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I have a Nikon D40X and I cant decide if I should upgrade my camera body or upgrade from a AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm to whatever else might be recommended?

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Need more information. What sort of photography do you do? Is there something about the D40X that's holding you back? The 18-200 is a pretty good lens. The D40 is pretty old, so most likely you'd get more benefit out of a newer body IMO, but it's a very personal thing, depending on what you do with the gear. –  MikeW Jun 19 '13 at 19:25
Really need to make that a much more specific question, as it's really unanswerable in its current form –  MikeW Jun 19 '13 at 19:26
Don't upgrade either, you don't know what you are doing. If you learn to use the tools you have you will be able to answer this question on your own. If you are near that point and still stuck, come back and provide that detail to us and we can help. –  dpollitt Jun 19 '13 at 20:11

2 Answers 2

Glass tends to last longer than bodies, so I generally use a camera body as long as it meets my needs and invest in glass when I can. Then when I get a better body I have better glass that I can still use with it. If you are going to invest in glass I do recommend investing in glass that will work on a full frame body because chances are decent you may decide to move to full frame after you have a decent collection of optics.

So my short answer is upgrade the camera body when you need features in a new body that it doesn't have and invest in optics when you want to expand the capabilities of both your current and future camera bodies.

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I will base an answer on assumptions:

  • right now you are using the 18-200mm as your standard/only lens
  • you are photographing for viewing on screen mostly, or printing 4x6inch - a4 sizes maximum if at all

So my take on it is this:

Upgrading body:

If your body is at least 10MP it is fine for making great 1-2mp (screen) and A4 prints 300DPI. If it is from at least anno 2009 the sensor tech is fine. Earlier than that , it is time to upgrade. Your camera is 10MP and younger than that, so you should only upgrade it if you need the new fancy features (that do not make better images) on newer DX cameras, or if you upgrade to a FX model.

Upgrading lens:

A superzoom lens (18-200mm) is made for convenience and for point and shoot upgraders who wont sacrifice that convenience, but they do not make great lenses. I ti really hard to make a wide angle and tele in the same lens as it is two different design strategies. It will only be sort of sharp in a specific f-range.

So you should upgrade your lens to fast primes for better image quality, narrow DOF, and low light flashless shooting, fixed aperture standard zoom (approx 18-50mm F2.8) for convenient control, and approx 70-300 telezoom for reach.

For primes you can do a 24-28mm as a walkaround prime, 35-50mm for full body shots, 85mm for portraits.

If you like macro photography look for a 60mm 2.8 macro.

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We have no idea if the OP is complaining about less than ideal image quality, his question is too vague. There are many options short of going to fast primes that a beginner should consider. A nice 17-50-ish F2.8 zoom (everyone makes one) is an obvious choice. –  Pat Farrell Jun 20 '13 at 0:00
you dont consider an upgrade if you dont feel wanting. f2.8 std zoom: thats what I said. –  Michael Nielsen Jun 20 '13 at 5:15

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