Nikon D40x Image Quality Gallery

Nikon's D40x held up well in our lab test. Now we're taking it to the streets of NYC.

Nikon-D40x-Image-Quality-Gallery

Nikon-D40x-Image-Quality-Gallery

Photo By Linzee Karasik

The Nikon D40x ($799, estimated street with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX Nikkor; $729, body only) may be small, but its shooting capacity is big. It's a great camera for first-time DSLR buyers set on a 10MP model and Nikon system users who want a lightweight body that's not lightweight in performance.

It returned Excellent Image Quality in tests in the Pop Photo Lab and out in the world, with excellent resolution through ISO 3200, stellar noise control (Extremely Low through ISO 400, Very Low through ISO 1600), and Excellent color accuracy.

Click here or on the photo to view the Nikon D40x Image Quality Gallery

Read the full Nikon D40x lab test.

The Competitive Set

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

With 18-55mm f/3.6-5.6 Canon EF-S lens ($770, street):

The Nikon D40x produces Image Quality a bit higher than Canon's mighty lightweight, notably in better noise control throughout the ISO range, and it has an ISO 3200 setting, which the XTi lacks. But the XTi remains a potent competitor, with faster and more sensitive AF using a sophisticated nine-point AF array that can track across the frame. The Canon takes a RAW file simultaneously with a highest-quality JPEG, not lowest. While we'd rate the build quality about equal, we'd trust the Canon more in dusty conditions, as it has both self-cleaning sensor and software dust deletion (the D40x, just the latter). And the Canon has no AF lens limitations -- all EF and EF-S lenses have built-in focusing motors.

Sony Alpha 100

With 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Sony Zoom DT lens ($710, street):

The Sony's singular advantage over both the Canon and Nikon models is its sensor-based Super Steady Shot system, which provides image stabilization across both the Sony and the discontinued Konica Minolta Maxxum lens lines. Canon and Nikon make you pay for stabilization with every lens. The Sony has faster and better-tracking AF than the Nikon D40x, a self-cleaning sensor, and innovative dynamic-range controls. We also think it's a better-built camera than the D40x. The Nikon wins on Image Quality, with somewhat higher resolution but, more important, clearly superior noise control. The Sony lens line is smaller than Nikon's AF-S lens catalog, but not by much.

See more image quality shots from similar cameras below, or check out our redesigned Galleries page.

Nikon D80 Sony Alpha 100
Pentax K10D Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi
Nikon-D40xSt.-Patrick-s-Cathedral-1-100-sec-at-f

Nikon-D40xSt.-Patrick-s-Cathedral-1-100-sec-at-f

*Nikon D40x*St. Patrick's Cathedral, 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 200.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xAtlas-shrugged.-At-ISO-100-D40x-exposur

Nikon-D40xAtlas-shrugged.-At-ISO-100-D40x-exposur

*Nikon D40x*Atlas shrugged. At ISO 100, D40x exposure held onto a lot of both shadow and highlight.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xAperture-of-f-11-allowed-good-depth-of-f

Nikon-D40xAperture-of-f-11-allowed-good-depth-of-f

*Nikon D40x*Aperture of f/11 allowed good depth of field, and still maintained water-freezing shutter speed of 1/500 sec at ISO 400.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xNikon-D40x-s-18-55mm-kit-lens-allows-for

Nikon-D40xNikon-D40x-s-18-55mm-kit-lens-allows-for

*Nikon D40x*Nikon D40x's 18-55mm kit lens allows for quick framing; this was shot at about 30mm.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xHigh-contrast-scene-shot-at-ISO-400-show

Nikon-D40xHigh-contrast-scene-shot-at-ISO-400-show

*Nikon D40x*High-contrast scene shot at ISO 400 shows quite good shadow detail (under the marquee) with not too much noise.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xNice-contrast-and-good-color-from-the-D4

Nikon-D40xNice-contrast-and-good-color-from-the-D4

*Nikon D40x*Nice contrast and good color from the D40x's 10MP imager. Matrix metering made a good compromise reading.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xImpossible-lighting-situation-but-Matri

Nikon-D40xImpossible-lighting-situation-but-Matri

*Nikon D40x*Impossible lighting situation, but Matrix metering kept the ice white, maintained some detail in the shadows.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-2000-kept-the-skater

Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-2000-kept-the-skater

*Nikon D40x*Shutter speed of 1/2000 kept the skater sharp, AF system snapped onto focus quickly.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xWe-like-how-the-arms-of-the-skater-mirro

