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Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-600

The Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-600 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2007 and August 2009. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D40X) and a Four Thirds (E-600) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 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-600
Nikon D40X Olympus E-600
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
10 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 100-1,600 (100 - 3,200) ISO 100-3,200
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
520 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
124 x 94 x 64 mm, 522 g 130 x 94 x 60 mm, 535 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-600? 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-600. 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 E-600 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-600
Compare D40X versus E-600 top
Comparison D40X or E-600 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-600 is somewhat larger (5 percent) than the Nikon D40X. Moreover, the E-600 is slightly heavier (2 percent) than the D40X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40X nor the E-600 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-600).

Concerning battery life, the D40X gets 520 shots out of its EN-EL9 battery, while the E-600 can take 500 images on a single charge of its BLS-1 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.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729 i
2.
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449 i
3.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599 i
4.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599 i
5.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749 i
6.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629 i
7.
 
Nikon D90 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299 i
8.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499 i
9.
 
Nikon D80 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 668 g 600 n Aug 2006 999 i
10.
 
Nikon D50 133 mm 102 mm 76 mm 620 g 400 n Apr 2005 749 i
11.
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499 i
12.
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699 i
13.
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599 i
14.
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699 i
15.
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799 i
16.
 
Panasonic L10 135 mm 96 mm 78 mm 556 g 450 n Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-600 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. 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. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 D40X features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-600 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-600 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-600 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Nikon D40X and Olympus E-600 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the E-600 offers a higher resolution of 12.2 megapixels, compared with 10 MP of the 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 4.29μm versus 6.11μm for the D40X). However, it should be noted that the E-600 is much more recent (by 2 years and 5 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 Olympus E-600 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the E-600 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 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 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 E-600 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

D40X versus E-600 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. Of the two cameras under review, the D40X has a notably higher overall DXO score than the E-600 (overall score 8 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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 2592none22.411.4516 63
2.
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.3541 55
3.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.3919 67
4.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.1563 62
5.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.5868 72
6.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.4562 65
7.
 
Nikon D90 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.5977 73
8.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.0561 56
9.
 
Nikon D80 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.111.2524 61
10.
 
Nikon D50 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none20.910.8560 55
11.
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.5512 56
12.
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.3536 55
13.
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.4527 56
14.
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.4548 55
15.
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.0442 52
16.
 
Panasonic L10 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.310.8429 55
The E-600 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D40X and the E-600 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-600 (0.53x vs 0.48x), 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 Olympus E-600 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar 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-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
3.
 
Nikon D3100optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
4.
 
Nikon D3000optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
5.
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D60optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D90optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D40optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D80optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D50optical n 2.0 130 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
11.
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
12.
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
13.
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
14.
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
15.
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
16.
 
Panasonic L10optical n 2.5 207 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n

One feature that differentiates the E-600 and the D40X is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-600 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the D40X offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.

The E-600 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D40X does not have a selfie-screen.

The D40X writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the E-600 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-600 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 E-600 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-600Y-----2.0---
3.
 
Nikon D3100Ymonomono--mini2.0---
4.
 
Nikon D3000Y-----2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D60Y-----2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D90Ymonomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D40Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D80Y-----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D50Y-----2.0---
11.
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
12.
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
13.
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
14.
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
15.
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
16.
 
Panasonic L10Y-----2.0---

Both the D40X and the E-600 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D40X was replaced by the Nikon D60 , while the E-600 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 how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-600? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40X:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.53x vs 0.48x).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2007).

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Advantages of the Olympus E-600:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.7" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the D40X launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the E-600 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 4 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.

D40X 04:09 E-600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40X and the Olympus E-600 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 D40X or the E-600 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.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729 i
2.
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449 i
3.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599 i
4.
 
Nikon D3000..+72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599 i
5.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749 i
6.
 
Nikon D60..80/100+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629 i
7.
 
Nikon D90..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299 i
8.
 
Nikon D40..81/100+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499 i
9.
 
Nikon D80..++ +o4.5/5 Aug 2006 999 i
10.
 
Nikon D50..78/100+ +4/54.5/5 Apr 2005 749 i
11.
 
Olympus E-450......4/54/5 Mar 2009 499 i
12.
 
Olympus E-6203/588/10072/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2009 699 i
13.
 
Olympus E-420..85/100+ +4/54.5/5 Mar 2008 599 i
14.
 
Olympus E-520..87/100+ +4.5/54.5/5 May 2008 699 i
15.
 
Olympus E-510..89/100+ +3.5/54.5/5 Mar 2007 799 i
16.
 
Panasonic L10..85/100+3.5/54/5 Aug 2007 599 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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.

Nikon D40X:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-600:
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Nikon D40X vs Olympus E-600

    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-600
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date March 2007 August 2009
    Launch Price USD 729 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-600
    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 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.11 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 2.69 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 3,200 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED TruePic III+
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.4 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.4 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 516 541
    Screen Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-600
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.48x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D40X Olympus E-600
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    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-600
    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-600
    Battery Type EN-EL9 BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)520 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 94 x 64 mm
    (4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
    130 x 94 x 60 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 522 g (18.4 oz) 535 g (18.9 oz)

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