Nikon D40X Viewfinder & LCD
Nikon D40x Viewfinder
Like most DSLRs, the Nikon D40x's viewfinder is an optical through-the-lens type, with the LCD monitor being used for image playback and menu access only. (That is, there's no live image preview available.) The D40x's viewfinder provides a magnification of 0.8x. This makes for a good size image, making it a bit easier to see subject details. The D40x's dioptric correction adjustment (for eyeglass wearers) also has a range from -1.7 to +0.5 diopter. It has an eyepoint height of 18mm. The D40x's viewfinder is a pentamirror design, rather than the more costly, but brighter pentaprism.
The viewfinder is actually one of the bigger distinguishing features between the D40x and D80: The D80 uses a pentaprism design, has a magnification factor of 0.94x, an eyepoint of 19.5mm, and a diopter adjustment range of -2.0 to +1.0. While the D40x's viewfinder is every bit as capable as those on many competing DSLRs, the D80 clearly wins on size, brightness, comfort, and flexibility.
The Nikon D40x's viewfinder readouts do a good job of communicating camera status and exposure settings, a slightly trimmed-down list of information from that found on the D80 and makes for a simple and relatively uncluttered display. One clear difference relative to both the D50 and D80 though: The D40x has no liquid-crystal overlay in the main viewfinder window. Instead, the active AF area lights up via a far more obvious red LED brackets.
Nikon D40x LCD Display
As is the case with most digital SLRs, the LCD panel on the D40x can't be used as a viewfinder. It does, however, provide a great deal of information about your pictures after you've shot them. A variety of playback options are offered, including image-only, four flavors of overlaid information, a 4- or 9-image thumbnail display, and a zoomed playback mode with variable information. The screenshots below show several of the information displays that are available.
|Playback Information Screens|
|The default playback-mode information screen. Folder & file names, date/time, image sequence number, and image size/quality.||The first of two more detailed information overlays.|
|The second detailed information overlay screen.||Luminance histogram overlay.|
Its playback screens were one of the things we liked most on the D80 (and the D200 before it), so we were very happy to see a lot of that functionality carried over to the D40x as well.
Of the various screens, one of the more interesting options on the Nikon D40x is the histogram screen. Histogram displays are common on professional digital cameras (and many amateur models now as well), regarded as almost mandatory by many pros for evaluating exposure levels. A histogram is simply a graph of how many pixels there are in the image at each brightness level. The brightness is the horizontal axis, running from black at the left to white at the right. The height of the graph shows the relative number of pixels having each brightness level. This sort of display is very handy for determining under- or overexposure. Ideally, the histogram would stretch across the entire width of the display, using the full range of brightness values available. An underexposed image will have a histogram with all the data lumped on the left-hand side, with nothing reaching all the way to the right. Likewise, an overexposed image will have all the data lumped on the right hand side.