I've been using digital cameras for years right back to an epson model that recorded at 640*480 and looked like a brick and more recently I've worked my way through the SLR type Lumix range. But I have to admit that I've stayed loyal to my film SLR because I didn't want to make an expensive mistake.
However I bought a 400D at the beginning of the year and I is fantastic, so happy with digital I decided I needed a backup. Saw the 40D on Amazon for £730 plus £50 cash back from Canon and it's suddenly only £150ish more than I paid for my 400D.
I was worried that this was just going to be the big brother of the 400D and I wasn't going to get much for the extra money. But no worries here - the 40D is head and shoulders above what now feels like a very consumer orientated 400D.
It's a big camera, no hiding it this won't fit in your pocket, but it is extremely comfortable to hold and much easier to handle than the 400D. The setup is simpler in many ways with two wheels, but if you're a novice and this is your first DSLR you need to spend a day or two with the instruction manual taking so creative shots to see what it can do.
The shutter noise is fairly loud, but it is a muffled loud if that makes sense so it's not too noticeable. Continuous shooting is a dream with 8 shots off in next to no time if you want it, at the slower mode you get about a dozen continuous shots before the camera slows down.
I've only shot RAW and I'm impressed with the quality of the images, excellent colour and very little noise. Note that RAW doesn't work on OS X 10.4.10 yet so you'll have to wait for the 10.4.11 update, use the Canon software (I use Aperture) or upgrade to OS X 10.5.
Overall this is a very solid investment.... If you're going to spend a decent amount of money on a DSLR consider this over the 400D. Don't worry about the 10mp rating either - I print out on A2 paper and there is no visible loss of quality and my customers are very happy with the results.
I'm very happy with my purchase and will be even happier when Canon send me my £50 :)Read more ›
I bought the 40D as a replacement for my 400d and the difference is unbelievable.
One of the key features I was after was a better handling of high ISO images as my cameras are use a lot for weddings. Dimly lit churches can be very problematic but the high ISO performance of the 40D take them in its stride. One of the other key features I wanted in this camera was its high frame rate of 6.5 fps. This is pretty damn quick and is a huge improvement over the 3fps frame rates of most entry level DSLR's.
The camera is essentially from Canon's mid or 'prosumer' range and as such is chunkier than entry level cameras and is better built. The shutter is also rated for 100,000 actuations, twice that of entry level models. The camera is made to be a dependable workhorse. The features list is extensive; 10.1 million pixels, 6.5 fps, EF-S mount, Self cleaning sensor and live view being the key ones. Custom functions abound and the camera features three custom settings on the mode dial which is pretty handy for oft-used settings.
The image quality of this camera is astounding for the price. I think it rivals my 5D in quality and frankly eliminates my 400D. At high ISO's such as 1600 the camera produces very usable shots. Only at the expanded ISO setting of 3200 does grain and noise become a little distracting and even then, at smaller sizes the photos would still be usable.
Possibly some folks reading this are thinking about the 50D as indeed I was. Here's how I made my choice: High ISO performance was critical and after reading some of the reviews on respected sites it appeared that the 50D was marginally worse at high ISO's than the 40D due to higher pixel density on the sensor.... There's probably not much in it but then I thought what's the point of paying a £300+ premium for a camera that can't match the old one in my key area of concern. I would love the higher res screen of the 50D but have got this far without one - again, is it worth £300 more?
To keep sales of the 40D high Canon are offering £60 cashback until Feb 2009. That means you can pick up a body only for barely over £500 after the rebate. This is a virtual giveaway.
In use the camera feels great and has a nice large viewfinder, the only negative I have is that the buttons on the back of camera are labelled on the 'wrong' side for my taste leading me to keep pressing the wrong one. I'm used to buttons being labelled on the left but these are labelled on the right. Minor niggle. The high speed continuous mode is fantastic and the camera can handle around 17 images (about 3 seconds worth) of continuous shooting in RAW before the buffer fills up. Start shooting JPEGS and these numbers get quite silly. Even at high quality in JPEG mode you could probably hold down the shutter for 10 seconds straight before the buffer filled up! This is a viable option for sports or wildlife photographers. The 3 inch screen is bright and clear and being what I'm used to I won't be pining for the high res version. Live view is handy too - especially if you can't really get your eye to the viewfinder such as when the camera is really low.
The camera has breathed new life into my EF-S lenses like my 60mm macro. The camera can extract even more detailed images from it than my 400D and that, under the right conditions, was no slouch.
The 40D also utilises 14 bit processing. Most cameras before it use 12 bit. What this means is that more subtle variations of colour and tone can be achieved as each pixel can have any one of 16,384 values for each red, blue and green element and opposed to 4096 values in the 12 bit method. This should lead to less colour banding in images - especially when pushing them a bit more in photoshop.
So all in all this is an excellent camera. It's a worthy companion to my 5D for weddings that exceeds even that camera's fantastic capabilities in some regards. I would happily have another 40D body and take three cameras to my wedding shoots! At around £520-530 after the rebate they're a bargain. At this price you could pick up the camera and say the 50mm F1.8 lens for less than £600. That's putting this seriously capable camera in reach of some folks looking for entry level gear. This is no entry level camera though - it's a serious piece of kit.Read more ›
A sudden rush of blood to the head last Friday found me parting company with £1k to become the owner of the EOS 40d + 17-85 lens. Stupid really considering I had only wanted to get a new point and shoot.
I already own a 20d which has performed admirably well over the years. As you can imagine, the buyers remorse hit soon after I left the store and I wondered if I had made the right decision...
Two outings at the weekend have answered the question...MOST DEFINATELY YES!
This camera has to be the most intuitive, easy to use SLR I have owned.
It is simple things that make this a joy to use.
The viewfinder is much bigger and brighter. The LCD screen is a lot bigger than the 20d and provides you with a much better image to analyse post shot...unlike the 20d, you can see if you have suffered from camera shake or you are out of focus.
My favourite new feature is the 'picture style' setting, which is really just the old preferences setting but a hell of a lot easier to find and use. Press the button, dial in the setting and the camera will adjust contrast, sharpness, saturation etc to provide excellent results. I set the camera to landscape and the resultant shots were superb, with the blues and greens nicely saturated but not to the point of looking like a comic.
The picture style also allows you to set the camera to black & white a lot quicker than it did on the old 20d.
Maybe my old 20d had metering issues but the results on the 40d are noticably more colourful and with greater detail. I also don't seem to be suffering with the wonky horizons that plagued my 20d shots.
I also like the added sensor cleaning feature but it is too early to say whether that really works or it is a gimic!...
Build and feel wise the two are pretty similiar although the 40d does feel a little heavier.
Any down sides? Well, those with a heavy finger be warned about the motor drive, I found myself taking 2-3 shot birsts without meaning too. That's all I have found out so far!!
Apart from that my first impressions are excellent...if you are the owner of a 10d or 20d or new to D-SLR photography then you would not go far wrong by investing in the 40d.Read more ›