Nikon today announced the D40x digital SLR camera, which will sit between the Nikon D40 and the Nikon D80 in its digital SLR family.

The Nikon D40x has a 10.2 megapixel CCD image sensor which makes use of Nikon's 3D Colour Matrix Metering II technology for true colour reproduction. It can shoot 100 jpeg images at three frames per second.

The most compact Nikon SLR camera ever, the Nikon D40x features integrated auto focus as well as flash control to ensure ideal lighting. Its ISO settings stretch from 100 to 1,600 which is useful in low light environments.

At the back, there's a 2.5-inch LCD screen where users can view, manipulate and navigate among their snaps. Underexposed photos are automatically improved by creating a copy of the image using more light and detail if necessary. Red eyes in photos can also be fixed using the viewfinder.

For those who enjoy image editing, Nikon has featured its PictureProject software in the D40x. The application edits, organises, transfers and shares images directly from the camera.

The Nikon D40x comes bundled with the lightweight 3x 18-55mm DX Zoom-Nikkor lens, costing £600. It is also compatible with the new Nikon 55-200mm VR Zoom-Nikkor telephoto lens, also launched today. The price tag for the lens is £250.

Both lens and camera will be available ahead of the Easter weekend.

Nikon stressed that the Nikon D40x does not replace the D40 but both will co-exist in its digital SLR range.

Key features of the Nikon D40X:

  • 10.2-megapixel Nikon DX format CCD sensor, producing 3,872 x 2,592-pixel images
  • ISO sensitivity 100 to 1,600
  • Nikon 3D Colour Matrix Metering II for better exposure
  • Auto White Balance for natural colours, plus six different manual white balance settings and user-defined preset white balance
  • 0.18-second start-up time
  • Fast continuous shooting mode enables up to 100 JPEG images at 3 frames per second
  • Advanced three-area AF system
  • Shutter speed control ranging from 30s to 1/4000s, plus bulb
  • Eight preset scene modes: Auto, Auto (Flash Off), Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close Up, and Night Portrait
  • Manual controls over shutter and aperture: P (Programmed Auto), S (Shutter-priority Auto), A (Aperture-priority Auto) and M (Manual)
  • Simultaneous recording of NEF (RAW) and JPEG basic data for the same image
  • Built-in flash with Nikon's i-TTL flash control, supporting auto flash, red-eye reduction, slow sync, and flash exposure compensation
  • NTSC or PAL video output
  • Retouch menu for in-camera image edits and effects
  • Compatible with AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses
  • Nikon's PictureProject software to share, organise and edit pictures
  • SD memory card slot
  • 2.5-inch 230,000-dot TFT LCD screen