Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Canon EOS 40D first look Digital SLR Review

Canon EOS 40D first look Digital SLR Review - The Canon EOS 40D falls into the mitts of Rebecca Bradley who tries out its new features in an ePHOTOzine first, hands on look.

 Add Comment

Canon EOS 40D hands-on first look in Digital SLRs

Rumours of the Canon EOS 40D have been around for a while, but it wasn't until yesterday that the new mid-range SLR was launched officially at the Canon Autumn Collection press event. And it was worth every bit of the wait.


  • Sensor: CMOS - 10.1Mp
  • Image Size: 3888x2592
  • Lens: Takes all Canon EF and EF-S lenses
  • Focus: TTL 9 AF Points
  • Exposure: Auto/Program/AP/SP/M
  • Metering: 35 Zone Eval/CW/Spot/P
  • Monitor: 3.0in. TFT
  • Other Features: Live View, EOS Integrated Cleaning System, 6.5fps
  • Movie Mode: No
  • Storage: CompactFlash I/II
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium-ion
  • AC Adaptor: Optional
  • Size/Weight: 146x108x74mm - 740g
  • Transfer: USB 2.0


Canon EOS 40D Controls

1. Mode Dial
2. White Balance
3. AF
4. ISO
5. Exposure lock
6. AF Point selection
7. Menu selection dial
8. Image playback
9. Delete
10. Jump
11. Information display
12. Picture style

Canon EOS 40D and Rebecca

In comparison to its predecessor, it has 10.1Mp resolution as opposed to 8.2Mp on the 30D, and has an increased shooting speed of 6.5 fps, making it an ideal choice for sports and wildlife photography. There has also been the inclusion of the latest generation of Canon's image processing engine DIGIC III, and an increase in LCD size from 2.5in to 3in, enabling easier menu operation and image playback.

Another interesting feature of the 40D is the inclusion of the sRAW recording format, which cuts the file size in half while retaining all of the creative possibilities associated with shooting in RAW.

One of the first things I noticed about the 40D was how well set out and unclustered the arrangement of buttons on the back was, making it very easy to use. The traditional wheel on the back is retained and the camera is simpler to pick up and use than a Nikon D200 for example, although it's not quite the same build quality. There's only one selection wheel for example.

The camera is easy to grip and feels sturdy and well-built, if slightly on the heavy side, and when carrying out test shots it was quick to start up. The focusing was fast enough, though the 9-point focusing system could pick up things nearest the camera, rather than in the centre of the image. When the camera is reviewed fully we'll look at how the different focusing modes work. The results were bright and colourful by default, and were easily viewable on the sizeable 3in. LCD screen. The LCD can, unusually if you don't use Olympus, also be used to frame the scene in a Live view mode. The fast shooting speed of 6.5fps enables you to rattle pictures off in rapid succession and this gives pleasing feedback in use.


Canon EOS 40D Test Shots
A quick test shot taken with the camera, in fairly low light, hence the soft result.

Canon EOS 40D frontCanon EOS 40D side
Canon EOS 40D rearCanon EOS 40D angled


The Canon EOS 40D is expected to be available as from September at a RRP of £899 (body only). A full review will follow.


Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

Explore More

Photographs taken using the Canon EOS 40D hands-on first look

Wild BunchDunnockafter winterAnother Snow leopardBlackcaps-Male and FemaleLate SpringHoverfly in flightNot sillyRevolutionFalls of BruarHappy BeesRock ShadowNun Reading by the River in Cogne Gran Paradiso Park Valle d'AosCoal Tit--Parus ater.Spotted!


magnus 13 661 5 United Arab Emirates
All singing and dancing it may be - but it looks like a brick. What happened to the nice smooth lines of the 30D?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

Looks like they're going back to the old days, but the battery grip makes it look bulkier.
mattw 14 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
Looks like a brick? thats a bit mean - I think it looks quite nice - and not much changed from the 30D.
I see the top plate is angled backwards now - interesting touch.

Quote:it looks like a brick

Come on, there is not much difference from the 30D!

