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Canon T3 vs Nikon D40X

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 (called Canon 1100D in some regions) and the Nikon D40X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2011 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 12.2 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 T3
versus
Nikon D40X
Canon T3 Nikon D40X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 10 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/30p Video no Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.7 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge520 shots per battery charge
130 x 100 x 78 mm, 495 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 Rebel T3 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 T3 and the Nikon D40X are illustrated 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 D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the T3 is only available in black.

Size Canon T3 vs Nikon D40X
Compare T3 versus D40X top
Comparison T3 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 (10 percent) than the Canon T3. However, the D40X is markedly heavier (5 percent) than the T3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the T3 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 (T3) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40X).

Concerning battery life, the T3 gets 700 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the D40X can take 520 images on a single charge of its EN-EL9 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras 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 T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
2.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729 i
3.
 
Canon T100 129 mm 102 mm 77 mm 436 g 500 n Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T5 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 480 g 500 n Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Canon SX50 123 mm 87 mm 106 mm 595 g 315 n Sep 2012 429 i
7.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
8.
 
Canon T3i 133 mm 100 mm 80 mm 570 g 440 n Feb 2011 599 i
9.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
10.
 
Canon XS 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449 i
11.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
12.
 
Canon XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
13.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599 i
14.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749 i
15.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629 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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The T3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the D40X, 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.

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Sensor comparison

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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels 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 15 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (T3) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon T3 and Nikon D40X sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon T3 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 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 5.15μm versus 6.11μm for the D40X). However, it should be noted that the T3 is much more recent (by 3 years and 11 months) than the D40X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

The resolution advantage of the Canon T3 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the T3 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D40X are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel T3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D40X are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.

T3 versus D40X MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
2.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.4516 63
3.
 
Canon T100 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.4695 63
4.
 
Canon T5 APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.3724 63
5.
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.8644 60
6.
 
Canon SX50 1/2.3 12.0 4000 30001080/24p20.311.2179 47
7.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
8.
 
Canon T3i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5793 65
9.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
10.
 
Canon XS APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none...... ..
11.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
12.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
13.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.1563 62
14.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.5868 72
15.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.4562 65
16.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
17.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The T3 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D40X does not. The highest resolution format that the T3 can use is 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The T3 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 D40X has a higher magnification than the one of the T3 (0.53x vs 0.50x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon T3, the Nikon D40X, and comparable cameras.

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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 T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon T100optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon T5optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
6.
 
Canon SX50202 n 3.0 461 swivel n 1/2000s 2.2 Y Y
7.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T3ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
11.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 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

The T3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D40X uses SDHC cards.

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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 Rebel T3 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 T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon T100Ymonomono--mini2.0YY-
4.
 
Canon T5Ymonomono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Canon SX50Ystereomono--mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T3iYmonomonoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSY-----2.0---
11.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTiY-----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---

Both the T3 and the D40X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40X was replaced by the Nikon D60 , while the T3 was followed by the Canon T5. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon T3 or the Nikon D40X – 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.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel T3:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/30p movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 520) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D40X launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40X:

  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.50x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2007).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the T3 is the clear winner of the match-up (7 : 2 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.

T3 07:02 D40X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon T3 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 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 T3 or the D40X 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.

Expert reviews

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], 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 T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
2.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729 i
3.
 
Canon T100..o..3.5/53.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i
4.
 
Canon T53/5+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449 i
5.
 
Canon G1 X5/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799 i
6.
 
Canon SX503/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 429 i
7.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
8.
 
Canon T3i3/5o77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2011 599 i
9.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
10.
 
Canon XS..82/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449 i
11.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
12.
 
Canon XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
13.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599 i
14.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749 i
15.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629 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 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

Canon T3:
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon T3 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 T3 Nikon D40X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2011 March 2007
    Launch Price USD 449 USD 729
    Sensor Specs Canon T3 Nikon D40X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.7 mm 23.6 x 15.8 mm
    Sensor Area 323.4 mm2 372.88 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.5 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 10 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 3872 x 2592 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.15 μm 6.11 μm
    Pixel Density 3.76 MP/cm2 2.69 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 720/30p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 3,200 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4 EXPEED
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 63
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 22.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 755 516
    Screen Specs Canon T3 Nikon D40X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.50x 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.7inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon T3 Nikon D40X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations50 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Canon T3 Nikon D40X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon T3 Nikon D40X
    Battery Type LP-E10 EN-EL9
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge520 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 130 x 100 x 78 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 3.1 in)
    124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    Camera Weight 495 g (17.5 oz) 522 g (18.4 oz)

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