Complete D-SLR System Guide
With 10 companies offering D-SLRs today, there’s something for everyone
Nikon's newest D-SLR is the entry-level D40, which features excellent performance and a rock-bottom price. Assets include quick and simple operation, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, 6.1 megapixels, in-camera image editing, easy-to-access image-optimization options, 3D Color Matrix Metering II (which considers brightness, color, contrast, size and position of shadows and highlights, selected focus area and subject distance for very accurate exposures) and lots more. The D40 is the only Nikon D-SLR that doesn't incorporate an AF motor in the camera body, so it will autofocus only with AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses, which contain focusing motors in the lenses.
The D80 is Nikon's entry in the under-$1,000 10-megapixel arena, a 10.2-megapixel model that combines technology from the D200 with a quick 0.18-second start-up time, fast 80ms shutter response, a new high-res image-processing engine, a new in-camera image editor, simple operation and more. The popular D200 shares the D80's pixel count, but in a bigger and more rugged magnesium-alloy body, with faster performance (0.15-second start-up, 50ms shutter response, 5 fps vs. 3 fps), 1005-segment metering (vs. 420), a top shutter speed of 1⁄8000 sec. and sync speed of 1⁄250 sec. (vs. 1⁄4000 and 1⁄200 sec.), and Wi-Fi file-transfer capability with the optional WT-3A accessory Wi-Fi pack.
Action shooters go for the Nikon D2Hs, which can shoot bursts of up to 40 RAW or 50 JPEG 4.1-megapixel images at 8 per second, and has AF performance and ruggedness to match. Nikon's top-of-the-line D2Xs features 12.4-megapixel resolution, lightning-quick response and up to 3,400 shots on a battery charge, a high-speed cropped mode that lets you shoot 6.7-megapixel images at 8 fps and lots more. Both the D2Xs and D2Hs offer optional wireless file transmission.