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

Nikon D5000

Winner
Nikon D5000

50

vs

Nikon D40

26

Nikon D40

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D5000

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
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D40

Size
Really small
Prosumer size 124x94x64 mm
Thickness
Thin
2.5"
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D40

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Size Much smaller 124x94x64 mm vs 127x104x80 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Thickness Much thinner 2.5" vs 3.1"
Help
20% thinner
Viewfinder size Slightly larger viewfinder 0.53x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 10% larger viewfinder
Lowest price Significantly cheaper $459.00 vs $761.36
Help
The best price we've seen is $302 cheaper (around 40% less)
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
Help
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
Help
Around 30% better image quality
Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 868 ISO vs 561 ISO
Help
The D5000 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.5 EV vs 11 EV
Help
1.5 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 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
Help
Capture more than 2x more detail in your photos
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
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
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.6x15.8mm vs APS-C 23.7x15.5mm
Help
Almost the same
Battery life Slightly longer battery life 510 shots vs 470 shots
Help
Around 10% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 6,400 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The D5000's boost ISO 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 26
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        50 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
              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
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              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
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D40:2.5 fps
              D5000:4 fps
              Screen size Very small screens Help
              D40:2.5"
              D5000:2.7"
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D40:1,600 ISO
              D5000:3,200 ISO
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D40:0.53x
              D5000:0.51x
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D40:260 ms
              D5000:276 ms
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D40:561 ISO
              D5000:868 ISO
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D40:56.0
              D5000:72.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $831 body only

              $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $270 - $387 body only

              $399 - $430 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 D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $378 - $415 body only

              $545 - $669 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

              $715 body only

              $950 - $1,079 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 D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $547 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is much less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is much larger
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $299 body only

              $575 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 D40 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              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 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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