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View Full Version : Need help changing my mind on D40/D50



JustLikeYou
10-09-2008, 06:12 PM
Hey guys! I'm newly registered, but I've been luring on these forums for quite a while now. I have a question that I hope some of you can help me with. Sorry if this gets a little long, I just like to include a lot of information to get the best responses.

As a little bit of background, I'm a college student (5th year running on a bachelor's degree... I gotta stop changing my mind!) and was a former Photography major before I changed to Graphic Design. Don't laugh, but for 5 years I used a hand-me-down manual Pentax K1000 from the 1970's! It was a trooper and really got me through many years of great photography :)

Anyhow, being that I have a love for photography in my heart, but also being a poor college student, I had to look at the lower end DSLR's to buy. I was looking at the Nikons and bought the D40, even though it lacked some features I was looking for. One thing that I completely overlooked was the auto-bracketing feature, which I use for photographing products for the family business and such (I use a friend's Rebel which *does* have it).

I bought the D40 kit for $380 off a reputable website as a used "demo unit", but it is in PERFECT shape. I noticed today on the website they also have a used "demo" D50 for $400. My question is... for someone who has intermediate experience, and who will be taking a WIDE range of photography (landscape, abstract, studio, sports, etc) for school, pleasure, and a little business.... is it worth the time and the extra $20 to switch out for the D50? I plan on buying a lot of different lenses (too bad the old Pentax fisheye, telephoto and wide-angle lenses are on their last legs, or I'd buy their DSLR). And do you think, being semi-serious as I am, I would miss those features not on the D40?

I really am stuck on the fence on this one. Give me Manual SLRs and I'll talk all day long. I'm a dummy when it comes to the digital world, though! Thanks for any help!

jcon
10-09-2008, 06:18 PM
I had a D50 and LOVED it. wish I still had it.. but to me... $400 is a bit too much for a D50 nowadays... to answer your question... I would choose the D50 over the D40... I know I will ruffle some feathers with that choice, but... who cares! LOL

If there are features YOU need/want that the D50 offers over the D40.. then I think your choice is already made!

Fiasco
10-09-2008, 06:21 PM
I would take the D50 over a D40 any day. Just having the auto-focus motor in the body is worth choosing it over the D40. Look around for better pricing though... D50's can be had for around $250 - $350, without lenses.

JustLikeYou
10-09-2008, 06:39 PM
I would take the D50 over a D40 any day. Just having the auto-focus motor in the body is worth choosing it over the D40. Look around for better pricing though... D50's can be had for around $250 - $350, without lenses.

The camera is the body and standard 18-55 kit lens. If I get a body for $250-$350, I'd still be looking at roughly $100 for a lens, since I have none... so wouldn't that bring the price to up around about the same?

Just asking... like I said, I'm stupid when it comes to the digital stuff >.<

K1W1
10-09-2008, 07:03 PM
I had a D50 and LOVED it. wish I still had it.. but to me... $400 is a bit too much for a D50 nowadays... to answer your question... I would choose the D50 over the D40...


Agree 100% the D50 to me is worth way more than $20 on top of a D40 BUT BUT BUT what will a refurbished D80 cost these days? If you could pick up a refurbished D80 for not much more again and the budget could afford it that is the way I would go.
The main advantage over the D50 is that the D80 has better bracketing again plus it will control remote flashes whereas the D50 will not. Both these things will help with product shots.

Turo
10-10-2008, 09:28 AM
The D50 is great (I own one and love it!), but it is not worth $400, more like ~$250. I do like it over the D40 for the broad choice of lenses you can use. Depending on how much $$$ you have, you may even be able to pick up a used D80 (I've seen them for around $600 used body only).

Aldor88
10-10-2008, 11:09 AM
Have a look at some D80 prices too their dirt cheap these days! I'd take a D50 over a d40 too purely for the focus motor, will let u use older primes which are great value.

Fiasco
10-10-2008, 03:11 PM
The D50 is great (I own one and love it!), but it is not worth $400, more like ~$250. I do like it over the D40 for the broad choice of lenses you can use. Depending on how much $$$ you have, you may even be able to pick up a used D80 (I've seen them for around $600 used body only).

