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Canon EOS 40D

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146 158494 Nov 17, 2016
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92% of reviewers $1,168.60
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Superb image quality: 10.1 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, extensive noise reduction technology, and 14-bit conversion for outstanding color tones and gradations.

Outstanding performance: 6.5 fps, burst rate up to 75 consecutive JPEGs or 17 RAW images and DIGIC III Image Processor.

Strong, rugged build quality: magnesium-alloy exterior, shutter durability-tested to 100,000 cycles, top speed 1/8000, top x-sync speed 1/250.

New AF system with 9 cross-type sensors, and world's first diagonal high-precision cross-type AF at center point with f/2.8 and faster lenses.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Picture Style settings, Spot metering, and Highlight Tone Priority for advanced in-camera image control.

Large 3.0-inch LCD monitor and advanced Live View Function with new options for reduced shutter time lag and quiet operation.

Wide range of accessories, including interchangeable focusing screens, extensive remote control options, new battery grip BG-E2N, and new dedicated wireless file transmitter WFT-E3A.

Type: Digital AF/AE SLR
Recording Medium: CF Card Type I and II and external media (USB v.2.0 hard drive, via optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E3A)
Image Format: 0.87 x 0.58 in./22.2 x 14.8mm (APS-C size sensor)
Compatible Lenses: Canon EF, EF-S, TS-E, and MP-E lenses
Lens Mount: Canon EF mount
Lens Focal Length Conversion Factor: 1.6x


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Registered: Nov 25, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 433
Review Date: Dec 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast and accurate AF, great Image Quality, 14bit, HTP, Live View, well built, ease of use, love those custom settings!
1.6x crop, not 100% viewfinder coverage (I'm just wishing)

This camera FINALLY convinced me to go digital, and i'm not regretting it.

I do miss the colours and subtle tones that are only possible with film (at this stage), also the 100% viewfinder coverage and full frame imaging area (obviously) of my 35mm EOS-1, but the trade-off has proved well worth it.

I'm finding that the (slight) drop in IQ over images I get on film are well and truly off-set by the added useability of the 40D, and the digital medium overall. You may think i'm crazy for waiting so long to go digital, but this is truly the first D-SLR that has fallen into my price range, with useability and IQ to warrant the change. In my opinion, a 30D did not have enough advantages to make the change, the 40D definitely does.

I recommend this camera to anyone who won't be able to afford the upcoming update to the 5D. I do wish I could afford full-frame.

Dec 30, 2007
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Registered: Dec 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1410
Review Date: Dec 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: FPS, Buffer, AF, 3 custom settings, great new menu lay out, High ISO quality, Price.
It makes me want to spend 6 grand on a fast telephoto

First let me say I'm giving this a ten in all categories.

I'm very impressed with this camera. I shoot with a 5D 90% of the time, but do the occasional wildlife/sporting shooting, and I didn't feel the 5D cut it for that.

The Pros. 6.5 fps is awesome, and it just sounds ridiculous. The buffer states 17 Raw files, which it always maxes out at, but I shot 120 Large, Fine JPEGS in a row before my buffer filled on an older Sandisk Ultra II. That's well above the 75 stated by Canon. The AF is much improved compared to the 5D. 3 Custom settings on the dial is great. I have one set up for landscapes which has mirror lock up set(I know a lot of people complain about that), one for wildlife/action shooting, and one general shooting. I like the addition of the "My Menu" function on new layout. It gives me my 6 most used settings at the touch of a button. The high ISO quality isn't up to the standards set by the 5D, but in good lighting, ISO 800 is totally usable, even for larger prints. I picked up mine used for $1100, and I feel for the price, this camera is an absolute steal!

The Cons. None really. If I had to nit pick, the resolution on the new Nikons sounds really nice, but I only use the LCD for reviewing the histogram, not for critical focus check. Another thing that Nikon has that I wish Canon would implement is more than 3 shots for the exposure bracketing. I think the Nikons have 7. Neither of these are a knock against this camera, just Canon's way of doing things in general for their entire line.

