Skip Navigation

Nikon D40 vs Canon 400D

Travel Forums Travel Photography Nikon D40 vs Canon 400D

1. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member, 84 posts) 14 Jun '07 05:36


Just wondering which one would be best for travelling? Both come with 18 - 55mm lens I think.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4280 posts) 15 Jun '07 12:30


Go to a store, hold them in your hands, take some pictures with them. Pick whichever one fits best and has its buttons in the right place for your hands. That's the only real criteria to still choose on, as capabilities and feature wise they're identical for all practical purposes (unless you know you have a very specific need for one of the few differences between them; but if you did, you wouldn't be asking here).
The Nikon D40 is cheaper, and its 6 megapixel sensor should be more than enough for you, but the Nikon D40X with its 10MP sensor is the camera which is most comparable to the Canon 400D, and the prices of those two are pretty much identical.

Both 18-55 lenses are something you'll want to replace. The Nikon one is mediocre at best, and from what I've heard, the Canon is even worse. For a first replacement lens, on the Nikon side, get the 18-70, or if you have the budget, the 18-200 VR makes for a very useful all-purpose walkaround lens (if of slightly less quality on the wide end than then 18-70). Having bought into Nikon myself, I don't know what's there on the Canon side, but there should be similar options.

3. Posted by Anzxio (Budding Member, 69 posts) 15 Jun '07 13:39

Personally i don't think there's any point in buying a DSLR unless you plan to get more lenses and other extra kit. If you don't want to be spending £250+ on new lenses then buy a high end compact.

I'm currently on a Canada trip and have with me my old Canon 300d+grip, 17-40L and 70-300 Sigma. The 17-40L is a great walk about lens, and is on the camera all the time. BUT it's also about £450. There is a Tamron 18-70 f2.8 i think? which is under £250 and very good.

Remember that buying a DSLR is an investment, and should be seen as such. If you're not up for spending much more than the initial body+lens cost then go high end compact. With a DSLR you are buying into a system, so the body you buy isn't actually 'that' important. I went Canon as i much prefer their large selection of quality lenses and accessories :)

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4280 posts) 15 Jun '07 14:00

Quoting Anzxio

Personally i don't think there's any point in buying a DSLR unless you plan to get more lenses and other extra kit. If you don't want to be spending £250+ on new lenses then buy a high end compact.

You know, I used to agree with that, but with the latest bottom-level DSLRs like the D40, I don't anymore. I suspect there will be a ever-growing group of people who will get a camera like that because it has noticeable benefits getting them "out of the box" photographs that are much better than even a high-end compact camera would get them (just because of superior sensor, lightmetering and autofocus) - and which will stick with it, never using the camera for more than snapshots, never feeling the need to upgrade or move further within the system. And the cost has dropped enough that if the bulk of the camera isn't a problem for them, I don't see any issue with that either.
If these people one day discover they have an interest in taking their photography further, they are starting with that from an extremely good place, and if they ever have the need for some specialty lens, it will exist and just plug on to their camera... but otherwise I suspect that just your basic camera with one-step-above-default zoomlens is all they'll ever want or need.

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 15, 2007, at 2:00 PM by Sander ]

5. Posted by mikeandave (Full Member, 84 posts) 16 Jun '07 03:19

Thanks a lot for your replies. Do you think it's worth looking at the d40x rather than the d40?

Sorry I don't know that much. I'm experienced with moving image but want to start on still photography.


6. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4280 posts) 16 Jun '07 11:04

D40X: probably not. The 10 megapixels over 6 megapixels isn't worth it (will just fill up your memory cards that much faster, for no real benefit (other than the bragging rights of having a 10MP camera, and (if you're lucky) the one in a million shot that you'd like to enlarge to poster size)). The minimum ISO 100 over ISO 200 might be worth it. Personally I wouldn't pay $200 for it, and I only noticed a slight hint of graininess at ISO 200 a very few times with my Nikon D70 - but if you have the budget, I wouldn't blame you for getting the D40X to have absolutely silky smooth images every time. (Still, the D40 is such a steal that I'd strongly recommend getting that and spending the difference with the D40X on a higher quality lens instead.)

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 16, 2007, at 11:08 AM by Sander ]