D80 body only kits are $569.95 brand new at B&H now!! I just bought one today. :)

Visual Reality
10-10-2008, 03:24 PM
I don't mean to plug here but...a used D80 (http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=295459) is perfect for your price range and will be more useful than a D40/D50 right now :)

ooverdrive
10-10-2008, 09:38 PM
I have used my friends D50 a lot its a great camera however previewing images on LCD is not that good when compared to D40.....for this single reason will tell to get D40 or D80 and D80 has a much better view finder than D40.

jcon
10-10-2008, 11:47 PM
I have used my friends D50 a lot its a great camera however previewing images on LCD is not that good when compared to D40.....for this single reason will tell to get D40 or D80 and D80 has a much better view finder than D40.

You cant be serious:confused:

If that is your determining factor in a DSLR, then you should probably just buy a point and shoot with a large LCD:confused::confused:

ooverdrive
10-11-2008, 05:31 AM
Dear jcon,pardon for my bad English,the op already own a D40 and lack of good Lcd was my only point against the D50.

Rooz
10-11-2008, 05:37 AM
You cant be serious:confused:

If that is your determining factor in a DSLR, then you should probably just buy a point and shoot with a large LCD:confused::confused:

maybe its just me but the LCD is pretty high on my list of essential items.

jcon
10-11-2008, 11:43 AM
May I ask why?

Visual Reality
10-11-2008, 12:04 PM
An accurate, easy to see display of the picture you took would be obvious to me.

jcon
10-11-2008, 01:25 PM
So it was the determining factor in purchasing your DSLR?

And the LCDs arent "Accurate". To get an "Accurate" view of your picture, you would have to view it on a calibrated monitor. But if your LCD is that accurate and displays lighting and colors perfectly, then you have no use for a computer anymore! :)

Rooz
10-11-2008, 03:11 PM
An accurate, easy to see display of the picture you took would be obvious to me.

yepp. easy to see focus point, easy to see contrast. easy to see histograms and clipped highlights. easy to see menus etc etc etc. it just allows for very easy review of images in the field. it doesnt need to be calibrated, its pretty darn close though.

it is one of the determining factors for choosing a d300 sure. :)

ssil2000
10-11-2008, 03:58 PM
agreed, i was using a friends d70 a few months back and the screen was horrible, very pixalated couldnt really see much detail... screen is very important for a dslr

K1W1
10-11-2008, 04:18 PM
If the LCD screen is so important why do all those who say it is not own a D90, D300, D700 or D3?

A nice screen is one thing but there are plenty of other features of a camera that actually related to the QUALITY of the image shot plus the EASE or shooting the image that IMO are more important.

It may surprise some of the younger members here but film SLR cameras didn't have LCD screens and it was sometimes days, weeks or even months from the time one pushed the shutter button until you actually saw the result back from the processing lab.

It is possible to live without an LCD screen.

jcon
10-11-2008, 05:29 PM
If the LCD screen is so important why do all those who say it is not own a D90, D300, D700 or D3?

A nice screen is one thing but there are plenty of other features of a camera that actually related to the QUALITY of the image shot plus the EASE or shooting the image that IMO are more important.

It may surprise some of the younger members here but film SLR cameras didn't have LCD screens and it was sometimes days, weeks or even months from the time one pushed the shutter button until you actually saw the result back from the processing lab.

It is possible to live without an LCD screen.


THANK YOU!!! Finally someone who got my point! Im 28 and I remember when they didnt have an LCD.

Nice to have? Sure. But not the be-all end-all!

JustLikeYou
10-11-2008, 05:36 PM
Wow! This kind of got big since I checked last :) I'll back up k1w1 and jcon... I may only be 22, but I used manual SLR's since I was 11... LCD's are some fancy, new-fangled contraption that doesn't mean poo for the image you actually shot.

An LCD screen is probably the LEAST important feature on a camera for me. Like I said, I'm used to manual film cameras, and come from the school of thought where you take one GOOD picture, and not 10 "so-so" pictures to get the best shot, checking the LCD along the way. I lived on correct exposure and lighting for years without a huge, fancy screen, so I think I can manage :)

And I would LOVE to get a D80, or even better. But I'm sort of already at the top end of my budget. I'm a hungry art student at college, funding my own way (no parents to help, and my financial aid is all gone after tuition and housing), and I would LOVE to afford a $600+ outfit, but $400 is about squeezing it without dipping into the loans, which I'm trying not to do. And for what I want, even the used options are limited.

