Monday, February 5th, 2007 by Kevin T. Gilbert
After traveling to 53 countries as a professional photographer, I decided to really live like the everyday traveler and head off on a trip to Morocco with just a Nikon D40, an 18-200 mm lens, and a 2 gig Lexar SD card.
No D2Xs’s for me on this trip. No monopods, 500mm lenses or multiple flash kits. I was to be a tourist, the typical Best Buy or Circuit City consumer who bought his first affordable digital SLR and was ready for the big show. Because I’ve used every Nikon camera made the last 15 years, I had no doubt about the image quality and durability of this new entry-level DSLR. What surprised me the most was the freedom. I found myself unencumbered. I had one camera, one versatile lens, and the ability to wait for the light and capture the emotions.
I loved it. The D40 did great, and I must admit, I love that little 18-200mm lens. The VR (vibration reduction built into the lens) overcame the shortcoming of a slower lens (no f/2.8 with this lens), but it worked wonderfully. I never felt like I couldn’t make a shot. And I never looked like a pro, which made foreign country Customs so easy – for once.
The image quality was superior, the settings simple to set up, and the responsiveness of the camera was suprisingly good. This is a camera that any pro can use on vacation, and anyone wanting to take good pictures can use anytime.
The only drawbacks are things that a pro might notice (like high-speed motor drive). Mainly in performance, but in everyday use, most people will never miss them.