• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 10.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 1600
  • APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400

Buy From

Differences

Canon 40D advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 6.10 vs 4.79 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 800 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Less shutter lag
    0.13 vs 0.27 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.4 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/8000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D5100 advantages over Canon 40D

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,183 vs 703 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    13.6 vs 11.3 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Newer
    8 years vs 11 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 10.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 3200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Canon 40D
Nikon D3100
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

Canon 40D
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5100
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A33

Canon 40D
Sony A33
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5100
Sony A33
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A35

Canon 40D
Sony A35
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Sony A57

Canon 40D
Sony A57
  • $1299
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
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