I have a feeling that this camera will have me wanting to move up from the 400 f/5.6 to one of the uber expensive telephotos to get all the reach I can Smile

Dec 24, 2007
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Bronco Bear
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Registered: Dec 19, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Faster AF, Less Noise, Nice new features
CF door

Love this camera, a great upgrade from the 30D.

Dec 24, 2007
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Percy C
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Registered: Dec 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, 6.5 fps, ISO performance,14 bit DA converter, Large LCD screen, Large view finder
As with most DSLR's the battery and CF doors is nat as solid as I would like them.

I based my rating on what it cost and what features it has for that price.
I see reviews that says what it doesn’t have but if you look at the camera's that have all of the features the 40D has plus the features it does not have you will see the $500+ price increase !!
For what this camera has, it can not be beat for the price period .

Dec 23, 2007
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 227
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: THe best non FF camera I've used,and at an awesome price.
The sensor is,I believe,slightly inferior in RAW performance than that of a 20/30D,which is countered by vast superior circuitry and camera processing. 8-9 mp would've been better.

This is a beautiful unit,I love its body,an excellent design.
Its my backup to my 1ds Mark2 and it never feels flimsy in comparison.Love the AF-on button,LOVE the "my menu" option,appreciate the big LCD,which could sharper.
Shutter lag is minimal,the FPS never fails to impress me.
Canon shuffled the top controls compared to the 20D for no apparent reason,this actually pissed me off when I used both cameras together.
Live view is a wonderful toy for anything mounted on a tripod.

The 20D had a sensor designed exclusively for it,it was,to me the best crop sensor ever made.Shoving and slightly "improving" the 10mp rebel XTI sensor is a step backwards by comparison.
However,the 40D GREATLY improves how the camera handles the captured data,and far better color.The jpeg engine is wonderful,I am now much closer to shooting a jpeg that is basically what I wouldve gotten through processing a RAW file.

I think the 20/30D sensor,or at most a 9mp one,with the current chip and processing,would easily make this the best non-FF camera for a long time regarding IQ.

AF is great,its snappier than my 1Ds II,perhaps a smidge less accurate.Tracking is tricky if you use the lone middle AF point,its not easy to keep it on the subject the entire time.

Some idiot in an earlier review complains about the camera not being able to AF with an aperture smaller than 5.6,utterly ridiculous,specially considering its a widely known fact no Canon camera except the 1 series can AF at F8 without tricks,and the manual states this as well.The AF system on this camera is great,faster than my old 20D and just as reliable.I however would remove the diagonally placed AF points from the diamond pattern and place them in a circle around the center point,then tracking would be much easier.

This camera edges ever closer to my perfect tool,if any,I'd like to add these changes to it:

-A button to one-touch tab between single shot and servo.
-I want most buttons to be customizable to do whathever I set them to.
-Center point needs more AF points around it to aid in tracking.
-I believe,at 10mp,we're pushing it with what a 1.6 sensor can do while performing well.I've a 1Ds II for high res,crop sensors should stick to 8.2 mp.

I love this camera.

Dec 17, 2007
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Registered: Dec 11, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing image quality even at high ISO using ISO reduction, Fast, Big Viewfinder, 14-bit analog to digital conversion for better color
none, for the price

Great camera, I upgraded from 300D( I loved it, and still keep it as backup). Main reason I upgraded is that 300D in RAW format was very slow and ISO noise above 400 was "little bit more noisy".
Now, with 40D, no complaints!!!, I really like this camera. I see people complaining about stuff like LCD screen resolution and not being able to focus with lens f5.6 with extender and so. Maybe some would say that going from 300D to 40D is a big step and that is why I am so happy. Well, I had a chance to play with 20D and 30D (great cameras) but I am glad I was patient and waited for 40D.
I don't really see LCD resolution being a problem at all !!!. It is big and good enough to be able to see stuff like overexposure, read the histogram and the quality of the picture. I don't need HD screen for that.
Yes, I own Canon 400mm f5.6 lens and with 1.4X extender you have to focus manually. Well, with tripod and shooting static objects you can get a great results. Good photographer should be able to overcome these "little” obstacles and enjoy the challenge.
Combination of the Canon 40D with Canoon 400mm f5.6 lens is a perfect and relatively affordable combination for taking pictures of birds in flight and with Canon 1.4x extender perching birds photos.

