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D40 or D60?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Terri French, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. I just came back from a family trip. One of my nephews brought a friend along who had a D40. Several of the family members fell in love with the small size of the camera and left the trip thinking that they would like to purchase one.

    I told them that there is also a D60 model that they should consider....

    I really don't know much about these small Nikon DSLRs. Which model would you recommend, and why?
  2. I have a D40 that I use to throw in my bag, and I use it as a backup to my D300 it was a D80 as a backup but swapped it for a D40 and some cash. My fiancee has a D60. And between the 2 now, I would get the D60, LCD screen is clearer, Automatic sensor cleaning, much much better high ISO performance. The D60 performs much better at higher ISO's than the D40, 40x, 80
  3. dan1son


    Sep 24, 2007
    I'd disagree that the high-iso performance is better on the D60. The D60 is pretty much the same as the D40X as far as that goes. Which is good for sure, but I'd give the D40 the edge.

    The D60 does have a higher pixel count, auto sensor cleaning, a better LCD (although the D40's is pretty darn good compared to any camera before it), active d-lighting, white balance bracketing, and a few other small features. I'm not sure most of those are worth it considering the price difference. The D40 is a nice little camera...
  4. I've done some of my best work with a D40 . I personally would like the advantage of dust reduction and active D-lighting that the D60 has , the extra megapixels are just a waste of card space to me but then you could shoot at a lower resolution . The D40 is still a huge improvement over the D50 with regard to the screen and compactness .
  5. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
    I haven't seen a comparison of their relative low-light performances but the D40 is surprisingly good.

    The D60 has some advantages, mentioned above.

    Some advantages of the D40:

    1. The D40 has a faster flash shutter sync speed: 1/500 v. 1/200.

    2. More sensitive to light due to fewer pixels in the same size sensor. From Ken Rockwell's site:

    "It's less sensitive to light because the pixels have to be made smaller to cram more of them into the same-sized sensor. Smaller pixels collect fewer photons than larger pixels. Since the D60 is half as light sensitive, the D60 has to use twice as long a shutter speed or a larger aperture, which makes it more likely to make a blurry picture than the D40."

    3. Costs less.
  6. I don't agree with Ken Rockwell's explanation.

    That would be saying, that if I shot f/8 @ 1/200 on my D300, it's the same exposure as f/8 @ 1/400 on my D40 or a D3/D700?

    Generally, a lower pixel density produces cleaner images, as the pixels collect more data.
  7. rgordin


    Jun 3, 2008
    Washington, DC
    Good point
  8. This is absurd, and reduces my respect for KR even more. The lower area per pixel is made up for more by having more of them. Unless they are less efficient at gathering light (and I bet even KR doesn't know that), then light collection should be essentially the same.
  9. Terri, my wife has been using a D40 for over a year now, including trips to New Mexico, Australia, Spain, and most recently, Alaska. She is VERY pleased with it, and so am I. I'm sure the D60 is a fine camera, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra cost. The D40 is about the best bargain in DSLRs at the moment, in my humble opinion.
  10. Thanks all for some good information here. I'm sending a link to this thread to the family members who are interested.
  11. That's not what he's saying . The D60 has to have a base iso of 100 to produce images as clean as the D40 at iso 200 which means at the lower iso it would need a slower speed or wider aperture to produce the same results at a lower iso . More pixels in the same area mean mean each pixel gets less light and , like with a compact , the signal needs to be amplified more causing more noise .
    Maybe not something that would be noticed by the average D60 buyer anyway but just something to keep in mind if you do want to compare ...
  12. Tosh


    May 6, 2005

    Here's a simple but good review of the D40/40X for you non-photographer family members. http://photo.net/equipment/nikon/D40

    Well, certainly simple. Maybe I said good because one of my D40 images was used in it. :rolleyes:  :biggrin:
  13. I actually made that choice a couple of months ago. Was looking for one of those small bodied cameras as a light "grab and go" kit (ala Uncle Frank) when I don't want to take the D3. I was prepared to pay for either the 40 or 60, but after a lot of study I decided that I actually preferred the sensor size and quality of the 40. Bought a body-only "Salesman's Sample" (Nikon refurb) from Cameta on ebay for $383 shipped - paired it with an 18-70 and 70-300VR and it makes a great small kit. Very happy with the image quality.
  14. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    All other factors being equal, bigger pixels (fewer MP's) collect light faster and are more sensitive. And there's less of a chance of getting a blurred shot if your base ISO is 200 rather than 100.
  15. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    If there one sure fast rule in this new digital era ,it is" newer is wayyyyyyyy better".
  16. Holmes


    Oct 28, 2006
    Wyoming, USA
    I just snagged one of the Cameta demo D40 bodies for $255 and plan to grab another while they're still available.

    It's sorta looking like the new consumer level Nikon bodies are going a direction I prefer to avoid - complexity.

    The simple little D40 is a pleasure to work with and its technology/feature set is just about commensurate with my skill level!
  17. the D3/D700 has a base iso of 200, doesn't the D300 have 100? right or wrong, iso numbers have nothing to do with the sensitivity of the actual sensor. your not suspicious of this at all by the fact that you can turn the iso up and down at will?
  18. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    The hardware sensitivity of the sensor has everything to do with the base ISO.
  19. D300's base ISO is 200. KR's explanation to me read as if he was stating that the pixel density was responsible, not the base ISO
  20. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    The D300 is also different sensor technology than the D40/60/80/200 (CMOS vs CCD) so all other factor aren't equal in that case. Pixel pitch would be more accurate, but I think his frame of reference was only DX cameras for that. He's also noted that the D300 has more noise at lower ISO than then CCD sensors.
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