Updated (April, 2011): Compare the Nikon D40 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D5000

Winner
Nikon D5000

49

vs

Nikon D40

25

Nikon D40

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.5 EV
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D40

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 D40

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Size Much smaller 124x94x64 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
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Around 30% smaller
Thickness Much thinner 2.5" vs 3.1"
Help
20% thinner
Lowest price Much cheaper $379.99 vs $876.77
Help
The best price we've seen is $497 cheaper (2.3x less)
Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder 0.53x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag 260 ms vs 276 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Weight Lighter 522 g vs 590 g
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More than 10% lighter
Nikon D40 Learn more about
the Nikon D40

Advantages of the Nikon D5000

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Movie format Shoots movies 720p @ 24fps vs None
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Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth Better color depth 22.7 bits vs 21 bits
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Distinguishes 1.7 more bits of color
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 72.0 vs 56.0
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Around 30% better image quality
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.5 EV vs 11 EV
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1.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 868 ISO vs 561 ISO
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The D5000 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Live view Has live view Yes vs No
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Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Screen size Significantly larger screen 2.7" vs 2.5"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
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
True resolution Significantly higher true resolution 12.2 MP vs 6 MP
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Capture more than 2x more detail in your photos
Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor CMOS vs CCD
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CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 4 fps vs 2.5 fps
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60% faster continuous shooting
Focus points More focus points 11 vs 3
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.7x15.5mm
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Almost the same
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 510 shots vs 470 shots
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Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The D5000's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 3,200 ISO vs 1,600 ISO
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The D5000's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Nikon D5000 Learn more about
the Nikon D5000
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D40 Nikon D40 25
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        49 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              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
              400 ms startup delay
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D40:None
              D5000:720p @ 24fps
              Lens focus motor No focus motor Help
              Won't autofocus with all lenses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              D40:3,200 ISO
              D5000:6,400 ISO
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D40:6 MP
              D5000:12.2 MP
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              230k dots
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              D40:2.5"
              D5000:2.7"
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D40:2.5 fps
              D5000:4 fps
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D40:1,600 ISO
              D5000:3,200 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
              D40:0.53x
              D5000:0.51x
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D40:260 ms
              D5000:276 ms
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D40:3
              D5000:11
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D40:561 ISO
              D5000:868 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 - $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $437 - $520 body only

              $528 - $696 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $600 - $680 body only

              $816 - $830 with 18-105mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $249 - $300 body only

              $350 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $647 body only

              $650 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $749 body only

              $550 - $600 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger

              Nikon D40 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D70

              Nikon D70

              Pro DSLR

              Lens 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

              Lens focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Size Much larger

              Nikon D5000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D5000.

              appearance

              Nikon D40 Nikon D5000
              Nikon D40 Nikon D5000
              Nikon D40 Nikon D5000

              discussion

              Nikon D40
              D40
              Nikon

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              Nikon D5000
              D5000
              Nikon

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