Dec 17, 2007
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Anne Bellenger
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Registered: Jan 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Dec 11, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Noise level is good, feels good in the hand
The AF 5.6 problem turned me against the 40D. Cannot use lenses for AF that are above 5.6. Too many menus.

I own a 10D, D60IR, 400D, and 1D. I bought this to follow the 10D. I shoot mainly birds and thought this would be a good camera for that. I found out that any lens higher than f/5.6 will not AF. The lenses I use are the Canon 400 f/5.6 plus a 1.4 TC on the 1D, and a Canon 100-400L IS on the 10D. The 100-400 AF's OK but the 400 + 1.4 does not. I got some good birds shots with the 100-400 but can't add a 1.4 TC. Some nice landscapes too with a Sigma 17-35 f/2.8. I would say the 40D is a good landscape and macro camera.
Not good for telephoto and distance shots with any lens over f/5.6. I don't do styles either. I think they are a waste of space. The same or similar procedure can be done in PS-CS3. I wish Canon had notified potential buyers about the 5.6 thing and about the non-use of lenses higher than 5.6 and lenses with 1.4 TC. If I had known that, I would never have bought this camera.

Dec 11, 2007
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Registered: Mar 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Dec 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Resolution, High ISO Noise Reduction, Highlight Tone Priority, frame rate, large viewfinder
Grainy LCD, poor rear button placement, AF point placement

The 40D is a fantastic bargain and a good all-around camera. I recently bought one to replace my aging 10D and 1D and to complement my still-excellent 1Ds. Having done some RAW comparison tests, I'm impressed to find that image quality is on par with my 1Ds. Noise and color in shadow areas are much better, and sharpness seems ever so slightly better, but well-lit areas of smooth tone are slightly grainier. Overall, I'd call the two cameras about even in terms of IQ below ISO 400, with a clear advantage to the 40D at ISO 800 and above and with very-low-light long exposures.

Particularly nice are the new High ISO Noise Reduction and Highlight Tone Priority custom functions. The former makes a subtle but useful improvement in shadow noise, and the latter recovers at least a stop of highlight detail without changing overall exposure. In my testing, HTP recovered detail that otherwise could not be recovered using conventional tools in RAW processing. There are slight penalties to be paid for these functions (smaller buffer and limited ISO range), but they significantly improve image quality under difficult lighting/contrast conditions.

I also love the new AF-on button, as I prefer to engage AF separately from the shutter button. And, being able to switch instantly between center-point-only and multi-point AF just by tapping the joy button or AF-point button is great.

Overall, this is a much more usable and responsive camera than the 10D, and IQ is impressive. The main weakness is the diamond-shaped layout of the AF points - no AF points at the intersections of thirds. I have high hopes for a revised 5D with a wider-area AF system.

Dec 3, 2007
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Registered: May 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1402
Review Date: Nov 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: big, bright view finder; big LCD screen; fast!; build quality
no L glass designed especially for this sensor size and it really deserves it. Res of LCD should be higher.

I use this, a 5D and a 1Ds2. This is the first camera I have ever owned where I could clearly see the viewfinder info with my lousy, glasses covered eyes. The LCD is nice and large but the res is too low for really evaluating focus precisely but it sure is nice for menus and histogram and composition peeking. Lots of these for sale used now and I do not know why. I bought a used, LNIB one. I just wish Canon would make a 17-60mm L zoom for this sensor size, weather sealed and all. It deserves it. Love the new My Menu function--now I can find FORMAT w/o a long search. I do not use styles, etc so I cannot comment on that sort of thing. This is the smallest body size I can use comfortably with back button focusing. Feels good in the hand, not great like a 1 series but good and a whole lot lighter!

