Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera – Product Description:
Building on the success of Canon’s perennially popular prosumer EOS 20D and 30D models, the EOS 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 EOS 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.
|Product Features :
Canon EOS 40D 10.1MP Digital SLR Camera – Review:
DETAILED REVIEW OF THE 40D – I LOVE MY CANON 40D!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have divided this review into two sections. The first is a brief summary of how I feel about the camera. The second is a detailed comparison of the 30D and 40D based on my experiences with both cameras. After reading this section you will see why I gave this camera a 5 star rating. I loved my 30D but the 40D simply blows it away.
I have added a third section to discuss general guidelines for determining if this is the right camera for you.
In this section I discuss my thoughts about how the new Canon Rebel XSi might impact your buy/upgrade decision.
In less than a couple of months I have gone from a S3 to a S5 to a 30D and I just got my 40D earlier on today. Wow! What a fantastic camera! 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.
DETAILED REVIEW OF THE CANON EOS 40D:
The first thing that stood out is the larger, 3 inch, LCD screen. This makes reading the menus and changing settings a lot easier. Canon did not stop there. When I used the 30D I really wished reading the LCD screen was a lot easier when I was shooting outdoors in bright sunlight. When I did a shot I would sometimes have to quickly find a shaded area to view the screen. I am happy to say that Canon did address this issue as well. It is now a lot easier to read the screen in bright sunlight.
There are 2 new buttons on the outside that you can use to quickly access settings rather than wasting time going through the menu.
This allows you to quickly review your shooting information for an image – ISO speed, Picture Style and Metering Mode etc. There are two things that I really like here:
1. Highlight Alerts
When this feature is enabled, if there any overexposed areas in the image they will blink when the shooting information is displayed.
2. AF Point Display
When this feature is enabled, you will see the AF point(s) that achieved focus displayed in red.
There is another use of the Info button that I really like. It can be used to set the shooting information right there on the LCD screen. I prefer this option of setting shooting information as the names of the various icons are also displayed along with the icons. I remember when I just started using my 30D that I would sometimes forget which icon was for Tungsten Light vs. White Fluorescent Light when I was setting the White Balance using the control panel. Now the name of each icon is clearly displayed as I scroll through them on the LCD screen.
- Picture Style
I really love this feature. There are times when I make a standard shot and then need to make a landscape shot. Then I would need to switch back to a standard shot. I can now do this really quickly without having to wade through the menu.
There is a new Auto Focus (AF-ON) button. Assuming that you hold the camera in a conventional way, this new button will be just below your thumb. It allows you to auto focus independently of pressing the shutter button. I found this feature really useful when making continuous shots of a trainer riding on the belly of Lolita the killer whale at Miami Seaquarium. I was able to maintain continuous focus right throughout the shots.
There are 3 new positions on the mode dial – C1, C2 and C3. You can register most of the current camera settings under them. Believe it or not but this includes not just the current shooting mode but even the menus and custom function settings. I cannot express enough what a time saver these new positions are to me. I find that I have to do different types of shots frequently so with my 30D I had to really change settings frequently. I can now save 3 of the settings that I use most often and have instant access to them. I also like the fact that I still have the option of making changes even after selecting one of these positions. For example, if my C1 was saved with an ISO speed of 400 I am not restricted to that ISO when I select C1. If I find that I only need an ISO speed of 320 I can make that change just as normal.
One feature that has been removed is the ability to use the Delete button to delete all images. I really liked this feature as there were times I wanted to delete all the images and it was more convenient to use the Delete button rather than having to go through the menu. However, I think it might have been removed because it was rather easy for someone to inadvertently erase all the images when they really wanted to erase the currently selected image.
- Start Up and Power Off
When you turn the camera on or off you can’t help noticing the “Sensor Cleaning” message. This was one feature that I really eagerly anticipated. Buying a camera at this price plus quality lens represents a substantial investment. It is really reassuring to know that the camera has dust reduction built into it. What I like further is the fact that if I need to do a quick shot at start up, as soon as I press the shutter button half way to focus, the self cleaning operation is suspended. I also have the ability to turn this option off for start up and power off and run it manually whenever I feel like. I also have the added comfort of knowing that if the self cleaning sensor unit does not get rid of all the dust, I can always append the Dust Delete Data to images and then use Digital Photo Professional (one of the provided software) to remove the dust spots. At first I was a little concerned about the impact on file sizes as a result of appending the dust delete data. It is important to understand that once the dust delete data is obtained it is attached to every image that is captured after that so I was really concerned about the impact of increased file sizes. However, it turns out that this data is so small that its impact on file sizes is really negligible.
When I first put my eye to the optical viewfinder I could immediately see the benefit of Canon increasing the magnification from 0.90x to 0.95x – images are much clearer and brighter and of course, it is also easier to read the various settings. Another welcome change is the displaying of ISO right there in the viewfinder. I really love this. I never liked having to move from the viewfinder to the control panel just to see what the ISO was. Another small change in the viewfinder is the displaying of a warning (B/W icon) when you are shooting in black and white.
This camera focuses really fast and accurately. At the Miami Seaquarium I had to do several quick shots of dolphins doing jumps. The problem here is that you never quite know from which direction they will be starting. Despite this I never missed a shot. The 40D has the same nine focus points as the 30D. The increase in speed and accuracy is as a result of the points on the 40D being cross-type. This means that they are sensitive to both horizontal and vertical detail when shooting with lenses of F5.6 or faster. In addition, if you are using a lens of F2.8 or faster the center point is twice as sensitive as any other point.
If you want to increase the focusing speed and accuracy even more you can take advantage of the two optional interchangeable focusing screens for the 40D – the Precision Matte with Grid (Ef-D) and Super Precision Matte (Ef-S). The first optional screen is pretty much the standard included screen, with a grid that makes it easier to align vertical or horizontal lines when you are composing the image. The second screen is optimized for f/2.8 and faster lenses and makes it easier to focus manually with these lenses. However, if you are using a lens that is not f/2.8 or faster the viewfinder will look darker than with the standard screen.
Something that really stood out with the very first shot from this camera was the shorter blackout time and the quieter, more professional, shutter release sound. The 30D used a spring to lift the mirror while the 40D uses a motor in both directions which means that the mirror mechanism is both quicker and quieter.
At first I did not think much of the increase from 5 to 6.5fps for continuous shooting. However, when you couple this with the fact that the buffer can now hold twice the images that the 30D did you get some amazing results when doing continuous shooting. I have several action shots from the Miami Seaquarium with trainers riding dolphins and the killer whale and with the dolphins and whale pushing up trainers in the air. Trust me – they are awesome. It is fantastic that a non-professional can find a reasonable priced camera that takes such awesome action shots.
I am really happy that Canon decided to add Live View Mode shooting. I really liked that mode on the S5 point-and-shoot camera. I never used the optical viewfinder on that camera. I definitely will use the viewfinder most of the times on my 40D but I know there will be situations where it is more convenient to use Live View. Also, sometimes I just don’t feel like putting my eye to the viewfinder. Well, I thoroughly tested Live View Mode shooting and, no surprise here, it works just as well as it did on my S5. You can even use auto focus while in Live View Mode. The new AF-ON button can be used for this. You can set just about every shooting function, such as ISO speed and drive mode, while in live view mode. The only thing you cannot change is the metering mode. There are two silent (quiet) modes to go along with Live View. Pay attention to the high temperature warning when shooting in this mode.