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Canon 40D
Reviews Views Date of last review
2 20496 Tue July 8, 2008
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers 645.00 10.0

Description: The 40D advances the state-of-the-art for mid-range Digital SLR cameras, making it a natural first choice for advanced amateur photographers and entry-level professionals, and an ideal second body for more established photo pros. Indeed, given the level of feature upgrades and improvements, technological wizardry and user-requested creative controls, the Canon 40D SLR's prosumer appellation may refer more to its accessible price point than to the exceptional quality, clarity and resolution of the images it creates.

Comparison with Canon 30D here :- http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...pec-17202.html

From the camera's newly enhanced, 10.1-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor and its proprietary and super-efficient DIGIC III image processor, to its completely redesigned autofocus sensor and fast, 6.5 (fps continuous shooting capability (for bursts of up to 75 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images), the 40D SLR puts the fun in functionality and makes serious photo business a positive pleasure.

Indeed, at 6.5 fps, no Digital SLR in the 40D mid-range class and price category has so high a continuous shooting capability, making it ideal for shooting - and actually capturing - speed-sensitive outdoor and wild-nature shots as well as a wide variety of action and sports scenes. The speed of the 40D SLR comes from Canon's balanced combination of its latest processor, DIGIC III, DDR SDRAM high-speed memory, four-channel-per-line sensor readout, and two separate motors for shutter and mirror operation.


10.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
6.5fps, 75 JPEG image burst
High precision wide area AF
3.0" LCD with Live View mode
DIGIC III processor
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Picture Style
Magnesium alloy body
Compatible with all EF/EF-S lenses and EX Speedlites

Display's the Thing

The most easily visible upgrade on the 40D Digital SLR is the camera's larger three-inch LCD screen (compared with the 30D's 2.5-inch monitor). Still, size is only the beginning of the difference between these two cameras' displays.
In order to increase viewing ease in outdoor conditions such as bright sunlight, Canon raised the brightness level of the EOS 40D camera'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 Digital SLR.

Canon extends its ease-of-reading policy to the 40D SLR's viewfinder as well. The upgraded viewfinder increases optical magnification from 0.90x to 0.95x, expands the viewing angle from 251 degrees to 264 degrees and raises
the eye point from 20mm to 22mm.

Enhanced Durability

Canon design engineers made the 40D SLR's magnesium alloy exterior even more ruggedly dependable than its predecessors with upgraded dust and weather resistant construction, particularly around the camera's
connection ports, battery compartment and single-slot compact flash memory card door. Should the user inadvertently open the compact flash card door while the camera is writing to the card, a warning will pop up on the LCD screen and an open door alarm will sound, but the image(s) will continue writing to the memory card without interruption. The 40D SLR also retains many of the outstanding features of the 30D model,
such as its fast 0.15-second initial start-up, its extremely 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.

Improved Image Quality

Although it is based on the image sensor used in the Digital Rebel XTi, the 40D Digital SLR's 10.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C size image sensor has been significantly improved thanks to the use of larger microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity up to ISO 3200. The 40D retains the model 30D camera's 1.6x focal length conversion factor (compared to full-frame digital image sensors or 35mm film) and is compatible with the full line-up of Canon EF lenses as well as the Company's expanding selection of high-quality,
affordable EF-S lenses created specifically for Canon Digital SLRs with APS-C size image sensors.

Adding to the improved virtuosity of the images captured by the 40D SLR is the camera's 14-bit
Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process. Able to recognize 16,384 colors per channel (four times the
number of colors recognized by the 30D SLR's 12-bit conversion capability), the EOS 40D camera is able to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors. The 40D also incorporates the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced earlier this year with the 1D Mark III Professional Digital SLR.


