Nikon Australia has just announced the D40X, big brother to its entry-level offering, the D40. It might be more of an incremental upgrade than a ground-breaking offering, but if the 10-megapixel digital SLR is anything like its little sister, it's building on a good thing.
Almost identical in design to the D40, the only visible difference is the chrome badge that displays the camera's model number (the D40 has a black badge -- ooh-er!). The dimensions remain the same (64mm high by 94mm wide by 126mm deep) but it's 20 grams heavier at 495 grams. I think we can deal with that.
The D40X is also faster than the D40. In terms of continuous shooting, we see an increase from 2.5 fps up to 3 fps. Also, battery life claims to be longer, with 520 images per charge as opposed to the D40's 470. Both of these features are more impressive when you realise that the resolution has increased by 4-megapixels.
In addition to the camera, Nikon has announced a new 3.6x lens, the AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED. Featuring Nikon ED glass elements, Silent Wave Motor (SWM) and Vibration Reduction (VR) -- which reduces image blur by shifting lenses to compensate for hand movement -- this lens works with both the two D40-series cameras and the D80.
Despite Nikon's push to educate consumers that digital photography is not just about the megapixels, the D40X -- like several of the other new dSLRs we've seen recently -- makes the jump up to a 10-megapixel resolution. However, given that the D40X is aimed above the entry-level market, those more serious about their shooting might find the increase necessary.
While keeping the same design as the D40 is not necessarily a bad thing -- after all, if it ain't broke don't fix it, right? -- it doesn't help the D40X stand out from the myriad of models out there though.
So, to recap, Nikon has given us a new camera with everything we liked about the D40 while making it faster at a higher resolution -- at an affordable price. Add to that a new lens which incorporates Vibration Reduction to help eliminate those shaky shots. It sounds good to us, but we'll have to wait until we get our hands on a kit for testing before we can give you our bottom line.
The Nikon D40X will be available from April 2007 at a recommended retail price of AU$1,399. Pricing of the AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED lens is yet to be confirmed.