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by garik

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Since my Nikon d40x decided to die (shutter problem, shop says repair will cost more than camera is worth), I have the joy of looking for an replacement.

I was mostly content with what I could do with it so I could stay with Nikon and go for another DX sensor (for instance the D5100?). Besides the 18-55kit lenses (which I was thinking about replacing), I currently own one other (tele)lenses for it. On the other hand I am lured by the smaller size and weight of mirror-less cameras like the micro-4/3 (for instance the Lumix GX1 or similar).

Anyone else had a similar choice? Or experience?

Edit: I forgot to mention: I shot mostly when traveling (landscape, architecture, people, anything except "real" portraits) or when outdoors (hiking, climbing). Clearly, sometimes volume/weight is an issue for the latter use. Also, I realized that sometimes I would like to have a camera around for everyday street/market scenes, when I did not bring it, because I felt it was too big to carry around all day.

Edit again: Two specific specific questions I have, would be what are the experiences with respect to battery life (pictures taken/battery) and auto-focus speed. The general thread mentions that auto-focus is slower for the mirror-less ones, but how "bad" is it?

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closed as not constructive by rfusca May 23 '12 at 0:10

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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Welcome subsub! It sounds like you have two basic questions- What are the differences between micro-four-thirds cameras and DSLRs(Which is covered here: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/8159/…) and what should you upgrade to from a D40X? The D5100 is the current model of that line. Do you have a specific question about the D5100 as compared to the D40X? Unless we know of a limitation that you had with the D40X, it is hard to recommend anything else besides the current model in that line. –  dpollitt Feb 16 '12 at 15:03
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What do you want to use the camera for? tourism? family? –  Graeme Hutchison Feb 16 '12 at 15:31
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Although the D5100 is the current model of the same line, it's probably also worth considering the D3100, which costs a couple hundred dollars less, and still performs better than the D40X in most respects. If you want small size and weight, you might also consider the Sony NEX, Nikon V1/J1, or Pentax Q. –  Jerry Coffin Feb 16 '12 at 16:13
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Might not be an option but could worth considering another Nikon D40 (ebay) you can get the actuation count from the exif data of an image. Then spend the rest of your money on a lens :) –  Rob Feb 16 '12 at 16:55
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@dpollitt is correct in that we need to know the limitation of you D40X (apart from it breaking). Are you looking to upgrade or just replace with something fairly equivalent but current gen? Smaller size of the m4/3 is good for other, but some folks enjoy the larger size of a DSLR. Hold one before you decide to switch based on size. –  rfusca Feb 16 '12 at 17:39

2 Answers 2

As @dpollitt pointed out, there is a good discussion about the differences between micro 4/3 and DSLR here: How do Micro 4/3s cameras compare with DSLR cameras? Whether a micro 4/3 camera is suitable for you depends on how you use the camera.

If you want to replace your D40x with another in the Nikon range, your choices would be the D3100, D5100 and D7000.

All but the D7000 lack an autofocus motor in the camera body. Your current lenses will be AF-S and have the motor in the lens, so will work on any of the bodies, but the D7000 would give you a bit more choice in lenses.

Each model offers incremental improvements in things like AF speed/accuracy, high ISO performance, maximum shutter speeds, frames per second, LCD quality. The D7000 is probably more of a step up from the other cameras in terms of "semi-pro" features like weather sealing, redundant card slots, much improved metering, AF, high ISO performance.

Highlights

  • D40X - 10 megapixels (MP), 3 frames per second (fps), 2.5" LCD screen (230K pixels)

  • D3100 - 14MP, 3.0 fps, 3" LCD (still 230Kp), slightly lighter than the D40X

  • D5100 - 16MP, 4 fps, 3" LCD (920Kp, and it articulates/swivels), and has a cool feature "in-camera HDR mode" which will take two bracketed shots at and combine them in camera

  • D7000 - 16MP, 6 fps, 3" non-articulating LCD(920Kp) weather sealing, twin card slots, much better AF (39 focus points vs 11 on the other models), built in AF motor, shutter rated at 150K actuations vs 100K or less for the others. Better metering and high ISO performance. Commander mode for CLS flash lighting system.

  • if you would consider a used/refurbished camera, the D90 would be a less expensive alternative to a D7000. Lacks the twin card slots and weather sealing, but otherwise has similar specs and is a step up from the D3100/D5100.

You now have to compare prices and see if the difference in price between models justifies the additional featuers. If you intend to keep the camera for a number of years, consider what that cost is per year. What seems like incremental differences can make a big difference. For example, I moved up from a D70 to a D90, and didn't expect a big difference. However the high ISO performance, better metering and AF, and the much larger, brighter LCD made a huge difference to me.

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I believe you've quoted the D40 specs. D40x was 10 MP and 3 fps. –  Dan Wolfgang Feb 16 '12 at 20:09
    
There's a considerable difference in low light IQ between the D7000 and D90 - the twin slots and sealing isn't the only differences of note. –  rfusca Feb 16 '12 at 20:14
    
@DanWolfgang you're right, updated. –  MikeW Feb 16 '12 at 21:17
    
@rfusca yes, and AF and a number of other things, but still the same class of camera compared to the others –  MikeW Feb 16 '12 at 21:46

You might have some joy talking to Nikon directly if you haven't tried that yet. They can do repairs cheaper (sometimes free!) than a shop can as they have no additional overhead, all depends on wether you've got a Nikon branch nearby. D40 is not that old a camera.

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Wouldn't this vary depending on where you live (and bought) the camera? Some countries have good laws that give consumers more rights when merchandises fail (faults caused by bad production). –  Håkon K. Olafsen May 10 '12 at 6:07
    
I don't think that this is a question of faulty goods so consumer rights laws are irrelevant in this case. Personally I've found that Nikon have good customer service and are sometimes willing to go the extra mile, but unless you ask them you won't find out. –  UserEleventyOne May 11 '12 at 8:47

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