Type 22.2 x 14.8mm CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 10.1M
Total Pixels Approx. 10.5M
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Low-Pass Filter Built-in/Fixed with Self Cleaning Sensor Unit
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour


Lens Mount EF/EF-S
Focal Length 1.6x Multiplication with EF lens fitted

Type TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor
AF System/Points 9 cross-type AF points (f/2.8 at centre)
AF working range EV -0.5 - 18 (at 23C & ISO100)
AF Modes AI Focus, One Shot, AI Servo
AF Point Selection Automatic selection, Manual selection
Selected AF point display Superimposed in viewfinder and indicated on top LCD panel
Predictive AF Yes
AF Lock Locked when shutter button is pressed half way in One Shot AF mode.
AF Assist Beam Intermittent firing of built-in flash
Manual Focus Selected on lens; default in Live View Mode

Metering modes TTL full aperture metering with 35 zone SPC
(1) Evaluative metering (linked to any AF point)
(2) Partial metering (approx. 9% of viewfinder at centre)
(3) Spot metering: Centre spot metering (approx. 3.8% viewfinder at center)
(4) Centre weighted average metering
Metering Range EV 0-20 (at 23C with 50mm f/1.4 lens ISO100)
AE Lock Auto: operates in 1-shot AF mode with evaluative metering when focus is achieved; Manual: by AE lock button in creative zone modes
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV, 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments
AEB +/- 2 EV, 1/2 or 1/3-stop increments
ISO Speed Equivalent Auto (100-800), 100-1600 (in 1/3-stop increments). ISO can be expanded to H: 3200 (selected in Custom Function). ISO 200-1600 in Highlight Tone Priority (C.Fn II -3)

Type Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter
Speed 30-1/8000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb.
Shutter release Soft touch electromagnetic release

Type Auto white balance with the imaging sensor
Settings AWB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, White Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Colour Temperature Setting.
White balance compensation 1. Blue/Amber +/-9; 2. Magenta/ Green +/-9
Personal White Balance one personal WB setting can be registered
WB Bracketing +/-3 stops in full stop increments; three bracketed images per shutter release. Selectable Blue/Amber bias or Magenta/ Green bias.

Type Two types of colour space - sRGB and Adobe RGB.

Viewfinder Pentaprism
Coverage (Vertical/Horizontal) Approx. 95%
Magnification 0.95x (with 50mm lens at infinity, -1dpt)
Eyepoint 22mm
Dioptre Correction -3 to +1 dpt
Focusing Screen Interchangeable (3 types). Standard Focusing Screen - Precision Matte Ef-A
Mirror Quick-return half mirror (Transmission: reflection ratio of 40:60, no mirror cut-off with EF600mm f4 or shorter)
Viewfinder Information AF information (AF points, focus confirmation light), exposure information (shutter speed, aperture value, ISO speed, AE lock, exposure level/compensation, spot metering circle, exposure warning, AEB), flash information (flash ready, high-speed sync, FE lock, flash exposure compensation, red-eye reduction light), white balance correction, CF card information, monochrome shooting, maximum burst
Depth-of-field preview Yes

Monitor 3 inch TFT, approx. 230K pixels. Live View Mode with selectable grid. Silent shooting in Live View Mode (2x modes)
Coverage Approx. 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of seven levels

Modes Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, Red-Eye Reduction
HotShoe/PC terminal Yes/ Yes
X-sync 1/250sec
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2EV in 1/2 or 1/3 increments
Flash Exposure Bracketing Yes
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Second Curtain Synchronisation Yes
Built-in Flash Range Coverage up to 17mm focal length (27mm equivalent)
Guide Number (ISO 100, meters) 13
External Flash E-TTL II with EX series Speedlites, wireless multi-flash support

Modes Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, No Flash, Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, A-DEP, Custom (x3)
Photo Effects Monochrome (selected from the "Picture Style" menu) with options for Filters and Toning Effects.
Drive modes Single / Continuous L / Continuous H
Continuous Shooting Max. Approx. 6.5fps. (speed maintained for up to 75 Large/Fine JPEG images, or 17 RAW images (depending on memory card speed/capacity)

Image Size Large/Fine 3888x2592, Large/Normal 3888x2592, Medium/Fine 2816x1880, Medium/Normal 2816x1880, Small/Fine 1936x1288, Small/Normal 1936x1288, RAW 3888x2592, sRAW 1936x1288
Compression Fine, Normal, RAW/sRAW (Canon RAW 2nd edition)

Still Image Format JPEG (Exif 2.21 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system (2.0), Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording Yes
File Numbering 1) Consecutive numbering, 2) Auto reset, 3) Manual reset
Processing Parameters six Preset Picture Styles with three User defined settings

Canon Printers Canon Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge
PictBridge Yes

Custom Functions 24 Custom Functions with 62 settings
LCD Panel (EL) Illumination Yes
Water/ Dust resistance Yes (Memory card and battery door only)
Sound Memo No
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Histogram Brightness: Yes; RGB: Yes
Playback zoom 1.5x - 10x
Display Formats 1) Single image with information (2 levels), 2) Single image, 3) 4 image index, 4) 9 image index, 5) Magnified view
Image Erase Protection Erase protection of one image at a time
Image Erase Single image, All images on card, Checkmarked images
Self Timer Approx. 2 or 10 sec.
Menu Categories 1) Shooting menu, 2) Playback menu, 3) Setup menu, 4) Custom Functions menu, 5) My Menu
Menu Languages English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Russian, Polish
Firmware Update Update possible by the user.

