Nikon’s choice of “compromises” with the D40 are switching to a new three area AF sensor (although it seems to be just as fast), removing some of the flexibility (you can’t change the CW average area, exposure steps are fixed at 1/3 EV and there’s no bracketing) and removing the status LCD (although this has more to do with making the camera smaller than saving money). What the D40 shares with the D50 are some of the important things, the six megapixel sensor, the 420 pixel metering sensor (also used on the D80), the more ‘consumer like’ default IIIa color mode and 2.5 frames per second continuous shooting (although now unlimited in JPEG mode).
On the plus side you get ISO 3200 equiv. (HI 1), the ever useful customizable Auto ISO, a larger viewfinder view, shorter shutter lag and viewfinder blackout, a larger LCD monitor, a considerably nicer user interface, SDHC support, a new image processing engine, unlimited JPEG continuous shooting, in-camera retouching (including D-Lighting) and of course a smaller and lighter body. It would not therefore be fair to describe the D40 as a ‘dumbed down’ D50, far from it, the range of improvements and new features out-weigh those which have been removed or reduce, which would most likely not be missed by the average D40 owner.
Great pictures used to require complicated and cumbersome equipment along with years of experience. Not any more. The D40 is compact, lightweight and designed specifically for ease of use, yet contains all the top-quality, high-performance technologies that you expect from a Nikon digital SLR. And with world-famous Nikkor lenses, you know you have the sharpest and most reliable optical performance available. All in a camera light enough to carry with you everywhere. Beautiful photography has never been easier.
The D40’s high-resolution image quality is made possible by Nikon’s high-performance 6.1 megapixel Nikon DX format CCD imaging sensor and exclusive Nikon image processing engine which assures stunning sharpness and color. Intuitive controls make the D40 point-and-shoot simple, enabling even first-time SLR users to capture beautiful memories perfectly. At just over 16 ounces, the beautifully styled and compact D40 makes high-performance digital SLR photography easier and more convenient than ever. Fast startup combined with super-fast shutter response and rapid-action shooting at up to 2.5 frames per second makes it easy to freeze special moments instantly.
Designed exclusively for use with Nikon DX-format digital SLRs, this ultra-compact 3x zoom offers Nikkor sharpness and versatility in a wide variety of shooting situations.The D40 can fire continuously at a speed of up to 2.5 frames per second, capturing high-quality action sequences of children in sporting activities such as soccer, baseball and much more. Playback images are easy to see, and function menus are easier to use with a larger and brighter color LCD monitor. The large 2.5-inch LCD monitor enables image preview at up to 19 times magnification and has large type fonts and easy-to-view menus as well as three all-new display options: Classic, Graphic and Wallpaper.
Nikon’s DX format CCD image sensor delivers vivid color and sharp detail, great for making beautifully detailed enlargements of 16 x 20 inches and beyond. High resolution also provides room for creative cropping. Highly versatile in-camera editing features include Nikon D-Lighting, Red-Eye Correction, Image Trimming, Image Overlay, Monochrome (Black and White, Sepia and Cyanotype) along with Skylight, Warm Tone and Color Balance filter effects. These features provide greater creative freedom without the need for a computer, for those who prefer to send pictures directly to a printer.
The D40’s newly introduced “assist images” help you select the appropriate settings for many camera features by showing an example image typical of that setting as well as an advanced HELP Menu for the current item selected. The D40’s Question Mark icon (?) indicates that help is available for the currently selected item; just press the help button beside the LCD monitor to see a context sensitive help page. The D40’s advanced 3-area AF system and the refined algorithms inherited from more advanced Nikon digital SLR cameras deliver fast, efficient and precise autofocus. AF refinements deliver greater precision with fast, more consistent subject acquisition and improved focus tracking for consistently sharper pictures.The D40’s Image Optimize setting lets photographers adjust color, contrast and sharpening as well as other image settings according to the type of scene or output desired. Settings include: Normal, Softer, Vivid, More Vivid, Portrait, Custom and Black and White, each of which are automatically adjusted based on sophisticated Nikon algorithms or user-selected settings for optimum results.
Nikon’s innovative i-TTL flash control evaluates flash exposure with incredible precision to achieve better automatic flash balance and deliver outstanding results. The built-in Speedlight is always at the ready and brings beautiful exposures in darkened conditions as well as adding sparkle for fill flash in outdoor situations for enhanced twilight shots or an added impact to daylight images. A large viewfinder makes composition easier, and overall viewfinder brightness makes focusing in low-light photography possible. Its bright and sharp viewfinder, with 0.8x magnification, ensures precise composition.
Eight Digital Vari-Program Modes include: Auto Flash-OFF, Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close Up or Night Portrait, each of which adjusts automatically for optimal results under varied conditions. The D40’s 3D Color Matrix Metering II evaluates each scene for brightness, color, contrast, size and position of shadows and highlights, selected focus area and camera-to-subject distance, comparing that information against an onboard database of more than 30,000 actual photographic scenes.
- 6 megapixel DX format CCD (1.5x FOV crop, as D50)
- Nikon Image processing engine (as D80 / D200)
- 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 420 pixel sensor (as D80 / D50)
- New Multi-CAM530 three area AF sensor
- ISO sensitivity range 200 – 1600 plus HI 1 (3200 equiv.)
- Custom Auto ISO (selectable maximum ISO, minimum shutter speed)
- 2.5 fps continuous shooting (as D50), unlimited in JPEG
- No status LCD, new LCD monitor based status / settings screens
- Help suggestions on LCD monitor (eg. scene too dark, try using flash)
- Large 2.5″ 230,000 pixel LCD monitor
- Bigger viewfinder view (x0.8 magnification, 95% coverage)
- Short shutter lag and viewfinder blackout
- Support for SDHC (SD cards over 2 GB in capacity)
- In-camera retouching: D-Lighting (shadow / highlight enhancement), Red-eye reduction, Trimming, Monochrome, Filter effects, Small picture, Image overlay
- USB 2.0 with PTP and Mass Storage device support
- Very compact, light body (smaller, lighter than D50)
- Improved menu user interface (as D80 / D200)
- New EN-EL9 Lithium-Ion battery (7.2V, 1000 mAh)
- New ‘Version II’ AF-S DX 18-55 mm kit lens