Nikon D40 review
The Nikon D40 DSLR is an affordable Family DSLR that gives excellent image quality and provides an easy step up from point-and-shoot (P&S) digital cameras.
Photographers tired of the limitations (especially low-light) of P&S digital cameras will welcome this compact and lightweight DSLR with the performance and responsiveness characteristic of much more expensive digital SLRs.
- 6.1 megapixel CCD sensor
- Nikon Image processing engine
- Large 2.5" 230,000 pixel LCD monitor
- 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 420 pixel sensor
- New Multi-CAM530 three area AF sensor
- ISO sensitivity range 200 - 1600 plus HI 1 (3200 equiv.)
- 2.5 fps continuous shooting (as D50), unlimited in JPEG
- No status LCD, new LCD monitor based status / settings screens
- Bigger viewfinder view (x0.8 magnification, 95% coverage)
- Short shutter lag and viewfinder blackout
- USB 2.0 with PTP and Mass Storage device support
- Support for SDHC (SD cards over 2 GB in capacity)
- New EN-EL9 Lithium-Ion battery
- New 'Version II' AF-S DX 18-55 mm kit lens
At under US $600, the Nikon D40 is excellent value for money. Nikon has not compromised at all in any respects and the D40 is solidly built and handles beautifully. It provides the standard AUTO mode, plus Scene Modes for more challenging lighting situations. For more advanced photographers, P (Program auto), S (Shutter-priority auto), A (Aperture-priority auto) and M (Manual) modes provide the fine level of control they desire.
You get a large, bright, clear optical viewfinder and a large LCD screen with enhanced text fonts and graphics display. The Nikon D40 accepts SD memory cards, including the large capacity SD HC cards (up to 4GB). The D40's Nikon F mount maintains compatibility with the many high-quality Nikkor lenses, but autofocus is supported only with the newer AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses, which are equipped with built-in motors.
Consumers are starting to realize that more megapixels do not necessarily mean better image quality, especially in digital cameras with tiny image sensors. The Nikon D40 has a large APS-sized image sensor and the 6.1MP is more than enough for large beautiful prints. Wisely keeping the megapixels in check has allowed Nikon to equip the D40 with very good to excellent image quality: noise is low and details are preserved up to ISO 800, with a very usable ISO 1600. This is what allows the D40 to shine in low-light situations. So do not let the 6.1MP resolution fool you: the D40 image quality and low-light capability put many DSLRs with higher resolution to shame.
The D40 is compatible with all Nikon AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses*, and comes packaged with a new 3X zoom 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens that incorporates cutting-edge Nikon optical technologies, such as ED glass and aspherical lens elements. This lens offers users a popular 3x zoom range, which conveniently covers picture angles that meet the needs of everything from tight portraits to wide-angle landscapes.
The D40 is also compatible with Nikonís range of i-TTL technology enabled Speedlights including the SB-800, SB-600 and the recently introduced SB-400. A perfect companion for the D40, the SB-400 is an ultra-compact, lightweight Speedlight which is ideal for photographing subjects at extended distances or illuminating subjects with a softer, more natural appearing lighting effect with its bounce flash capability. With a guide number of over 98 feet the SB-400 provides all of the power and coverage that a D40 customer may demand for shooting group shots and reducing harsh shadows. All of the SB-400ís settings can be controlled automatically by the cameraís metering system or manually from the cameraís built-in menus. Keeping with the D40s remarkable ease-of-use, using the SB 400 Speedlight is as simple as sliding it on, turning it on and shooting.