Nikon D40x Reviews

First published on: Thursday, 19 April 2007

A number of professional and user reviews of the Nikon D40x makes for some worthwhile reading, and I’ve gathered them here in this post for your convenience.

Professional Reviews

PopPhoto says D40x has excellent low noise

Nikon D40x Review and Test at

In March 2007, PopPhoto made a controversial statement, claiming that photos taken with the Nikon D40x had better (read: lower) noise and higher resolution at higher ISO values than the Canon Digital Rebel XTi (EOS 400D).

This was the first time a Nikon camera was declared a winner over the equivalent Canon digital SLR in lab tests. Whether other review sites would follow suit and come to the same conclusion is left open to speculation, but that D40x review by PopPhoto certainly was a first. Have a look at PopPhoto’s D40x test results here.

D40x gets the Editor’s Choice Award

The Nikon D40x gets the Editor's Choice AwardDespite a number of inaccuracies (which I list below), the D40x review at, I think the review highlights the positives of the D40x in a clear manner.

I can’t remember a time when a Nikon digital SLR camera came ahead of its Canon counterpart in image quality ratings, but that’s what TR concludes. They’re of the opinion that the D40x beats the Canon EOS 400D / Rebel XTi ever so slightly in their evaluations of image quality, and (quite shockingly, I might add) found that the D40x even produces high-ISO images with less noise than the XTi — now, that’s news indeed.

The review doesn’t give you access to any full-sized original image sampes, and that’s a minus point in my books. Still, the D40x gets their Editor’s Choice award, so that’s saying something.

What about inaccuracies in the review? Well, statements like “The D40x is not just a D40 with a bigger sensor”, “CompactFlash format favoured by professionals” and “ISO range of 100-1600” (the D40x can actually shoot all the way to ISO 3200) don’t really add to the credibility of the review.

Cliff was spot-on, however, when he mentioned about the superiority of the images you’ll get using Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II kit lens that’s supplied with the D40x over those from the equivalent Canon 18-55mm lens that comes in the Canon 400D / XTi bundle.

D40 vs D40x at

Nikon D40x review at eFotografija.siNo matter if you don’t understand the language used in this Nikon D40 vs Nikon D40x DIWA awards test, because there are a number of pictures of both cameras you can enjoy looking at. Also, I find this particular review very illuminating, because by some trickery of image processing, the high-ISO D40x images don’t seem to be much noisier than the D40 (see the comparison crops here), if at all.

This is great news to those on the fence, holding back from purchasing the D40x fearing that its high ISO photos might prove to be too noisy. Well, here’s the conclusion. If you’re already certain you prefer the 10 Megapixels on the D40x over the 6 MP on the D40, and don’t mind the the slower flash-sync speed (1/200 seconds on the D40x vs 1/500 sec on the D40).

I also like that the review includes clear and large pictures of the various menu options displayed on the large LCD screen of the D40x, and a resized example of the in-camera D-Lighting image editing function which brightens up dark areas of a picture. On this page of the review, you get to see resized photos taken with both the D40 and D40x in various image optimization modes — Vivid, More Vivid and Neutral — some great colors in there.

On page 5, photos are taken with a variety of lenses — the new Nikkor 70-300mm VR, the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 DX and the Nikkor 18-55mm II kit lens. Not forgetting some shot with the Nikkor 10.5mm DX fisheye lens — I find those the most interesting. Again, it’s a shame that these samples are only the resized versions.

User Reviews

I personally give more weight to user reviews rather than the professional equivalents, and I hope the following collection helps you effectively in your research on the D40x.

High-ISO performance: D40x vs other Nikon digital SLR cameras

ISO Test -- D40x vs Other Nikon Digital SLR Cameras by AndreasEAndreasE has created some kind of record for doing this huge noise test pitting the D40x against 9 other Nikon DSLR cameras (direct link to the ISO test gallery here).

Of great interest would be how the D40x performs in the high-ISO department when compared against recent cameras such as the D40, D80, D50 and D200. I agree with his general conclusion that the D40x produces better high ISO images vs from the D80 and D200, and even vs the 6-Megapixel (MP) D40 and D50.

Traditional thinking says that sensors with the same dimensions but higher MP count tend to produce images with higher levels of noise, but Nikon seems to have done something to keep this under control, as I’m of the opinion that the D40x has the same level of high ISO noise as the D40, if not lower — quite the engineering feat there. But certainly miles ahead of the D50 and my own D70.

To me, what is even more impressive is the color fidelity of the D40x’s high ISO image. Go ahead and open up the original ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 (labeled as D40X-ISO-Hi1 JPEG) photos, and compare them with the output from the older cameras. You’ll notice that the saturation of yellows and other colors remain at a very high level in the D40 / D40x cameras, and less so with the older cameras.

Evidently, Nikon has improved their noise reduction and image processing algorithms with each iteration of their DSLR cameras. To cut a long story short, the D40x currently has the best high-ISO performance among the current crop of Nikon DSLRs.

Owners of higher-end Nikon cameras give their thumbs-up to the D40x

Lee Rothman (aka SaltLakeGuy) owns the D200 but says that the D40x plus two lenses (the kit Nikkor 18-55mm II and Nikkor 55-200mm VR) serves his needs much better when it comes to travel photography, calling the combination “the ultimate travel kit for maximum performance and minimum weight“.

Peter Bendheim has given up on digital point-and-shoot cameras altogether, and instead settled on the Nikon D40 (which is the 6 Megapixel version of the D40x) digital SLR camera which gives fantastic results and operational speed in a portable package. Read his story here.

Thom Hogan, who wrote an excellent review on the Nikon D40 and D40x cameras, talks about how much he enjoys using the D40x (fitted with a Katz Eye focusing screen) with his non AF-S lenses and how the D40x improves on the D50 in terms of high ISO image quality, buffer write speeds and depth.


The Nikon D40x seems to perform remarkably well in the imaging department, producing out-of-camera photographs that I have observed to fare better than any of the other competing 10 Megapixel digital SLR cameras, and this is especially noticeable at high ISO levels.

You’ll need to decide if you can live with the simplified controls and functionality on the D40x — coupled with the fact that the D40x is only able to autofocus with certain lenses (see the complete list of these lenses: Nikkor | Sigma).

If you strongly desire a DSLR which is fuss-free, simple to operate, comes in a light, small, ergonomic body, and produces fantastic pictures with the wide variety of low cost (but high quality) kit lenses from Nikon, then the D40x receives my highest recommendation.

More Nikon D40x topics and resources:

blog comments powered by Disqus