fallfaceforward 2:00am, 3 March 2008
Best Buy is featuring a Nikon D40 6.2 MP DSLR camera w/ 18-55 mm Nikkor zoom lens + 55-200mm nikkor zoom lens + battery and bag for $750.

Is this a good camera for a beginner?
Karl W. 10 years ago
My personal preference would be the canon rebel xt. Since they use a cmos sensor instead of a ccd. I think l. carlson on flickr is selling his since he upgraded.

Drew C 10 years ago
the camera is just fine for a beginner. 750 is pretty much the going rate for that kit so dont wrongfully assume you're getting a special deal thats limited time only.

but yes, the camera is great. you need to be aware of its lens compatibility as most of the older traditional autofocuslenses wont... autofocus... but with that 2 lens kit, you're pretty much golden anyways.
you'd have no problems printing 11x14's or even 16x20's that look great, assuming you got everything right in the first place, and its a good camera to learn off of.

canon/nikon/sony/pentax/olympus all make great cameras, especially they're consumer products. nobody would let'em get away with anything less, so dont worry TOO much 'bout the brand thing.
Also, with the D40, you have to buy lenses wioth motors in the lens to have Auto Focus. Makes your lenses more expensive.

Short answer is yes, it would be a good beginning camera.
JulesAmeel PRO 10 years ago
im gona say no.
check out keh.com for a used body, your better off with a d50 or a d70(if you stay with nikon) plus an 18-70 is a much better lens which you can also find for cheap
Drew C 10 years ago
at the risk of sounding rude... i gotta wonder how many people have actually used a D40, or 18-55... i have, and i've owned a d70, d70s, d80, d200, and a p5100...

and have owned lenses from 18-55, 18-70, 50 1.8 (and 1.4), 35-80, 60 2.8 micro, and 80-200 2.8.

frankly, i think they're great. i cant tell the difference from my d40 shots next to my d200 (especially in jpeg) unless i look at my exif data... and i certainly cant tell (based on sharpness) the difference between most of my lenses (18-55 included)

now build quality and obvious feature differences are another story, but the images are amazing for the money.

(and dont worry canon guys, i've had lengthy bouts with digital rebels and 30d's and cant say anything bad about the images either, just wont ever agree with the button configurations or menu's)
Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Shawn Thompson - Lake Superior Photographer (admin) 10 years ago
Look here - www.amazon.com/Nikon-Digital-18-55mm-3-5-5-6G-Zoom-Nikkor...

Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens $498 sold by amazon and ships free.
Holy Money saver batman.

Unless you feel you will need the second lens of course.
fallfaceforward Posted 10 years ago. Edited by fallfaceforward (member) 10 years ago
shawn- i can buy just the camera at Best Buy for $450. thanks though.

dc- what do you mean about the autofocus- not "auto focusing"? when i was playing with the camera in store i noticed that, how do you get it to auto focus? a motor?

karl- what's a cms sensor???

does the canon rebel lens need a motor?
With the Rebel, the AF motor is in camera and is compatible with other canon AF lenses.

With the D40,
You have to use the new lenses that have the the motor is in the lenses in order to use AF. These lenses are more expensive.

Randeeze had a d40 for a couple months, sold it and bought a D80 I believe.
Drew C 10 years ago
alright, well... basically, for nikon, autofocus used to be screw driven.. (a screw in the camera body mated up to a peice on the lens, and twisted the lens-focus...

nowdays its done via a little motor in the newer generation of lenses (AF-S, or silentwave motor) to make matters more confusing af-s is ALSO a designation for a type of focusing setting (autofocus servo... it essentially locks on and beeps rather than continually adjusting focus.)

the lenses in store have that particular built-in motor and dont require anything else to autofocus on a d40 other than the proper settings (which most likely got jumbled from the hundreds of people tinkering with the camera)

canon's autofocus has never been screw driven (always internal lens motor...)
Drew C 10 years ago
and i cant really say af-s lenses are inherently more expensive cause there arent really any direct comparisons between af-s and non af-s...

they always tend to add something like VR which will throw the comparison way off....

that being said, i cant say $179 dollars for a 55-200, or $249 for the same lens with VR is particularly expensive... nikons previous 70-300 (what a 55-200 equates to on digital) was $189...and in my opinion junk...
Randall Cottrell 10 years ago
i used a d40x and the 18-55 from last june til november...and a agree w/ drew. great image quality and good for any beginner.

