Review Canon 40D - A brief review..

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#1
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.

 

Marcel

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Marcel
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#2
Thanks very much for that Pete....I now want one...(Although my upgrade itch is purely for new toys reasons I suspect :D )
 
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Janice
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#10
You say it has a x1.6 crop, but I read a review recently that said it was x1.3 and is therefore closer to a full frame than most others of it's ilk. Anyone else seen that...or did I imagine it???
You imagined it, Carole.... that picture of Pete has turned your head!! :D
 
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Dave
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#12
Good review.
I got mine last week, and going up from a 350D its the bees
watsits(y)
I might get out and shoot some stuff with it soon,
just played with it in the house so far.



:canon:
 
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#15
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.
:amstupid:

I've had my 40D since the launch and I didn't notice that at all! To busy looking through the viewfinder! :D

Have you tried out the cross type points at f/5.6 or better or the low light performance of the double sensitive centre point at f/2.8 or better? I was impressed.
 
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Andy
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#18
Bought myself one as a xmas pressie to myself, wellI had been good all year I thought :LOL:

Upgrade from a 350D and really like it so far. I worked out the custom setting the other day and this feature really impressed me. Makes chaging shooting types i.e. landscape to sports real easy rather then having togo through every setting each time. This is the best feature so far for me but I'm sure I'll find some more :D
 
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#19
Those ebay videos were quite good...never realised you could partially achieve AF with live view....very interesting...

Also one question...why are custom functions such as ISO3200 custom functions? Why is it just not available as standard?

Regards

AJ
 
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#20
Good review
i use it at iso 800 and 1600 a lot and am really pleased with the image quality.
Pete
 
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