Nikon D40 (with 18-55mm lens)
Manufacturer: Nikon Inc. Part number: 25420
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as of 04/16/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $690.00
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 11/22/2006
- Released on: 12/01/2006
The good: Excellent feel and compact size; very customizable menu architecture; nice guidance for dSLR newbies; excellent noise characteristics for high-ISO shots.
The bad: Slow kit lens; occasionally slow to focus; only 6 megapixels; raw editing software costs extra; control scheme can be awkward; no automatic sensor cleaning.
The bottom line: The Nikon D40 is a great transition camera for going from point-and-shoot to your first dSLR.
Only 6 megapixels?
by rieramr on December 10, 2006
Pros: Great image quality, nice size, fast and friendly to use. Perfect entry level dslr.
Cons: Get better glass...kit lens is cheap.
Summary: I recently purchased my D40 as a backup and I must say the image quality is tremendous. You will be able to do beautiful A4, A3 enlargements. I recently got ...
Summary: I recently purchased my D40 as a backup and I must say the image quality is tremendous. You will be able to do beautiful A4, A3 enlargements. I recently got back a poster sized print of the George Washington Bridge- Awesome! I don't understand why CNET's Lori Grunin has the D40's 6 megapixel as a Cons.
CNET, please stop propagating the more pixels yields better images message. “Only 6 megapixels?” What we need are larger, better quality pixels, not a larger pixel count. If you are doing larger than poster sized prints then maybe look at the Nikon d200 with 10 megapixels. In fact more pixels frequently deteriorates the image quality because it creates more image noise. It also takes up more memory and drive space. If you want top notch images, save your money and buy the best lens you can afford. That should be CNET and reviewer Lori Grunin’s message…not that more is better. You should be applauding Nikon for not following the marketing trend of just adding more pixels to sell products to the average, uninformed consumer who gauges image quality purely on the number of pixels. Shame on CNET for not properly educating your readers.
120 out of 120 users found this user opinion helpful.
by tank2000 on November 27, 2006
Pros: Small, lightweight, easy to understand menus
Cons: No autofocus with older, non-AF-S lenses
Summary: As usual, CNET makes factual errors in their DSLR reviews.
If I understand the review correctly, according to the reviewer, certain settings are only accessible by going through the menus ...
Summary: As usual, CNET makes factual errors in their DSLR reviews.
If I understand the review correctly, according to the reviewer, certain settings are only accessible by going through the menus and using the four-way button set. This is certainly true enough, BUT in the next sentence, she gives an example:
"For instance, in aperture-priority mode, you can change the aperture only via the command dial; to change the shutter speed, you must go through the aforementioned process."
I take the "aforementioned process" to mean going through the menus.
Alright. There are several things wrong with the example:
1) The point of aperture-priority mode is to allow the user to change only the aperture and leave the camera to choose the shutter speed for you. No camera on the market (not even professional DSLRs) allows you to change shutter speeds in Aperture Priority mode. If you want to change shutter speeds, then you will need to go into Shutter priority mode, or Manual mode. There is an EXCEPTION, however:
2) If the user nevertheless wants to change shutter speeds in Aperture Priority mode (for example to second guess the camera's metering) then there is an Exposure Compensation button (labelled "+/-") just behind the shutter button which allows you to do so. Holding down this button and rotating the command dial in A.Priority mode will indeed vary the shutter speeds. There is no need to go into the menus to do so. In fact, when in Shutter Priority mode, the same Exposure Compensation button will allow the user to vary aperture settings.
3) In fact, the points above are the same for any camera, even a Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) or a Nikon D200.
29 out of 33 users found this user opinion helpful.
A wonderful camera...You will not be dissapointed!
by RiCEADDiCTBOY on December 2, 2006
Pros: A Top Notch Camera. SUPERB IMAGE QUALITY!
Cons: Top LCD Removed and Battery Life Questionable...mmm not much else really.
Summary: I just recently purchashed a Nikon D40. I am tremendously excited about my new camera. I was looking at the D50, D80, and several other Canon cameras. The Canon cameras ...
Summary: I just recently purchashed a Nikon D40. I am tremendously excited about my new camera. I was looking at the D50, D80, and several other Canon cameras. The Canon cameras just felt horrid in my hands. I know these days people are split between Canons and Nikons but, I simply cannot substitute comfort.
