Nikon D40X vs Panasonic FZ100
The Nikon D40X and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2007 and July 2010. The D40X is a DSLR, while the FZ100 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D40X) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ100) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 10 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 14 MP.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100? 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 Panasonic FZ100. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D40X can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ100 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 Panasonic FZ100 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Nikon D40X. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D40X nor the FZ100 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ100 has a lens built in, whereas the D40X 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 D40X and their specifications 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 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.
|1.||Nikon D40X||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||520||n||Mar 2007||729||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX40||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||600 g||380||n||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX30||123 mm||92 mm||108 mm||601 g||370||n||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 450D||129 mm||98 mm||62 mm||524 g||500||n||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 400D||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D3100||124 mm||96 mm||75 mm||505 g||550||n||Aug 2010||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon D3000||126 mm||97 mm||64 mm||536 g||500||n||Jul 2009||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D5000||127 mm||104 mm||80 mm||590 g||510||n||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon D60||126 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||500||n||Jan 2008||629||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon D90||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||703 g||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D40||124 mm||94 mm||64 mm||522 g||470||n||Nov 2006||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-420||130 mm||91 mm||53 mm||440 g||500||n||Mar 2008||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ200||125 mm||87 mm||110 mm||588 g||540||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic L10||135 mm||96 mm||78 mm||556 g||450||n||Aug 2007||599||ebay.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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ100 was launched at a lower price than the D40X, despite having a lens built in. 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.
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. 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 Panasonic FZ100 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ100 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D40X has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the FZ100 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the FZ100 offers a higher resolution of 14 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 1.41μm versus 6.11μm for the D40X). However, it should be noted that the FZ100 is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 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 FZ100 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic FZ100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the FZ100 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.6 x 16.2 inches or 54.9 x 41.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.4 x 10.8 inches or 36.6 x 27.4 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
In terms of underlying technology, the D40X is build around a CCD sensor, while the FZ100 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.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|13.||Olympus E-420||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.5||10.4||527||56|
|16.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|17.||Panasonic L10||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||none||21.3||10.8||429||55|
|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 FZ100 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D40X does not. The highest resolution format that the FZ100 can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the FZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (202k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D40X, the Panasonic FZ100, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon D40X||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX40||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||10.3/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon SX30||202||n||2.7 / 230||swivel||n||1/3200s||0.6/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon 450D||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|6.||Canon 400D||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Nikon D3100||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D3000||optical||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D5000||optical||n||2.7 / 230||full-flex||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon D60||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon D90||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.5/s||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D40||optical||n||2.5 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|13.||Olympus E-420||optical||n||2.7 / 215||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|14.||Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Panasonic L10||optical||n||2.5 / 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 D40X writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the FZ100 uses SDXC 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D40X||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX40||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|4.||Canon SX30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||YES||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 450D||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Canon 400D||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D3100||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Nikon D3000||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D5000||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Nikon D60||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D90||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Nikon D40||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Olympus E-420||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Panasonic L10||Y||- / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the D40X and the FZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The D40X was replaced by the Nikon D60 , while the FZ100 was followed by the Panasonic FZ150. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D40X better than the Panasonic FZ100 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40X:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (520 versus 410) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2007).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (14 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 16%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- 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 (460k vs 230k dots).
- 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 (11 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D40X requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x82mm vs 124x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the D40X launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the FZ100 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 10 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D40X and the Panasonic FZ100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D40X or the FZ100. 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.
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], 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.
|1.||Nikon D40X||..||79/100||..||+ +||4/5||4/5||Mar 2007||729||ebay.com|
|2.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX40||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||429||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon SX30||3/5||+ +||..||..||3.5/5||4/5||Sep 2010||429||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon 450D||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon 400D||..||+ +||..||+ +||o||4/5||Aug 2006||799||ebay.com|
|7.||Nikon D3100||5/5||+ +||..||72/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Nikon D3000||..||+||..||72/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||599||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D5000||..||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2009||749||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon D60||..||80/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||629||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon D90||..||+ +||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon D40||..||81/100||..||+ +||o||4.5/5||Nov 2006||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Olympus E-420||..||85/100||..||+ +||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2008||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Panasonic FZ200||3/5||+ +||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|15.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||ebay.com|
|16.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|17.||Panasonic L10||..||85/100||..||+||3.5/5||4/5||Aug 2007||599||ebay.com|
|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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1300D vs Panasonic FZ100
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Nikon D40X
- Canon 450D vs Panasonic FZ100
- Epson R-D1 vs Nikon D40X
- Leica TL2 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Nikon D40X
- Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D40X
- Nikon D40X vs Nikon D800
- Nikon D40X vs Sony A7R II
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Panasonic G10
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Panasonic TZ90
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony RX100 III
Specifications: Nikon D40X vs Panasonic FZ100
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||Panasonic FZ100|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||March 2007||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 729||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D40X||Panasonic FZ100|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.8 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||372.88 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||14 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3872 x 2592 pixels||4320 x 3240 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.11 μm||1.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.69 MP/cm2||49.86 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED||Venus FHD|
|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||Panasonic FZ100|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D40X||Panasonic FZ100|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDHC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D40X||Panasonic FZ100|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D40X||Panasonic FZ100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||520 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
124 x 94 x 64 mm
(4.9 x 3.7 x 2.5 in)
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||522 g (18.4 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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