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 D80, D40x, D60, D3000. This processor allows you to use ISO HI1 (equivalent to ISO 3200), as well as use the DL function for pictures taken in RAW format (this function was not available in 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. Over the past year, I shot about 200.000 frames on Nikon D700 for commercial shooting, while simultaneously shooting about 100.000 more on other cameras, I was holding and shooting almost all modern cameras in my hands, but for the house in 2015 (!) I bought the Nikon D40 again.

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.

Prices for modern Nikon cameras in popular stores can look at this link.

More sample photos on Nikon D40

  1. examples on Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/50 ZF.2 T *
  2. examples on Sigma ZOOM 18-50mm 1: 2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM Optical Stabilizer
  3. examples on Milvus 2/35 ZF.2 (Zeiss distagon 2 / 35 T *)
  4. examples on Sigma DC 17-70mm 1: 2.8-4 MACRO HSM Optical Stabilizer
  5. examples on Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical
  6. examples on Tamron 180mm 1: 3.5 LD DI SP AF [IF] MACRO 1: 1
  7. examples on Nikon ED AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8G (Vibration Reduction SWM IF)
  8. examples on Yongnuo LENS 100mm 1: 2 (YN100mm F2N, for Nikon)
  9. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.8G SWM Aspherical
  10. examples on Carl zeiss distagon 2.8 / 21 T * ZF.2
  11. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm 1: 1.4G SWM
  12. examples on Sigma 30mm 1: 1.4 DC A (Art)
  13. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm 1: 1.8G ED N (Nano Crystal Coat SWM RF ED Aspherical)
  14. examples on Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6G Super ED VR IF N Nano Crystal Coat
  15. examples on Irix 150mm f / 2.8 Macro 1: 1 Dragonfly
  16. examples on Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 24mm 1: 1.4G ED (SWM RF Aspherical Nano Crystal Coat)

More examples on Radozhiva's social networks:

  1. 04-06-2021 poppies, bokeshki
  2. 11-06-2021 poppies, bokeshki
  3. gallery at 500px


Nikon D40 is Nikon's simplest DSLR camera, but its simplicity does not prevent it from taking good pictures and having simple and intuitive controls. The Nikon D40 lacks a huge number of useful features and capabilities, however it can handle 90% of standard photo tasks. One of my Nikon D40 cameras ran over 120,000 (one hundred twenty thousand) shots and continued to shoot until I sold it for $ 100. Now Nikon D40 is considered morally obsolete, since after its release Nikon released a whole series of similar stripped down 'cameras: Nikon D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400 и D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, D5600. Now Nikon D40 is of interest to budget enthusiasts who want to join the world of SLR cameras.

Comments here on the site do not require any registration. In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic, or leave your feedback, or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.

The material was prepared by Arkady Shapoval. My Youtube channeland Radozhiva's group on Facebook и VK.

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Comments: 453, 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

    • 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.

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