Nikon D40 review

I used my first Nikon D40 camera for about 3 years, then I sold it, and a few years later, in 2015 I bought it again. Now I have a lot of practical experience with the Nikon D40, which I share in this review.

Nikon D40 review

Nikon D40 review

The Nikon D40 was introduced on November 16, 2006, and became the fourteenth full-fledged Nikon digital SLR camera. Before its release, the following Nikon D1 cameras already existed, D1h, D1x, D100, D2h, D70, D2x, D2hs, D70s, D50, D200, D2xs, D80 (the list is shown in the order the cameras were released). Nikon D40 has opened a new class of Nikon cameras. Like Nikon D50, Nikon D40 belongs to the line of amateur cameras, but unlike all of the above cameras, the Nikon D40 was taken away from a very important thing - the focusing motor, which is responsible for autofocusing with non-motorized lenses like 'AF'. Thus, all Nikon D40 owners were automatically forced to use more modern and sometimes more expensive lenses such as AF S и AF-I. Many Nikon users cursed the company for taking away the Nikon D40's compatibility with a huge (really very large) fleet of old autofocus optics. On the other hand, the Nikon D40 turned out to be a very cheap camera, which is why it was bought by a huge number of users. Subsequently, Nikon did not pay attention to user complaints and continued the line of cameras, for which it was Nikon D40 that became the basis.

Nikon D40 Camera Setup Display

Nikon D40 Camera Setup Display

This camera is the `` youngest '', the slowest, with the worst focusing system and the simplest camera in the lineup of all digital SLR cameras Nikon... Don't expect stunning performance figures from it. If you need a more serious amateur camera for photography, then you should pay attention to the modern, latest and most 'feature-packed' device in this line - Nikon D5600... The Nikon D40 baby remains just a tool for amateur photographers who don't need modern 'gadgets'.

Compared to more advanced cameras, the Nikon D40 does not have the following important functions:

  • No built-in focus motor
  • There is no front selector for the index finger of the right hand. This makes it difficult to configure many parameters. This selector was first thrown out of Nikon D50.
  • There is no high speed sync function with Nikon external flash units.
  • There is no function to control external flashes in automatic mode using the creative lighting system Nikon CLS.
  • There is no diaphragm rheostat for working with manual optics.
  • There is no way to shoot video.
  • The camera does not know how to shoot panoramas, HDR, there is no time-lapse function, there is no bracketing, there is no function ADL, there is no control of vignetting, chromatic aberration, distortion and a million modern lotions typical of modern cameras.

But Nikon D40 retains the main thing - a large sensor. Physical matrix size (sensor) the Nikon D40 is the same as on modern expensive Nikon DX cameras: Nikon D7100, D7200, D5500, D5300, D3300 etc. One of the key differences between a DSLR and an ordinary digital compact is matrix size. In ideal shooting conditions, the Nikon D40 allows you to get the result on par with any modern Nikon DX camera.

NIkon D40 with Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4D lens

NIkon D40 with lens Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4D

Nikon D40 is Nikon's slowest DSLR camera. Maximum burst speed is only 2.5 frames per second... Its predecessor had the same low burst speed - Nikon D50. But not everything is so bad, if you delve into the characteristics of other cameras, you can find that professional cameras Nikon D300 и D300s also lower their speed to a miserable 2.5 frames per second during shooting with 14 bit color depth in RAW format. And also, if you recall that the TOP legendary camera Nikon D3X lowers burst speed to lean 1.8 frames per second while shooting in RAW format with 14 bit color depth, the Nikon D40 doesn’t seem so slow at all.

When shooting at ISO HI1 (equivalent to ISO 3200), the burst speed drops to 1 fps, because the Nikon D40 is still the slowest camera in the entire Nikon DSLR family.

Frame buffer the Nikon D40 is also small and is:

  • 4 frames in RAW format with all disabled advanced settings
  • 3 frames in RAW + JPEG L BASIC format with all advanced settings disabled
  • 8 frames in JPEG, L, FINE format with all advanced settings disabled
  • 12 frames in JPEG, L, NORM format with all advanced settings disabled
  • 18 frames in JPEG, L, BASIC format with all advanced settings disabled
  • 60 frames in JPEG, S, BASIC format with all advanced settings disabled
  • 3 frames in RAW format with all advanced settings enabled
  • 2 frames in RAW + JPEG L BASIC format with all additional settings included
  • 7 frames JPEG, L, FINE with all advanced settings enabled
  • 11 frames JPEG, L, NORM with all advanced settings included
  • 17 frames in JPEG, L, BASIC format with all advanced settings included
  • 59 frames JPEG, S, BASIC with all advanced settings enabled

Please note that the Nikon D40 can only shoot in JPEG L BASIC quality when using RAW + JPEG.

