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12-25-2007, 11:42 AM   #1
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Nikon D40X - I was shocked!

Just a little background. When I was looking for a camera I didn't look at the low end Nikon DSLRs. As a matter of fact the only Nikon I handled before I bought my K10D was a Nikon D200 with a ??mm-200mm zoom (I think) attached. This brings be to the reason I was so shocked just recently.

Now, before anyone thinks I'm attacking Nikons photo quality, I am not.

A friend of mine approached me a few weeks ago and said he wanted to buy a DSLR camera and wanted a Nikon (I didn't ask why). He said he wanted a rather basic one and I said he may as well look at the 40 model. He picked the 40X and he told me he just wanted to go with a package rather than build a kit starting with just the body. No problem I said. We looked, we found, we ordered, and he received it with 2 lenses.

Cut to the chase...

He brought it to work for me to see and I might add he was very excited. Once again, I am not questioning Nikons ability to take great photo's but....., and here is what shocked me.
The thing felt like a toy compared to my K10D. I can understand them making a super light weight body, but even the lenses were skimpy and plastic!
I congratulated him all the while wondering to myself "How the hell is this camera a big seller?" Then it came to me. Because very few stores have Nikon & Pentax side by side. If they did, I can't see how Pentax would lose!!

Anyway, I sure am glad I was one of the lucky ones to have been able to handle a Pentax before I purchased a camera. Too bad with Pentax's lack of promotion and hands on availability, many people will continue to go with "the other guys".

12-25-2007, 12:21 PM   #2
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The first DLSR i ever bought was a NIKON D40. I saw it on sale at best buy and sent my daughter to get it for me. When it came home, I was amazed at how good it felt and how quick it was. My wife that very same day, pretty much took possession of it. The next day, I decided to get another one, so I sent my daughter to get me one, but they were out. So she went to Samy's and got me the Pentax K110D as it was the equivilant of the D40..at first, I was upset as I wanted a Nikon, but the K110D felt solid and not like a toy...The second thing I noticed was that the pentax was a tad louder than the nikon, but the pics were great. Still, being the newbie, I am I wanted more, so I went out and bought a D200 and used it for about two weeks, but kept going back to the pentax....Eventually, I got a K10D and have been a happy camper ever since...I am a big guy with big hands and the pentax feels really right...The Nikons do feel like toys and the Kit lenses are a joke....

The only thing that the D40 has on the K110D OR THE K100D's is the flash recharge time is very fast. I believe this has to do with the battery it comes with...Aside from that it is Pentax all the way!!!!
12-25-2007, 12:21 PM   #3
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Well, the D40x is aimed at people coming from a point & shoot, not a photo enthusiast. It shows that there is a (big) market out there for people who want a bare minimum of SLR ability yet want something more than a p&s.

Sadly, it also shows that most people don't care about backwards compatibility, manual lenses or metering. The D40x can't even effectively use some of Nikon's current lenses, let alone all those manual focus ones. (Ironically, it is the only current Nikon DSLR that can mount the really old pre-AI lenses without damaging the body; however, it can't meter with them, so you have to guess the exposure on your own.)

It also shows that marketing works, and even if the Pentax bodies were completely surrounding it, I doubt that the D40x sales would be impacted much.
12-25-2007, 12:28 PM   #4
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I know what you mean. I was at CircuitCity a couple of weeks ago because I needed a CPL for my lens. Naturally, I checked out all the other DSLRs they had on display. All the Nikon models felt so weird compared to my Pentax K10D. The K10D is a large camera, no doubt, but it feels right in my hands. I tried the D40x, and it felt so weird. It was so small. I also tried my friends Canon Rebel XT. She's so happy with it, but when I took a look, I immediately recognized the compartments and sides as the same ones on the Powershot P&S models. It also felt equally light. It was like they had taken a P&S and gave it an operation so that it could use interchangable lenses. I tell you, I don't like it!

12-25-2007, 12:42 PM   #5
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Yep. Sounds exactly like my reaction. The low-end EOS and Nikons both feel like consumer "ultra-zooms" to me. Coming from a Canon T90 (film) system, I was amazed. It wasn't until I handled a K10D that I began the migration from film to digital (other than an old Nikon CP800 2.2MP P&S that has served me well, for what it was...but even that old Nikon FELT more solid than current C- and N- entry-level DSLRs).


BTW, @carpents: "...can't meter with them, so you have to guess the exposure on your own."

Um, there's these things...they're called "exposure meters." *Grin* Sorry...couldn't help it...
12-25-2007, 12:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duck Dodgers Quote
BTW, @carpents: "...can't meter with them, so you have to guess the exposure on your own."

