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Nikon D40 - hands on Digital SLR Review

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Category: Digital SLRs
Product: Nikon D40
Price: £1,000.00
Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

Nikon D40 - hands on - Nikon D40 - hands on

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Nikon’s latest announcement, their 12th dSLR camera, the D40 has had a few rumours running around the Internet of late, but it was still a nice surprise to be able to handle one at it’s launch yesterday.

Specification

  • 6.1 effective megapixels
  • 3 area Multi-cam 530 AF system
  • ISO sensitivity range ISO200 to ISO1600 plus HI-1(equivalent ISO3200)
  • SDHC compatible
  • File formats - Compressed NEF or Jpeg
  • 2.5inch LCD screen
  • Compatible with Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contactsType G or D AF Nikkor Nikon AF lenses.
  • 3D colour matrix metering II, and centre-weighted or spot metering modes
  • Exposure metering range - EV0 to EV20 with 3D colour matrix or centre weighted metering EV2-EV20
  • Exposure compensation up to /-5EV in 1/3 stop steps
  • Shutter speed range - 30secs to 1/4000sec and bulb
  • Flash synch up to 1/500sec
  • Flash compensation -3 to 1EV in 1/3rd steps
  • Rechargeable EN-EL9 Li-ion battery (MH-23 charger)
  • Dimensions126 x 64 x 94mm (5.0 x 2.5 x 3.7 in.)
  • Weight - 475g without battery

Nikon D40Aimed squarely at those wishing to upgrade from compacts as well as F-SLR owners looking for an economic and reliable move to digital, the D40, despite the numerical sequence, seems to be an upgrade on the existing D50. It does make life simpler, with a number of options now able to be carried out automatically, but it also inherits a good number of things first developed in the D200 and more recently the D80.

The body is more compact again than it’s predecessors, achieved at the expense of the EN-EL3/3e batteries and replaced with an all-new EN-EL9 with accompanying charger, the MH-23. As can be seen from the images, it is considerably thinner, loosing the ‘humps’ of its older sibling. Although the body is plastic, there is still a fairly good quality ‘feel’ to this camera and despite large hands, it felt comfortable to use.

The only major loss in reducing the size is the top LCD panel, but this is compensated for by an increase (over the D50) of the size of the rear screen to a 2-½ inch, 230,000-dot screen as sported on the D80. The intuitive menus are available in three screen designs, the Classic one being added to by a Graphic one or a wallpaper menu.

A useful amount of in camera manipulation is available and the camera is pict-bridge enabled so that images can be printed directly from the camera through a suitable printer.
The menus have a handy help screen with short explanations of what each section does. You can see the full specifications of the camera in the press release HERE.

Verdict
Although a lower numerical denominator has been used (and I wouldn’t for one moment think that was to upset Canon’s 10D, 20D, 30D sequence) the new model is an improvement on the existing D50 in it’s ease of use, and the number of features inherited from the D200 and D80, help it to work much faster too.
Nikon aim to capture 40% of the dSLR market over the next three years and by getting their entry level offering so intuitive, they will make inroads into the target with this model.



Lexar memory was used in this review.

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