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Old Mar 4, 2008, 4:30 PM   #1
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I have read2 sides to the megapixel debate. One side says that you will want to maximize your megapixels for postimage editing, while another camp says that the industry is using megapixels as a way to sell more cameras.

So, I have been considering the Nikon D40 (6.1 MP's) and the D40x (10.2 mp's). While I have read that they are nearly the same, I have read that the sensor size on the D40 is larger, due to less megapixels in comparison the the D40x. Since there is a price difference of about $116 (for standard kit containing the 18-55 lens), should I go with the D40, with the added bonus of having a larger sensor than the D40x, or is it just wise to spend the extra money for more mega pixels and sacrifice sensor size? I know the site provides a nice review of this, butis there really a significant difference between sensor sizes of the D40 & D40x?


I plan to take pictures both indoors and outdoors. Not so much into sports shots, but definitely interested in wildlife, nature, etc. Also interested in candid shots of friends/family during gatherings, etc. Thought either the D40/D40x would be a great camera to learn from. Thanks!

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Old Mar 4, 2008, 4:57 PM   #2
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There is no difference in sensor size between the D40 and the D40X...they are both 23.7 x 15.6mm. Strictly from an image quality point of view, if you are going to be shooting wildlife (with the camera), you will probably be doing a lot of cropping. Therefore, the added MP's on the D40X would be appreciated.

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Old Mar 4, 2008, 6:02 PM   #3
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As rinniethehun has said, the image sensors are physically the same size. I think the concern some have, that you are referring to, is pixel density. That is, since the image sensors in the D40 and the D40X are the same physical size, yet the D40X crams more pixels into the same space, the individual pixels are closer together and crosstalk could be a problem at high ISO settings, resulting in noise.

And the D40X has shown a greater propensity fornoise than the D40 at high ISO settings. If you don't plan on employing those higher ISO settings, then you probably don't need to be concerned about it. And for general photographic work, especially where you might want to do some cropping, more megapixels are definitely better.
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Old Mar 4, 2008, 6:10 PM   #4
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I happen to be a fan of the 6 mp sensor that's in the d40 (it's supposed to be the same as the one in the Pentax K100, which I have). As far as image quality goes, it is excellent and does better at higher ISOs than the 10 mp sensor in the d40x (which is supposed to be the same that Pentax uses in the K10, which I also have). As far as basic image quality at lower ISO levels go, the image quality is very similar. For most things, either camera can handle my needs.

However, you do mention wildlife. Having the extra mp can come in handy for some things (I sometimes take macros and crop heavily). But the best, most expensive, solution to not being able to fill the viewfinder with your subjectis to get a longer lens - the image quality from a long lens on a d40 will beat a heavily cropped picture taken with the d40x and a shorter lens. In your shoes it might be hard to decide between a d40 and better lenses or a d40x.
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Old Mar 4, 2008, 6:38 PM   #5
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You can see a side by side comparison of the D40 and D40X here:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM

Just select the D40 as your first camera and the D40X as your second camera, then pick one of the Still-life pics at a particular ISO and compare. See what you think.

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Old Mar 5, 2008, 1:29 PM   #6
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rinniethehun - Thanks so much for clarifying sensor sizing for both Nikon cameras& for providing the link to that camera comparison site (that is going to be a fun one play with). Colors for the D40x seem to be more saturated than the D40, not sure how I feel about that, but will need to look at a few more comparisons to figure that out.

TCav - I appreciate you explaining the concept of pixel density, as that was at the heart of my concern. Total newbie question for you, but,what are some examples of circumstances where I might find myself taking pictures at high ISO's? Would that be for circumstances involving action?

mtngal - I do plan to take macro shots as well. Additionally, I do plan to buy a longer lens, such as Nikon's 55-200 VR zoom, with either camera I go with. I am not sure if that will be long enough, but I really would like to have more zoom capabilities than what the kit 18-55mm lens has.


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Old Mar 5, 2008, 3:33 PM   #7
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Omie wrote:
Quote:
TCav - I appreciate you explaining the concept of pixel density, as that was at the heart of my concern. Total newbie question for you, but,what are some examples of circumstances where I might find myself taking pictures at high ISO's? Would that be for circumstances involving action?
There are three factors that affect exposure:
  1. The length of time the image sensor is exposed to light. (Shutter Speed) [/*]
  2. The amount of light the image sensor is exposed to. (Aperture) [/*]
  3. The sensitivity of the image sensor to light. (ISO Sensitivity)
[/*]
If you want to capture motion, you'll need to use a faster shutter speed. To compensate, you must either use a larger aperture (less depth of field)or increase the ISO sensitivity (more noise).

If you want to increase the depth of field, you'll need to use a smaller aperture. To compensate, you must either use a slower shutter speed (possible motion blur)or increase the ISO sensitivity (more noise).

If you want to take a photo in the dark, you'll need to use a slower shutter speed (possible motion blur), a larger aperture (less depth of field), or a higher ISO sensitivity (more noise).

If you want to use a faster shutter speed, but you're alreeady using the largest aperture your lens has, your only option is to increase the ISO sensitivity.

These are just some of the many senarios that would require you to adjust the camera's settings in order to get a properly exposed image.

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