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Thread: D40, or D80

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    11

    D40, or D80

    Newbie here, just getting into dslr.
    Wondering your thoughts if its worth an extra 500 to get the D80?

    Will be doing family pics, vacation-etc.
    Reason for coming over to the slr side is 1. Lag, 2. Zoom.

    From playing with both, I do like the 11 point focus of the D80 but will this be overkill?
    I guess I could start with the D40, but will I out grow it??

    thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    303
    Not overkill. Go with the D80. Several years ago I bought the Nikon 8800 because I thought the D70s was a little too much camera. After playing with the 8800 for just a few months, I started to wish I had bought the D70s instead. Better to have too much, than too little. I bought my D70s shortly thereafter. Now I have both and the 8800 is gathering dust.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    370
    I love my D40. I was also trying to decide between the D40 and D80 and the only reason I went with the D40 was to save money. This is my first dSLR and I figured the D80 would be too much for me right now. If I had the extra cash, I would have bought the D80, though. I do know enough that I don't think the D80 would be overwhelming, but still chose to save money and buy another lens and an external flash. I take a lot of indoor shots of my children and the flash has been the best investment. I bounce it off the ceiling and the pictures look wonderful. I'm very, very happy with the D40, kit lens and SB-400 flash. It's also a very portable system that I take everywhere.

    My plan is to use this camera for 1-2 years and then upgrade to the D200 (or it's replacement) and hold onto this one for traveling. I'm extremely happy with my choice so far. I have printed several 8x10s and they look wonderful.
    Last edited by Kellie; 01-31-2007 at 04:11 PM.
    "Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand." ~ Margaret Bourke-White

    Nikon D80 ~ Tamron 28-75/2.8 ~ Nikon 50/1.8 ~ Tamron 90/2.8 Di Macro ~ SB-600

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    370
    Also, it seems as though many peole who don't own the D40 will tell you to get a higher model and those who do own it are extremely happy with it. I say play with both at a local camera shop. I'm very glad I did that.
    "Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand." ~ Margaret Bourke-White

    Nikon D80 ~ Tamron 28-75/2.8 ~ Nikon 50/1.8 ~ Tamron 90/2.8 Di Macro ~ SB-600

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    As apposed to suggesting a body, I suggest you look at the lenses. The D40 only has about 30 or so lenses that will auto focus, the D80, you have the whole arsenal available to you.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523
    if you want a small camera with a few lenses then the d40 is your choice.
    if you want a more versatile while larger camera then go with the d80.
    (im happy with my d50 til i buy a d2x)
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    140
    I got my D50 for a price lower then the D40 and if I'm going to spend the money on a D80 i'll save a few hundred more and find a used D200.

    Until then I'll buy lenses.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3
    Does the extra $500 matter to you? Have you played with both cameras and how did you like the feel? I personally like the smaller size of the 40 but some say it's too small for their hands, you really need to play with them and see which one "speaks" to you as it were. You can't go wrong either way.

    I was in the same boat as you a couple months ago and ended up the d40 and have loved it ever since. I could have gone with the d80 but finally decided my eyes were outstripping my brain if you know what I mean. It's easy to get caught up in all the incrementals and reviews. Some make things sound like nitpicky criticisms are huge when really they are just trying to extract that last .5% from an excellent tool. You'll end up mattering more to your photographs than the camera in the end.

    The d40 has everything and more than enough to satisfy why you want a dslr.....you'll be taking better pictures than you ever thought yourself capable of right off the bat, it still has all the bells and whistles and flexibility you need to create excellent photos albeit maybe not a dedicated button for everything but everything is super intuitive and easy. It's quick, fast, the buffer is practically unfillable. I can't say I've missed the extra focal points and haven't ever missed a shot due to that. 6mp is more than enough for huge prints. Smaller files mean less spent in hard drives later. With the $500 I saved I got the 70-300vr and now I have huge zoom too. Since that is one of your criteria think about the expense of extra lenses to get that zoom.

    I had no lenses to begin with so the AF-S thing I really didn't care about and a family of 30 or so to choose from as was mentioned is plenty for me. I do pretty much the same stuff as you mentioned, family shots, sports, landscapes and it does an incredible job. Of course there are incremental improvements with the d80 but the d40 shares so much technology with the d80 and d200 that unless you really need that last inch you'll be perfectly happy if you can get over the fact that it only has 6mp instead of 10mp. Remember, there are advantages and disadvantages to both sizes. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    1,148
    To me this is a no-brainer, if you can afford it, get the D80, if not, get the D50. Instead of simply stating this, here is why....

    I chose the D70s (D80 was not around then) over the D50 for several reasons, but I honestly cannot understand the D40. If I was in a position where I could only swing the D40(budget-wise), I would probably switch camps to Pentax. At least their K100 can meter off of their old lenses. Their lens compatibility with this starter camera is better than Nikon's with its starter level. Lens selection is important. Search these threads, you will see that some people that tout their D40 will also say they opted not to get/keep/use the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 - A VERY good, affordable prime that I won't be without. It simply won't Auto-focus with the D40 like many other existing Nikkor lenses. Yes, you can use it, but chances are you won't use it as much since it won't auto-focus. That said, I don't like the sample images that I have seen from that Pentax - so I would probably just save up rather than buy now - in order to get the D80. Of course, I think the D50 is more in line - pricewise - with the Pentax than the D40, so if I had to have it NOW and couldn't afford the D80, I might go with the D50.

    As far as the D80 over the D50... There is still a big difference there, but the D50 is still good enough for most people. I personally don't like having to hold down one button while rotating another to change a setting. Since the D80 has a front dial and a rear dial, you can adjust both Aperture and Shutter speed without thinking about it, and without having hunt for and hold down another button. Your off-camera i-TTL flash capabilities are much better with the D80 than the D40 or D50. And of course the D80 has higher resolution as well.
    Nikon D70s
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D (If you don't have it you need it)
    Nikkor 18-200mm VR II
    SB-600
    Bogen/Manfrotto Tripods/Heads
    NAS (D300, Nikkor 80-200mm (or 70-200mm)f/2.8, Tamron 90mm Macro)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL USA
    Posts
    935
    Quote Originally Posted by tcadwall View Post

    I honestly cannot understand the D40.
    You arent alone in that camp. I cant figure that one out either.

    And I really cant even see how you can compare the two cameras in question. You can compare a D40 with a D50, and the D50 should clearly be the winner based on just lens selection alone. You can compare the D70 and the D80, but the D80 wins with better noise control and greater resolution (10mp vs 6 mp).

    But the D40 to the D80? I cant see how there can be an honest comparison.
    Nikon D300 | MB-D10 | Nikkor 12-24/4 | Nikkor 50/1.8 | Nikkor 70-200/2.8 VRI | Sigma 18-50/2.8 | SB-800 | SB-80DX (x4) | Radiopopper JrX Studio |

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