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D40 or P&S for traveling non-photographer?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KsJET, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. KsJET


    Feb 24, 2007
    I hope it's OK to post this question in general discussion. If not, feel free to move it. :smile:

    My mom will be traveling to Nepal and Thailand at the end of August. She knows nothing about photography. She has an old P&S and I'm afraid she'll come home with pictures that are very disappointing. This is a once in a lifetime chance for her, so I want her to have wonderful memories.

    She needs something compact, easy to learn and inexpensive (because I will be buying it for her :tongue:) . I know there are some really great P&S cameras out there now and many are available with a lot of zoom. But I can't help wondering if she will get better pictures with a dSLR even if she doesn't have much experience with it. I would probably get her the 18-135 to go with the D40 and possibly the SB-400. She's the type who would rather use flash than bother changing lenses, so the ability to AF a low light prime is not a concern. I do plan to teach her how to use the camera so that she isn't stuck in auto and will encourage her to shoot RAW so that I can pp the pics when she comes home.

    So, do you think it will be worth the extra money to get her a D40 over a super zoom, high end P&S? If you think a P&S would be better in this instance, which one would you recommend?

    Any opinions/advice are greatly appreciated!
  2. batangueno


    May 10, 2007
    Coming from a non-photographer point of view. I bought my D40 2 days before we went on a US vacation. I had no experience in photography whatsoever, i don't event venture out of Auto mode from my previous camera (cybershot).

    I just configured the settings on the D40 and then shot every picture in Program mode. Just used the kit lens and built-in flash. The D40 was so easy to use and light enough to carry around. The best thing is that it produced great pictures.
  3. D40 + 18-135 + SB-400 is not what I would call compact. That may be the biggest obstacle, notwithstanding the weight as well.

    I'd say something small like maybe the Canon SD800 IS or a Fuji F31d/F40.
  4. KsJET


    Feb 24, 2007
    Well, she is willing to carry a separate bag with the camera so I guess I mean relatively compact. I don't think she would take the SB-400, so it would be just the D40 and lens.

    I considered the SD800 IS, but I think she would want more reach. I'm thinking more like the S3 IS. I'm just not sure if that would be as good as the D40. I had a super zoom before my dSLR and was constantly disappointed with anything above ISO 200.

    I should probably take her to a shop and let her feel each camera. That really should be the deciding factor.
  5. If she wants to move up I say go for the DSLR. But if she is more comfortable with a P&S and satisfied with the image quality why not just stay there. IMO save for bulk and weight (not much more) a low end DSLR like the D40 trumps any point and shoot.

    That's very sweet of you by the way!
  6. eisbaer

    eisbaer Guest

    A dslr would not be advisable in this situation. Too much hassle. I've done travels in the past with only a canon ixus400 and made great pictures not knowing anything about photography. Most pictures are made in daylight where there is enough light anyway.

    The ixus400 was great but apart from the digicII speed I'm not too impressed by the recent canon p&s's
  7. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    A few years ago my Mother and my Dad (both in their 70's) went on a long trip to Poland and Russia to visit relatives. I lent them both my D70 with the 18-70mm lens and my Canon S2 IS.

    Guess what? The D70 was not even unpacked. But they took over 300 shots with the S2 IS. And most were acceptable thanks to my preaching about holding the camera steady-- and the IS, of course.
  8. Coolpix 8400 24-85mm 8 megapixel is so cool.....
  9. ffb2t


    Jan 16, 2006
    P&S hands down (and since you are considering d40 plus lens prices range, I'd probably want to splurge on a digilux).
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