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Compared to...

As with the majority of our studio image quality comparisons we selected the nearest competition by category, specification, price and feature set. We would liked to have compared the EOS 40D to the D300 but at the time of publication of this review a production D300 was not available. Hence we had to pick the next nearest model, the soon to be replaced D200. Finally we opted for the K10D as a great value-for-money alternative, some $400 cheaper than the EOS 40D but overflowing with features (including in-body Image Stabilization).

Camera Body only price Sensor
(effective pixels)
Canon EOS 40D $1300 10.1 MP CMOS; 22.2 x 14.8 mm (1.6x crop)
Nikon D200 $1500 10.2 MP CCD; 23.6 x 15.8 mm (1.5x crop)
Pentax K10D $900 10.2 MP CCD; 23.5 x 15.7 mm (1.5x crop)

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down, typically to F9 for 35 mm lenses. Here we have used the Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Nikon 50 mm F1.8 (it's sharper than the F1.4 at F9) and Pentax 50 mm F1.4.

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Canon EOS 40D vs. Canon EOS 30D

Camera settings:

  • Canon EOS 40D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with MLU)
  • Canon EOS 30D: Canon EF 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer (with MLU)
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EOS 30D
3,226 KB JPEG (3888 x 2592)
2,847 KB JPEG (3504 x 2336)

It made sense to start our comparison with how the new camera measured up to the camera it replaces. The step from the EOS 30D's eight megapixels to the EOS 40D's ten megapixels equates to just 384 more horizontal columns and 256 vertical rows. Not a huge 'leap' in resolution by anyone's standards and that's pretty clear from these crops. If anything the EOS 40D looks slightly less crisp 'per pixel' than the EOS 30D, although there are some identifiable areas of the image which are marginally better defined because of the increased pixel count. As we may expect thanks to Picture Style the tone and color responses between these two cameras is as good as identical.

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Total comments: 4

The EOS 40D’s kit options vary depending on your region. Europe and Australasia have the sensible choice of either the new EF-S 18-55mm IS or the popular EF-S 17-85mm IS USM, while America has the somewhat curious option of the EF 28-135mm IS USM.

1 upvote

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

1 upvote

Same here i have a 20d and 30d they do just fine.

Total comments: 4