Nikon D40 vs D5500
The Nikon D40 and the Nikon D5500 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2006 and January 2015. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D40 has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the D5500 provides 24 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.
|Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|6 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-1600 (200-3200)||ISO 100-25600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.2" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel touchscreen|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|470 shots per battery charge||820 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g||124 x 97 x 70 mm, 420 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D40 vs D5500
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D40 and the Nikon D5500. 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.
The D5500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D40 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D5500 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Nikon D40. However, the D5500 is markedly lighter (20 percent) than the D40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40 nor the D5500 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
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.
|Nikon D40»||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||n||Nov 2006||499||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D5500«||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5600« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||16.4 oz||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||3.0 in||17.8 oz||550||n||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||n||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||n||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||n||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||n||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||n||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Samsung NX30« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.3 in||13.2 oz||360||n||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 44 percent) than the D5500, 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: Nikon D40 vs D5500
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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 D5500 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the D5500 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the 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 3.91μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the D5500 is much more recent (by 8 years and 1 month) than the D40, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D5500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Nikon D40 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 200-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D5500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D5500 offers substantially better image quality than the D40 (overall score 28 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.1 bits higher color depth, 3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.4 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.
|Nikon D40»||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D5500«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5600« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||APS-C||14.2||4608||3072||1080/24p||22.5||11.3||919||67||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D60« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.5||11.4||562||65||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.9||10.8||560||55||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||-||20.4||10.3||529||50||Nikon D70|
|Samsung NX30« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.5||12.4||1014||76||Samsung NX30|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The D5500 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the D5500 can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D40 vs D5500
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D40 and the D5500 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 D5500 has a higher magnification than the one of the D40 (0.57x 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 Nikon D40 and Nikon D5500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D40»||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D5500«||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5600« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|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 D5300« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D60« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||optical||n||2.0||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||optical||n||1.8||130||fixed||n||8000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D70|
|Samsung NX30« »||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||8000||9.0||Y||n||Samsung NX30|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The D5500 has a touchscreen, while the D40 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The D5500 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D40 does not have a selfie-screen.
The D40 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D5500 uses SDXC cards. The D5500 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: Nikon D40 vs D5500
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 Nikon D5500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D40»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Nikon D5500«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5600« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D60« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.0||-||-||-||Nikon D70|
|Samsung NX30« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Samsung NX30|
It is notable that the D5500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D40 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the D40 and the D5500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the D5500 was followed by the Nikon D5600.
Review summary: Nikon D40 vs D5500
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D40 or the Nikon D5500 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D40:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2006).
Advantages of the Nikon D5500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 100%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (28 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.1 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.53x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 102g or 20 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (820 versus 470) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D40 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D5500 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 3 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.
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 D40 and the D5500 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: Nikon D40 vs D5500
This is why expert reviews are important. 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 D40|
|Nikon D5500«||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D5600« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D3400« »||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D5300« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D3100« »||++||72/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||-||Nikon D3100|
|Nikon D3000« »||+||72/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D60« »||80/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40X« »||79/100||++||4/5||o||4/5||Mar 2007||729||-||Nikon D40X|
|Nikon D80« »||+||++||o||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D50« »||78/100||++||4/5||o||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749||-||Nikon D50|
|Nikon D70s« »||-||-||-||o||5/5||Apr 2005||899||-||Nikon D70s|
|Nikon D70« »||-||++||-||o||-||Jan 2004||999||-||Nikon D70|
|Samsung NX30« »||-||77/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||999||-||Samsung NX30|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1100D vs Nikon D3300
- Canon 1D X Mark II vs Leica M8
- Canon D30 vs Leica X-U Typ 113
- Canon T1i vs Canon 1Ds
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Leica D-LUX 7 vs Sony RX100 II
- Nikon D40 vs Nikon D7500
- Olympus E-330 vs Sony A6300
- Pentax K-1 II vs Canon 5DS
- Pentax K-1 vs Nikon D500
- Sony A7S vs Sony NEX-5T
- Sony RX10 IV vs Nikon D80
Specifications: Nikon D40 vs Nikon D5500
|Camera Model||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2006||January 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 2000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.85 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.63 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-1600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||200-3200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||56||84|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.0||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.0||14.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||561||1438|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon D40||Nikon D5500|
|Battery Type||EN-EL9 power pack||EN-EL14a power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||820 shots per charge|
124 x 94 x 64 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||522 g (18.4 oz)||420 g (14.8 oz)|
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