Canon EOS 40D SLR Review

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Canon EOS 40D

Review posted 10/25/2007

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon EOS 40D SLR.
Click to take a QTVR tour of the Canon EOS 40D

The EOS 40D digital SLR, occupying the middle-range of the EOS line of cameras, is the update to the popular EOS 30D from 2006. Incorporating the best features of Canon's prosumer models, the EOS 40D redefines the state of the art for mid-range dSLR's, making it the first choice for amateur photographers. A newly enhanced 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, advanced DIGIC III image processor, completely redesigned autofocus sensor, 3" LCD and fast, 6.5 fps continuous shooting capability are but a few of the features that make this camera stand out in the crowd of enthusiast-level dSLR's.

Your eye will be drawn to and delighted by the large 3" LCD screen. To increase legibility in bright sunlight, Canon has raised the brightness level of the EOS 40D's 230,000-pixel LCD screen, broadened the color gamut and narrowed the viewing angle from 170 degrees to a still wide 140-degree perspective in all directions. An added advantage of the larger-sized display is the ability to use a larger font size for text, making it easier to read setting and menu options on the screen. The camera's menu is organized in the same tabbed format as the EOS-1D Mark III.

Canon designers made the magnesium alloy exterior even more rugged & dependable than the 30D and have improved the dust and water resistant construction, particularly around the IO ports, battery compartment and single-slot compact flash memory card door. The EOS 40D has retained the best features of the EOS 30D model, including the fast start-up, its durable shutter rated up to 100,000 cycles, its top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and 1/250 maximum X-sync flash shutter speed setting

The EOS 40D inherits some advanced features from Canon's professional cameras and puts them to good use. It has a newly designed, high-precision 9-point wide area AF that uses cross-type points, enabling the camera to focus faster, more accurately, and in more complex lighting situations. Each of the nine AF points has this cross-type coverage, a first in Canon AF SLRs. Adding to this AF performance, the 40D incorporates a diagonally mounted, high-precision cross-type sensor at the center AF point that is sensitive to both vertical and horizontal lines when fast lenses (f/2.8 or faster) are used, for added accuracy and precision with these wide-aperture lenses. Focus points can be selected automatically, or accessed using the Multi-Controller.

DIGIC III is the latest generation of Canon's proprietary image processing engine. DIGIC III technology ensures that the fine details and natural colors of the images are optimally recorded and, as an added bonus, is also responsible for the EOS 40D SLR's high-speed performance, faster signal processing and even its efficient energy consumption.

The camera leverages sophisticated technology to make dust problems a thing of the past. First the Self- Cleaning Sensor Unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to shake dust particles off of the low-pass filter in front of the sensor each time the camera is powered up or shut down. Secondly the supplied Digital Photo Professional software maps the location of any spots that may remain on the sensor and the "Dust Delete Data" information is attached to the image file. Later, using your computer, the dust information is subtracted from the final image during post processing.

Using the same 35-zone metering sensor as the successful 30D, you can choose from available patterns such as Evaluative metering, which is linked to all AF points and is set automatically in the Basic Zone modes, Center weighted average metering, Partial metering and Spot metering, covering approximately 9 percent or 3.8 percent of the viewfinder. The camera's E-TTL II auto flash and 12 exposure control modes (11 AE modes plus manual) are also unchanged from the EOS 30D SLR model. Additionally, Canon has included three Custom exposure modes. As an added convenience, particularly for wireless flash operations, users can adjust the flash settings of the Canon Speedlite 580EX II directly from the camera.

The Canon EOS 40D camera offers ISO speeds from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 in 1/3-stop increments. Users can also opt for a high-speed setting of ISO 3200. For the first time in any EOS camera, the 40D model offers Auto ISO capability in Creative Zone exposure modes. This valuable new feature adjusts the ISO speed to the optimal setting based on low light or shaky shooting conditions. Additionally, the EOS 40D provides full-time display of the active ISO speed setting, both in the viewfinder and the LCD data panel.

Previously available only on the 1D Mark III, the Live View function now gives EOS 40D users the ability to set up shots using the LCD screen instead of the viewfinder and a 100% preview. A new Custom Function allows autofocus during Live View by pressing the camera's AF-ON button. Releasing the AF-ON button resumes Live View functions. Also, in the Live View shooting mode, you can magnify the image by 5 or 10x in order to ensure optimal focus. Live View helps reduce vibration by lifting the mirror out of the optical path in advance of the exposure, improving image quality at slow shutter speeds. A new electronic 1st-curtain shutter function in Live View mode reduces release time lag and operational noise even further and the release time lag is miniscule.

EOS 40D Major Features

  • APS-C size 10.1 megapixel CMOS Sensor with noise reduction technology
  • Live View function
  • 3-inch LCD monitor
  • New 14-bit A/D conversion for fine tone gradation and reduction of digital and shadow noise
  • 6.5 fps, burst rate up to 75 consecutive JPEGs or 17 RAW images
  • Next generation DIGIC III Image processor
  • ISO range from 100 to 1600 (plus ISO 3200 in extended mode) in 1/3 stop increments
  • 0.15-second startup time, shutter lag time only 59 msec
  • Body constructed of lightweight and ultra-rigid magnesium-alloy
  • Top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, 100,000-cycle shutter life
  • Top flash sync speed of 1/250 sec
  • AF system with 9 cross-type sensors, world's first diagonal high-precision cross-type AF
  • Canon EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 6 Picture Style settings (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome), users can create three custom settings
  • Evaluative, Center Weighted, Partial and Spot metering modes
  • Compatible with all Canon EF, EF-S, TS-E, and MP-E lenses
  • Updated EOS Digital Solution software disc includes ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser, Digital Photo Professional, new Picture Style Editor, Canon's EOS Utility, RAW Image Task, PhotoStitch and PTP TWAIN driver
  • Built-in E-TTL II popup flash with red-eye reduction
  • Hot shoe for Canon EX Speedlites and standard PC flash sync
  • Supports CompactFlash card type I and II
  • High-speed USB 2.0 interface for fast image downloads
  • Exclusive WFT-E3A Wireless File Transmitter
  • Video Out with selectable NTSC or PAL timing
  • BP-511A Battery Pack with CG-580 Battery Charger
  • Compatible with PictBridge printers, PIXMA Photo Printers and SELPHY Compact Photo printers
  • Optional BG-E2 Battery Grip doubles battery power and adds vertical grip, shutter release and controls
What's in the Box?