I guess you could say I'm looking for a "hobbyist" camera... one that will suffice, but isn't limited in its stupid-safe features for the general consumer.

I've been using the D40 for a few days, since I figure nothing can happen business wise until Monday, and it's nice, but it feels a little puny in my hands, it feels too "auto-everything" without easy manual controls... and it doesn't have the top-view screen for settings... which, like I said... is more important to me than a big, fancy LCD monitor.

Myeh. I still feel conflicted...lol. The D50 I was looking at buying is SUPER clean, doesn't have a single smudge or scratch on it, company claims the body has less than 2k clicks, and comes with the kit lens for $400, but now I don't know if that's too much after reading what some of you guys have said?

Rooz
10-11-2008, 07:15 PM
Wow! This kind of got big since I checked last :) I'll back up k1w1 and jcon... I may only be 22, but I used manual SLR's since I was 11... LCD's are some fancy, new-fangled contraption that doesn't mean poo for the image you actually shot.

An LCD screen is probably the LEAST important feature on a camera for me. Like I said, I'm used to manual film cameras, and come from the school of thought where you take one GOOD picture, and not 10 "so-so" pictures to get the best shot, checking the LCD along the way. I lived on correct exposure and lighting for years without a huge, fancy screen, so I think I can manage :)

this is really a bunch of elitist codswollop. LCD's are a fancy contraption ? really ? so are clean iso800 shots. so is 3D matrix metering. so is TTL, so is auto iso, so are customisable function buttons, so is HDR, so is the basics like take a shot in colour and convert to B&W...i could go on and on and on and on.

the age of digital means you CAN take 10 shots and experiment. do you think that maks them btter or worse ? i'm inclined to think that makes them BETTER. huge flexibility and instant review makes it easier to take all sorts of shots from all sorts of angles with all types of exposure variations...just cos you can. this experimentation leads to amazing new discovery's, instant learning and imeasurable variations that you simply wouldnt get or even try with film.

a DSLR doesnt make you a better photographer, but it sure as hell makes it easier. and if something like an LCD makes things easier, makes things faster, then why on earth is that not something that is conceivabley considered important to some people ?

sure it may be more important to some than others. i can understand that. different thigns to different people. but please, check the elitist crap at the door there is no place for it here. especially when it makes no sense.

Visual Reality
10-11-2008, 07:55 PM
I'd type a lot here in response to that, but due to my wrist problems I'll just cut it short and say, I agree with Rooz.

Sorry guys but the on-camera LCD is an amazing advancement for photography and it needs not to be belittled or overlooked.

JustLikeYou
10-11-2008, 08:24 PM
this is really a bunch of elitist codswollop. .... ... ...

Honestly, I didn't mean to come across that way. Thought the smileys might have helped that a little, but I guess not. And obviously my anecdote about "fancy, new-fangled contraption" didn't come across as a joke in text, either.

Everybody is different. Everybody has their preferences. YOU like LCDs because it makes it easier. MY preference is that the LCD isn't that important. I made no comment about any of the other features you mentioned being non-important... In fact, I wouldn't even be going to DSLR if it weren't for those advantages, so no need for that tangent.

And I never said an LCD shouldn't be important for somebody else, either. Remember, the post was about MY preferences and why *I* don't think LCD's were important. Nowhere did I state others shouldn't find them important or others shouldn't want them. How did you get so stuffy over a post about LCDs? And how on *earth* did you think I came across as elitist for expressing *my* preferences? I didn't even press anything on anybody else for heaven's sake....

But thanks for your rant. And thanks for making a new person feel welcome :)

Visual Reality
10-11-2008, 08:43 PM
It doesn't matter if you're new or old, the way your post was worded came off as snobbish.

Welcome to the forum btw, at least you didn't go with Canon :)

jcon
10-11-2008, 09:10 PM
Wow, this sure got outa hand in a hurry....

K1W1
10-11-2008, 09:15 PM
I think it's time that we went back to the original purpose of the thread.

Is a D50 going to be better for the OP than a D40 for the style of photography the Op wants to do for only $20 more?

