October 17, 2007 by Allen George
Henry’s is the largest photography chain in the GTA, making it a convenient venue to test drive various lenses and cameras. High prices excepted, I’ve found the biggest turn-off to be the sales staff’s spotty quality; in many locations I’ve visited I’ve received poor – often wildly incorrect – information about Nikon equipment.
This was evident last weekend when, struck by a bout of “What the hell, why not?“, I drove to the Brampton store to test the Nikon D40 and Nikon D40x. The sales girl helping me, though friendly, was woefully ignorant, throwing out prize vignettes including “The biggest problem with the D40 is that it’s only compatible with DX lenses” (very, very wrong) and “The only difference between the D40 and D40x is the number of megapixels” (again wrong). It was obvious she’d spent little time using the cameras given her surprise when I, after a minute of experimenting, pointed out the noticeable difference in shutter sound, mirror slap and weight. My questions on turning the LCD off and changing the command dial behavior were sheepishly deferred, which was extremely disappointing given her Nikon-oriented status there.
If only this were an aberration. Outside the downtown Toronto location I’ve had a similarly poor experience with Henry’s sales staff. Many know little about the cameras they’re selling; some, in their ignorance, state glaring falsehoods as fact. In the past I’d have shown my impatience, but now having seen too much of it I only smile and nod – which on that day netted me a ticket to the Henry’s Photographic and Digital Imaging Show. There, I got to try the D300 and D3 – beautiful cameras both; I was especially taken with the D300.
As to the D40 – it was a reluctant disappointment. I was evaluating it as a digital street photography body, lighter and less obtrusive than my D70. On paper it looked ideal, with a petite form, soft shutter, well-damped mirror, high-quality JPEGs and high ISO output; unfortunately, while testing it annoyances quickly surfaced. It came so close to being the digital OM for serious photographers – but in the end we weren’t Nikon’s target audience.