Nikon-D40xWe-like-how-the-arms-of-the-skater-mirro

*Nikon D40x*We like how the arms of the skater mirror the statue of Prometheus behind him.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-500-sec-just-kept-spe

Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-500-sec-just-kept-spe

*Nikon D40x*Shutter speed of 1/500 sec just kept speeding skater sharp. Shadow detail is quite good for such harsh lighting.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xAt-10MP-capture-in-a-fine-quality-JPEG

Nikon-D40xAt-10MP-capture-in-a-fine-quality-JPEG

*Nikon D40x*At 10MP capture in a fine-quality JPEG, we could enlarge this shot enough to plainly see the expression on the face of the man in the white jacket. See him?Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xExcellent-color-accuracy-and-very-pleas

Nikon-D40xExcellent-color-accuracy-and-very-pleas

*Nikon D40x*Excellent color accuracy, and very pleasing color rendition even at the standard saturation and contrast settings.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xFast-framing-with-the-18-55mm-Zoom-Nikko

Nikon-D40xFast-framing-with-the-18-55mm-Zoom-Nikko

*Nikon D40x*Fast framing with the 18-55mm Zoom-Nikkor.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xIt-s-not-quite-a-macro-lens-but-the-18

Nikon-D40xIt-s-not-quite-a-macro-lens-but-the-18

*Nikon D40x*It's not quite a macro lens, but the 18-55mm Zoom-Nikkor kit lens can get to about 1:5 at closest focusing, and render fine detail.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xA-New-York-moment-at-1-320-sec-at-f-9-I

Nikon-D40xA-New-York-moment-at-1-320-sec-at-f-9-I

*Nikon D40x*A New York moment at 1/320 sec at f/9, ISO 400. Good shadow and highlight detail even in ferocious lighting contrast.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xMatrix-metering-did-a-good-job-with-the

Nikon-D40xMatrix-metering-did-a-good-job-with-the

*Nikon D40x*Matrix metering did a good job with the backlighting in this dining al fresco scene.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-500-sec-freezes-the-d

Nikon-D40xShutter-speed-of-1-500-sec-freezes-the-d

*Nikon D40x*Shutter speed of 1/500 sec freezes the drops in a New York fountain.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xWalkin-through-a-waterfall-at-1-200-sec

Nikon-D40xWalkin-through-a-waterfall-at-1-200-sec

*Nikon D40x*Walkin' through a waterfall at 1/200 sec. Good compromise by the Matrix metering.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xTree-shadow-provides-nice-compositional

Nikon-D40xTree-shadow-provides-nice-compositional

*Nikon D40x*Tree shadow provides nice compositional foil to waterfall tunnel. 1/400 sec at f/10, ISO 400.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xIt-s-the-chef-who-makes-the-dining-on-th

Nikon-D40xIt-s-the-chef-who-makes-the-dining-on-th

*Nikon D40x*It's the chef who makes the dining-on-the-terrace experience. Highlights are hot, but we like the translucency from the backlighting.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xThe-sign-says-it.-A-quick-grab-relying-o

Nikon-D40xThe-sign-says-it.-A-quick-grab-relying-o

*Nikon D40x*The sign says it. A quick grab relying on the D40x's autofocus and Matrix metering.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xFew-are-camera-shy-in-the-Big-Apple.-A-q

Nikon-D40xFew-are-camera-shy-in-the-Big-Apple.-A-q

*Nikon D40x*Few are camera-shy in the Big Apple. A quick grab using autofocus, Matrix metering, 1/100 se at f/5.6, ISO 400.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xDaylight-shade-plus-artificial-lights-a

Nikon-D40xDaylight-shade-plus-artificial-lights-a

*Nikon D40x*Daylight shade plus artificial lights, and a zillion colors. How do you do it? With auto white balance.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xNo-dining-experience-is-complete-without

Nikon-D40xNo-dining-experience-is-complete-without

*Nikon D40x*No dining experience is complete without the dessert cart. Exposure at 1/50 at f/4.5 had too shallow depth of field to keep the peanuts in focus.Photo By Linzee Karasik
Nikon-D40xYou-ll-see-him-now-in-this-full-resoluti

Nikon-D40xYou-ll-see-him-now-in-this-full-resoluti

*Nikon D40x*You'll see him now in this full resolution crop.Photo By Linzee Karasik
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