Computer USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (Mini-B, PTP)
Other Video output (PAL/ NTSC), Extension System Terminal

Type CompactFlash Type I/ II (Microdrive compatible), compatible with large memory card capacities, including cards of 2GB or more (camera may repair firmware update); External Media (with Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3 only).

PC & Macintosh Windows 2000 (SP4) / XP (SP2) / Vista (excl. Starter Edition); OS X v10.3-10.4

Browsing & Printing ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser
Other PhotoStitch, EOS Utility (inc. Remote Capture, WFT utility*, Original Data Security Tools*), Picture Style Editor. *Requires optional accessory
Drivers PTP TWAIN Driver (Windows 2000)
Image Manipulation Digital Photo Professional (RAW Image Processing)

Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery BP-511/BP-511A or BP-512/BP-514 (BP-511A battery supplied), 1xCR2016 for date & settings
Battery life Approx. 800 (at 23C, AE 50%, FE 50%); approx. 700 (at 0C, AE 50%, FE 50%). Based on the CPA Standard and using the batteries and memory card format supplied with the camera, except where indicated)
Battery check Automatic
Power saving Power turns off after 1, 2, 4, 8, 15 or 30mins.
A/C Power Supply Optional, Power adapter ACK-E2

General Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3, Original Data Security Kit OSK-E3, Eyecup Eb, E-series Dioptric Adjustment Lens with Rubber Frame Eb, Eyepiece Extender EP-EX15, Focusing Screens Ef (with Grid Ef-D, Super Precision Matte Ef-S), Angle Finder C, Semi-Hard case EH17-L
Lenses All EF and EF-S lenses
Flash Canon Speedlites (220EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, Macro-Ring-Lite, MR-14EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2)
Battery Grip BG-E2N, BG-E2
Remote Controller/Switch Remote control with N3 type contact, Wireless Controller LC-5
Power Supply & Battery Chargers AC Adapter Kit ACK-E2, Compact power adapter CA-PS400, Battery charger CB-5L, Battery charger CG-570, Car Battery Cable Kit CB-570, Compact Power Adapter CA-570, Battery Pack BP-511A

Body Materials Magnesium Alloy body covers
Operating Environment 0 40 C, 85% or less humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 145.5 x 107.8 x 73.5mm
Weight (body only) Approx. 740g

All data is based on Canon standard testing methods except where indicated.
Keywords: Canon 40D DSLR 10mp

Post A Reply 
Rob Barron
Loves the place

Registered: September 2006
Location: Poole, Dorset
Posts: 7227
Review Date: Tue September 4, 2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: 720.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Speed, focusing, live view, 3" LCD
Cons: Not a lot!

Ok, I promised a review and I try to be a man of my word... even if the words don't make much sense sometimes Here is a review based on my first couple of days with my new Canon 40D.

Already you'll have looked at my points rating so will know I like this camera... a lot! However, a lot of the discussion about the 40D has revolved around whether it is a worthwhile upgrade from the 20D & 30D. So far, my impression is that it is better not to think of this as an upgrade at all but rather as an entirely different camera.

I say that with good reason: there is more about it that is different than there is the same on the previous models. Just for clarity, may I mention that my camera for the last couple of years has been the 20D and before that the 10D. I didn't go up to the 30D as I didn't feel it offered me enough improvement to warrant the expenditure. So, what are the key differences?

I want to make clear from the start I am not going to put a load of stuff in here about tech specs that you can read from the details at the top of this thread. You don't need me to tell you that, you want to know what it is like to use and the bits that canon's advertising department won't mention!

