As a Cheap Bastard, it makes absolutely no sense that I spent $1,200 on my Canon 40D. A Cheap Bastard would’ve bought the XS/XSi or Nikon D40/D60.
But being a true Cheap Bastard is an easy way to torpedo your photographic hobby — I understood this from the very beginning. I needed a good basic camera, emphasis on basic.
However, ‘basic’ does not mean ignoring important usability and practicality issues. My good basic camera also needed to meet the following requirements:
- Solid build quality. The camera has to be rugged for outdoor photography, and that means an all-magnesium construction. No plastic shit for me.
- Good comfort and handling. *None* of the entry-level cameras are comfortable in my hands, not even the more upscale Nikon D90.
- Large bright viewfinder and LCD screen. My failing eyesight makes me appreciate the value of a bright viewfinder, and the 40D’s viewfinder impresses the heck out of me.
It turns out that these requirements cost me $1,200. Otherwise, the 40D is a fairly basic camera with a fairly basic feature set.
Also, how can I resist a bargain? I bought a 40D for not a whole lot more than the XSi. As a matter of practicality, this is vital. When you spot a bargain, you should avail yourself of it. I may never have another opportunity to buy this calibre of camera…
(And, indeed, this is true. I notice that Aden no longer sells the 40D, and shopbot.ca indicates that the cheapest deal is at Vistek for $1,449. So if any of you were thinking of getting a great camera for a song, you are now shit-out-of-luck.)
Yes, my Canon 40D is a basic camera. It’s a wonderful entry-level camera. Don’t let the $1,200 price tag fool you.