The EOS 40D gets a new viewfinder which has a higher magnification than that of the EOS 20D/30D (up to 0.95x compared to 0.90x), although in spec terms this is a subtle increase the viewfinder view is noticeably larger and brighter and still doesn't suffer any distortion or corner softness. As with previous models the eyepiece rubber is removable allowing for the eyepiece cover or different eyepieces / angled finders to be fitted.

Focusing screens

Another significant change is that the EOS 40D now gets interchangable focusing screens:

  • Ef-A Standard Precision Matte
      - the supplied focusing screen, bright and with a normal matte
  • Ef-D Precision Matte with grid
      - a more matte finish easier manual focusing also includes a grid pattern
  • Ef-S Super Precision Matte
      - even more matte but obviously slightly darker, optimized for F2.8 and faster lenses
Focusing screen as supplied with installation arm The range of EOS 40D focusing screens

Viewfinder view

At first glance the view provided through the viewfinder hasn't changed that much, we still have the spot metering circle (about 3.5% of the frame) and nine AF points. The most significant and appreciated change is the addition of a permanent ISO display on the status bar. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted briefly when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not at all if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the selected AF point blinks just once and then tracks AF.

1 AE lock / AEB in-progress 8 Exposure level indicator / compensation
2 Flash ready / FE lock warning 9 Monochrome shooting
3 High-speed sync (FP flash) 10 ISO speed indicator
4 FE lock / FEB in-progress 11 ISO speed
5 Flash exposure compensation 12 White balance correction / WB bracket
6 Shutter speed / status indication 13 Maximum frames in a burst
7 Aperture / status indication 14 Focus confirmation

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the EOS 40D is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip- locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 40D is supplied with the BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack which provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V (10.3 Wh). There's a tiny door on the inside edge of the hand grip where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

As with previous EOS x0D SLRs the 40D is supplied with the CB-5L battery charger, it's relatively small and lightweight and easy to pack for travel. Charge time is around 90 minutes and the LED on the top of the charger indicates charge progress.

WFT-E3/E3A Wireless Battery Grip (optional)

The EOS 40D supports no less than three different battery grips, the BG-E2 (same as the EOS 20D & 30D), the new BG-E2N which is almost the same but has rubber seals around the battery compartment door and finally the new WFT-E3/E3A wireless battery grip. The one thing the WFT-E3/E3A doesn't do is provide any extra power to the camera, as you can see it's a different design to the BG-E2 series as it doesn't have the dummy battery stalk, instead the camera battery stays in the camera and the grip simply attaches to the bottom of the camera (and communicates through a new connector).

With the WFT-E3/E3A you can shoot wirlessly (802.11b/g) direct to FTP servers as well as have two-way communication over PTP and HTTP. In HTTP mode you can effectively remote control the camera, see a live view, change settings and take shots. The USB port can be used to store directly to external USB hard disks (although only small flash devices can be powered by the grip) or provide GPS data from USB GPS devices.

CompactFlash Compartment

The CompactFlash compartment on the EOS 40D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. The CF activity light is to the bottom right of the quick control dial. The EOS 40D supports both Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards and cards greater than 2 GB in capacity (FAT32) although doesn't support the newer super-high-speed UDMA standard.

The same old design flaw Fixed!

For the last six or so years I've been complaining about a design flaw which meant that buffered images were lost of you opened the CF door during a write process, somethingwhich had been addressed in the PowerShot G series several years ago. Finally we the same in a Canon DSLR, if you open the door during a write process the camera simply displays an animated warning on the LCD monitor along with a countdown and warning beep (if beeps are enabled).


Just like the EOS 30D all of the 40D's connectors are on the left side of the camera behind rubber covers, however the arrangement of the covers and the layout has changed. There are now effectively two columns of connectors each with its own cover. On the left we have PC sync and the remote terminal (N3), on the right video-out and USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed).