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Nikon D40/D40x Review

by Hannah Thiem, April 2007 (updated March 2011)

The Nikon D40/D40x is the smallest, lightest, and cheapest APS-C DSLR from any manufacturer. This is the first camera that makes effective use of the fact that there is a powerful computer inside and a big LCD display on the back. When you're choosing ISO, for example, the Nikon D40 shows a blue sky mid-day scene for ISO 200, a speeding jetski for ISO 400, a brightly lit exterior for ISO 800, and a pianist on stage for ISO 1600. This is the best designed camera for a photographer stepping up from a point and shoot digicam.

Why step up from a point-and-shoot to the Nikon D40/D40x?

  • better controls for creativity; the fancier point and shoots offer full manual control, but they have so few buttons that changing a setting involves wading deep into menus. To switch the D40 from aperture- to shutter-priority, for example, you simply turn a big knob on top of the camera from "A" to "S".
  • 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

Where to Buy

You may be able to find a used Nikon D40 or D40x in Photo.net's Classified Ads Section. Otherwise, check out Nikon's newer small-frame sensor cameras from our partners. Their prices are fair and you help to support photo.net.

D40 Key Features

  • 6.1 megapixel output
  • 1/500th of a second flash sync speed
  • three-area AF sensor
  • only autofocuses with Nikon AF-S lenses: no internal focus drive motor
  • ISO sensitivity range 200-1600 plus HI 1 (3200 equiv)
  • 2.5 fps continuous burst speed
  • 2.5" 230,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • help suggestions on the LCD monitor
  • very compact, light body: 1.22 lb. with card and batteries
  • info button near the shutter release accesses verbal descriptions and example photos displayed on the rear LCD to show appropriate situations for different settings

D40x Differences

  • 10.2 megapixel output
  • ISO sensitivity range 100-1600 plus HI 1 (3200 equiv)
  • 3.0 fps continuous burst speed


The D40/D40x incorporates a fast and accurate three-zone autofocus system, with sensors arranged horizontally across the frame. The central sensor is a cross, sensitive to both vertical and horizontal lines. You can set up the autofocus system to stick with one sensor, choose the sensor over the closest subject, or choose a sensor with a magic algorithm. Although the D40/D40x has fewer AF zones than more advanced models such as the D80 or the D200, the focussing is comparatively fast.


The Nikon D40/D40x has the standard exposure modes: Programmed autoexposure, Shutter-priority auto, Aperture-priority auto and Metered Manual. In preparing to capture images, bring up the exposure settings on the rear LCD by pressing either the information button behind the shutter release or the magnification button next to the LCD. Depending on the exposure mode, you can adjust aperture or shutter speed by rotating the control wheel. Unlike the bigger Nikon bodies, the D40/D40x lacks a second dial on the front under the shutter release, which would allow for simultaneous adjustment of shutter and aperture settings while in manual mode. Manual mode requires depressing the exposure compensation located behind the shutter, while rotating the control wheel at the same time.

In addition to the creative exposure modes, the D40/D40x's top-deck control wheel offers seven Digital Vari-Program (idiot) modes: flash off, portrait, landscape, child, sports, close up and night portrait. In an idiot mode, the camera will adjust itself to reasonable settings for a particular kind of photograph.


This camera has a built-in pop-up flash and is compatible with any of the Nikon i-TTL flashes. Nikon created the Nikon SB-400 AF Speedlight as a small, lightweight, low-cost accessory unit, although it does not have wireless capability. Maximum flash sync speed is a remarkable 1/500th on the D40, which enables fill flash in bright light or outdoors. The D40x has a more standard shutter, with flash sync up to 1/200th of a second.

Adjusting Settings

The most important settings can be adjusted by pressing the info button behind the shutter release to turn on the LCD screen, followed by pressing the -i- button to the left of the LCD screen. Then you use the up, down, and OK menu navigation buttons. Settings on this quick menu include file format, white balance, ISO, motor drive, autofocus, autofocus sensor, metering pattern, flash mode, flash exposure compensation, and ambient exposure compensation.


The viewfinder shows you about 95% of the image that the sensor will capture. An LCD display at the bottom of the viewfinder, just underneath the image, shows focus confirmation (green dot that appears when the image is in focus), shutter speed, aperture, the exposure meter, the flash setting, and a counter showing how many more images can be captured before the in-camera memory buffer is filled. The eye relief is adequate for eyeglass wearers: all corners of the frame and the LCD display are visible.

In-camera Editing

As on the D80, the D40/D40x has built-in editing functions, which include cropping, image resizing, color balancing with color histograms, color filter effects, redeye removal, and D-lighting for adjusting and toning down scene contrast. Other creative features include image overlay and monochrome effects in black-and-white, sepia and cyanotype. The edited versions are saved as separate files on the SD card, preserving the original images.


The D40/D40x takes a secure digital (SD) card, which stores JPEG, RAW, or RAW + basic JPEG images. The in-camera memory is sufficient to allow a burst of 100 JPEG images at 2.5 frames per second. We tested the camera with a Sandisk 4GB SD card.


The Nikon D40/D40x uses a 2.3 oz. Lithium-ion battery, which supplies power for up to 470 photographs. If traveling, you may want to purchase a backup battery.

Mechanical Construction

Everything is made out of plastic, but we dropped the camera, with kit lens attached, from a 4' height onto a tile floor, and it continues to function normally.

Compared to the Nikon D80

The D80 has two control wheels, making it much easier to operate in metered manual mode. The D80 has 11 autofocus zones, making it more suitable for sports photography. The D80 may be better-sealed and slightly more rugged than the D40. The D80 costs approximately $450 more than the D40 and $250 more than the D40x.

Compared to the Canon Rebel XTi

The Nikon D40x and the Canon Rebel XTi are comparable in capability and price. When choosing between them, unless you never plan to buy another lens, the important choice is actually between the Canon and Nikon systems. See "Building a digital SLR system".

The Kit Lens

Reasonably good close-up capability...

Not quite long enough for wildlife...


For a new DSLR photographer on a tight budget, the Nikon D40/D40x is a great value in a small package. If you're going to make poster-sized prints or crop your images extensively, the higher resolution of the D40x might be worthwhile. If your goal is 8x10" prints or smaller, and Web display, going beyond the 6 megapixels of the D40 doesn't make sense.

Where to Buy

You may be able to find a used Nikon D40 or D40x in Photo.net's Classified Ads Section. Otherwise, check out Nikon's newer small-frame sensor cameras from our partners. Their prices are fair and you help to support photo.net.


Text and pictures, except as otherwise indicated, ©2007 Hannah Thiem. All photos, except where noted, taken with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Article revised March 2011.

Readers' Comments

Add a comment

Furvyn Len , May 18, 2007; 09:05 P.M.

My wife and I are starting a wedding photography business. We purchased a d80 already and looking for another back up, my question is, will the $250 difference worth getting the D80? Or shall we spend it on a good lens or another flash?

Josep Jordi , May 20, 2007; 05:08 A.M.

So far so happy with it. Coming from a FM3a with few non-D lenses, plus some compact digital cameras (Fuji F30, Canon G3, etc.), I had to start from zero, and my choice was between Pentax K100, Canon XTi and Nikon D40/D80. I felt comfortable with D40 from the beginning, and love its compact size. Almost everything is in its place, or at least, easy to find. Results are above average from the very beginning. 6Mpix is more than enough, and I prefer to spend the extra bucks in some good lenses (Sigma 30 1.4 and Nikon 55-200 or 18-200) and maybe a flash (SB400). D80 is also a good choice, but plays in another league. D40x does not make much sense for me, too expensive, and too close from D80. Would recommend the camera to anyone who is starting in DSLR.

T Sorots , May 20, 2007; 09:22 A.M.

I point out that the camera doesn?t have an AF motor , so it is manual focus with all lenses except the AFs. That?s a great drawback! You are limited to a very few lenses!

Alexander Delarge , May 21, 2007; 12:54 A.M.

The D40 will not autofocus with Nikon's wide array of prime non AF-S lenses, nor will it meter with Nikon's tremendous array of prime manual focus lenses. A real trap for the beginners who will want to later move up. They will be forced to buy a very expensive camera body if they want these basic functions to work with better "glass". The D40 replaces the D50 which had autofocus ability with non AF-S lenses. The D40 is basically the same as a P&S, except bigger & more expensive, that will give people the "look" of a pro & give Nikon an excuse for selling their "real" gear at even greater prices. This also enables Nikon to sell their lenses at greater prices, since you now need to buy an autofocus motor every time you buy one of their lenses (AF-S lenses), instead of paying for it once, if they had left the AF motor on the camera body. Nikon is greatly profiting from their marketing of amateur dSLRs, while dropping their more serious amateurs market, leaving them only with the choice between their pro models (D200, D2x) at pro prices if they want full compatibility with Nikon's vast array of prime lenses. For this, I give Nikon a D-

Michael McCullough , May 23, 2007; 08:20 P.M.

I've had the pleasure of owning the D40 for a little over a mth. now!Great little camera I also have a 70-300ED, lens which is manual focus on this gem and a tamron 90mm.2.5 which dosen,t meter so I go hand held, can live with that.Did have the chance to check out the Canon XT,and really wasn't impressed with the build quality the flash or the very cheep on off switch.Nikon simply produces the best entry level DSLR IMHO !

Andrew Vera , May 24, 2007; 03:14 P.M.

