Digital SLR – starter camera.

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  • Digital SLR – starter camera.
  • toxicsoks

    My 15yr old son is showing a remarkable talent for photography and is producing really good work using just a compact digital camera. He borrowed a Nikon D40 from the school art dept: over the weekend and got some almost pro level shots (well, to my eyes) at the local indoor skate/BMX track and at some local jump spots. I’d like to encourage him in this direction as it fits in with his art/graphics ambitions.

    Is the D40 a good starter camera?? What else should we look at??

    Premier Icon woody2000

    The Sony A200 has to be worth a look at that kind of level, I just picked one up from Amazon for £188 🙂


    Nikon D40 or Sony A200 will be the stock answer. Or try and get a Nikon D80 2nd hand on eBay or something.


    Job done.

    2nd hand D80 gives lots more choices for used lenses.

    I have a D40. Its great.



    Something used but good? How about a Canon 350D which can be picked up for under £200 on ebay

    they are all good starter cameras

    comes down to personal preference. he may want to try some bigger lenses in which case the D40 will be a little small and unbalanced. Personally i’m a Nikon kinda guy but you’ll find plenty on here that aren’t. THERE REALLY IS NOTHING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE BRANDS FOR THE ENTRY LEVEL USER.

    Go for the best deal, if he liked the D40 then go for it, it’s a tidy camera. pick up a body on ebay and buy a decent lens (nikon 18-55 VRII is v good VFM)

    and if he wants to do jumpy bike photography then budget for a decent flash as well, plenty of scope for off camera flash with the Nikon Creative Lighting System which i believe the D40 supports

    so, from a nikon perspective i would recomend

    D40 or D40x body of Ebay
    18-55GII ED VR lens, new from hongkong on Ebay
    Nikon SB600 flash


    ~Can you send me some pic of the commencal pls megachips(at)



    Well yes and no. There’s a much greater range of good-quality secondhand lenses for Nikon and Canon. Between Nikon and Canon probably not a lot to choose – I suspect there are very few people who use both and it comes down to sticking with the system you’ve already bought into.


    AF-S lenses are brilliant. Quite expensive though. Soon all lenses will be this way.

    The ‘standard’ 18-55 is a pretty good little lens and the new VR versio is supposed ro be a lot better.

    I have the 18-200 VR lens. It rocks. I also have the SB-600, thats a corking flash too.

    I used Ken Rockwells suggestions as a starting point for my camera setup. (Like him or loathe him 🙂 )


    do a search on ebay for canon eos 400d, you can get a body and 2 lenses, new with guarantee, for under 400quid. can’t remember the sellers name, but you will find it as a buy it now.


    You get slightly faster continuous shooting with the D40x as well as a bit more resolution. The faster shooting might be useful for the action shots.

    DPreview has a review of the D40.

    and the D40x HERE.


    I’m a Canon man, so can’t really comment on the Nikon from a users point of view, but if you go for any of the big names you won’t really go far wrong.
    Nikon & Canon will give you far more choice in lenses, both original & 3rd party from the likes of Sigma or Tamron. Don’t discount 2nd hand, but I’d recommend you buy from a dealer if you do that so you get a warranty, mor for your money & still mroe than capable. I still get front cover pictures using a 4 years old Canon EOS 20D-probably worth about £200 to sell if I’m lucky!


    I could do you a D50 in top condition for £200 if you’re interested.


    Thanks folks, you’re all very kind. *wanders off muttering about indulging the boy and how much it’s costing…….jump bike, DH bike and now bloody cameras* 😉

    Second hand might be your best bet – I’ve got a Nikon D100, that I bought for £200.
    It had cost £1800 when new; and whilst technically “obsolete”, it’s all the DSLR that I am ever likely to need, given my very limited skillset.
    As an example – looking on eBay just now, a D100 body goes for £200ish, whilst a D200 costs £600ish – and they’re very similar; obviously the D200 is a bit whizzier feature-wise and has 10MP as compared to 6MP – but for a double improvement in picture quality, you must times the MP count by 4 (as it is X x Y after all).

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