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New to D-SLR - How Nikon D40 handles Anti shake (or VR if you call it)?
I am new to DSLRs. I have a Sony point and shoot camera which is a piece of junk as compared to my old Canon powershot. First of all, the reason I am planning to buy a DSLR is that I want to take lots of pics of my 18 month old son. As you all know, with kids you should have a fast camera (without shutter lag). I need one too. After a lot of research and keeping in view my budget, I decided to start with Nikon D40 with the kit lens.



While I can manage the first one with my kit lens and future compatible lenses, I cannot do away with the second disadvantage. Here ends my knowledge of DSLRs. So out of the box, all the photos where my son is doing some activity (like running and shaking hands), the photos are going to come out as blurred??? or with various modes like kids/sports mode I should be able to handle those movements well and get perfect results? I have seen the digitutor presentation on Nikon website but I am not sure if those tricks take into account the kit lens or more advanced lens on D40..

I want to start slow with these expensive cameras. If I ever feel a need to go more serious about photography, I will buy advance capability lenses. I want to make sure that I am not missing something very basic with D40, out of the box...

Comments (19)

Techmine wrote:.

So out of the box, all the photoswhere my son is doing some activity (like running and shaking hands),the photos are going to come out as blurred?.

No, anti-shake/vibration reduction compensates for the movement of the camera, not the subject. It allows you to take hand-held shots with longer exposure times. With a Nikon body, you need a VR type lens because there's no in-body anti-shake function...

Comment #1

The lack of top panel LCD is another issue...

Comment #2

Techmine wrote:.

1) No A-f motor built in and.

A bugger, because it means you can't AF with the cheap and good 50mm f/1.8, and the not quite as cheap 35mm f/2..

You could use the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and the recently announced (but not yet shipping) Sigma 50mm f/1.4. Both will cost more money, though..

2) No Anti-shake capabilities, out of the box..

So buy a VR lens..

So out of the box, all the photoswhere my son is doing some activity (like running and shaking hands),the photos are going to come out as blurred???.

VR steadies the camera, not the subject..

Or with various modeslike kids/sports mode I should be able to handle those movements welland get perfect results?.

If you mean indoors shots, you need a fast lens (like the ones mentioned above) and high ISO to have a hope of getting the kid to not be a blur..

You can also stop him with any lens and flash, but it can be quite difficult to use a flash when they are diving under tables and such. And an external flash is better, because it can be bounced off the ceiling, avoiding red-eye and the deer-in-the-headlights look..

I want to make sure that I am not missingsomething very basic with D40, out of the box..

Compatibility with cheap fast lenses autofocus lenses. Look at Canon and Pentax instead if this is important to you. In particular, the Rebel XT (aka 350D) is on closeout almost everywhere, and you can get it really cheap. $400 or so..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #3

Techmine wrote:.

So out of the box, all the photoswhere my son is doing some activity (like running and shaking hands),the photos are going to come out as blurred???.

IS / VR / SteadyShot / etc. will not help you with fast-moving subjects. For that, you need fast shutter speed (and/or situations where flash will essentially "freeze" motion)...

Comment #4

Techmine wrote:.

While I can manage the first one with my kit lens and futurecompatible lenses,.

Personally, THIS, along with fewer AF points is why I would stay away from the D40. There are a lot of great older lenses that need the in-camera AF moter. They are a lot cheaper than the AFS lenses too. But, that may not be a concern for you..

I cannot do away with the second disadvantage..

It is a disadvantage only because you have been lead to believe it is. How do you think people took pictures before cameras had built in image stabilization? IS/VR is a relatively newcomer to photography. Good technique and using a support (tripod/monopod/etc.) come first..

Here ends my knowledge of DSLRs. So out of the box, all the photoswhere my son is doing some activity (like running and shaking hands),the photos are going to come out as blurred???.

Probably, but not for the reasons you seem to suspect. VR (or any of the varients) whether in-camera or in lens won't do a thing to help you stop subject motion. Period. Only sufficient shutter speed or flash will do that..

Or with various modeslike kids/sports mode I should be able to handle those movements welland get perfect results?.

Depends on the lighting. In bright daylight, you'll probably be just fine. But indoors and in low-light, the camera may still struggle with the kit lens and built-in flash..

I have seen the digitutor presentation onNikon website but I am not sure if those tricks take into account thekit lens or more advanced lens on D40..

