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Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?

  
 
well69
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I'm not a professional photographer. Just a guy who likes good pictures of his kids.

I recently found my camera gear (was in storage for a few years) and am wondering if so much has changed with mirrorless and sensors that it's not worth playing with the 40d... I used to lust after the full frame goodness of the 5d, but wondering if I should just be happy with what I have - or if I need to budget for an Rs or similar used full frame mirrorless.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:31 AM
chez
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I would just shoot with what you have and let that guide you if you feel you are missing shots because of your gear.


Feb 12, 2024 at 10:45 AM
garyvot
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


Personally, I still think cameras of this vintage can be rewarding to shoot, as long as you a comfortable with what you are giving up (resolution, high ISO performance, shooting speed, etc.). With modern upscaling and denoising software, even some of these limitations can be significantly mitigated, and pre-owned Canon EF-S lenses are amazing bargains right now.

Unfortunately, the first Canon APS-C DSLR to have micro-focus adjust was the 50D, I think, and so AF compatibility will be important to check and verify for any lens you use with this camera.

But it can't hurt to try it out to see if you like the results. The 40D was a well-regarded model in its day, IIRC.

Edit: all this being said, if you want to ensure the best captures of your kids as they grow up, a modern mirrorless body with eye-tracking and a fast prime or two will be worth the investment, I feel. I missed many shots over the years my kids were growing up due to DSLR AF inconsistencies and/or user error, and I would have been thrilled to have subject and eye tracking with on-sensor focusing back then.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:49 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


If your ~2007 vintage camera was in storage for 'a few years' then what have you been using in the meantime for your family photos, etc.? Probably your phone, like 99% of the population.

So if you buy a new mirrorless, what will keep you from putting it in storage after the luster wears off?

But yeah, the 40D will still work the same as it worked before, if that was enough for you then. That said, yes, technology has progressed a lot, particularly in the last few years. Subject (people) detection, face/eye recognition and tracking around the frame for easy recomposition and follow focus, are some of the major benefits of mirrorless over DSLRs. As is much more consistent and precise AF. Sensor technology has also improved a lot in 15 years. If you lusted over FF, you can get something like the current R8 for 'only' $1300 with an excellent 24MP sensor and a lot of capabilities lifted directly from the more expensive R6II. (You can start by adapting your existing EF lenses.) Or, for a few hundred less, the APS-C R10... So hold off upgrading your iPhone for a year longer and try a new camera.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:54 AM
TomSchriefer
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I'd shoot the 40D for a bit. Up until early last year, I was still shooting an EOS 650 (from 1987), among other canon film bodies. I still shoot an Elan 7S film body. When I shot my grandson's school athletics, I need the burst rate and high (cheap) frame count of digital. I own a 6DII, and a 90D. Of the two, I prefer the 90D (aps-c) to the 6DII (full frame). In December, I bought an R10/18-45mm mirrorless set-up. For what I do with a camera, the R10 offers absolutely nothing I can't do with my DSLR, or my Elan 7S. If I had to sell one of my cameras, it would be the R10. All 3 or my other bodies can use EF lenses, the R10 cannot. Shoot the 40D for a bit. Then decide which way you want to go.


Feb 12, 2024 at 11:03 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I owned the 40D—2008?—and still have many nice prints on the wall from it. The AF system, while able, has little to no intelligence. It worked best for me in single point and one-shot modes where I placed the center point on my subject and did the lock-AF-recompose-dance. I avoided going over ISO800 and only used ISO1600 in emergencies. With that said, modern editing and noise reduction software is much better now, so 40D RAW will look better than ever after PP. I recently re-edited a few ancient 40D RAW files in LR I thought were hopeless and they really popped, especially after using the new Denoise panel.


Feb 12, 2024 at 11:22 AM
Jeff Nolten
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


Agree with the previous posts, I too have many keeper 40D shots. Using LR and Topaz Photo AI, I've been able to clean and uprez the 10 MP raws to fit my 15 MP display with great success. If I did my job right in the first place that is. I'd say use it for a while and see if it still fits your needs.


