The pictures that this camera takes are just
amazing. I thought it could not get any better than the 30D but Canon has really
taken it a notch or two up with the 40D. I want anyone considering buying this
camera to know to get it right away. Trust me. It is worth every penny.
The Canon EOS 40D becomes the sixth Canon "prosumer"
digital SLR, a line which started
back in 2000 with the EOS D30, Introduced eighteen
months after the Canon EOS 30D, and although on the surface the 40D looks like a
fairly subtle upgrade, there's a lot that makes this an even better camera. The 40D has many similar characteristics to its predecessors the 20D and 30D. This includes various shooting modes, ability to change
white balance, a pop-up flash unit, and an
LCD screen. The LCD screen is larger than the previous models (3.0" from 2.5" previously).
I was a long time owner of the Canon 10D which I quickly outgrew. Then, I upgraded to the 20D and have been using it for the past few years. I didn't think the 30D was a big enough step forward to warrant the upgrade. Going from the 20D to the 40D is a big leap forward.
Unboxing the 40D is about the same as the other two DSLRs I've owned. Manuals in both spanish and english, plus software for MAC and PC. I got the "body only" package as I already own the 28-135mm lens. That lens is just **ok.** and I really didn't want a 2nd copy. The battery is the bp511A so I can use the already charged one from my 20D. The strap is the same as the 20D. The compact flash memory is the same as well, so I didn't need to buy any new accessories to upgrade.
The first thing you will notice is the big display on the back. It's very nice compared to the one on the 20D. Although, I'm constantly afraid that my titanium rimmed glasses will scratch the screen. The screen is so much closer to the viewfinder compared to the little one on my 20D. I think I'll look for a clear film cover that will shield it.
The controls are very similar to the 20D/30D. However, they are moved around a bit. The menu structure is very different and it will take some getting used to. The first thing I thought of was my old 10D... and how simple it was just due to the sheer lack of features. The 40D has so many that it would be tough for a beginner to get used to them all. It might be good for beginners who are a bit techno challenged to buy a cheaper, used DSLR to get used to using a simple model... then sell it and upgrade.
The camera feels so much more solid than my 20D. The little motor that pops up the flash sounds really solid compared to the old 20D. Even the shutter sounds terrific. Very quick and quiet. The old 10D had a nice shutter sound as well. the 20D always sounded like thrashing metal to me. To contrast, the Nikon DSLRs have a slow sounding swish to them... this one is tight and quick. The camera feels about the same in my hand. Although the lines are smoothed out a bit compared to the 20D.
I tried out the live preview feature and found it annoying since I'm used to looking through the viewfinder. I think I would like it much more if this was my first DSLR as a conversion from a point and shoot where you typically only use a "live view." The LCD is viewable at a strong angle so the live view may be usable for when the camera must be held at odd angles away from the body... like over a stream or something. This camera is heavier than a point-and-shoot and you need your face to help you hold it steady. I found myself a bit wobbly when I was holding it out using the live-view feature. You'll need a high shutter speed to keep from getting shaky looking pictures.
So, what about picture quality?? It's a 10mp camera so the pictures are big. I have a workhorse MacPro tower and it has no problem working on the 10-12MB pictures that this camera produces (.jpg processing for now). I'm happy to say that the focus is spot on in all of my sample pictures from 4 different lenses (17-40 f/4L, 28-135 IS zoom, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm macro). The DPP software can be used to edit raw files if you choose to use it. It works pretty well and it was very speedy on my MacPro. You also get direct access to picture styles from within the computer software so you don't have to worry about setting it in camera. The pictures look very nice. The colors are very accurate. at iso100 the pictures are so nice and smooth. My 50 and 100mm lenses make the most buttery out of focus areas on this camera.
as of this writing(9-2-2007), Aperture, Finder, Preview, Photoshop CS3 (ACR4.1), and iPhoto do not support raw image files from the 40D. This was the case with the 10D when I first purchased it and it took a few months for APPLE and Adobe to deliver updates. I'm sure Canon are working hard with vendors to get their updates in the works. The good news is that there are settings for RAW+.jpg so you can have both files when the software updates come through. If you don't like being on the "bleeding" edge of technology, then wait a few months before you plunk down the cash for the 40D.
***** ALERT UPDATE *****
As of 9-13-07, Adobe has released Camera Raw updated 4.2 which now supports the Canon 40D.
As of 10-26-07, Apple's Aperture and Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) support Canon 40D raw files.