after a while, i simply needed a bit more camera. also, the d40x was too small in my hands and my pinky finger would always slip off the edge. i upgraded to a d80, and soon from that to a d200; simply because i really want the speed for shooting sports. but since i started out with a very user friendly, beginner camera...i was able to figure out what i was missing, and make the needed upgrades. of course, somebody may not find any reasons to upgrade, and be perfectly happy with whatever they begin with.

but as far as an entry level dslr goes, something that you will be learning on, both the d40 and rebel xti are great. my girlfriend recently got an xti and i really like it.

also true about the af-s lenses. there aren't really cases where a lens comes in an af and af-s edition. drew...are all the most recent lenses made by nikon af-s?

only downside to the whole af-s deal is...no af-s 50mm yet...

wow. lots of words...
fallfaceforward Posted 10 years ago. Edited by fallfaceforward (member) 10 years ago
okay, thanks for the auto focus clarification- i think i'll go back to the store and ask a clerk to show me how to set the autofocus. i thought you were saying i'd have to buy some special motor to go along with everything.

could you clarify af- and af-s lens? i really don't know anything about cameras. i just want to point, focus and have pretty pictures come out. lol
Drew C 10 years ago
feel free to swing by First Photo, my place of (partial) employment... any one of us can spend some time with you and figure out what would work best for you. i can guarantee we know a bit more than the average best buy representative...

and randy... most lenses coming out now are af-s... with some exceptions since they still produce traditional AF, and even manual focus lenses! (OMG!) but yea, for the most part... all af-s nowadays...
Randall Cottrell Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Randall Cottrell (moderator) 10 years ago
af lenses will only auto-focus on a camera w/ an auto-focus motor inside the camera body: d50, d70, d80, d200, etc.

af-s lenses have the motor built into the lens itself, and will auto-focus on any camera, even if it doesn't have an af motor inside the camera body

this whole issue only comes into play with the d40(x)...as it is the only nikon camera lacking the internal af motor

*hope that helps...and hope i'm not mis-informed.

**they still make mf!!! why even bother!!! ;-) lol
Karl W. 10 years ago
Why I like cmos sensors over ccd. "copied off a web page"

This cost advantage is even more significant when you consider the way a CMOS sensor works. The Active Pixel CMOS image sensors used in digital imaging are very similar to a CCD sensor, but with one major difference — supporting circuitry is actually located alongside each light receptor, allowing noise at each pixel to be canceled out at the site. Further to this, other processes can be integrated right into the CMOS image sensor chip, eliminating the need for extra chips — things such as analog/digital conversion, white balancing, and more can be built into the CMOS sensor. This reduces cost of supporting circuitry required, as well as camera complexity, and also power consumption, as does the fact that CMOS sensors require a significantly lower voltage than CCD sensors. CMOS sensors themselves also claim lower power consumption than CCD sensors, with one manufacturer claiming their CMOS sensors draw some 10x less power than equivalent CCD sensors.

CMOS sensors have other advantages, as well. For one thing, they can be addressed randomly. If you're only interested in a certain area of the image, you can access it directly and don't need to deal with the unwanted data. Blooming and smearing are also less of a problem with CMOS sensors. CMOS sensors are capable of much higher speeds than their CCD rivals, with one CMOS chip we've heard of capable of running at over 500 frames per second at megapixel resolution.
maxcaven 10 years ago
Almost all of the pictures in my stream are from a d40, I just got a d300 but I absolutely love the D40.

And don't you nikon guys want af-s lenses over regular af? I know I do, they focus so much faster, smoother and quieter. Of course af-s isn't always an option but it ends up being old primes mostly. And for beginners I think thats fine.
Randall Cottrell 10 years ago
yes. af-s do faster quicker and more quietly. oh boy do i wish i could have a fast, quiet, prime.
waphoto Posted 10 years ago. Edited by waphoto (moderator) 10 years ago
nothing wrong with the 6mp range but if you want a cheap one go for a d50, you can find them used with a lens in the upper 300 dollar range, I've shot a lot of stuff with them and they a good little cameras :) and thats coming from a canon person :D
Randeez: too bad canon makes lots of them :P
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