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Nikon D40X Review

May 2007 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production Nikon D40X

The Nikon D40 was announced just under four months ago, and yet here we are with a new version of that camera. The D40X has the same compact lightweight body and easy to use control layout, in fact the only external physical difference is the badge. Under the bonnet Nikon has swapped out the D40's six megapixel CCD for a ten megapixel unit, this also provides a lower base sensitivity of ISO 100 and must utilize dual readout because continuous shooting frame rate has gone up from 2.5 fps to 3.0 fps. Based on the specs and features this camera is clearly aiming to knock the EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) off its pedestal.

Auto Focus only for AF-S or AF-I lenses

As with the D40 the D40X doesn't have an built-in focus drive motor which means it can auto focus only with lenses which have their own drive motor (AF-S and AF-I lenses). The lack of a drive motor can be seen by the missing mechanical focus drive pin on the lens mount (see images below).

D40 / D40X lens mount D80 lens mount

Nikon D40X key features

  • 10 megapixel DX format CCD (1.5x FOV crop)
  • Nikon Image processing engine (as D80 / D200)
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II, 420 pixel sensor (as D80 / D50)
  • New Multi-CAM530 three area AF sensor
  • ISO sensitivity range 100 - 1600 plus HI 1 (3200 equiv.)
  • 3.0 fps continuous shooting, unlimited in JPEG
  • No status LCD, new LCD monitor based status / settings screens
  • Help suggestions on LCD monitor (eg. scene too dark, try using flash)
  • Large 2.5" 230,000 pixel LCD monitor
  • Bigger viewfinder view (x0.8 magnification, 95% coverage)
  • Short shutter lag and viewfinder blackout
  • Support for SDHC (SD cards over 2 GB in capacity)
  • In-camera retouching
    • D-Lighting (shadow / highlight enhancement)
    • Red-eye reduction
    • Trimming
    • Monochrome
    • Filter effects
    • Small picture
    • Image overlay
  • USB 2.0 with PTP and Mass Storage device support
  • Very compact, light body (smaller, lighter than D50)
  • Improved menu user interface (as D80 / D200)
  • New EN-EL9 Lithium-Ion battery (7.2V, 1000 mAh)
  • New 'Version II' AF-S DX 18-55 mm kit lens

Differences compared to the D40

  • 10 megapixel sensor
  • Lower base sensitivity (ISO 100 vs ISO 200)
  • Auto ISO option includes ISO 200
  • Faster continuous shooting (3 fps vs. 2.5 fps)*

* Slower with noise reduction enabled

Review notes

Because of the similarities between the two the first half of this review (up to page 12) is based on our review of the D40.

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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