Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Re: Nikon d40x vs. Canon Rebel xTi
Manually focusing is very, very easy to learn to do. Getting it right takes a bit more practice, especially for things like sports and low light. Crap I use a 1970's 35mm film camera.
The biggest problem with manual focus on something like the XTi or D40/60, etc is the small view finder and a focus screen that isn't setup for manual focus. That is one thing that bothers me so much about just about any camera these days is that the focusing screen is not designed to manual focus. I get that 99% of people autofocus 98% of the time, but damnit man some people do and it costs little in operation and in expense to have a focus screen in the camera design for manual focus.
Anyway, I digress, manual focusing is possible, but harder in something like the D40 then it is in something like the D700 or 5D, or hell D3/D3x or 1ds MkIII or 1D MkIII. The Full frame cameras and even the prosumer crop frame (40D, 50D, D300) have better view finders that use actual prisms instead of pentamirrors. So they are brighter and larger which makes manual focusing much, much easier to do accurately.
The thing I find funny is when I am shooting with/around someone and I see them playing with their autofocus points to take a shot when I simply and quickly manually focus and take the picture.