Upgrading from a D40x on a budget

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pietropa, May 29, 2009.

  1. I was thinking of upgrading to a D200 (used) to get the advantage to use non AF-S lenses (I own a couple old Nikkor).
    What's your advice? I am very comfortable with D40x controls and layout. Is the D200 software similar to the D40x ?
  2. I currently have a D40X and a D300. In the past I had a D40 and a D80.
    I am not at all certain that changing to a D200 is actually upgrading. I have several old Nikkor lens too, but I find that in practice I always use the newer DX lenses, even on the D300/
  3. I am in the same situation as you, I have a D40x but I have quite a few manual lenses and a couple of AF lenses.
    Now I have been tossing with the idea to buy a D200. But, opposite to you, I don't like the controls layout. I would like it had a second control wheel and I wish the body would be bigger.
    I think the D40x doesn't cut it for me anymore. Is the same for you?
  4. A D300 is the next worthwile upgrade. A D200 is made a whole lot better, but image quality improvement is marginal at best. Rumors of a D300S exist so perhaps plain 300`s will become cheaper.
    D300 will be better, but mostly at higher ISO setting. If you shoot landscape at ISO 100 and 5.6, I would hold out for a D700.
    Old Nikkors will work on on your D40, but do not put them on a D200 or better unless they are Ai lenses.
  5. My first DSLR was a D70. I upgraded to a used D200 and now a D700. I use old AIS primes and was very happy with the viewfinder, control set and other features of the D200. I purchased a D700 for the high ISO preformance. IMHO a new D200 for $700 is quite a deal and I would go for it.
  6. Buy a used D2H instead. Way better features (except wireless flash), and in my opinion, better image quality and the same high iso performance (subpar).
  7. I just went through this. I too had non- AF-S/I lens. I nearly bought a d200, but the high ISO performance above ISO 800 is no better than a 40x (maye a bit less), and if you look at the Nikon comparision charts, both cameras perform about the same. Also, you will get a better CMOS sensor with the d90 as opposed to what you've now got in your 40x, or the 200 - CCD. After going back and forth, I went with a d90. I don't think you have to go to the d300, but if you can - great. The d90 performs beautifully in low-light situations with a much higher ISO setting and image fidelity. I just bought my nikon factory-refurbished d90 at Adorama in NYC for 769.99 - body only.
  8. I don't think that you can upgrade on a budget and do what you what. The price of a d200 look attractive, but your d40 probally gives you better image quality. The d200 and the D2X are older generation cameras which are ancient as digital cameras go.
    Right now the D300 is the ticket for what you want. Is about 1500 new or 1200 used your budget? Its widely rumored that the D300 is about to be discontinued and be replaced by something . You may be able to find one cheaper then.
  9. My justification to buy the D200 comparing to my D40x is that picture quality will remain the same, but the body will give me access to new photografic features: AIS mettering, AF with AF lenses, Mirror Lock-up, DOF preview... etc.
    Of course, If I had the money I would buy a D700, but is a matter of compromises. The D300 is 500$ more than D200 which is lot of money for me to justify in this "cheap" hobby.
  10. I think the D200 would be a nice upgrade for you.
    Too many people, when they give advice, seem to forget a lot of folks are on budgets and simply cannot justify getting the the latetest greatest ewuipment. Life is a series of compromises.
  11. Best Buy may have finally run out of $600.00 D200's.
  12. A D200 does have metering with AI lenses, and the rugged build quality and all that, but the D200, D80, D40X and D60 all have almost the same sensor. The differences between them just come down to size, price point and feature set.
    The next real upgrade from a D40X is a D90. (Or a D5000 or D300 depending on which feature set you want.) I wouldn't waste money on a previous-generation D200 with no sensor upgrade unless you have some really good AI lenses on your shelf - better to wait for the newer generation to come down in price more.
