aggravated & discouraged - d40x/400d comments?
I've decided to get a dslr... my Canon 800IS is a great little camera, but has it's weaknesses. I tried an S3IS also.. but again wasn't satisfied..

I used a D40 with the 18-55 kit lens for about 3 weeks and really liked it. The couple things I didn't like is the somewhat limited choice of auto-focus lenses & only 3 focus points. I kept noticing that it would be helpful to have more than 3 points, although I was always able to focus & recompose..

Looking at the D40x, I see that it has ISO 100. Ken Rockwell passes that off as more of a crutch than a feature. Anyone want to weigh in on this?.

I feel somewhat aggravated after reading tons of ken rockwell's stuff. EVERYTHING I read on his pages just says "yeah this camera is ok but I always grab my D40". I'm tired of hearing his opinion on the D40, and want some honest input without the whole Nikon vs Canon junk..

Can anyone comment on any differences between the D40/D40x and Canon's 400D (xti)? I've done the side-by-side comparisons for the features, but still can't necessarily make up my mind. I would like the extra focus points of the XTi, but otherwise can't see if it's worth paying the extra money..

$800 is about the peak of my budget. It will be another couple weeks before I make a purchase...

I know we all see a lot of questions like mine from people looking for their first dslr. Folks, if I can make one tiny suggestion - postpone your purchase for a couple weeks and spend that time reading books (and stuff online) to really get a basic understanding of it all. While I was playing with the D40, I didn't have any real clue what I was doing. I now actually have some undertanding of things like apperture & shutter & exposure, etc & feel like I can at least make a smart decision (then again I wouldn't have to make this post if I could decide). arghhh..

Comments (10)

Get a K100D or K100D Super. They are serious cameras although they are "just" 6MP..

Look at this.


Comment #1

I don't know much on the D40, I have a Canon XT, so not the canon model you were looking for. But thought I'd just pass on my impression of Ken Rockwell, I've read his site pretty much. From what I gathered, I came away with the impression that he feels Canon and Nikon are both great cams. I think I read an article where he says you can't go wrong with either one. I think he is primarily a Nikon shooter so it makes sense why he shoots mostly Nikon since I'm sure all his gear is Nikon. Ken is very "anti-equipment" too.

So taking that philosophy, I don't think he intends to lead you to think that Nikon is superior over Canon. Just my opinion..

Just trying to learn.


Comment #2

Thanks for the input. For what it's worth, I haven't fell in to the 6mp vs 10mp war. I won't be printing a lot of pics, and certainly none that are very big..

As for Ken Rockwell, I enjoy most of his articles. I just wasn't sure if he was going a little overboard promoting the D40...

Comment #3

Enjoy photography and your camera. Don't waste time deciding what body is best (it is not build yet)..

All this talk "what camera is best" is nonsence, like what juicemaker makes best juice, what car is best, or what wine is finer... .

If you are beginner/perfectionist you will have 2-4 years before reaching limit of your camera abilities..

Tripod is N1 accessory of outdoor photographer,Extenal bounce flash for event photogarpher..


Comment #4

Good point Stan. I can probably go with the D40, put the extra money towards a lens, and never know the difference for quite a while...

Comment #5

Ken Rockwell is very superficial and narrow minded in his perspective on a lot of things. It is refreshing to have an anti-snob perspective on camera and lens purchases but he goes too far (and his ego often gets in the way!)..

He is unfair on the D40x. Forget the extra megapixels. It has better image quality, lower noise and better dynamic range than the D80 or D200. Read the review here and at

Printing large is unlikely to be a good reason for choosing 10Mpixel for most people but cropping is highly material. You can crop e.g. a good sports photo out of the centre of a 10Mpixel photo. It will show at A4 size on 6Mpixel. You could still print to that size but the image would be slightly soft..

The only thing against the D40x is 3 focus points (There are over 50 lenses that will fit so unless you are spending megabucks on lenses any gaps should be filled by the time you want them)..

D40x plus 18-135mm makes an excellent combination. I have recommended that to my son. That might take you over $800 but not by much..

OTOH there is nothing wrong with the D40. But just remember Ken Rockwell has at least 4 other cameras with which to take the challenging shots. You will only have the one!.

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #6

I would go for the 6 MP model over the 10MP. I have shot both and the NR needed for the 10MP model takes away any any resolution advantage. Texture resolution is worse..

The K100D uses the same sensor but is not limited to a certain type lens, has a top LCD panel (This is a big deal and makes operating the camera a lot easier) and the AS works well...

Comment #7

Bill,One feature that good DSLR (and any advanced camera) MUST have is Spot Metering..

Canon 400xi doesn't have it. It's real shame that is not allowing photographer to evaluate light intensity of particular objects in frame, to make his own decision on exposure..

Canon 400xi metering modes:" Evaluative 35-zone" Partial 9% at center" Center-weighted average.

Nikon 40D metering modes:TTL full-aperture exposure metering system" 3D color matrix metering II" 420 segment RGB sensor" Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to a 8mm circle in center of frame.

" Spot: Meters 3.5 mm circle (about 2.5% of frame) centered on active focus area..

Of course, 400xi could be better then 40D in other features... I don't care..


Comment #8

The best thing to do, if you can, is to go into a shop, or find people who have them, and play with them both/all..

When I bought mine I did look at all the features and to me there wasn't much in it. What swung it for me is that one felt odd in my hands, the other just felt right. It's a very personal thing though, and what seems good to me may feel C+@q to you..

There are many people who will try to emphasise the good points of their cameras, and they're probably all right, you just need to choose the best compromise for your preferences..


Comment #9

If $800 is it, get the D40, 18-135, and SB-400. If you can go a little higher, get the SB-600 and/or the 18-55 and 55-200VR lenses. The D40X is better, but only slightly..

On the other hand, if you will be able to spend more in the future, you could start with a better body, and add flash and additional lenses later. The D80 with 18-55 is just under $1000...

Comment #10

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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