Nikon produce two different formats in their digital cameras. The DX format, which is also known as APS-C or cropped format, has a 16 x 24mm sensor size, compared to the FX sensor size of 24x36mm. The DX cameras can be used with both DX and FX lenses. The DX cameras cameras have a crop factor compared to the FX sensor cameras. Due to the smaller cropped area, these DX cameras give an effective extension factor to lenses of 1.5 times, thus a 300mm lens becomes a 450mm lens which can be a big advantage for photography of subjects such as birds. However with a wide angle lens it can be a disadvantage.
- A 500mm lens on an an FX camera will be equivalent to a 750mm telephoto lens on a DX camera, which effectively gives a longer telephoto effect.
- A 15mm lens on an an FX camera will be equivalent to a 22mm lens on a DX camera, so the viewing angle will not be so wide.
The DX lenses are smaller and cheaper than the equivalent FX lenses. This is because the lens has a smaller image circle compared to the full frame FX sensor.
With DX cameras, since the sensor size is smaller, for a camera with the same number of pixels as an FX camera; the pixel density is greater with DX cameras. Since the pixels density is greater the pixels are smaller and consequently the DX cameras will produce more noise in the images at higher ISO settings.
Do not forget that all FX lenses can be used on DX cameras, but you will find that the DX lenses are considerably more expensive than FX lenses.
The following is a listing together with details of the currently available Nikon DX lenses: