The Nikon D40X Camera as second or carry with you camera
At first sight the camera appears very basic, to get the size down the number of controls have been greatly reduced, even the control panel has disappeared. You could mistakenly think that all the control you had was that which was obvious, very little, however a special feature of this camera is that the rear panel has both two informative displays of settings and one of these works with the multi selector and allows very many of the cameras settings to be changed very easily and quickly. So although the camera has no obvious buttons for changing the ISO, the focusing method, white balance and much more it can be accomplished very easily. Like the D70 and D80 it has a range of point and shoot modes, but can also accomplish just about anything others can in the P, A, S and M modes. It has only a command and no sub command dials, this presents no difficulties in P, S, and A modes, in manual mode the speed is set on the command dial, while the exposure variation button is pressed and the command dial used to set aperture.
Some facilities are simplified, for example you have only three focusing points, you donít have an inbuilt commander to wirelessly control slave flash units, and its doesnít do some of the cleaver multi image functions. It does have a function button and this like the ae-l/af-l lock buttons are programmable so if you have a particular setting button you feel you need you may be able to have it. The menus are considerably shorter than more advanced models.
The D40x is a 10.2 megapixel camera able to record in Nikon raw as well as jpg's. Has built in flash, and has matrix, centre weighted and spot metering, and most of the features you would regularly use on any other camera. Image preview is very similar to other models with a variety of displays including highlight and curves, as well as ability to zoom in on any section to check the focus.
It uses an SD card, far smaller in size and price, as does the D80, and it has a smaller battery to fit its small size. It can use just about any modern Nikon lens, but is also available as a kit with a compact 18-55 DX lens.
Non photographers in the family will find they can use it easily in one of the point and shoot modes and if you want to show someone how to take better photographs they will have little difficulty remembering, as the back panel displays are helpful, both providing graphic displays and also when options are selected showing small pictures relevant to the effects. The only problem is they may not be keen on giving it back to you.
While we have most models available to us, including now two D300ís, a D200. D2x, and more, we also have a D40x, and while we might not regularly plan to take this on a photo trip in preference to one of the others, we can often carry this as a Ďhandy cameraí when walking into town, or going somewhere where the objective is not to take photos but then an opportunity pops up. While if we need a second camera body we have others to choose from, so perhaps would not select this, it is quite capable of most tasks and as we would still have one full feature camera with us, this would be more than capable of being a second body for securing shots and allowing more photography with less lens changes. Over the next year I am sure there will be many times while we are out that we either capture photographs that would have been missed without it or where we didnít expect to need a second camera body but when the need arose this handbag camera came into its own.
If you are starting out and donít yet have a camera, and want to take up photography in a serious way, then if you can afford it we would suggest the D300 is in a class of its own, and next down consider a D200. However if all these and other choices are beyond what you are prepared to pay or you just want a camera to record memories and family events then the D40X will produce very similar results. The low cost of the D40x and especially the D40x with the kit lens would allow perhaps more people to be able to enjoy digital photography.
You can also get a free D40x kit (body and compact 18-55 DX lens) when you buy just 50 training vouchers, this is in addition to the 15% discount, and just about everyone could see how they could profitably use 50 hours training over the next 18 months, amongst the Camera Images and Photography Skills Masterclasses, although you could use them with any other training provider taking training vouchers. See the deals page on this or the main Camera Images website for details.