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Good: Super fast shooting, accurate AF, easy to use and tweak
Bad: Light metering sometimes misses, needs some compensation
Comment: I got this excellent D40 last Christmas and was awed in all ways possible right from the moment I fired it up! It is very light, yet with a confident and solid feel in everything from button touch to zoom ring feel. Yes, it is all plastic but it is of the good kind that feels like military-grade equipment. Excellent clear and large display with accurate rendering in most lighting conditions - save the harshest direct sunlight.
Coming from increasingly pixel-dense small-sensor compacts, the main differences that really mattered to me are these:
- very calm, sharp and virtually noise-free imaging even in low-light conditions without flash - 800 ASA mode is very usable indeed unlike in the majority of compacts
- extremely rapid from power-off to actually taking a picture - or bursts of pics; the burst mode is constantly engaged giving more like 5 pics/s than the rated 3 pics/s
- very easy control of exposure and color balance
- extremely good fill-flash in daylight conditions and also some very usable flash modes to experiment with (slow rear being my current favorite in action night shots!)
This camera takes absolutely fabulous shots in far more difficult situations than what you can cover with a compact: especially action scenes, poorly lit scenes is where the most difference is noticed. I got the superb little SB-400 external flash as companion to make great looking bounce-flashes, and everything including the charger fits into my minimalistic camera bag!
It is as easy to shoot with as typical compacts - or even easier since you have virtually no shutter lag - yet you can tweak most settings very easily. There are even a built in instruction book with examples of what would be the effect of tweaking the settings for common controls, great for beginners and doesn't get in the way as you learn the cameras functions. Excellent.
Battery life for the camera is spectacular, have not put it to a real test yet but I wouldn't be surprised if you can get 1000+ shots out of the supplied battery if you are not using the in-built flash very much (which is really good as well and should not be overlooked).
I could go on and on raving about this inexpensive little SLR but I feel others already covered the good.
The only time I was a little worried over the durability of this camera was when I recently took a trip to Sahara on some camel riding, the super-fine Sahara sand tended to get into everything, my eyes, mouth... but you really can't protect your cam from the elements at all times if you want great shots. I knew this cam was not actually built for this environment but anyway... at the most I figured that the lens could be ruined.
Predictably I got some sand into the zoom ring but it was nothing that affected the quality of the shots in any way, just the smooth zoom feel. Nothing got into the camera house or lens internals as far as I know. Fabulous shots! Back at home I gave it a mild external vacuuming and the barely noticeable sand "problem" was removed entirely. Nevertheless, I guess you should avoid extreme situations like these with this kind of consumer-grade camera. Never subjected it to very much moisture yet but I guess that should be avoided too. It is not an "all-weather" camera like some of the pro models.
I have not compared it to other digital SLRs more than briefly, I realize most of the advantages I mention are typical of SLRs. What the D40 doesn't have is a system to reduce dust on the sensor. This showed to be no problem so far; i noticed a few dust speckles showing during some circumstances after a few months of use but they could be removed very easily by a blower. No big deal IMO, I guess every SLR user have to find a way to confront this little problem regardless if there is a anti-dust system or not. If a good blower doesn't fix the problem it needs professional cleaning, that's the way it is.
One minor annoyance is the fact that the light metering sometimes overexposes with blown
Good: I have the silver version and they both look great are well built and the photo/image quality gets compliments from every single person I show them to - this is my first camera ever!
Bad: Very difficult to answer but I have to say that the temptation to upgrade lenses will be born once you get this camera but they are very expensive!
Comment: I don't really know what to say except this is bulky compared to compacts but if like me you're a person who prefers quality over convenience - you cannot ignore this camera.
The picture quality is astoundingly good and I don't feel there is any justification in paying nearly £400-500 for the Canon 400D when this is available for around £250! Best SLR camera on the market under £1,000! It's very easy to use and my girlfriend has even started using it regularly because it makes her 'feel like a good photographer'. Did I mention this it the first camera I've ever bought?
To quote my Polish friend 'there are cameras and then there are Nikon cameras'.
Good: Polished features, first-rate image quality, light to carry
Bad: LCD doesn't shut down when camera brought up to shoot
Comment: This camera was crafted by people who know and love photography. It shows! Working with RAW adds new possibilities. Have already taken several pictures that have astonished friends and collegues with their quality.
It feels in no way cheap. I am more than happy with my purchase.
Bad: No camera bag included
Good: What a camera for the price
Bad: nothing! this is a price perfect camera
Comment: I have in he last 2mths been lucky enough through a friend to be able to test many SLR,s and trust me the D40 is the best in the class.
I keep reading specs for cameras that for example the noise is to high at 200iso and for example at macro it performs badly.
99 Per cent of us do not use or can afford or want 14 mega pixal cameras, so when a camera such as the D40 comes along with a all round good spec in every way we still keep comparing it to the mega spec cameras.
If you do not believe me look at the test pics from the D40, hey it the same price as many compacts.
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