Picture styles are easily accessed from a dedicated button on the camera. They allow you to make quick sets for defining different picture taking scenarios. It basically does some basic post-processing work in-camera to save time later. It worked really well. I found that pictures even up at 1600iso looked usable for every day stuff (e.g. not blown up too big.). ISO can be set in 1/3 stop increments which is new for me. having iso250 just seems weird but it's actually very handy. Gives you the ability to really tweak the settings to capture as much detail as possible in a high dynamic range image (like a sunset, or a backlit portrait without fill flash). I haven't taken side-by-side shots yet but it seems like the images are more detailed with a wider dynamic range than the 20D. Maybe this is the 14bit image processing from DigicIII at work?
The camera seems more responsive than the 20D. The menu scrolling seems faster, file writing seems about as fast (probably a faster rate but bigger file).
One of the neatest features is the custom C1, C2, and C3 dial positions. You can set these up to "remember" camera settings for quick access later on. They act like the memory buttons on luxury car seats! Very handy if you take really different kinds of shots. I go back and forth from Macro to Landscape all the time so I can quickly dial in my base set and go from there.
The vibration dust remover might be a cool feature. I can't feel the camera vibrate or hear it working, which is nice. Apparently it vibrates for 1 second whenever the camera is turned on or off. I changed this setting so that it's only triggered manually by me. I figured I could just use it when I need it rather than have it going all the time. .
Another of my favorite features is the spot meter. The 10D and 20D never had this feature. Apparently the 30D does, but this one is slightly higher weight at the center point. I tried it out and it works really well in combination with the AF point selectors.
So what do I hate about the 40D? I really hate the Auto White Balance setting for indoor shots. You want to be sure to set the camera manually when you are taking the 50millionth picture of your dog. Otherwise it'll be all yellow looking. Canon, can you fix that please?? If you set it manually it looks great.
SInce I like to do available light photography I like to use mirror lock-up. I wish there was a button for that as do many other people.
Canon finally has the iso setting in the viewfinder so we'll give Canon props for that.
My last gripe is that the display screen could have a bit higher resolution. It's nice and big but could have a denser pixel set for really checking out your work.
Overall I'm sure anyone would be happy with this camera if you are willing to spend the time to learn how to use it. If you are a beginner, don't expect to take magazine quality shots on day 1. Wait at least till day 2 :-)
I must say that Nikon did come out swinging this time. The newly announced D300 is quite the camera. It will be interesting to compare the Sony CMOS pics to those produced by Canon. Had I not had a bunch of Canon gear already I might have given up the extra dough for the Nikon. Nikon (Sony) blues and reds always seem too punchy to me but that's just my personal taste. My good friend has a Nikon D200 and his pictures are just beautiful out of that camera. The Nikon D300 has some wiz-bang features but I'm not sure I would take advantage of them... nor do I think they will directly result in better pictures. Spend the $500 bucks you'll save on a photography class and you'll have more fun, meet more people, and be taking better pictures at 3 months than if you start with a really fancy camera that you can't figure out how to use.
I'm hoping Canon has been spending some time re-inventing as Nikon have over the last couple of years. The good news is that all of these cameras take good pictures; however, you have to know how to use them. When I pick up my friends Nikon is seems all foreign to me and I feel out of my element. He makes the same comments when he uses my Canon.
Welcome to the next generation of digital SLR photography-the Canon EOS 40D. The EOS 40D combines Canon's tremendous know-how in both the
photographic worlds, creating a camera that not only does everything one would expect of a traditional
digital SLR, but one that incorporates staggering leaps forward in technological innovation. With new features like Canon's EOS Integrated
Live View Function, a more powerful
DIGIC III Image Processor, plus a
10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor,
a 3.0-inch LCD monitor and more, the EOS 40D elevates digital photography to
new heights, enhancing the shooting experience, and delivering images one
could only expect from a Canon.