I used to work as a graphic designer before joining the Air Force and I knew what I was looking for. The added reason for myself purcashing a new camera was due to a future addition to our family - my soon to be born baby boy. I wanted a camera where I could capture many of his early life moments with great image clarity. When I really compared (I researched over 30 websites...I found that the D80 really wasn't something I needed...at this moment. The D40 when compared to the D50...really does outshine in several departments. The compromises with the D40 really doesn't hurt me at all. The chief complaint most have from what I've seen is the inability to use non-AF-S/I lenses. I don't have ANY lenses. So I will not be losing any money there by going with the newer D40.
I took several test photos already...and the images are CRYSTAL clear...even when zoomed up completely. This camera was well worth my money.
20 out of 20 users found this user opinion helpful.
So easy to use right out of the box!
by BolinasGirl on January 4, 2007
Pros: Lightweight, great picture quality, easy for 1st time SLR user
Cons: Have to press face up against LCD screen to use viewfinder
Summary: This is my 1st digital SLR. I was totally torn between the Canon Digital Rebel XT and the Nikon D40, and went with this one because of the outstanding user ...
Summary: This is my 1st digital SLR. I was totally torn between the Canon Digital Rebel XT and the Nikon D40, and went with this one because of the outstanding user reviews and because it felt much more comfortable to grip in my hand.
I've had this camera for 24 hours now and can say that you don't need to read the manual before you start taking pictures using their preset auto modes. I can't wait to get fully into what this thing can do once I master the manual controls. I took several shots using my point and shoot on auto settings, then shot the same subject (still life, same lighting) using this thing, and the pictures really are worlds apart. Best part about this (and other SLRs), and the #1 reason I switched from a high end point and shoot- NO SHUTTER LAG. Even using autofocus this thing just goes!
IMHO, you can't blow anything up to the size I want (huge) and expect to retain crispness unless you use an 8 x 10 large format film camera, so this 6 megapixel camera is perfect for anyone looking for a take everywhere camera that (supposedly) holds up to 8 x 10 enlargements.
13 out of 13 users found this user opinion helpful.
Cheap and goodd, excellent quality
by robinchee on December 16, 2006
Pros: Feather light, low noise at high ISO, fast shutter response
Cons: Its not a D200, but then I don't need a D200
Summary: I had a Nikon D70 and Fujifilm S2Pro. I recently sold the Fujifilm S2Pro as it was getting old and I did not want to wait for it to breakdown ...
Summary: I had a Nikon D70 and Fujifilm S2Pro. I recently sold the Fujifilm S2Pro as it was getting old and I did not want to wait for it to breakdown and end up with a big paper weight.
I kept the D70 for a while as it was newer. However, I grew increasingly frustrated with the noise levels of the D70, which seemed apparent even at ISO 640 with proper exposure. The Fujifilm S2Pro had no such issue.
When the D40 was announced, I tried it out twice in the shop and read the reviews and I was sold!
It was really light which is important for me as I have a bad back and can't carry a heavy camera for long periods. The kit lens (18-55) is equally light, much lighter than a 18-70 or 18-200VR which I also own.
Shutter response seems very fast with very little blackout. In fact reports from Imaging Resource indicate that the D40 (0.098s) even faster than the D70 (0.124) and Fujifilm (0.160). Perfect for the dance and people photography that I take.
The 3 point autofocus was not an issue for me as I don't trust these multi point focus things. I always use the centre point only and prefocus and shift. Focus seems fast and accurate.
The noise levels at ISO 800 and 1600 are really low and perhaps even a tad better than the Fujifilm. Colors, sharpness and exposure seem right on.
I used to dread carry around my heavy SLRs, now with the D40, its fun time again! Highly recommended for those who don't need to use non AFS lenses.
12 out of 12 users found this user opinion helpful.
by photo_marek on January 2, 2007
Pros: light and compact, good ergonomics, quality feel, good pictures, low price
Cons: autofocus does not work with some older lenses
Summary: The review of Lori Grunin is a disappointment. This is a review of a salesman, not a photographer, most likely a salesman of a different brand (e.g. Canon). I ...
Summary: The review of Lori Grunin is a disappointment. This is a review of a salesman, not a photographer, most likely a salesman of a different brand (e.g. Canon). I doubt Lori Grunin takes any pictures herself.
