Canon EOS 40D Digital SLRs

Canon EOS 40D Digital SLRs 

DESCRIPTION

Canon EOS 40D has a 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, new auto focus system, sensitivity to ISO 3200, a new 3-inch LCD, and a live view mode.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 29  
[Nov 23, 2011]
maplestreet
Intermediate

Strength:

-Solid build, large magnesium frame body. Feels very natural in hands.

-6.5fps burst mode is terrific for sporting events.

-Firmware interface is easy to navigate and understand.

-Custom Settings allow unique possibilities that go beyond what comes out of the box.

-3.0in LCD screen is bright and clear. Allows you to zoom in and out of image previews.


Weakness:

-No video. I knew this when I bought the camera, but there are still many times where I wish I could flip this to video mode and capture live action. If this is even remotely important to you, you will miss this feature. However I think it is a blessing in disguise to those new to DSLR's because shooting video is an entirely different animal than shooting still's so in a way I am glad the 40D forced me to focus on one thing at a time.

-Limited ISO. With the latest DSLR's going into 5 and 6 digit ISO's, you might find yourself with a bit of ISO envy, but this camera still performs well enough in low light situations if you have fast glass.

-Heavy. A blessing and a curse. As stated above under "Strengths" this camera has a magnesium frame that feels solid and well built, but it is also heavy and can become a load when combined with heavier lenses.

The Canon EOS 40D was introduced in 2007 as a mid-level DSLR to replace the 30D. It has a 10.1MP APS-C sensor with 1600iso (expandable to 3200) and up to 6.5fps burst mode.

Yes this camera is getting up there in age, but as I learned it can be the perfect entry level camera for those who are considering the move from Point and Shoot to DSLR. That is where I was when I purchased this camera. I had basic photography knowledge but most of the features on DSLR's were still a mystery. That didn't stop me from hitting the ground running with the 40D. The age of this camera also enables you to find very good deals out there on used or refurbished bodies. You can probably pick up some of the newer models such as the T3i for a similar price, but those bodies don’t have the solid feel of the 40D body.

As soon as you pick this camera up you will like it. The magnesium frame has good weight and a solid feel in your hands. The body is wrapped in a rubber texture that provides all the grip you need and the controls are all very accessible to your thumbs and fingers without stretching or bending. After just a few weeks of shooting I was able to adjust many settings while still looking through the viewfinder. The shutter gives that delightful "click" that you expect from a DSLR and it will bring a satisfied smile to your face the first time you hear it. A much different feeling than the generic sounds most P&S cameras make.

Besides your basic AUTO shooting mode (where ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance and auto-focus are all selected for you) the 40D includes many of the popular features you would expect from Canon DSLR's. There are several creative zones such as portrait, landscape, sports, and of course your standard program (P), aperture priority (Av), shutter speed priority (Tv) and full manual (M) modes. So this camera can grow with you as your proficiency progresses.

A great feature of this camera is the Custom Feature CF settings that are available. I have been shooting with the 40D for almost a year now and I am still learning more about its features every time I go out to shoot. Every time I think I have pushed this body to the limit, I discover a setting that allows me to take it further. For example the standard ISO is limited to 1600 but can be expanded to 3200 in CF. The camera actually performs well at these ISO's. There isn't as much noise as one might expect from a 5 year old camera.

The 9 AF points can be selected individually or used all together and the camera will select the focus point for you. This is useful especially when shooting wildlife where you need to focus on the subject through branches and leaves. There are several Auto Focus modes to choose from (One shot for stills, AI Servo for moving objects, AI Focus will switch between the two modes automatically).

All in all this is a solid camera with a healthy set of features and customizable options that can help even the most novice user dive into the world of DSLR's and begin taking fantastic photo's immediately.

Similar Products Used:

I recently upgraded to the Canon 7D and I expected it to leave my 40D in the dust. The difference is not as extreme as one might think. The video mode is fantastic on the 7D and you do have the higher resolution and ISO, but all things being equal the 40D can still hold it's own against newer models.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 02, 2010]
sarahsmile
Expert

Strength:

speed
photo resolution

Weakness:

FPS could be better....am looking forward to getting the 7D for the improved FPS!

the 40D is a great, solid camera. I use the hand grip for the extra battery life. With 2 batteries in the grip, I can shoot more than 4x as long as with just 1 battery. I also use a Quantum Compact Turbo battery to boost my flash. All these accessories make the camera unit very heavy, but the extra battery life is essential.

The quality of the photos are great. I have also shot in very low light situations with my 17-55mm f2.8 lens and have been successful without a flash...just holding the camera steady! I know tripods are better for these kinds of situations, but I can't carry a tripod wherever I go.

