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I bought this camera on ebay from the canon store. The package consisted the canon 40D and the Speedlite 580 flashgun.
The camera feels heavy and very comfortable in my big hands, unlike the Canon 450. The 3" LCD display is clear and crisp and can be viewed quite clearly even in bright sunlight.
With 10.1 CMOS sensor, the pictures are very clear and the camera seems to capture the lighting with quite a high level of accuracy.
The quick control dial which is positioned beside the LCD with Set button at the center is very convenient to use. I think that dial is quite ergonomic as well. Its functions change based on the mode users have selected.
The mode dial at the top left corner has quite a few modes available. I use the manual mode most of the time, but found the Auto mode quite handy. Since the camera can take very quick shots, switching to Auto mode in emergency can be quite useful. There are 3 custom settings that can be programmed based on users liking.
The view finder is very clear and provides information like the focus status, number of picture remaining, the aperture size and the shutter speed and the exposure compensation. All this information within the view finder helps is taking properly exposed pictures.
This camera has the live view function as well which means we can use the LCD to take pictures. This is quite a new functionality on any SLR camera.
The presence of the monochrome data display LCD at the top right corner is quite helpful when taking weird angle photos.
The camera comes with a Canon rechargeable battery with a charger included. The battery life is excellent.
Overall excellent kit if this is your first professional camera.
Sturdy, chunky and handy to use
Excellent photo processing speed
Wide variety of lenses available to choose from
Live view option
Excellent battery life
Big LCD with very good contrast in bright light conditions
Accepts only compact flash card
Some times fails to focus under bright light condition
Only 10.1 MP for a professional camera. Would have liked more.
The Canon EOS 40D is one a many in the EOS family so it has a lot of competition from others in its own range. This camera is a semi-pro 10 megapixel digital SLR that's packs lots of features into its neat shell. One of the great features this camera has is a self cleaning mirror. When you turn the camera on or off it self cleans and it only takes a few seconds.
The first time I used the camera after I got it was at a wedding and I was not to official photographer but just taking pictures to get used to all the new features I had on this camera. A week later I found out the official pictures were not very good and they were considering going back to the church to have the photos redone. That was until they saw mine and they were over the moon with the quality of the pictures. I even did rapid shooting and they came out great.
The camera works excellent as a semi-pro camera but can be used buy anyone who has never used an SLR before. Its waterproof up to a certain point so if you're caught out in a heavy storm it the rain won't destroy the camera.
There are many places to buy memory cards from and a 2gig card should be good enough for most people on holiday. The lenses are on the expensive side but if you're not bothered about buying new then eBay is a great place to buy second hand lenses from.
I have owned the Canon 40D for 2 years and I love it. I was initially torn between a 400D and a 40D but went for the 40D because the parts are made with metal as opposed to plastic and it has more functionality than the 400D. If you are looking for a camera that is a serious piece of kit that also allows you to experiment with creativity this is an excellent camera.
It is kind of heavy but I think the technical capabilities of the machine outweighs this. I have had one malfunction with it, at one point an error message appeared on the screen regarding the shutter but after sending it back to Canon it works like a dream and they treated it very well.
If you are a keen photographer looking for a more serious DSLR this is the perfect camera to start with and develop your skills.
< Introduction >
After several years of using bridge cameras and the like, I thought it was time to move up to a DSLR, after using canon cameras for most of the time in the past, I looked at what was on offer from them, at first I considered the EOS 400 but I decided to go for the newly released and better spec EOS 40D instead, I have used Canon 35mm Film SLR cameras in the past, so I thought I knew what I was in for, but the modern DSLR's are a different beast altogether, and I was pleasantly surprised at what this camera was capable of, it is light years away from my original Zenith camera, and even way ahead of my first Canon SLR which was an advanced and well specified camera in its time.
The Canon EOS 40D was first announced in the autumn of 2007, this camera has improved on an already impressive line of EOS cameras, ranging from the EOS D30 introduced in 2000 to the EOS 30D in 2006, Canon have since introduced the EOS 50D late in 2008, Canon have stressed that the EOS 50D is an additional model to the EOS 40D and not a replacement for it, and both models will continue to be produced. The EOS 50D is practically the same camera as the EOS 40D, differing only in pixel resolution, (15.1mp as opposed to 10.1mp) a couple of additional live view modes, higher LCD screen resolution, and a few cosmetic changes, and all accessories are interchangeable between the two.