I own and use both Canon and Nikon cameras; both I find excellent. I bought the D40 for 2 reasons. It is the lightest DSLR around and it has a color histogram. I use the camera primarily for travel using the included lens and an old Nikon Series E 75-150 zoom which I had modified with a cpu chip so that the meter works. I also replaced the focusing screen with a Katz-eye split image finder to help me focus. Depending on how much weight I care to carry, I also use the camera with a Nikon 17-35 AFS zoom (a beast in weight - but extremely sharp).

The images have been nothing but superb. The battery life has been quite good, although the body feels a little small in my hands; but it is manageable. I have also installed a round Nikon eye-cup to make focusing even better while avoiding putting my oily face on the LCD.

Overall, for travel and typical home use, it's a great little camera.

Andrew Vera , May 24, 2007; 03:16 P.M.

I own and use both Canon and Nikon cameras; both I find excellent. I bought the D40 for 2 reasons. It is the lightest DSLR around and it has a color histogram. I use the camera primarily for travel using the included lens and an old Nikon Series E 75-150 zoom which I had modified with a cpu chip so that the meter works. I also replaced the focusing screen with a Katz-eye split image finder to help me focus. Depending on how much weight I care to carry, I also use the camera with a Nikon 17-35 AFS zoom (a beast in weight - but extremely sharp).

The images have been nothing but superb. The battery life has been quite good, although the body feels a little small in my hands; but it is manageable. I have also installed a round Nikon eye-cup to make focusing even better while avoiding putting my oily face on the LCD.

Overall, for travel and typical home use, it's a great little camera.

Donald Miles , May 24, 2007; 03:44 P.M.

Ignore the earlier comment that the D-40 is "just like a P&S" and that it will "trap" novice phtographers because it won't autofocus with earlier Nikon AF or manual focus lenses. I've shot thousands of photos on my D-40 and it's far ahead of any point-and-shoot: it's bigger sensor, large optical viewfinder, direct-access-to-all-settings controls, and ability to custom set white balance cannot be found on any P&S. And the noise reduction software in a dSLR like the D-40 produces much more detailed images, especially for textures and highlights, than any P&S. As for not autofocusing with last-century AF and manual focus lenses: So what? The wonderful 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the camera obsoletes any of the old AFs and to say the D-40 "traps" buyers into not being able to use "better glass" is absurd. If a D-40 buyer wants to go "better", Nikon's revolutionary 18-200mm VR lens, with exquisite optics AND vibration reduction -- eliminating the need for a tripod for low-light and long-tele shots -- is there for them and it works perfectly on the D-40 (as do all Nikon AF-S lenses). And so what if you can't autofocus Nikon's old "primes" ? The old claim that no zoom can match the performance of a prime lens became false when Nikon came out with 21st century gems like the 18-200mm VR. The only non-AF "primes" a novice might want to supplement the 18-55mm kit lens or the 18-200mm VR might be a macro lens or a fisheye -- both of which you'd want to manually focus anyway. The comment that buyers of a D-40 would need to "move up" to achieve photographic excellence is belied by the many pros who use the D-40 every day in their work. The D-40 is a top-quality tool any photographer can use to take exceptional photos -- and they will never miss old non-AF-S or old "prime" lenses. Welcome to 2007.

Avi Jacob , May 24, 2007; 08:11 P.M.

I have been playing around with my new D-40 (upgraded from my old N-70). There area lot of features I like (pardon me if these are Duh...).

Easy ISO adjustment: You can do it manualy or set it so that the camera will auto adjust the ISO according to your minimum settings.

Options to change focus. I am SO used to using center focus, I think I will only change it only at sport events and such like.

Metering: True, only on CPU lenses, however here too you have the age old options to change to center-weighted and spot. Again, something I am very used to.

The built in image adjustments are intuitive and easy to use.

Bracketing is not here, however access to +/- evo is easy.

You can change the functions of some of the buttons for fast access to settings you might like to change. i.e. anything important can be done from both the menu, and accessed quickly from on-camera dedicated buttons.

It IS a bit small for my only medium sized hands. If you are beefy or large - it might be a problem.

Carlos Teran Ratti , May 24, 2007; 10:19 P.M.

I purchased a D40 recently, and I a'm pretty happy with it,in my opinion it is really perfect for begginers like me, i come from shooting with a sony DSC-W1, it is a good point and shoot cam with manual settings, but to jump from a digicam to reflex is awesome.

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Alexander Delarge , May 25, 2007; 11:53 A.M.

I sincerely hope that there aren't many photographers who will be mislead in thinking that a f/3.5-5.6 zoom will produce the same results as a constant f/2.8 zoom or an f/1.4 fixed lens. Nikon still hasn't made a complete shift to AF-S, so take the D40 for what it is: an excellent entry level dSLR with a wide array of lenses available for it. Just don't expect anymore to find a cheap(er) backup digital body in Nikon's lineup that will completely work with all of their lenses. So please remain conscious to the fact that Nikon is managing to make the consumers "consume" more than they ought to by introducing more and more limitations between their array of lenses & their digital bodies.