Nikon D40 uses the most primitive Multi-CAM 530 focusing systeminstalled in only 3 cameras: Nikon D40, D40x, D60... In the future, this focusing module was abandoned. Unfortunately, the Nikon D40 has only 3 focusing points, only one center is cruciform. The camera tenaciously holds the subject, but it is quite difficult for it to keep track of moving objects. Also note that the Nikon D40 in focus mode AF-C has focus priority over shutter release priority. This little thing greatly interferes with work and is described by me in a separate article 'Nikon entry-level cameras and focus priority'.

Nikon D40 allows you to manually select only 5 ISO values: 200, 400, 800, 1600, HI (3200) units. Given that the Nikon D40 is the shortest excerpt equals 1/4000 s, sometimes the minimum ISO 200 can play a trick when using high-aperture optics.

Measurement exposure is 420 segment RGB sensor, which is used in a huge number of other cameras (for example, in Nikon D3400, D5100, D90 etc.). But the Nikon D40 froze exposure often carried out with errors, very often the camera likes to overexpose 2/3 steps. I do not know what this may be connected with. Very often you have to make additional adjustments from -0,3 to -1 2/3 steps.

The camera slows down a bit when turning on the display and when corrected exposure (while the display is activated, you can skip the frame).

Helpful advice - Set the programmable button to change the ISO, it will be a little easier to work with the camera. To add charm to the camera, turn off the siren (sound notification), which beeps when focusing. For more set the sharpness and color in the camera to 'Optim. snapshot -> VI '.

And what about Nikon D40x? Nikon D40x was introduced 4 months after the release of Nikon D40. The main difference in D40x there was another sensor for 10 megapixels. The letter 'x' after the name of the Nikon camera just speaks of the increase in the number of pixels on the sensor. In general Nikon D40 and D40x very similar, in something the Nikon D40 is even better than Nikon D40x. All the differences between the Nikon D40 and D40x will find in the Nikon D40x review.

Sample photos without processing

Below is a gallery of shots taken with the Nikon D40 and lens YONGNUO LENS 100mm 1: 2 YN100mm F2N for Nikon. The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, the conversion of the source RAW files by the original Capture NX-D or ViewNX-I converter or the on-camera JPEG L FINE without any additional adjustments or on-camera JPEG.

Original JPEG photos can be download from this link. Examples of photos on YONGNUO LENS 100mm 1: 2 YN100mm F2N for Nikon with a little processing you can still see in my gallery here.

My experience or what really?

In fact, everything is simple, Nikon D40 is the last camera on the legendary 6-megapixel Sony ICX-453-AQ sensor. A list of all Nikon DSLR cameras and their sensors can be found at this link. Older cameras use the same sensor. Nikon D70, D70s и D50that delight the eye with a nice picture. Older camera Nikon D100 uses a similar matrix, but still different from the one on the Nikon D40. CCD matrices of these old men give a very nice color, for which they are appreciated.

Unlike Nikon D70, D70s, D50 и D100 Nikon D40 camera is the only one that uses a more modern image processor (processor), similar to the processor (processor) in cameras D200, D80, D40x. This processor allows ISO HI1 (ISO 3200 equivalent) and DL function for RAW images (this function was not available on previous models D50, D70, D70s etc.). A list of all the processors used in Nikon cameras can be found at this link.

Working with cameras on old 6-megapixel CCD matrices, I came to the conclusion that on-camera JPEG with Nikon D40 is the most pleasant. The Nikon D40 shots are some of the most enjoyable ones I got right away in on-camera JPEG. Of course, I really love cameras Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro и Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, but with the Nikon D40, sometimes there are much fewer problems to achieve a good result.

Subjectively - Nikon D40 is my favorite camera... I've had about 5 different Nikon D40s over the years. The last one already has mileage more than 150.000.

Nikon D40 body on the secondary market can be found for 70-100 USD - it is one of the cheapest SLR cameras of all time. For 80-100 USD you can find a pretty super-zoom to it Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical or Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-70mm 1: 3.5-4.5G ED DX SWM IF Aspherical and shoot for your own pleasure. My practice has shown that the cheapest and most functional set is just a bunch of Nikon D40 and Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135m 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical.

