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Canon EOS 40D Review

October 2007 | By Phil Askey

Review based on a production Canon EOS 40D

The EOS 40D becomes the sixth Canon 'prosumer' digital SLR, a line which started back in 2000 with the EOS D30, and how far we've come. It's been eighteen months since the EOS 30D and although on the surface the 40D looks like a fairly subtle upgrade there's a lot that makes this an even better camera. Of course we expect a step up in megapixels, and so the 40D comes with a ten million pixel CMOS sensor with the same sort of dust reduction as the EOS 400D, an ultrasonic platform which shakes the low pass filter. Other improvements bring the EOS 40D closer into line with the EOS-1D series, these include a move to the same page-by-page menu system, both RAW and sRAW (2.5 MP), 14-bit A/D converter and 14-bit RAW, cross-type AF points for F5.6 or faster lenses, a larger and brighter viewfinder, interchangeable focusing screens, a larger LCD monitor (3.0") and faster continuous shooting (6.5 fps).

Model line history

Effective pixels
Auto focus
Continuous (JPEG) LCD monitor
EOS D30 Apr 2000 3.1 mp 3 point 3.0 fps, 3 frames 1.8"
EOS D60 Feb 2002 6.3 mp 3 point 3.3 fps, 8 frames 1.8"
EOS 10D Feb 2003 6.3 mp 7 point 3.3 fps, 9 frames 1.8"
EOS 20D Aug 2004 8.2 mp 9 point 5.0 fps, 23 frames 1.8"
EOS 30D Feb 2006 8.2 mp 9 point 5.0 / 3.0 fps, 30 frames 2.5"
EOS 40D Aug 2007 10.1 mp 9 point 6.5 / 3.0 fps, 75 frames 3.0" (Live view)

Canon EOS 40D vs. EOS 30D feature and specification differences

Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 30D
Canon EOS 30D
Weatherproof Battery door and storage compartment No
Sensor • 10.1 million effective pixels
• 5.7 µm pixel pitch
• 8.2 million effective pixels
• 6.4 µm pixel pitch
A/D converter 14-bit 12-bit
Image sizes • 3888 x 2592
• 2816 x 1880
• 1936 x 1288
• 3504 x 2336
• 2544 x 1696
• 1728 x 1152
RAW files • CR2 format, 14-bit
• RAW full resolution
• sRAW (2.5 MP)
CR2 format, 12-bit
RAW full resolution
Image processor DIGIC III DIGIC II
Dust reduction High speed vibration of filter None
Auto focus • 9-point TTL CMOS sensor
• Points cross-type for F5.6 or faster lens
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster
9-point TTL CMOS sensor
Metering range 0.0 to 20 EV 1.0 to 20 EV
Spot metering Approx. 3.8% at center Approx. 3.5% at center
Auto ISO ISO 400 to 800 / 100 to 800 depending on exposure mode ISO 100 to 400
Kelvin WB 2500 - 10000 K in 100 K steps 2800 - 10000 K in 100 K steps
Viewfinder • 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.95x
• Eyepoint: 22 mm
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.90x
• Eyepoint: 20 mm
Focusing screen • Interchangeable precision matte
• Two other screens available
• Fixed precision matte
Viewfinder info Now includes ISO sensitivity, B&W icon  
LCD monitor • 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 2.5 " TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
LCD Live View Yes, including mirror-drop AF No
Main LCD settings display When changing settings such as AF mode or White Balance No
Tilt correction Yes No
Opening CF door Warning message shown Power down, loses images
Mirror lock-up Single or multiple exposures Single exposures
Mirror mechanism Motor up / down, quieter, faster Spring up / motor down
Playback modes Exposure line at top in single image view No exposure in single image view
User modes Three custom user modes on mode dial No user modes
High-speed continuous • 6.5 fps
• Up to 75 JPEG Large/Fine images
• 5.0 fps
• Up to 30 JPEG Large/Fine images
Portrait grip WFT-E3/E3A, BP-E2N, BP-E2 BP-E2
Wireless connectivity • WFT-E3/E3A
• Integrates as vertical hand grip
• WFT-E1/E1A
• No grip
Menu UI Same as EOS-1D series Same as previous xxD series
Menu languages 18 15
Custom functions 24 19
AF-ON button Rear 'under thumb' None
Rear buttons • Direct print
• Menu
• Play
• Erase
• Jump
• Info
• Picture Style
• Direct print
• Menu
• Info
• Jump
• Play
• Erase
Top right buttons • Lamp
• Metering / WB
• AF / Drive
• ISO / Flash comp.
• Lamp
• AF / WB
• Drive / ISO
• Metering / Flash comp.
Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in) 144 x 106 x 74 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
Weight • No battery: 740 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 822 g (1.8 lb)
• No battery: 706 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 785 g (1.7 lb

EOS Integrated Cleaning System video

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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Total comments: 2

Very very sad because though the 40D isn't missing any feature in particular--though I could make a case for mechanical image stabilization--one feature I'd really like to see trickle down from the 1D series, and which I think makes a lot of sense in a camera of this class, is the ability to define acceptable ranges for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity when shooting in one of the exposure-priority modes.


the new version looks better in the statistics but for my needs the EOS 30D is sufficient. Regards

Total comments: 2