196 of 199 people found the following review helpful
Simply the best,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon D40 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens (Camera)
Nikon has hit a grand slam with this camera. It's as close to perfection as any digital camera has ever come. Sure, there are "better" cameras for more money, but they are all twice the size/weight. I would get this camera even if I had an unlimited amount of money to spend. There is simply nothing like it. Lots of ingenius user interface elements, superb feel/handling, superb flash (both internal and external SB-400), outstanding image quality, instant response, superb viewfinder, superb LCD... I could go on. I have nothing bad to say about it, and I'm extremely picky. I thought I was going to wait for a full-frame sensor body, but when this came along, I could not wait to upgrade.
The lack of a built-in focusing motor is an ADVANTAGE in my opinion. It's one reason the camera is so small and lightweight, and I believe all future Nikon lenses will have internal focusing anyway. So unless you want to use older, heavier, and slower focusing lenses for some strange reason, you'd be paying for and carrying around something you won't even use.
In addition to the superb 18-55mm (i.e. 27-82.5mm) kit lens, I bought the 55-200mm VR II and 50mm F/1.8D lenses, the SB-400 external flash and a remote (3rd party off Ebay). I suspect many, many people will buy this exact set of equipment, since it's really all you'll ever need. No need for an extra battery, unless you ever go many photo-filled days without being able to recharge. Get at least two 1GB 50x (or faster) SD cards, so if one stops working (it does happen), you aren't stuck.
The 55-200mm VR (i.e. 82.5-300mm) is a necessity for shooting any action/wildlife. The optical stabilization is truly awesome, and better than sensor-based stabilization (e.g. Pentax K10D, Sony Alpha) since you can see it working right through the viewfinder, making it easier to frame/focus your shot. Although the lens may seem slow (f4-5.6), don't forget that stabilization gives you an extra 2-3 stops, so it's really more like f2-2.8 (without the reduced depth of field, of course). DO NOT consider the slightly cheaper non-VR version, unless the slightly smaller size is an absolute necessity.
The 50mm (i.e. 75mm) is a nice walkaround lens when you want to go as light/small as possible. It's super fast (f1.8!), allowing you to take handheld photos at night with no flash! It's also a nice portrait lens, although the 55-200 is better (75mm is a little short).
The D40x is a poorer choice for the vast majority of people. The extra resolution means your photos take up more space and are slower to work with. It also has a slower max. flash sync speed (1/200 vs 1/500). If you don't know what this means, trust me, it's important, and one day you'll be really happy you have it. Since the D40's pixels are larger (less pixels in the same size sensor), there is less noise, so having ISO 100 is useless. Do you really need 10MP? Do you print larger than 16x20? Heck, do you print at all? I know I don't. Think it will give you more cropping ability? Think again. Without a super expensive lens ($1k+), the lack of sharpness and magnified distortion of the cropped image won't be as good as the uncropped 6MP of the D40. Save the $200 and use it to get the 55-200 lens, or the 50mm lens and the flash.
If you're ready to move to a DSLR, take this camera for a test drive. You will most likely fall in love with it's wonderful handling, and excellent performance, as so many people have. There will be a new generation of cameras coming out this fall, so you may want to wait, although there's really nothing that can be improved upon with this camera.
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 29, 2008 12:44:59 PM PDT
Thank you for this very informative review. Your comment warning against buying the non-VR version of the zoom lens made me pay closer attention to a D40 package that I was considering. Since the package contained the non-VR version, I will be buying the camera and the VR version separately.
Posted on Apr 20, 2011 12:19:03 PM PDT
Great review! I learned so much! Thank you for taking time to write this!
‹ Previous 1 Next ›