Sadly, 10.1Mp resolution is not much of an improvement and is rather disappointing from Canon. I was hoping for at least 12.5Mp or greater. That camera will find the competition from the Nikon D300 very tough especially if Nikon prices the D300 in the same bracket than the 40D.
JonMA 11 13 1 United Kingdom
Looks and probably is very good, but my 20D has enough pixels for me, come to think of it I didn't see much wrong with the 300D either.
If I needed a new Canon I would definitely buy it but having said that I am entirely satisfied with the spec on my 20D.

I'm a bit let down with it. It's the 20D all over again, nothing wrong with the 20D but as time goes on the camera should move on too, like the D300 for instance! I hope the next one - 50D makes an impact even if the price tag is a little higher. I would love the 5D but I don't want a full frame and the next range of bodies is a little too pricey just now.
It appears to me that it has little above and beyond the 400D bar the faster fps and a slightly bigger LCD.

From the write up it appears to have the same sensor and pixel count as the 400D. Unless the fps is a crucial factor I can't see the 40D selling in large numbers when the 400D costs far less.

Quote:It appears to me that it has little above and beyond the 400D bar the faster fps and a slightly bigger LCD.

From the write up it appears to have the same sensor and pixel count as the 400D. Unless the fps is a crucial factor I can't see the 40D selling in large numbers when the 400D costs far less.

My 10D is a better camera than my 350D in terms of image quality, build and usability so I can't see how the 400D is a cheaper equal to the 40D. I think the 40D promises to be a major step forward over the 30D - it's what the camera enables you to do with it that's important. Great picture quality is a given nowadays whether 6, 8, 10 or 12 mp - pixel count is immaterial unless you are a marketing executive or a numbers chaser.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom

Quote:My 10D is a better camera than my 350D in terms of image quality
I doubt it. My 300D equals the image quality of a 10D.

The 40 has much longer life internals and better handling/features. So if you intend to keep your camera more than 2 years it could cost less.
As a 400D user, my mind is firmly made up to stick with what I have. I get results that I'm more than happy with, with what I considered 12 months ago (and still do) a very reasonable price tag. It's a cracking camera once you get used to the size difference (battery grip helps enormously).

Sadly, it seems that Nikon are taking the initiative with DSLR's and Canon are going to have to up their game if they want to keep their market share.
If I wasn't a born and bred Canon user, and looking to start up in photography now I would be going with Nikon...

Come on Canon - give us loyal Canon users something to worthwhile to want to spend our money on - not just small improvements but something to nail the market in low-to-midrange DSLR's.

Personally I don't think the aim of the 40d is to be tempting 30D or 400D users to upgrade. I've been waiting for something to justify upgrading from my 10D as I didn't think the 20 or 30 were big enough jumps, nor have enough cash to go for the 5d.

The 40D gives me just that. A big upgrade from the 10D. still at a reasonable price, and in many ways I'm glad to think that for the next few years I'll not be desperate to upgrade to each and every release of an SLR from Canon.
Why do camera reviewers miss that all important test ?
Stick the 580 ex on it, go outside in pitch darkness and see if it can focus on a person walking towards you in real time,so you can use one shot and af assist if it can, it will not have lowlight focus issues which lead to many focus problems when you need them the least.
I have a 20D and there is nothing to convince me to update, I think the manufacturer improves a new model every few months so the people who have to have the latest models dive in, it does not improve your photography just your ego
Nah ... I think the 40D looks great in Rebecca's hands Smile

Interesting update - Drew Strickland can lay claim to having done and posted the world's first test of the 40D's AI Servo performance, and has comparison figures on how that stacks up against the EOS 1D Mark III.

For details, please see the "Drew Strickland's Interactive Review of the Canon 40D" section of my compilation of Canon 40D Reviews .
Hugeknot 13 1.2k 2 Iceland
I would not jump to this as a step up from my 400D. I am going to wait for the next version of the 5D.
I recently changed my 20d for the 40d and I find the image quality is SUPERB on the 40d. There is a marked difference. There was nothing wrong with the 20d, I loved it but the 40 is definitely better in all respects. Results straight from the camera are far superior to the 20d and the larger screen makes it far easier to review your images.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.