Nikon D40

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Nikon D40

The D40 is a compact and lightweight high-performance camera that makes it possible for anyone to create stunning images with an SLR. Designed specifi...

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Review of "Nikon D40"

published 22/01/2010 | roktimdutta
Member since : 05/02/2009
Reviews : 102
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About me :
Amazing!! The Poms, the Kangaroos, the Kiwis, they all take the back seat we are right up there, in front of everybody. India wins ICC World Cup 2011. (Rating at Ciao.co.uk: some what helpful)
Excellent
Pro Excellent pictures, handy
Cons Read the review
very helpful
Picture Quality
Range & Quality of Features
Ease of Use
Durability
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"I loved it, you might as well like Nikon D40"

Nikon D40

Nikon D40

I have very bad date with Samsung E15 for a start with dSLRs and to be true my whole idea of using DSLRs was jolted. But I thought since professionals’ use dSLRs there is nothing to loose heart and it also taught me that good things don’t come cheap. I decided to for good entry level dSLR and one of m friends suggested me Nikon D40 and I trusted him and got it. It did quite a bit of harm to my wallet but it was worth it.

Before writing any thing I must say that Nikon D40 is extremely cute and pretty. I don’t think the pros will be at all dissatisfied with it since Nikon D40 shoots such good pictures in the hands a of a rookie like me, wonder what a pro can do with it. It is very user friendly and the friendliest part for novice like me is that Nikon D40 has several option displaying current shooting info in spite of the fact that you keep using the same screen (on the top left hand side) for changing the settings. There is a ring on the Graphic display which gives important info as to how shutter speed and aperture are related may be they are relative in a sense that pro might do wonders with different shutter speed and aperture but they work fine with me. I loved the Wallpaper option. The other wonderful feature is that you can use its thumbnail display to choose the best and appropriate options for a particular type of picture.

I loved its D-Lighting option which adjust exposure automatically just point and shoot. There are wonderful filter effects but I thought they take out the naturalist part of the shots may be I have not yet learned to use them. It has all the other features of a point and shoot camera like the red-eye reduction and cropping.

Some say 6.1-megapixel sensor is not enough but I have no complains, its processing engine works fine and 420-pixel sensor 3D Color Matrix Metering II metering system is just that someone like me needs. But I do have an issue with the lenses. I have a collection of lenses but they don’t work with it, I had a brief discussion with them and the friend who suggested me Nikon D40 and I have come to understand, I should add them under the heading “Compatibility Issues” in this review.

I loved the viewfinder with a magnification 0.8X, I have seen expensive cameras without viewfinders but I wonder how one decides a shot without it. It has got 3 focus selection points. When I shoot I play safe with the center point. But what I learned is that you can do wonders if I learn to use the various automatic focus selection point modes. I have not yet learned to use them but I shot a picture of a lady, oops, you can see the hair on her skin distinctly, that is some fabulous picture quality. As an armature I really am amazed buy the quality of shoots I get from Nikon D40, absolutely nothing to complain just perfect. Hardly an noise, lens distortion is minimal, mind-blowing colors, excellent exposure and metering.

I really don’t know why the rat race for more megpixels and even more megpixels count. Do we need massive pixel count or larger and better quality pixels? I would opt for the later, atleast after using Nikon D40. I had a 13x19 print, it had no problems. There was no ugly grains, distortion or noise.

As far as sensitivity level is concerned Nikon D40 supports levels from ISO 200 to ISO 1,600 an add to that HI 1 level which I learn equals to around ISO 3,200.

One just might complain that lens’s sluggish f/3.5 to f/5.6 aperture narrows down the exposure option. But there are, as I have mentioned, three autofocus options:
  • Single point
  • Dynamic area
  • Closest subject

On top of that you can use the continuous, single shot and predictive modes with option of choosing shutter speed from 3 to 1/4,000 secs.
NAVIGATION:

The navigation with Nikon D40 is superb and user friendly. The 2.5 inch LCD is on the back, excellent thinking. A button press displays all the current settings and a second press allows you navigation and change those settings using four way and OK navigation switch and command dial. The menus are very east to understand.
The wake up time is excellent at 0.3 secs, raw as well as JPEG shot to shot time is superb at 0.6 secs and add 0.3 secs, you get the flash ready. I believe it is the best in its class with 2.5 fps and it does sustain that speed.

