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Nikon D40 vs YI M1

The Nikon D40 and the YI M1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2006 and September 2016. The D40 is a DSLR, while the M1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D40) and a Four Thirds (M1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the YI provides 20.2 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 YI M1
Nikon D40 YI M1
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
6 MP, APS-C Sensor 20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 3,200) ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed touchscreen
2.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
470 shots per battery charge450 shots per battery charge
124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g 114 x 64 x 34 mm, 281 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D40 and the YI M1? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D40 and the YI M1 is provided 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.

The M1 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D40 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D40 vs YI M1
Compare D40 versus M1 top
Comparison D40 or M1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the YI M1 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Nikon D40. Moreover, the M1 is substantially lighter (46 percent) than the D40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40 nor the M1 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40) and the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog (M1). Mirrorless cameras, such as the M1, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

The power pack in the M1 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

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
 
Nikon D40 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 470 n Nov 2006 499i
 
YI M1 4.5 in 2.5 in 1.3 in 9.9 oz 450 n Sep 2016 349 i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Fujifilm X-A3 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399i
 
Nikon D3400 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon 1 J5 3.9 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 8.1 oz 250 n Apr 2015 399i
 
Nikon D3300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3100 4.9 in 3.8 in 3.0 in 17.8 oz 550 n Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D3000 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 18.9 oz 500 n Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D60 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 500 n Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D40X 4.9 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 18.4 oz 520 n Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D80 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 23.6 oz 600 n Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D50 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 21.9 oz 400 n Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 500 n Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70 5.5 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 24.0 oz 400 n Jan 2004 999i
 
Panasonic GX850 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.5 oz 210 n Jan 2017 549 i
 
Panasonic GF7 4.2 in 2.6 in 1.3 in 9.4 oz 230 n Jan 2015 499i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 M1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the D40, 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.

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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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D40 features an APS-C sensor and the YI M1 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the M1 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D40 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the M1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D40 and YI M1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the M1 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 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 3.34μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the M1 is much more recent (by 9 years and 10 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.

The resolution advantage of the YI M1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the M1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 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 YI M1 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D40 versus M1 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
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
 
YI M1 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon 1 J5 1-inch 20.7 5568 37124K/15p21.112.047965
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Nikon D70 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
 
Panasonic GX850 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p23.213.358673
 
Panasonic GF7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The M1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the M1 can use is 4K/30p.

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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D40 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the M1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D40 and YI M1 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
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
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
YI M1none n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-A3none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon 1 J5none n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 60.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Nikon D70soptical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D70optical n 1.8 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GX850none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 10.0 Y n
 
Panasonic GF7none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/500s 5.8 Y n

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D40 has one, while the M1 does not. While the built-in flash of the D40 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The YI M1 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D40 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the M1 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 YI M1 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
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
 
YI M1Ystereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Fujifilm X-A3Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon 1 J5-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70sY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D70Y-----1.0---
 
Panasonic GX850-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic GF7-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the M1 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 provide wifi capability.

The M1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of YI. In contrast, the D40 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D40 was succeeded 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 Nikon and YI websites.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon D40 better than the YI M1 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Nikon D40:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the YI M1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 79%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 4K/30p 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 (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x64mm vs 124x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 241g or 46 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 9 years and 10 months of technical progress since the D40 launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the M1 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 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. 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 03:15 M1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40 and the YI M1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D40 or the M1. 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D4081/100+ +o5/54.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
 
YI M1..69/100..2.5/5.. Sep 2016 349 i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Fujifilm X-A3..74/1004.5/5..4/5 Aug 2016 399i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon 1 J5....4.5/54/54.5/5 Apr 2015 399i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3100+ +72/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
 
Nikon D3000+72/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
 
Nikon D6080/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
 
Nikon D40X79/100+ +4/5o4/5 Mar 2007 729i
 
Nikon D80++ +o4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
 
Nikon D5078/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
 
Nikon D70s......o5/5 Apr 2005 899i
 
Nikon D70..+ +..o.. Jan 2004 999i
 
Panasonic GX850+76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2017 549 i
 
Panasonic GF7+..4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 499i
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. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D40:
Check Ebay offers
YI M1:
Check Amazon price

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 make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D40 vs YI M1

    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 YI M1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date November 2006 September 2016
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 349
    Sensor Specs Nikon D40 YI M1
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 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 YI M1
    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 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D40 YI M1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash no On-Board 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 YI M1
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D40 YI M1
    Battery Type EN-EL9 BXM-10
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge450 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    114 x 64 x 34 mm
    (4.5 x 2.5 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 522 g (18.4 oz) 281 g (9.9 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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