The EOS 40D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk 15' which includes:
Canon ZoomBrowser EX 5.8 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editting, printing and e-mail. Allows RAW conversion via the RAW Image Task plug-in (version 2.7 provided). - Windows only.
Image Browser 5.8 - Mac OS X only. *
Canon EOS Utility 2.1 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA, also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting. *
* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.
As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the EOS 40D we had the supplied RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional as well as Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta.
JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
RIT - RAW Image Task 2.7
DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.1
ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta
Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As we would expect there is no difference between JPEG from the camera and RAW Image Task which appears to contain the exact same algorithms as the camera. This time around there's no discernable difference between JPEG, RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional. Adobe Camera RAW takes a slightly more conservative approach to color response and has a less contrasty tone curve.
Canon EOS 40D
Sharpness and Detail
Again RAW Image Task produced the exact same output as out-of-the-camera JPEG, the sharpest and most detailed image was from Digital Photo Professional closely followed by Adobe Camera RAW.
These crops demonstrate that more detail is available from Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW conversion of RAW files than can be obtained from JPEG or RAW Image Task. That said a lot of this detail could be described as 'false' (produced beyond Nyquist), although frankly the majority of the time this is useful as it improves the apperance of 'texture'.
JPEG from camera
RAW Image Task (RAW)
Digital Photo Professional (RAW)
Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta (RAW)
High ISO noise reduction
Both Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW have selectable noise reduction options, a full comparison of these can be found in our ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels section of this review.