D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Started May 28, 2007 | Discussions
Johnmel Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Of course I expect every reviewer to come to their own conclusions,
such is the nature of a review site..paper or on the internet.

But however cute the D40 range of cameras are, is it too cut down
to really merit the real contender title?

A list of areas that could be considered minus points:

No in camera motor, limits lens choice.
No exposure/wb bracketing.
3 point AF system.
Reduced on body controls.
No DOF preview

As ever its not all bad...but considering the UK price is about
£430, level with the A-100, and a little less than the Canon 400.
Does a price of £300 sound a bit more like it? After all if Nikon
chopped out so much, to reduce costs, surely the buyer would be
able to live with this more.

I find it hard to understand how maker gets high praise for
chopping out features (some of which are pretty damn
handy...exposure bracketing is an absurd one to leave out) Sure
some on the list are not deal breakers...but

Buyers looking to expand their lens range with s/h or non nikon
lenses are going to have some serious limitations, who wants to buy
an AF lens that wont AF? I could say that this is an interesting
ploy to help nikon lens sales

This might be a good camera for someone new to SLR's, a P&S
dabbler..or upgrader..might just not care and get the twin lens
kit, serious users are going to find that the shortcomings are less
easy to live with.

Imagine a slightly larger body (its too small for my hands), and
all the issues above addressed.......Nikon could have had a real
killer camera here, they missed the chance.

Every camera is far from perfect...Canon 400, Sony A-100, Pentax
K100 series all have weak spots, but surely this is a cut down
camera too far.

I am not new to SLR's, nor am I a dabbler or upgrader, I have been taking pictures using various types and brands of cameras for more than 25 years, so I am certainly no novice.

Before I bought the D40X, I checked out what it could and couldn't do, I also went to my local camera store and had a play with other brands but I decided the D40X suited me best.

I like it's size, user interface and especially it's output. I have had no problems with the so-called lack of lenses and I already have four which cover most of my required focal range at the moment, with plenty others to choose from. I don't care about it's lack of DOF preview or exposure bracketing etc, I knew about all those shortcomings before I bought it and I don't regret my decision to buy for one second.

The D40/40X cameras have been for the most part very enthusiastically received by the media and it seems to me that there are a few noses out of joint on this forum because of their success.

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OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Johnmel wrote:
I knew about all

those shortcomings before I bought it and I don't regret my
decision to buy for one second.

Good for you consumer choice........

The D40/40X cameras have been for the most part very
enthusiastically received by the media and it seems to me that
there are a few noses out of joint on this forum because of their
success.

What noses? Do you really think this is the camera that will sink Canon? I doubt that....

This is a camera to appeal to new users.......not older experienced hands...who will soon frustrate at the lack of features and lens bargains.

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ajay0612
ajay0612 Senior Member • Posts: 2,799
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

BraveUlysses wrote:

Nikon's marketing people are not stupid - they will have done the
studies, counted on their fingers (or used an ababcus) and decided
that the market had a space for a camera just like the D40; so far,
they seem to be justified in their decision.

If sales are the parameter of righteousness than Cigarettes Manufacturers ought to be doing everything right.

If it doesn't suit you, don't buy it.

Right. Does that also mean I should not demand value? Cashing on consumer's ignorance is not a good policy. And DSLRs are mostly bought by enthusiasts, who pursue photography as a hobby and not typical P&S shooters as it is being made out to be.

In fact D40x was made up to counter the advent of Olympus 10MP DSLR's as Nikon feared losing market share as other 10MP DSLRs were selling at $750 while its cheapest offering D80 cost $1000. It was not such a researched move as you think. They had no other option but to strap a 10MP sensor on D40.
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Johnmel Junior Member • Posts: 44
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:
Johnmel wrote:
I knew about all

those shortcomings before I bought it and I don't regret my
decision to buy for one second.

Good for you consumer choice........

The D40/40X cameras have been for the most part very
enthusiastically received by the media and it seems to me that
there are a few noses out of joint on this forum because of their
success.

