Nikon D40 Comparison Review
The Nikon D40 is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was revealed to the public in November 2006 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 6 megapixel.
Is the Nikon D40 a good camera? The D40 has a Camera Elo of 1321. This rating puts the D40 below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the D40 also ranks below average. – Well, the Nikon D40 is more than 13 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2006.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|ISO 200 - 1 600 (200 - 3 200)|
|2.5 LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second|
|470 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size of the Nikon D40 vis-à-vis a credit card. 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.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon D40 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Nikon D40||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499|
|Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599|
|Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
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.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon D40 was launched in the US market at a price of $499. 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 with a 35mm slide
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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Nikon D40 features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon D40 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
For most 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the D40 does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D40 has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 95% and a magnification of 0.53x. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Nikon D40 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One convenient feature of the D40 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
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 Nikon D40 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D40. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Nikon D40||81/100||+ +||o||5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499|
|Nikon D3400||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Nikon D3200||+ +||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599|
|Nikon D3100||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|Nikon D3000||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|Nikon D40X||79/100||+ +||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|Nikon D80||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|Nikon D50||78/100||+ +||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|Nikon D70s||..||..||..||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|Panasonic L10||85/100||+||3.5/5||o||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Nikon D40 FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the D40.
What technology is the imaging sensor in the D40 based on?
The camera features a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the D40?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Nikon D40?
Nikon mentions a shutter rating of 50 000 actuations for the D40. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the D40 over, say, three years, one would have to take about 50 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Nikon D40?
Nikon embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your D40 has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Does the Nikon D40 feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The D40's flash sync speed is 1/500 sec.
Which battery does the D40 use?
The camera gets its power from the EN-EL9 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Is there a vertical grip available for the D40?
Nikon does not offer an optional battery grip, but third party suppliers do (see here on eBay).
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 100D vs Nikon D40
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Nikon D40
- Canon 750D vs Nikon D40
- Canon RP vs Nikon D40
- Canon SL2 vs Nikon D40
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Nikon D40
- Kodak AZ901 vs Nikon D40
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Nikon D40
- Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D40
- Nikon D40 vs Olympus E-P5
- Nikon D40 vs Olympus E-PL6
- Nikon D40 vs Panasonic FZ2500
|Camera Model||Nikon D40|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 499|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||370 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3 008 x 2 000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 1 600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||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|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Size||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Battery Type||EN-EL9 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge|
124 x 94 x 64 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||522 g (18.4 oz)|
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