Externally, the Nikon D40x is identical to its predecessor. For this reason it won't surprise the reader much to see that, once more, we are enthusiastic about the way the camera is built and the ergonomics. The camera's compact and light format remains a good example of great design work. The D40 has already proven that this doesn't have to be at the cost of the typical Nikon design. Also with the Nikon D40x digital SLR camera, the characteristic red edging is not missing. For this reason, the camera fits perfectly in the Nikon DSLR camera range. The housing of the Nikon D40x mainly consists of plastic, but feels anything but cheap. The finishing touches are very attractive and all the lids close perfectly. It is fine to hold; even people with large hands can hold the D40x steady.
Nikon D40x D-SLR camera - Flash & Mode dial
When looking on top of the Nikon D40x, we see the built-in flash. It folds out nice and high and can also give good exposure in the 18mm angle. There is also a flash shoe for an external flash, like the new SB-400. A little cover protects the contact points; a component, which I always loose quickly. There should be found a solution for that. To the right of the prism housing is the mode dial, with which you can set the various exposure programs. There are of course, a green setting and pictograms, but you can also work with shutter speeds and apertures. Past the handgrip is the shutter release button with an excellent pressure point and around it the main switch. On top of the shutter release is the INFO button with which comprehensive information can be made visible on the back of the camera. The last thing we see is the exposure correction, which is used with manual exposure to select the aperture.
Nikon D40x SLR - AF-S & AF-I lenses
There is a metal lens on top of the camera. The experts will notice the missing focus engine. With other Nikon DSLR models, except of course the D40, you will find a small pin. For the photographer, the lacking of such a characteristic means that he can only work with AF-S and AF-I lenses. That is, if he wants to use the auto focus. It is possible to use the G- or D- type Nikon lenses, but the auto focus will not work. With this knowledge in the back of my mind, I have to say that this is no problem at all. Nikon has an excellent selection AF-S and AF-I lenses and it seems that these perfectly fit the needs of the target group that goes for the Nikon D40x. A big advantage of the AF-S lenses is their lightning speed and quiet focusing.
Nikon D40x - SDHC flash memory compartment
On the right hand side of the Nikon D40x, there is a lid standing guard to the interfaces for the USB and A/V Out. On the other side there is a little door for the Secure Digital flash memory card. The Nikon D40x is also compatible to the new SDHC platform. SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity; actually a new generation of SD cards with a storage capacity starting at 4GB. The Lithium Ion battery is placed underneath the D40x in the handgrip. There's a universal metal tripod connection underneath the camera.
Nikon D40x digital SLR - Handgrip
When returning to the front of the camera, we see to the far left of the handgrip the infrared receiver of the optional remote control. Very pleasant is the handgrip, which is covered in a rubber layer; this gives a very good grip. Between the handgrip and the mirror housing is a LED that serves as an illuminator for the focus and as an indicator for the self-timer.
To the right of the lens on- top, there is a button for the built-in flash and the flash correction. Underneath is a programmable function key. Usually, its function is to engage the self-timer, but you can also use it to select the white balance or ISO sensitivity for instance. Nikon experts will notice that the switch for setting the focus is missing, as it is now on the lens.
Nikon D40x digital reflex camera - 2.5 inch LCD display
Because of the limited buttons on the back, the Nikon D40x looks very synoptic, so you will not easily get distracted by all sorts of possibilities. The 2.5-inch screen on the back of the camera takes central stage. The monitor is of an excellent quality, has a large viewing angle and even in bright light you can see everything well. Above the screen we can find the optical viewfinder. The viewfinder itself is smaller than the one on the Nikon D80 and D200 SLR cameras, but nevertheless gives an attractive clear image and an ample amount of information. It indicates, for instance, if the battery is too low, or if there's no memory card in the camera. There's a reference to the built-in Help function of the camera, a strong component!
Nikon D40x DSLR camera - Zoom buttons
To the left of the LCD display there are the buttons for playing back the photos, the menu button and two zoom buttons. The top zoom button for zooming out and showing thumbnails, also serves as an assistance key. You can use it to get information about the settings or further explanations if something has gone wrong. It works really well and provides a good learning experience for less experienced photographers. The bottom button for zooming in is also used for changing many settings. By pressing the button, you can navigate through various settings with the four-way button to the right of the display. Actually, you can arrange everything you need here. It really is extremely user friendly. In the middle is the familiar OK button to confirm changes and underneath it is the indispensable digital trash bin. Entirely on top is the exposure and focus lock. You can arrange exactly how this button functions in the menu. Finally, close to the thumb grip is the mode dial for changing exposure details.
Nikon D40x DSLR - Very synoptic camera
Like I said, the Nikon D40x does not deviate from the concept of the D40 and is equal concerning the housing. Overall it looks very synoptic and also the beginning photographer will be able to work with the camera immediately. Personally I find what is and is not needed concerning the buttons and functionality perfectly balanced and with that, Nikon apparently has effortlessly won one of the greatest challenges a camera producer can have.