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These are probably one the best shots I ever saw using the entry level Nikon D40 (which is the only DLSR I have). While my skills are far from pro, I think these photos are quite too good to be true for a D40.


Do you think these are raw shots or have been edited? Note, nothing wrong with editing just want to know if these are achievable from a D40 without any post processing .

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All heavily post processed (or more :-) ). Closest to out of camera is probably –  Russell McMahon Aug 27 '12 at 0:11
This might be more useful if it was asked "are images like this possible straight out of a D40?" At least then searching for this thread may help someone in the future. –  dpollitt Aug 27 '12 at 3:24
The one Russell identifies as closest to out of camera clearly has a "vintage effect" tone curve, which I don't think was common in D40-era DSLRs (oh, the irony). –  mattdm Aug 27 '12 at 12:49
The first two are definitely heavily processed, didn't check the rest. Look at the shadow under the model's chin on the first photo. To get that there would have to be a really strong light from that side, to simultaneously have the sun in the shot would need a serious lighting rig which manages to light just the model but not the beach itself... It's much more likely to be composited from a couple of shots adn then photoshopped together. Attempting to pass this off as a 'straight out of the camera' shot is a pretty big whopper –  Clara Onager Aug 28 '12 at 8:10

2 Answers 2

These are definitely edited. The first one you note looks like it's had heavy retouching done on the model's skin, and the third one is definitely a composite of two images.

That said, the fact they're edited has nothing to do with the camera... for these style of images they'd be edited and post-processed even if you had a $8000 camera body.

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Don't forget the professionally applied lightning. –  Berzemus Aug 27 '12 at 8:15

There is serious post-processing done as @ahockley said.

What you seem to imply and I think should be addressed is that the Nikon D40 is not capable of producing outstanding images. Despite being entry-level, a D40, as all similar DSLRs, can produce almost any image which is possible by a high-end model when viewed up to a certain resolution (if the image fits on-screen, your are definitely below this limit).

Higher-end models have features which make them more desirable for professionals such as a 100% viewfinder, weather-sealed body, dual-control dials and higher frame-rates. If you think about these carefully, it is easy to figure out that none of these actually affect the quality of images. They certainly let you work faster, in adverse conditions and even spare you some spurious cropping but nothing to do with image output. It does not matter if you got the shot while shooting a 3 FPS instead of 12 FPS or using one dial instead of two for the outcome!

What has an impact on image quality far more than the camera is the lens and the D40 can work with all top-of-the-line Nikkor lenses. On some it cannot autofocus but this is not necessary to get a quality shot anyway.

All this to say that with only a minority of exceptional circumstances (extremely high-ISO, super-fast speeds, terribly adverse weather), if a photo is impossible to make using a D40, it is impossible on a DSLR at any price.

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