I'm thinking of upgrading my Nikon D40, what would you suggest is the best one up from this?

  • 4
    Can you provide more information about your needs? Why are you upgrading? What is your budget? What sort of photography do you do?
    – user456
    Oct 14, 2010 at 10:41
  • I'm upgrading as I've had my current camera for a good few years now, I'm a student so my budget has got to be quite reasonable and photography wise, I'm currently doing a course so we're doing all kinds, but I tend to look towards portrait and music photography. Oct 14, 2010 at 11:49
  • 6
    Increasingly we are seeing questions which are product or manufacturer related. Should we be dealing with such questions on this site? I have two points to make: 1) Forums, like DPReview, with their lively debates, are a better place to answer current questions about product selections and upgrades. 2) These questions have no enduring value. Within 6 months they are irrelevant and become just pollution in the system. I think the test here is to ask whether the question has enduring value that contributes to the body of photographic knowledge. This question does not have enduring value.
    – labnut
    Oct 15, 2010 at 6:58
  • @labnut, open a question about that in meta. Nov 15, 2010 at 8:33
  • Apart from the age of the camera, why are you upgrading? Depending on your specific problems with your gear (and what lenses you already have), it might be more effective to get a new lens than a new camera body — the two are obviously very interrelated. Nov 25, 2010 at 1:25

8 Answers 8


Don't upgrade unless you have a specific issue with the D40 like number of pixs, burst rate e.t.c.

It's still a great camera and deserves to click until it dies.


The D90 is an excellent camera, and much less expensive now that the D7000 has been announced (and it starts shipping next week).

The D7000 has some amazing specs, but hasn't been reviewed thoroughly yet.

If you want to stay DX, I'd say those are your best bets.

You can get a pretty great upgrade for between $700 and $1200. Spend the rest of your money on new lenses!


The D40 is already a very good camera in terms of image quality.

If you think you have reached the limits of the D40 in terms of the feature set, then waiting a little bit for the D7000 would be a good idea, but it's a lot more expensive.

Upgrading to the D3100 would also be a solution, if you are looking to do movies. You would also get an minor upgrade on image quality (low noise performance).

If you are not sure why you need to upgrade, I would suggest that would invest your money in a quality lens (instead of investing in a new body). For example, the 35mm f1.8 DX. In general lenses are better investment than bodies, because they last much longer.


The D40 is still classed as one of the best Nikons for a long time - if you don't have a particular problem with your existing one stick with it and buy some nice fast lenses instead.

If you are having issues - I tried for D5000 and went for the D90 about a year ago. Although it has now been replaced by the D7000 it is still a very good camera for your money. I am shooting a lot of portraits with my D90 and a 2nd hand 35.70mm 2.8. I am still debating myself whether to go full frame as at the moment I am very happy with the images I am getting on my D90.

Good luck :-)


We can't answer this without know what issue of limitation your are finding with your current set. Even then, it may not be the camera. A lens for example can have more impact on quality and versatility than an incremental camera upgrade.

Once you decide what you want to improve, you can start looking at different cameras and can even search for cameras based on their features. For example:

  • Need to operate the camera faster? Look for one with dual control-dials.
  • Need to accurately frame your shots? Look for a 100% coverage viewfinder.
  • Need to shoot faster continuously? Look for higher frame rates.
  • Need to shoot in the rain? Look for a weather-proof mode.
  • ... The choices go on and on but they only start once you know what to improve.

In addition to the excellent advice above... I have the D40 for 3 years now. Every time I get the urge to replace it, I search flickr for D40 and see the awesome pictures that are possible with this camera. That pushes me to get better at photography and be less concerned with gear.


I was looking for a new Nikon not so long ago. When I was looking the range included:

  • D3000
  • D5000
  • D90

All of which have been discontinued and will soon be replaced. This may mean that you can get them cheaper (though stock is running out of certain models).

Personally I found the D3000 to basic so I was stuck how to choose between the D90 and D5000.

I went for the D5000 and have been really happy with it. The only downside is the lack of motor in the body meaning more expensive lenses.


The Nikon D7000 is a hell of a camera, and the way to go if you're willing to get a more advanced camera, but micro 4/3 cameras (Panasonic GF1 or Olympus PEN) could be an interesting alternative (depending on how you use the camera): great image quality, small size and interchangeable lenses.

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