New to D40 (and Nikon), first impressions

Started Sep 9, 2008 | Discussions thread
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mmditter
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New to D40 (and Nikon), first impressions
Sep 9, 2008

I've been pretty much an Olympus user since I got my first OM-10 back in 1982. The other day, though, I bought a D40 with the 18-55 kit lens, and have been having a very enjoyable time learning about a new camera system.

First impressions? First, positives.

1. Viewfinder. Well, the big thing I bought if for was the viewfinder. The thing I least like about my Olympus dslr's are the smallish viewfinders. My 50 year old bi-focal- wearing eyes just aren't what they used to be. The D40 has a bigger, possibly brighter viewfinder, and, most important, the information display in it is a along the bottom instead of way over on the right side. So far I really like this part of it.

2. Build quality. This is a nice looking camera and its build seems to be at least on par with what I have been used to with my other cameras. I like the feel of it and the look and feel of the finish.

3. Image quality. Seems really nice so far. Good colors. Excellent higher ISO performance. (Seems to beat Olympus handily here).

4. Auto ISO. I love this so far. I've got my camera set up so that if the meter thinks a shutter speed lower than 1/15 is necessary, it bumps up the ISO. I can take pictures of almost anything in my house without flash and they come out sharp. I love this feature.

Negatives:

1. Controls. I miss How my Olympus cameras are set up. There are a zillion dedicated buttons on them for almost all shooting parameters. Or, if you don't want to use the buttons, you can use the "super control panel" (at least I think that's what they call it. If you've never used this, try one out in a store some time. Many camera reviewers don't seem to understand it, but it really is great. Whether you use the control panel or the buttons, almost everything on an Olympus can be adjusted with a click and a turn of the command wheel.

My D40 has way fewer dedicated buttons, and, unless I'm just not understanding how it works, it takes more clicks and turns to adjust things. That brings me to:

2. "Mystery Buttons" What buttons there are on the camera have somewhat cryptic symbols on them, so that at first I had no idea what they were for. I soon figured out how they work, but I wonder what I would have thought had I bought this camera with lots less experience than I have with cameras.

To be honest, after I had the camera a couple of days and got it set up the way I want it, and got the hand of how it works, I'd say it's pretty cool. I think I'd have a hard time explaining it to someone else, though.

3. No built in dust removal. So far, I've only got one lens, so that (for now) will stay on the camera. But I want more lenses. When the day come that my sensor has dust bunnies I'm not sure how I will feel. I've really been spoiled for 3 years owning cameras that automatically keep dust off the sensors.

Bottom line so far: I like it a lot. There's something intangible about it. It just feels right and works well. Doesn't get in the way of taking good pictures. I really think it's amazing what we an get these days for such and affordable price. I'm going to keep my Olympus gear, but it is exciting to have a second system to work with.

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