Pros Best images in class (rated by several pros)
Cons None for me - the quality of the images are amazing!
Summary I shopped for some time over the past month reading anything I could get my hands on and e-mailing pro photographers about entry-level SLR or SLR cameras under $1200 (w/ a lens) and was consistently led to the Canon XT or the Nikon DX40 and D80 at first. then a few tidbits of info surfaced on the XTi and the D40X. Since I am not a professional photographer I had to rely on other info for a decision and interpret it. Basically I came away with the D40X as a best in class choice for my needs - a prosumer moving into SLR. Here are some points that I uncovered in my research on the net about the D40x that may be useful. The D40x is a great choice if you do not have old auto focus lenses - the screw drive AF will not work; currently the camera does not have an AF lens below 2.8 aperture so dim quck-action shot opportunities will not be optimized; the camera does not have a mirror lock setting for macro shot optimization (??don't know about this but it does take macro shots!); The consumer grade Nikon lenses are far superior to Canon's - supposedly even the shots of the Nikon D40X brochure were taken with a consumer grade 55-200 lens vs. the Canon Rebel brochure taken with an expensive pro lens; the overall image quality of the Nikon is better; the speed of shooting is better; the focus is quick; it is lighter and smaller; the noise level on high ISO settings is very low and that is about it. When I considered these things the pros wrote(one of them said they have started using this as their daily pack camera) I was easily swayed to purchase one. To me, the most important factor is image quality. I am less interested in experimental shooting although I understand the D40x will do that too. I wanted to write this to tell others because this is one fine camera. I ordered the 55-200 VR AF (auto focus anti-shake lens) they used for the brochure for $223 and cannot believe the results. The final outcome of the compiled ratings I read indicated that the D80 at the top of the heap but the D40X was right there with it in image quality in nearly every aspect. I submit to you that this camera should be on your shopping list.Updated
Another point I recently found is that the d40x has built in metering that the the competition apparently does not have. According to the info, it is a very important advantage Nikons have and very difficult to trick in difficult lighting situations. I continue to read reviews and comparisons and find that complaints are focused on no RAW software, no depth of field preview, no old AF lens use, 3pt autofocus and I understand all of these have consideration for some but I would rather have a better lens included than software as Nikon chose to do, I don't have old lens, 3 ratings showed the focus speed was better with the 3 point and sharp focus is easily attained, and all those extra settings are great for play. As I become more familiar I am finding that I see a well thought out design where I go one place for most all changes outside of the 8 auto preset picture categories. It is obvious that the camera is designed for a lot of auto use with fantastic results and nearly all play toys (detailed settings- experimental) are in the LCD menu. I think it is a smart idea to simplify and separate the interface for users. If you are swinging between the D40 and the D40x, consider that you can get the x now for about $100 difference - its worth it for the D80-like benefits. Canon Rebel xti? Software included but the Canon consumer lens are not rated good (see many reviews), the rebel has more pic noise but there are more buttons for you to punch and play with (separated functions) Thanks to all those people who wrote about the cameras and I hope I too have helped someone out.
"Speachless!"on by mjohnston24
Pros Sturdy Frame, Fast Shutter Speeds, Feels Great in Hand, Astounding Pictures, Great Battery Life...
Cons What? Hell no!
Summary I tried to think of something that I wish this camera could do better but I can't think of anything. I'm very much into wildlife photography, but I also have two sons who I photograph a lot indoors. This camera (Nikon D40x) covers all ends of the spectrum. It fires up instantly and the auto focus is just as fast. I have the 18-55mm lens kit as well as the 55-200mm Lens Kit with VR (Vibration Reduction aka Image Stabilization). The 55-200 lens is phenomenal for the price. The VR is extremely helpful for those long range closeups. (VR activates when you hold the shutter button half way down) It's nice to actually hear the high quality shutter when taking a picture. I'm coming from a Kodak Z712 IS (which was also great for the money) but the D40X is in a completely different class. The continuous shooting mode is great for wildlife photography and the little rugrats. It can fire up to 100 shots in one burst at 3 frames per second with no flash. Bursting with flash is slower, but still much better than any point-and-shoot that's on the market. There is absolutely nothing to fear about getting this camera. I have no regrets in the slightest. This camera was actually given to me by a wildlife magazine publisher for one of my photos, but I have spent some time in Staples, Circuit City, and Ritz Camera, comparing this to the Canon Rebel XTI. The XTI has a slightly faster FPS shooting speed, but unless you're sole purpose is photographing high speed subjects you won't miss the half of a second speed. If it can keep up with a 2 and a 4 year old I think it has bragging rights. The D40x has a much more solid feel which I think is important when you're spending this much on a camera. I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants to take their point-and-shoot pictures to the next level. It has a auto mode where you can still point and click and it has an array of manual modes to allow you to perfect your own style of photography.
"Great camera"on by Pibley
Pros Reasonably priced, small for a DSLR, easy-to-use, "wife friendly"
Cons Limitation on kinds of auto-focus lenses you can buy for it and you have to pay extra for software for full RAW support, manual isn't that great to read
Summary This is a great camera for the average picture taker.
I bought this for my wife. She hates buttons and high technology. For her, taking pictures is a means to an end - scrapbooking (not with a computer!). I was very reluctant to buy her such a device for fear it would overwhelm her. I was flat-out wrong. This camera is programmed to be fully automatic if the user chooses that path. It's also capable of going full manual for those that like to have total control. My wife has smaller sized hands and she commented that it fit well in her hands. She also commented on how light it was. She's right! Ironically as we were looking at other cameras at the store, she lamented the fact that her point-and-shoot camera was so small. Now she tells me!
Even after she took it for a test drive and stated she liked the camera, I mulled over the purchasing decision, wondering if ~ $1,100 (with tax) for a camera was worth the price. That price was for the camera sold in "kit" form from Costco.
During that "mulling period" I stumbled upon this Nikon marketing website that convinced me that this was a great family camera -
I suggest you check it out. You'll see average folks using the camera, commenting on their experiences using it and there are some really nice pictures you can look at to see the results.
I think any good-name brand camera competing in this camera's price and feature range will more than satisfy you. If you're "mulling over" a purchase of this camera or one like it, I think you owe it to yourself to read some of the reviews on the internet that can do far more justice to the camera than my review and I would also suggest you take a look at it in person and see if it'll work for you.
"Whoever said its the photographer that makes great shots obviously did not have this camera."on by hockeyfrog
Pros Lightweight (good for small hands!), great battery life, easy to navigate settings
Cons Included flash is just that - the included flash. Slow response times on kit lens occasionally.
Summary I won't lie, I really hadn't planned on buying a DSLR when I walked into the store that fateful day. I was going to replace my compact digital, but after looking at, playing with, and hearing about from one of the managers at the store's experience with the camera, I came back a couple days later and purchased it. (Even better, said manager actually brought his back after a few days' usage and upgraded to the D80 as he was more experienced with SLRs, so I got the open box price on his old one still in mint condition!)
I am not a technical writer, and pretty much a hobby photographer, so I don't know all the ins and outs of SLR photography. I am a graphics student, so I can line up shots, and what I mess up on, I can use Photoshop on to fix. Here's my take on the D40x though.
Pros: The first thing that was pointed out when I was talking to the manager (who was a work colleague for a while, so we were on good terms and not on a pushy buy it now kind of basis) was that I have small hands. This seems like a silly thing to point out, but the D40x's smaller body and lesser weight than most other DSLRs was a huge selling point. I could comfortably hold the camera, reach all the buttons and my hands did not cramp up in the process. In fact, as soon as I picked up the thing, I was in love without even taking a single picture - it just felt right.
The navigation of controls is pretty easy, even more so if you're a previous Nikon owner (I currently have an old Nikon Coolpix 3100). Many of the preset scene types are still present on the wheel selector. Plus, the graphical interface that is integrated with the LCD display is fairly straight forward, and even gives hints with the ? icon. I love the messages it gives though when it is too dark in the area (or you've left the lenscap on like I've tried to) "Subject is too dark."
Just a couple of words on battery life - its great. I can take several hundred pictures without the flash, and still do very well with the flash as well. I'd recommend having a backup battery for usage over long periods of time, but the energy saver sleep mode the camera goes into helps tremendously. (It also wakes up very quickly.)
I went from a 3.2MP compact digital to the 10.2MP in the D40x, which was a huge difference. Not only can I take giant photos, depending on the situation, the giant full-size image might be somewhat grainy, but when I post photos to my website (which I size down from 3872 x 2592px to 500x335px), the graininess disappears and look beautiful. I have yet to try out getting a great shot and getting it printed full-size, but as long as the photo is a sound shot, I think it will be amazing. All of the pictures so far have been clean, not a lot of noise, and very crisp.
As far as lenses go, I purchased the kit with the 18-55mm lens included. Its a good lens, sometimes a bit slow on the focusing, but for a first DSLR, it works great. Mind you, I'm one that goes all out, and I purchased the 55-200mm lens that works with the DXes (not the fancy one with VR) shortly after, just for more options. Once again... entry level lenses for an entry level camera for an entry level user - like me!
Alright, now the cons.
The lenses are a bit slow. I do a bit of sports and concert photography, so the speed is important. However, considering I upgraded from a compact digital, the difference is tremendous. In my case, the slowness is alright, because it still seems super fast to me. I've heard some other people state that they are slow too. I'll go with their opinion then.
Along with the lens slowness, the fact the body only takes DX lenses could be a negative for some people that may have lenses for other cameras that would have fit otherwise. If this is a first slr, then its not an issue. (The silver lining though is that the special DX format lenses are no more expensive than the counterparts for other bodies.)
I have noticed on occasion that the camera does not always find something to focus on, or I have problems getting it to focus on what I need it to. I think there is a setting I might not have tweaked right... I've only had the camera for a few months and haven't read the manual (yeah yeah I should. It'd probably help). Typically though its good about finding a focusing point.
The integrated flash... its an integrated flash. Far better than the flashes I've dealt with on compact digitals, however I still purchased the SB-600 speedlight to go with it. Do you absolutely need to? No. I just like gadgets, and playing with new effects.
Overall though, and coming from the standpoint of never having had a DSLR camera and being a newbie to them, I love this camera. With the auto settings I was able to just pick it up and intuitively just start taking awesome pictures. As I get more brave I will start messing with settings more. I know that changing apertures and such is pretty easy with the navigation system. The photos come out very clean, and I'm sure I'd have even more success if I got to know the settings past the auto mode!
I highly recommend this camera to a new DSLR user - whoever said that its the photographer that takes excellent photos obviously never had this camera. Even what I'd consider "bad" photos still seem to look good coming from this camera!
Pros Lens quality, weight, price
Cons none none none
Summary I own both the D40 and the D40x. Ask any pro photographer and they will tell you to get the D40. It is a great camera and is all you need to shoot great photo's. www.kenrockwell.com is one example of a pro who recommends the D40 over the D40x and even the heavy D80. The price of the D40 is now under $500 and the 18-55mm lens is fantastic. The only item I would recommend as an add is the SB400 Speedlight flash for indoor photos