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Nikon D40 vs L840

The Nikon D40 and the Nikon Coolpix L840 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2006 and February 2015. The D40 is a DSLR, while the L840 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D40) and a 1/2.3-inch (L840) sensor. The D40 has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the L840 provides 15.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D40 versus Nikon L840
Nikon D40 Nikon L840
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 3,200) ISO 100-6,400
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 7.4 shutter flaps per second
470 shots per battery charge590 shots per battery charge
124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g 113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D40 and the Nikon Coolpix L840? 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 Nikon D40 and the Nikon L840. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D40 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D40 vs Nikon L840
Compare D40 versus L840 top
Comparison D40 or L840 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon L840 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Nikon D40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40 nor the L840 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the L840 has a lens built in, whereas the D40 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D40 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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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.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
2.
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
3.
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
6.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
7.
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
9.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
10.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599i
11.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
12.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
13.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
14.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
15.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D70 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 400 n Jan 2004 999i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 L840 was launched at a lower price than the D40, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D40 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon L840 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the L840 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D40 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L840 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D40 and Nikon L840 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the L840 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 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 1.33μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the L840 is much more recent (by 8 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the L840 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon L840 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L840 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 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 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 Coolpix L840 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).

D40 versus L840 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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
1.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
2.
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
3.
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
4.
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
5.
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
6.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
7.
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
8.
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
9.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
10.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
11.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
12.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
13.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
14.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
15.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
16.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
17.
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The L840 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the L840 can use is 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D40 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D40, the Nikon L840, 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
1.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
2.
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
3.
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
4.
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
5.
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
6.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
8.
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
9.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n

The D40 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the L840 uses SDXC cards.

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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 Nikon D40 and Nikon Coolpix L840 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
1.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
3.
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
6.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
7.
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
8.
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
9.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---

It is notable that the D40 has a hotshoe, while the L840 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the D40 and the L840 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the L840 was followed by the Nikon B500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D40 better than the Nikon L840 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2006).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix L840:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 59%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D40 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 124x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (590 versus 470) out of a single battery charge.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 8 years and 2 months of technical progress since the D40 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the L840 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 9 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 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.

D40 09:15 L840

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40 and the Nikon L840 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D40 or the L840. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
2.
 
Nikon L840..+ +..3.5/54/5 Feb 2015 299i
3.
 
Canon SX530..+ +..4/54/5 Jan 2015 429i
4.
 
Canon SX603/5+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
5.
 
Nikon B600..+..3.5/53/5 Jan 2019 349 i
6.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
7.
 
Nikon B500..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
8.
 
Nikon P900....77/1004/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
9.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
10.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
11.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
12.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
13.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
14.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
15.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
16.
 
Nikon D70s........5/5 Apr 2005 899i
17.
 
Nikon D70....+ +.... Jan 2004 999i
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 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.

Nikon D40:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, 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: Nikon D40 vs Nikon L840

    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 Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5
    Launch Date November 2006 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 299
    Sensor Specs Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 56 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 561 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D40 Nikon L840
    Battery Type EN-EL9 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge590 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    113 x 78 x 96 mm
    (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
    Camera Weight 522 g (18.4 oz) 538 g (19.0 oz)

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