A long, long while ago I bought a Canon AE-1. It was build like a brick and survived trips to the Arctic, Himalaya and Andes. A year or two back it died and simply wasn’t worth fixing so it took residence on a shelf while I waited for the price of Digital SLRs to drop to something reasonable.

I recently replaced my 35mm Olympus Stylus Epic with a Canon A630. This is a bit bulkier than I’d like but at least it runs on AAs which for me is a lot more convenient. I’ve gotten some good pictures out of it so far but this winter’s weather has prevented a lot of mileage.

Given that I’m not a professional photographer/climber one of the key criteria for a camera is that if I to drop it or loose it the crying will only last a couple of days. Until recently DSLRs haven’t really fallen into that bracket. That’s also the reason I never bought a Contax 35mm compact – I’d drop it for sure.

Nikon finally delivered the goods with the D40. The verdict seemed to be either spend $550 on this or spend about four times as much on the D200. What was the question again? The D40 isn’t quite as solidly built as the AE-1 but then today’s cameras rarely are. It does have a more substantial feel to it than the competing Canon Rebel XT.

I’ve been impressed with the D40 so far although tweaking the default settings seems to be key to getting the most out of it or any other digital camera for that matter. The D40 is very small for a DSLR which means a lot of the cases out there are way too large. After a lot of hunting around I found the LowePro TLZ Mini to be a pretty good fit.

Where do all the digital images in the gallery come from? Good question. I’m using a Nikon Coolscan IV ED to slowly convert hundreds of slides to digital format so I can put them online.

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  1. Alpine Climbing » Blog Archive » Good glass:

    […] while back I got myself a Nikon D40. After my trip to Peru decided that a better, longer lens was in order. The stock lens that came […]