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D40X vs D80

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by barriosa, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. I'm planning on getting my wife a dSLR, something lightweight and easy to use.

    Is there any reason to go with the D80 instead of the D40X? I plan on putting the 18-200 on it, for all intensive purposes, permanently. I might also use it as a second body with the 17-55mm f/2.8 during weddings while I leave the cream machine (yet to be purchased) on my D200.

    If its too heavy I doubt she will even use it so right now, and until someone convinces me the D80 is a far superior body, I'm leaning towards the D40X.
  2. tommyc


    May 2, 2006
    I'm kinda in the same boat. My wife found a neat little D40 advertisement shaped like the camera that said actual size on the back of it and said 'This is what I need' . Since I recently accidentally won a D80 auction on ebay, I was thing about giving her my D50, but I'm thinking the smaller D40 or D40x maybe a better fit since she frequently says that my camera is a little on the heavy side.
  3. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Both the D80 and D40X are great. As to comparisons, I will defer to others more in the know.

    This I can say, my wife started out with a D70, upgraded to a D70s, then I bought her a D200. She thought it was too heavy, but kept trying. Now I'd better not try to pry the D200 from her fingers!! She absolutely loves it! Meanwhile I bought her a D80 as a 2nd body from a Cafe member. She rarely uses it because of her love for the D200.

    Her daughter, meanwhile, just bought her first DSLR Saturday!! She listened to dear old dad and bought a Nikon D40X from B&H ($$ limited and she is a very small girl!). It is in the hands of BROWN, so I have no feedback yet.

    You can't go wrong. Either will take awesome images and bring a big smile to the shooter!! :505::505::505::505:
  4. I figure the only way I can get her to stop using her Sony Cybershot is to get her something light. I might even go with the lightest kit lens until I can get her used to it before attaching the 18-200. I figure the kit lens will be fine for most of those indoor shots anyway.
  5. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Personally, if I were looking at D40s, I'd get the D40 over the D40X, the loss in resolution makes no difference but you get much better high ISO performance. The ISO1600 shots are much cleaner with the 6MP sensor.

    The main advantages of the D80 for me are the much superior AF (same as D200), top LCD and bigger buffers.
  6. I think one review summed it up for me. It said if you're not going to print larger than 8x10 or only post to websites then it doesn't make any sense to pay the extra $200 for the D40X.
  7. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Did that review mention that cropping any significant amount yields the primary benefit of the 10 vs 6 megapixels?
  8. Ghunger


    Apr 2, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Don't forget, the D40 and D40x must be used with AF-S or AF-I lenses to use auto focus. The D80 still has a motor drive so you can drive standard AF lenses.
  9. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    It's important to remember than you're not getting that many more pixels from 6PM to 10PM. To get a doubling in resolution from a 6MP sensor, you need a 22MP sensor not a 12MP sensor.
  10. Yep, I know but I plan on putting th 18-200 on it and leaving it there. If I get the D80 and its too large she will never use it.

    I suppose there is a trip to BB in my future so she can put her hands on them.
  11. Not sure I follow you there.
  12. DBrim


    May 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    I *think* he's talking double in the sense of double the length and double the width, in which case, a 24MP sensor would be "double" a 6MP sensor (but 4x as many pixels/resolution). If that's not it, then I'm lost, too.
  13. 4X the pixels only 2X the resolution - remember we're talking area here!:biggrin:
  14. DBrim


    May 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    3000x2000=6000000, while 6000x4000=24000000. Doubling both sides quadruples the area, and therefore the resolution.
  15. I have both the D40 (not D40x) and the D80. I had initially bought the D80 to use as a "carry-everywhere" camera, which it did nicely, but then when the cute little D40 came along, I saw that for my purposes (substitute for a P&S) that it would be even smaller, lighter and subsequently better for that purpose. I like both cameras a lot. The D40 goes with me in my messenger bag, along with its kit lens (18-55mm) and the 55-200mm VR that I bought later, in addition to the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 which I purchased specifically for this camera. The D80 goes with me a lot on walks around my little lake or on some trips which are not specifically photo-oriented. I have not tried the D40x so I can't speak to its advantages or disadvantages except to say that in spite of the extra megapixels it still has the disadvantage of only auto-focusing with AF-S lenses or Sigma's HSM lenses. At first I really didn't think this was such a big deal -- until the day I tried using my 28mm f/1.4 in a dimly-lit situation and of course having to manually focus. My eyes aren't getting any younger. They're not as good as they used to be, a fact which became glaringly obvious when I put the images in the computer and had a good look at my results. That day I put the 30mm f/1.4 on my shopping list....

