Home > Gadgets > I love my Nikon D40!

I love my Nikon D40!

It’s been about half year since I bought my Nikon D40, after much comparison between quite a few alternatives. The more I use it, the more I love it. I wish I bought a DSLR earlier. It’s such a joy taking pictures (especially indoors) with DSLR. The most significant benefits of a DSLR is: No shutter lag. This is *THE* most important reason for a DSLR. The picture is taken at the time you press the shutter – you won’t know how important that is unless you have little kids. The point-shot (digital of course) cameras these day are very advanced in some areas – such as 12x optical zoom, pocket size, video with voice etc. But it can never compete with DSLR on this matter. Also the optical viewfinder is much more responsive than LCD screen (and especially in bright outdoor light), though it may take your some time to get use to it.

Another flexibility is that you can change lens in different situations. I’m not a photography enthusiastic so I haven’t purchased any lens yet. The 18-55 kit lens came with the camera is enough for me. Even this lens has much better performance in low light condition than all the 5 point-and-shot cameras I have used before. I also bought an external flash to attach to my camera. I witnessed how a $400 flash took simply GREAT pictures, while most the flash pictures of point-shot are just very plain (even ugly).

I have written a review on Amazon, mainly comparing between Nikon D40 and Canon XTi. Here it is:==========================

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars D40 vs Canon Digital Rebel XTi, March 19, 2007
By C. Lou

My wife keeps complaining the poor indoor picture quality of our Canon SD200 and SD600 – BTW these are great cameras but our subjects (3 kids here) keep moving around so it’s quite challenging to get a good indoor pictures. I tried a Canon S3 IS and I love the 12x zoom lens (SD200 and 600 are only 3x). However the lens is as slow as SD200/600 even the high ISO performance is a *little* better. Another thing is the color tune of that particular S3 IS is way too cold.

(The following is mainly a comparison of Canon Rebel XTi and Nikon D40)

Then I tried a Canon Rebel XTi (EOS 400) – a good step up from point&shoot cameras. However the big hassle is that in P mode (which I believe most of people use with DSLR cameras), you have to choose ISO for each shooting situation. This is not very practical when you just want to quickly catch a moment. D40 (and D70/80) has the very very useful “AUTO ISO” here – it allows you set a Max ISO # (I’m using 1600) and shutter sheep and the camera will adjust the ISO accordingly in this preset range – in P mode. I found the pictures in 1600 are quite satisfactory – even though everyone else is saying Canon EOS has better high ISO performance. Also D40 is lighter and more compact than Canon EOS. I like the command dial of Nikon better – Canon’s is too tight and locates at the front – means you have to life up your finger from the shutter button each time you want to use it. D40’s at the back so is very accessible with your thumb. Yes Canon has more hardware buttons. But D40 has enough – I use the Fn button for white balance. ISO is not longer needed thanks to the Auto ISO. Then pretty much that’s what I need in 90% of shoot situation. Of course more buttons are better – but hey – D40 is $540 and Canon XTi is $780!

I have had my Canon for almost 3 months but still can’t decide to keep it. D40 was received just a few days ago and now I love it! I like how it feels in my hand and the picture quality. Besides, there are better lens options for Nikon. The good lens for Canons are too expensive. The kits lens of D40 is the second generation of its 18-55 and is said better than Canon’s kit lens. Nikon’s 55-200 is only $170. The legendary 18-200 f/3.5-5 (with image stabilization) is only $750 (if you can get hold of one).

The only down side of D40 for me is it only takes AF-S/I lens so the famous 50MM F/1.8 prime lens won’t auto focus on it. I wish I could get one of those really fast lens to use indoors. I believe/hope Nikon will make a compatible cheap prime for D40 in the future.

D40 is 6MP but Canon is 10 MP. I’m OK with it because most of the pictures are viewed at computer. 6 MP is more then enough already.

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