Leica CL vs Nikon D40X
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) and the Nikon D40X are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in November 2017 and March 2007. The CL is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D40X is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Leica has a resolution of 24.1 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.
|Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Leica T mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|24.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||10 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-50000||ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||2.5" LCD, 230k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||3 shutter flaps per second|
|220 shots per battery charge||520 shots per battery charge|
|131 x 78 x 45 mm, 403 g||124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica CL (Typ 7323) 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica CL and the Nikon D40X 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the CL 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 D40X is notably larger (14 percent) than the Leica CL. Moreover, the D40X is markedly heavier (30 percent) than the CL. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the CL 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Leica CL»||131 mm||78 mm||45 mm||403 g||220||n||Nov 2017||2,795||Leica CL|
|Nikon D40X«||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729||Nikon D40X|
|Canon 2000D« »||129 mm||101 mm||78 mm||475 g||500||n||Feb 2018||449||Canon 2000D|
|Canon M50« »||116 mm||88 mm||59 mm||390 g||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon M6« »||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm X100F« »||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Leica C-LUX« »||113 mm||67 mm||46 mm||340 g||370||n||Jun 2018||1,049||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica TL2« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||399 g||250||n||Jul 2017||1,950||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL« »||134 mm||69 mm||33 mm||384 g||400||n||Nov 2016||1,695||Leica TL|
|Nikon D3000« »||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000« »||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60« »||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40« »||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499||Nikon D40|
|Panasonic L10« »||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599||Panasonic L10|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as 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 D40X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 74 percent) than the CL, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Leica CL offers a higher resolution of 24.1 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 3.92μm versus 6.11μm for the D40X). However, it should be noted that the CL is much more recent (by 10 years and 8 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. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the CL has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Leica CL implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the CL for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30.1 x 20.1 inch or 76.4 x 51 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24.1 x 16.1 inch or 61.1 x 40.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.4 inch or 50.9 x 34 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D40X are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.2 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.5 x 10.4 inch or 39.3 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 12.9 x 8.6 inch or 32.8 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Leica CL (Typ 7323) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 50000. 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.
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Leica CL||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica CL|
|Nikon D40X||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.4||11.4||516||63||Nikon D40X|
|Canon 2000D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||11.9||1009||71||Canon 2000D|
|Canon M50||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||..||..||..||..||Canon M50|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon M6||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon M6|
|Fujifilm X-A5||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm X100F||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Leica C-LUX||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica TL2||APS-C||24.1||6014||4014||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Leica TL|
|Nikon D3000||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.3||11.1||563||62||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||none||22.5||11.4||562||65||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||none||21.0||11.0||561||56||Nikon D40|
|Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55||Panasonic L10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The CL indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the D40X does not. The highest resolution format that the CL can use is 4K/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the CL has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D40X has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the CL offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D40X (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the D40X has a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.49x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica CL and Nikon D40X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Leica CL||2360||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n||Leica CL|
|Nikon D40X||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D40X|
|Canon 2000D||optical||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 2000D|
|Canon M50||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon M6||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm X100F||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Leica C-LUX||2330||n||3.0||1240||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica TL2||optional||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL||optional||n||3.7||1230||fixed||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica TL|
|Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7||230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Nikon D40|
|Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5||207||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L10|
One feature that is present on the CL, 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 reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the CL is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Leica CL has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The CL writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D40X uses SDHC cards. The CL supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the D40X cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 Leica CL (Typ 7323) and Nikon D40X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Leica CL||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||none||Y||-||-||Leica CL|
|Nikon D40X||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40X|
|Canon 2000D||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 2000D|
|Canon M50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon M6||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm X100F||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X100F|
|Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Leica C-LUX||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica C-LUX|
|Leica TL2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL2|
|Leica TL||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Leica TL|
|Nikon D3000||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3000|
|Nikon D5000||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5000|
|Nikon D60||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D60|
|Nikon D40||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D40|
|Panasonic L10||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L10|
It is notable that the CL offers wifi support, while the D40X does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The CL is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the D40X has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D40X was succeeded by the Nikon D60 . Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica and Nikon websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Leica CL or the Nikon D40X – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Leica CL (Typ 7323):
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24.1 vs 10MP) with a 55% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 4K/30p movies.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- 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.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (131x78mm vs 124x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 119g or 23 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards.
- More prestigious: Has the Leica luxury appeal, which ensures a high resale price.
- More modern: Reflects 10 years and 8 months of technical progress since the D40X launch.
Advantages of the Nikon D40X:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.49x).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (520 versus 220) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (74 percent cheaper at launch).
- 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 CL is the clear winner of the match-up (20 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 Leica CL and the Nikon D40X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the CL or the D40X. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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 (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
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- Canon G5 X Mark II vs Leica CL
- Canon G9 X Mark II vs Leica CL
- Epson R-D1 vs Nikon D40X
- Leica CL vs Leica D-LUX Typ 109
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-600
- Leica CL vs Olympus E-P5
- Leica S Typ 007 vs Nikon D40X
- Nikon D40X vs Nikon D6
- Nikon D40X vs Nikon D7100
- Nikon D40X vs Panasonic GX9
- Nikon D40X vs Sony A7R III
Specifications: Leica CL 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 Model||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Leica T mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||November 2017||March 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 2795||USD 729|
|Sensor Specs||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.7 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||370.52 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24.1 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6014 x 4014 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.52 MP/cm2||2.69 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-50000 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||Maestro II||EXPEED|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||63|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||516|
|Screen Specs||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||95%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||2.5 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/25000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|USB Connector||USB no||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Leica CL||Nikon D40X|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||220 shots per charge||520 shots per charge|
131 x 78 x 45 mm
(5.2 x 3.1 x 1.8 in)
124 x 94 x 64 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||403 g (14.2 oz)||522 g (18.4 oz)|
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