Nov 28, 2007
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Registered: Apr 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Price, image quality, substantial improvements from its predecessors
None for the money

I have a 20D and I waited to upgrade because I was disappointed the 30D didn't up the resolution to 10Mp. This camera is great--it's everything the 30D should have been. The jury is out on the sensor cleaner--time will tell if it really makes a difference, but all I really care about is image quality. I think the 14-bit does make a difference in the dynamic range--highlights seem to hold more detail and shadows are fuller. Subtle changes, but an improvement. All the picture styles are kind of confusing, but I'll get through it. Menus are clear and well laid out. Shutter is quieter than the 20D and it's supposed to have a better life. Enough said--great camera for the money!

Nov 23, 2007
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Registered: Jul 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 212
Review Date: Nov 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.97 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Improved focus sensitivity, image quality, dynamic range, speed (fps and processing), customizable features, ergonomics, build quality, higher ISO performance.
LCD screen (blurry and over saturated relative to actual image); number of AF points; self-cleaning sensor good but not perfect

I upgraded to the 40D from the 20D, which was my first DSLR. The 40D improves most every feature of the 20D for which I felt there was room for improvement. First and foremost, as this IS a camera, the image quality is superb, and I think lightyears better than the 20D in terms of color, contrast, and sharpness (although I do find one needs to up the in-camera sharpness and saturation when shooting in .jpg). The focusing system is significantly improved, with far less low light hunting than I'd come to expect of my 20D. For those fearful of the 1DIII issues, AI Servo mode on the 40D works well, again better than on the 20D.

With respect to using the camera, the viewfinder is larger than on the 20D and thus much better for those who wear glasses (although I still recommend the Canon EP-EX15 viewfinder extender to make it even easier). Inclusion of the ISO setting within the viewfinder being a huge improvement. Position of buttons on the front, top and upper-right of the camera remains the same as on the 20D; buttons around the lCD screen have all moved and take some getting used to. Having a greater range of internally customizable options makes the change worth it.

The big, big drawback to this camera in my view is the LCD screen. While larger than on the 20D, my understanding is that the larger screen on the 40D uses the same number of pixels than the smaller screen on the 20D. The result are images that are mushier than what I'd been used to, and with color resolution that is inacurate. This adds guesswork to evaluating in the field whether a shot is a keeper. It isn't enough to make me regret my purchase decision, but it is enough to knock my evaluation from a 10 to a 9 overall.

I think if you are currently shooting with a 20D and like it, you'll love the 40D, and should upgrade if you can afford to do so.

Nov 20, 2007
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 80
Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Better AF than its predecessors, very good metering, better dynamic range, customisable options.
None for the price!

I took a chance getting the 40D after selling a 5D.
I can say after 2000 shots that the 40D is as good as, if not very slightly better as the 5D image quality in prints at A4.
The increase in dynamic range is evident on a properly calibrated monitor.
Metering is the most accurate, on any body i have used.
AF seems very fast and probably more accurate than the 5D (which i liked a lot).
The menus are easily customisable, i have c3 for sports and c2 for multiple exposure bracketting.
I am not a fan of picture styles, although i could see them appealing to many people.
In raw the neutral picture style gives a very accurate reproduction of what you are seeing whem brought in in DPP or CS3 (provided your monitor is properly calibrated!).
I have not wanted to use live view yet, but at least its there when i do.
The 6FPS is plenty for anyone other than for photo journalism.
The build quality may not be rugged enough for the Paperazi. but for the serious hobbyist photographer or for a pros back up it is plenty good enough.
Battery life is very good.
I could gripe about the plastic CF door, if i was in a real hurry to change cards, but if you are carefull handed i am sure it will last long enough.

Considering the intro price compared to what the 20D was when i bought it. the 40D can only seen to be excellent value for money.
Whilst no camera is perfect for everyone in every area the 40D is as near as it can get.

Nov 14, 2007
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Registered: Feb 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 489
Review Date: Nov 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,079.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, Speed(from FPS to operation), ergonomics, excellent ISO performance, live view, built quality better than 20D.
wish there were more focusing points

This is arguably the first true upgrade from 10D. Everything on the camera is way better, faster & bigger(LCD), a new sensor(not the same as XTi) and a new focusing system.

I own a 10D and have used 20D & 1Ds Mk II. I've always felt that the built quality from 20D was a down grade from the 10D, but the 40D feels very solid.

