Nikon D40X vs D80
The Nikon D40X and the Nikon D80 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2007 and August 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10 megapixels.
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 Nikon D40X and the Nikon D80? 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D40X and the Nikon D80. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D80 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 D80 is notably larger (17 percent) than the Nikon D40X. Moreover, the D80 is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the D40X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40X nor the D80 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|1.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729|
|2.||Nikon D80||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999|
|3.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799|
|4.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799|
|5.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599|
|6.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599|
|7.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749|
|8.||Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629|
|9.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299|
|10.||Nikon D40||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499|
|11.||Nikon D50||133 mm||102 mm||76 mm||620 g||400||n||Apr 2005||749|
|12.||Nikon D70s||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||500||n||Apr 2005||899|
|13.||Nikon D70||140 mm||111 mm||78 mm||679 g||400||n||Jan 2004||999|
|14.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599|
|15.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599|
|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 27 percent) than the D80, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 10 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the D40X and the D80 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the D40X is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the D80, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Nikon D40X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The Nikon D80 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|14.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|15.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D40X and the D80 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 D80 has a higher magnification than the one of the D40X (0.62x vs 0.53x), 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 Nikon D40X and Nikon D80 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D40X and the D80 write their files to SDHC 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 Nikon D40X and Nikon D80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
Both the D40X and the D80 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D80 was replaced by the Nikon D90, while the D40X was followed 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 Nikon website.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D40X or the Nikon D80 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40X:
- More compact: Is smaller (124x94mm vs 132x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 146g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the D80).
Advantages of the Nikon D80:
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.62x vs 0.53x).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (600 versus 520) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2006).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D40X comes out slightly ahead of the D80 (4 : 3 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Nikon D40X and the Nikon D80 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 D40X or the D80 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
|1.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729|
|2.||Nikon D80||..||+||+ +||o||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999|
|3.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799|
|4.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799|
|5.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599|
|6.||Nikon D3000||..||+||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599|
|7.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749|
|8.||Nikon D60||..||80/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629|
|9.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|10.||Nikon D40||..||81/100||+ +||o||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499|
|11.||Nikon D50||..||78/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2005||749|
|12.||Nikon D70s||..||..||..||..||5/5||Apr 2005||899|
|13.||Nikon D70||..||..||+ +||..||..||Jan 2004||999|
|14.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599|
|15.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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 comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Nikon D40X vs Nikon D80
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||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2007||August 2006|
|Launch Price||USD 729||USD 999|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm||23.6 x 15.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.88 mm2||372.88 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||10 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3872 x 2592 pixels||3872 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.11 μm||6.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.69 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|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||63||61|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.4||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.4||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||516||524|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDHC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D40X||Nikon D80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||520 shots per charge||600 shots per charge|
124 x 94 x 64 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
132 x 103 x 77 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||522 g (18.4 oz)||668 g (23.6 oz)|
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