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Nikon's 10.2-megapixel D40x

Nikon has announced the 10.2-megapixel D40x digital SLR, along with a new 55mm to 200mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens.

Nikon's new 10.2-megapixel D40x dSLR.
Nikon's new 10.2-megapixel D40x dSLR. Nikon

Just in case the D40's 6-megapixel sensor was keeping you from making the plunge into the world of digital SLRs, Nikon has just announced the D40x, which sports a 10.2-megapixel sensor. Despite the larger pixel count, Nikon still manages to bump the new camera's continuous shooting speed up to three frames per second for up to 100 shots, compared to the D40's 2.5fps. If you often shoot in very bright conditions, you'll appreciate the D40x's wider range of ISOs, which stretches from ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (Nikon calls it H-1). The D40 also goes to H-1, but starts at a low of ISO 200.

Other than the changes mentioned above, the D40x is essentially the same as the D40. That might be a good thing for Nikon, since the D40 scored quite well in our review. However, if you own older Nikon lenses which rely on a pin in the camera body for autofocus, you should know that neither the D40 nor the D40x are compatible with such lenses. Of course, if you're starting from scratch, or only own Nikon AF-S and AF-I lenses, then you've got nothing to worry about, since both cameras are still compatible with a very wide array of Nikon lenses.

Speaking of lenses, Nikon has announced a new one called the 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor. When it becomes available this April at a price of $249.95, this new lens will be Nikon's least expensive lens to include Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which shifts lens elements to compensate for camera shake.

Nikon plans to start shipping the D40x in April at prices of $729.95 (body only) and $799.95 in a kit with the same 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens that shipped with the D40. However, Nikon will also offer a second kit for $1,029.95, which will substitute the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor as the kit lens. That's the same high-quality lens Nikon shipped with the popular 10.2-megapixel D80. At that price, it will make you think twice about whether you should just step up to the D80 after all.