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Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR Camera Review

Find Out if the Canon 40D is Right For You

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


A picture of the Grand Canyon shot with the Canon 40D digital SLR camera

A picture of the Grand Canyon shot with the Canon 40D digital SLR camera

Michael Carr
Before I start writing my review of Canon’s EOS 40D camera, I’d like to you ask you, the reader/consumer, a few questions. Please answer them honestly.

What would you rather have in these features?

  • Reflex viewing- Pentamirror or Pentaprism?
  • Viewfinder- 95%, 0.87x or 95%, 0.95?
  • Would you prefer live view AF with mirror up?
  • OK, those three questions might be a little difficult for some of you. Let's try these three questions.
    • Do you want a max shutter speed of 1/4000s or 1/8000s?
    • Do you need an ISO range of 100-1600 or 100-3200?
    • Would you prefer to have Kelvin White Balance?

Who Doesn't Need to Splurge for the Canon 40D SLR

Most of these questions leave the average consumer stumped. I showed my wife these questions and she thought I was working on a math problem.

These questions are about the feature differences between Canon’s EOS models, the Rebel XSi and 40D.

Does the average consumer camera user need the 40D? Not really. Yes, it has more features and is geared more to the prosumer with more than just a passing hobby in photography but I certainly would not dish out the extra $500 dollars for features that someone like my wife would never use.

Who Will Love the Canon EOS 40D

Sample scenic image shot with the Canon 40D digital SLR camera
Sample scenic image shot with the Canon 40D digital SLR camera
Michael Carr
Now on to the good stuff.

The 40D is a fun, not too technical digital SLR that someone heavily into photography could really have a blast using. The camera felt comfortable in my hands (not too bulky nor heavy) with a very easy menu navigation and large three inch LCD monitor.

Canon’s new autofocus system is impressive, with 9 cross type sensors. The 40D incorporates Canon’s new diagonal high precision cross sensors for faster, more accurate focusing.

This will come in very handy when you’re shooting subjects that are on the move and shooting fast subjects won’t be an issue with the top shutter speeds of 1/8000. Also, the 40D has a burst rate of up to 75 consecutive JPEGS or, for you photographers that love the extra work, 17 consecutive in RAW.

The feature a lot of prosumer photographers will love is the 40D’s CMOS sensor. This is the same technology that was used in the Canon’s EOS-1D Mark III camera (read Canon’s really cool, expensive pro camera). That means the sensor is giving you a better tonal range and clarity in every shot while reducing noise.

Bottom Line on the Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR

An amateur or casual hobbyist will not want this camera, but a prosumer seeking out a digital SLR camera will be happy with some of the advanced features and the dazzling images produced by the Canon EOS 40D digital SLR camera. It also provides a nice and impressive option for those who can't afford some of the higher-end Canon professional SLR cameras.

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