"only 6 megapixel" -- It is enough for an entry level camera. I have D200 with 10 megapixels and D40 with 6 megapixel, and I take most pictures with D40 now.
"slow kit lens" -- for the price of the camera ($570) it is an EXCELLENT lens. Canon's expensive cameras (over $1200) includes a worst lens kit than D40.
"no automatic sensor cleaning" -- none of the professional dSLR includes automatic sensor cleaning. Only few of the cheap dSLR includes it, just as a sales point.
"control scheme ban be awkward" - D40 has EXCELLENT (for the price and size) ergonomics, menus and controls. I do not know what she means by that.
"occasionally slow focus" -- I have not seen that. It has only three focus points, but that is a PRO for an entry level simple camera.
Again, the reviewer is most likely a salesman of a different brand.
I give it 10 point since I think it is an excellent camera for the prize.Updated
The biggest CONS is that the autofocus does not work on lenses with the older type of autofocus (non AF-S). That will exclude many of third part lenses (Tokina, Sigma, Tamron, etc.) often used by entry level users. Personally, I have Tamron Macro 90/2.8. The autofocus on that lens does not work with D40 (it works with D200). It is not a big deal with that particular lens since when doing macro pictures, I set focus manually anyway.
11 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great for beginners who want professional looking photos!
by sccrallstar on June 15, 2007
Pros: Takes great photos. Great at night. Great flash. Fast! 2.9fps! No flash priority; neat option. Small light and compact for a quality DSLR. Great price.
Cons: Only 3 fields for auto focus. Limited number of mega pixels.
Summary: This is a great camera. I took it over spring break to France and Spain. I kept it on auto or the auto with no flash option. The photos were ...
Summary: This is a great camera. I took it over spring break to France and Spain. I kept it on auto or the auto with no flash option. The photos were phenomenal. The day photos, night photos, everything is vibrant with accurate colors. I swear by auto, its perfect for 98% of your shots!
Don't let the number of mega pixels worry you too much. You get what you pay for, if you want more mega pixels, buy the d40x. Unless you're going to make prints greater than 8x10 or if you like to severely crop, 6.1 MP is plenty. The quality of the camera has much less to do with MPs than many hype it to be. If you really want more, you can spend $400 for a 10 MP model.
Bottom line: If you want to take the most amazing photos, have never owned a DSLR, and only make 8x10s or smaller, this is the camera for you!
10 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
D40 is perfect for the begining SLR user
by Nickypix on December 11, 2006
Pros: Easy interface, Outstanding Image Quality, Great Battery Life
Cons: AF-S Lens limitations, Poor Image Software
Summary: I purchased this camera last week and have shot already 400+ pics over the weekend. I am very happy with the quality and ease of use for the D40. It ...
Summary: I purchased this camera last week and have shot already 400+ pics over the weekend. I am very happy with the quality and ease of use for the D40. It does have a nice professional feel to the camera without being too big. The image quality is outstanding and the camera is very easy to use. With all of the pictures I shot I still have great battery life left! I have already found myself tinkering with the P and A settings, although there is really no need. The image software that comes with the kit is useless. You would do better with picasa or any other web service. I wish the software had RAW data capability, but you have to pay extra for that. It is a fun camera that offers a ton of possibilities. I purchased a 55mm-200mm AF-S lens on eBay last night for $150, so I am looking forward to seeing how that works out. Overall an excellent choice.
10 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Finally, A Shooting-Priority Camera That's Affordable!
by greenlantern_oa on May 22, 2007
Pros: Excellent Image Quality - any mode, any setting, any ISO! Very easy to use, even right out of the box.
Cons: "Auto" is so good you just might never experiment with all that the camera is capable of. (For some, that's not really a bad thing.)
Summary: I purchased the D40 in February and have been absolutely floored by its outstanding performance. In my spare time I teach photography classes at a local camera store and have ...
Summary: I purchased the D40 in February and have been absolutely floored by its outstanding performance. In my spare time I teach photography classes at a local camera store and have had the opportunity to get a lot of hands testing with all the sub $1000 DSLRs. After reading dozens of others reviews on all the cameras as well as actually shooting and doing test prints on my own, I chose the D40.
