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Canon D30 vs Nikon D40

The Canon EOS-D30 and the Nikon D40 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2000 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 3.1 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 D30
versus
Nikon D40
Canon D30   Nikon D40
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
3.1 MP – APS-C sensor 6 MP – APS-C sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8" LCD – 114k 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
540 shots per battery charge470 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g 124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D30 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon D30 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.

Size Canon D30 vs Nikon D40
Compare D30 versus D40 top
Comparison D30 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 (27 percent) than the Canon D30. Moreover, the D40 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the D30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D30 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 (D30) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40).

Concerning battery life, the D30 gets 540 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon D30 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 750 g 540 n May 2000 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 n Feb 2018 449 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SL2 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T7i 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 n Feb 2017 749ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
11.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899ebay.com
12.
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the D30, 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.

Sensor comparison

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 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 13 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (D30) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon D30 and Nikon D40 sensor measures

With 6MP, the D40 offers a higher resolution than the D30 (3.1MP), but the D40 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 7.85μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). Yet, the D40 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 6 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D40 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D40 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inches or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inches or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inches or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS-D30 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.

In terms of underlying technology, the D30 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the D40 uses a CCD imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D30 versus D40 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........
2.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
3.
 
Canon T7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p23.813.3168481
4.
 
Canon SL2 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon T7i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.713.1158680
6.
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
7.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
8.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
9.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
10.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
11.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
12.
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none20.39.830147
13.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
14.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
15.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
16.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
17.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.
Neither the D30 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D30 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 D30 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon D30 and Nikon D40 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon D30optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
3.
 
Canon T7optical n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon SL2optical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon T7ioptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
6.
 
Canon 80Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0/s Y n
7.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5/s Y n
8.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n1.8 / 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
12.
 
Canon D60optical Y1.8 / 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
17.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One feature that is present on the D30, but is missing on the D40 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The D30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash 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-D30 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon D30Y- / ----1.0---
2.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T7Ymono / mono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SL2Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon T7iYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon 80DYstereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
7.
 
Canon 40DY- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Canon 30DY- / ----2.0---
9.
 
Canon 20DY- / ----1.1---
10.
 
Canon 10DY- / ----1.1---
11.
 
Canon RebelY- / ----1.1---
12.
 
Canon D60Y- / ----1.1---
13.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
14.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D30 (unlike the D40) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D30 and the D40 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, 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

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon D30 and the Nikon D40? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-D30:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.54x vs 0.53x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (540 versus 470) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D40:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (6 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 39%.
  • 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 114k dots).
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x94mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 228g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D40 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 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. 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.

D30 06:08 D40

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D30 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D30 and the D40 in practical situations. 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

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon D30......+ +.... May 2000 2,999ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon T7..o....3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 449 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon SL24/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon T7i4.5/5..3.5/580/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 749ebay.com
6.
 
Canon 80D4/5+ +4.5/584/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199ebay.com
7.
 
Canon 40D..+ +..+ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299ebay.com
8.
 
Canon 30D..+ +..+ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399ebay.com
9.
 
Canon 20D......+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499ebay.com
10.
 
Canon 10D......+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999ebay.com
11.
 
Canon Rebel......+ +.... Aug 2003 899ebay.com
12.
 
Canon D60......+ +o.. Feb 2002 2,999ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
16.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
17.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

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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 D30 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 D30 Nikon D40
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2000 November 2006
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon D30 Nikon D40
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.9 mm 23.7 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 327.8 mm2 369.72 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.6 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 3.1 Megapixels 6 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels 3008 x 2000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 10.29 μm 7.85 μm
    Pixel Density 0.95 MP/cm2 1.63 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 200 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 200 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 56
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 11.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 561
    Screen Specs Canon D30 Nikon D40
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D30 Nikon D40
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 2.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon D30 Nikon D40
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon D30 Nikon D40
    Battery Type BP-511 EN-EL9
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge470 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 750 g (26.5 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)
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