Feb 12, 2024 at 11:38 AM
jedibrain
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


Is as good today as it was back then! Shoot it. If you find yourself really leaning back in to the hobby, have a look at the R10, or R8 if you wan full frame. A LOT has changed since the 40D. I had one and loved it. Only camera that I used enough to wear a shutter out in! Shot it next to a 5D. Then moved on to 5DIII, and now an R5 and R6.

Brian



Feb 12, 2024 at 12:09 PM
psharvic
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I do a lot of wildflower and butterfly/dragonfly photography. I cull my catalog often with the thought that I don't need my "second best" photos. Although I've long moved past the 40d I'm surprised that I still have a number of 40d pics that haven't been bested by a series of later 7d (I&II), 5d(II&III), 1dxII or the latest Sony high mp cameras. Now bird and action photography, that's a different story.


Feb 12, 2024 at 12:51 PM
Hairy Heron
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


well69 wrote:
I recently found my camera gear (was in storage for a few years) and am wondering if so much has changed with mirrorless and sensors that it's not worth playing with the 40d


I think what's more important here is WHY you put your 40d in storage at the time vs keep using it or upgrading. The tech of today's camera's is really irrelevant to the nub of your question. Obviously technology in every gadget and product has experienced major improvements in the past 17 years.

Are you genuinely re-interested in photography or is nostalgia calling? I love going out looking for wildlife and have thousands of $ of gear, but in casual situations my gear stays at home and my phone is my camera. So my guess is, the answer to your question is to play around with the 40D for awhile and find out whether your motivation is real or just short-lived nostalgia. If I was in your situation I wouldn't spend a dime until I figured that out. But if you just want good pictures of your family, phones do an excellent job of that.



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:08 PM
 


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Methodical
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


You have it so it's easy to find out if you like it or not. Go shooting.


Feb 12, 2024 at 01:30 PM
bman212121
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I'll give a controversial opinion. Don't bother using the 40d. The dynamic range at low ISO is about the same as it is on an iPhone 14 pro (Or surprisingly the original 5D). So that means anything outdoors you're not too likely to gain a ton in image quality, and with the smaller sensor on the phone it means most of the scene will be in focus. For photos of kids it's mostly the content and the phone is simply more candid. When you pull out the DSLR it's "serious" time where when you pull out the phone and snap a couple shots it's just normal.

If you want to shoot composed shots of the kids, especially where you need iso 400 or more the 40d still handily defeats a cell phone. It also allows a multitude of composition options, like depth of field, FOV, flashes / strobes, etc etc. It will be better at doing camera things if you were using that way. Given it's sitting in storage I don't get the impression composed shots and technically superiority is priority over the content of the shot. If that's the case then keep shooting your phone and worry about getting the content, and ignore if the image is as great as it could be if shot on better gear.


Edited on Feb 12, 2024 at 01:39 PM · View previous versions



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:31 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


I would say no. For people photography the autofocus is next to unusable, and gives a frustrating experience. The image quality is nothing special. I had the 40D when it came out, but soon upgraded and never looked back.

It would be much more fun to get the R50.



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:39 PM
Ray Swindle
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


You do realize you are asking a lot of people with "gear acquisition syndrome" if a 16 year old camera is good or "if I need to budget for an Rs or similar used full frame mirrorless". I wish you had done a poll for keep it or upgrade, that would have been worth popping some corn for the entertainment.

If you can afford to upgrade, you will be glad you did, once you learn to use all the new features. If you cannot afford to upgrade, and the camera equipment works fine, put that 40D back in service.



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:47 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


well69 wrote:
I recently found my camera gear (was in storage for a few years) and am wondering if so much has changed with mirrorless and sensors that it's not worth playing with the 40d... I used to lust after the full frame goodness of the 5d, but wondering if I should just be happy with what I have - or if I need to budget for an Rs or similar used full frame mirrorless.