I disagree with CNET's reviewer, Lori Grunin, with regards to the speed of the auto focus system of the D40. To date I've taken 3617 shots with my D40 and haven't missed a shot. The excellent speed of the auto focus system showed its strength when I was taking shot after shot of my 3 kids at some local Easter egg hunts this spring. The focus system is both quick and quiet and incredibly accurate. I initially thought that 3 AF points might be a drawback, but it's not. I point the camera, focus, recompose if necessary, and take a great picture. (And I haven't had to adjust any settings to do so.)
Probably one the most important capabilities of the camera is its ability to shoot at high ISOs and get usable large prints. I shoot almost as much indoors as I do outdoors, and even with my SB-400 flash, which is the phenomenal by the way, I still need to bump the ISO up to 400 or 800 sometimes. With the D40 my shots look great & grain/noise free. I couldn't get great lower light/high ISO shots that I took when I was considering the Canon & Sony DSLRs.
The absolute best thing about this camera is that you don't have to screw around with settings, and picture styles, and metering options, and dynamic range optimizers and focus modes, and ...all the other stuff you will if you by a D80/XTi/A100/K10D/K100D. As Ken Rockwell says, and credit goes to him - because he said it first, "The camera gets out of the way and lets you take great photos". As a photography instructor, I believe the less time you spend adjusting settings and the more time you spend working on your composition, the better your photos will look.
Those of you deciding between a D40 and a D40x, it's a tough call. I like the D40's 1/500 sec flash sync, I use the SB-400 when I shoot people outdoors, it kills shadows and the fast flash sync allows me to have a shallow depth of field w/o the need for ND filters. If you're trying to decide between the Canon XTi and the D40 (as I have), I actually think the choice become an easier one to make. I choose the D40 over the XTi for the following reasons:
1. Lower ISO noise at all ISOs.
2. Faster flash sync.
3. Auto focus assist light is on the body.
4. Easier to read menus on the LCD.
5. Longer battery life. I get about 700 shots a charge; I don't use my pop up flash, but extensively review my photos when I'm not shooting.
6. Better handgrip. Dear Canon, Change your hand-cramping hand grip.
7. Better/More Accurate Metering System. I like the exposures of the D40 better.
8. Spot Metering Ability, and this I do use quite a bit.
9. It has the Image Retouch Options from the D80; these are both fun and useful.
10. Excellent low cost accessories. I loved the SB-400 flash (paid $130) from the first time I shot it. I also recently picked up the Nikon AF-S VR 55-200mm zoom lens. I paid $250 for it and it takes tack-sharp photos!
The Nikon D40 is a fantastic shooting camera, that products extremely well exposed, sharp pictures. I love it, I know you will too.
9 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Excellant DSLR - One of the best
by sabbasaun on January 6, 2007
Pros: Great AUTO settings w/plenty of manual controls & has many of the D80 features
Cons: As an "entry" level dSLR and even compared to higher priced dSLRs the D40 has no real cons although it does overexpose slighty which is easily compesated for.
Summary: This has fast become my favorite camera out of my other two and more expensive dSLRs (Canon XT and Nikon D80). It's ease of use and great ergonomics (I ...
Summary: This has fast become my favorite camera out of my other two and more expensive dSLRs (Canon XT and Nikon D80). It's ease of use and great ergonomics (I have lenses that weigh more!) make it a natural fit in my hands. For those of you making the switch from a Point & Shoot you will not be disappointed. The AUTO settings on this camera make taking great pictures a real snap (pun intended). As many of other reviewers have mentioned 6 megapixels is more than most will need and because the D40 Kit lens is so good you will NOT notice any difference between a higher megapixel camera even on larger prints of 8x10 and higher. Also as some have wrongly stated, this is not a downgraded version of the D50 although you do lose some "features" like the an internal focusing motor for non-motorized lenses. This is NOT A BIG DEAL! You can still use your older lenses you'll just have to manually focus.
-SAME image processing engine as on the D80
-SAME large & bright 2.5" LCD as D80
-SAME bright viewfinder as on D80
-SAME image sensor as on D50/D70/D70S
For a MSRP of only $599 this camera will give you many of the same features of its bigger brother the D80 but you won't break the bank.
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Nikon Inc.
