Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Here's a stunningly elegant and simple microsite from McCann Erickson for Nikon's new entry-level Single Lens Reflex, the D40.

They gave 200 people in Georgetown, South Carolina, Nikon D40s to play with. It's a picturesque town, to be sure, so there's plenty to shoot. And then they put them all on this web site, portraits, action shots, landscapes, everything. And they let each of the featured photographers tell their story of how much they enjoyed the camera.

And the photos look really, really good.

I know it's a commercial site, but I spent a full hour the other night exploring it.

Here's the twist: it's really hard to find any details about lenses, or what megapixels, or any technical stuff. The pitch is really about: anyone can take a great picture with the camera. About as technical as they get is to say that there's less shutter lag and really good autofocus so "you'll never miss the moment."

Adweek likes it too

I'm almost ready to buy one.

You had me at pelicans.

If you dig around on other photo sites, and look at the reviews, you realize that McCann Erickson probably got thirty thousand photos for the project and could show off the best two hundred or so. And, if you dig around Picturetown, you realize that the flash still does weird things to pictures. And there are tradeoffs involved in buying the low end of the SLR market.

But ooooh. Picturetown.


cjereneta said...

Yeah, i've been looking at the D40 myself. Sure, there are tradeoffs, but in five years if I'm ready to upgrade I can do that then.

In the meantime, yeah. Oooh.

Mark said...

Get the D40. I have one and it is awesome. I was looking at a high end point and shoot originally, however after looking around and doing some reading the D40 was clearly a better value.

If you are not going to shoot action shots, or not in need of good "kids" shots you could probably get away with a point and shoot. Now, I would never consider a P&S unless I needed ultra portability.

Trade-offs? Not really. I believe the D40 is everything a non-Pro would need, and more.

As for the flash, well it's an on camera strobe and those are always a problem. However, the D40 allows you to compensate for the flash.

The one thing that the Nikon's have that Canon does not is "Automatic Dynamic Range Optimization". Also known as Contrast adjustment. The D40 applies the "Zone System" to images. That sold me. OK that and being easy to carry, and use while making awesome pics.

Trade-offs? Well their are with everything you buy. If you are not a pro, this is the camera to get. If you are, get one for fun.