Updated (October, 2012): Compare the Nikon D5200 vs Nikon D40

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

72

vs

Nikon D40

26

Nikon D40

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,183 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
80.0
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Great color depth
Color depth
23.5 bits
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D40

Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.7x15.5mm
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 124x94x64 mm
Thickness
Thin
2.5"
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

Report a correction
Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Much lower noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO vs 561 ISO
Help
The D5100 has excellent image quality 1.1 f-stops higher ISO than the D40
Color depth
Better color depth
23.5 bits vs 21 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.5 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Much better image quality
80.0 vs 56.0
Help
More than 40% better image quality
Screen size
Much larger screen
3.0" vs 2.5"
Help
More than 20% larger screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13 EV vs 11 EV
Help
2 f-stops more dynamic range
Live view
Has live view
Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
16.1 MP vs 6 MP
Help
Capture more than 2.5x more detail in your photos
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
4 fps vs 2.5 fps
Help
60% faster continuous shooting
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Battery life
Longer battery life
660 shots vs 470 shots
Help
More than 40% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5100's boost ISO is 3 f-stops better
Focus points
More focus points
11 vs 3
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
6,400 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
Help
The D5100's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Lowest price
Cheaper
$378.00 vs $452.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $74 cheaper (around 20% less)
Nikon D5100 Learn more about
the Nikon D5100

Advantages of the Nikon D40

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Size
Much smaller
124x94x64 mm vs 127x96x78 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Thickness
Much thinner
2.5" vs 3.1"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.53x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
400 ms vs 500 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
260 ms vs 273 ms
Help
Almost the same
Weight
Lighter
522 g vs 560 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D40 Learn more about
the Nikon D40
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent entry-level DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D5100 Nikon D5100 72
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        vs

        26 Nikon D40 Nikon D40
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D5100:500 ms
              D40:400 ms
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D5100:4 fps
              D40:2.5 fps
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D5100:16.1 MP
              D40:6 MP
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D5100:6,400 ISO
              D40:1,600 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D5100:0.51x
              D40:0.53x
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D5100:273 ms
              D40:260 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D5100:11
              D40:3
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $310 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $697 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $272 - $387 body only

              $410 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $625 body only

              $679 - $1,025 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Weather sealed Has a weather sealed body
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $440 - $450 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Weight Lighter
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Much worse image quality

              Nikon D40 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D60

              Nikon D60

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,000 with 18-55mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Lowest price Much more expensive
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D70

              Nikon D70

              Pro DSLR

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $359 body only

              $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Size Larger

              appearance

              Nikon D5100 Nikon D40
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D40
              Nikon D5100 Nikon D40

              discussion

              Nikon D5100
              D5100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Nikon D40
              D40
              Nikon

              Report a correction

              Showing 1 comments

              Adrian (5:18 AM, June 09, 2011)
              Who sells D40 for $1200?