You can refer to Bjorn Rorslett's website at http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html to see most of Nikon's wonderful lenses reviewed & see everything you can achieve with their fantastic lenses, beyond the use of an 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens.

Jose Villegas , May 26, 2007; 03:43 A.M.

I'm new to the world of photography probably less than 3 months now and my camera is the D40x. My friends have the D80s and they were all impressed by the capabilities of the D40x. My wife, unknowingly, got me a 50mm f/1.4D AF lense and I have been using this ever since. I manually focus and have been producing great images.

mike plews , May 26, 2007; 09:20 A.M.

The D40/D40x cameras represent a very interesting option for Nikon users thinking about moving to digital. If you have a bag of older nonAI nikkors they will work just fine on the D40/D40x bodies. They will be manual focus and manual iris but with an LCD screen and histogram just a button push away that's not such a big deal. As for the D40 being limited to 8x10's, I would have to respectfully disagree. I have a D70 which has the same resolution as a D40 and am looking at a gorgeous 20x30 on my wall from this camera. Photoshop and bicubic smoothing can turn a relatively low megapixel camera into a real monster. Don't get too caught up in numbers on this specification. Remember that because of the inverse square law you need to quadruple the number of pixels to double the effective resolution. I do wish Nikon would sell the D40 without the kit lens.

Landrum Kelly , May 28, 2007; 05:30 P.M.

Mike, here 'tis:


Barry Carter , May 30, 2007; 11:49 P.M.

My D40 has been used mainly for taking photos of deep sky images. Having settled on Nikon (also have D70 and D50), I bought the D40 because of its simplicity, low noise, and lightweight; making it ideal for astrophotography. ImagesPlus 2.82 is used for complete automated control of the camera, and image processing; including Nef to TIF file conversion. This widefield image in the constellation Lyra, shows the eclipsing variable star Beta lyrae at top center, and the Ring Nebula, M57 at the lower left. Imaged with a D40 attached to a William Optic 105mm triplet refractor telescope, operating at 588mm, f/5.6. Tracking via a Vixen GP-DX with Skysensor 2000, autoguided with an SBIG STV with e-finder guidescope. Exposed at RAW, ISO 800, WB=sun, 10 x 3 min. Processed with ImagesPlus, Neat Image Pro, and Paint Sho Pro XI. Taken 23 May 2007, from SE Michigan.

Martin Carmichael , June 04, 2007; 04:31 P.M.

I bought a D40 because I can mount and shoot my old pre-AI nikkor lenses, like a 50mm f1.4 manual. I just love it.

mariel florendo , June 06, 2007; 01:20 P.M.

i buy nikon d40 last feb. 2007 and love it, coz it's affordable and very easy to start with. This is my first dslr and starting to learn photography. thanks a lot to this SITE, specially to the Nikon Forum.

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Jacob Brown , June 10, 2007; 06:38 P.M.

"The Nikon D40/D40x is the smallest, lightest, and cheapest APS-C DSLR from any manufacturer."

A small point: this wasn't true when the D40 was introduced, and it is not true now. The Pentax K110D/K100D are less expensive, and use the same Sony sensor chip as the D40.

Andrew Heitkamp , June 11, 2007; 12:56 A.M.

I bought the D40 back in Feb/March and it has been a great little camera. I now have the 18-55mm DX, kit lens, and 55-200mm VR DX lens for my D40. Some of the early comments about the loss of the metering and auto focus don't bother me due to the fact that I had been using manual focus on my old camera, a Canon AE-1, and that's how I learned how to take any photo's and I would not mind learning how to do hand held metering. This camera is also less intimidating as the D200 or D80 for beginners in the DSLR world. With the rather large 2.5 inch LCD display this makes it easy to quickly see your images and check the histogram . The D40 is a great entry level DSLR IMHO.

Hongying Zhao , June 15, 2007; 06:57 P.M.

I bought this D40 in order to get access to concert, really impressed. I am using two D200s and never thought of this entry level camera before. The D40 performs good and is very easy to use, just put one lens and you can carry it anywhere you want! ISO 1600 is amazing!

Sean Depuydt , June 17, 2007; 07:32 A.M.

I just purchased the D40 for my wife, and I have to admit I love this little thing. It's a perfect size for my wife and she is having a ball. - Sean

Debejyo Chakraborty , June 18, 2007; 04:20 A.M.

It was impressive to read all the opinions above. I'm planning on buying a D40. I am concerned about the metering since I do not wish to use a hand held. Is the meter good? Does it work well some of he older prime or non AF lenses?

Tim Huggins , June 21, 2007; 09:29 P.M.