What noses? Do you really think this is the camera that will sink
Canon? I doubt that....

This is a camera to appeal to new users.......not older experienced
hands...who will soon frustrate at the lack of features and lens
bargains.

Barry, I'm sorry I didn't realize you started this thread as a Canon/Nikon thing, if I had known that I wouldn't even have replied to your thread in the 1st place.

Also, in case you didn't read my reply properly, I AM one of those older experienced hands.

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OP Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Johnmel wrote:

Barry, I'm sorry I didn't realize you started this thread as a
Canon/Nikon thing, if I had known that I wouldn't even have replied
to your thread in the 1st place.

It isnt a C v N thread.....just an observation.

Also, in case you didn't read my reply properly, I AM one of those
older experienced hands.

Great hope you enjoy the camera thats what its all about........

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Tim in upstate NY
Tim in upstate NY Veteran Member • Posts: 7,120
Re: ITs all relative

Two Truths wrote:

What about low-light?
Since the average D40X user will be using a 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit
lens, they will be pushing both their shutter speed and ISO.

The D40X neither has good high ISO performance (as the Canon 400D
has) nor does it have anti-shake (as the Sony Alpha 100).

Therefore, it is more flawed than it's similarly-priced
competitors, even for the intended newbie customer.

........Even newbies can use a built-in flash you know.

To quote Phil Askey:

"image quality-wise it's a dead heat with the EOS 400D (except at high sensitivities); it's quicker and more comfortable to use, but very slightly less featured, especially if you consider lens compatibility. It would be hard to recommend one over the other and the answer would depend solely on your preferences (I'm calling it a draw)"

...Sounds like a highly recommended camera to me.

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saarela Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

No in camera motor, limits lens choice.

Also reduces the weight and cost of the body. If you're going after the low end, cost is everything.

No exposure/wb bracketing.

Not really necessary. I wouldn't base a purchase decision on bracketing.

3 point AF system.

My E-1 has 3 focus points and it's never hindered me. You may argue it should have more points. I think for a an entry level model simpler is better.

Reduced on body controls.

Which is also about cost. This body is entry level. If you want all the controls on the back get a D200. You're paying twice as much for it but if you want instant controls, pay the piper.

No DOF preview

On anything less than full frame I've found DOF preview to be essentially useless. Your mileage may vary.

moonflower Regular Member • Posts: 102
Ken, really

the D40x is an entry level cam. For most consumers who are its targeted market, they will get by on with the kit lenses or something along the lines of the 18-70, 70-300 combo. For these users, which would be the majority, the camera isn't crippled at all. All the consumer knows is they get nice pictures, which is why they bought the camera in the first place. What don't you get about this? Time to chase the bees out of your house and take a nap.

Ominous Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

saarela wrote:

Which is also about cost. This body is entry level. If you want all
the controls on the back get a D200. You're paying twice as much
for it but if you want instant controls, pay the piper.

But you can get all these features, and more, in cameras that are nearly the same price.
--
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S Hess Senior Member • Posts: 1,145
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

saarela wrote:

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

No in camera motor, limits lens choice.

Also reduces the weight and cost of the body. If you're going after
the low end, cost is everything.

Cost is everything? In the end you pay more for af-s only lenses instead of cheaper motor driven lenses. Doesn't make sense to me

http://www.pbase.com/shhe

whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Why? bcos primes work for u doesn't mean work for all

Most photos I shoot are with primes - does not mean it works for everyone. I explained the advantages of primes to several people not into it - they just look at me with a blank stare.

A D40/x with a 18-55 lens (or 18-70 or 18-135 or 18-200 or even 17-55 f/2.8) far better than a Canon S3IS - handling, speed, picture quality to many people.

Two Truths wrote:

I would never recommend someone to buy a dSLR without buying a
prime lens.

