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Customer Review

372 of 382 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for Soccer Moms, Sports Shooting, Others will Love It., June 27, 2007
This review is from: Nikon D40x 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
The D40x is a hard camera to rate because for some, it will be a 5 star camera, but others will regret their decision to buy this camera. If you are in the 5 star group, you will LOVE the D40x. But . . . because of a decision Nikon made to save $$$ by leaving out an autofocus driver out of the camera body, if you want to add a lens to shoot your kid playing soccer, the D40x is a potentially bad choice, and you may be a dead man walking. Let me explain:

The 5 Star buyer:

If you are moving up to a digital SLR, and want nothing more than to use the kit lens (which is very good), then you will LOVE this camera: it is light, feels good in the hand, and puts out better looking JPEG files than the more expensive D70 and D50 cameras, and rivals the D80 at half the cost. At 10.2 megapixels, there is plenty of resolution to crop and still have a great image to print.

Also, this is a very light weight camera which feels great in the hand, and is extremely easy to set up and use.

Digicam upgraders will love the ability to shoot at 3 frames per second, meaning you can set up the camera to take multiple exposures if you hold down the trigger. Digital exposures are free, so shooting in this manner gives you a better chance of hitting the perfect shot when photographing the kids.

If you intend to use this camera for general travel and around-the-house kid pictures, the D40x is a GREAT choice, and I think you will be a very, very happy camper.

The 2 Star buyer:

You want a camera for sports or telephoto shots of nature/birding. This is not the camera for you, and here is why: the D40x has a DIFFERENT lens mount than every other Nikon DSLR which came before it. To save costs, Nikon left an autofocus driver out of the camera body, which means you must buy special/more expensive add-on lenses with the autofocus driver built into the lens itself.

Why is this significant? Because of the 200 lenses made for Nikon DSLRs by Nikon, Sigma, Tokina, and others, only 20 or so work with the D40x with autofocus - something most amateurs will need to shoot sports and day to day photos. Many of Nikon's own consumer grade lenses, such as the 70-300mm G Zoom (Street price $150), will not autofocus with the D40x. As a practical matter, this means that if you want an autofocus lens to shoot junior playing soccer, you must spend $515 for a zoom lens, the fantastic, yet pricey Nikon 70-300mm VR Zoom. That is almost as much as what you paid for the camera itself.

Now, to be fair, Nikon has also introduced the $250 (street) Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm lens, but that lens (1) will not give you the reach you will want to shoot sports, (2) is a tad slow autofocusing for sports, and (3) the lens speed will limit you to shooting on fairly bright days.

The D40x is significantly limited in the number of lenses it will accept, and you really need to think about these limitations before purchasing. Moreover, what if your intentions change and want to pick up a cheap zoom for occasional use? With the D40x, you can't (cheapest compatible lens is $250), and I really think this is a significant limitation on this camera. That said, if Nikon sticks to this mount, the lens manufacturers will (over time) follow, so 2 years from now, there may be a wealth of new lenses for this mount.

But hey, if you are in group 1, this is a 5 star purchase, and you will be a very happy camper. Good luck!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 20, 2007 8:52:14 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 20, 2007 8:55:50 PM PDT
White Lotus says:
There are FAR more than 20 lenses that will currently work with the D40X autofocus and the list will be growing each year. This is only a negative for year 2007. Within a couple years there will be much better quality lenses. Lenses with AF-I and AF-S designation are sharper, faster, lighter and quieter than the lenses of yesteryear. If you really think Nikon, Sigma, Tamron, and all those other 3rd parties are not going to notice the D40 and D40X you have anothing thing coming.

Posted on Oct 26, 2007 3:46:38 PM PDT
"Now, to be fair... Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm lens, but that lens (1) will not give you the reach you will want to shoot sports..."

I'm pretty sure that is more than adequate zoom for any soccer mom concerning distance; Anyone looking to take sharp pictures of their kid in left field would (I hope) not buy an introductory camera anyway especially considering a good tele-photo lens will not be cheap (motor or not). For the two star buyer you didn't make any recommendations for a different camera which I think would be helpful to some; Otherwise, good warning and good review!