Why are you asking others when you have the camera and can see for yourself if you are happy with its results?



Feb 12, 2024 at 01:47 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?




Imagemaster wrote:
Why are you asking others when you have the camera and can see for yourself if you are happy with its results?


What a nice and useful post. He asks if things have changed much. I would say they have. He won't learn that by picking up the 40D.



Feb 12, 2024 at 02:26 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


alundeb wrote
What a nice and useful post. He asks if things have changed much. I would say they have. He won't learn that by picking up the 40D.


Maybe get off your high-horse. Did you see similar posts to mine? I don't see that you listed all the changes that have taken place well69 wrote:
...........wondering if so much has changed with mirrorless and sensors ......


He also said: ............... that it's not worth playing with the 40d........ if I should just be happy with what I have........

So why should he not play with his 40D that he already owns, but has not used for two years? Why wouldn't seeing the results he would get now not indicate to him if he would be happy with the results

Just because you found AF and image quality poor does not mean everyone else did.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/exifgallery.php?make=Canon&model=Canon+EOS+40D

https://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2018/01/24/the-moneys-in-the-details/




Feb 12, 2024 at 03:01 PM
SkippyW
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


The 40d is a good, solid camera. Shoot away! You won't regret it.

On a side note, I was just reading about an exhibition of Paul McCartney's behind-the-scenes photos of the Beatles (1963-64). Way cool to see what he shot, but people were asking what kind of camera he used (ugh)! It doesn't matter! He got cool shots that nobody else could, being in the right place at the right time, and they were shot on grainy b&w film through a manual focus lens.



Feb 12, 2024 at 03:06 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?




Imagemaster wrote:
Maybe get off your high-horse. Did you see similar posts to mine? I don't see that you listed all the changes that have taken place

He also said:

So why should he not play with his 40D that he already owns, but has not used for two years? Why wouldn't seeing the results he would get now not indicate to him if he would be happy with the results

Just because you found AF and image quality poor does not mean everyone else did.

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/exifgallery.php?make=Canon&model=Canon+EOS+40D

https://www.featheredphotography.com/blog/2018/01/24/the-moneys-in-the-details/


Give me a break. You dismissed the existence for the whole topic. I offered my experience and opinion. But I see you are on the right track, offering your own opinion now.



Feb 12, 2024 at 03:19 PM
StephenS_CP
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Is the ancient 40d still worth shooting?


well69 wrote:
I'm not a professional photographer. Just a guy who likes good pictures of his kids.

I recently found my camera gear (was in storage for a few years) and am wondering if so much has changed with mirrorless and sensors that it's not worth playing with the 40d... I used to lust after the full frame goodness of the 5d, but wondering if I should just be happy with what I have - or if I need to budget for an Rs or similar used full frame mirrorless.


Just how satisfied were you with your pictures of your kids? Sounds like even then you weren't quite satisfied. But, it is the memories that are important and good enough is good enough!

I think more importantly than the question about cameras having changed are the questions a) have your shooting circumstances changed and/or b) have your image viewing circumstances changed? If they have, then the deciding question becomes does the 40d still meet the new requirements? My guess is that the answer to both questions is yes. And most likely you will find the 40d inadequate. That is where good enough may no longer be good enough. So much has changed in the mirrorless-based AF/tracking and resolution a technology upgrade is likely to be "worth it".

Your kids are older now. Their activities may have changed [obviously depending on how old they were a few years ago]. Their activities are likely to be a lot faster and much further away from you than they used to be. Watching a child play baseball on a baseball diamond is a whole lot different than trying to capture them toddling along chasing a ball in the backyard. Or pictures of Halloween costumes in the living room from performances on the high school stage.

10Mp images are large enough to fill the screen comfortably on FHD (1920x1080) or lower resolution screens but not so much on the current crop of 2k and 4k screens, especially if you end up doing much cropping.

I'm thinking these are the considerations that answer that "wondering if I should just be happy with what I have" question.



Feb 12, 2024 at 04:44 PM
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