"The Nikon D40x and the Canon Rebel XTi are comparable in capability and price." No mention of the Olympus E500 (or the various other Evolts)? The Oly is a better value ($699 list with two lenses!) has better ergonomics, better build quality, the brightest, sharpest LCD screen of any camera on the market, two card slots, continuous shooting for .jpg limited only by the card capacity, -- and that's just off the top of my head! As for the "Digital SLR system", with Olympus you get the legendary Zuiko lenses, which consistently are rated better than either Canon or Nikon lenses for optical quality. In addition, any 4/3 lens will work on the Oly's, including Leica! You might want to put a bit more effort into researching your topic to provide a more objective review.

Evan Agee , June 24, 2007; 06:09 P.M.

I bought a D40 after owning a Minolta Dimage Z1 for two years and I couldn't be happier with it. There are only a couple of complaints that most people make about the camera and one of them is that there aren't very many lenses you can use with it. However, if you look at the compatible lens list you'll quickly see that there are more lenses there than most people would EVER need or even want. So, as far as I can tell this is as close to the perfect camera as I'll ever need. I'm not daft enough to pay over $1,000 for a camera just so it can use a ton of lenses I don't want/need. This camera is amazing.

Apurva Madia , July 05, 2007; 09:43 A.M.

Already planning to buy D40 next week while I am travelling to singapore. All this reviews help my decision. I have been a Nikon fan, already owning a Nikon F75 film SLR with 28-80 and 70-300 AF G lenses. I do feel that Olympus with their zuikos is a good system and feel really missing out on them but do not want to be involved with two brands, and Nikon has better support in my country. Apurva Madia, India

Don Durham , July 06, 2007; 06:37 P.M.

Bought a D40 for my wife. Skip the D40x. Its nice but more than any D40 type user would ever need. Spend the extra $200 on a lens. I have recommended the D40 to several people who are looking for a good "snapshot" camera and it has been a winner each time. For my wife, I stick it on auto and she takes some really great pictures. Not so with a point and shoot. And light enough (with the kit 18-55) to carry all day long.

BK Waas , July 07, 2007; 09:25 P.M.

Thanks for a very informative review. I have a question for the editor. Since Nikon released the D80 several months before the D40, and since the D80 is aimed at more advanced amateurs, why is there _still_ no review of the D80?

John Sin , July 07, 2007; 10:28 P.M.

After reading the reviews and comments, I bought the D40. The first time to use a dslr, I found that the back screen cannot display the image before pressing the shutter. It is inconvenient. I like to have like the subcompact that you can view while pressing the shutter.

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Mark Cotner , July 11, 2007; 02:22 P.M.

I absolutely LOVE my D40x. It's relatively small and has great resolution and simple for a newbie like myself to use. I'm working to understand photography better, but until I do I can still take great pictures with this camera.

Don't buy the kit lenses if you can help it. I made that mistake and am replacing them with VR lenses. It is well worth any extra $$. Anybody want some cheap non-VR lenses?? :) j/k

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Mark Cotner , July 11, 2007; 02:24 P.M.

I absolutely LOVE my D40x. It's relatively small and has great resolution and simple for a newbie like myself to use. I'm working to understand photography better, but until I do I can still take great pictures with this camera.

Don't buy the kit lenses if you can help it. I made that mistake and am replacing them with VR lenses. It is well worth any extra $$. Anybody want some cheap non-VR lenses?? :) j/k

Hannah Thiem , July 11, 2007; 03:27 P.M.

John Sin,

I really like the flower photo you shared. I would like to include it in the D40/D40x Gallery section of the review article. Please upload it to your gallery and send me . Thanks!

J Blakely , July 13, 2007; 07:00 A.M.

@ Debejyo Chakraborty: It was impressive to read all the opinions above. I'm planning on buying a D40. I am concerned about the metering since I do not wish to use a hand held. Is the meter good? Does it work well some of he older prime or non AF lenses?

The meter is fine, same as found in the D80, if perhaps a little biased in favour of slight overexposure. I just set a constant 0.7 exposure compensation. However, as a cost cutting measure, the D40 will not meter at all on non-CPU lenses. Any lens marked "P", "AF", "AF-I", or "AF-S" will meter perfectly on the D40. This includes the excellent AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 and 1:1.8 prime lenses. Non AF lenses as a general rule are not CPU equiped and so will not meter at all on the D40. This is not a huge issue - it is easy to guess an aproximate exposure, shoot a test, and then refine. I do that with my Nikkor 35mm 1:2 (which replaced the 50mm 1:1.8 for me due to the 1.5x crop factor) and have not found it to be a major issue. There should be no need for a hand-held meter.

In any case, I'm exceptionally pleased with my D40. The lack of an AF motor is annoying - but I prefer the tiny size of the D40, and am more than happy to cope with MF in return.

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somkun ashida , July 28, 2007; 12:07 A.M.

I just upgraded from D200 w/18-200AFS. Why I use the word "upgrade"? Because D40 w/kit lens is lighter, smaller, and yield great images. For indoor and macro w/flash, there is no mistake. Images result is superb. Interface has improved, compared to D70 and D70s that I used to own. The so many external control buttons of D200 makes me nervous and by making needless adjustment, it mess up my intended shots. I highly recommend D40 w/kit lens to anyone -- not just DSLR beginners.

