The Nikon D80 is supposed to be better than the D40. Canon rated number 1 in Consumer Reports. I chose the ony Alpha 100 over all of them, as there are a lot of Minolta lenses (used=less expensive) that are compatible with Sony Alpha. Also, the anti shake feature is built into the camera body with the Alpha, as opposed to the Nikon, which require VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses, which are more expensive. Try www.flickr.com and compare the photos taken with each type of camera to help you make your final decision. Before I retired I was a photo lab manager, and having a nice camera helps, but I've seen great shots taken with disposable cameras by a great photographer...some people just have the talent...Good Luck!