Settings for shutter priority mode
LCD Display
As I mentioned previously in this Nikon D40 guide, the LCD display is the selling point of this camera.
To begin with, it's a big, bright 2.5 inch display that is easy to see even from high and low angles (you don't have to peer at it head-on).
The size of the LCD is not unique - there are plenty of other digital SLR cameras with 2.5 inch LCD screens.
What is unique is the INFORMATION that the Nikon D40 displays.
When you press the INFO button (located on the front of the camera near the On/Off switch and shutter release button)
the LCD shows you all the camera settings at once.
On the left-hand side of the display there is a circle, which is a graphical representation of both shutter speed and aperture.

The aperture display here is the real asset: it clearly shows you the width of the lens aperture based on the aperture setting.
With an aperture of f/3.5 the graphic shows you a wide circle, and with an aperture of f/16 it shows you a narrow circle.
This takes all the guesswork out of trying to remember if an f/3.5 aperture is wide or narrow (a common problem with photographers getting started with SLR cameras).
The shutter speed graphic is less obvious: it reads more like a pressure guage that surrounds the aperture circle. As shutter speed increases, more segments appear on the guage.
Surrounding this graphical display are all the rest of the camera settings: battery life, ISO, number of shots left, image quality, etc.
Any one of these settings can be accessed by pushing the help button on the back of the camera.
Camera Controls
It's nice enough that the D40 shows you the aperture/shutter speed graphic.
But the D40 takes this graphical approach one step further with all of the camera controls. Let's take ISO: rather than making you guess what ISO is useful for, the D40 SHOWS you.
Small thumbnails photos accompany each ISO setting - all you have to do is match the actual scene in front of you with the thumbnail, and your ISO setting will be correct.
Sample Image
Outdoors - Static Subject

Outdoors - Subject in Motion
jet ski
jet ski

Outdoors - Dim Lighting
building at night
building at night

Indoors - Moderate Lighting
piano recital
piano recital

Indoors - Dim Lighting
fish in tank
fish in tank

This same approach is applied to every other camera setting you can change from the INFO screen.

While this graphical approach to camera settings will certainly help the beginning photographer it also makes the Nikon D40 incredibly easy to use.
To change any camera setting, you just press the INFO button followed by SETTING button.
Voila! You can now adjust and tweak each camera setting until you get them just right for the lighting conditions and your choice of subject.
Like other Nikon digital SLR cameras (including the D50 and D70s) the D40 captures vivid colors.

The D40 also has a feature that is NOT shared on the D50 and D70s: the ability to take photos in black and white.
The monochrome option is available from the color settings menu, which also includes Standard, Softer, Portrait, Vivid, Vivid+ and Custom.
Adjusting the color settings can really have some interesting effects on your photos, especially the Vivid+ mode, which enhances colors — great for Fall foliage, but not so good for an intimate portrait.