The Nikon D40 is a light, inexpensive digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera. It has a 6 megapixel sensor and was introduced in 2007 to replace the Nikon D50. This camera is an excellent entry level digital SLR that works well in bright or low light conditions. Using a Nikon D40 is similar to using a traditional film SLR; it requires an external lens and has manual modes which give great artistic control over your results.
Nikon's D40 requires a Nikon bayonet style F-mount lens. This camera can use both old and new lenses. Due to the sensor's size, this camera achieves best results with Nikon's DX range of lenses, which are optimized for the digital sensor. Attach the lens to the camera by removing the cover on the front of the camera. Align the white dot on the lens with the white dot on the camera body, insert and twist until the lens is locked into place. To release lenses, push the lens release button located on the front of the camera body and gently twist the lens. Always use covers on the exposed lens and camera body when changing or storing equipment to prevent dust from settling on the lens and mirror.
On the right side of the camera you will see the door for the memory card slot. The Nikon D40 takes SD card memory; there is no internal memory on this camera so you must insert a card to continue.
At the bottom of the camera is the battery compartment. The Nikon D40 is sold with a lithium-ion EN-EL9 battery, which is rechargeable. Insert the battery into the compartment, and you are now ready to use your Nikon D40.
Taking Your Photos
On the top, right-hand side of the camera body is the on/off switch. Set this to "ON" to start shooting. Make sure all lens covers are removed.
Select your shooting mode from the dial located on the top right side of the camera body. The modes on the Nikon D40 range from fully automatic to fully manual, with many modes in between for specific purposes, such as fast action or close range shots.
If you have selected a manual or partially manual mode, adjust any manual settings. For aperture priority mode, this allows you to adjust the aperture. Hold down the "+/-" button on the top of the camera while turning the wheel located at the upper right of the camera body. The changing aperture settings will be displayed on the LCD. In shutter priority mode, simply turn the wheel to adjust the shutter speed. This also applies to program mode, where you may switch between appropriate shutter speed and aperture combinations using the wheel. The fully manual mode allows you to select both shutter speed and aperture, giving total artistic control over the shot.
If necessary, press the small lightning bolt button at the top of the camera to release the flash. You can also use the hot shoe flash attachment to attach an external flash unit to the camera.
Point the camera at your subject and depress the shutter button slightly. This will activate the auto focus feature. This feature may not work with older lenses. Correct your focus, then depress the shutter button fully to capture your image.
From Camera to Computer
Once your photos have been taken, they may be transferred to your computer using a card reader or the camera. If you are using a card reader, remove the card from the camera by opening the door on the right side of the camera and pressing gently on the card until it pops out.
If you are using the camera to remove your images, you will need to use a USB cable. Turn your camera off and remove the rubber cover on the left side of the camera body. Connect the USB cable to the port on the camera and plug the other end into your computer. Turn the camera on; this will begin the photo import process. No additional software should be required. The photos can then be saved, manipulated or deleted.