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Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-330

The Nikon D40X and the Olympus Evolt E-330 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2007 and January 2006. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D40X) and a Four Thirds (E-330) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 7.4 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D40X versus Olympus E-330
Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10 MP, APS-C Sensor 7.4 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-400 (100 - 1,600)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.5 LCD, 215k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
520 shots per battery charge750 shots per battery charge
124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g 140 x 87 x 72 mm, 637 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D40X and the Olympus Evolt E-330? 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 D40X and the Olympus E-330. 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the E-330 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-330
Compare D40X versus E-330 top
Comparison D40X or E-330 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-330 is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Nikon D40X. Moreover, the E-330 is markedly heavier (22 percent) than the D40X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40X nor the E-330 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D40X) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-330).

Concerning battery life, the D40X gets 520 shots out of its EN-EL9 battery, while the E-330 can take 750 images on a single charge of its BLM-1 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729i
2.
 
Olympus E-330 140 mm 87 mm 72 mm 637 g 750 n Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Leica Digilux 3 146 mm 87 mm 77 mm 606 g 750 n Sep 2006 1,499i
5.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599i
6.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599i
7.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
8.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629i
9.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299i
10.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499i
11.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999i
12.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-500 130 mm 95 mm 66 mm 479 g 750 n Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-300 147 mm 85 mm 64 mm 624 g 750 n Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Panasonic L1 146 mm 87 mm 64 mm 606 g 750 n Feb 2006 999i
Notes: 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. The D40X was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the E-330, 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.

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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. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 D40X features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-330 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-330 is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D40X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-330 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D40X and Olympus E-330 sensor measures

With 10MP, the D40X offers a higher resolution than the E-330 (7.4MP), but the D40X nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 5.51μm for the E-330) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D40X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the E-330, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D40X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D40X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.2 x 32.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 15.5 x 10.4 inches or 39.3 x 26.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 12.9 x 8.6 inches or 32.8 x 21.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-330 are 15.7 x 11.8 inches or 39.8 x 29.9 cm for good quality, 12.5 x 9.4 inches or 31.9 x 23.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.5 x 7.8 inches or 26.6 x 19.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D40X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-330 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.

D40X versus E-330 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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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.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
2.
 
Olympus E-330 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
3.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.863760
4.
 
Leica Digilux 3 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
5.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
6.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
7.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
8.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
9.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773
10.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
11.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.252461
12.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.856055
13.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
14.
 
Olympus E-500 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
15.
 
Olympus E-300 Four Thirds 8.0 3264 2448none........
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.842955
17.
 
Panasonic L1 Four Thirds 7.4 3136 2352none........
The E-330 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.
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Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D40X and the E-330 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 E-330 (0.53x vs 0.47x), 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 Nikon D40X, the Olympus E-330, 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.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Olympus E-330optical n 2.5 215 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Leica Digilux 3optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
13.
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-500optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
15.
 
Olympus E-300optical n 1.8 134 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
17.
 
Panasonic L1optical n 2.5 207 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

The D40X writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-330 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-330 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D40X only has one slot.

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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 Nikon D40X and Olympus Evolt E-330 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.
 
Nikon D40XY-----2.0---
2.
 
Olympus E-330Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
4.
 
Leica Digilux 3Ystereomono---2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-500Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-300Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---
17.
 
Panasonic L1Y-----2.0---

Both the D40X and the E-330 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40X was replaced by the Nikon D60 , while the E-330 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-330? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D40X:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (10 vs 7.4MP) with a 19% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.47x).
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 115g or 18 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 1 year and 1 month after the E-330).

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Reasons to prefer the Olympus Evolt E-330:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 520) out of a single battery charge.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2006).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D40X 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D40X 09:04 E-330

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-330 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D40X or the E-330. 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729i
2.
 
Olympus E-330....+o.. Jan 2006 999i
3.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899i
4.
 
Leica Digilux 3.......... Sep 2006 1,499i
5.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599i
6.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599i
7.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
8.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629i
9.
 
Nikon D90..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299i
10.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499i
11.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999i
12.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749i
13.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
14.
 
Olympus E-500..76/100+ +.... Sep 2005 599i
15.
 
Olympus E-300....+o4.5/5 Sep 2004 799i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599i
17.
 
Panasonic L1..85/100+..3.5/5 Feb 2006 999i
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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D40X:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-330:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-330

    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 D40X Olympus E-330
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2007 January 2006
    Launch Price USD 729 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.6 x 15.8 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 372.88 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.4 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 10 Megapixels 7.4 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 3136 x 2352 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 5.51 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 1,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED TruePic
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.4 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 516 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.47x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 215k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-330
    Battery Type EN-EL9 BLM-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)520 shots per charge750 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    140 x 87 x 72 mm
    (5.5 x 3.4 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 522 g (18.4 oz) 637 g (22.5 oz)

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