good, as was the Sony A700 and the Fuji IS Pro. I knowthat Canon has the best reputation, but reputations can get outdated,and I'm worried that I'll pick the wrong camera. I'm not trolling,but I found a poll that compares the 5 cameras I just mentioned here:http://www.pollsb.com/.../poll/6088/which-digital-slr-camera-would-you-chooseI figure I'm gonna monitor the results and go with the majority whenit comes to buying my new "baby" in a couple of months. Maybe it willhelp you out too.



There's no one best camera. For professional use, no one has been able to compete with Canon and Nikon for decades. Several are making valiant efforts..

I'd say the Canon 5D offers the best image quality as it has a full-frame sensor, and the D300 is the best overall for professional use. The A700 sounds great, but Sony is a very minor player in the professional market at present. The Olympus E-3 also sounds like a great camera, but it has the smaller Four Thirds sensor. The Fuji is not a DSLR..

However, if you're on a student's budget, there would be nothing wrong with a Nikon D80 or a Canon XTi, as long as you carefully consider lenses...

Comment #29

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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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