Before I got my Nikon D40, I was mainly using a Pentax Optio WPi point-and-shoot camera. I bought the Pentax because it’s waterproof and I figured that it would come in handy for trips to the beach and the pool. It is, indeed, waterproof but I wasn’t satisfied at all with the overall colours of the photographs that it takes. As a matter of fact, I’d much rather use my battered old Olympus μ [mju] over it because the μ’s picture quality is much better than that of the Pentax, despite being a bit underexposed when used in Auto mode.
Here are two photographs of the same simple subject — the winding stairs inside one of the rooms at Layalina Hotel in Phuket — taken with the D40 and the Pentax Optio WPi:
I took the photo on the left with the Pentax Optio WPi in April 2007. I took the photo on the right with the Nikon D40 in March 2008.
Both photos are unedited, save for resizing for the web. (Please click on the above image to see a slighty bigger version.)
The two photos show the difference in terms of colour, sharpness and focal length (a fancy term that is explained succinctly in this site) of the two cameras. More importantly, it also shows how I’ve progressed (I hope!) as a photographer within just a year. For the photo on the right, I dared to lean forward just a wee bit further in order to shoot the photo from what I felt was a better angle.
Please take note that, for the photo on the right, I was using the 18-135mm lens instead of the D40′s 18-55mm kit lens. For the photography-obsessed like me, you might want to see Mr. Ken Rockwell‘s comments on this lens. He’s not very happy with it and recommends the 18-200mm VR instead. If only the price difference is not much, I would have gone for that lens myself without a second thought! But given that the recommended retail price for the 18-135mm is RM1,328.00 vs RM3,188.00 for the 18-200mm VR, for now, I have to stay content with my 18-135mm.