back to article Nikon D40 entry-level digital SLR

The D40 is still part of Nikon’s current range. To begin with it was a sub-£500 camera; today it's a sub-£300 model and in our book that makes it worth serious consideration by the DSLR beginner. It's true that to a large extent, you get what you pay for, and in launching a low-cost DSLR, Nikon has had to make some compromises …


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  1. Sam


    Since when does 420 quid equal 500 dollars? 253 quid seems nearer.

  2. Steven Raith


    That'll be the respective manufacturers RRP for each country, you dolt.

    So high ISO without banding? When did Nikon sort that out?

    [I haven't been paying attention as I am a Canon man meself]

    Steven R

  3. Eddie Edwards

    Awesome compression

    "The smallest JPEG resolution, with a compression ratio of 1:16, is 1504 x 1000 pixels."

    That's amazing. They actually make the image 16 times larger than it was before!

    Or did you mean 16:1 compression ratio?

    Mine's the one with the KICK ME sign on the back.

  4. Altis

    Also check out....

    ...the Pentax K100D super which, IMHO, is a slightly better camera and is, currently, only £249.99 at a certain high-street catalogue store.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time warp ? (pedant alert)

    If the bus is fast-moving and there are only 4 pics, shouldn't the time taken be quoted as 1.7 seconds ?

    I mean, if you had 17 seconds to do 4 shots, you could probably have done it with a wind-up manual.

  6. Mark

    Re: Eh?

    Because they bought the entire production line back when the dollar wasn't quite so far in the shitter.

    [sotto voce]Yeah, that works...

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Ahhh Britain

    In most countries the reviewer would have stepped outside and took some snaps of some interesting architecture, or some stunning scenery. Maybe some bikini clad saucepots frollicking on a sunny beach?

    But here in the dreary UK, we get an ugly bus, trundling down a generically depressing British street, on a grey and depressing day.

    This country is damn ugly, and now that our economy is stuffed, even worse.

    I'm moving to Poland.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I bought one a week ago

    Thanks for the tip about extending the on time of the display because that has been the main gripe for me.

    I'm still getting the hang of all the options and so can't offer a complete opinion on it yet but so far it seems good. The auto-focus can be a bit hit-and-miss but it works with a Nikkor AF lens that I bought back in the mid 80s. My older Nikkor lenses are manual only but it's good to see an investment of over 1000 quid made over 25 years ago is still not obsolete.

    Mine cost AUD498.00 which is roughly 242 of your Earth Pounds.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Resolution vs Quality

    The comments about resolution are bang on: it gives some 8 megapixel cameras a run for their money. The quality of the pictures is superb: I've had mine for just about a year and I'd recommend it to anyone.

  10. Andrew James

    @ Time Warp ...

    "If the bus is fast-moving and there are only 4 pics, shouldn't the time taken be quoted as 1.7 seconds ?

    I mean, if you had 17 seconds to do 4 shots, you could probably have done it with a wind-up manual."

    There aren't 4 pictures of the bus. There are 12. 6 from the front as the bus drives towards the camera, 2 of the side as the bus passes the camera, and a further 4 as the bus drives away.

    The fact that the bus is a different colour on the front and back has obviously confused you!

  11. Andrew James

    Even though it's only a 3x lens,

    "Even though it's only a 3x lens, it gets you much closer to the action"

    Errrr, yes... three times closer, you might think.

  12. Robert

    Can Use Old Nikon Lenses Too!

    I have a D40 and its a fantastic camera that I use when I dont want to take my more expensive models. What I love about my D40 is that I can use any Nikon K mount lens granted they wont be autofocus so back to manual but great if you have a lot of old K mount lenses lying around from a old forgotton film Nikon.

    This camera is also very light which is great for one handed level shooting in awkard situations.

  13. David Rollinson
    Thumb Up

    Got one; highly recomended

    I got one a few months ago, worked out less than £250 with Nikon's cashback offer. I went for the D40 after reading Ken Rockwell's comments/review ( and seeing results from a friend's D40. One thing this review doesn't mention is the D40's very high flash-sync speed of 1/500 sec; this gives the D40 a big advantage when using fill-in flash or photographing action-subjects with a flash; see Ken's article on why flash sync matters (

    Anyway, a great DSLR camera for not much more than a high-end compact - love it!

  14. J
    Paris Hilton


    "which is great for one handed level shooting in awkard situations."

    Hm, go on, tell us more...

  15. Robert C Murray


    I've been using the D40 for about a year now, and I love it so much I bought another one for my second body.

    I've never been happier with a camera than I am with my D40.

  16. Matt

    outdated review???

    Why on earth are you reviewing a two year old camera who's replacement and upgrade has been out for almost a year in itself?

    Please Reg, stick to PC related reviews.

  17. caerphoto

    Re: Can Use Old Nikon Lenses Too!

    "I can use any Nikon K mount lens granted they wont be autofocus so back to manual but great if you have a lot of old K mount lenses lying around from a old forgotton film Nikon."

    Er, K mount is Pentax. Nikon is F mount.

    And here's another recommendation for the Pentax K100D Super. Has built-in anti-shake, a proper status LCD, runs on AA batteries, and has better compatibility with old (i.e. cheap) lenses (can use all metering modes with some types (the "A" ones) , vs. M only with Nikon manual lenses).

  18. saltyknob

    @Arthur Daley

    Ok, I'm a wooting Nikon fanboi but the D40 isn't exactly, er, new. what is happening here? Did the credit crunch hit Arthur Daley at the Reg at the end of 2006? I won't buy a D3 until I read you review in Winter 2009.

    Anyway, 90% was deserved in '06. it's a nice small DSLR with low noise.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @ Matt / saltyknob

    Why not read the first paragraph of the review, i.e. the bit just under the main facts, and just before the second paragraph?

  20. Richard Williams
    Thumb Up

    voice of experience

    I've owned one of these, and I can safely say it is a fantastic beginner's or casual user's SLR.

    I had not practiced 'real' photography for some time and when my compact finally died I realised it was time to get serious again. I bought a D40. It seemed a perfect reintroduction to my past hobby. It has enough guts for the interested amateur but easy and light enough for those not too (or not yet) interested in the more manual modes. I have to say I outgrew mine quite quickly and sold it on, upgrading to a D80 for various reasons that had NOTHING to do with the image quality of the D40 - I am now doing some semi-pro work. For the amount it cost me though, if I hadn't made a return to more serious photography, I would not have felt that the D40 purchase was a waste of money. Quite the contrary. Yes it's limited in the fact you can't put all of Nikon's lenses on it, but it's not aimed at people who want to do that!

    For a good write-up on the D40 check out This guy owns just about every Nikon camera going, and cuts past all the marketing cr#p like 'more megapixels is better'.

  21. BigTim

    seriously considered one of these

    After reading Ken Rockwell, but the guy's shill at best and an opinionated egomaniac at worst.

    Still a good cam but I'm happy after deciding to shell out more ££ and get a 450D.

  22. Jared Earle

    Better luck this time

    Hopefully my negative comment won't be moderated to oblivion this time.

    Why does this merit 90% but the 400D only gets 75%?

  23. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)


    Different cameras with different audiences in mind and therefore different scores regarding their suitability for the DSLR newcomer.

  24. Jared Earle

    @Tony Smith

    Different Audiences? They're both older models available at a decent price for those that can't afford the latest models. The Canon is by far the better choice and about the same price.

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