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somkun ashida , July 28, 2007; 12:21 A.M.

I just upgraded from D200 w/18-200AFS. D40 w/kit lens is much lighter, smaller, and yield superb images. I previously own D70 and D70s. Interface on D40 is much easier to use. The info button is cleaver. I would recommend D40 w/kit lens to any one -- not just DSLR beginners.

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Sal Frenda , July 29, 2007; 10:10 A.M.

I just bought my D40 two weeks ago and am continously amazed by the quality of pictures it takes. I've shown some of the pics to friends who are professional photographers and they are equally impressed. I don't even like taking credit for the pics, since I think it's the camera that's doing most of it. I just point and click. So I guess an earlier comment is on the money, it is a great P&C camera. Seriously though, it is very well built and easy to use, while still having a slew of advanced features I'm just now really learning to use.

I'd recommend this camera to anyone wanting to get into more serious photography and I look forward to taking pictures with a better lens. But for the weight, the kit lens is great to use all day long and still manages to capture good shots.

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joe paluh , August 18, 2007; 12:16 P.M.

I been a long hold out to digital. I was using an Olympus SP-350 but wasn't really thrilled with digital but now I bought the Nikon D-40 kit with the 18 - 55mm lens. I love it, took it out to the Grove City Farmers Market and capture some brillant images. I think I'll be using digital much more in the future!

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Hal Trachtenberg , August 24, 2007; 05:38 A.M.

Nikon has just introduced 3 new AF VR telephoto zoom lenses which should be compatible with the D40x. Some people think that right now you are limited on the type of lenses you can use. Though it is true that most of the old Nikon lenses won't work with the D40x, there are other brands that will. For example, Sigma lenses for Nikon cameras are fully functional, with AF and VR both working. You have plenty of choices from the 80 - 400mm zoom which goes for about $1400(cdn) up to the 800 - 1350mm zoom which is around $7000(cdn). I wouldn't recommend the 400mm because the price difference between that and the nikkor 70-300mm is almost double and the difference in focal length is about 25%. With the 300mm AF VR, you get about 9x zoom and the 400mm about 12x. I get more than both with my Sony DSC-H7 15x optical zoom with telephoto conversion lens added on. However, the quality is not the same as my Nikon D40x, and I can get wonderful macros with the D40x even with the 300mm lens. I would have to remove the telephoto lens on my sony if I wanted to do macro. For those who want to be able to use pretty much any Nikon lens out there, then the D80 is the solution for that.

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Hal Trachtenberg , August 24, 2007; 06:02 P.M.

Correction from earlier post:

The information I received regarding the Sigma lenses was incorrect. I visited the photo shop today hoping to come out with a new zoom lens. To my dismay, it turns out that even though you can use a sigma lens, there is no image stabilization and the auto focus won't work. So for now I'm sticking with the 18-55mm and the 70-300mm lenses. I will wait until Nikon puts out the new lenses.

Clive Rapier , September 15, 2007; 10:35 A.M.

As a step up to the next level photographer myself, I think the Nikon D40x is a good thing.

After many test shots....300 plus shots......., I have concluded that the best results come from "M" setting.

The thing I like the most, is that you have a choice. Point and shoot mode or do it your self mode.

The M mode is challenging but it will test the worst of novices. I think the D40x is the perfect learning tool for any wanna-be photographer or digital photographic artist.

But can I just say this. There is no substitute for a good imagination.

Try and try again is the moral.


darrell mankin , October 01, 2007; 01:18 P.M.

How right you are Clive. Although, I have tested my D40X with enough images on the different settings I always find myself switching to the "M" mode. When I feel I can't achieve a look in other settings the manual mode always saves the day. Perhaps because I also enjoy using my old 50mm lens on it.

Eugene Blake , October 12, 2007; 11:49 P.M.

I down graded from a D200 and heavy fixed aperture lenses to the D40 and it's light weight lenses. After purchasing the D40 my D200 and heavy lenses were left progressively behind at home. The lightweight D40 kit is a joy to use. I like the camera information on the lcd screen alot better than the top lcd equipped cameras. Once you learn the D40's controls one can whip thru any setting quickly. Who needs depth of field preview when you can snap a pic and check it instantly, after all no film is wasted. Battery power lasts much longer with the D40 compared to the D200. I haven't fallen for all the hype on megapixels. 6MP is plenty for what I need. If I needed more I'd move up to Med Format equip. I don't need a million focusing sensors and the D40 has met all criteria that my former D200 could provide. It's time to get rid of all the heavy stuff we lugged around everywhere. Why bother when you can purchase cheaper and run with a lightweight system that takes wonderful photos. My current kit is a D40, 18-55, 55-200 VR, SB-400. This covers alot of territory and situations. I plan to purchase the Sigma 30mm for a fast prime later on. I've seen marvalous photos taken with P&S's, after-all it's the photographer's vision not the machine's. My philosoghy now is light weight, low-cost, take more pictures, and have fun. If I ruin a lens I'm not out a megaton of cash.

