Nikon D40 Review Round-UP

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Nikon D40 6.1MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

Imaging Resource

While geared for the entry-level market the D40 packs enough features into its diminutive frame to keep serious enthusiasts interested as well. It’s also the smallest and lightest Nikon DSLR to date, so the point & shoot photographer looking to move up to a real SLR, can do so without having to put up with the heft and bulk that the genre usually dictates. I can tell you that the Nikon D40 is one of the finest family cameras on the market. I’ve really enjoyed shooting with it, and would seriously consider it as a second camera to something like a D80, D200, or 30D. If you’re just getting started in SLR photography and want a light, sweet, competent, and simultaneously friendly digital SLR, the Nikon D40 is a superb choice. READ FULL REVIEW

Other Nikon D40 Reviews

Photo Review

The D40 is Nikon’s smallest and lightest DSLR camera yet – and also the easiest to operate. Designed for everyday photographers, it replaces the D50 model and features the same 6.1-megapixel imager but sports a larger 2.5-inch high-resolution colour LCD monitor. The camera’s plastic body is well-built but a bit small for anybody with large hands, although most controls are easy to access. Interestingly, this is the first Nikon DSLR body without an AF motor; the D40 only supports autofocusing with AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses that have their own built-in motors. The D40 would be a great buy for an amateur photographer who wanted to move up from an advanced digicam to a DSLR or for anyone who wanted to learn more about digital photography. For those making their first ventures into digital SLR photography, the D40 could be the start of a satisfying relationship. READ FULL REVIEW

Camera Labs

The D40 is Nikon’s entry-level DSLR and one of the most affordable models around. It’s the lowest resolution model here with only 6 Megapixels, but that’s still enough to make a decent-sized print. As an older model, the D40 is missing some of the latest features, so there’s no Live View, the kit lens doesn’t have stabilisation and it employs a basic 3-point AF system. Continuous shooting is just 2.5fps and the screen an unremarkable 2.5in. But the reason the D40 still comes recommended is because of its low price, friendly help system and virtually foolproof metering which gets it right almost every time. Note: the D40 (and D40x and D60) will only autofocus with the latest lenses sporting built-in motors like Nikkor AF-S or Sigma HSM models; older models are manual focus only. READ FULL REVIEW

Digital Photography Review

Nikon resisted the temptation to keep chasing megapixels and instead appear to have concentrated on what makes a good camera, a decent viewfinder, short shutter lag, very short viewfinder blackout. … The D40 is certainly their smallest and lightest, their most affordable. … Image quality was probably the best of any current six megapixel digital SLR. In everyday use the D40 is just what it set out to be, a very capable, compact, lightweight and easy to use camera which makes a perfect first step for anyone wanting to get into digital SLR photography. It provides enough control and a large enough range of manual settings to enable you to experiment and learn but also helps you to take great pictures in the process. It’s one of those cameras you can just pick up and start shooting without fuss, that you can hand to a friend who’s never used an SLR and know they’ll be able to do the same. READ FULL REVIEW

Steve’s Digicams

Thanks to the compact ergonomics of this camera, and the fact that it weighs a mere 17 ounces, I had no problems carrying it around all day without any discomfort. As with previous models, the D40 sits comfortably in your hands, while the durable polycarbonate body has a professional look and feel to it. While this is an “entry-level” dSLR, there are plenty of exposure options to suit almost any photographer’s needs. Shooting performance was very impressive. Both our indoor and outdoor image quality results were very good when using the in-camera JPEG/Large Fine mode. I was very impressed with the lack of image noise in our test shots … Bottom line – Nikon’s D40 is not only an awesome little dSLR that captures great photos with robust performance, it also has a very pleasing price tag. …I feel this model will make an excellent camera for any user who wants a more versatile camera over their consumer digicam, and don’t feel like breaking the bank in the process. READ FULL REVIEW

The Nikon D40/D40x is the smallest, lightest, and cheapest APS-C DSLR from any manufacturer. … This is the best designed camera for a photographer stepping up from a point and shoot digicam. Compared to a point-and-shoot, the Nikon D40/D40x has better controls for creativity, reliability; SLR bodies almost never fail; by comparison, point and shoot cameras are built for light weight and low cost, big bright accurate optical viewfinder, good quality indoor images without blasting everything with flash, ability to attach specialty lenses, e.g., very wide angle lenses for interiors, scenery, and architecture, or long telephoto lenses for sports photography. For a new DSLR photographer on a tight budget, the Nikon D40/D40x is a great value in a small package. READ FULL REVIEW

Ken Rockwell

If you’re looking for a great Nikon camera to make great photos, especially of moving kids or sports or indoor plays and concerts, this is it- compared to any fixed-lens camera. If sports is your full time obsession, then you’ll want a faster camera (5 frames per second) like the Nikon D200 or now-inexpensive Canon 20D or 30D. READ FULL REVIEW


The obvious shortcomings of compact cameras and the shrinking prices of entry-level digital SLRs have spurred a huge growth in the DSLR market. Nikon hopes to continue that trend with its new 6.1MP D40 ($560, street, with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens). As we described in our Hands On report (January 2007), the D40’s features and overall performance clearly raise the bar on the “entry-level” DSLR class. The Nikon D40 isn’t for everyone, but it will certainly appeal to first-time DSLR buyers who want an excellent camera with controls and features that they can grow into and eventually master. It outperforms any compact camera in its price range, and while it has competition from other entry-level DSLRs (especially the Pentax K100D with Shake Reduction) it’s a proud member of the Nikon family. READ FULL REVIEW

Thom Hogan

The D40 is likely to be Nikon’s only 6mp and entry-level DSLR for awhile. First, the image quality is excellent. Nikon has proven once again that they know how to suck every last little bit of quality out of the 6mp sensors they’ve been using for more than four years. But the impressive thing about the D40 is that it is arguably the best-designed small camera to date. Handwise, it’s perfect. The viewfinder is good, if not up to the D200 level. The controls are sensible and what we Nikon users expect. … READ FULL REVIEW

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