Low-priced lenses are great for creative shooting. Nikon 35 / 1.8G DX, Nikon 50 / 1.8G, Yongnuo 35 / 2 и Yongnuo 50 / 1.8.

More sample photos on Nikon D40

  1. Video about Nikon D40
  2. examples on Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 300mm 1: 4E PF ED VR
  3. examples on Carl Zeiss Makro Planar 2/50 ZF.2 T *
  4. examples on Nikon Nikkor 105mm 1: 1.8
  5. examples on Sigma ZOOM 18-50mm 1: 2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM Optical Stabilizer
  6. examples on Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss distagon 2 / 35 T *)
  7. examples on Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.2 f = 55mm
  8. examples on Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 MACRO HSM Optical Stabilizer
  9. examples on Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical
  10. examples on Tamron 180mm 1: 3.5 LD DI SP AF [IF] MACRO 1: 1
  11. examples on Nikon ED AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8G (Vibration Reduction SWM IF)
  12. examples on yongnuo LENS 100mm 1: 2 (YN100mm F2N, for Nikon)
  13. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical
  14. examples on Carl zeiss distagon 2.8 / 21 T * ZF.2
  15. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM
  16. examples on Sigma 30mm 1: 1.4 DC A (Art)
  17. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm 1: 1.8G ED N (Nano Crystal Coat SWM RF ED Aspherical)
  18. examples on Tamron SP 70-200mm F / 2.8 Di VC USD G2 A025
  19. examples on Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-P Auto 1: 2.5 f = 105mm
  20. examples on Telear-N 3.5/200
  21. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6G Super ED VR IF N Nano Crystal Coat
  22. examples on Irix 150mm f / 2.8 Macro 1: 1 Dragonfly
  23. examples on Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 24mm 1: 1.4G ED (SWM RF Aspherical Nano Crystal Coat)
  24. examples on Carl zeiss distagon 2/28 ZF.2 T *
  25. examples on Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 300mm 1: 2.8G II ED VR
  26. examples on SMC TAKUMAR 1: 1.8 / 55 ASAHI OPT. CO., JAPAN
  27. examples on Jupiter-11A 4/135
  28. examples on Nippon Kogaku Japan NIKKOR-UD Auto 1: 3.5 f = 20mm
  29. examples on Industar-26m 1: 2.8 F = 5cm P

More examples of photos (selections of 10 photos) on Radozhiva's social networks:

  1. Fall 2020 on Nikkor 50/1.8G
  2. Autumn 2021 for different versions of Helios-81, many photos
  3. Autumn 200 on Nikon Nikkor 105mm 1: 1.8
  4. Nikon D40 features with a pretty Zeiss Makro-Planar
  5. Summer 2021 on Nikon D40 and Tamron 70-210 / 2.8
  6. My 500px gallery
  7. 04-06-2021
  8. 11-06-2021
  9. 13-06-2021
  10. 16-06-2021
  11. 17-06-2021
  12. 01-07-2021 and they are here on club photo en
  13. 25-07-2021
  14. 26-07-2021 (Meike 85mm 1: 1.8 AF)
  15. 29/07/2021 (photo from christening)
  16. 02-08-2021 (Tamron 70-300 VC)
  17. 03-08-2021 (ginger paradise, Tamron 70-300 VC) facebook | club photo en | VK | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube
  18. 05-08-2021 (Nippon Kogaku Japan Nikkor-S Auto 1: 1.2 f = 55mm)
  19. 07-08-2021 (Jupiter-8 1: 2 F = 5cm P, facebook) | VK
  20. 14-09-2021 (autumn, MC HELIOS-81H 2/50, Instagram) | VK
  21. 01-10-2021 (autumn, MC HELIOS-81M 2/53 club foro ru) | VK | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube
  22. 01-11-2021
  23. 09-12-2021 (portraits)
  24. 24-04-2022 (Sigma 85/1.4 ART)
  25. 30-07-2022 ('MACRO' for $3)
  26. 04-09-2022 ('Macro' on TV LENS f=50mm 1:1.4)
  27. 10-09-2022 (various on TELEAR-N 3.5/200)
  28. 13-10-2022 (Nikon Nikkor-S Auto 1:1.2 f=55mm)
  29. examples on video here
  30. examples on video here
  31. many photos on Nikon D40 and different lenses in the group here


