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Nikon D40 | Digital Camera Review | Camera
It is amazingly clever how Nikon was able to make the D40 so compact while ensuring that it still looks like a real Nikon, complete with characteristic red edging. A lot of plastic has been used for the Nikon D40 and although you feel that typical plastic material at once, it feels anything but cheap. The finishing touches are very attractive and all the lids close perfectly. It is fine to hold and even people with large hands should have no trouble holding the D40 steady.
Nikon D40 | Digital Camera Nikon D40 | Digital Camera
Nikon D40 digital reflex camera - Metal lens
There is a metal lens on top of the camera. You will notice that in contrast to other Nikon bodies there is no small pin for the focus engine on the lens. The Nikon D40's auto focus can only work with AF-S lenses, which is not in itself a problem. Well, not unless you've got an arsenal of older Nikon lenses that you were planning to use in your transition from analogue to digital. An important target group is the new (compact camera) photographers and they don't have any lenses yet. A big advantage of the AF-S lenses is their lightning speed and quiet focussing.

Nikon D40 DSLR camera - LED & Function button
To the far right of the handgrip is the infrared receiver of the optional remote control. The handgrip is covered in a rubber layer, which gives you a very good grip. Between the handgrip and the mirror housing is a LED that serves as an illuminator for the self-timer. To the right of the lens on the top, there is a button for the built-in flash and the flash correction. Underneath is a programmable function key. Usually, its function is to engage the self-timer, but you also use it to select the white balance or ISO sensitivity. The switch so characteristic of Nikon for setting the white balance manually or auto focus is missing, as it is now on the lens. On the right hand side, there is a lid standing guard to the interfaces for the USB and A/V Out. On the other side there is a little door for the Secure Digital flash memory card. The battery is placed underneath the D40 in the handgrip and there is a metal tripod connection.

Nikon D40 digital SLR camera - Flash & Mode dial
There is a built-in flash on top of the Nikon D40. It folds out nice and high and can also give good exposure in the 18mm angle. There is also a flash shoe for an external flash like the new SB-400. To the right of the prism housing is the mode dial, with which you can set the various exposure programs. There are of course, a green setting and pictograms, but you can also work with shutter speeds and apertures. Past the handgrip is a shutter release button with an excellent pressure point and around it there is the main switch, the same as with all the other Nikons. On top of the shutter release is the INFO button. You can use this to conjure up comprehensive information on the back of the camera. The last thing we see is the exposure correction that is used with manual exposure to select the aperture.

Nikon D40 SLR camera - LCD monitor with large viewing angle
There are not many buttons on the back of the D40. This makes the camera easy to oversee and means that users are not distracted by all sorts of possibilities. Of course, the 2.5-inch screen takes centre stage and its quality is excellent. It has a large viewing angle and you can see everything well, even in bright light. There is a viewfinder with a diopter setting above the screen. The viewfinder gives an attractive clear picture and more than enough information. It also indicates if the camera thinks that there is not enough light. A question mark then flashes as a sign that it is trying to give you advice. If there is no memory card in the camera, or the battery level is too low it is projected clearly on the matt glass.
Nikon D40 D-SLR - Zoom buttons & Four-way button
To the left of the LCD display there are buttons for playing back the photos, the menu button and two zoom buttons. The top zoom button for zooming out and showing thumbnails, also serves as an assistance key. You can use it to get information about the settings or further explanations if something has gone wrong. It works really well and provides a good learning experience for less experienced photographers. The bottom button for zooming in is also used for changing settings. By pressing on the button, you can navigate through various settings with the four-way button to the right of the display. Actually, you can arrange everything you need here. It really is extremely user friendly. As I said, there is a four-way button for navigating to the right of the screen. In the middle is the familiar OK button to confirm changes and underneath it is the unmistakable digital trash bin. Totally on the top is the exposure and focus lock. You can arrange exactly how this button functions in the menu. Finally, close to the thumb grip is the mode dial for changing exposure details. Everything is set out very logically and you don't have to be an expert to be able to start using this compact DSLR camera. Nikon has taken a good look at what is and is not necessary on the camera. The model is available in two colours, black and silver.

Nikon D40
Nikon D40 Nikon D40
   
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