  13. Let me reiterate my ealier claims. For about a year I shot side by side using a D200 and D2h. I still own the D2H. I found it to be a superior camera in almost every way to the D200. The larger viewfinder made it very easy to focus with AI lenses (which I prefer to use). The AF module is faster and more accurate than the D200. The sensor might have fewer MP's but I found the image quality from the D2H (especially when shooting people) to be superior. I especially like the accurate skin tones and the thin AA screen that allows very minute information to be rendered accuately (textures on skin etc). The battery life on the D2H is excellent compared to the 600 shots you might get from the D200. Also the file size of the D2H is a lot easier to deal with. Just shoot Raw plus Jpeg and you should be good.
    You can buy a used D20 for between 5 and 6 hundred which is the same price for a used D200.
  14. D200s are gone at Best Buy, so you missed it. But a used D200 would be a substantial upgrade for you, not in image quality, but in functionality. Being able to meter with AI lenses? If I could do that, I'd probably be raiding the used sites for those myself.
    If you're not in a big hurry, there may be some good deals on used D300s in the coming months. Not as good as those D200 prices, but good nonetheless. I'm savin' up myself for either a D90 or a used D300 deal.
  15. Thanks for all the opinions. I may do an effort and get a D300. actually. but then, what about a D80?
  16. I had the D80 for a couple of years, sold it to buy a Fuji S5 Pro (Fuji dressed in D200 clothing). I also have D40, D60 and D80 in my use in my workplace, and I would say forget the D80 and D90 and go with the D200 or D300 if you want to use older (AI/AIS)-lenses with your camera. Abitily to meter with older MF-lenses proved to be even bigger help for me than I had imagined when I sold my D80 and started using Fuji S5 pro.
    So if you are content with the IQ of your D40X and need no more at this point and/or can't stretch your budget, buy the D200. I'm confident that it will feel like a real upgrade. But based on what I have heard and seen about the D300, I would recommend that you wait a bit and see if the prices of D300 will come down in coming months and go for it if you can. (Didn't they cut the prices of D300 by 10% or so in Japan already?)
  17. I have both the D80 and D300. The main three differences in favor of D300 seem to be (1) fast AF, which is not important to me. (2) better high ISO performance, important to me (3) fast flash sync, which is important to me. The D90 is essentially the same camera, but with a slightly less complex AF system. It's really hard to justify putting $$ into camera bodies if you're on a budget. They lose value so quickly, and generally make the least difference in your photos.
    Kent in SD
  18. i think the D90 will be your best bet. they use the same card, at least. not much difference in weight; and size, a little. but keep your nikkors.
  19. I tend to agree with Ramon. The D200 would be an upgrade of sorts, but I would actually consider the D90 as a better option for you. Unless you needed to use manual focus Nikkor lenses, which you didn't state in your post. The D200 is a super camera, but it isn't an upgrade from the D40x in terms of image quality. It has a better meter, but it also has some drawbacks. To preserve highlights, it will underexpose by up to half a stop, which is annoying. I permanently set my D200 to overexpose by one third (+0.3 EV) stop in Matrix mode.
  20. Thank you everybody once more. I believe I will wait a bit more and then get a D300!!
  21. I can understand not having $2500 for a D700, but I also do not understand spending $700 for something marginally better if at all like a D200.
    The poor man just keeps improving a small step at a time and would have been better off saving and getting what he really wants.
  22. d200 has the same sensor as d40x (and d80) and is an older camera. a d90 would be a better choice IMO. if you can wait for the d300, even better.
  23. You can get a Nikon d90 demo with an 18-55 vr lens and spare battery and one year warranty from Cameta for $859.00. That would be a good bet. If you sell the lens for $100.00 you would be in the D90 only $759.99.
    Cameta has a D80 demo for $529.99 with one year warranty and no lens. They have a D300 demo for $1349.00. I would not be afraid of these dems at all. I have had three of them over the years and all have been flawless and came with all of the software and accessories.
    If you want one of these call the store directly and see what the price is. They have cut me a deal or two because they didn't have to pay ebay and Paypal fees.
    Obviously the D300 is a marvelous camera but the D90 would keep anyone shooting for years to come. Maybe at these demo prices you do not have to wait.