The larger LCD screen is awesome to have for quick reviews. I recently picked up a friend's 10D and was surprised at how small the LCD screen is.

The 40D has a MUCH faster startup time and image processing time.

Customer Service

fantastic.
Had a mirror lockup issue.
sent it to a repair center and received it back within 2 weeks.

Similar Products Used:

10D, 30D

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 03, 2010]
Richard Hannam
Professional

Strength:

- beautifully made
- not too big or heavy
- pretty fast
- highlight tone priority
- high quality images
- generally better than its successors

Weakness:

- LCD screen resolution
- slightly fiddly operation

I bought a second hand model to use in conjunction with my 450D. It has a very fast frame rate which is useful for sports & produces excellent images. It is pretty easy to use but the 450D does show how much progress Canon have made on the usability front in a short space of time.

Difficult to fault this camera. It is used by many professionals & could become a classic in the Canon range. I do not believe the 50D is as good as the sensor on the 40 doesn't have to work so hard to manage the smaller number of megapixels.

I don't find noise a problem as some others have. The noise reduction algorithm seems to be effective when applied alongside correct techniques & quality glass.

Now that the 40 is no longer made, there are great opportunities to pick up mint models second hand at bargain prices. The price I paid included a battery grip & other extras. Get one I say!

Customer Service

Not yet used

Similar Products Used:

Canon 450D

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 13, 2010]
paulhailes
Intermediate

Strength:

Good sturdy build, has good weight, easy to navigate menus,

Weakness:

Lots of noise at high ISO

Great camera for the aspiring photographer.

Similar Products Used:

Rebel XTi

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Dec 06, 2009]
Anthony Reiss
Professional

Strength:

Ergonomically stable and great with big hands.
Controls are not bunched up but spread out and easy to fiddle.

Weakness:

Too soon replaced by the 50D for a mere few tweeks.
Canon should have called the 50D the 40D Mark II instead...

Great menu system specially the Green Star menu.
The Green Star menu is a default menu you can program with your favorite menus!
Pressing the Menu button will bring up all your favorite Menus you have chosen to file under the Green Star!
Way cool!

Customer Service

Rare

Similar Products Used:

Canons and Nikons

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 21, 2009]
jpfromvictoriabc
Intermediate

I really noticed the difference in this camera over my former Digital Rebel - immediately. It's faster, takes better images (with the same lenses) battery life is excellent, feels better to grip/more substantial, and has a ton of features for the money. If you're moving from beginner to enthusiast or intermediate photographer, this is a great choice.

Similar Products Used:

Digital Rebel

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 19, 2009]
Enche Tjin
Intermediate

Strength:

Tough body, fast continuous speed, good handling and control, big lcd screen 3"

Weakness:

Auto ISO, low res lcd screen

I have been using Canon 40D for two years. It is my second camera (my first camera is Pentax k100). It is big, solid and tough. I thought Pentax K100d is quite big, but it is nothing compare to this 40D. The grip is very ergonomic. I feel confidence handling it.

Body and control
The built quality of Canon 40D is excellent. It is made from magnesium alloy body. It is weather seal as well. It is made to withstand plenty of abuse. I dropped the camera once to the ground, and it still performs like new. I think entry level camera such as Rebel XSi would not able to withstand it.

Canon 40D has many buttons and two main dials. The first dial is thumb dial, located near shutter button. The second one is the big round dial located at the back of the camera. I especially like the round dial. I usually change aperture, view photo, choose menu using this dial. To access live view mode, I simply push the button in the center of the dial.

ISO and Auto ISO
The ISO range starts from 100 to 3200. The auto ISO range is from 100 to 800. I hope it is 100 to 1600. 40D handles noise very well up to 800. You will see more noise creeping in at 1600. At ISO 3200, the image quality is unacceptable. The Auto ISO is the biggest disappointment for me. It tends to stick at ISO 400 most of the time.

LCD Screens
Canon 40D has two LCD screens, the main / back screen and top LCD screen. The top LCD screen is clear in the dim light condition such as indoor or evening, but not clear in the bright daylight. To solve this problem, you can use accessory called Hoodman. The top LCD screens is helpful to check out camera settings at any time and any circumstances. It has green light lcd that could be turned on if necessary.

Auto Focus System
Canon 40D has 11 AF points, distributed in diamond formation. The speed of AF will depends on the lens. Lens that have USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) is generally perform faster than non-USM, but some lenses like Canon 85mm f/1.2 USM AF are quite slow because of the complicated lens elements. Some lenses are also better in tracking subject than other.

Favorite features
There is a feature called Highlight tone priority. I think it is a great feature because it protects the highlight from over exposure. It is great to use for portraits, wedding, landscape and so on.