The IQ from the 40D is also better than 10D & 20D(probably also better than the 30d based on other users' comments but I haven't personally used the camera), the colors just stand out more.

The live view is very useful for macro shot and can be used as a one-click mirror lockup function when taking landscap or night time photos.

The list of improvements just go on & on. Get it!

Nov 12, 2007
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Registered: Nov 30, 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 2490
Review Date: Nov 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good AF, 6+ frames/sec, build quality, features, ergonomics.
LCD resolution, battery grip integration.

I already own a 10D and decided to bypass the 20D/30D because I did not rate the advantages highly enough to warrant buying one. The 40D is a more significant upgrade from all sorts of perspectives over the others and was the best choice by far for me. Some of the new features, such as the EOS Utility, confer an enormous capability increase and are a boon for macro photographers because the entire operation, other than composition, can be controlled remotely with the camera hooked up to a computer. The advantages are massive and might even convince this die-hard that macro is worth a try!

Handling is consistent with the 10D, making virtually no difference in feel between the two. Battery grip integration is inferior to the older 10D and the rubber grip strip is missing from the battery compartment door. However, it is unfair to criticise the 40D for this as it is a battery grip issue. The grip needs to be redesigned.

Menus are nicely arranged and far more encompassing than on the 10D. Navigation is via a variety of means including wheels and joystick. It's all pretty simple and intuitive but the poor resolution of the LCD screen is a bit of a joke. Canon needs to work hard on fixing this, especially if they envisage photographers using it as a focussing aid for macro work or in other Live View applications.

The motor drive is not quite the claimed 6.5 frames per second but it's not bad and the "clack, clack" is a lot quieter. Build quality is very good, though the CF card door feels pretty flimsy to me.

All in all, a pretty good effort from Canon and in spite of a few minor niggles, it's well worth the upgrade.

Nov 10, 2007
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Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6426
Review Date: Nov 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: - bigger viewfinder - 6.5 fps - low shutter lag / blackout time - quieter mirror release - live view (it really is useful) - menu system - fast, accurate AF - solid build - good value
- LCD resolution is poor - shooting mode dial

I have owned and shot with just about every Canon body from the last 5 years. I purchased this one as a backup/second body to my 1D3 for a safari trip.

Canon has really refined this camera over the 20D/30D. The fine touches like the bigger viewfinder, low shutter lag and blackout time make it a real pleasure to shoot with. I am also a fan of Canon's new menu system (with My Menu) and I find it quite intuitive.

I am also a fan of live view. I have so far found it to be extremely useful not only for Macro work but also when traveling when I am in a situation where I can't put my eye up to the viewfinder. The implementation of AF during live view on the 40D works quite well (I wish Canon offered a firmware upgrade to add this feature onto the 1D3). The mirror flips down, AFs and flips up again very quickly when trying to AF in live view.

I photographed several moving animals with this camera while on safari and the AF didn't miss a beat. I was however irritated with the shooting mode dial. Because of its placement I found that while putting the camera in and out of the backpack I was using the dial would inadvertantly get changed quite often. This is a real nitpick but I did encounter it a few trips during my trip.

Overall, I think the 40D is a fantastic camera. The 400D probably still gives the best bang for buck, but if you can swing the extra $$$ for the 40D, I say go for it.

Nov 7, 2007
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sven rose
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Registered: Jul 9, 2007
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 17
Review Date: Nov 4, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: fast accurate AF, 6,5 fps and much more
LCD resolution, auto ISO is not great

After taking over 20k pics what I find the best with this camera is the ability for tracking moving subjects. The fast and accurate AF combined with 6.5fps is a huge improvement over the Rebel Xti/400D. I can imagine, what it could be with a 1DMkIII: more keepers, but this don't justify the price for me. The lens seems important: the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 Di - a good lens - was not fast enough for reliable results. The 40D and the (overpriced ) EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS with ultrasonic motor works perfectly together.

With the XTi I couldn't imagine to do this with such results:

(taken with the EF 70-200 L f/4 IS - also a realy good combination with the 40D)

Nov 4, 2007
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Canon EOS 40D

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
146 158494 Nov 17, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $1,168.60
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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