    That said, the D40 is a wonderful little camera and as long as I've got an AF-S lens on it, I'm golden.... problem is I really am NOT going to stick Bertha (200mm f/2) or Arnie (300mm f/2.8) on it, even if they ARE AF-S lenses. Right now there are not a lot of the faster primes available in AF-S, but I have a hunch that this will change soon. There is a definite need for faster prime lenses that can be used with this camera. In the meantime, yes, the D40 works wonderfully with the current lineup of AF-S lenses, as well as with the Sigma HSM lenses. Many of the people buying the D40 or D40x won't give a darn one way or another about how fast a lens is because they're coming from a P&S and are accustomed to needing to use flash in many situations. Many will be perfectly happy to buy the D40/D40x and kit lens and probably the 55-200mm VR and call it a day, or some will go ahead and splurge for the 18-200mm VR. They won't realize what they're missing, or if they do have a yearning for a faster lens they will eventually learn about the Sigma f/1.4.

    If you're interested in buying a D40/D40x camera body for your wife and slipping the 18-200mm VR on it leaving it on there forever, that will be just fine. The only problem will come in when you decide you need to use that camera as a second body and that whatever lens you'd planned on is not going to autofocus on there. For that reason you might want to consider the D80 rather than either of the D40 camera bodies. There is not that much difference in weight and bulk between them!

    D40x, being 10 MP like the D80, offers more croppability, but not really that much more actual resolution, and you need to consider if that is important to you and your wife. Does she tend to take photos which are a bit too wide, showing extraneous details that need to be cropped out? Teach her about filling the frame, getting closer to her subject....

    If this is to be her camera only, get her a D40 and put the 18-200mm VR on it, calling it a day. If this is a camera which you're eyeing for yourself to use as an extra body from time to time, one which you'll need to be able to slap any of your lenses on, then go with the D80.
  16. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    I'm planning on getting a D40 for my wife for the same exact reasons. My D80 is a little too big, a little too heavy, and a little too intimidating for her to use. Yeah the D80 isn't THAT much bigger or heavier but if you have small hands like my wife's that little bit extra can make the difference. I've seen my wife struggle to hold and control my D80, but the D40 fits her like a glove. She also got that same camera-shaped D40 flyer and gave it to me. Brilliant marketing by Nikon, along with the whole "Picturetown" theme. :biggrin: Hey I'm not complaining. She wanted me to get another P&S to replace the one I broke, but seeing how my dad was struggling with his Canon SD800IS to get any sort of decent pictures of our little girl has made me remember why I DONT want another P&S. It'd take seconds to focus with that annoying focus light, and since our little girl (2 mos old) doesn't know to hold still the IS/VR isn't going to help and you just need the flash. Then he misses that cute little moment because he can't shoot continuously AND refocus for each frame like an SLR can.

    I already have 10MP and the cropability factor on my D80, so I'd rather have the 6MP sensor and better high ISO performance on the D40 (not to mention the lower price), especially since she'll be shooting indoors a lot in sub-optimal light, and with a slower lens for now. My D80 gets pretty ugly above iso1250. All of the help menus on the D40 are great too. As for it not working with my primes and probably other stuff I'll get in the future, that doesn't bother me. Sometimes I have my 35 or 50 on my D80 and then suddenly want to take a wide angle shot. I can just grab the D40 with the 18-55. No problem. If my wife really gets into photography and grows out of the D40 then I'll just sell it and upgrade her. When I'm not sure about something I like to start out small and cheap, just like my Mac Mini. :smile:

    Anyways it's been a few days since I decided to go this route and I haven't changed my mind, so chances are good I'll pull the trigger in the near future, LOL. (i learned not to impulse shop a long long time ago :biggrin: )
  17. The D40 series does not have FV lock as well, so "lazy eye" portrait flash shots are also a possibility.
  18. To my way of thinking the D40/D40x are really just the inevitable next steps up from a P&S and a nice introduction to the world of DSLR...some will stop there, others will eventually say, "hey, I want/need more!" and move on to another body and lens(es). Many people who are the target audience will be thrilled and go no further, while for others this will be something which carries them on to the next step.... For others of us who are already hooked on DSLR cameras and lenses, it's an adjunct to what we already have, and that is good, too. The fact that indeed there are some critical features and functions missing from the D40/D40x is not an accidental misstep on Nikon's part, in my opinion, but rather a clever move.....
  19. Daniel Bates

    Daniel Bates

    Jan 9, 2007
    I bought my dad a D40 for him to use as a big, high quality point and shoot. He'll never get into the technical aspects of phtoography, so the camera is perfect for him.
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