Canon EOS 40D SLR Review

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Canon EOS 40D

Features & Controls

Canon EOS 40D

Like the EOS 30D, the main exterior covers (top, front, and rear) are made of a magnesium alloy for light weight and high strength. The grip portion is integrated with the front cover, enhancing body rigidity further. The body's basic construction is the same as that of the EOS 30D, employing a stainless steel chassis and a mirror box made of high strength engineering plastic. As with the EOS 30D, the exterior has a black satin finish with a non-slip texture. New to the EOS 40D is a sealing material lining the CF card slot cover and battery compartment cover to improve dust- and water-resistance. The battery compartment covers of both the Battery Also both the optional Grip BG-E2N and the Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3A have sealing material to improve resistance to moisture and particulate matter.

Canon EOS 40D

The CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor in the EOS 40D is designed by Canon and manufactured by Canon. The EOS 40D provides amazing performance: approximately 10.1 megapixels, ISOs from 100-1600 in 1/3 steps, high-speed signal reading with 6.5 fps shooting and a Live View silent shooting mode with electronic 1st-curtain shutter. This APS-C size sensor (22.5 x 15.0mm) has the same 3:2 ratio as film cameras, enabling an effective angle of view that is 1.6x the normal EF Lens focal length.

Canon EOS 40D

Borrowed from the EOS-1D Mark III , the EOS 40D also uses Canon's latest image processor, the DIGIC III. It retains the DIGIC II's widely admired image detail, natural colors and high speed, while providing 1.7 times faster signal processing speed. The analog output signal from the imaging element is converted into a digital signal with 14 bits (16,384 colors) per channel instead of the previous 12 bits (4,096 colors).The result is digital data with finer gradation. With RAW/sRAW images recorded at 14 bits, one can use Canon DPP (Digital Photo Professional) software to process and save the image as a 16-bit TIFF image. This yields the maximum range of colors afforded by 14-bit processing. Also, because images recorded in JPEG (8 bits per color) are also generated from 14-bit RAW data, there are fewer blown highlights than before and gradation is excellent. Even in the case of highly saturated subjects or subjects with high contrast and clear differences between light and dark features, high quality color reproduction and smooth tone rendition from highlights to shadows are visible

When compared to the EOS 30D, the image quality of the EOS 40D is appreciably better. Resolution is now higher, with approximately 10.1 megapixels versus the 8.2 megapixels of the EOS 30D. Image quality is higher because of the DIGIC III and 14-bit image processing. Noise reduction of high ISO shots, first offered on the EOS-1D Mark III, is enabled via C.Fn II-2. Highlight Tone Priority (ISO range 200-1600*), makes gradation finer from grays to highlights, reducing the likelihood of blown high values. This feature, too, first appeared on the EOS-1D Mark III. It is set on the EOS 40D via C.Fn II-3.

Canon EOS 40D

While it is based on the EOS 30D's mechanical shutter unit, the shutter of the EOS 40D is now more reliable with a contactless switch instead of a contact switch for running the 1st and 2nd curtains. Shutter durability is approximately 100,000 cycles, the same as the EOS 30D's shutter. The shutter release lag time with SW-1 ON is approximately 0.059 sec. between SW-2 ON and start of exposure. The time lag between simultaneous SW-1/SW-2 ON and the start of exposure is approximately 0.126 sec. Time lag is calculated with the aperture stopped down 3.5 stops or less and excludes AF operation time. Viewfinder blackout time is about 0.1 sec.

Canon EF lenses

EOS 40D is compatible with all Canon lenses in the EF and EF-S lineup, ranging from ultra-wide angle to super telephoto lenses. Canon lenses employ advanced optical expertise and micron-precision engineering to deliver unprecedented performance in all facets of the photographic process. Special optical technologies, such as Aspherical, ultra-low dispersion, or fluorite elements are featured in the universally acclaimed L Series lenses, and Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology in select lenses minimizes the effect of camera shake. Using Canon lenses, photographers can truly maximize the quality and performance of the EOS 40D.

