Nikon D40: a user hands on experience

Andreas, a fellow Nikon photographer and owner of a wide collection of Nikon cameras like the Nikon D2X, D2H, D200, D80 and D50, just bought last Friday the new Nikon D40 in Helsinki Finland.
What I am sharing with you here is Andreas first impressions on the Nikon D40 with his own words and terms.

No camera bag necessary! – The D40 is small enough (with the Sigma 30mm/1.4 attached) to fit in the pocket of my jacket. very, very convenient.

User controls are intuitive – I had no issues changing exposure compensation, ISO level, Aperture within seconds. There is only a slight delay in feedback between turning the dial and seeing the change on the display – would be better to see a more tighter feedback.

I did not miss the top level display – The info-display on the LCD is instant on when needed.

Battery life seems to be excellent – I did roughly 200 pictures and all 3 bars on the battery indicator are still on.

CF card info – With a 2 GB SD Card you get approx 280-300 RAW+JPEG pictures.

Auto Focus performance – In very dim light the AF module tends to hunt, way more than i.e. the AF module of the D200 and D2X (no wonder :smile:). Had significantly more lens “hunts” than I used to have.

Matrix metering tends to overexposure – On other contempory bodies I used to have -0.7 dialed in. On the D40 this is not enough, -1.0 and sometimes -1.3 are necessary to avoid overexposure.

ISO Speed Performance – ISO 800 performance is ok for me. I know there will be a lot of dispute over high ISO noise, as with all cameras. Given for what I want to do with the D40, I like it.

White Balance – White balance is in most cases very good.

Ergonomics – I don’t use the neck straps – to get the camera more easily in my jacket. It was no issue at all to keep the camera on the grip for long periods of time. The ergonomics for my hands is excellent.

This review was originally posted by Andreas at DPReview, make sure to check this thread for some test shots taken with the Nikon D40.