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Canon 300D vs Nikon D40

The Canon EOS 300D (called Canon Rebel in some regions) and the Nikon D40 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2003 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 6.3 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 300D   Nikon D40
Canon 300D Nikon D40
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
6.3 MP, APS-C Sensor 6 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1600 ISO 200-1600 (200-3200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD, 118k dots 2.5" LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 2.5 shutter flaps per second
400 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
142 x 99 x 72 mm, 649 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 300D 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: Canon 300D vs Nikon D40

The physical size and weight of the Canon 300D and the Nikon D40 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 300D vs Nikon D40
Compare 300D versus D40 top
Comparison 300D 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 (17 percent) than the Canon 300D. Moreover, the D40 is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the 300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 300D 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 (300D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40).

Concerning battery life, the 300D gets 400 shots out of its BP-511 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 300D» 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 n Aug 2003 899- i Canon 300D
 
Nikon D40« 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 4.6 in 2.9 in 2.6 in 19.5 oz 240 n Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 n Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« » 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« » 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 n Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D« » 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.8 in 27.2 oz 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » 5.9 in 4.2 in 3.0 in 30.0 oz 500 n Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
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
 
Nikon D70« » 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D40 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the 300D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 300D vs Nikon D40

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 8 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 300D and Nikon D40 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 300D offers a higher resolution of 6.3 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 7.38μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). Moreover, it should be noted that the D40 is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the 300D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The Canon EOS 300D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. 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.

300D 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"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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 300D» APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.010.854455Canon 300D
 
Nikon D40« APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-21.011.056156Nikon D40
 
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« » 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« » APS-C 8.0 3456 2304-21.810.863760Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« » APS-C 6.3 3072 2048-21.110.957157Canon 10D
 
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
 
Nikon D70« » APS-C 6.0 3008 2000-20.410.352950Nikon D70
Neither the 300D nor the D40 offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.
 

Feature comparison: Canon 300D vs Nikon D40

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 300D 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 300D has a higher magnification than the one of the D40 (0.55x vs 0.53x), 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 300D, the Nikon D40, and comparable cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Canon 300D»optical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Canon 300D
 
Nikon D40«optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D40
 
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »optical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 10D
 
Nikon D3400« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Nikon D3100« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D3100
 
Nikon D40X« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D40X
 
Nikon D50« »optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Nikon D50
 
Nikon D70« »optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n Nikon D70

The 300D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D40 uses SDHC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 300D 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 300D 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 300D»Y-----1.1---Canon 300D
 
Nikon D40«Y-----2.0---Nikon D40
 
Canon 77D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYCanon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 10D
 
Nikon D3400« »Ymonomono--mini2.0--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
 
Nikon D70« »Y-----1.0---Nikon D70

Both the 300D and the D40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 300D was replaced by the Canon 350D, while the D40 was followed by the Nikon D40X. 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: Canon 300D vs Nikon D40

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 300D or the Nikon D40 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 300D:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.55x vs 0.53x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2003).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D40:

  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 118k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x94mm vs 142x99mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 127g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (470 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the 300D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D40 is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

300D 02:08 D40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 300D 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 300D or the D40 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Canon 300D vs Nikon D40

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

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 300D»-+ +-o- Aug 2003 899- i Canon 300D
 
Nikon D40«81/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499- i Nikon D40
 
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
 
Canon G1 X Mark II« »+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799 i i Canon G1 X Mark II
 
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
 
Canon 650D« »+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849- i Canon 650D
 
Canon G1 X« »+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i Canon G1 X
 
Canon 400D« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 350D« »80/100+ +oo- Feb 2005 899- i Canon 350D
 
Canon 20D« »-+ +-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Canon 10D« »-+ +-o- Feb 2003 1,999- i Canon 10D
 
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
 
Nikon D70« »-+ +-o- Jan 2004 999- i Nikon D70
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 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 300D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D40:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Canon 300D 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 300D Nikon D40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2003 November 2006
    Launch Price USD 899 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon 300D Nikon D40
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.7 x 15.1 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 342.77 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.3 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6.3 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3072 x 2048 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.38 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 1.84 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 200-1600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200-3200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 55 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 544 561
    Screen Specs Canon 300D Nikon D40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.55x 0.53x
    Rear LCD Size 1.8 inch 2.5 inch
    LCD Resolution 118k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 300D Nikon D40
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 300D Nikon D40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 1.1 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 300D Nikon D40
    Battery Type BP-511 power pack EN-EL9 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)400 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 142 x 99 x 72 mm
    (5.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 649 g (22.9 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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