Nikon D70s versus Nikon D40X
The Nikon D70s and the Nikon D40X are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2005 and March 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D70s has a resolution of 6 megapixel, whereas the D40X provides 10 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Nikon D70s vs Nikon D40X
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D70s and the Nikon D40X is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the D70s – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D40X is notably smaller (25 percent) than the Nikon D70s. Moreover, the D40X is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the D70s. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D70s nor the D40X 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Nikon D70s (⇒ rgt)||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||500||no||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D40X (⇒ lft)||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||520||no||2007||729||discont.||check|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.6 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||22.9 oz||400||no||2003||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||no||2013||799||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.0 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.8 oz||660||no||2011||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||18.9 oz||500||no||2009||599||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.0 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||20.8 oz||510||no||2009||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.0 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||500||no||2008||629||discont.||check|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||23.6 oz||600||no||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt)||4.9 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||18.4 oz||470||no||2006||499||discont.||check|
|Nikon D50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.0 in||21.9 oz||400||no||2005||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.5 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||24.0 oz||400||no||2004||999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.7 in||4.6 in||3.2 in||27.5 oz||370||no||2002||1,999||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-330 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.5 in||3.4 in||2.8 in||22.5 oz||750||no||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||5.3 in||3.8 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||450||no||2007||599||discont.||check|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D40X was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 19 percent) than the D70s, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D70s vs Nikon D40X
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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D40X is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 10MP, the D40X offers a higher resolution than the D70s (6MP), but the D40X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.11μm versus 7.85μm for the D70s). Yet, the D40X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 10 months) than the D70s, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the D40X offers substantially better image quality than the D70s (overall score 13 points higher). The advantage is based on 2 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, 0 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.
|Nikon D70s (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||20.4||10.3||529||50|
|Nikon D40X (⇒ lft)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.4||11.4||516||63|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||no||21.0||10.8||544||55|
|Nikon D5300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83|
|Nikon D5100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.5||13.6||1183||80|
|Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.3||11.1||563||62|
|Nikon D5000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||868||72|
|Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.5||11.4||562||65|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||no||22.1||11.2||524||61|
|Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||21||11.0||561||56|
|Nikon D50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||20.9||10.8||560||55|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||20.4||10.3||529||50|
|Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||6.0||3008||2000||no||-||-||-||-|
|Olympus E-330 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||no||-||-||-||-|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||10.0||3648||2736||no||21.3||10.8||429||55|
Feature comparison: Nikon D70s vs Nikon D40X
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D70s and the D40X 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 table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D70s and Nikon D40X in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Nikon D70s (⇒ rgt)||optical||no||2.0||130||fixed||no||8000||3.0||12||no|
|Nikon D40X (⇒ lft)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||17||no|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||2.5||13||no|
|Nikon D5300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.2||1037||swivel||no||4000||5.0||12||no|
|Nikon D5100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||921||swivel||no||4000||4.0||12||no|
|Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||3.0||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||12||no|
|Nikon D5000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.7||230||full-flex||no||4000||4.0||17||no|
|Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||12||no|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||230||fixed||no||4000||2.5||17||no|
|Nikon D50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.0||130||fixed||no||4000||2.5||11||no|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||1.8||130||fixed||no||8000||3.0||11||no|
|Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||1.8||118||fixed||no||4000||3.0||11||no|
|Olympus E-330 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||215||tilting||no||4000||3.0||13||no|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||no||2.5||207||swivel||no||4000||3.0||11||no|
Both the D70s and the D40X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D70s was replaced by the Nikon D80, while the D40X was followed by the Nikon D60 .
Review summary: Nikon D70s vs Nikon D40X
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D70s and the Nikon D40X? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon D70s:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in April 2005).
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D40X:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (10 vs 6MP), which boosts linear resolution by 29%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (13 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (230k vs 130k dots).
- More compact: Is smaller (124x94mm vs 140x111mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 157g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (19 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 10 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D40X is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 2 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the D70s and the D40X 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. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D70s (⇒ rgt)||-||-||-||reviewed||5/5||2005||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D40X (⇒ lft)||79/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4/5||2007||729||discont.||check|
|Canon Rebel (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2003||899||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5300 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||79/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2013||799||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100 HiRec||76/100 Silver||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||2011||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D3000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||80/100 Rec||72/100 HiRec||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||2009||599||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5000 (⇒ lft | rgt)||88/100 HiRec||75/100 HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2009||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D60 (⇒ lft | rgt)||80/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2008||629||discont.||check|
|Nikon D80 (⇒ lft | rgt)||86/100 Rec||HiRec||reviewed||4.5/5||4.5/5||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D40 (⇒ lft | rgt)||81/100||HiRec||reviewed||5/5||4.5/5||2006||499||discont.||check|
|Nikon D50 (⇒ lft | rgt)||78/100||HiRec||4/5||reviewed||4.5/5||2005||749||discont.||check|
|Nikon D70 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||-||reviewed||-||2004||999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D100 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||HiRec||reviewed||reviewed||-||2002||1,999||discont.||check|
|Olympus E-330 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||Rec||reviewed||3.5/5||-||2006||999||discont.||check|
|Panasonic L10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||85/100||Rec||3.5/5||reviewed||4/5||2007||599||discont.||check|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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