Canon 10D vs Nikon L840
The Canon EOS 10D and the Nikon Coolpix L840 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2003 and February 2015. The 10D is a DSLR, while the L840 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (10D) and a 1/2.3-inch (L840) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 6.3 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 10D and the Nikon Coolpix L840? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 10D and the Nikon L840 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the 10D is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon L840 is considerably smaller (45 percent) than the Canon 10D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 10D nor the L840 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the L840 has a lens built in, whereas the 10D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the 10D and their specifications in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Canon 10D||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||850 g||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999|
|2.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|3.||Canon SX530||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||442 g||210||n||Jan 2015||429|
|4.||Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon T5||130 mm||100 mm||78 mm||480 g||500||n||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon SL1||117 mm||91 mm||69 mm||407 g||380||n||Mar 2013||549|
|7.||Canon T4i||133 mm||100 mm||79 mm||575 g||440||n||Jun 2012||849|
|8.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|9.||Canon 40D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299|
|10.||Canon 30D||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399|
|11.||Canon 20D||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon Rebel||142 mm||99 mm||72 mm||649 g||400||n||Aug 2003||899|
|13.||Canon D60||150 mm||107 mm||75 mm||855 g||620||n||Feb 2002||2,999|
|14.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|15.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|16.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|17.||Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The L840 was launched at a lower price than the 10D, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 10D features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon L840 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the L840 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 5.6. The sensor in the 10D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the L840 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the L840 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 6.3 MP of the 10D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 7.38μm for the 10D). However, it should be noted that the L840 is much more recent (by 11 years and 11 months) than the 10D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the L840 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon L840 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the L840 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 10D are 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for good quality, 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.2 x 20.8 cm for very good quality, and 10.2 x 6.8 inches or 26 x 17.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 10D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix L840 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The L840 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 10D does not. The highest resolution format that the L840 can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 10D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 10D, the Nikon L840, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Canon 10D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon L840||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX530||none||n||3.0 / 461||fixed||n||1/2000s||1.6||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX60||922||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon T5||optical||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|6.||Canon SL1||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.9||Y||n|
|7.||Canon T4i||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Canon 7D||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n|
|9.||Canon 40D||optical||Y||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.5||Y||n|
|10.||Canon 30D||optical||Y||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Canon 20D||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n|
|12.||Canon Rebel||optical||n||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|13.||Canon D60||optical||Y||1.8 / 114||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|15.||Nikon B500||none||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y|
|16.||Nikon P900||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Nikon D100||optical||Y||1.8 / 118||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n|
One feature that is present on the 10D, but is missing on the L840 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
The 10D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the L840 uses SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 10D and Nikon Coolpix L840 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Canon 10D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon L840||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon SX530||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Canon SX60||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon T5||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon SL1||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Canon T4i||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Canon 7D||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Canon 40D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Canon 30D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Canon 20D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|12.||Canon Rebel||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|13.||Canon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
|14.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|15.||Nikon B500||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|16.||Nikon P900||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Nikon D100||Y||- / -||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-|
It is notable that the 10D has a hotshoe, while the L840 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 10D (unlike the L840) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 10D and the L840 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 10D was replaced by the Canon 20D, while the L840 was followed by the Nikon B500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 10D or the Nikon L840 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 10D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2003).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix L840:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (15.9 vs 6.3MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 118k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the 10D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the 10D).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (590 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.1).
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 11 years and 11 months of technical progress since the 10D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the L840 is the clear winner of the contest (17 : 11 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 10D and the Nikon L840 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 10D or the L840 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 10D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Feb 2003||1,999|
|2.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|3.||Canon SX530||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||429|
|4.||Canon SX60||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|5.||Canon T5||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449|
|6.||Canon SL1||4/5||+||..||78/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549|
|7.||Canon T4i||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2012||849|
|8.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|9.||Canon 40D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299|
|10.||Canon 30D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2006||1,399|
|11.||Canon 20D||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2004||1,499|
|12.||Canon Rebel||..||..||..||+ +||..||..||Aug 2003||899|
|13.||Canon D60||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||2,999|
|14.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|15.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|16.||Nikon P900||..||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|17.||Nikon D100||..||..||..||+ +||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 10D vs Canon G1 X Mark II
- Canon 10D vs Nikon B600
- Canon 10D vs Nikon B700
- Canon 10D vs Nikon D40
- Canon 10D vs Olympus TG-6
- Canon 10D vs Panasonic LX7
- Canon 1Ds Mark II vs Nikon L840
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon L840
- Fujifilm XQ1 vs Nikon L840
- Nikon L840 vs Olympus E-M5
- Nikon L840 vs Panasonic FZ200
- Nikon L840 vs Sony A77
Specifications: Canon 10D vs Nikon L840
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5|
|Launch Date||February 2003||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1,999||USD 299|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.7 x 15.1 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||342.77 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||6.3 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3072 x 2048 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.38 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.84 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||57||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.1||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.9||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||571||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||1.8inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||118k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||7.4 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 1.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 10D||Nikon L840|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||590 shots per charge|
150 x 107 x 75 mm
(5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
113 x 78 x 96 mm
(4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
|Camera Weight||850 g (30.0 oz)||538 g (19.0 oz)|
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