by Paul McKeown
(Greenup, KY, USA)
The D40 is Nikon's entry level DSLR camera, it was the only DSLR I could afford when I bought it. As an entry level digital camera I wasn't really expecting that much, I still expected to use my old Olympus film camera for the more "serious" pictures and the Nikon D40 would be used mostly for scouting out locations and helping to visualize the picture.
Well, it turned out that the Nikon D40 was much better than I thought it would be, and I ended up doing most of my photography with it. The picture quality was nearly as good as film and the greater depth of field provided by the smaller sensor made it easier to get action shots in focus.
The camera, though larger than my Olympus is actually lighter thanks to the use of plastics which makes it easier to carry around all day.
Some people complain about "cheap plastics" but to me it sure beats a heavy metal camera that I'll end up leaving at home or in the car where it's not going to get any picture for me.
If I had one complaint about the Nikon D40, it's the viewfinder, though this issue is common with most digital cameras.
When using manual focus, the viewfinder screen doesn't provide the micro-prisms and other focusing aids which are used in older film cameras. This makes manual focus harder than it needs to be, and it takes longer to get a sharp focus especially in poor lighting.
Other than that, the Nikon D40 is a great digital camera, and you won't cry too much if it gets stolen by the TSA since it's not worth a couple months of pay.