I've been meaning to write up a review now that I've had a Nikon D40 for a little over six months. I haven't yet.

Let me give you the important part... If you have any old style Nikon AF lenses for Nikon autofocus film cameras, consider avoiding the D40 and grab a used D50. The D40 is missing the little screw-driver and in-camera motor than focuses those lenses. The D50 has the internal motor. I can use my old, manual focus Nikkor with the D40 without much problem by guessing exposure [and checking the LCD], but with something like my AF 50mm normal lens, not having decent autofocus somewhat negates the advantage of large aperture of the lens, at least in uncontrollable moving subjects.

The D40's inability to use old AF lenses also means that, if you appreciate AF, yuou're largely out of luck on eBay for old lenses as well.

So if you're an old Nikon film AF SLR owner or want to get good deals building your lens collection on eBay, the D40's particularly poor backwards compatibility is a larger drawback than I considered it when purchasing. I'm also turned off that the D40 makes me put the older AF lens on min aperture even when I'm using Aperture-priority. Because there's only one dial on the D40 for changing settings, you have to hold down some pitifully small button like a shift key to swap that single ring from shutter speeds to aperture in Manual exposure mode. This stinks, and annoys me to no end. So this adds insult to injury, as you now not only can't AF with your old AF lenses, but you also can't use their aperture rings like you can with older lenses (see below).

If you're an old Nikon film camera user without any AF lenses, only manual focus, you can grab either the D40 or D50, I think. The D40 won't give you exposure, but it's no big deal. It's more useful to check out the results on your LCD after you take a shot anyhow to determine exposure. Moreover, because there's no metering, you're welcome to use the lens' aperture ring to set the f-stop. In fact, you have to use the old-style aperture ring to change f-stop.

If you've never owned an SLR, go buy the D40 now. It's a nice starter DSLR body, and having rolls upon rolls of "film" at your exposure is wonderful. The AF isn't the best, but it fills the niche to help you move up from point & shoot to DSLR very well.

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