The EOS 40D is a 10.1mp DSLR with an APS-C sized CMOS 22.2 x 14.8mm sensor, which means that all lenses that are used with this camera will have a crop factor of x1.6, and with its advanced features, it is aimed more at the advanced amateur or the semi-pro, (prosumer) rather than the entry level photographer, but it is intuitive enough to be used by all.
It has a magnesium alloy body, a built in flash, a hot shoe for external flashguns, interchangeable lenses, up to 6.5 fps continuous shooting, a 3" LCD screen, Both jpeg and RAW image recording with the option of jpeg + RAW simultaneous recording, it has twelve shooting modes plus an additional three user custom modes for extra flexibility, eighteen different languages are available for use in the camera menu system.
< What's in the box? >
Camera body, Canon EOS 40D DSLR
Wide strap EW-100DGR
Battery charger CB-5L
Battery pack BP-511A
Interface cable IFC-200U (USB camera to PC)
Video cable VC-100
Printed manual and guarantee
With lens kit
As above, but with canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens
This camera does not have any internal memory for storing pictures other than the buffer, which is only used as temporary storage as the camera writes data to the CF card.
This camera does not come supplied with a CF card (compact flash) as standard, though some retailers may add one as part of a bundle, so you will need to buy one separately before you can use this camera, it is compatible with the latest high capacity CF cards, I have a 16gb card in mine, which is big enough for most people, but I also carry a couple of spare 4gb cards just in case there is a problem with the main card or it gets full.
If you have already got some Canon EF or EF-S mount lenses, this camera can be bought as a body only option, otherwise it can be bought with a kit lens, usually it comes with the Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, This lens is quite good as far as kit lenses go, and is a good starting point for your system as it covers the most useful focal lengths from wide-angle to short telephoto, I will deal more with this lens in a separate in depth review of this lens in the near future.
This camera is compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S mount lenses, and many independent lens manufacturers make lenses with the canon lens mounts as well, which means there are a great number of lenses from extreme wide-angle to super-telephoto, that are available for this camera, which are suitable for any type of photography.
Many of Canon's own brand lenses have a very effective built in image stabilizer (denoted by the 'IS' in the lens specification), which is especially useful on telephoto lenses, which are more prone to camera shake, and a very efficient USM motor, which makes auto-focusing much quicker and virtually silent in use, auto-focus can be switched off via a slider switch on the lens.
Please note, this camera has the APS-C sized sensor which has a crop factor of x1.6, which means that any lens that you use with it will have an effective focal length of x1.6 of the actual focal length, so a 100mm lens when used with this camera will have an effective focal length of 160mm (35mm equivalent) just multiply the focal length of any lens you have by a factor of x1.6 to find its 35mm equivalent on this camera.
This camera uses the same menu type as the Canon pro EOS 1D series cameras, which is a vast improvement on previous cameras with their single long scrolling page menu's, on this camera the menu items are grouped into pages and all pages are on screen at once making them more accessible, the pages are colour coded according to the functions that they contain, for example, red for shooting, blue for playback, yellow for tools and camera settings etc.
These menu's are logically laid out and very easy to navigate, so you will get used to them in no time at all, they are accessed by pressing the menu button on the back of the camera, and the main menu is displayed on the LCD screen on the back of the camera, you then navigate the menus by either the main dial on top of the camera, or the quick control dial on the back, from here you can set all the camera functions, once settings have been made you can save them by pressing the set button on the back, pressing the menu button again will exit the menu, there is also another screen on the top plate of the camera which displays the current settings of the camera.
There are too many menu items to list here, but the printed manual (about the size of a small paperback with 195 pages) is excellent and takes you through all the menu items one by one.
There are more than enough modes on this camera to cover any photographic situations that you are likely to encounter; they range from point and shoot, to full manual exposure.
