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

Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.5 EV
Has live view
Live view
Preview your photos
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
CMOS Sensor
Sensor type
Better in low light
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D40

Size
Really small
Prosumer size 124x94x64 mm
Thickness
Thin
2.5"
 

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
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$452.00 vs $811.54
Help
The best price we've seen is $360 cheaper (more than 40% 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
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
Help
Shoots HD (720p) video as well as still pictures
Color depth
Better color depth
22.7 bits vs 21 bits
Help
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
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
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
Retailer
    Style
      Color
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        vs

        50 Nikon D5000 Nikon D5000
        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
              400 ms startup delay
              Common Weaknesses
              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
              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
              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
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D40:3
              D5000:11
              Panorama Neither camera stitches together panoramas Help
              You could stitch photos in post
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D40:561 ISO
              D5000:868 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 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

              $272 body only

              $409 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

              $385 body only

              $429 - $499 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 D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $679 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 significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $779 body only

              $1,004 with 55-300mm lens

              Screen size Has a significantly larger screen
              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 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
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $497 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 D40 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Placeholder

              Nikon D70s

              Pro DSLR

              $1,995 with 18-70mm lens

              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 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 D50

              Nikon D50

              Entry-level DSLR

              $699 body only

              $993 with 28-80mm lens

              Built-in 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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