For newbies comparing Nikon's D40, D60, D80


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ZerocoolAstra

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#1
Lately there have been many posts from newbies asking about the differences between D40, D60, and D80.
Perhaps I should summarize what I know into point form below:

D40
1) About 2 years old (2006 model).
2) 6 megapixel CCD sensor.
3) Smallest and lightest Nikon DSLR body.
4) Kit lens is AF-S DX 18-55mm f3.5-5.6
5) Camera body has no in-built focusing motor. Hence, in order to have auto-focus function, you need to use a lens which has an in-built focusing motor, e.g. Nikon's AF-S and AF-I lens range.
6) With other lenses (eg. AF), all other functions are possible EXCEPT auto-focus. You can still focus manually. A green dot appears in viewfinder when subject is in focus.
7) All past and present Nikon (or Nikkor) lenses can be fixed onto this camera (and all Nikon cameras) and be used to take photos. Nikon's lens mount has not changed in decades.

D60
1) 2008 model.
2) 10 megapixel CCD sensor (same as D40X and D80 (i think) ).
3) Image sensor cleaning system.
4) LCD auto switch off when eye is looking through viewfinder.
5) Same size as D40 (smallest and lightest).
6) Same issues as D40 with lenses. Can only auto-focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses. However, the 'rangefiner' display makes manual focusing quite easy and quick.
7) Kit lenses are updated from D40/D40X. Include VR (Vibration Reduction) function.

D80
1) 2006 model.
2) 10 megapixel CCD sensor.
3) Larger and heavier than D40/D60. Body has more magnesium alloy components. Feels a bit more solid to hold and operate.
4) Kit lens has larger zoom range (18-135mm f3.5-5.6).
5) Can meter and auto-focus with AF, AF-S, AF-I lenses. Has mechanical drive pin.
6) More functions (image quality, ISO, WB) can be quickly accessed via rear buttons, without having to dive into the menus. Allows quicker setting changes.
7) Additional LCD screen on top of camera, and secondary command dial near index finger position. Allows quicker setting changes.
8) For those interested in studio photography with multiple flash guns, the D80 can be programmed as a remote commander for Nikon Speedlights SB600 and SB800.
9) Additional purchase of Nikon authorised battery grip MB-d80 allows easy shooting in vertical (portrait) position.
10) Viewfinder is pentaprism (instead of pentamirror in D40/D60). Generally agreed that it is bigger and brighter. Makes framing slightly less strenuous.

Hopefully this answers most of the basic questions that newbies want to ask about these 3 cameras. If anybody has anything to add, please let me know.
 

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Simon_84

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Mar 18, 2004
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#2
gd summary in short form.
maybe should be made a sticky in the nikon sub thread.;)
 

sunboi80

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Jun 10, 2006
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#4
yeah and it would be also good to include canon 450D and 400D and 350D..
Some tech specs would be good, like wt/dimension etc...
:)
 

Rashkae

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Nov 28, 2005
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#5
Then we better include Oly, Pentax and Sony too
 

ZerocoolAstra

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#6
yeah and it would be also good to include canon 450D and 400D and 350D..
Some tech specs would be good, like wt/dimension etc...
:)
I'm not trying to give a review of all the available DSLRs on the market. This effort is just to answer the numerous questions from newbies out there, trying to decide between D40, D60, and D80. Too many posts out there are about the same thing, namely the lens compatibility issues.

If you want technical specs, go to 1 of the established websites (Canon, Nikon, DPReview, etc).
 

Havoc

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May 16, 2008
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#7
Thank for opening this thread. Letting me understand Nikon D60 better. Planing to get it around June so any recommend on where to get a good deal.
 

ZerocoolAstra

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#8
Thank for opening this thread. Letting me understand Nikon D60 better. Planing to get it around June so any recommend on where to get a good deal.
Sorry! ;) I haven't been shopping around since I got my D80, so I'm not aware of the latest prices. I'm sure there are a number of good deals around, especially with PC Show upcoming.
Saw a Nikon ad in the Straits Times this morning. I think there was a D60 dual lens kit (18-55VR + 55-200VR). I think it was going for about $1400 or thereabouts.

My personal opinion is that D40 is still much better value for $ than D60. There isn't much of a significant difference between the 2.
4 more megapixels for sure, but do you need them?
D40 + SB400 for about the same price as D60? I know which deal I'd take! :)
 

Drahc

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Apr 18, 2008
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#9
Sorry! ;) I haven't been shopping around since I got my D80, so I'm not aware of the latest prices. I'm sure there are a number of good deals around, especially with PC Show upcoming.
Saw a Nikon ad in the Straits Times this morning. I think there was a D60 dual lens kit (18-55VR + 55-200VR). I think it was going for about $1400 or thereabouts.