The different shooting modes on this camera can be set with the mode dial on top of the camera, there are twelve shooting modes plus three user setting modes, the dial is split into four zones.
First there is the 'basic zone', which contains the full auto mode, this is the cameras point and shoot mode where the camera sets everything for you and you have no control of the camera settings except for the shutter release button.
Next there is the 'image zone', which contains the scene modes where you set the camera for the type of picture you are taking, they are, portrait, landscape, close-up, sports, night portrait and flash off modes, these are all self-explanatory automatic modes in which the camera selects the best settings for the type of photo you are taking.
On the two zones above, the menu settings are limited as the camera controls the exposure.
Next comes the 'creative zone', which contains all the traditional SLR modes, these include: -
P. (Program) this is similar to full auto mode, but you can manually set certain parameters on the camera such as ISO, continuous shooting, white balance etc.
Tv. (Shutter priority) in this mode you set the desired shutter speed and the camera sets the appropriate lens aperture, this is useful for sports and moving subjects when you need a fast shutter speed to capture the action, you can also set a slow shutter speed to introduce motion blur and other effects into your pictures.
Av. (Aperture priority) in this mode you set the desired lens aperture and the camera sets the appropriate shutter speed, this is useful for close-up and portrait photography where you want to control the depth of field to determine what is, and what isn't in focus.
M. (Manual) this is the manual mode, where you take full control of all the camera functions, this is useful in awkward lighting conditions when the cameras meter may be fooled into setting the wrong exposure, it also allows for a lot of creativity when you want to override the camera to create different effects into your photos.
A-Dep. (Automatic depth of field) in this mode the camera detects your subject distance and the camera works out the exposure for you with the necessary depth of field to render all of your subject in focus, this is especially useful for portraits when you want to have a selective depth of field or close-ups where depth of field is very narrow, and can be difficult to get in focus, the camera will set the aperture to attain the best depth of field possible, although to be honest I normally use the aperture priority and do it myself.
And finally, there is the 'camera user settings zone', (shown as C1, C2 & C3 on the mode dial) this is where you can set the camera to your preferred shooting mode, menus, custom function settings etc. and save them for future use, this is a very handy function, saving you having to set the camera up for these settings every time you power the camera up, there are three separate custom user setting modes available to use at any one time.
< Other functions >
There is a live view function on this camera, this function is taken for granted by people with compact cameras, but it is not available on many DSLR's at present, this mode is especially useful when manually focusing and fine adjustments are necessary as in close-up photography, a tripod is recommended when in live view, it is not suitable for point and shoot photography and is not available in the basic zones.
The built in flash is adequate for most situations, but additional external flashguns are recommended for extreme wide-angle shots or for more distant subjects that need more power, the internal flash can also be used to fire slave flash units. The flash can be turned off when not required
This camera is compatible with all Canon EX speedlights.
The screen is a large 3" LCD screen, and has a 230,000-pixel resolution, not the highest screen resolution around, but it is bright and clear, easy to use, and works well, there is as second small monochrome LCD screen on the top of the camera, which displays all the current settings of the camera.
One problem with DSLR cameras is a build-up of dust on the Sensor as it is exposed to the elements when you change lenses and this can eventually cause a lowering of image quality, canon have got round this problem with their auto sensor cleaning unit which vibrates the sensor at high frequency to remove any dust, this operates at power up and power down of the camera.
The focal-plane shutter speeds range from 30 - 1/8000 sec. plus B, flash X synchronisation is at 1/250 sec.
It has all the usual settings that you would expect from a camera of this level, such as auto-bracketing, exposure compensation, four metering modes including spot metering, AE lock, interchangeable focusing screens, wireless connectivity and much more.
It comes supplied with a Battery pack BP-511A and mains charger, battery life is very good, (up to 1100 shots according to the manual) I always carry a spare charged up battery but I have never needed to use it as yet, the charger tells you when the battery is fully charged, the light blinks whilst it is charging, and is steady once it is fully charged, charging usually takes less than two hours (approx 100mins.)
