New to dSLR, but wanted something around $800 (body) Metal, and color trace AF

I've had a semi-SLR (or SLR want to be) from Nikon 1998 and Sony for the last 4 years and wanted to experience a true SLR..

I've read quite a lot of reviews and although Cannon EOS have been a strong recommendation, I really wanted to stick to Nikon and Sony&(didnt like the Cannon cos.. it looked dull& lol) but&..

1. dSLR updates much much quicker compared to film SLR, it is worth while buying a mid range dSLR for the sake of having it as a toy?.

2. With new models, jumps in mega pixel on the sensor is huge. In year 2000 camera only had 1.6 mega pixels and now we are talking 13 mega pixels. This is a worry for me, because I'm intending to spend good money at a good camera that will last me 10 year or more. I didn't want which ever camera I buy to be superseded liked computers of today, 2 years and it's as good as a door stopper..

3. D40x seems like a good basic dSLR, however, it's plastic bodied, it's not at all weather proof and it likes the color trace AF function of D300. And therefore I'm considering D300, but as to the 2 points I've pointed out above, dSLR of today, paper weight of tomorrow?.

4. I quite like D80, it has every thing I am looking for, but by looking at the Nikon trend, I think it's due for a replacement.... Does it matter?.

Sony A700, my experience tell me to always buy a brand who has been in the business for a long time and know what they are doing with a lot of support. The two biggest sensor manufacture are nikon and Sony, therefore Sony should be good. I particular liked the software side of interface the Sony A700 camera, however operational-wise, it is comparable to Nikon and Cannon?.

Lens, D40x does not accept lens without in built AF motor. Is that something worth a major concern? Dust, reliability, cost?.

Cost of the camera is not the biggest concern for me, I would rather spend more on something that would keep me happy for longer than something low-end and plasticy..

Would be great if more experienced users could give me a few pointers..


Comments (8)

I don't know if it really matters what you get now, in terms of longevity. In a year or two the progression of these cameras will have advanced so far that you'll be wanting a new one. I think that makes these cameras (most of them) disposable. Use them for a year or two and upgrade. In ten years, your camera today will be an antique. No different than computers or anything else hi-tech..

6mp yields a pretty big print. 12mp even bigger. For most, I don't know how many more megapixels are needed, but I'm no expert. Manufacturers sure have made MPs a hot button for consumers, many of whom think more makes for a better camera. Hang out at Best Buy and see what the salespeople are telling people. Blind leading the blind..

You make good points about the D40 and the lenses. It's a concern of mine as well. Maybe it shouldn't be. I'm looking for a DSLR, so I'd like to know more. With the D40x release, the D80 seems to be the odd man out. From what I read, the D40x covers most of that ground, so to spend more $$ on a D80 doesn't sound like a very good value.

The SONY A700 has IS (or VR, as Nikon calls it) in the body, as opposed to the lenses. I don't know if it's as effective as on-lens IS. If you read the SONY SLR forum, there have been concerns about backfocusing issues with the A700. I haven't sorted thru all of it yet. Hard to tell if it's a camera or operator issue from what I've gathered so far. Otherwise, it sounds like a nice camera..

GeoffHam-fisted button-pusher..

Comment #1

You make some good points here - I think the D40x is a good buy now (though I might just go for the D40) because it's small and light, so if you do upgrade it'll still be useful as a fine camera for lighter duties, travel etc. I'd be delighted to get one as a gift and I already own a D200 - I'd use the D40 when I want something lighter..

The lack of AF motor is a slight snag, but it's becoming less important as other manufacturers bring out lenses to fill the gaps..

You can't AF with two good inexpensive Nikons, i.e. the 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8, which I do use a lot, in fact the 85mm might be my favourite lens over the 17-55 and 70-200..



Comment #2

Actually Sony makes the sensors for their own cameras and Nikon and Pentax's models...

Comment #3

All the DSLRs are excellent, even the entry level models..

If you like Nikon get Nikon - why not ? .

If you NEED weather sealed cameras then your choices are :.

- Pentax K10D ( almost identical to the Samsung GX-10 )- Canon various but basically 30D, 40D and above- Nikon D200 or D300 or above.- Fuji S5.

Cannot recall if the A-700 is weather sealed or not..

As for pedigree, I think they've all been around a long time and they aren't going out of business..

As cameras they all have pros and cons..

Forget bodies, think lenses, if you're worried about life of system. None of these brands are exactly short of lenses. I think Sony are not getting any support from manufacturers, and they are being very slow to build lenses themselves, so it's older Minolta lenses ( which is a lot ). Pentax - any K or M42 mount lens ever made, and Tamron and Sigma are building for them ( although to a lesser extent than Canon or Nikon ). Samsung use the same mount ( identical cameras in all cosmetics ). Canon or Nikon - silly question.