  24. An upgrade from the D40X to the D200 would allow you to have a camera with better handling characteristics, better built quality and weather sealing, and the ability to use a large variety of lenses (including non-AF lenses). But the image quality of the two cameras could be quite similar, and the D200 won't really be an upgrade in that respect. The controls on a D200 are very different than that of a D40X (software??).
    Upgrading to either a D90 or D300 if not FX would be much better idea if you want better image quality. (especially high ISO performance)
  25. I really liked my D200 which I just put up for sale on ebay. I am not sure how much you would gain image quality wise, but the layout and build is considerably better. The button layout for functions is excellent on the D200 as is the D300 of course. I currently own a D700 and think the build quality of the D200 is very similar. If you can hold out for a while longer I bet the D300 will drop in price since I'm sure the replacement will come out in the fall. If you have to buy now and can afford it, I would go for the D90. It probably has better image quality than the D200 and many of the newer features like sensor dust cleaner. The D90 doesn't have the build of the D200, but it would still be a big improvement from the D40x.
  26. Unless you need flash sync of 1/250 instead of 1/200, I think the extra money put on a D300 would be a big waste. You would be better off putting that money into a lens, or even a good tripod. The D90 and D300 are very similar and you won't see any difference in image quality. You will see a difference with better lenses.
    Kent in SD
  27. the price of the used D300 will probably be dropping soon. Can you wait 6-12 more months?
  28. do you shoot sports or similar? if not, then you do not need autofocus at all. the money you spend on upgrading could be used to purchase some nice glass.
  29. You could just use a light meter with your D40x to meter when you shoot with AI lenses. Then you could keep saving until you can buy a D300 or a D700.
  30. Thanks again for the precious advice. Definitely waiting for a D300 price drop and saving a bit more, looking at what the DX lens market has to offer...
    Considering all I can live with some manual focus lenses :D
  31. Honestly, as others have also said, I don't see the D200 as an "upgrade". The D200 is certainly a great camera, but from what I understand the sensor progression went something like:
    D200 -> D80 -> D40x -> D60
    All of which, again if I understand correctly, are the same sensor with slightly improved processing in each iteration. I owned the D80 and my wife the D40x. I do believe there was some slight improvement over the D80 to the D40x.
    What you do gain, as you've said, is the ability to use non-AF-S lenses, which opens up a plethora of great quality inexpensive glass. That alone could be worth it. Also obviously the body is much more solid and weather proof (which, can be very comforting). It will however be a lot heavier. The D40x is remarkably lithe little camera for the quality of output.
    Personally, as it sounds like you are thinking now (and others have suggested), the D300 would probably be the way to go (or D90, if you don't mind the not being able to use manual lenses). Both the D300 and D90 have much greater dynamic range and high ISO capability.
    Even with a (rumored) "D300s" coming, I doubt the older D300's will be selling for much less than the D90 anytime soon (it too will probably drop if an "D300s" version comes out). Certainly nothing will touch the price of a D200 (or D80 for that matter) for quite awhile.
    BTW - if you are looking at the D300 or D90, I'd call Cameta Camera and ask about their refurbs. They can be remarkably inexpensive, the bodies are basically new (and look so), and the give a year warranty (90 days Nikon, the rest Cameta - but they send to Nikon anyway). They have never given me an issue on a return either (yes, a few of the refurbs have had problems, but with the no hassel return/replacement, it's been a non-issue). No, I am not affiliated, I've just had good luck with them.
    Speaking of which, good luck to you on your search here!
  32. I am having a D40 X and is giving me superb results.No need to upgrade to D200 as it will not make much differnce.If you want to upgrade then go for D700..Otherwise use the D40 X.You can choose from a variety of lenses instead..That will make the diffence..Comments...
  33. @Harmeet
    I think you're right, though the D700 isn't for those on a budget! ;-)
    Wish I had one though!
  34. You can use MF Nikkors just fine on a D80 or similar bodies. Yes, there is no meter reading but you take a guess, shoot, look at the results, and adjust accordingly. Not that big of a deal but a great feeling of satisfaction as "you did it yourself". Just like using a meter-less Leica in the old days!
  35. go with a d90 instead of a d200

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