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Canon 40D vs Nikon D40X

The Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D40X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and March 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 10 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D
versus
Nikon D40X
Canon 40D   Nikon D40X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
750 shots per battery charge520 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Nikon D40X? 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D40X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the 40D is only available in black.

Size Canon 40D vs Nikon D40X
Compare 40D versus D40X top
Comparison 40D or D40X rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D40X is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the D40X is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the 40D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 40D nor the D40X are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (40D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40X).

Concerning battery life, the 40D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the D40X can take 520 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
2.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729 i
3.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
4.
 
Canon 60D 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399 i
5.
 
Canon 50D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299 i
6.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449 i
7.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
8.
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399 i
9.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
10.
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499 i
11.
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599 i
13.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749 i
14.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629 i
15.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299 i
16.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499 i
17.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D40X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 44 percent) than the 40D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D40X is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (40D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 40D and Nikon D40X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 40D offers a higher resolution of 10.1 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the Nikon D40X. 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 5.73μm versus 6.11μm for the D40X). However, it should be noted that the 40D is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 months) than the D40X, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage.

The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The Nikon D40X offers exactly the same ISO settings.

40D versus D40X MP

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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64
2.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.4516 63
3.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
4.
 
Canon 60D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.5813 66
5.
 
Canon 50D APS-C 15.1 4752 3168none21.811.4696 63
6.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none...... ..
7.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
8.
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.8736 59
9.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
10.
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.0721 62
11.
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.9571 57
12.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.1563 62
13.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.5868 72
14.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.4562 65
15.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.5977 73
16.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
17.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
The 40D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The D40X lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 40D and the D40X are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the 40D has a higher magnification than the one of the D40X (0.59x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Nikon D40X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon 60Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n
5.
 
Canon 50Doptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n
6.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
8.
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
16.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the 40D, but is missing on the D40X 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 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D40X uses SDHC cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 40D and Nikon D40X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Canon 60DYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon 50DY----mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
7.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
9.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
10.
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
11.
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
12.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the D40X) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the 40D and the D40X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40X was replaced by the Nikon D60 , while the 40D was followed by the Canon 50D. 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.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Nikon D40X? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.53x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 520) on a single battery charge.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 5 months after the D40X).

ilogo

Advantages of the Nikon D40X:

  • More compact: Is smaller (124x94mm vs 146x108mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 300g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (44 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2007).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 40D is the clear winner of the match-up (9 : 4 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.

40D 09:04 D40X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Nikon D40X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 40D or the D40X perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
2.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729 i
3.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
4.
 
Canon 60D5/5+79/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399 i
5.
 
Canon 50D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299 i
6.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449 i
7.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
8.
 
Canon 30D..+ ++ +o.. Feb 2006 1,399 i
9.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
10.
 
Canon 20D....+ +.... Aug 2004 1,499 i
11.
 
Canon 10D....+ +.... Feb 2003 1,999 i
12.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599 i
13.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749 i
14.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629 i
15.
 
Nikon D90..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299 i
16.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499 i
17.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D40X:
Check Ebay offers

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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 40D vs Nikon D40X

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 1,299 USD 729
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 516
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.53x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Nikon D40X
    Battery Type BP-511A EN-EL9
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge520 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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