Robert Watcher , October 23, 2007; 02:42 P.M.

Nikon D40 : Sigma 10-20mm lightweight combo for weddings

I am not on a tight budget, and as with some above have purchased the D40 for it's small size and light weight. I dislike large cameras for my fast action shooting. Most of the time for my wedding work my main camera is my D200 and I keep the D40 on my shoulder. But it is fixed with the great Sigma 10-20 ultrawide - - - what a combo. Later at receptions, I quite often leave my big D200 in the van and just fly around the evening with my D40 with either the 18-200VR mounted or the 10-20. With the 10-20 I can be found holding it high in the air over the dancing with one hand, for an effect as if I were standing on a ladder - or I walk around with it at my waste catching all kinds of intimate candids. And with the 18-200 attached it provides perfect quality wide angle, to portrait, to sniper shots. My D40 with Nikkor 18-200VR is my standard walk around camera when I am on vacation or in the field shooting stock.

Cool thing is that I'm not giving up anything in image quality by using my precious little D40. I consider it a pro tool in my work.


Marty Pickering , January 01, 2008; 11:50 A.M.

I have found the information provided, very useful. I am a "Newbie" to the DSLR world and have an interest in developing my photographic knowledge over the next few years. (I'm looking for a low-impact profession due to an auto accident). When I retire from a Military career, I will look to transition into another career and would like to develop that skill and customer base until that time. Anyway, I currently own a D40 and I was a little unsure about that purchase when I made it (specifically) because I knew what my future plans were and did not want to need further upgrades, purchases etc... I am now confident that I made a good choice and so far I am very pleased with the picture quality (although only 6.1 mp). At the point I determine my level of knowledge warrents another purchase (to a more "professional" capable camera), I will decide on the upgrade at that time (if required at all). But for now, I am very pleased with it, I have taken great photos (relative term comming from a Newbie), and as my photography experience grows, I am sure I can wringout the D40 for it's max potential.

Image Attachment: Ducks Landing.JPG

HÃ¥kan Sterner , January 04, 2008; 09:06 P.M.

I got this lovely gift from my absolutely lovely GF since 15 years: the Nikon D-40! What can I say... absolutely perfect for me!

Built like a tank it seems, yet so light and takes pro-class pics... what more could you ask for?

Got to admit I'm one of those oldtimer guys that got spoiled with Canon FTb and its exquisite 50mm standard lens... to hope for an "upgrade" in the Canon EOS 1000F at the time (probably called "Rebel" something in the US)... to become totally desoriented with the horrible performance of the supplied kit zoom lens. Never used that camera very much, never felt like trying to upgrade optically even. Good camera, lousy lens is a very bad recipie for attracting customers to a system.

I liked the Olympus Mu (Stylus) II much more that I got as a survival kit a few years later. Much better pics, plain and simple... from a super-compact that was! Also much more likely to get the shots that I wanted due to the compact format of course.

Later, in the digital realm, I used a Sony DSC-90 4 mpix camera, became thrilled again due to its excellent picture quality, perfect exposure most often. Still using it and love it. Perhaps not as sharp as the Olympus Mu-II but much more versatile, hence much more used and much more good pics produced overall.

Now I got this D-40 gem! I can't believe the difference I see to the DSC-90-type consumer-class point&shoot compacts! This is something completely differnt IMHO, and I swear it cannot be just due to the slight increase in megapixels. It is a very qualitative difference in picture quality.

This D40 is just such a joy to shoot with, smooth, quiet, super-sharp and fast during all conditions with the 18-55 kit lens. The mere physical feel of the package is simply awsome- It feels light, almost "military grade" in general feel and quality, extremely responsive. Compared to the old Canon 1000F kit lens... there is no comparison I'm afraid. This one is almost too good to be true, especially at this modest price point. Absolutely wonderful kit lens.

Just ordered a SB-400 flash to get some nice bounce-flash capabilities in a super-compact format. Sure, there are "pirate" alternatives that are much more powerful for the price but I want something really compact yet effective that will not be left behind when called for. The SB-400 seems almost unbeatable for my intended uses, therefore it is the natural choice of a flash for me right now.

Next planned purchase will be the 55-200 VR lens, what a bargain for what it does!

I absolutely love this camera for much more than I cared to mention here, so extremely perfect for me. The reduced spectrum of lenses available with full metering and AF capability means very little to me since I find what I want at very ok prices even in Nikon's own product line. Btw, the concept of having the AF motors in the lens is not exactly revolutionary in in overall look of things, I feel it is a quite natural evolution that will bring more useful products my way.