Buy a bridge camera instead.
--
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Steve_
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: A matter of preference I guess

Redandwhite wrote:

No one can argue against their output though, except for maybe the
plasticky look often associated with them

The output is why I'm considering a DSLR in the first place. I see it as when I raced - when someone asked me what I wanted a car to 'feel' (drive) like, I said I didn't know until I knew what was fast enough to win. I've held a XT and XTi also, and there's certainly nothing there that would dissuade from purchasing one given the functionality inherent.

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*isteve Veteran Member • Posts: 9,509
Seems everyone missed an obvious point...

I have no doubt that the output from the D40X is very good and just what newcomers to SLRs would find pleasing. Full marks.

But dropping support for screw mount lenses does not just cut users off from half of Nikons lens lineup (mostly primes and older lenses of less interest to newbies) but a very high proportion of budget third party lenses in Nikon mount.

Budget model? If its a budget model I would like to be able to use some decent budget lenses like the Tamron 70-300.

And in the UK at least, its lack of options do not seem to have done much to keep the price down. The A100 and 400D are around the same price with none of the compromises and the K100D is £100 cheaper.

I think reviewers should at least provide some warning to prospective (mainly newbie) buyers of exactly what this lack of support really means. As far as Phils review the issue was glossed over and third party lens compatability was not mentioned. When a friend of mine bought a D40 and found out about this she was so upset (the salesman had somehow failed to tell her as well) she exchanged it for a 400D the next day and gave the salesman a chewing out he'll remember for a few days. Thats my girl....

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Of course I expect every reviewer to come to their own conclusions,
such is the nature of a review site..paper or on the internet.

But however cute the D40 range of cameras are, is it too cut down
to really merit the real contender title?

A list of areas that could be considered minus points:

No in camera motor, limits lens choice.
No exposure/wb bracketing.
3 point AF system.
Reduced on body controls.
No DOF preview

As ever its not all bad...but considering the UK price is about
£430, level with the A-100, and a little less than the Canon 400.
Does a price of £300 sound a bit more like it? After all if Nikon
chopped out so much, to reduce costs, surely the buyer would be
able to live with this more.

I find it hard to understand how maker gets high praise for
chopping out features (some of which are pretty damn
handy...exposure bracketing is an absurd one to leave out) Sure
some on the list are not deal breakers...but

Buyers looking to expand their lens range with s/h or non nikon
lenses are going to have some serious limitations, who wants to buy
an AF lens that wont AF? I could say that this is an interesting
ploy to help nikon lens sales

This might be a good camera for someone new to SLR's, a P&S
dabbler..or upgrader..might just not care and get the twin lens
kit, serious users are going to find that the shortcomings are less
easy to live with.

Imagine a slightly larger body (its too small for my hands), and
all the issues above addressed.......Nikon could have had a real
killer camera here, they missed the chance.

Every camera is far from perfect...Canon 400, Sony A-100, Pentax
K100 series all have weak spots, but surely this is a cut down
camera too far.

What do you think?

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Pixel peepers miss the big picture.
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whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Re: Only Nikon............

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:

Would dream of shutting out their own users.....

CF or SD? Hmmm both.

So Nikon owner wants a backup camera.......ok um damn the D40 wont
take my CF cards, and my lenses dont AF!

Come on people..........is this really smart corporate thinking?
Making your own camera range incompatible with each other? (yeah
sure the lens fits..but who wants MF with an AF lens? Hmm not many)

Sorry but something went wrong somewhere....I am no Canon
fan......but can you ever imagine them doing this? There would be a
riot at Canon HQ!
--

Was there a riot at Canon when they removed support for FD lenses? Or lack of spot metering on XT/XTi? C'mon - companies do what is best for them or at least what they think is best for them - they don't have to put in all the features in all the products. If customers do not like it - they will not buy the product.

Canons are a great option & make great cameras - but rioting just to help the poor Joe Consumer?