My answer to that question hasn't changed It's yes I believe that it will be BUT for the money the OP wants to spend he may get a D80 which would be better again.

ooverdrive
10-11-2008, 09:43 PM
yes yes justlike stay with D40. can use all f mount lenses from early 1960's safely on it but no "auto-everything"...you can use only manual mode but once used to it it becomes easy there is a green focus confirmation green dot at the bottom left in the view finder.After taking the picture you can use the zoom button on the *** and check whether the subjectis focussed properly,the aperture settings are on the lens itself.the old lenses got popular nowadays and there was hike in their prices during last 6 months still these can be had below$100,i got my micro for $96 +shipping here is a list of non ai which are made before 1977.....still some are cheap but they give sharp and punchy pictures
http://shop.ebay.com/items/__nikon-non-Ai_W0QQ_nkwZnikonQ20nonQ20AiQQQ5ftrkparmsZ72Q253A1 417Q257C39Q253A1Q257C66Q253A2Q257C65Q253A12QQ_trks idZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQ_pgnZ3?_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
E series still cheap
http://shop.ebay.com/items/__nikon-series-e_W0QQ_nkwZnikonQ20seriesQ20eQQQ5ftrkparmsZ72Q253A 1417Q257C39Q253A1Q257C66Q253A2Q257C65Q253A12QQ_trk sidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQ_pgnZ2?_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
if you are interested check these pictures
click here (http://www.flickr.com/groups/365610@N21/discuss/72157603674708763/?search=75-150mm+Series+E)

Turo
10-11-2008, 09:54 PM
I really think you cannot go wrong either way. It may really come down to personal opinion. I know the D40 has many advantages over the D50, but I would not trade my D50 for a D40 because of the way the camera bosy feels in my hand. To me, that is absolutely crucial! I will trade a better LCD for proper fitment. But, I can definitely see why others would prefer the benefits of the D40.

If you do decide to go for the D50, shop around, it can be had for a better price than the one you found.

ooverdrive
10-11-2008, 09:59 PM
Also forget all about the Lcd thing am also a hobbyist like you who have not enough money to buy (willing mind but no willing pocket)camera outfits....but can settle with old manual lenses because they are cheap when compared to modern lenses btw am 30.

Rooz
10-12-2008, 03:21 AM
And how on *earth* did you think I came across as elitist.

maybe it was this.


LCD's are some fancy, new-fangled contraption that doesn't mean poo for the image you actually shot.

or maybe this.


I'm used to manual film cameras, and come from the school of thought you take one GOOD picture, and not 10 "so-so" pictures to get the best shot,

but it coulda even been this.


I lived on correct exposure and lighting for years without a huge, fancy screen.

or this...


isn't limited in its stupid-safe features for the general consumer.

but coulda been this too.


big, fancy LCD monitor.

or maybe i just had a bad day. :confused:

oh and btw...welcome to the forum. :D

aparmley
10-12-2008, 12:21 PM
ROFLMAO @ Rooz

fionndruinne
10-12-2008, 03:05 PM
*applauds Rooz and his championing of the LCD*

As an everyday feature, something you use all the time, for almost every shot, you can't afford to underestimate the LCD. You just can't. Sure, you can go without a good one, but then, you can go without a nice house, a good car, and plenty of other things that make life easier, can't you?

To the OP, I really would advise you save up for the D80. The D50 just isn't enough over the D40 to make it worth your while to switch. AF with mor lenses, yeah. But at a cost; the speed and quality of the newer D40 processing really is worth having. But the D80, well, that's a true enthusiast's camera. It has a lot more which you will need. And for a measly $100 more (I say this as an extremely lean-budgeted young person!), it's more than worth it.

imagesbyjudd
10-12-2008, 11:15 PM
I agree with most of the others here, look for a deal on the d80. Having said that I would look for a d70s over the 40 or the 50, I picked one up to use as a back up before I bought the 300 and moved the 200 to backup position. I've seen 70's for around 350 with an extra battery and I bought a 18 to 55 at the time for 75, which I'm still seeing frequently in that price range. The 70 will also control remote flash, the 70s has the larger lcd and of course you have the motor which you can use a wider range of lenses as your budget grows. I think the 80 is the better buy and you shouldn't have to go back to the table for another body anytime soon. But either way good luck. And no with the choices around I can't get at all excited about the 40.

SVTGolfer
10-13-2008, 11:40 AM
I have a D50 for sale - with 18-55 kit lens --- barely used with 49xx shutter clicks. I will throw in my loweprowe bag too ! You can PM me if interested.