40D - My review - Now have one.

Bristol Pete

Well-known Member
Picked up a 40D body yesterday.

Very nice camera, pleased as punch.

First of all, the build quality, whilst not 1 series is excellent. Feels more like a 5D in the hand than a 30D/20D did/does and is similar in size to the D200. Weather shielded and very comfy in my mid sized hands - with or without a battery pack. Utimately, it is a classic Canon body. Good, bad or indifferent, you can decide.

Control wise, the usual dial mode is in situ on the top left of the body. Automatic through to full manual control and psudeo scence such as portrait. Also, it has three custom banks which is handy. So for instance, if you shoot in low light @ F1.4 ISO 800 for example, you can tell the machine to store those settings. Clever.

Like the 30D, the top of the body has the glass LCD screen with all of your settings in place along with the usual metering/wb, AF/drive and ISO/compensation buttons in place. Simply a case of pressing them and the dialing in what you want with the top dial. You can also make adjustments via the view finder.

The in camera menu is now refined and much more like the 1 series, albeit slightly less features, which stands to reason. However, the camera has more than enough features at the price point and seems customisable enough for me.

Moving onto live view, I have to say this is a stunning feature. I always considered live view in a DSLR to be a moot point but I love it already. You simply activate it in the camera menu if you wish to use it and then press set and the image appears on the clear sharp 3" screen on the rear. You can activate a grid for horizons which is a lovely touch and I can see myself using this lots from landscape to macro to portrait. Nice.

The dust sensor cleaner activates on power up and down.

Image quality is superb and personally, it is close to the 5D in my opinion. Despite the 1.6 sensor, which could yield more noise I have to say that 800 + ISO is stunning and was the reason I bought one. I think that this camera will work really well under floodlights and I hope to test it soon. The Digi III processor works very very well and in tests I found that 1600 ISO looked superb.

At 6.5 frames per second, it is only slightly slower than my Mark II N, which is not to shabby for an 800 quid machine. Like all fast drives, it does work faster with a quicker shutter selected and IS turned off. I like the fact that it has AI Focus as the N only has one shot or AI Servo and again, I hope to test this soon as I 'think' that it will help stop the occasional out of focus sport shot due to a player going from standing still to moving. Will see and report back.

The review screen is lovely but ramping up the brightness seems to cause a slight green to yellow cast on the images, so refrain from that.

Finally, the 10mp image size is another bonus as I have worked with 8.2 mainly. A large uncropped JPEG is 3888 x 2592 around about 3.18MB with auto settings, a RAW file of the same dimensions is 11.4MB.

In conclusion, I think that the 40D is a great camera. I have taken a few 'snaps' with it and hope to get out and test it more over the weekend. I will update you all in due course. Note that this is not a Mark III and the price reflects that - however, for the money you are getting a stunning camera.


This example portrait is taken at F2.8, 1/50, ISO 1000. Ignore the shadow. 430 Speedlight was attached, lens used 24 - 70mm L.

Test1.jpg
 

bodoman

Distinguished Member
Your looking good Pete, nice to see the smile on your chops again.:smashin:
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
ISO in 1/3 stop degrees?

I'm very interested for exactly some of the reasons you say. Live view for more prepared shots/strange angles - I had a play in LCE and it looks usable enough.

High ISO usability is the clincher for me I think.

Just need to find the money!
 

Radiohead

Well-known Member
Ta for this Pete - I'm tempted but am holding fire until a 5D replacement looks likely to see what that offers.
 

T0MAT01

Well-known Member
Nice write up Pete, very interesting.

Can I just ask whether the light meter display bar in the viewfinder goes across the bottom or up the side (like it does in the 'N') since I find the latter far easier to use for some reason. Cheers.
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
Nice write up Pete, very interesting.

Can I just ask whether the light meter display bar in the viewfinder goes across the bottom or up the side (like it does in the 'N') since I find the latter far easier to use for some reason. Cheers.

It goes across the bottom just like in the 20D/30D etc.

Nice one pete.
Totally agree with you on all the points. Its not mentioned a lot but it does feel better in the hand like you say. My 30D always felt like it wanted to fall out if i was just walking around with it facing down. the 40D feels like its been fitted to my hand and is very comfortable.
Im still surprised at the amount of changes and functions that dont get mentioned in the reviews. Great upgrade even from a 30D.
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
Now look what I have started!!

Its all just too tempting, especially coming from a 20D!

NOTE TO SELF: I MUST NOT BUY THE 40D!!!

If you can afford it i doubt you would be disappointed. Even coming from a 30D there is enough of an upgrade to make it worth having.

You need to stop reading about it. Stay away from any thread that has 40D in the title. Or go get one and join in all the fun.
:smashin:
 

geofftelforduk

Active Member
If you can afford it i doubt you would be disappointed. Even coming from a 30D there is enough of an upgrade to make it worth having.

You need to stop reading about it. Stay away from any thread that has 40D in the title. Or go get one and join in all the fun.
:smashin:

Think I might have a good think about it over the weekend!

I had a look at it in Jessops at the start of the week and even the screen is a big enough tempter for me never mind all the rest!

Decisions, decisions!
 

dave_bass5

Distinguished Member
Think I might have a good think about it over the weekend!

I had a look at it in Jessops at the start of the week and even the screen is a big enough tempter for me never mind all the rest!

Decisions, decisions!

It looks like Jessops have stopped giving the free 3 year cover plan away with it. Might be worth asking though if you are in there. It was this that made me get mine from them even though there were a bit dearer than a lot of other places.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I can't stand the fact that other people have got this camera and I haven't :( :D
 

stevegreen

Distinguished Member
If you can afford it i doubt you would be disappointed. Even coming from a 30D there is enough of an upgrade to make it worth having.

Think I might have a good think about it over the weekend!

I had a look at it in Jessops at the start of the week and even the screen is a big enough tempter for me never mind all the rest!

Decisions, decisions!

I think if I were in your position Geoff I would definitely be buying one, without hesitation or regret. In fact, i'm suprised you haven't ordered one already. It looks to me as though this would be the perfect camera for you, especially coming from a 20D, what a superb upgrade. Well worth the money, just for the screen alone as you say. Just imagine the extra pixels, the faster autofocus and even live view!!

:devil::devil:
 

geofftelforduk

Active Member
I think if I were in your position Geoff I would definitely be buying one, without hesitation or regret. In fact, i'm suprised you haven't ordered one already. It looks to me as though this would be the perfect camera for you, especially coming from a 20D, what a superb upgrade. Well worth the money, just for the screen alone as you say. Just imagine the extra pixels, the faster autofocus and even live view!!

:devil::devil:

Steve! You are the baddest man I know! You should be absolutely ashamed of yourself!!! I am going to have to submit your name to my bank manager and allow him to portion all blame to you!!

In that case I think the 1Ds Mk III, a snippet at only £5999, would be a fantastic option for you! I have spoke to your bank manager (lorna I think her name was) and she has give the "OK!". :devil::devil:
 

richard plumb

Distinguished Member
Pete, what lens did you use for those two most recent portraits? Looks really sharp.

If I hadn't bought my imac I'd have had one of these in a shot..
 

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