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Out of the box, the body of the D40X felt comparatively light at 522g. Of course, considering that the body is missing quite a few essentials like an autofocus mechanism, it had better be light!
The camera's physical dimensions and appearance is exactly the same as the previously released (and reviewed) Nikon D40. The only thing that differentiates the two is the labeling. Of course, there are quite a few significant changes in the camera's performance, but we'll cover that in a bit. The thing I was concerned with is that the hand-grip, though comfortable, wasn't large enough to fit my whole hand, and the camera still had just a single jog dial for shutter speed and aperture size. Grr!
Considering that the D40X is one of the cheapest new D-SLRs available in the market, features such as dual LCD display, image stabilization and sensor cleaning are lacking, but it does have a few improvements to make it a better purchase over the D40. Firstly the resolution has been increased to 10.2 megapixels, which brings it closer to the times over the 6 megapixel resolution of the D40. The three-point autofocus unfortunately remains the same though.
The second most significant improvement is its speed of 3FPS in burst mode, over the 2.5 FPS in the D40. Other improvements include a longer-lasting battery and a wider ISO sensitivity of 100 to 1600.
Now for the bummer. If you're planning on using your dad's/uncle's/best friend's older Nikon D-SLR lenses on this model, you would curse Nikon as much as I did for making this camera compatible with only the newer AF-I and AF-S lenses. You can still use the older AF lenses, but the autofocus (which the AF stands for) will not work on this model, leaving you using your manual focus skills for every shot. Told you it was a bummer!
New users, however, shouldn't find this much of a problem if they were planning on picking up new lenses to begin with, except that the AF-I and AF-S lenses are comparatively rarer, pricier and not manufactured by all third-party companies yet as the older AF lenses. Someone in Nikon's design team is definitely going to face an angry photographer's wrath for this.
The reason for this lack of compatibility is that to reduce the cost of the body Nikon decided to place the autofocus mechanism in the lenses instead of the main body. So when you buy the lenses you somewhat compensate for that crazy bargain you picked up this camera for.
That said, when it comes to the camera's overall features and performance, it's still an excellent camera at its price. Especially at its performance level.
Color reproduction from the Nikon D40X was excellent. The overall camera tone was more on the natural side and the saturation levels were quite low, just the way I like it.
Sharpness and detail levels in the shots I got from the camera was as good as I expected from a camera of this caliber. Though it did wimp out slightly on the minutest details compared to the Nikon D80 or Canon EOS 400D, it's not something you will notice until you compare closely. Rest assured, amateurs and prosumers would highly appreciate the image quality.
As I mentioned before, the camera's shooting speed has improved to 3FPS, but the start-up time of .18 seconds and immediate shutdown time make it an excellent tool to have on your side when timing is of utmost importance.
All told, it transpires that the Nikon D40X is an excellent camera when it comes to performance, even though it may not have the snappiest features that are available in other budget D-SLRs today. Considering that its price with bill and warranty is somewhere around Rs. 35,000, it's an excellent deal to start off with, or to gift to someone who's just venturing into D-SLRs and is starting from scratch. It has everything an amateur needs to learn and move on to bigger and better things, and also offers picture quality that's good enough to keep a prosumer happy for a long time. But if you're looking at upgrading from your older D-SLR, you should probably consider its bigger brother – the Nikon D80.
124 x 94 x 64 mm
|LCD Type||2.5", 230,000 px|
|Effective Pixels||10.2 Megapixels|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (3200 with boost)|
|Shutter Speed||30-1/4000 sec + Bulb|
|Format||RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG|
|Scene Modes||Children, Close-up, Landscape, Sports mode, Portrait mode, Night portrait|
|White Balance||6 positions, plus manual|
|Flash||Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow|
|Self Timer||2-20 secs|