I have no knowledge of that, so I can't comment one way or the other. But rather than finding a few "tricks", I think you need to learn some fundamental photographic principles. Things that apply to ALL cameras and lenses. Once you understand those, the "tricks" just make sense..

I want to start slow with these expensive cameras. If I ever feel aneed to go more serious about photography, I will buy advancecapability lenses. I want to make sure that I am not missingsomething very basic with D40, out of the box..

Personally, I'd say get something a little better. D80, a refurbished D70s, something with a little more under the hood. But then I knew before I bought that I wanted all that control. You may not..

The biggest problem with just getting the D40 kit and doing the things you want is that the kit lenses aren't very fast. You WILL need flash for indoor photos. And the on-board flash isn't particularly powerful, so at least consider an SB-600, preferably the SB-800, although I don't think the D40 can operate either off-camera without an sync cord..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #5

Only thing I would add is the Op states he liked his Canon Powershot yet is now considering a Nikon..

That said, If goign with Nikon stay away from D40. Without exception, everyone I know, who bought the D40, has come to regret it's limitations..

In essence, it is a Point-n-Shoot DSLR designed ot get you started off in the Nikon system. Most Nikonians wortht heir salt will try to steer folks away from it..

That should give anyone a clue.Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #6

There is now a version of the Tamron 17-50mm constant f/2.8 lens ($450) that has a built-in motor, making it D40-friendly. A D40 body plus this zoom lens and the SB-600 flash might make for a reasonably cheap "indoor photo taking" kit..

Alternately, some of the older Canon bodies are pretty cheap (Digital Rebel XT, a.k.a. EOS 350D, goes for just over $400 without a lens)...

Comment #7

Midwest Shutterbug wrote:.

Only thing I would add is the Op states he liked his Canon Powershotyet is now considering a Nikon..

I don't see what you are getting at. FWIW, I have a Nikon compact and Canon DSLR..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #8

You are indeed a novice and it's good you're asking questions. That's a good way to learn!.

You need to learn some more about the basics of photography. Having a DSLR will help you but you need to do some reading first. Get thee to a library and read some basic photography books and learn about how to deal with action. (Obviously don't worry about any topics that are specific to film cameras.) You need a higher shutter speed to stop action, like that of kids or animals in motion. An advantage that a DSLR has is that you can use higher ISO settings and still maintain good quality..

Most people today, especially beginners, shoot with zoom lenses. Nikon has many zoom lenses that will work fine with a D40, if you choose to buy that model which lacks the "screwdriver" focus motor. If you think that will be a limitation, get a model that doesn't have the limitation..

Nikon and Canon build their VR/IS feature into their lenses, not the bodies. But whether the feature is built into body or lens, it will only assist with lessening camera motion, in other words the natural shake of the photographer's hand at relatively slow shutter speeds. At higher shutter speeds camera shake and subject motion generally are not a problem, so VR or IS is not needed.Bob..

Comment #9

I fully agree..

Go to the library or a book store and do some reading. At least get the basics.

Down such as aperture , shutter speed, what they are and how they affect the picture. My dad had a few old 35mm based books in the house which helped explain these things before I took my first class..

Shutter speed is kinda simple. it is how fast or slow the shutter action is. The slower the shutter, the more light will be exposed and vice versa..

Aperture is how open the lens is. The aperture is like the iris in your eye. The wider it can open the more light it can let in. The smaller the aperture the less light can be let in. Aperture also affects the depth of field, or the area of the photo that is in focus. Again, the more open the aperture is (also known as f-stops.

F2.0 for example is rather wide compared to say f8) the smaller or thinner the depth of field will be. The smaller the aperture the more stuff will appear crisp and clean which is also known as a wider DOF..

Stopping motion requires a fast enough shutter speed with an aperture wide enough to let enough light to develop the picture properly. Most likely with your kit lens, you'll have to shoot either wide open or close to it to stop motion inside if you're lucky but most likely will need a flash..

You'll find in the beginning that this ends up being somewhat of a game, trying to find the correct combinations of shutter speed and aperture but there are some guidelines to follow and within short time you'll be able to tell from experience what can or cannot be done and the settings required..

But read. read some more then go out and read some more. Finally, go experiment with your new knowledge. Digital is nice in that regard as it doesn't cost you anything compared to film..

Never say never..

