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Nikon D40 | Digital Camera Review | Control
If you make the transition from a compact camera to a DSLR camera, you will have to get accustomed to the operation and comprehensive package of setting options on the camera. Nikon has done a perfect job on the D40 to ensure that your transition from compact to DSLR goes smoothly. The operation is extremely simple and it is the ideal stepping stone to more advanced photography. The Nikon D40 is still a real digital SLR and has features that would not be out of place on more expensive models, such as the help function mentioned earlier or the way in which information is provided.
Nikon D40 | Digital Camera Nikon D40 | Digital Camera
Nikon D40 DSLR camera - Shutter speed & Aperture
To begin with the latter, you can obtain information from the Nikon D40 in three different ways. Normally, the graphic reproduction is shown, with black letters on a light background, which considerably improves readability. As the screen is nice and big, the letters are also very large. What makes the graphic interface so unique is that is shows shutter speed and aperture. They also appear in figures, but a diagram is also drawn with an edge around it. If you make the aperture smaller, you will also see the same happening on the graphic reproduction. It clearly shows what is actually happening at any given moment and this is a very good way to teach users. Around the aperture is a row of lines that show how fast the shutter speed is. It looks like the shutter speed ring we used to see on older cameras. As well as graphic reproduction, there is also classical reproduction. This looks very similar to the way in which information is provided on a second LCD. The background is then blue and everything is shown as text. The third possibility is a background picture. The reproduction is identical to the classical; only you have a photo as a background picture, same as with a computer. It doesn't always make it easier to read. My favourite from the three settings was the graphic reproduction.

Nikon D40
Nikon D40 digital SLR - Help function & INFO-button
A clear message will appear on the screen if the subject is too light or too dark. If the camera thinks you should use a flash, a question mark will flash in the viewfinder and on the back. If you press the help button, it will be explained to you. You're certainly kept very well informed, something that is very useful for less experienced photographers. It means you won't be left wondering what went wrong with a setting or a certain picture. It would not be out of place on the D80 and as far as I'm concerned this help function could be added to a lot more cameras. The settings are shown to the right of the exposure details. With one press of the INFO button, you can leaf through the settings using the four-way button. It is an especially ingenious way of arranging every thing. It saves a whole lot of buttons on the camera and means you don't have to keep referring back to the menu.

Nikon D40 SLR camera - Focus points & AF illuminator
The D40 starts up more or less immediately and only needs a fraction of a second of start up time. You can start taking photographs at once, which is a real pleasure if you are used to the older compact cameras. The auto focus also works very quickly. Of the three focus points, the middle one is the most sensitive. It is a so-called cross sensor that can measure in two directions. There is a line sensor on both sides. They also have good sensitivity and in practise I could hardly see any difference between the various points. Three focal points seems a bit on the stingy side, but it's enough for the target group. The great advantage of more focal points is of course that you don't have to turn the camera if the subject is not in the middle. If there is not much light you can use the AF illuminator. Even without this the Nikon D40 can focus extremely sharply. In practise, I turned off the AF illuminator, so that you can take photographs more surreptitiously. As well as being quick, the AF is also accurate, which is also pretty important of course, and as I said, it works silently. This is also true of the noise made by the Nikon D40 when you press the shutter release in totally. The small mirror makes scarcely any sound and this is great in situations like the school play when you want to photograph your kid.

Nikon D40 SLR - Quick photo processing & Large buffer
The Nikon D40 digital SLR is also quick in processing photos. They are written onto the Secure Digital flash memory card at lightning speed. The buffer is large for a camera in this class; it can hold up to 100 JPEG or 5 NEF (RAW) pictures. With a picture speed of 2.5 fps you will hardly ever need the buffer. If you still manage to fill it, you can still keep taking photographs at 1 fps. That is how quickly the photos are transferred. I think the average user will never need this, unless they really want to take a lot of action photos.
Nikon D40 Nikon D40
   
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