Superb image quality: 10.1 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, extensive noise reduction technology, and 14-bit conversion for outstanding color tones and gradations
Outstanding performance: 6.5 fps, burst rate up to 75 consecutive JPEGs or 17 RAW images and DIGIC III Image Processor
Strong, rugged build quality: magnesium-alloy exterior, shutter durability-tested to 100,000 cycles, top speed 1/8000, top x-sync speed 1/250
New AF system with 9 cross-type sensors, and world's first diagonal high-precision cross-type AF at center point with f/2.8 and faster lenses
EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Picture Style settings, Spot metering, and Highlight Tone Priority for advanced in-camera image control
Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor and advanced Live View Function with new options for reduced shutter time lag and quiet operation
Wide range of accessories, including interchangeable focusing screens, extensive remote control options, new battery grip BG-E2N, and new dedicated wireless file transmitter WFT-E3A
Hot Shoe Flash for Your Canon Camera
Buy the Canon EOS 40D here:
Digital AF/AE SLR
CF Card Type I and II and external media (USB v.2.0
hard drive, via optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3A)
DCF 2.0 (Exif 2.21): JPEG, RAW and RAW+JPEG
simultaneous recording possible. Multiple options for recording images
on a CompactFlash memory card
JPEG, RAW (Canon CR2)
1. JPEG/Large: Approx. 3.5MB (3,888 x 2,592)
2. JPEG/Medium: Approx. 2.1MB (2,816 x 1,880)
3. JPEG/Small: Approx. 1.2MB (1,936 x 1,288)
4. RAW: Approx. 12.4MB (3,888 x 2,592)
5. sRAW: Approx. 7.1MB (1,936 x 1,288)
Recording System Folders
Automatically created by camera; can be user-created
with "Manual Reset" file naming setting
1. Continuous numbering
2. Auto reset
3. Manual reset (the image numbering is reset to 0001, a new folder is
Selectable between sRGB and Adobe RGB
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, mini-B port. NTSC/PAL for video
White Balance Settings
Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White
Fluorescent Light, Flash, Custom WB setting, user-set Color Temperature
Auto White Balance
Auto white balance, taken from imaging sensor
Personal White Balance
White balance bracketing: Three consecutive images
written to CF card for each firing of shutter; Up to +/- 3 levels in
White balance shift: blue/amber bias and/or magenta/green bias +/- up to
9 levels; manually set by user
Eye-level SLR with solid glass pentaprism
Approx. 95% horizontally and vertically
0.95x (-1 dpt with 50mm lens at infinity)
Dioptric Adjustment Correction
-3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection
ratio of 40:60)
AF (AF points, focus confirmation light), Exposure
(shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed, AE lock, exposure level, spot
metering circle, exposure warning), Flash (flash ready, flash exposure
compensation, high-speed sync, FE lock, red-eye reduction light), Image
(monochrome shooting, maximum burst, white balance correction, CF card
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button; possible
in Live View Function
TTL-CT-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS sensor
AF Point Selection
9 cross-type AF points, including center AF point;
fully functional with f/5.6 or faster lenses
Additional high-precision, diagonal cross-type sensor at Center AF
point, used with lenses f/2.8 or faster
AF Working Range
EV -0.5 ~18 (ISO 100 at 73°F/23°C)
Autofocus (One-Shot AF, Predictive AI Servo AF, AI
Focus AF), Manual Focus (MF)
AF Point Selection
Automatic selection, Manual AF point selection
Selected AF Point Display
Superimposed red illumination in viewfinder; also
visible on top or rear LCD panel when AF point select button is pressed
Intermittent firing of built-in flash
35-zone TTL full aperture metering
1. Evaluative metering (linked to all AF points)
2. Partial metering (approx. 9% of viewfinder)
3. Spot metering (approx. 3.8% of viewfinder)
4. Center-weighted average metering
EV 0-20 (ISO 100 at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
lens, ISO 100)
Exposure Control Method
Program AE (shiftable), Shutter-priority AE,
Aperture-priority AE, Auto Depth-of-field AE (non-shiftable), Full auto
(non-shiftable), Programmed image control modes, Manual exposure, E-TTL
II autoflash program AE
ISO Speed Range
Equivalent to ISO 100-1600 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop
increments), ISO speed can be expanded to ISO 3200
Standard output sensitivity. Recommended exposure index
Exposure Compensation (user-set): +/-3 stops in 1/3-
or 1/2-half increments
Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative
metering when focus is achieved
Manual (user-set): By AE lock button in all metering modes
Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with
all speeds electronically controlled
1/8000 to 30 sec. (1/3-stop increments), X-sync at
Soft-touch electromagnetic release
10 sec. delay, 2 sec. delay
Canon N3 type terminal
Built-in Flash Type
Auto pop-up, retractable, built-in flash in the
13/43 (ISO 100 in meters/feet)
Approx. 3 sec.
