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D40 - Nikon’s New Low-End DSLR Announced

Published: 22/11/2006

Nikon's newly announced D40 significantly lowers the cost of a DSLR. The Nikon D40 is small, light and undeniably cheap at just $599/£449.99/€679.99 with the new 18-55mm kit lens (it won’t be sold as body-only). This pricing puts the D40 $300 below the D50. This new 18-55mm kit lens is a updated version of Nikon's 18-55mm lens improved for the D40. As usual Phil Askey has and in depth review of the D40 over at

I think Real estate photographers using the D40 would get the best result if they  added a wide-angle lens. 18mm with a 1.5x field of view crop (effectively 27mm) is on the ragged edge of what you can get by with shooting interiors. Be careful though  when choosing a lens for the D40 it can only auto focus with lenses that have built-in focus motors.

As with any DSLR being used for interiors, I'd also recommend a external flash unit to give you the power to light a room nicely. Nikon has designed a new external flash (the SB-400) for the D40. The SB-400 unit has a guide number of 21 (m at ISO 100 at 18mm) and has a shooting distance of 60 cm to 20 m (2 to 66 ft).

Larry Lohrman

2 comments on “D40 - Nikon’s New Low-End DSLR Announced”

  1. Note that at this time, the D40 is at the same price than the D50 which has a much lower actual price than its introduction MSRP one yaer and a half ago.

    You gain those features:
    # larger, higher definition review screen
    # higher ISO 3200 sensitivity
    # more compactness and lightness

    but lost those:
    * only internal focus motor AF-S and AF-I lenses autofocus
    * three AF sensors, down from five
    * top LCD status display removed, information provided by the back screen
    * direct access to resolution, white balance and sensitivity settings removed

    A good thing is that Nikon keep the 1/500s (unlimited in fact, electronic) flash sync.

    For the SB-400, I'm not sure it could be useful for interior photo because its coverage is only 28 mm equivalent. It should not be noticeable with a 24 mm eq., but not under, unless with a wide-angle converter like a sto-fen omni-bounce.

  2. This is one excellent camera, even with the relatively low megapixels resolution the overall quality of features for this price makes one of the bests (if not the best) machines of the category.

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