- Part number: 25420
- Description: The D40 is a compact and lightweight high-performance camera that makes it possible for anyone to create stunning images with an SLR. Designed specifically for ease of use, the D40 lets you use the kind of digital and optical technologies that professionals use without the need to deal with complex functions. Whatever you shoot there is an automated Digital Vari Program that lets you achieve fantastic results in any situation. Help menus are easy to navigate and the in-camera retouch menu makes it simple to edit and enhance your images on the large, bright 2.5-inch LCD monitor. Perfect for people who want an affordable camera to explore what it is that makes SLR photography stand out, the D40 is so user-friendly that all you have to do is concentrate on the scene you want to photograph and the camera's advanced Nikon technologies will take care of the rest.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Digital camera - SLR
- Enclosure Color Black
- Resolution 6.1 megapixels
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Total Pixels 6,240,000 pixels
- Effective Sensor Resolution 6,100,000 pixels
- Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.7mm
- Field of View Crop Factor 1.5
- Optical Zoom 3 x
- Auto Focus TTL phase detection
- Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 3
- Image Recording Format JPEG,
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
Exposure & White Balance
- Light Sensitivity ISO 200-1600
- Exposure Metering 3D color matrix II,
- Exposure Metering Zones 420
- Exposure Modes Program,
I-TTL program flash,
- Shooting Programs Sports mode,
- Special Effects Warm Filter,
Black & White,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Sunlight,
- Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec
- Min Shutter Speed 30 sec
- Exposure Compensation ±5 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
- X-sync Speed 1/500 sec
- Exposure Range EV 0-20 ( ISO 100 )
- Type 3 x x Zoom lens - 18 mm - 55 mm - F/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 27 - 82.5 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Min Focus Range 11 in
- Zoom Adjustment Manual
- Lens Construction 5 groups / 7 elements
- Filter Size 52 mm
- Lens System Mounting Nikon F
- Features Aspherical lens,
Silent Wave Motor (SWM),
- Camera Flash Pop-up flash
- Guide Number (m / ISO 100) 17
- Flash Modes Rear curtain sync,
Flash OFF mode,
- Features Flash +/- compensation,
- Continuous Shooting Speed 2.5 frames per second
- Self Timer Delay 2 sec,
- Flash Terminal Hot shoe
- Additional Features Display brightness control,
In-camera red-eye fix,
Cropping an image,
Text input to Exif header,
Auto power save,
Digital noise reduction,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Viewfinder Type Optical - Eye-level penta-dach mirror
- Field Coverage 95%
- Magnification 0.8x
- Dioptric Correction Range -1.7 to +0.5
- Viewfinder Frames Autofocus frame
- Viewfinder Information Exposure compensation,
Flash charge completion,
- Type 2.5 in LCD display
- Display Features Built-in
- Connector Type 1 x USB,
1 x Composite video output
- Software Nikon PictureProject,
Drivers & Utilities
- Microsoft Certifications Certified for Windows Vista
- Included Accessories Battery charger,
- Supported Battery Nikon EN-EL9
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
Memory / Storage
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SDHC Memory Card,
SD Memory Card
- Image Storage RAW 3008 x 2000 : 65 VA - With 512MB card,
Fine JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 137 VA - With 512MB card,
Normal JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 260 VA - With 512MB card,
Basic JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 503 VA - With 512MB card,
Fine JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 235 VA - With 512MB card,
Normal JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 444 VA - With 512MB card,
Basic JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 839 VA - With 512MB card,
Fine JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 503 VA - With 512MB card,
Normal JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 839 VA - With 512MB card,
Basic JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 1200 VA - With 512MB card
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 5 in
- Depth 2.5 in
- Height 3.7 in
- Weight 16.8 oz
CNET Labs' Benchmarks
- Labs information All values are expressed in seconds. Please visit our <ref type="link" url="http://reviews.cnet.com/Labs/4520-6603 7-1014358-1.html">labs information page</ref> for information on how digital cameras are tested.
- CNET Labs Flash shot to shot time 0.9
- CNET Labs Raw shot to shot time 0.6
- CNET Labs Shot to shot time typical 0.6
- CNET Labs Shutter lag bright 0.7
- CNET Labs Shutter lag dim 1.6
- CNET Labs Typical burst speed 2.6
- CNET Labs Wake up time 0.3