LCD Screen:

Ok, the most obvious external difference is the 3" LCD monitor on the back which I have to say really is lovely to look at. Not having had a 30D (which has a 2.5" screen) I have made a jump from 1.8" and the difference is breathtaking. Having said that, the larger monitor does not share a correspondingly larger resolution as it still has 230,000 pixels which might make it look slightly softer. However, the brightness of the screen (adjustable in 7 levels) is superb and the colours are rich and accurate. You can get a very clear idea of how good your picture is, something I can't really say for the 20D.

The screen is multi-purpose now with selectable options in the Custom Functions allowing you to nominate what appears when you press the Info button. It can show the thumbnail image, 4 histograms (RGB and combined) and the usual EXIF info which most people will choose when reviewing a picture. However it can also now show the camera settings prior to shooting, something the xxxD users will already be used to. The settings are large and clear which is very helpful for people with close focusing problems for their weiry eyes (like mine!).

Live View (LV)

The biggest difference concerning the monitor though is the Live View feature which now allows you to see the image on the screen rather than having to use the eyepiece. Is that helpful and does it work?

You bet it is and does! Now, having said that, I must confess I am a bit of a traditionalist and naturally go to look through the eyepiece every time but there are two main reasons why LV is a very useful addition:

1. When setting the camera very high or low on a tripod making it difficult or even impossible to look through the eyepiece, it is still easy to see the screen and thus frame your subject properly.

2. For macro work - this is where LV comes into its own.
I love macro but focusing is a constant challenge. When working with tiny Depth of Field and struggling to see the sharp edges through the ground screen of the viewfinder, focusing becomes an absolute breeze with LV. Set the camera on the tripod, set to LV (just press the SET button in the middle of the wheel - you need to select this option in custom functions first time you want it) and the image is shown clearly on the screen. Focusing with the screen is easier because it is much larger than the view in the viewfinder. However, press the magnification button and you instantly zoom in 5x so you can see edges much more clearly. You can move which part of the image you are looking at very easily using the thumb-stick. If you really need it, you can even zoom in a further 5x making it a 10x zoom which gives you perfect focusing opportunity every time.

I would strongly recommend you use this with a cable shutter release as this prevents camera movement. Because you are using LV, you are also effectively working with the mirror locked up so there is no potential for movement caused by the mirror flipping. Take your picture now and you have every chance of getting the sharpest macro shots you have ever managed

A drawback normally evident with LV screens on DSLRs and the main reason manufacturers have not included them up until now is that AF doesn't work so you have to focus manually. However, Canon has very cleverly got round this using the AF-On button which is right where your thumb naturally falls so is very easy to access. You can switch to LV and then press the AF-on button which will drop the mirror, autofocus and then lift the mirror back up so you are looking at a live image now in focus. And all in about one second!

All in all, I think the LV mode is an excellent addition, more useful to some than others but definitely useful to everyone some of the time.

Menu Screen:

This is a big change from the previous models and a definite improvement. Instead of all the settings and options appearing as one long scrollable list, the 40D has gone the way of its upmarket brother and now uses a tab system. There are 9 tabs across, selectable with the thumb-stick and then each has a menu of options selectable with the wheel. Obviously it will take a little while to get used to where they all are but I am finding everything nice and clearly laid out. The writing is nice and big because of the large screen so this is much easier system to use.

There are some custom functions that will be disabled by default but which a lot of people will want to set from the start so I recommend doing that very unmanly thing: reading the manual! For example, to use the Live View mode, you need to set it in Custom Function IV - 7.


The autofocus is a completely knew system that has been developed from scratch rather than updating the AF from the 20/30D. It is still a 9-point AF system but now each point has cross-polarised AF. This means it focuses on the vertical plane as well as the horizontal plane and is therefore potentially more accurate as well as being faster. Canon quote an improvement in speed of about 30% but I can't test that. All i can say is it is very fast and it is defintiely accurate. The full otential of the new AF system depends partly on the lenses you are using but everyone will notice an improvement, certainly in speed. Let's face it, the 30D was not known for being soft on focusing anyway so that side of things is not likely to show a huge improvement.

Basically, what I notice is that it is quick, snaps into focus and doesn't hunt much at all. The addition of the AF-On button allowing you to use AF without touching the shutter release button is a definite plus. Canon users have been asking for this and Canon have listened.

