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Advice Plz: Have Nikon D40, what next?

I bought a Nikon D40 when I started photography classes in college. It was all I could afford at the time and now I'm wanting to move up to something with maybe a litle more ISO range/shutter range. I know the D40 is a base model but I really don't know what would be best to move up to? I'm looking at about a $7-900 range.

I have a side business that is just part time at the moment and I focus mainly on families and pets. I try to use as much natural light as possible and for some reason I just hate artificial light sources, if this helps any.

I appreciate any help!

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Comments
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If you like Nikon

Then look at the Nikon D90 or D5000. The choice would be dependent on your lenses that you have now(whether you want to save the extra money to buy a new lens). I'd go with the D90 just for the bigger and brighter viewfinder but that might not mean much to you. It's personal preferences.

One other thing you should think about is whether you'd be better just to spend that money on better lenses. You didn't say what lens you have, but if their just the kit lens and one other low budget lens then I'd say that you'd do better to invest in lens and worry about the body later.

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Kit lenses + 1

Sorry I didn'y mention the lenses. I do have the 2 kit lenses, which I never use. I just don't usually have a situation where I use them unless it's sunny out and I need the zoom.

I actually use a 35mm 1.8 mostly right now. I do a lot of close ups and portraits and usually get by with it. I do need to get a better lense though. I can see what you're saying with investing in better lenses. I've been looking at a 17-200 2.8 for awhile but of course, haven't had $1200 to throw down on it.

Thanks for the advice!

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Duh..

Sorry, not 17-200mm. 24-70mm 2.8

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Family, pets, close ups

I know you said you don't like external lighting and want to buy a camera with higher ISO range, using higher ISO has more negatives than using external strobes in low light portraits. If you do some indoor studio type portraits, then you really should invest the money in a set of strobes or monolights. This is better than using higher ISO range. If ISO 1600 is not enough for you, then you need external light source (unless you are doing low light action shots). I use the Alien Bees strobes which have good quality and price. Their Cyber Commander can remote control the strobes (and adjust the lighting ratios) and has built-in incident flash metering.
This photo is taken with the Alien Bees strobes with a very simple umbrella setups:
http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Knight/IMG_2187_1copy2.jpg

As for lenses, if you cannot afford the Nikkor 24-70mm, then the Sigma or Tamron 18-50mm lens is in similar range considering the crop factor on the D40 (compared to full frame).
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/518483-REG/Sigma_582_306_18_50mm_f_2_8_EX_DC.html


If you like close ups, then a macro lens sometimes can be very fun to use, and usually is good for portraits too.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/545660-USA/Nikon_2177_AF_S_Micro_Nikkor_60mm_f_2_8G.html
I have Canon and this macro lens on my 5D Mk II is similar in focal length as the Nikkor 60mm f/2.8 on the D40:
http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Spring%202010/
http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u45/hjfok/Isaac%202009/IMG_4429.jpg

A mid-range tele is also good for closeup portraits and sports:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/533556-REG/Sigma_579_306_70_200mm_f_2_8_II_EX.html

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