#10. "RE: does the D40 have a defective light meter?" In response to In response to 0 Mon 31-Jan-11 04:13 AM by Hotswimmer
I've read from more reliable sources that Nikon's consumer cameras are simply set to meter a little bit hotter; this isn't a defect. My experience has been that when you're shooting in bright daylight, the camera does sometimes overexpose a little bit, and a touch of negative exposure compensation gives you a more pleasing photo. Shooting under more moderate lighting conditions or indoors, I found the metering to be pretty good. Again, as others have said, the histogram and the highlight tool on the camera's display are great for helping you flesh out the correct exposure setting.
ETA: I assume everyone on this board has read this by now, but in case you haven't, here's Thom Hogan's excellent and very technical review of the D40, where among many other things, he talks about the metering: http://bythom.com/d40review.htm