The Nikon D40 is Nikon's simplest DSLR, but its simplicity doesn't stop it from taking good pictures and having simple, straightforward controls. Nikon D40 lacks a huge number of useful functions and capabilities, however, it can handle 90% of standard photo tasks. One of my Nikon D40 cameras has already run over 150.000, the other has 120.000 shots and continues to shoot. Now Nikon D40 is considered morally obsolete, since after its release Nikon released a whole series of similar 'cut-down' cameras: Nikon D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D3500, as well as slightly more advanced D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500 и D5600. Now Nikon D40 is of interest to budget enthusiasts who want to join the world of SLR cameras.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 486, on the topic: Review of Nikon D40

  • Alexander

    Perhaps someone is selling d40 looking for myself?

    • Victor

      All Avito is littered with them with olkh, is this camera rare?)

      • Alexander

        The olkh is full of divorce, I did not look at Avito

      • Sergei

        Well, I would not say straight that it is overwhelmed.

        • Victor

          And you go to Avito, and type in the search "d40"

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I can sell mine, for a symbolic value

      • Vladislav

        Good afternoon, Arkady. For what nominal fee can you give the Nikon D40?
        At one time it was my first Nikon SLR camera, I bought it in 2007. Actually, after this camera, I became Nikonovod forever.)

        • Arkady Shapoval

          $ 25 and only if you are in Ukraine :). This camera has a mileage of 140.000 and a non-working built-in flash. The last pictures from her here.

  • Igor

    In the right hands, the D40 is capable of making many modern crop cameras.
    I will live until autumn - I will buy it for myself. For the second time

    • Andrei

      The seagulls and the sunset are very nice.

  • Oleg

    What is the percentage of sharps in frames where 50 is 1.8? I noticed excellent sharpness. This is not found on modern multi-pixel cameras, even with a good resolution fix.

    • Joe

      > This is not found on modern multi-pixel cameras, even with a good resolution fix
      If you have blurry photos with a high-quality working lens, it means that you are doing something wrong (too slow shutter speed, inaccurate focusing, inappropriate state of the atmosphere (for a telephoto lens and far-away subjects), the sensor / lens stabilizer is on when the camera is mounted on a tripod , tripod shake at slow shutter speeds, etc.), or the camera is faulty.

      • Oleg

        I am familiar with the physics of the process. I'm talking about pixel-by-pixel sharpness, real resolutions in mp, a detailed comparison, in ideal, of course, conditions for image quality. I compared the sources from Sini of the 3rd line from the watering can M (45mp), I myself shot on a row of cameras, with a tripod, etc. ... In multi-pixel frames, I never saw detail and pixel-by-pixel tonal contrast at 100 crop of what can be seen in the same line of units from canon or from nikon, yes even at 10, 20, 30d, 5d, on nikon flagships ... But I often saw it - pixel mess, a general feeling of similarity of interpolation, etc. ... I think it's just a ceiling, again, the theme of the war of megapixels is endless. Although, the programs for in-camera processing, improvements, it is possible that they will make adjustments here, as they are now implemented on a micro, for example.

      • Oleg

        “Often seen” - I’m talking about multi-pixel ff, of course

  • Alex

    I bought myself for 30 bucks with a mileage of 31 thousand, yes colors. when compared with the D3100, you don’t need to process more realistic photos, but the landscape is much worse, I don’t know how Arkady takes such photos, I tried a whale lens and 50 1,8, the detail is much worse

    • Victor

      This is because Arkady d40 has Japanese, and you have Chinese, most likely :-/

      • Alex

        I take back my words. As it turned out, the Nikon D40 shoots great in good light, and I took all the photos in poor light, it was sunny yesterday and yes, the photo is better than the D700. Even with the D40, you can’t pull anything out of RAW, and you don’t need to

  • Alexander Rifeev

    for someone, the LuAZ-969A was like the Chevrolet Blazer S series :-))))))

  • Edward

    Convenient due to its compactness to the point of madness, (after the D200 it’s just such a feeling, but of course it didn’t sell, the D40 is like the 2nd one) a toy, I carry it everywhere, it’s noteworthy that it’s only on a wrist strap, with 35 1.8 fire, given that I’m an amateur and what could be better, and most importantly, I repeat this is the price, 5k is for nothing almost for a wonderful picture)))

  • Boris

    I took a d40 with 18-55 GII about a month ago with a mileage of 15500 and a peppy look in a complete box set for 2000 UAH.
    The picture is sharp, exposure metering and BB are on top, the on-camera jeep is almost perfect. Nikkor 55-300 turns with a bang, the color reproduction is gorgeous. I used D90 and D5100 before.

