Newbie DSLR - D40/D40X/D50, which to buy?
It's time to graduate from the point and click to the wonderful world of DSLR. I've reduced the playing field to Nikon based on recommendations I've gotten from friends and family, however, the remaining question is which model..

The key features I'm after are quick cycle time, rapid shot, long-range zoom and the flexibility of a SLR. I don't really think I'll have to print anything larger than 8x10, so don't see why I need to get anything better than a 6.1MP. For this reason, I'm kinda shying away from the 40X because the cost to go to 10MP seems unnecessary (unless you know of a reason that I really should consider that camera)..

Re the zoom - I was really focused on the flexibility. Long story short - 3 kids, lots of soccer and you never know where you're gonna sit, so I'd like to be able to get close (e.g. 20MM) and long range (150-200MM)..

With all of that being said - I'm kinda asking why I should pop for the D40X (chime in if know why I should)..

And then I read the review of the D40 where it compares it to the D50 and started asking myself why I should go with the D40 when I can pickup a used D50 with lenses for less than the D40 with the basic 18-55MM lense. I'm a beginner in the DSLR arena and have big hands, so size and weight really aren't a big deal. So why D40 over the D50?.

Well - I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and thanks in advance for any response and comments..


Comments (8)

You will not be dissapointed with any of those. you will get great pictures out of any of them, I have the D40, and when I purchased it I had a choice of that or a new D50 for the same price, I chose the D40, but wish I would have taken the D50, mainly because of the chocie of lens, the D40 can only use af-s, af-i or hsm lens', they tend to be more pricey, and also, the D50 is slightly bigger and fills up more in the hand which I really liked! when I first looked I chose the D40 because I though it had better picture quality out of the camera, but after seeing the posts on here from D50's, I am just as amazed...get good glass and you won't be dissapointed, as far as the D40x, I dont see a point in allt hose pixels unless you plan on heavily cropping. go to the store and feel the D40 if you haven't already, and feel a D80, which is a little bigger than the D50 I believe and see what feels better in your hands, since yo are the one carryin it and shootin! good luck.


Comment #1

Ahansen wrote:.

And then I read the review of the D40 where it compares it to the D50and started asking myself why I should go with the D40 when I canpickup a used D50 with lenses for less than the D40 with the basic18-55MM lense. I'm a beginner in the DSLR arena and have big hands,so size and weight really aren't a big deal. So why D40 over the D50?.

The differences are listed below: why not Pentax K100D super which has image stabilization? or Canon SD350FD?.

And what about reliability issues of used camera? Are you ready to take a chance on that? You decide.Best Wishes, Ajay

Comment #2

You are quite right about 6MP being enough for your purposes. If you do not plan to make huge enlargements, 6MP is more than enough. So there is no reason to pay extra for the D40x..

If you want an all-in-one versatile lens, on the D40 you would need something like the Nikkor 18-200 AFS VR (note the 'AFS' bit which is needed if you want to autofocus on the D40). This lens is not cheap however, about 450 UK. But is also has VR (vibration reduction) to help you to minimise the effects of camera shake. If you do not need the very long reach up to 200mm, the Nikkor 18-135 would be an excellent all-purpose lens..

If you went for the older D50, which will autofocus with non-AFS lenses (of which there are lots), you could get a Tamron 18-250 which is good and a lot cheaper (250 UK)..

If it were me... of these I'd get the D40 and the 18-135 Nikkor lens, an excellent and economical all-in-one package. The very long superzooms tend not to be very good at the long extreme, and anyway hand-holding at that degree of magnification is difficult given their low maximum aperture (often f/6.3). This really requires bright light to enable hand-held shots, unless you plan to carry a tripod, so the longer focal lengths are not as useful as they sound..

(BTW as a Pentax shooter... I have to recommend also the 6 MP K100D super, which has image-stabilisation in-body which works with all lenses).

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

I have the D50 and love the versatility of the choice of lenses. From my own personal experience,( kids running cross country and various outdoor/indoor photgraphy in many different lighting situations), I wouldn't give up my five focal points vs. the three you get with the D40, for all the tea in China. I have had my D50 for over a year now and couldn't be happier with it. I would check out B & H Photo if you're in the market for a D50. Sometimes they have used D50s and they are a very reputable dealer.


Comment #4

Just a side note in regards to the focus points, I had a rebel xt which has 7 and I haven't noticed a problem with tracking moving subjects, I really haven't, and the D50 has only 2 more, one above and one below the center point, so I really dont know if it's all that much more beneficial.....

Comment #5

You make a great case for the D50 over the D40. The D50 also has more focus points. The D40 has a larger LCD (but no top one) and a better viewfinder..

I'd say it comes down to what size you prefer and whether the AF-S limitation matters to you..

And warranty. Buy new and you get a 5 year warranty on the lens...

Comment #6

I had the option of a D40 or D50 (both were still available new) when I bought my dSLR. I chose the D50 and have not regretted it at all. It is a great camera..

New vs. Used, though, it would be a tougher call unless the used one was a factory refurb with a warranty of some kind. And, even then, you have to hope the shutter doesn't have 20 or 30 thousand actuations already under it's belt..

Stu - Camera User (see profile for gear)http://www.DigitalPhotoPeople.com


Comment #7

I have a D50, I love it. It's worked very well for me, taken thousands of pics and never complained at all. I've barely touched the D40, so I can't give you a strong comparison, but I can tell you, that you'll never be unhappy with the D50. It's light, easy to handle, and fast enough for the entry level DSLR that it is. Though it was originally a little expensive for an entry level DSLR compared to todays cameras. A used one in good shape(or refurbished) would serve you very well, fear not, you are in great hands.

Everyone's an idiot sometimes, I just advertise.A few of my feeble attempts at or

Comment #8

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