I'd suggest you look at a D80 which is being cleared ( bit of a discount ) or a D200 the same way. No-one can say they are not fine cameras. The D80 is not weather sealed, but it's solid and durable and has the same sensor as the D200..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #4

Just a couple of things, I want to make a quick correction to your statement about sensor manufacturers, Nikon only recently started building sensors (to my knowledge) and the one they make right now is in the D3, Sony indeed has a great deal of experience in CCD sensors, even Canon P&S sensors were made by Sony. The A700 is Sony's first CMOS sensor (technology that Canon has used for many years)..

Now that that is out of the way, another poster suggested looking at lenses as opposed to bodies. I have to agree with this. Not just the number of lenses but the availablity of those lenses and other accessories. It would be great to have camera X but I would be dissappointed if I couldn't source lenses or accessories locally...just my opinion though, afterall, what if it needs to be returned????.

I own Canons but I am not going to try and tell you to go this way. The cameras you mentioned all have good image quality...and that is what we are all really after. The number of megapixels today is not the first thing to look at. I have a friend that has a Nikon D40 (6MP) and has printed 8x10's that are very good...but how big are you going to print? Also remember, it seems that the more pixels you try to cram into a sensor can also increase the amount of noise you may see if you do large prints..

I also don't know why you feel weather sealing is that you plan on standing out in the rain taking most of your pictures? I am not trying to be rude but weather sealing is not "waterproof" by any can't go swimming with them without a case. That said, you may live somewhere that is could make a difference. Also remember, a body can be weather sealed but if the lense is not, it doesn't really matter about the body seals. I would think (just an opinion) that if water will get in anywhere it will be where parts are removable...and the largest opening is the lense mount....

My opinion would be to consider a Nikon D80 or D40. I only mention the D80 because it will work with all Nikon lenses as and some may feel that the feature set is nicer (more AF points, wireless flash control ability etc). The potential down side to the D80 is it's is larger than the D40...if you want a smaller camera, go for the D40. I suspect the larger size isn't that big of a deal as you are considering an A700 as well..

The most important thing for you to do (as opposed to listening to my opinons) is to try your choices out...see how they feel (are they too heavy, to light, to small, to big). Where are all the controls...can I reach them without moving my hands too much? Since this is your first DSLR, they may all feel "funny"...if that is the case, go with availability of lenses and accessories..

Those are my of luck...I am sure you will be quick happy with whatever you choose...

Comment #5

Hum, I thought I've posted a reply here..

Thank you all very much for the reply, I've found them very very helpful..

Size isn't a concern for me.. if it is, I would have just used a compact camera haha. I'm really going for Quality and Workmanship. And that's why I kinda wanted a metal bodied camera..

After all the replies and suggestion posted by very helpful ppl on the forum. I've pretty much decided I'll just go and get a D40x and get a couple of good lenses. With D40x, I guess my wallet wouldnt bleed too much if I didn't like it and wanted to upgrade to D300 later on..

I wanted a weather seal because... Melbourne weather is really crazy.. it could be sun shine the moment prior, rain next go back to sun shine and finish with hall.... 4 season in a day  And ski trips.. when snow melts into water.. that would be bad....

Now i've made up my mind about camera, lens? I dont understand what the last few suffix mean. For example, what's IF-ED and G ED?.

1) AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED2) AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED3) AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 IF-ED.

For example, (1) and (2) are near identical except the suffix at the end..

I'm interested in a lens that has inbuilt image stabilizing.... what suffix or brand range should I look for?..

Comment #6

Wombo21 wrote:.

1) AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED2) AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED3) AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 IF-ED.

For example, (1) and (2) are near identical except the suffix at theend..

I'm interested in a lens that has inbuilt image stabilizing.... whatsuffix or brand range should I look for?.

You want the VR lens. That's Nikon's name for image stabilization (vibration reduction). That's the difference between #1 and #2..

My concern with the D40 cams is with lens availability. You can use non-VR lenses, but you'll lose the image stabilization feature, since IS is not in the camera itself. Someone please correct me on this...but I think one loses the autofocus as well..

Just my opinion, but it seems like a move by Nikon to nudge people in the direction of Nikon for their lenses. Other lens manufacturers could (and will/are) make VR-type lenses, but I'm guessing they'd have to pay for licensing from Nikon to do so..

Just thinking out loud here..


Ham-fisted button-pusher..

Comment #7

Nikon can tell you all at the US lenses page :.



Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #8

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