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Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

The Canon EOS 100D (called Canon SL1 in some regions) and the Nikon D40 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2013 and November 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 100D   Nikon D40
Canon 100D Nikon D40
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-12800 (100-25600) ISO 200-1600 (200-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 1040k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed touchscreen Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
4.9 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
380 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
117 x 91 x 69 mm, 407 g 124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g

Body comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 100D and the Nikon D40. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The 100D can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the D40 is only available in black.

Compare Canon 100D and Nikon D40
Compare 100D versus D40 top
Compare 100D or D40 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D40 is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon 100D. Moreover, the D40 is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the 100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 100D nor the D40 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (100D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40).

Concerning battery life, the 100D gets 380 shots out of its LP-E12 battery, while the D40 can take 470 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 100D» 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Nikon D40« 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
 
Canon 7D II« » 5.9 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 32.1 oz 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon G16« » 4.3 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.6 oz 360 n Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon M« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 230 n Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon 600D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Nikon D3400« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« » 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« » 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« » 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D40 was somewhat cheaper (by 9 percent) than the 100D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D40 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 100D and Nikon D40 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 100D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the Nikon D40. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the 100D is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the D40, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The 100D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.

The Canon EOS 100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D40 are ISO 200 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 200-3200..

100D versus D40 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. Of the two cameras under review, the 100D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D40 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.8 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 100D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
 
Nikon D40« APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
 
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
 
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon G16« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054Canon G16
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon M« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.282765Canon M
 
Canon 600D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365Canon 600D
 
Nikon D3400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« » APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« » APS-C 10.0 3872 2592-22.411.451663Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.910.856055Nikon D50
 
Panasonic G6« » Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the 100D can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 100D and the D40 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 100D has a higher magnification than the one of the D40 (0.54x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 100D and Nikon D40 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 100D»optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
 
Nikon D40«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
 
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
 
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 8000 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon G16« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.2 Y Y Canon G16
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon M« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.3 n n Canon M
 
Canon 600D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 4000 3.7 Y n Canon 600D
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 4000 2.5 Y n Nikon D50
 
Panasonic G6« »1440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 4000 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 100D has a touchscreen, while the D40 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The 100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D40 uses SDHC cards. The 100D supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while D40 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 100D and Nikon D40 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 100D»YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 100D
 
Nikon D40«Y-----2.0---Nikon D40
 
Canon 4000D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-Canon 4000D
 
Canon 200D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 200D
 
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 1200D« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon G16« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Canon G16
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon M« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon M
 
Canon 600D« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 600D
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0Y-YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D50
 
Panasonic G6« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6

Both the 100D and the D40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the 100D was followed by the Canon 200D.


Review summary: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 100D or the Nikon D40 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 100D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 6MP) with a 72% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
  • Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4.9 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 115g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D40 launch.

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Advantages of the Nikon D40:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 380) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 100D is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 2 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

100D 13:02 D40

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 100D or the D40. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 100D»+78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
 
Nikon D40«81/100++o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Canon 4000D« »o-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
 
Canon 200D« »++78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 1200D« »+-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon G16« »+-4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549 i i Canon G16
 
Canon 650D« »++77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon M« »+-4/53.5/54/5 Jul 2012 599- i Canon M
 
Canon 600D« »o77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599- i Canon 600D
 
Nikon D3400« »+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499- i Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »++72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599- i Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« »79/100++4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729- i Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »78/100++4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749- i Nikon D50
 
Panasonic G6« »++-5/5-4.5/5 Apr 2013 599- i Panasonic G6
Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 100D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D40:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 100D vs Nikon D40

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 100D Nikon D40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date March 2013 November 2006
    Launch Price USD 549 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 100D Nikon D40
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 17.9 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3456 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.31 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 5.39 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-12800 ISO 200-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-25600 ISO 200-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 843 561
    Screen Specs Canon 100D Nikon D40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 1040k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Canon 100D Nikon D40
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 4.9 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 100D Nikon D40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 100D Nikon D40
    Battery Type LP-E12 power pack EN-EL9 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)380 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 117 x 91 x 69 mm
    (4.6 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 407 g (14.4 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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