My personal opinion is that D40 is still much better value for $ than D60. There isn't much of a significant difference between the 2.
4 more megapixels for sure, but do you need them?
D40 + SB400 for about the same price as D60? I know which deal I'd take! :)
The significant of that 4 Megapixels varies from what kind of photography do you want. If your into Macro photography that 4 Megapixels is your last resort for framing and cropping coz we all know how hard is it to focus on close up.

Just my 2 cents anyway.
 

anglejn

Deregistered
Feb 21, 2008
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#10
not too sure about D60 but have been scouting ard for D40 cos i really like the lightweight factor n it is quit a lot cheaper than d60.. so far cheapest i've found is $1108 at audio house liang court includes umbrella, camera bag, cleaning kit, 4GB x 2.
 

sin77

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Nov 28, 2004
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#12
u missed out the D-lighting feature and auto sensor cleaning on the D60.
I think also got quite a few factors which u nv mention
 

#13
not too sure about D60 but have been scouting ard for D40 cos i really like the lightweight factor n it is quit a lot cheaper than d60.. so far cheapest i've found is $1108 at audio house liang court includes umbrella, camera bag, cleaning kit, 4GB x 2.
I just (2 months ago) bought my D60 + kit lens + cleaning kit + camera bag + UV filter + memory card from Cathay Photo for ~$1200. They can do you a good deal. :)
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#14
not too sure about D60 but have been scouting ard for D40 cos i really like the lightweight factor n it is quit a lot cheaper than d60.. so far cheapest i've found is $1108 at audio house liang court includes umbrella, camera bag, cleaning kit, 4GB x 2.
That's also because the D40 is 2 generations behind the D60.
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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#15
:thumbsup: Have added the dust cleaning features of D60 which I overlooked earlier.

To the newbies out there.... YES, the D60 is 2 years newer than the D40, and about a year newer than the D40X.
Honestly though, for 90% of the newbies, I would assume that the differences are not really significant. All 3 cameras are almost impossible to tell apart in a blindfold test.
If budget is a limited, seriously... go for the D40. There's hardly anything to regret compared with a D60.
 

Aug 8, 2006
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#17
coming out from a D40x user myself, maybe i can add a few points...hope the TS dun mind (u can add and edit to the first post, if u like to)


D40x ..
pros
1. sensor wise, acceptable quality
2. quiet flip mirror (for those impromptu candid shots) :p , light for travel (100 g makes a difference if u walking from hill A to hill B)
3. may cure u BBB sydrome...since there so many lenses incompabatible with it (in terms of lack of auto-focusing)

Cons.
1) battery life? (original 1000mAH) on VR lenses (55-200mm) - 300 shots (max), D80 (around 600, correct me if i wrong, coz i dun own d80)

2)No bracketing (useful for HDR)

3)3 AF points, more is useful especially when u mounting on tripod... and the horizon on 1/3..(and u can't get a focus lock)

4) Lenses u probably buy but without AF (most of Tamron macro(90mm,Sigma 105mm), okie, if u dun shot fast moving insects, u probably fine. b) Nikon 50mm f1.4,f1.8 (cheapest prime lenses with a very very decent quality), c) Nikon fisheye...(nope, no AF)...
(for complete listing of compatible lenses, please visit www.dpreview.com)

5) Flash... u can't do off-camera flashes (except on SB800). If u happen to wanna save 200 dollar and buy a Sb-600 (u will need a sync cable (around 115 dollar)). Do ur calculation...
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
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#18
So the d40 can meter with only AF lenses or MF too like the D200/300?
You need a CPU chip in a lens before you can meter with it.

All AFS and AF lenses can meter with the D40. In addition some of the manual focusing lenses such as the 45mmf2.8P, the 500mmf4P, the current line of tiltshift PC lenses can meter as well. the other AI/AIS/preAI lenses are unable to do so unless you got someone to insert a CPU chip into them.

Ryan
 

kamikaze

New Member
Jun 10, 2008
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#20
I just (2 months ago) bought my D60 + kit lens + cleaning kit + camera bag + UV filter + memory card from Cathay Photo for ~$1200. They can do you a good deal. :)
Hi, the package you bought is it the same as the $1488 Nikon promotion now, with Dual lens (VR 18-55, VR 55-200)....?

Thanks ;)
 

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