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

Nikon D5100

Winner
Nikon D5100

71

vs

Nikon D40

25

Nikon D40

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5100

Low light performance
Low noise at high ISO
1,183 ISO
Overall image quality
Great image quality
80.0
Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Color depth
Great 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 | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D5100

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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
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
Help
4x higher resolution screen
Live view Has live view Yes vs No
Help
Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
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
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
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 4 fps vs 2.5 fps
Help
60% faster continuous shooting
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
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 71
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        25 Nikon D40 Nikon D40
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Lens availability Many lenses available Help
              205 lenses
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D5100:500 ms
              D40:400 ms
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              D5100:$378.00
              D40:$374.95
              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
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D5100:0.51x
              D40:0.53x
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D5100:273 ms
              D40:260 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D5100:11
              D40:3
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus Help
              D5100:Contrast detection
              D40:None
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D5100:1080p @ 30fps
              D40:None

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $389 - $506 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $648 body only

              $200 - $579 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 body only

              $549 - $647 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
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $547 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 D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $747 body only

              $650 - $847 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

              $285 body only

              $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $929 body only

              $848 - $940 with 18-105mm lens

              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon D5100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $681 - $700 body only

              $499 - $822 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 D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $548 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Color depth Better color depth
              Screen size Much larger screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Size Larger
              Nikon D60

              Nikon D60

              Entry-level DSLR

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Size Slightly larger
              Nikon D70

              Nikon D70

              Pro DSLR

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Size Much larger
              Nikon D50

              Nikon D50

              Entry-level DSLR

              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Size Much 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?