A couple of weeks ago, I dropped the ball and entered the world of DSLR photography. My weapon of choice, the Nikon D40, a reasonably priced professional grade camera. I did not want to post a review right when I got it, so I opted to use the crap out of it for a few weeks then review it. Below is my unboxing video which I posted to my YouTube account, but never posted on the site:

I have had the camera for 13 days and I have taken over 1200 pictures. Let me first offer this disclaimer, I am a BEGINNER when it comes to photography. I am not offering photography advice just yet. This is a review of the camera!

I shopped around pretty good looking at Nikon and Canon models. I choose the Nikon D40 for 2 main reasons:

  1. I could not find a bad review about this product. I read probably close to 100 reviews and all of them were positive. Professionals and amateurs all said it is an amazing camera.
  2. The second reason was price! This camera was about $100 to $200 cheaper then any other DSLR camera on the market.

I purchased the Nikon D40 Kit, from Best Buy (I had a 12% coupon,) which included:

  • Nikon D40 DSLR Camera Body
  • 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens
  • EN-EL9 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • MH-23 Quick Charger
  • UC-E4 USB Cable
  • PictureProject
  • DK-16 Rubber Eyecup
  • Camera Strap
  • BF-1A Body Cap
  • LC-52 Snap-on Front Lens Cap
  • DK-5 Eyepiece Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap.

The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the D40 was how light and small it was. I had held many cameras in my hand, and non of them felt as comfortable as the Nikon D40. The camera might be a entry level model, but it is packed with many options and customizable settings.

The Good

One of the things that I love the most about this camera is the help functionality. As I said earlier this is a entry level model so Nikon included a help section built right into the menu system. Since I am a newbie when it comes to photography, I find this very helpful when trying to figure out what setting do what. With the D40 all you have to do is hit the help button and a description of the setting you are current adjusting will come up. It explains what it does and sometimes even gives you recommendations on how to use it.

The Mode dial is another great function. It makes switching to the various profiles a flash. As a beginner, I find myself using these different profiles a lot. It allows me to snap photos with out having to think hard about my settings to make sure it comes out correctly.

The final thing I wanted to touch on is the continuous shooting mode. This is something that no point-n-shoot can offer. The Nikon D40 can take 2.5 photos per second if you hold the trigger down. There is no lag at all. I use this function all the time. Being a beginner I take about 5 to 10 pictures of everything, then I figure out which ones I want to keep when I get home and can see the photos on a larger screen. This is great to make sure I get a clear photo every time.

The Bad

The only real negative I have found has turned out not really to be a negative. The D40 is only 6.1 megapixels. Some might be turned off by this but megapixels are not everything. There is a difference between point-n-shoot megapixels and DSLR megapixels. Even at 6.1, the image quality doesn’t even compare to any point-n-shoot I have seen, including my dads 10 megapixel camera. The only reason I feel I might need more megapixels is if I ever need to blow up a image and print it. I have not been inconvenienced yet by this because all I do is shrink them and show them off on the web.

Here are some images I have taken over the past 2 weeks:

Georgia Sunset 1 DSC_0324 DSC_0183 DSC_0037 DSC_0009 DSC_0236

Please respect my photo’s and ask before you use them.

Verdict

After 2 solid weeks with the camera I can say I have zero regrets. I could have spent another $200 and purchased a 10.1 megapixel camera but I really don’t need it because I am not blowing up my photos to sizes larger then 20in. The camera is supper easy to work with even if you are like me and don’t know squat about photography. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who enjoys taking pictures. You will be surprised at the magic you can create even if you are not sure how you did it.

Additional Information

Update: I just wanted to add one other thing. If you are considering getting any DSLR camera, you need to purchase a UV filter. This is nothing more then a clear piece of glass that you leave on you r lens all the time. This just helps to keep you lens from getting scratched. It makes no difference in your photos. Also, I purchased a polarization filter which I use a lot when outside. A polarization filter helps to cut down on glare and bring out more vivid colors. If you shoot outside, you will really want to purchase one of these! More info on Filters.