Several D40 & D60's 4-sale locally, which one for aspiring portrait?

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I need a first DSLR for my neice. I've never worked with the D60, so.....
I've been giving away my old dslr's to family members who get interested in photography. Their interests in dslr come mainly from their need for quicker shutter response (kids), more flash options (indoor functions) and more background blur (portraits). Those are my translations from their comments when they compare pictures between their P&S shots and when they borrow a dslr.
I have one grown-up neice in particular who is a very keen at photographing children. She is doing amazing work with her own family and friends even with her cheap P&S, and I have no doubt that she has the talent to be a professional portrait artist in every aspect. She doesnt' just do head shots, she captures childrens character and how they interact with each other, and the most adorable innocent moments. She has asked (to my delight) if she could buy one of my used bodies the next time I have one to get rid of (she is on a tight budget). Well, this girl is now destined to get what ever she needs from me free of charge.
What she needs ?? Until we can decide on the perfect format and lenes for her I want to start her out with a DX body (and it might as well be Nikon so I can let her test my own lenses and flashes etc...). I don't want to distract her with too many options that she doesnt need right now (hence I won't give her my D90 and move up the the D700 or D7000 :) ). I owned and loved the D40 and gave it away, but have never used a D60. NOW there are several D40's & D60's around for sale (everyone's moving up these days). I've seen some people here and even Ken Rockwell swear by the D40 over any other D-compacts (50,60,3000). But this D60 has sensor cleaning and 10mpx, two aspects that will bode well for my neice as we will be swapping lenses often (dust). Also I know that people will be begging her for enlargements (more mpx). My question is apart from the loss of 1/500 flash sync, is the D40 IQ better at higher ISO than the D60 because of the larger pixel "size"?
I'm worried that the size of a DSLR might hinder the magic that she does so I don't want to invest in anything more than the D-compact options right now. I'm leaning to the D60.
 
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There's not a lot of difference between the two. I suggest just finding the one with the fewest clicks and buying it. Teach her the importance of making quick lens changes to protect the sensor from dust.
 
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Either.

For portraits outdoors the D60 has a slight advantage because its sensor starts at ISO 100 vs 200, and that will let you shoot at a 1 stop larger aperture in bright conditions. For high ISO work, yes I do think the D40 is a bit better. In particular its dynamic range is better and I was always pleased with mine at ISO 800/1600. The 10MP sensor I didn't like to shoot beyond the 400/800 range. And yes the 1/500s flash sync is quite handy as well. For enlargements, well I once compared two nearly identical photos that I took at different times between my D40 and my F100 which was scanned at 16.8MP and printed them both at 12x18. Couldn't tell the difference in terms of resolution or "sharpness". The only way I was able to tell the two apart was because I knew the look of the film I was using (Kodak Portra) vs the D40's settings (Vivid). Slight advantage to the D60 for travel and landscape use because it has Active D-Lighting. It does also have a nifty rangefinder mode which makes manually focusing CPU equipped non-AFS lenses much easier.

So they both have their strengths and weaknesses. For what your niece is doing, I'd lean towards the D40 for the better high ISO performance and the faster flash sync.
 
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I get very nice 11x14 prints from my D40. A 60 is marginally better.

Nik Define 2 noise reduction for 400 and up on the D40.

Both are really nice to carry as they are small and light. Put a 35 1.8 on it.

As someone said, get the one in better condition or fewer clicks if the same.
 
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Found a D60 mint with 3500 shutter clicks, but Nikon is shameless

I get very nice 11x14 prints from my D40. A 60 is marginally better.

Nik Define 2 noise reduction for 400 and up on the D40.

Both are really nice to carry as they are small and light. Put a 35 1.8 on it.

As someone said, get the one in better condition or fewer clicks if the same.
I picked up a one owner D60 today with 18-55vr kit, three batteries and only 3500 actuations, all for 330 Canadian$. The only disappointment is the manual focus assist bar; it's crippled in manual exposure mode. Which means that it does not work with AIS or older lenses. To use the focus assist bar with my AIS lenses I have to switch the exposure mode to anything but manual exposure control, focus, then switch back to manual. Not exactly a tear-jerker, but obviously Nikon doesnt want the entry level bodies to be TOO convenient for people holding older lenses.
Pretty decent IQ up to 400/800 ISO, and using NR above that cleans it up at the expense of detail of course. All in all I know my neice will be thrilled with the performance bump from her P&S and it's a good opportunity to decide what she needs in a DSLR when it's time to bring her up to the big league (ISO-ly speaking).
 
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