  • EOS 40D 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 Disc ver 15.1
  • Software Instruction Manuals in English & Spanish
The Canon EOS 40D "Body only" has an MSRP of US$1299, while the Canon 40D kit (with Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens) will retail for US$1499.

Physical Views

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

Canon EOS 40D

The EOS 40D and the Sony alpha 700 for size comparison.

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Features & Controls

Canon EOS 40D Specifications

  Imaging Element
Type High-sensitivity, high-resolution, single-plate, CMOS sensor
Pixels Effective pixels: Approx. 10.10 megapixels
Total pixels: Approx. 10.50 megapixels
Aspect ratio 3:2
Color filter system RGB primary color filter
Low-pass filter Located in front of the image sensor, non-removable
  Recording System
Recording format DCF 2.0 (Exif 2.21)
Image type JPEG, RAW (Canon CR2)

Simultaneous recording
JPEG, RAW and RAW+JPEG possible
File size
(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)
File numbering Consecutive numbering, auto reset, manual reset
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Picture Style Six preset settings (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome), User Def. 1 - 3
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, mini-B port
Video OUT terminal (NTSC/PAL)
  White Balance
Settings Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent Light, Flash, Custom WB setting, user-set Color Temperature (2,500~10,000K)
Auto white balance Auto white balance, taken from imaging sensor
White balance bracketing Three consecutive images written to CF card for each firing of shutter; Up to +/- 3 levels in 1-step increments
White balance shift
information transmission
Blue/amber bias and/or magenta/green bias +/- up to 9 levels; manually set by user
Type Eye-level SLR with solid glass pentaprism
Coverage Vertical/Horizontal approx. 95%
Magnification 0.95x (-1 dpt with 50mm lens at infinity)
Eyepoint Approx. 22mm
Built-in dioptric adjustment -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Mirror Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60)
Viewfinder information 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 information)
Depth-of-field preview Enabled with depth-of-field preview button; possible in Live View Function
Type TTL-CT-SIR AF-dedicated CMOS sensor
AF points 9 AF points
AF Working range EV -0.5 ~18 (ISO 100 at 73°F/23°C)
Focus modes 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
AF-assist beam Intermittent firing of built-in flash
  Exposure Control
Metering modes 35-zone TTL full aperture metering
· Evaluative metering (linkable to any AF point)
· Partial metering (approx. 9% of viewfinder at center)
· Spot metering (approx. 3.5% of viewfinder at center)
· Center-weighted average metering
Metering range EV 0-20 (ISO 100 at 73°F/23°C with EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, ISO 100)
Exposure control 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 Equivalent to ISO 100 -1600 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments), ISO speed can be expanded to ISO 3200
Exposure compensation Exposure Compensation (user-set): +/-3 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-half increments
AE lock Auto: Applied in One-Shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved.
Manual: By AE lock button in all metering modes.
Type Vertical-travel, mechanical, focal-plane shutter with all speeds electronically controlled
Shutter speeds 1/8000 to 30 sec. (1/3-stop increments), X-sync at 1/250 sec
Shutter release Soft-touch electromagnetic release
Self-timer 10-sec, 2 sec delay
Remote control Canon N3 type terminal
  Built-in Flash
Type Retractable, auto pop-up flash
Flash metering E-TTL II autoflash
Guide No. 13/43 (ISO 100 in meters/feet)
Recycle time Approx. 3 sec.
Flash-ready indicator Flash-ready icon lights in viewfinder
Flash coverage 17mm lens focal length
Flash exposure compensation ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments
  Drive System
Drive modes Single, High-speed continuous, Low-speed continuous, and Self-timer (10 sec.)
Continuous High-speed: max. 5 shots per sec., Low-speed: max. 3 shots per sec.
Maximum burst JPEG (Large/Fine): Approx. 30, RAW: Approx. 11, RAW+JPEG (Large/Fine): Approx. 9
Varies depending on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, CF card, etc.
  LCD Monitor
Type TFT color liquid-crystal monitor
Monitor size 3 in.
Pixels Approx. 230,000
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness adjustment 7 levels provided
Interface languages 18
  Image Playback
Display format Single image, 4-image index, 9-image index, Jump, Magnified zoom (approx. 1.5x to 10x), Histogram, AF point display, Auto rotate, Rotate
Highlight warning In the single image display and (INFO) display, over-exposed highlight areas will blink
Live View View image before shooting on LCD monitor; live histogram and live simulation of exposure level possible with C.Fn IV-7-1
  Image Protection and Erase
Protection Single images can be erase-protected or not
Erase Single image, select images, all images in a CF card or unprotected images
Power Source
Battery 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
Normal shooting at 32°F/0°C:
No flash: approx. 950 images
50% flash use: approx. 700 images
Using CIPA industry test standards
  Dimensions and Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D) 144 x 105.5 x 73.5mm / 5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9in.
Weight Approx. 26.1 oz./740g. (body only)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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