LOWS:

Pros might disagree but I found only one weakness in Nikon D40 and that is its shutter lag and the autofocus speed. In good light it is absolutely annoying at 0.7 and sometimes 0.9 (reason: unknown). I think you just don’t go for long shots and near shots at a time (when you take shots with subject close by there is no problem but refocusing for distant shots it does take a bit of time).
Since Nikon D40 doesn’t have an internal focus drive motor and it’s natural that there is no mechanical focus drive pin. It has got only CPU contacts so it can only auto focus with AF-S and AF-I lenses.
COMPATIBILITY, AN ISSUE ONLY:

Nikon sells a kit version only. It comes with the new f/3.5 upto f/5.6, 18 mm upto 55 mm II ED AF-S DX lens which same as 28.8 mm upto 88 mm. As there is no coupling pin on the lens mount limiting its compatibility with other lenses specially the older ones. This is the reason I can not use other Nikon lenses which are older.

SOFTWARE ISSUES:

You got add some extra ponds (don’t ask how much) for RAW shooting since you got get the Nikon’s Capture NX software, they should have been explicit on it because the supplied Picture Project software is not really sufficient for RAW shooting essays.

But then this I don’t need, so The PP software is just perfect for me.

But for someone like me who wants to step up to my first (okay second) dSLR, the Nikon D40 is a great choice
At £369.50, pricey but you can not complain.
PP: The dimension, in case you are interested:
  • Width 5 in
  • Depth 2.5 in
  • Height 3.7 in
  • Weight 16.8 oz

Thanks for reading
Also at ehow and dooyoo with same user name

© roktimdutta, January 2009

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This review was read 2856 times and was rated at
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Comments on this review

  • Sarahjh1 published 24/01/2010
    Great review, I am so useless with cameras ¬!
  • blackmagicstar4 published 23/01/2010
    Fab review as always!! Sorry i havent been on i havent had chance to sort out my internet im ok hopefully be on soon!! xx
  • catsholiday published 23/01/2010
    Very thorough review
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Product Information : Nikon D40

Manufacturer's product description

The D40 is a compact and lightweight high-performance camera that makes it possible for anyone to create stunning images with an SLR. Designed specifically for ease of use, the D40 lets you use the kind of digital and optical technologies that professionals use without the need to deal with complex functions. Whatever you shoot there is an automated Digital Vari Program that lets you achieve fantastic results in any situation. Help menus are easy to navigate and the in-camera retouch menu makes it simple to edit and enhance your images on the large, bright 2.5-inch LCD monitor. Perfect for people who want an affordable camera to explore what it is that makes SLR photography stand out, the D40 is so user-friendly that all you have to do is concentrate on the scene you want to photograph and the camera's advanced Nikon technologies will take care of the rest.

Product Details

Product Description: Nikon D40 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, Nikon D40 - digital camera - body only, Nikon D40 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, Nikon D40 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-135mm lens, Nikon D40 - digital camera AF-S DX 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses

Product Type: Digital SLR Camera, Digital SLR

Lens Included: AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, Body only, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, AF-S DX 18-135mm lens, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Sensor Resolution: 6.1 Megapixel

Lens System: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX, 7.5 x zoom lens - 18 - 135 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED Nikon AF-S DX, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 45 cm

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Viewfinder: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror

Display: LCD display - 2.5"

Supported Battery: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Microsoft Certification: Certified for Windows Vista

Colour: Black, Silver

Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.6 cm x 6.4 cm x 9.4 cm

Weight: 475 g

Lens System (2nd): 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G ED Nikon AF-S DX, 4.3 x zoom lens - 70 - 300 mm - f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED Nikon AF-S VR

LCD Display Size: 2.5

Optical Sensor / Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Manufacturer: Nikon

Optical Sensor / Sensor Resolution: 6.1

Image Stabiliser: Optical

General

MPN: VBA150KU01, 5114993, D40S, VBA-150-K001, Nikon D40, VBA150K002, NIK-D40KT1, 9419, SLR1176, D40N+AFSDX18-55, 25420, 999D4000

Product Type: Digital camera - SLR

Lens Included: AF-S DX 18-55mm lens, Body only, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, AF-S DX 18-135mm lens, AF-S DX 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses

Enclosure Colour: Black, Silver

Sensor Resolution: 6.1 Megapixel

Optical Sensor Type: CCD

Total Pixels: 6,240,000 pixels

Effective Sensor Resolution: 6,100,000 pixels

Optical Sensor Size: 15.6 x 23.7mm

Field of View Crop Factor: 1.5

Optical Zoom: 3 x, 7.5 x

Auto Focus: TTL phase detection

Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty: 3

Image Recording Format: JPEG, NEF (RAW)

AV Interfaces: Composite video/audio

Available Body Colours: Black, silver

Image Stabiliser: Optical

Exposure & White Balance

Light Sensitivity: ISO 200-1600

Exposure Metering: Centre-weighted, spot, 3D colour matrix II

Exposure Metering Zones: 420

Exposure Modes: Programme, bulb, automatic, manual, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, i-TTL program flash

