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Canon 1100D vs Nikon D40

The Canon EOS 1100D (called Canon T3 in some regions) and the Nikon D40 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2011 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 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 6 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1100D versus Nikon D40
Canon 1100D Nikon D40
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 g 124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 1100D and the Nikon D40? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D40 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 1100D vs Nikon D40
Compare 1100D versus D40 top
Comparison 1100D 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 smaller (10 percent) than the Canon 1100D. However, the D40 is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the 1100D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1100D 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 (1100D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40).

Concerning battery life, the 1100D gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D40 can take 470 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 1100D 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Nikon D40 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
Canon 2000D 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 4000D 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 1200D 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 650D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50 4.8 in 3.4 in 4.2 in 21.0 oz 315 n Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 600D 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.1 oz 440 n Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 n Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 1000D 5.0 in 3.9 in 2.6 in 17.7 oz 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Nikon D3400 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D3300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3100 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D40X 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D50 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

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 1100D was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the D40 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (1100D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1100D and Nikon D40 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1100D offers a higher resolution of 12.2 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 5.15μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the 1100D is much more recent (by 4 years and 2 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 resolution advantage of the Canon 1100D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 1100D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D40 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 1100D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. 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.

1100D versus D40 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under review, the 1100D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the D40 (overall score 6 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, and 0.4 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.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
Canon 2000D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971
 
Canon 4000D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563
 
Canon 1200D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.217947
 
Canon 600D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.579365
 
Canon 550D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.578466
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 1100D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the 1100D can use is 720/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1100D 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 D40 has a higher magnification than the one of the 1100D (0.53x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1100D, the Nikon D40, and comparable cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon 2000Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 4000Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 1200Doptical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
 
Canon 600Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 550Doptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n

The 1100D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D40 uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 1100D and Nikon D40 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
Canon 2000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 4000DYmonomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 1200DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 600DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon 550DYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---

Both the 1100D and the D40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the 1100D was followed by the Canon 1200D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D40? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 1100D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 6MP) with a 42% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 470) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D40 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2006).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 1100D is the clear winner of the match-up (8 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

1100D 08:02 D40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 1100D and the Nikon D40 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 1100D and the D40 in practical situations. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
Canon 2000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i
 
Canon 4000Do..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
 
Canon 1200D+..4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon SX50+ +72/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Sep 2012 429i
 
Canon 600Do77/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599i
 
Canon 550D+ +77/1004/55/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699i
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Canon 1000D82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3100+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1100D:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 1100D vs Nikon D40

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 November 2006
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 561
    Screen Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    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 no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 1100D Nikon D40
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL9
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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