Shooting speed:

The 20 and 30D were pretty quick at 5 fps, the 40D is even faster: a 30% increase to a superb 6.5 frames per second... and it is genuine for sure. I tried it and it sounded like a very quiet machine gun. It is extremely quick and has such a huge buffer that it can store 17 shots in RAW mode and at least 75 in top quality JPEG mode. For people who like motorsport or, like me, are big fans of the Red Arrows, this will make catching the two planes as they cross at break-neck speed dead easy! The combination of faster AF and an fps level that will suit even professional sports photographers - at least the ones who don't want to spend thousands on a 1Ds Mk III anyway!

How does it feel?

It feels very nice indeed, definitely better than the 20D. Although the specs show it to be about 30gms (just over an ounce) heavier than the 30D, it doesn't feel it at all. I have tried it with all my lenses (17-40mm, 28-70mm, 100-400mm, 50mm, 300mm and 100mm macro) and it feels better balanced in all cases. It IS still a fairly heavy camera so I must say I have large hands and long fingers (pianists hands!) so a person with small hands might not find it as comfortable as I do.

The eyepiece is 22mm instead of 20mm. Some people have said it is better, I can't honestly say I notice a lot of difference. However, it now shows about 95% field view which is good. The Live View shows a full 100%, exactly what the sensor sees.

The layout of the buttons is ok, moved around to make room for the large screen. Apart from the Menu button (top left of rear) the buttons are all along the bottom of the screen. One extra button on that row is the Style button. Press this and you get instant access to the various styles available: standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful, monochrome and 3 user-definable styles. There is also a button next to the menu button to be used when connecting the camera to a printer direct. This contains the usual options including cropping but it also has a useful extra option to remove tilt in a picture. I don't use direct printing very often so not something that bothers me much but some will find it useful.

Memory Card slot:

The memory card slot is still compact flash and still in the same place. However, one very useful change: if you have shot a large number of shots that will take a while to copy across from the buffer and then open the door too early, it will simply warn you but carry on copying them. On the 20 and 30D, opening the door leads to loss if any unwritten pictures. Apparently the new door also has better weather sealing. I haven't tested this but I'll happily welcome it.

Motorised bits quieten things down...

One thing very noticeable is the difference in noise level. It is considerably quieter than the 20D and this is down to the new motorised mirror and shutter. Instead of a spring-loaded mirror system, it is motorised and thus damped which makes a big difference. The flash flip-up is also motorised and damped making it much less of a 'clunk' than on my 20D. All in all, it will be much less obtrusive at events where you don't want to interfere. Weddings will be a much quieter affair!

Auto ISO

This is very useful as it will happily choose whatever ISO setting is most appropriate for the circumstances. The ISO setting is also shown now in the viewfinder which is very helpful. As with all the other settings, you now have three options of where to see it: viewfinder, top LCD ot the rear LCD screen. This camera will be easy for anyone to get to grips with.

I have not had chance to check all the software that comes with it but will try and given update in a few days when I have had chance to do that. I wanted to get my first impressions up and readable quickly for anyone considering buying this camera.

One thing is for certain: if you are disappointed with this camera then you must be the most demanding photographer around! It isn't a 1Ds Mk III but then it is a sixth of the price of one of those so it is a bit silly comparing with any xD series camera. All i can say is that as a photographer with 37 years experience and who has done professional work for quite a few years, this camera is easily the best I have ever used and am absolutely delighted with it. I think you will be too.

I hope this review is helpful to you but please do feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know further. I'll be happy to answer questions on here or in PM.

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Pixalo Crew

Registered: July 2005
Posts: 18309
Review Date: Tue July 8, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: 570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Bangs for buck, Live View
Cons: Auto ISO starts at ISO400 in AV mode

I bought 2 40D's to replace my Nikon D200's. I shared my thoughts on pro's & con's here :- http://www.pixalo.com/community/gene...tml#post215713

Overall I have to say the 40D with the 100 cashback, was an absolute steal for the money

With only a few hours experience of the 40D, I was 2nd shooter at a wedding at the weekend. The light was fluctuating wildly, so ISO, aperture etc had to be changed at very short notice. I managed it, which goes to show how intutive the controls are on the 40D.

I will miss some of the extra features of the Nikon D200, but at the price point the 40D delivers an excellent result.

I would have given the camera 9 at the full price, but with cashback it creeps up to a 10
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