Two NEW EF Lenses

Canon EF-S 28-135mm f/2.8 IS

Our sample camera came with the Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM (Micro UltraSonic Motor), a standard zoom lens with an Image Stabilizer and high zoom ratio. With the Image Stabilizer turned on, you can obtain sharp, natural-looking pictures in dim lighting without using flash or a tripod, which is very handy for places where flash is prohibited. This lens utilizes a ring-type USM for swift, silent autofocus and full-time manual focus. The closest focusing distance is 20 in. (50 cm). The EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 runs about $450 USD.

Canon EF 18-55mm IS

The New Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is a standard zoom lens specifically for cameras that take EF-S lenses. It was developed in response to market demand for a zoom lens equipped with Image Stabilizer technology at a reasonable price. While it is roughly equivalent in weight and size to the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II/ f/3.5-5.6 II USM, it offers an image stabilization effect equivalent to a shutter speed of 4 stops faster, giving it superb specifications as well as a modest and attractive price. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is very affordable and runs under $200 USD.

Canon EF 18-55mm IS

We've been using a Canon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-L IS USM for a while now to test the Canon cameras. This zoom lens has the highest optical performance in its class. It provides the convenience of focusing as close as 2.3 feet over the entire 28-300mm zooming range. A powerful ring-type USM drive provides the Canon 28-300 IS silent, high-speed auto focusing, plus the wide zooming range provides an easy, enjoyable picture-taking experience. The construction consists of 22 elements and 16 groups. Other features include a maximum magnification of 0.3x and a filter diameter of 77mm. Popular with sports photographers, this lens retails for slightly over $2,000 USD.

Each IS lens system is designed and optimized for its specific application, yielding a level of performance unattainable by in-body, shifting-sensor techniques. Additionally, you see the image stabilization effect in the viewfinder. The image is steady; accurate framing is possible; the AF point can be placed precisely, and the photographer can concentrate on the shot and capture the best moment.

Canon EOS 40D

The flash unit in the EOS 40D is the same as the unit in the EOS 30D. Its Guide Number is 43/13 (feet/meters) at ISO 100. Flash coverage is effective for focal lengths 18mm and higher, with some limitations based on the size of the lens. If the built-in flash is fired rapidly in succession, the flash firing will be stopped to prevent heat damage to the built-in flash cover and fresnel lens (diffuser).

A new feature shared with the EOS-1D Mark III is that both built-in flash and external Speedlite settings can be set on the EOS 40D directly from the menu screen. With external, EX-series Speedlites, this includes Flash mode, sync setting, FEB, flash exposure compensation, E-TTL II, zoom, wireless flash, and clear settings. The EOS 40D can make communication settings as well, such as communication channel, flash group, and flash brightness when the Speedlite 580EX II is used. Also, with the 580EX II attached to the camera, you can set or cancel the Speedlite's Custom Function settings (C.Fn-0 to 13) with the camera. With an EX-series Speedlite other than the 580EX II, the camera cannot be used to set the Speedlite's Custom Functions.

Canon EOS 40D

The E-TTL II flash metering system is compatible with all EX-series Speedlites, the smarter E-TTL II captures the subject as a "plane" and ensures that images containing various colors and levels of reflection are captured accurately and optimally. The system compares the ambient light with the reflected pre-flash off the subject reported in all 17 metering zones and selects the areas with a small difference to be weighted for flash exposure calculation. This system also eliminates or under-weights areas with large differences, recognizing them as an extremely reflective object in the background or as a highly reflective subject.

E-TTL II features high-speed sync (FP Flash) with all shutter speeds from 30 sec. to 1/8000 sec. FE (Flash Exposure) Lock on the desired part of the subject - this is the flash equivalent of AE lock. Flash exposure compensation up to +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop increments. FEB (Flash Exposure Bracketing) is the flash version of AEB, flash bracketing can be up to +/-3 stops in 1/3-stop increments. E-TTL II wireless auto flash with multiple Speedlites provides all the above features. (Only with wireless-compatible Canon Speedlites.)

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