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Peter Bendheim
Peter Bendheim Senior Member • Posts: 2,504
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

Methinks it takes great images and a brilliant price and that if you want all the features you talk about buy a fancier model...yes, they exist...if it had everything the D200/80 etc had there would be no need to have a model range...

Is that not obvious???

So, horses for courses, as they say. having said that I think the D40 is a brillianrt camera that provides outstanding IQ in an easy to use package that price wise could not have been even concieved a few years ago.

Can you actually disagree with that?

Having said that, the camera earns its rating on what it is for the money paid and in the class of camera it finds itself. No-one is saying that it's the same as a D2x or 1DS111just because it has and excellent rating.

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Redandwhite Regular Member • Posts: 362
Re: A matter of preference I guess

A pragmatic approach works for you, that's great! And I'm happy you're considering the Canons, because they produce fabulous images.
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Medic Laviña Senior Member • Posts: 1,287
Yikes!

*isteve wrote:

...
But dropping support for screw mount lenses does not just cut users
off from half of Nikons lens lineup (mostly primes and older lenses
of less interest to newbies) but a very high proportion of budget
third party lenses in Nikon mount.

...I didn't know that. That's one of the worst DSLR cripplings a manufacturer could do.

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-----------------------------------------------------

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Ken_5D Forum Pro • Posts: 11,820
Re: Only Nikon............

whoosh1 wrote:

Was there a riot at Canon when they removed support for FD lenses?
Or lack of spot metering on XT/XTi? C'mon - companies do what is
best for them or at least what they think is best for them - they
don't have to put in all the features in all the products. If
customers do not like it - they will not buy the product.
Canons are a great option & make great cameras - but rioting just
to help the poor Joe Consumer?

Canon for quite a while only had Spot Metering on the 5D. Its why I would not buy a 20D or a Rebel... for me it might be the main reason I didn't follow my assumed path just over a year ago and buy a Canon as my first DSLR. I had previoulsy shot exclusivly Canon SLRS since 1880 or so.

So that little gotch cost them one customer.. I am sure they are not in tears over it. But I have not regretted my KM 5D at all and if I jump from what now Sony's ship it probably will be Canon... with some are respect for Nikon because usually they make great cameras for photographers (not just marketing concerns)

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whoosh1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,791
Wish D50 did not have 5 focus points & maybe lens support

Every time I need to check whether I am using the central focus point - otherwise I get into a situation like my trip to yosemite when many pics were out of focus due to accidentally using the other focus point (was new to the camera back then). I focus & recompose anyway as the central focus point is the most sensitive (works in both horizontal & vertical directions unlike the other 4 focus sensors which work in only one directions).

Guess I need to fiddle & try to find if there is a way to disable the other 4 focus sensors.

About lens support - it would have stopped me from lusting for 85mm f/1.4 :-). I enjoy my 35 f/2 & 50 f/1.8 - but once you taste the primes you keep on lusting for more :-).

  • Abhijit

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James Arnold 1971 Senior Member • Posts: 1,426
Re: D40x........does it deserve such high praise?

I would place DOF preview higher on the list of important items missing. Bracketing is only an issue if you are doing that HDR stuff, or if the camera has no other control over exposure. The argument that students need auto bracketing is silly becuase you wouldn't teach it that way?

d94ka wrote:

Ken_5D wrote:

I had forgetten about no DOF preview..

That's two exercises in any "Intro to Photography" course the D40
owners will have to work around..

Bracketing..
and DOF.. (though you can take a few seconds to check it in the LCD)

I wonder if any Community college courses will have to * the
approved equipment for photography classes

Students may bring any Film or Digital SLR to complete homework
(except Nikon D40 and D40x)

The cynical aspect of this is that Bracketing is all firmware.. no
extra parts needed.

Bracketing and DOF preview are hardly important features in any
photography course that I can imagine. Until I bought my D40x, my
camera of choice was a Nikon FE2. It too lacks those features, but
I have had no problems in any class I have attended with it and it
has been an absolutely wonderful camera. They would have to put
that on the list of non-approved cameras as well.

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