A potelyt.com – Photography & Imaging Resources
ad
PW

Nikon D40 vs Pentax MX-1

The Nikon D40 and the Pentax MX-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in November 2006 and January 2013. The D40 is a DSLR, while the MX-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D40) and a 1/1.7-inch (MX-1) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 6 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 12 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D40
versus
Pentax MX-1
Nikon D40   Pentax MX-1
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
6 MP – APS-C sensor 12 MP – 1/1.7" sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 3,200) ISO 100-12,800
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
2.5" LCD – 230k dots 3.0" LCD – 920k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 1 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
470 shots per battery charge290 shots per battery charge
124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g 122 x 61 x 51 mm, 391 g
logo
Check D40 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check MX-1 offers at
ebay.com

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D40 and the Pentax MX-1? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D40 and the Pentax MX-1. 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.

Size Nikon D40 vs Pentax MX-1
Compare D40 versus MX-1 top
Comparison D40 or MX-1 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax MX-1 is considerably smaller (36 percent) than the Nikon D40. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40 nor the MX-1 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the MX-1 has a lens built in, whereas the D40 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 D40 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

scroll hint
Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 122 mm 61 mm 51 mm 391 g 290 n Jan 2013 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G16 109 mm 76 mm 40 mm 356 g 360 n Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G15 107 mm 76 mm 40 mm 352 g 350 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Fujifilm X20 117 mm 70 mm 57 mm 353 g 270 n Jan 2013 599ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon P7800 119 mm 78 mm 50 mm 399 g 350 n Sep 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D70s 140 mm 111 mm 78 mm 679 g 500 n Apr 2005 899ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2 113 mm 65 mm 48 mm 346 g 340 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D40 features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax MX-1 a 1/1.7-inch sensor. The sensor area in the MX-1 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 4.5. The sensor in the D40 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the MX-1 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D40 and Pentax MX-1 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the MX-1 offers a higher resolution of 12 megapixels, compared with 6 MP of the D40. 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 1.89μm versus 7.85μm for the D40). However, it should be noted that the MX-1 is much more recent (by 6 years and 1 month) than the D40, 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 Pentax MX-1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the MX-1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D40 are 15 x 10 inches or 38.2 x 25.4 cm for good quality, 12 x 8 inches or 30.6 x 20.3 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.7 inches or 25.5 x 16.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D40 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 200-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax MX-1 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

In terms of underlying technology, the D40 is build around a CCD sensor, while the MX-1 uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D40 versus MX-1 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"). Of the two cameras under review, the D40 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the MX-1 (overall score 7 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.6 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV of lower dynamic range, and 1.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

scroll hint
Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
2.
 
Pentax MX-1 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.411.320849
3.
 
Canon G16 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/60p21.011.723054
4.
 
Canon G15 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
5.
 
Fujifilm X20 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p20.110.9-46246
6.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
7.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
8.
 
Nikon P7800 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/30p21.211.720054
9.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
10.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
11.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
12.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
13.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
14.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
15.
 
Nikon D70s APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.410.352950
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2 1/1.7 11.8 3968 29761080/30p20.411.321649
17.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The MX-1 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D40 does not. The highest resolution format that the MX-1 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D40 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the MX-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D40 and Pentax MX-1 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

scroll hint
Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
2.
 
Pentax MX-1none n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/8000s 1.0/s Y Y
3.
 
Canon G16optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.2/s Y Y
4.
 
Canon G15optical n3.0 / 922 fixed n 1/4000s 2.1/s Y Y
5.
 
Fujifilm X20optical n2.8 / 460 fixed n 1/4000s 12.0/s Y Y
6.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon P7800921 n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
9.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
13.
 
Nikon D80optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
14.
 
Nikon D50optical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
15.
 
Nikon D70soptical n2.0 / 130 fixed n 1/8000s 3.0/s Y n
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2optional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/2000s 5.0/s Y Y
17.
 
Panasonic L10optical n2.5 / 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The D40 writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the MX-1 uses SDXC 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 Nikon D40 and Pentax MX-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

scroll hint
Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
2.
 
Pentax MX-1-stereo / mono--mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon G16Ystereo / mono--mini2.0Y--
4.
 
Canon G15Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
5.
 
Fujifilm X20Ystereo / mono--micro2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
7.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon P7800Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---
13.
 
Nikon D80Y- / ----2.0---
14.
 
Nikon D50Y- / ----2.0---
15.
 
Nikon D70sY- / ----2.0---
16.
 
Olympus XZ-2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L10Y- / ----2.0---

It is notable that the D40 has a hotshoe, while the MX-1 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the D40 and the MX-1 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D40 was replaced by the Nikon D40X, while the MX-1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the features and operation of the D40 and MX-1 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon D40 Manual (free pdf) or the online Pentax MX-1 Manual.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D40 and the Pentax MX-1? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

ilogo

Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 290) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in November 2006).

ilogo

Advantages of the Pentax MX-1:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 38%.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • 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 (920k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D40 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (122x61mm vs 124x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the D40).
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 1 month of technical progress since the D40 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the MX-1 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 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 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.

D40 08:11 MX-1

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40 and the Pentax MX-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Travel-Zoom 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D40 and the MX-1 in practical situations. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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.

scroll hint
Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
2.
 
Pentax MX-13/5....74/1004/54/5 Jan 2013 499ebay.com
3.
 
Canon G164/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2013 549ebay.com
4.
 
Canon G154/5+..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
5.
 
Fujifilm X204/5+ +..77/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2013 599ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon P78003/5......4/54.5/5 Sep 2013 549ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
13.
 
Nikon D80..+..+ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999ebay.com
14.
 
Nikon D50..78/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749ebay.com
15.
 
Nikon D70s..........5/5 Apr 2005 899ebay.com
16.
 
Olympus XZ-24/5+....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
17.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100..+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

logo
Check D40 offers at
ebay.com
logo
Check MX-1 offers at
ebay.com

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.

~
    loader

    Specifications: Nikon D40 vs Pentax MX-1

    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 Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 28-112mm f/1.8-2.5
    Launch Date November 2006 January 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor 1/1.7" Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.7 x 15.6 mm 7.6 x 5.7 mm
    Sensor Area 369.72 mm2 43.32 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 9.5 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 4.5x
    Sensor Resolution 6 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3008 x 2000 pixels 4000 x 3000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 7.85 μm 1.89 μm
    Pixel Density 1.63 MP/cm2 27.70 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 12,800 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 56 49
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.0 20.4
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 11.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 561 208
    Screen Specs Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 1 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D40 Pentax MX-1
    Battery Type EN-EL9 D-LI106
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge290 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    122 x 61 x 51 mm
    (4.8 x 2.4 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 522 g (18.4 oz) 391 g (13.8 oz)
    logo
    Check D40 offers at
    ebay.com
    logo
    Check MX-1 offers at
    ebay.com

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

    You are here Home  »  CAM-parator  »  Nikon D40 vs Pentax MX-1