This camera has a magnesium alloy body and is weather sealed but not waterproof, it would probably survive a light shower, it feels solid and well built in use, all controls operate smoothly and feel up to the job, lenses attach and detach smoothly and lock firmly into place, when gripped there is no give in the metal body, unlike some of the plastic bodied entry level cameras, and it is built to survive a few knocks. I have been using this camera since just after it was released and it has performed well without any problems whatsoever.
This camera handles very well, it is well balanced and has a bit of weight to it, I find that even with my big hands, it is easy to hold and all the controls are easy to use and are well positioned, with a long lens attached is still feels well balanced, that is because the weight of the body prevents it from becoming too front heavy with a big lens attached.
The viewfinder is bright and clear and with its dioptre adjustment makes it easy for spectacle wearers to see it clearly without their specs on, some camera settings are visible in the viewfinder but they do not intrude into the picture area when in normal shooting display.
Focusing is quick and silent, and very sharp even in low light (with Canon IS lenses)
As mentioned earlier the menus are easy to navigate, quick to set up, and make the handling and use of this camera much easier, all the shooting modes are ready to hand on their own dial so they can be set quickly without going into the menu.
< Picture quality >
The picture quality from this camera is impressive, noise is almost non-existent until you get to the highest ISO setting but even then you have to enlarge the picture quite a lot to spot it, ISO 100-1600 is available under normal shooting conditions, there is also a setting for ISO 3200 but you would not need to use that under normal conditions, and I have still to try that out, but from online test shots that I have seen noise is still well controlled, and there is an optional built noise reduction mode available for high ISO usage, with the cameras excellent low noise performance the default setting for noise reduction is off, so there is none of the picture blurring and loss of fine detail associated with noise reduction.
Exposure is excellent with all shots being perfectly exposed, unlike my EOS 50D, which has a slight tendency to over expose under certain conditions, even under difficult lighting conditions it is hard to fool the meter into giving a false reading,
Colour, sharpness and contrast.
Colour is rendered accurately, has plenty of saturation, and is well balanced, with colours not running into each other or blurring, even in high contrast areas, the pictures are pin sharp with fine detail rendered accurately, contrast is excellent with both lowlight and highlight details well preserved.
This camera has an effective 10.1mp resolution, which is by no means high these days, but very few people would ever get the benefit of a higher resolution than an 8-10mp DSLR camera, as you would have to make massive enlargements or use very small crops of the picture to notice any difference, many compacts these days have a 10mp resolution but because of the difference in picture quality, sharpness, noise performance and the blurring caused by most compacts rather aggressive noise reduction, there is no comparison between the two, you can make a much a much bigger enlargement from a picture taken with this camera, than you could from one taken on a compact camera, the higher the picture quality and the lower the noise, the less effect that resolution has on picture quality, I have made many high quality enlargements from this camera and resolution has never been an issue.
This camera comes with bundled software, which includes: -
An EOS digital software manuals disk, (this is in addition to the printed manual)
An EOS digital solution disk, which contains the following software: -
EOS utility - used to download images from your camera, set up your camera remotely from your computer, and shoot photos remotely from your computer.
Digital photo professional - Image viewing and editing software, inc. RAW image editing and conversion.
Zoombrowser EX - View, edit and print your pictures. Ideal for newcomers to digital photography
Picture style editor - Picture style-editing software, create and save your own picture styles.
Superb picture quality.
Excellent low noise performance.
Huge range of Canon lenses
Live view function
10.1mp resolution is more than enough unless you want to make huge enlargements.
Recent price drop
None that I can think of.
This an excellent well specified camera with superb picture quality, it is easy to use, well balanced, its low noise performance is outstanding, it is well built and reliable, and with its recent price drop it is also great value.
Since the introduction of the EOS 50D prices for this camera have gone down by an average of two to three hundred pounds, so now this camera represents excellent value for money.
Prices on Amazon at the time of writing are £655.29 body only, and £821.72 with the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens
Thanks for reading - Mark.
To put it simply, the Canon EOS 40D is a fantastic piece of kit.
I haven't regretted my purchase for one moment.
I know it is the photographer and not the camera that makes the image but my photography has been taken to a whole new level since getting the 40D.