  • Boris

    About a month ago I bought a D40 from 18-55 without a stub with a mileage of 17500 for 2000 UAH, before that I had hammered the D90 and D5100. The picture is really tasty, the ancient 18-55 works better than the 18-70 available in the bins. Considering real needs, I sold all the junk, leaving myself D40 with 18-55 and 55-300, which is absolutely amazingly friendly with the carcass.
    When viewing photos on a 42-inch screen, detail and sharpness are decent.
    Three focus points are enough for me, because. I use one in practice.
    Absolutely wonderful device, nothing more))

    • Boris


  • Dmitry Kostin

    Arkady, according to your experience, please advise which zoom lens is best for the D40:
    Sigma 17-50 / 2.8 or is it better to look at native Nikon 18-70 / 3.5-4.5G (they say unreliable), or immediately at expensive Nikon 16-80 / 2.8-4E (will it work correctly?) And Nikon 17-55mm f /2.8G?
    How does the combination of Sigma and D40 work in general?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Sigma 17-50 / 2.8 OS is just right, Tamron 17-50 / 2.8 VC is also quite. Native 17-55 too expensive

      • Dmitry Kostin

        Thank you!
        Yes, at 17-55 / 2.8 I was once again convinced.
        Is the native 18-70 / 3.5-4.5 much worse than Sigma?
        According to Sigma, the issue of alignment and the operation of the stub is still worrying.

  • Igor N.

    Does this camera have
    automatic correction of distortion (with native optics like 18-55 vr)

  • Dmitry Kostin

    Arkady, please tell me, what is the maximum volume of a D40 flash drive?
    16 or 32GB?

    • Viktre


      • Dmitry Kostin

        Thank you

    • Arkady Shapoval


      • Dmitry Kostin

        Thank you!
        By the way, I was surprised by the price of SDHC for 16-32GB - much cheaper than for CF with similar characteristics.

  • Andrii

    De mozhna pridbati to new Akum cheaper than 380 gr. On the olkh there is no sound, only on the industrial side.

  • Dmitry Kostin

    Arkady, can I ask you as an experienced owner of the D40?
    A question about the reliability of the D40 - did you have this:
    “100% repeat defect. On a run of 25-30 thousand, the mirror cocking engine wears out, the camera displays the inscription “press the shutter button again”. The repair consists in replacing the motor for the next 20-30 thousand shots. Why is that? The engine works with reverse to raise and lower the mirror, in extreme positions experiencing an increased load, which accelerates wear.”
    If so (at what mileage), then what about the spare parts for this camera and how much did the repair cost?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It happened a couple of times, but on runs of 100k+. I'm just buying a new camera.

      • Dmitry Kostin

        Thank you!

  • Boris

    The camera has been in my hands for 6 months, I took a little more than 1000 frames - I am completely satisfied. I look at photos on a 55-inch TV and enjoy it. There are three focus points, but one is enough for me. The jeeps come out of such high quality that it has not yet reached the level. The picture after the D90, in my opinion, is simply gorgeous, I’m thinking of buying a D80 in reserve in a new state until they run out. From the line of 6 megapixel devices D40-50-70-70s, the forty, although it does not have a screwdriver, compares favorably with an SD memory card up to 32GB. The simplest native zoom 18-55 gives a sharp and saturated picture, on the D90 and D5100 he didn’t sing like that and was more of a burden than a lens.
    55-300 on all ranges is also without question, “colorful” and sharp throughout the field with a three-dimensional picture.
    The vaunted 18-70 was in use, and after some hesitation and testing, I got rid of it in favor of 18-55. Earlier I wrote about my first impressions and may have made a mistake with the mileage I got - I took it in a box with an 18-55 lens with a mileage of 15500 for $ 50.
    There are more positive emotions than from the once new D5100 for $600 and D90 with a range of 18000 bought in 2013 for $300. With all the pleasantness and quality factor of the D90 to the touch, the picture is more important for me, which, in my personal opinion, is perfectly balanced in colors.

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