A NEAT new Nikon arrived at the shop under the big blue banner today. The D40 brings creative digital photography closer to the masses or at least it will when its price dips below £400.
Borrowing from its bigger brother the D80 it has that camera's retouch menu, allowing in-camera cropping and filtered black & white among new features.
The makers claim it will "...allow users to take breathtaking pictures without the need to learn photography." Should an owner feel the urge simply slip into manual and creative snapping is right there. Nikon have stuck to the tried and tested six mega pixel CCD which is really all you need make stunning 12x18s. Although not as light (540g) as the new Olympus E400 at 375g, equally it will not easily fall out of your hand thanks to Nikon's chunky grip.
One slight flaw might be the move away from the ENel3 battery to a new 1,000mah EN-EL9. Thus it will take fewer frames between charges than a D50. This battery though does have 370mah more capacity than Canon's NB2l in the 400d and 350d, which has always seemed too small, at 630mah for a digital SLR.
A new 18-55 AfS DX lens has been developed for the camera with a manual/autofocus switch on the lens. It remains to be seen if it offers better performance than its woeful sibling on the D50. Why not bring out a digital SLR with a fixed 35mmf2 which would equate to a 50mm in old money? Perhaps Nikon could get back together with Ricoh for an e-series lens for the 21st century.
As a Nikon user, I'd definitely recommend it possibly even to Geraldine, who does not really like the heavier models.