Comment #10

Thanks for all the great advice to ALL. Well this is very strange to find people saying NO to D40  After reading all the reviews about the camera, I thought it is a best entry level camera out there. Ok I got some basics right. VR/AS is for camera shake and not subject. But if I really want to take pics for moving subjects then I have to have super fast shutter speed and a better (external) flash. I now wonder what is D40 good for? Taking photos of landscapes and flowers?.

Now I am giving a second (harder) look at the alternatives. Although I love the way Nikons look. They are beautiful...

Comment #11

Techmine wrote:.

After reading all the reviews aboutthe camera, I thought it is a best entry level camera out there..

It's very user friendly, but it only uses AF-S lenses, and most of those are unaffordable to D40 users. If you only want the kit lens and maybe the 55-200VR, you'll never notice this issue..

If I really want to take pics for moving subjects then I have to havesuper fast shutter speed and a better (external) flash..

Faster shutter speed, yes. To get that you can use flash, or wide aperture lens, or both..

I now wonderwhat is D40 good for? Taking photos of landscapes and flowers?.

For beginners who don't want to move beyond the kit lens..

I love the way Nikons look. They are beautiful..

What's more important is the images you capture. You don't typically see the camera in your images, unless you are shooting into a mirror..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #12

Techmine wrote:.

But if I really want to take pics for moving subjects then I have to havesuper fast shutter speed and a better (external) flash..

That's true of any camera ... assuming you're not intentionally trying to create a motion blur effect..

I now wonder what is D40 good for? Taking photos of landscapes and flowers?.

Most of this isn't unique to the D40. With any DSLR, if you will be taking pictures of moving subjects in dark environments, you may need better lenses and flashes than the ones included in stock kits..

The D40 supports fast shutter speeds (iff you have enough light), and has decent high ISO performance. Granted, it can't autofocus some of the lenses that would let in the most light, and it has only three autofocusing points. It would still be an extremely capable camera with the appropriate lens..

Now I am giving a second (harder) look at the alternatives. AlthoughI love the way Nikons look. They are beautiful..

The D80 might be a camera to consider. In-body focus motor, better viewfinder, better autofocus system (taken from the D200), and wireless flash control..

If you can find a used D50 in good condition for a good price that might be a bargain alternative. The D50 was something like a D40 with a focus motor...

Comment #13

OP has a Sony he considers Junk, Canon which he likes, yet thinking of a thrid company..

If he likes his Canon, and Canon makes a DSLR, why not buy it, instead of gambling on yet another company which I suspect he has no experience?.

Dave PattersonMidwestshutterbug.com'When the light and composition are strong, nobodynotices things like resolution or pincushion distortion'Gary Friedman..

Comment #14

Midwest Shutterbug wrote:.

If he likes his Canon, and Canon makes a DSLR, why not buy it,instead of gambling on yet another company which I suspect he has noexperience?.

Because there's very little connection between a DSLR and a digicam?.

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #15

It is like having a Honda and always buy Honda or acura(higher end) I should not think about ,let's say, nissan and infinty:) well I have both. So you can expect me to buy a different brand camera which is good enoughor even better sometimes...

Comment #16

Amazon has 323 ratings for this camera and out of that 265 gave 5 stars (*****).

If I have to believe what most people think about a product on the biggest online retailer, I cannot get go wrong with this. My requirement was to take child pics and capture all the funny moments. Its hard to blv that most of the people who rate this camera as top notch, never took child pictures or ignored the results that they got (even with the kit lens)..

Alternatives for me right now are: Olympus E-510, Canon XT and XTiPentax 100D (very cheap lenses for future), Sony Alpha A200K. All of them have the same average ratings. Any suggestion, viz-a-viz D40?..

Comment #17

Most people like what they have. What you're talking about doing is not technically difficult for a DSLR. A D40 ought to be perfectly capable of taking family pix. As would the other DSLRs you name..

Remember that on this site you're talking with a technically-oriented bunch, many of whom are far more sophisticated concerning equipment than an average user of photo gear. For many, photography is a hobby or a business. The D40 has been designed to be easy to use. Most people won't push it's limits. If you were to buy it and find you are pushing it's limits, you can sell it and buy a more sophisticated model. Good photo equipment has a good market as used gear (though you'll certainly lose something when you sell).Bob..

Comment #18

I've had my d40 for over a year now and love it. Would buy again in a minute. Come on in, the water is fine.Shawn in VA..

Comment #19

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