Nikon’s first truly beginner-friendly DSLR turns 10 years old this month. The Nikon D40 was introduced in November of 2006, bringing with it for the first time on-screen tips for novice digital photographers. It was the company’s smallest and lightest DSLR at the time, paring down some of the more advanced features found on the likes of the D80 and the D50, and was the first Nikon DSLR to do away with a built-in AF motor. For $600 you got:
- A 6MP CCD sensor
- 3-point AF Multi-CAM530 sensor
- 2.5 fps burst shooting
- A ‘large’ 2.5″ 230k-dot LCD
- ISO 200-1600 with 3200 expansion
- A version II AF-S DX 18-55mm kit lens
Reviewer and site founder Phil Askey was careful to point out that the D40 wasn’t just a dumbed down D50 – it brought numerous improvements that happened to be targeted toward a first-time DSLR owner. D40 shoppers weren’t likely to care about the lack of support for older lenses, and the resolution was more than enough (who needs 8 megapixels?) for its target audience. Askey did lament the loss of a top-panel LCD (they still haven’t found their way back into Nikon’s entry level) and the fact that shooting Raw + JPEG recorded only basic-quality JPEGs.
Overall though, the Nikon D40 went down as Highly Recommended, and an excellent value. Did you own the D40? Do you feel old now? Let us know your D40 memories in the comments below.