A few people have remarked that the body looks quite big to carry around. Yes, the body is large but it handles beautifully and feels substantial in your hands. My old camera is much smaller and now feels somewhat flimsy and awkward to hold.
The camera can be set to fully automatic or fully manual mode with a range of semi automatic/manual modes in between.
The manual mode give you total control over your images whilst the auto mode lets you literally point and shoot.
The camera comes with a fantastic EF 18-75 mm lens with image stabiliser and the option to choose between manual and auto focus.
The ISO goes as high as 1600 with very little noise so it's a great camera to use in low light conditions and the image stabiliser comes into play as well if you are using a longer exposure time.
There is software included with the camera which allows you to hook it up to your computer and then use your camera to control the camera. This means you can set it up easily to do time lapse photography. You can also attach a timer remote (available seperately) which will also allow you to control the camera without having to touch it. This is a good option for doing self portraits or group shots where you want to appear in the photo.
At 10 million pixels, the image quality is superb and will allow you to blow you photos up to more or less any size you like. It also means that, should you wish to edit your photos, you can zoom right in to make any adjustments really easily.
So, overall, I would say this is the perfect camera for the serious hobbyist or professional.
If you choose this camera, you will not be dissapointed.
I was one of the unlucky ones when I bought the Canon EOS 40D.
It would seem that there are known issues with these in regard to autofocus, although they were obviously not known to the wider public.
I ended up being unlucky with one of these camers THREE times.
It would be easy for some smarty pants to say "you weren't using it right", but I spent ages going through the manual and trying all sorts of situations and lighting and could not get an unsoft picture out of this.
I bought them all in Jessops.
I have spoken to various Jessops staff in various branches, at other times unrelated to my unfortunate purchases, and when pushed they will admit to there being a known problem with the autofocus. I know they have to sell these things, but when there is a known issue, should they really still be keeping them on the shelves, in the hope that they don't have any duffs, and that customers aren't going to notice.
What is annoying most is that one member of staff in a shop will tell you that there is an issue and another member in the same shop, will tell you there isn't. All I can conclude from that is that either someone is lying or the shop manager doesn't communicate - I won't name and shame any particular branches.
So although my rant seems aimed at Jessops for stocking these and happily pushing them out, Canon should have been recalling these.
I like Canon cameras, but Canon get low marks in this instance
At last, a miracle in SLR technology. The Canon EOS focuses back to the 'old school' photographers world and can help even an amateur into a new dimension of imagery.
Memory storage is not a problem with a fully accessible and easy to use flash space. Weighing less than a kg, the camera can be carried with minimal effort to any location (be it jungle to skyscraper).
A fully adjustable shutter speed can help you capture those city lights to moving people. There are no limits to this SLR, and with a price of around £700, its well worth the spend. Just be sure to note that the active matrix screen is not made to be dropped, so always carry it around your neck please ladies and gentleman! My use of the camera has proven its exceptional standards in SLR format. This item is a great buy for an amateur to professional photographer, so buy now!
Ok, I'm about to finally write a review of Canon EOS 40D. I own this camera for several months now, and have tried it both in studio and outdoors, so I feel I can share my opinions with you.
I previously owned several Canon SLRs, so I will rather compare 40D to older Canon cameras rather then raise Canon vs. Nikon debates. I'm sure the new Nikon D300 is a great camera too, but I'm a Canon user, and that's it.
All Canon SLRs are named EOS (Electro-Optical Systems), both film and digital. Canon has 3 EOS lines, "entry-level", "prosumer" (professional consumer?) and "professional".
Entry-level SLRs were Canon 300D, the first affordable digital SLR ever, then the 350D, then the 400D which is still in stores and the latest one, 450D. Prosumer SLRs were D30, D60, 10D, 20D, 30D and, finally, the 40D. Professional SLRs were 1D, 1D Mark II, 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II and Mark III, and 5D.
Of course I won't be able to give a full and complete review, so I'll focus on what's new in this camera and what I personally like about it.
LOOKS AND CONTROLS
Canon EOS 40D is a prosumer SLR - and you can tell this instantly by its size and weight. The body, as well as the mount, is metal (magnesium alloy), not plastic, which means it's more robust. They also say it's weatherproof now, including battery and card compartments. 40D is a bit larger and heavier then 30D, but insignificantly.
