Amateur needs help picking a camera.

I have recently decided that I absolutely need to get a digital camera. I have only a film camera and I don't want to spend the money anymore on getting the film processed. I am only an amateur photographer, but I am planning on getting into a photography class on campus. I have thought about a standard point and shoot camera, but I do not like the lack of features like an SLR camera has. I used high end film cameras that had similar features to SLR and I prefer them when compared to point and shoot cameras.

So, I don't really have a budget yet, but I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction for an amateur camera? That would be awesome.
I have done a little research and found that the Nikon D40 series is pretty decent for my needs. Are there any issues with the D40 series? Are there any other brand options I should consider? They seem to be within a decent price range, especially for a starter like me.

Thanks for any help!
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  1. I think it completely depends on your price range, all the digital SLR's from high quality makers like Nikon, Canon and so on are great. I would look at the Nikon's D series and Canon's EOS Rebel line. The D40 is a great pick for an entry level SLR.

    That said, some point and shoots actually aren't too bad. The major advantage of the SLR is the interchangable lenses, but lenses can be really, really expensive. Personally I've got a PowerShot A570is and I've installed an open source firmware update for it called CHDK, which gives you finer control over everything from aperature size to exposure settings. You can even write simple scripts with it that will, say, automatically bracket a scene, or automatically take a picture when the camera senses motion in the scene. Really useful for things like lightning photography.

    But still, some day I'll spring the money for a digital SLR. Until then its point+shoot and my trusty Pentax K1000 :D
  2. Wow, so the Nikon D40 series sounds like exactly what I am looking for. Great!
    Would it be worth it to get the D40x with a 10.0 mp resolution? Or is the standard 6.1 mp not too bad for an slr camera?

    I think the difference in the product price is at least $100 usd.
  3. no get the d40 it shoots awesome pics even though it's 6MP plus MP doesn't matter if you aren't printing 3' X 3' foot prints

    Wow that was a very bad explantion of the prints

  4. Ok, great! thanks cow_moo. my stepdad has a 6 mp camera and the res isn't all that bad.
    So, it does come down to the D40 all along. Cool.
  5. The Nikon D40X is a good camera in terms of handling except when you go through the menu.

    The Canon Rebel XTi is easier to access the other feature than the Nikon. I maybe because Nikon has more features. But that is not the only reason I bought my Canon as I have my old Canon equipment as well.

    Have you check on bridge camera lately?

    I have the Canon XTi but also considering the Fuji F100fs, cost a lot less than what I've spent on my D-SLR, and the Image quality isn't too far behind.

    If I have to start from scratch, I would buy the Fuji then decide which brand to go to when ready to buy D-SLR. Because once you have your equipment it's hard to switch brand.

    Try this site to comapre -
  6. Yeah thanks for recongnition the D40 is what im going to get along with a Cannon SD1100 IS or a Sont W120
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