The shutter has a distinctive noise. It sounds very professional. This camera can also shoot up to 6.5 fps which is great features to capture fast moving object.

Competition
Because this camera is more than two years old now, it has many cameras that match or surpass this camera in term of its specifications. For example Canon 50D which has high-res LCD screen, higher image resolution and better Auto ISO. Nikon D300 is superior regarding AF system. It has 51 points and better tracking system.

There is also Nikon D90 which has hi-res 3 inch lcd screen, cleaner image in high ISO speed but slower continuous speed and worse built quality. Read controversy regarding Nikon D90 vs Canon 40D.

Conclusion
This is a very good camera suitable for either professional or amateur photographer. The size might be a bit too big for casual shooters, but after a while you might use to it. The image quality with the kit lens is good, but I recommend to get a higher quality lens to get maximum quality. Even it is more than two years old now, this camera is still capable and robust for you if you can live with its limitation (hint: Auto ISO and LCD screen). Check out my website www.radiantlite.com for more reviews.

Similar Products Used:

Nikon D90, D700, Canon XSi/450D, Pentax K100

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[May 19, 2009]
dagerm
Expert

Strength:

Inherits most of the features from a EOS1 to a bargain price. Solid camera house build of metal and sealed. 3 inch screen easy to use, mostly for accurate colour tones/temperature. As a photographer you have a wealth of configuration options easily accesible. Very good dynamic range and correct noise reduction in mid-range tones.

Weakness:

The 3 inch screen is only 240.000 dpi (versus 50D has VGA mode with 900.000), but using it mostly for tonal/temperature check it is OK. On/off switch is on the back, it could be around the shutter. At the other hand when it's on it's actually in standby mode all the time, so it's quick anyway.

Upgraded to 40D from my Canon 350D from 2005. I choose not to buy the 50D because picture quality is actually very similiar, despite 10mp versus 15mp.
Finally a good handgrip, bigger and brighter viewer, extensive controls and a intuitive meny system. I lover picture styles. Easy to chage settings. Very quick autofocus and burst rate - responsive.

Similar Products Used:

My 350D produces good images as well, but it's now my backup camera house.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 03, 2009]
Paul Wind
Professional

Strength:

6.5 fps... 3 custom modes... options..... features....

Weakness:

I wish I could have bought 2!

Incredible product with a price that beats the competition.

Similar Products Used:

Canon 400

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 28, 2008]
Lthlwpn1979
Intermediate

Strength:

Image quality
Feels good to hand-hold
Durability
3" view monitor
Easy controls and menu
Adjustible Picture Styles
Frame rate !!1!
Battery pack adds shutter, grip, and LONG battery life

Weakness:

Can't shoot IR
Had to buy a new cable release
Bought 2 months before price drop due to 50D intro (mute point)
Have to read through manual to get full effect of software (also a mute point)

This is an absolutely fabulous camera! I can not express through a keyboard how glad I am to buy this puppy. The image quality is fantastic, almost enough to get me to sell my film cameras (almost). With a sharp lens the RAW images are fantastic, and even after converting to JPEGs are almost as fantastic. I never understood, until this camera, what the big deal was about enlarging pics to 100%.

The dial controls and menu are easy to navigate, it just took some time reading through the manual to see what was available.

With the metal casing, it's durable. I was filming some bridges in Madison County when I slipped on some rocks in a creek bed and fell backwards, with my precious 40D hitting a rock. The result, some light cosmetic damage to the camera, and some laughs from observers. Camera works just fine, photographer needs some work.

The 3" monitor is a great upgrade from the D-Rebels I've borrowed from friends.

The Picture Styles is a great feature, although somewhat puzzling. From what I can tell, three of them provide the same settings. But they are adjustible, and I highly recommend increasing the sharpness on all of them.

6.5 frames a second, that's nice. When shooting wild bears it's beneficial to have a fast lens and camera that can compliment it. This is where your memory card's processing speed becomes more of a factor . Unless you're machine-gunning large numbers RAW photos, the Ultra II CF cards will work fine and are cheap.

To get additional info for operations, pick up a copy of "Magic Lantern Guides Canon EOS 40D" There's several tips in there that increase your camera's abilties.

Overall, I wish I could give this camera a 4.5, but I won't. I can't shoot IR without modifying the sensor (thus voiding the warranty), I had to get a new cable release that's oversized and also a new battery pack. But the battery pack is sweet because two of the lithium batteries last me all day. In other words, my complaints are very small.

Customer Service

Hope I won't need it any time soon

Firmware update process is a bit frustrating, had to buy a card reader, can't just use a USB cable like on everything else.

Similar Products Used:

Canon Digital Rebel XT

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 29  

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