Nikon D40x Review

November 7, 2007 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 17 Comments | |

Nikon D40xAnnounced just four months after its predecessor, the Nikon D40x DSLR camera is virtually identical to the D40, except for one important factor - it has a 10.2 megapixel senor taken directly from the D80, rather than the 6 megapixels that the D40 offered. The sensor change means that the ISO range now starts at ISO 100, going all the way up to ISO 3200. The D40x also borrows the shutter mechanism from the more expensive D80, which results in a slightly faster continuous shooting speed of 3fsp (2.5fps on the older D40), but also a slower flash sync speed (1/200 on the D40x, 1/500 on the D40). Other than those fairly minor changes, the D40x is to all intents and purposes a 10 megapixel D40, but those extra megapixels mean a higher price-tag, and importantly it now competes with the Canon Digital Rebel XTi / 400D and the Sony Alpha A100. The Nikon D40x retains all of the ease-of-use of the D40 and is still a good fit for first-time DSLR owners and compact digicam users trading up to a more “serious” camera, but are the extra megapixels worth the extra cost?

Website: Nikon D40x Review

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#1 Photo Learner

One of my dream is having this camera. The improved feature compared to the price seems very valuable.

6:08 am - Thursday, November 8, 2007

#2 Tim Mason

I've bought a D40x, and am seriously happy with it! I'd not used a digital SLR before - my previous (good) cameras were Minolta 35mm SLRs and a Fujifilm S5500 compact. Despite this, I had no difficulty adjusting to the D40x. It can be treated as a point-and-shoot camera, but also has all the features you need to take control of your photography.
The kit lens doesn't feel nice, but actually works very well. I'd say it's significantly better than the kit lens on Canon's EOS400D, which my Canon-owning friends are always griping about.
Image quality is superb. Some reviews say the images are on the soft side, but I've not found this.
The menu system is easy to use and comprehensive.
One issue I've had is that the autofocus has caught me out a few times. In default mode, it will focus on what's nearest, which might not be what you intended. I have several shots that have pin-sharp hand rails but blurry main subjects. Just something to be wary of, and I imagine it's a common enough problem with other DSLRs.
Recommended if you want full DSLR control but aren't ready for professional-level kit.

4:47 pm - Wednesday, December 12, 2007

#3 Tony Alterman

You mention a shutter speed of Bulb for time exposures. Question: did you actually use this feature? Although it is documented in the manual, I have not been able to find any way of setting the shutter speed to Bulb. Rotating the shutter speed dial does not produce Bulb as a setting, nor can I find a menu setting that does it. I'd be interested to hear if you found it and how.

6:05 am - Monday, December 24, 2007

#4 Nikon D40 and D40X expert

Despite my many annoyances listed below, I like the camera.

It has no anti-dust CCD shake, which I knew when I bought the camera. My solution is that my Nikkor 70-300 mm VR lens stays on the camera and never comes off. I always bring along my Canon Powershot compact for the wider angle shots, and it's always handy to have a smaller camera with you to throw in your pocket when an SLR isn't desirable. Plus, it is so much faster to whip out the compact for those quick shots. Despite my 70-300 mm lens never leaving the camera, I still have had some dust problems.

Battery life is great.

It is nice and small, and feels firm. You can be confident that it will likely take a good shot.

I have never had a separate status screen so I don't miss it.


My biggest beef is the absence of exposure bracketing. I do not trust any camera's exposure decisions, and you have no chance to go back to get the shot again for the kinds of photos I take. You can't tell from the LCD screen whether a shot is properly exposed, and this is why exposure bracketing is important. You can do it manually, but that's a lot of buttons to press and a lot of time. I know Nikon removed some features in order to get this camera small, but how much space could this one feature take up? They have it on the new P5100 compact! This issue is almost enough to make me wish I had gotten a D80, but because of the light weight travelling I like to do, I will put up with it.

The user interface is OK, but I find my Canon Powershot's

is much more intuitive and quick.

You cannot set which size JPeg to create when in RAW+JPeg mode

When moving around the image in display mode on full zoom, the cursor moves agonizingly slowly. The Canon Powershot's system is much faster and less nerve racking. And this is something I do with every shot I take to ensure there is no focus or vibration problems with the image.


7:49 am - Thursday, December 27, 2007

#5 Jamey Macmillan

Hey, got this cam for xmas, LOVE IT!...
Its simple to use, the documentation on it is nice, after a little research into the .NEF raw format the camera offers i have been able to edit my photos successfully, all around a good camera...
also in response to Tony Alterman... the bulb setting is achieved in the manual modes and has been extreemly useful to me so far(when a moving object is in shot for an amount of time and i dont want to shoot after etc.)... rotate the dial left when in a manual (m/s) mode notice that when it gets to 1" it counts up again, this is now in seconds, it will go to 30" then say bulb...
I highly recommend this camera for others in my situation(wanting to learn photography without spending too much money) its also good for those who want a nice camera that produces decent auto pictures...

2:14 am - Monday, January 7, 2008

#6 Nathan Akiremi

I jus got myself a D40x and i think its a fantastic camera. I only have one problem for now..i find it difficult taking pictures of sceneries (like the dock) @ night without the silly flash sticking out. How can i get the same picture quality i get in AUTO mode, in manual mode without using the flash? Say i wanna take a siluette.

9:19 pm - Wednesday, January 23, 2008

#7 Tony Alterman

To the reader above who responded about the Bulb setting back in January, thanks. Not having seen your comment, I was able to get this to work, but it was not so straightforward. I had to fiddle with the Flash setting first, I recall, and I'm still not quite sure what I did. All I know is that I explicitly followed the steps in the manual over and over and that alone did not allow me to use Bulb. Another beef I have is that Nikon does not provide you with the option of using a traditional, manual remote shutter-release, and gives you no option except to buy a wireless remote. Not that it's that expensive, just more electronics and batteries to worry about.

All in all, though, this is a great camera, I'm quite happy with it. We went to Alaska for 2 weeks with it and took some awesome pictures.

11:15 pm - Wednesday, January 23, 2008

#8 Jamey

Haha, ironically i had the same beef, after trawling the internet for an alternative i fount that the IR hex is online at and is also in the form of a omni-remote (for palm os) database... i have a palm pilot with omniremote so i took advantage of that....

3:06 pm - Thursday, January 24, 2008

#9 Al Freedman

Purchased this camera 2 weeks ago (with the 18 to 135mm kit lense option...highly recommended!). I'm extremely pleased with the camera! The full Auto setting is extremely flexible...hardly any need to choose another mode. Pictures are bright and very well focused. Camera responds very rapidly (no real shutter lag). It's size a weight make it attractive to travel with. It's really exceeded my expectations..which were pretty high.

12:11 pm - Wednesday, February 6, 2008

#10 Jez Perrott

I have been experimenting with taking pictures of stars in bulb mode on very long exposures. I have found a major problem. In the top left and right corners of the picture, I get some flare. It ranges from purple to pink, depending on the exposure time. About 4 mins + gets this, getting brighter, the longer the exposure.

I've tried a lens hood (thinking it was a bit of stray light refracting) but no help. Also tried rotating whole camera (pointing up) to see if it was refraction. Again, no help, exactly the same. Any ideas? Could it be a problem with the camera itself?

11:00 pm - Saturday, February 9, 2008

#11 Jamey

Hey Jez, it could be because of light entering the eyepiece, apparently that can happen, did you get the little eyepiece cover witht the kit? (small rectangular thing), if so try it with that over the eyepiece, if not then i dont know, try taking pictures in light on higher aperatures.

12:00 am - Sunday, February 10, 2008

#12 Jason Frost

Hey i love my 40x, had it for about 6 months now. 18-200mm lens works great, almost never have to change it. pricey though 800 bucks. Now back to how i love my 40x but i thik the most annoying part about it is is

1. its hard to turn the no flash option on
2. The worst thing is its hard to change apature while your shotting

Well, if anyone enjoyed this review might i suggest?

1:55 am - Sunday, February 10, 2008

#13 Jamey

to jason frost,

1) use either the M, S, A or P modes, then all you have to do to turn flash off is push the flash down.

2) whilst in A mode rotating the dial in the top right corner(not the mode dial but the other one) will change the aperature, hold the shutter half way down and rotate it whilst lookin into the viewfinder to see what its currently at.

alternatively do the same for the Shutter mode(s)

or if you want full control use the full manual mode(M) and use the dial to change the shutter and then theres a button you can hold to change the aperature whilst rotating the dial,

its all in the manual so look through it or go on nikon's training site, i can't remember what it is but google should help you

12:23 pm - Sunday, February 10, 2008

#14 Jez Perrott

Thanks Jamey, yeah I covered the eyepiece with the little cover thingy. I just wonder if it's a minor refraction problem with the camera lens... I don't know what to do about it, as it's something that I'm not going to do very often. BUT I do want to be able to do it if I got into it. You don't want a camera that's 99.99% right, do you, you want 100%.

I'll keep trying other things. May try different lens.

9:38 pm - Sunday, February 10, 2008

#15 Jamey

yeah, i can't think what else it would be, sounds a bit of a bad situation, i've never had that problem with mine so i dunno.

yeah try different lenses and see if the same happens.

10:46 pm - Sunday, February 10, 2008

#16 chris lee

Response to Jez Perrott (Comment#10): I've heard that the CCD heats up quite significantly under very long bulb exposures. Perhaps this is what's causing the flare?

9:28 am - Wednesday, April 2, 2008

#17 danny Waters

Hi Jez, my d40x does the same thing doing stars as well, eyepeice didnt help Danny

11:40 am - Friday, June 6, 2008