The controls are classic Canon wheels, one at your index finger and one at your thumb (usually used to adjust aperture/shutter speed in manual mode). There's also a joystick to navigate through the menu. And the menu itself has changed a bit, comparing to that of 30D. The menu is now "page-style", like in professional SLRs.
The LCD is larger and now measures 3". Because of that, the buttons from the left are moved to under the screen. I don't really think it's a good idea, because you can't access them with your left thumb as quick as before, but that's the price to pay for the larger LCD.
That's about all changes to the looks, so let me continue to what's inside.
40D has a 10 megapixel APS-C (1.6x crop) CMOS sensor. The truth is, camera sensors are really getting better and better. Comparing to older sensors, the dynamic range (ability to capture detail in shadows and highlights) is improving, though there's still a long way to go to achieve film DR. 40D features a highlight priority mode, so you'll never lose detail in those clouds or that dress of the bride.
Another great thing is how 40D deals with noise. I'm not sure if it's sensor or noise-reduction software, but the result is amazing! With reasonable shutter speeds, pictures taken at ISO1600 look as clean as those taken at ISO100! I really couldn't believe my eyes!
By the way, have you ever ruined your photo session because you left ISO at 3200 on a sunny day? Now there's an ISO icon in the viewfinder, so you won't forget to adjust it.
Another nice feature about the sensor is its integrated cleaning system. Every time you turn your camera on and off the sensor automatically cleans itself. There's some anti-static coating and a piezoelectric element which shakes the front part of it so that dust doesn't stick.
One new feature I don't really understand is all that "picture style" thing. There's a specific button that quick-launches picture style menu page. In fact, picture style is a quicker way to adjust JPEG processing settings, something that was previously available to alter through custom function settings. But I don't really get why we need so many JPEG options while vast majority of 40D users will shoot RAW anyway.
By the way, there's now an option to shoot RAW+small JPEG, which is extremely convenient, and also a small RAW feature (though I can't imagine why would I use this).
Another nice thing is continuous shooting: it's now 6.5 frames per second and up to 75 large JPEGS! In reality the speed is a bit lower, but still impressive!
Well, that's about all significant changes to 40D... Or have I forgotten something?..
Imagine a friend standing beside you with his digital compact and asking questions about your SLR. "Ok, can it shoot video clips? Why don't you use the back screen for shooting? Why would one use a camera which is so big and heavy and can't do such simple things? And how much do you say it costs???" Oh, I hear all those questions all the time :) But now I can be proud: finally my "expensive professional camera" can do the same as any digital compact. I'm talking about...
LIVE VIEW MODE
Yes, it finally happened. The picture that you normally see through the viewfinder can now be seen on the LCD - live. It felt sooo weird when I tested it for the first time!
LiveView is achieved by locking-up the mirror to transmit information from the sensor to the LCD. Because of the SLR architecture, you cannon use autofocus in LiveView mode (autofocus needs TTL metering so the mirror must be down). If you press the autofocus button while in LiveView, the LCD will go black, then the camera autofocuses and restores LiveView mode in a moment.
You can use manual focusing without any problems, and the nice thing is that LiveView has digital magnifying which enables you to focus more precisely.
This all may sound great, but, frankly speaking, I hardly ever use the LiveView mode. But it must be very handy on gigs, when you shoot from the crowd in the standing area and lift your camera to prevent heads and hands of the guys around to spoil your shots.
PRICE AND VALUE FOR MONEY
Canon website says RRP for Canon 40D is £800, but Jessops says it's £629.99, and, what's more, you can claim £100 cashback from Canon! I only had a £50 cashback, but still it's a sweet deal. The closest models are Nikon D200, which is £749.99 @ Jessops, and maybe Pentax K20D which is £869.99. So it's cheapest in its class, and, to my opinion, of best performance.
You can find detailed specifications on official Canon website canon.co.uk. I also highly recommend dpreview.com as a trustful and reliable source of digital photography reviews. The 40D review can be found at www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos40d