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Published : Tuesday, March 6th 2007
Written by Tom Boné - Chief Editor, Nikonians.
Nikonians, the worldwide home for Nikon photographers was founded in the year 2000. After the foundation Nikonians became the major Nikon community where over 77,000 members from 140 countries and over a million unique visitors per month are discussing and learning everything about Nikon and its products. Tom Boné, Chief Editor of Nikonians, shares the Nikonians perspective on the new Nikon D40X specs and features. Tom, you're on!
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Nikon D40X DSLR - Nikonians' perspective

Less than four months have elapsed since Nikon introduced the Nikon D40 as the "smallest, lightest and easiest to use Nikon DSLR ever."

Just in time for PMA 2007 in Las Vegas this week (March 8-11), Nikon is unveiling the "X" version. Once again they are sticking to the small, light and easy to use concept - yet adding the icing to the cake for those fence-straddling consumers who are still convinced the measure of a camera is rated in megapixels. If they didn't want to jump into the digital single-lens-reflex market before, it's obvious Nikon has sweetened the offer. Despite countless reassurances from their fellow Nikonians regarding the differences between 6.1 and 10.2 megapixels - some potential consumers were not convinced. Nikon has now made that issue a moot argument. The D40X fills the slot, offering a 10.2-megapixel CCD in a body weighing 495g (1lb. 1oz.) - only 20 grams more than it's older sister the D40. If you can't picture the difference, just imagine cutting a regulation 45.93 gram golf ball (1.620 ounces) in half.

Four months between the announcements of the two D40's may seem short, but in digital technology terms - that's a long time. Since the original D40 announcement the SD memory card manufacturers have flooded the market with higher speed and more massive memory capacity, while lowering prices. We can't help but feel that Nikon knew the 6.1 megapixel "barrier" would be a disappointment to some consumers eying compact digitals boasting larger numbers, so they probably had their engineers perfecting the upgrade before even announcing the D40, which served to establish a foothold in the affordable DSLR market, while opening the door for the new D40X to follow.

The "X" follows with more than just adding resolution capacity. While retaining the same battery, charger and AC adapter (Li-ion EN-EL9; Quick Charger MH-23 and optional EH-5 AC Adapter) the D40X is rated at up to 520 images per charge as compared to the 470 images per charge for the D40. This is a plus for you D40 owners who won't have to buy different batteries or spring for new models of chargers and AC adapters to match them with. The faster frames-per-second rate (3 fps instead of the D40 2.5 fps) is once again a notable increase that most average users won't even notice, but in this world of "higher numbers must mean better performance" it's a definite plus. A comparison search for things that can occur in half a second often leads to the average time it takes for your eye to blink. Also on the improved features list is a nod to 100 ISO sensitivity fans. The D40 bottomed out at ISO 200, while the D40X matches the 100 ISO offered by bigger cousins like the D80 and D200.

Conclusion: It's a toss-up as to whether we could classify this as a D50 light or a D40 heavy. The D50 offered the more traditional manual use options plus the easy to use Variable program modes, while the D40 came in strong with Seven Digital Vari-Program modes. The D40X follows the D40 in that regard, offering a more user friendly interface for the point and shoot photographers who prefer the ease of automation while having the option of experimenting.
Tom Boné, Chief Editor, Nikonians.
The D50 sports a 2.0-inch LCD monitor, while the D40 and D40X offer the larger and more popular 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD found in the D80 and higher models. The shutters are different this time around, as the D40's mechanical and CCD electronic shutter with 30 seconds to 1/4000 second speeds in steps of 1/3 and allowed for flash synchronization at up to 1/500 second, and the D40X (with an electronic only shutter) was able to match the previous shutter speeds, but dropped X-Flash synchronization to 1/200 second (same as the D80). In comparison, the D50 has the 1/500 second flash synch rate. We predict that will be an issue for some of our fill-flash using Nikonians.

The Nikon D40X is not a giant leap for Nikon, but it appears to be another well-measured step, adding yet another DSLR option for the large market of photographers deciding on stepping into the advanced amateur and serious semi-pro ranks.

New D40X owners will be welcomed in the D40/D50 Users Group:
Nikon D40x User Group
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