• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 6.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 1600
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Nikon D40 advantages over Sony A55

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $850 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 7.88 vs 4.82 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 0.9 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 470 vs 330 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Thinner
    64 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/500 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 32 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Sony A55 advantages over Nikon D40

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Higher effective ISO
    818 vs 561 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    12.4 vs 11.0 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • More cross-type AF points
    3 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • 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
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 6.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • More AF points
    15 vs 3
    More AF points improve autofocus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    9.0 fps vs 2.5 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • 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
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • 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
  • 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 Canon T2i

Nikon D40
Canon T2i
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $692
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • External Mic Jack
Sony A55
Canon T2i
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $692
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A580

Nikon D40
Sony DSLR-A580
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $900
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Sony A55
Sony DSLR-A580
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • Built-in GPS
  • External Mic Jack
  • $900
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life

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
Sony A55
Sony A33
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Built-in GPS
  • $540
  • APS-C

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
Sony A55
Nikon D5100
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D40
Sony A35
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Sony A55
Sony A35
  • $734
  • APS-C
  • Tiltable Screen
  • Built-in GPS
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
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