• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 6.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 1600
  • APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200

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Differences

Nikon D40 advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 7.88 vs 5.01 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/500 vs 1/200 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots

Nikon D3100 advantages over Nikon D40

  • Higher effective ISO
    919 vs 561 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Newer
    8 years vs 12 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
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    14.2 vs 6.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • More AF points
    11 vs 3
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    2.9 fps vs 2.5 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 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
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • 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
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • 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

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Sony DSLR-A380

Nikon D40
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
Nikon D3100
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D40
Sony A33
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Pentax K-r

Nikon D40
Pentax K-r
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Bigger pixels
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon T3

Nikon D40
Canon T3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $500
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Higher effective ISO
Nikon D3100
Canon T3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $500
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Nikon D5100

Nikon D40
Nikon D5100
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Higher max flash sync
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Better color depth
Nikon D3100
Nikon D5100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
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