The D40 kit model (with an approximate price of 590 EUR) includes the small and light camera as well as an 18-55 mm lens, taking into account that the camera is not available in the configuration that allows us to buy only the body. Even considering its low price, the quality of the D40’s body is excellent. The rubber-finished grip offers the same feel as found with a professional series device. Nikon has done an excellent job of designing a small camera that is easy to hold firmly and does not feel too small.
The D40’s 6.1-megapixel sensor is meager compared to the 10-megapixel sensors used in most point-and-shoot cameras, but it offers enough pixels to allow us to print images sufficiently on sizes 20 x 25 cm. The image quality of the D40 is excellent because the camera incorporates the same processing circuitry as used in the D80 and D200 models (which are priced higher). Like competing models, the D40 achieves its small footprint by eliminating the status display in the upper area in exchange for using the LCD on the back to display status readings. The upper part of the camera has a dial that allows you to select the shooting mode, as well as the buttons responsible for adjusting the exposure compensation and the information display. The rest of the options are configured through the camera’s menu system.
The 2.5-inch LCD screen is bright enough so that content can be seen even when sunlight shines on its surface. It offers a detailed reading of the current camera settings and is easy to turn it on or off by pressing the Info button, which is located just below the shutter button.
The information display includes a feature that is very useful for first-time photographers, and that it’s hard to believe that no one else thought of it before: as the aperture is changed the display shows an animated iris that opens and closes, so you don’t have to remember whether a certain F-stop value means a higher or lower open. This is a great feature for novice photographers. The camera also includes an embedded help system that explains the function of each feature, also showing an example of how the application of the feature in question affects the image.
The D40 ships with each of the must-have features for most users, including the ability to adjust the ISO value, RAW mode, scene modes, as well as the image processing features available on the D80. Nikon’s excellent D-Lighting feature, which allows to increase the brightness in images, as well as red-eye correction, conversion to monochrome, etc., are accessible directly from the camera menus. The only feature we miss is the option to show depth of field in the preview.
For a guide price of EUR 590, the Nikon D40 is an excellent product and tool for any photographer looking to evolve from point-and-shoot cameras. The built-in help system and aperture reproduction are great learning tools, and the fact that the camera offers manual and priority modes, as well as RAW support, ensures that you don’t run out of resources as you progress through your tasks. Photographs.