Um, there's these things...they're called "exposure meters." *Grin* Sorry...couldn't help it...
LOL, could you see someone adding a handheld light meter to their cart so they can use pre-AI Nikkors with their D40x?!?!? Thanks - I just had a good laugh at that one.
12-25-2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
LOL, could you see someone adding a handheld light meter to their cart so they can use pre-AI Nikkors with their D40x?!?!? Thanks - I just had a good laugh at that one.
Oh well, you could always find an old film box and memorize the instructions inside. Or maybe use the sunny 16 rule. With the digital, your could just set it to f/16 and change the ISO to match the outside conditions!
12-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #8
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Even my trusty P&S has a beefier feel!

12-25-2007, 01:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
LOL, could you see someone adding a handheld light meter to their cart so they can use pre-AI Nikkors with their D40x?!?!? Thanks - I just had a good laugh at that one.
Gossen's Digisix will mount right on your D40X's hotshoe! Perfect!

Still, I think I'll stick with my old standby:

12-25-2007, 01:59 PM   #10
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A couple of my friends have, of late, looked into getting a DSLR. I gave them my pentax pitch, and, had they not lived on the other side of the country, would have made them play with it But ultimately, both chose to go with the D40 route. They're quite pleased with their purchases.

Admittadly, the D40 was originally the way I had intended to go as well. I have used several of Nikon's old p&s, and got some incredible pictures, with deep, rich colors, that I have since not been able to recreate.

Sometime, I question if I made the right choice.
12-25-2007, 03:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pooky125 Quote
Sometime, I question if I made the right choice.
I too have had better success with my trusty 'ol Kodak P880, but I am positive it's because I have not accustomed myself to my K10. This will take time and patience.

The only other cameras out there that I might have liked were the Nikon D80 or that new Canon. What was it, the 40D? Whatever.....

It's like thinking about buying a new set of golf clubs. Unless you know how to hit the ones you already have, they're all pretty much the same! Wishing for that magic set won't help.
12-25-2007, 03:12 PM   #12
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A lot of people, including me, recommend trying out the cameras hands-on before buying them. Of course, sometimes that just isn't possible, but I'm glad I did before I got my K10D.

I tried the D40/D40X and 350D/400D cameras and they just felt like....toys.

Then I tried stuff like the D80 and 30D and K10D, and they all just felt so much better.
12-25-2007, 03:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
...Sadly, it also shows that most people don't care about backwards compatibility, manual lenses or metering. The D40x can't even effectively use some of Nikon's current lenses, let alone all those manual focus ones. (Ironically, it is the only current Nikon DSLR that can mount the really old pre-AI lenses without damaging the body; however, it can't meter with them, so you have to guess the exposure on your own.)

It also shows that marketing works, and even if the Pentax bodies were completely surrounding it, I doubt that the D40x sales would be impacted much.
I would think most of the people buying D40/x's are those moving up from point and shoots, and probably are either new to photography or grew up not having any experience with old SLRs. From that perspective, it's understandable why they don't care if backwards compatibility is non-existent with the D40/x. As long as it works well in P&S mode and they can learn the other stuff later, they're content with it.

Yes, it also shows the importance of good marketing. It's not only that, though. The phenomenon of the D40/x, as well as the 400D in terms of sales is that there is also an attribution of Nikon and Canon as camera makers with real pro experience. Never mind the fact that Pentax also has pro experience, as these new buyers don't know the old greats Pentax used to make. What they see are 1D's and D2H's on the sports and news sidelines and 1Ds's, 5D's, D200's and D2X's in the hands of a lot of wedding and studio pros.

Finally, the perceived upgrade path is there with Nikon and Canon, much more so than Sony, Olympus, and Pentax.

The coming cameras from Pentax would remedy that, of course. But they really have to up their marketing and pro exposure for potential buyers to consider them (maybe Ben can nudge Pentax to support more pros). Word of mouth can only do so much. Remember, more and more of these new buyers might have never touched a film camera at all.
12-25-2007, 04:54 PM   #14
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The K10D just feels right

I have used a 35mm Yashica Tl-Electro For about thirty years with some P&S mixed in when I decided to join the dslr age this past year I researched and held alot of cameras. The canons and nikons just didn't have the feel I was used to even my wife who has always used a P&S of one kind or another said they felt like toys to her and were too small (she is only 5'3") so how people can like these small cheap feeling bodies is beyond me. They just don't feel like a camera or a camera worth spending that kind of money on IMHO.
12-25-2007, 06:24 PM   #15
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But Nikon has done something right, maybe it's the pricing, maybe it's the marketing.

D40x is the No. 1 DSLRs in Japan in terms of sales. And this one single camera model (not including D40) amazingly accounts for 20% of DSLRs market in Japan.
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