Of course, if you already have a bunch of old Nikon lenses there might be other more useful choices open to you.

Kathy Tuppurainen , January 05, 2008; 05:09 P.M.

I chose the D40x over the D40 for it's slightly higher frame rate (3 fps on the D40x versus 2.5 on the D40). I photograph mainly animals and children and fps is critical - I couldn't afford a 6 fps camera, but that little bit of extra shooting speed on the D40x for very little extra money made a lot of sense.

I'm delighted with the images the D40x has produced for me so far and I doubt I could have had a better introduction to DSLR.

Ross Campbell , January 08, 2008; 06:00 P.M.

I am reasonably new to DSLR and have purchased a D40x which i'm very happy with. If you had doubts how good the D40 is i would suggest you have a look at a friend of mine on flickr and his photostream.

RV Brown , January 09, 2008; 05:55 P.M.

I have several "nicer", fancier, and more feature-filled rigs. My problem... I just can't get rid of my little D40! The ONLY major drawback is that it DOES NOT HAVE A AUTO FOCUS MOTOR so you have to use AF-S or AF-I lenses. That being said... WOW!!! It is light as heck! The user interface is the simplest of any camera I have. If I could put an AF motor in this camera I would probably part with some of my bigger, heavier rigs. Don't let the mega-pixel myth fool you. This is fine for printing out 8 X 10 or even some 11 X 17 photographs. Did I mention it is SMALL?!

Bottom line: If you don't mind buying special lenses, get a D40!

Mark Shrek , February 13, 2008; 07:43 P.M.

I have been doing a lot of research for the past couple of months and have came down to Nikon D40/40x/80...maybe even Canon Rebel XT/XTi (not sure though) Now the reason I haven't bought one is that there's so much too know about camera's that I don't want to feel overwhelmed and not enjoy taking pictures. I have gone to websites such as Dpreview.com, cnet.com, consumerreport.org, kenrockwell.com, steve-digicams.com, pcmag.com and I even went as far as talking to photographers in order to help me choose a camera but to no avail I haven't found one. Also, I am still uneasy spending $500-$1,000 on something that I am unsure (maybe afraid?!?!?) that I may not like it. Has anyone felt the same nervousness or a little uneasy about spending so much money? What have you done to help you? Once I do decide to get one, should I buy just the body and spend the extra on the lenses or get the kit? Also, I know how expensive the D80 is, would it be wise to save money instead of using that money for D40x? Last question I swear, would it be a good starter? Thanks for listening and any advice that you could give.


Karl Feltig , March 14, 2008; 04:14 A.M.

Nikon D40x impressions

Superbly easy to use - I had to hit the deck running with this camera with only one day to play before doing product photography. I managed easily. I found that when out of the auto modes this camera put me back to photographing like I used to with 35mm film - it puts you in control, whether for good or bad. This is a real camera - which means no lens cap on a thread! The kit lens is okay but it is seriously worth upgrading to something better.
Looong battery life - I shot for nine hours and the battery was 2/3rd charged!

Switch to macro mode, switch flash off, goto sports mode, then back to macro and its forgotten you didn't want the flash on. Its a minor thing but something that other cheaper cameras have, they reset when switched on again.
No external power socket - battery only :o(

There is a pretty nice info page here: Nikon D40x

Michael Will , April 04, 2008; 06:46 P.M.

In regars to Mark Shrek:

Why don't you buy it where there is a 30 day return policy. That should give you enough time to figure out if you'll love or hate it.

I am in the same dilemma that you are in, described it on http://mrmichaelwill.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/15/ and I am very close to going with the Nikon D40 based on the quality of the kitted lense and the flash resolution.

Whats holding me up is lack of live preview + varioangle LCD that I am so used from my Canon G3. But I guess I should just wait a few generations of cameras for that on the DSLR and for now get my feet wet with the Nikon D40 and be more forced to think like a real photographer :-)


Clive Rapier , April 18, 2008; 09:49 A.M.

If you can not see through the scope, then chances are, you are not going to take a good photo.

The DSLR is just that, a digital camera with optical power.

The money you spend is in the Optics and the physics of the optics...........NOT the make believe software that the point and shoot cameras provide.

Amit Barak , June 14, 2008; 04:21 P.M.


Too bad the camera does not support mechanical autofocus lenses. I have the D70 and a Nikkor 35mm f/2.0 lens, which cannot fit on the D40.
Bought the 35mm many years ago, I still enjoy using it from time to time instead of the (also good) 18mm-70mm kit zoom lens that came with the D70.
(I am really happy with the D70, I'd just be glad to move to a more compact and light body, with the better LCD)
See more Nikon D40 reviews

Margaret Woodall-Shark , September 26, 2008; 03:46 P.M.

Queston-can you interchange older Nikon lens with a Nikon adapter to the Nikon D40? Thanks

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