Canon EOS 40D SLR Review

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Canon EOS 40D

Bundled Software

Canon includes a suite of software with the 40D on a CD called EOS Digital Solution Disk. This software, such as Digital Photo Professional and Image Browser, was covered in our review of the Canon EOS-1D Mark III . Some of the software has been upgraded for EOS 40D compatibility, including handling RAW files. For instance, EOS Utility ver 2.1 allows folder monitoring with the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3A.

However, there is a new software package provided with the 40D called Picture Style Editor ver 1. We cover the basics in the information that follows.

Canon EOS 40D

Picture Style Editor is software that allows you to create custom Picture Style files. To create a Picture Style file, you will open up a RAW image then adjust the image characteristics based on one of the existing Picture Style settings (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral or Faithful), except for the Monochrome setting. Your new Picture Style setting can then be stored in the 40D using the EOS Utility, or used in the DPP or RAW Image Task applications.

Canon EOS 40D

There are 3 main windows in Picture Style Editor:

  • Main window: Displays the sample image

  • Navigator window: Displays a magnified image and histograms

  • Tool palette: Provides the adjustment functions

Adjustments made with the tool palette are applied immediately to the sample preview in the main window so you can check the results in real time.

Picture Style Editor ver 1.0 only supports RAW images shot on the EOS 40D. Later software versions will support RAW images from future EOS models. No reverse compatibility with older EOS cameras is planned by Canon.

Canon EOS 40D

Picture Style Editor has a Preliminary Adjustment window for images that need supplementary adjustment.

Canon EOS 40D

The main window allows you to perform the following actions:

  • Display mode switching: Normal view (single image display) and before and after (shown above) adjustment comparison display (top/bottom split or left/right split)

  • Image rotation: Left or right in 90° increments

  • Display magnification switching: Full view, 12.5%, 25%, 50%, 100% and 200%

  • Cursor coordinates position and RGB values (8-bit conversion) display

  • Work color space display

Canon EOS 40D

The Navigator window supplements the operations performed in the main window and tool palette with the following functions:

  • Enlargement display position shows the position displayed when the sample image in the main window is enlarged

  • Histogram display shows the distribution of luminance and color components in the sample image displayed in the main window. The histogram display can be switched using the [Y] (luminance), [RGB], [R], [G] and [B] buttons

  • Warning indicator flashes if you enter or set upper and lower limits in these fields and there are areas in the sample image displayed in the main window with values that exceed those limits

Canon EOS 40D

The functions of the tool palette are as follows:

  • Selecting the Picture Style used as the basis for one's new Picture Style

  • Making minute adjustments to a specified color (hue, saturation and luminosity)

  • Adjusting the gamma characteristics

You can choose any of the Picture Style settings (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral or Faithful, but not Monochrome) as the starting point for Picture Style to be used as a basis. Or, you can download one of the Picture Style files (e.g. Emerald) from the Canon web site, then adjust the color tone, color saturation, contrast and sharpness.

Canon EOS 40D

A panel is provided for minute color adjustment. The panel permits the you to set the range of adjustments.

Gamma characteristics of an image can be adjusted using the tone curve. By creating up to 10 adjustment points anywhere along the tone curve you can adjust brightness and contrast. The results of the adjustments are applied to the sample image in the main window in real time.

Adjustments made with the tool palette can be saved as an original Picture Style file (with the .PF2 extension). Adjustments are saved in the save window, which appears when you click the save window display button in the tool palette. When saving a file, there is a [Disable subsequent editing] checkbox that prevents disclosure of the adjustments made in Picture Style Editor as well as any captions or copyright information.

Picture Style files can be in cameras and also used in the DPP and RAW image Task applications.

  • You can use EOS Utility to register a Picture Style file in a camera equipped with the Picture Style function and then apply the file to your photographed images

  • You can use DPP to apply Picture Style files to any compatible RAW image

  • You can use RAW Image Task to apply Picture Style files to RAW images shot on cameras equipped with the Picture Style function

Of course, the 40D was able communicate with Windows(Vista) and Macintosh (OS X 1.4) PCs without the installation of any software. When I connected the camera to the test computers using a USB cable each system recognized the 40D and offered to view the images or copy them to the computer. The files could then be edited with the native photo software on each computer.

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