One month ago I bought a Nikon D40, my first SLR. Before I used compact cameras, with them I learn basic photography concepts but after some years I felt like I should go to the next level. I decided to buy the Nikon D40 because it’s incredibly cheap, the body’s price is 47.000 yens (Less than 300 euros). I don’t need anything fancy, just something that is SLR so I can learn more than with a compact one.
I got a cheap camera, but decided to buy average lenses. Bought a Nikkor VR 55-200m with image stabilization, and the pics I take using it are totally different to the ones I take with my default lenses; it seems a different camera. I’m starting to understand how important lenses are. What I would do in the future is to keep my “good” lenses while I upgrade with better cameras.
After 5.000 pictures with my new D40 what I liked is: the LCD screen is big and you can clearly see the pics you take, it’s VERY easy to use, it’s very light, the colors are really vivid (I was used to boring compact camera colors) and the battery longs forever. What I didn’t like: the camera is so cheap that it has not a focus motor (You can only use lenses with focusing motor), it has not a CCD cleaning system.
I really recommend this camera to everyone who wants to buy his first SLR. If you travel to Japan you can find it for 350 euros with a simple 18-55mm. In Europe or USA the price is double. Here are some pictures I took with my Nikon D40 so you can have your own opinion.