Flash-ready indicator lights in viewfinder
17mm lens focal length (equivalent to 27mm in 35mm
Flash Metering System
E-TTL II autoflash
Flash Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3- and 1/2-stop increments;
Can be set on EOS 40D body or with most EX-series speedlites
LCD Monitor Type
TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor
Screen Monitor size
Approx. 230,000 pixels
7 levels provided
Image Display Format
Single image, 4-image index, 9-image index, Jump,
Magnified zoom (approx. 1.5x to 10x), Histogram, AF point display, Auto
Live View: View image before shooting on LCD monitor; live histogram and
live simulation of exposure level possible with C.Fn IV-7-1
In the single image display and (INFO) display,
over-exposed highlight areas will blink
Single image or all images in the memory card can be
protected or cancel the image protection
Single image, select images, all images in a CF card
or unprotected images
Direct Printing from the Camera
Enabled with the Print/Share button
CP and SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, PIXMA Photo
Printers and PictBridge compatible printers (via USB Interface Cable
IFC-200U, included with camera kit)
Print quantity, style (image, paper size, paper type,
printing effects, layout), trimming, tilt correction (compatibility
varies, depending upon printer in use)
One dedicated Battery Pack BP-511A
AC power can be supplied via the optional AC Adapter Kit ACK-E2
Number of Shots
Normal shooting, at 73°F/23°C:
No flash: approx. 1100 images
50% flash use: approx. 800 images
No flash: approx. 950 images
50% flash use: approx. 700 images
(tests comply with CIPA industry test standards)
The above figures apply when one fully-charged Battery Pack BP-511A is
Provided. Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30
One CR2016 coin-type lithium battery. Battery life
approx. 5 years
Operating Temperature Range
Operating Humidity Range
85% or less
5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in./145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5mm (W x H x D)
Canon 1 year limited warranty
• Canon EOS 40D Digital Body
• Eyecup Eb
• Wide Neck Strap EW-100DGR
• Video Cable VC-100
• USB Interface Cable IFC-200U
• Battery Pack BP-511A
• Battery Charger CG-580
• "Great Photography is Easy" Booklet and "Do More with Macro" Booklet
• EOS Digital Solution CD
• Software Instruction Manual
Outstanding quality, August 9, 2009
By K. Stephens "scriber" (San Diego, CA)
The Canon 40D is an amazing camera for the money. So much better than any point-and-shoot on the market, but yet does have auto features on it that do the same. This camera is really not for beginners unless you have the time and patience to concentrate on learning and practice, practice, practice. I shot over 900 pictures to achieve the best results in one particular set of parameters before I was satisfied. But once achieved, WOW. What particularly caught my attention about this camera is that they separated the menu selection buttons onto a round wheel you turn, rather than those frustrating right/left/up/down selector buttons on almost every camera body..."I have always hated trying to push the edge of a wheel without pushing the middle button." That easy-to-use menu selection system really sealed the deal for me. Another big deal was the Image Stabilization is in the lens and not the body. That means that what you see in the view finder is exactly what you get on the picture. If you find the view finder is too close to the display and your nose is squashed, I purchased an eye-piece 0.5" extension and removed the lens pieces before I attached it to the camera, As a result creating an extended hood without reducing the image in the viewfinder. I am so happy with this camera and would have spent more for it. Enjoy.
Great camera, sturdy, reliable, and easy to use, July 10, 2009
By E. Martin "E. Martin" (Miami, FL USA)
I upgraded to this camera from a Rebel XT. I debated for a bit after the 50D came out whether I wanted to spend the extra on the 50D instead of the 40D. I eventually decided to go with the 40D and save the extra money. Overall, I couldn't be happier with my purchase. The camera is very well built and solid as a rock in the hands even with a big heavy lens on it. I like having the larger size grip area even with my small hands. It makes me more able to control for camera shake. The controls are easily accessible in hand but take some adjustment if you are moving from a Rebel series camera up to the pro-sumer models like the 40D and 50D. The 3.0" LCD screen is a dream. The histogram features are also very convenient for metering and white balance adjustment while shooting. The noise reduction is very effective and dramatically reduces the noise for high ISO shots. The camera itself is a very sturdy build, much more so than the rebel series cameras, which makes it a much better choice for photographers interested in wildlife or other outdoors photography where the potential to drop or bang the camera around increases. I find that the in camera metering is sufficient for about 95% of the shots I take. Periodically, I have to break out my light meter to Best Prices for the shot that I'm going for, but most of the time the in camera metering is excellent. The 40D is nothing short of a machine gun at 6.5 fps which makes it wonderful for wildlife photographers and sports photographers alike. The battery life on this camera is also fantastic. I can take this camera out in the field for an entire day of shooting and not have to change out the battery even with my 100-400 IS lens attached with the IS on all day long. For those of you who are concerned about the weight of this camera, it is heavy. I prefer to have a heavier stronger camera body, but if weight is a serious concern, then I would highly recommend you look at the Rebel XS or XSi. Optically they are similar to the 40D, but lighter. Canon's website offers details on the specs for each camera. The rebel series cameras, however, don't have nearly the shooting speed of the 40D, don't have the 40D's excellent high ISO performance, have less battery life, and are much smaller and less durable. If these concerns aren't a big deal to you, then the XS and XSi may be a better choice.
I couldn't be happier with my purchase, especially since the 50D is so much more expensive and with bells and whistles that I did not need. My recommendation to anyone debating between the 40D and 50D is to do your homework and think long and hard about what you'd like to be able to do with your camera before purchasing it. The 50D has some really nice features on it that make it superior for some, but if the extra features are not needed, save your money and go with the 40D. You will not be disappointed! It is a great camera, and is at a great price as well.