Posted on Dec 17, 2007 7:02:38 PM PST
I would encourage the potential buyer to go to and read his report on the D40 and the D40x. He will discuss all the lenses you can use and what the camera will do. If this is your first DSLR you are probably looking for a good transition camera from point and shoot. This is an excellent choice. If you are shooting Jr. at his/her sports event you'll need a telephoto lens besides the 18-55mm lens offered in this kit. In response to the more expensive lenses you will need - you can't in most cases catch the action shot you want with a point and shoot unless you get VERY LUCKY.

Posted on Dec 21, 2007 12:28:32 PM PST
dynamania says:
"Now, to be fair... Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200 mm lens, but that lens (1) will not give you the reach you will want to shoot sports..."

What do you think you're going to get from a 3.7x zoom anyway? Or maybe you should take a look at the 18-200 VR lens then. You're going to spend that amount of money whether you are using the D200 or this one.

"(2) is a tad slow autofocusing for sports"... Get a faster lens then.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2008 11:58:53 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 7, 2008 12:02:21 AM PST
I just wanted to point out that a "faster lens" does not necessarily increase the autofocus speed. A "faster lens" gives you a larger aperture, (aka F1.8, F2.8, etc.) which has the primary benefit of allowing your camera to be used in lower light and produce pictures with shallower depth of field. Since autofocus is largely an all-or-nothing proposition and autofocus position is calculated with the lens wide open, having a "faster lens" probably would not let you achieve focus any quicker than on a marginally slower F4 lens. However, it *might* in a rare instance allow you to achieve focus in an area of minimal light where you couldn't before. In modern cameras, the limiting factor in autofocus speed is in the camera, not the lens. AF-S gives the illusion of faster focusing because of reduced rotational resistance and silent mechanics.

Most of the glass I own from even 5 years ago will not autofocus with the D40x. Fast F2.8 lenses as of 01/2008 in the Nikon AF-D mount usually require a screw-driven autofocus mechanism. Unfortunately, Nikon is not really producing too much fast glass these days in AF-S format that is affordable (i.e < $1k). Manual focusing is difficult with the D40x penta-mirror design. Thus, having the screw-driven autofocus on a higher-end Nikon body (D80, D200, D300) would allow you to buy cheaper, faster glass.

All that being said, I have a feeling that like the aperture ring, the screw-driven focus mechanism will be sent the way of the dinousaur. When that happens, the D40x will be a great value. But as long as there is old cheap AF-D glass, there will certainly be that benefit to a higher-end body.

About Ken Rockwell, I think most people who have ever used google in conjunction with searching for information on cameras has found his site. I enjoy reading his site and tend to agree with him most of the time. However, he does produce many unqualified opinions that frequently have only some basis in truth. His insistence on using cheaper glass at higher ISO really wouldn't swing it for many purposes. No doubt, Nikon's consumer zooms are now very sharp, but in many instances, slow, F4 glass with VR just doesn't cut it. . . especially with kids running around. VR won't compensate for kids running around like an older, cheaper F2.8 lens would (and most of those older, cheaper lenses do not autofocus on the d40x).

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 8:49:46 AM PDT
smthu says:
This IS the perfect camera for birding IMO, together with a Nikkor 18-200VR lens and SB800 or SB600. This setup is so light, you can run around like a monkey and get shots that you otherwise can't with a heavy rig (D3 + large tripod + 500/4 + winbley head, etc). I got mine from one of the stores here, "refurb", for less than $230, it was perfect, brand new as far as I can tell, except it has moderate front focus. Luckily I know how to adjust it, and wowla!

Which begs the question, was the front focus designed into the camera, so it can't compete with its (way more) expensive brothens? It is true that focus is not as important on D40x since presumably people would not be using the 50/1.8 lens with this baby, but still, inaccurate focus takes away from every image you shoot with this camera, if all D40x are like mine as it came.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2009 4:12:04 PM PDT
N. Mills says:
"Wowla"? Maybe you meant "voila"?

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 6:38:43 PM PST
JANA says:
I sold my D40 to my niece who wanted a better camera to shoot her 3 daughters with. I didn't have any experience shooting people in action while I had it but absolutely love the shots she has been getting using the Nikon 55-200. I mostly shoot barns and decaying buildings and my shots were good. But my niece's action shots are far better. She loves this camera!
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