Shooting Programs: Landscape, portrait mode, close-up, night portrait, Children, sports mode

Special Effects: Black & White, Sepia, Cyanotype, Warm Filter, skylight filter

White Balance: Custom, automatic, presets

White Balance Presets: Incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, sunlight, Flash, shade

Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec

Min Shutter Speed: 30 sec

Exposure Compensation: ±5 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps

X-sync Speed: 1/500 sec

Exposure Range: EV 0-20 ( ISO 100 )

Lens System

Type: 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G ED II Nikon AF-S DX, 7.5 x zoom lens - 18 - 135 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED Nikon AF-S DX, 3 x zoom lens - 18 - 55 mm - f/3.5-5.6 G Nikon AF-S DX VR

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 27 - 82.5mm, 27 - 202.5mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Min Focus Distance: 28 cm, 45 cm

Zoom Adjustment: Manual

Lens Construction: 5 groups / 7 elements, 13 groups / 15 elements, 8 groups / 11 elements

Filter Size: 52 mm, 67 mm

Lens System Mounting: Nikon F

Features: ED glass, Silent Wave Motor (SWM), aspherical lens

Max View Angle: 76 degree(s)

Camera Flash

Camera Flash: Pop-up flash

Guide Number (m / ISO 100): 17

Flash Modes: Fill-in mode, rear curtain sync, slow synchro, auto mode, flash OFF mode, red-eye reduction

Features: AF illuminator, flash +/- compensation

Additional Features

Continuous Shooting Speed: 2.5 frames per second

Self Timer Delay: 2 - 20 sec, 10 sec, 2sec, 5 sec, 20sec

Flash Terminal: Hot shoe

Additional Features: Direct print, USB 2.0 compatibility, auto power save, digital noise reduction, DPOF support, display brightness control, PictBridge support, histogram display, AE lock, AF lock, cropping an image, in-camera red-eye fix, text input to Exif header

Viewfinder

Viewfinder Type: Optical - eye-level penta-dach mirror

Field Coverage: 95%

Magnification: 0.8x

Dioptric Correction Range: -1.7 to +0.5

Viewfinder Frames: Autofocus frame

Viewfinder Information: Shutter speed, exposure compensation, AE lock, AF-in-focus, flash charge completion, aperture, Exposure Mode, frames-remaining counter

Display

Type: 2.5" LCD display

Resolution: 230,000 pixels

Display Features: Built-in

Connections

Connector Type: 1 x USB ¦ 1 x composite video output

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Software

Software: Drivers & Utilities, Nikon PictureProject

Miscellaneous

Certified for Windows Vista: Certified for Windows Vista software and devices have undergone compatibility tests for ease-of-use, better performance and enhanced security.

Included Accessories: Eyepiece cover, battery charger, dust cap, body cap, lens cap, USB cable, eyecup, shoe cap, strap

Battery

Battery Type: Nikon EN-EL9

Details: 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( included )

Memory / Storage

Memory Card Slot: SD card

Supported Memory Cards: MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card

Image Storage: RAW 3008 x 2000 : 65 - with 512MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 137 - with 512MB card ¦ Normal JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 260 - with 512MB card ¦ Basic JPEG 3008 x 2000 : 503 - with 512MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 235 - with 512MB card ¦ Normal JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 444 - with 512MB card ¦ Basic JPEG 2256 x 1496 : 839 - with 512MB card ¦ Fine JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 503 - with 512MB card ¦ Normal JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 839 - with 512MB card ¦ Basic JPEG 1504 x 1000 : 1200 - with 512MB card

Dimensions & Weight

Width: 12.6 cm

Depth: 6.4 cm

Height: 9.4 cm

Weight: 475 g

Lens System (2nd)

Features: ED glass, Silent Wave Motor (SWM)

Filter Size: 52 mm, 67 mm

Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual

Lens Construction: 9 groups / 13 elements, 12 groups / 17 elements

Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera: 82.5 - 300mm, 105 - 450mm

Type: 3.6 x zoom lens - 55 - 200 mm - f/4.0-5.6 G ED Nikon AF-S DX, 4.3 x zoom lens - 70 - 300 mm - f/4.5-5.6 G IF-ED Nikon AF-S VR

Min Focus Distance: 95 cm

System Requirements for PC Connection

Peripheral Devices: USB port, CD-ROM Drive

Environmental Parameters

Max Operating Temperature: 40 °C

Min Operating Temperature: 0 °C

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