Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Support me when shopping at Amazon by clicking through to them here! The prices are the same, but they share some profit, and that's what pays for my work! Thanks, Gordon
Canon EOS 40D Gordon Laing, September 2007
 

Canon EOS 40D design and build quality

Canon’s EOS 40D greatly resembles its predecessor at first glance. It’s virtually the same size and viewed from the front there’s only subtle differences in the head section to tell them apart. Turn both cameras around though and the new 40D is easily identifiable thanks to its bigger 3in colour monitor – and the rearrangement of buttons to accommodate it.

Measuring 146x108x74mm and weighing 822g, the EOS 40D is only a few millimetres smaller and 70g lighter than the full-frame EOS 5D when both are fitted with their batteries. We’ve pictured both bodies below, fitted with the Canon EF 85mm f1.8 lens; the 40D is on the left and the 5D on the right.


Canon EOS 40D and EOS 5D - front view


In your hand, the EOS 40D feels very similar to the 5D. Viewed from above (in the shot below: 40D left, 5D right), the grips are virtually identical, as are the resting areas on the back for your thumb. The mottled rubber coating around the grip and rear of the body are also the same as are the positions of the upper controls.


Canon EOS 40D and EOS 5D - top view




Support this site by shopping below

Canon Speedlite 580EX II
There are however several key differences between the two bodies as seen from above. Starting from the left side, the EOS 40D’s command dial features both the standard creative modes along with a number of scene presets, whereas the EOS 5D only has the former.

Canon 40D dial back
 

Unlike the EOS 5D, the 40D also features a popup flash which contributes to its different head shape. Both models of course have flash hotshoes, but the 40D’s additionally features a plastic surround which works with models like the latest Speedlite 580 EX II to provide greater environmental sealing.

Canon 40D info display
 

The 40D’s secondary information screen may look similar to its predecessor and the 5D, but is slightly narrower and taller, which with a rearrangement of characters, allows it to squeeze in the ISO value at all times – thanks Canon!

Just before you think the 5D has no advantages in this section, one difference which isn’t apparent from the photo is the type of shutter release: the 5D features a classier soft-touch release like the 1D series, which doesn’t click like the 40D’s when fully depressed.

In terms of build quality, the EOS 40D feels essentially the same as the earlier EOS 30D and EOS 5D models. With their magnesium alloy bodies, all three feel very solid and tough in your hands, and are a step-up from cheaper consumer DSLRs like the Nikon D80.

 
Canon 40D card door
 

As far as weather-proofing is concerned, the EOS 40D is by no means waterproof, but features enhancements over both the 30D and 5D: most notably the doors on the memory card and battery compartments now feature thin rubber strips around their perimeters to provide better sealing against the elements – see photo.

Like the earlier models, the ports are also covered by thick rubber flaps – see below. As we mentioned earlier, the 40D’s flash hotshoe also features weather-proofing when used with a modern Speedlite like the 580 EX II.

Canon 40D rear controls
 
 

Round the back, the EOS 40D will be immediately familiar to owners of either the 30D or 5D, with only a few adjustments to accommodate the bigger screen. The lower right side is still dominated by a thumb wheel which provides very quick and tactile adjustments of settings along with a reassuringly big SET button in the middle – this can be configured in the Custom Settings menus to provide direct access to certain settings and is also used to fire-up the 40D’s Live View mode, if the feature’s been enabled.

To the upper left of the wheel is an eight-way joystick which can be used for scrolling round images or as an alternative to the thumb and finger dials when navigating menus and other options. Like earlier EOS DSLRs, it requires a little practice to avoid pressing it, say, upwards, when you meant to push it in to confirm a setting. A new and welcome addition to the rear controls is the AF-ON button, which can be used to start the AF independently of the shutter release; it’s also used for AF during Live View, but again only if the AF support in Live View is enabled in the menus. For more details on Live View, see our Features pages.

Buttons which were to the left of the 2.5in screen on the EOS 30D and 5D now find themselves repositioned above or below the screen. One new addition is a button offering direct access to the 40D’s Picture Styles menu. Speaking of direct access, the 40D offers buttons which let you adjust most of the common settings, but like earlier EOS DSLRs, there’s no button dedicated to the resolution or compression. Instead you’ll need to enter the menu system, or configure the SET button to present this page.


Canon EOS 40D flash

 
 
Canon 40D built-in flash
 
 
Support this site by shopping below

Canon 40D battery grip - BG0-2EN


 

The EOS 40D features a built-in flash which can popup by itself in the fully automatic modes, or at a push of a button in other modes. Like its predecessor this internal flash is flickered for AF assistance. The 40D’s fastest flash sync speed is 1/250 and the internal flash has a guide number of 13m at 100 ISO. There’s a hotshoe with support for greater environmental sealing and a PC Sync port for studio lighting – see ports section below.

Canon 40D external flash menu
 

The 40D features a dedicated page of options for the internal flash which allow you to set the curtain sync, compensation and E-TTL II mode. Impressively the 40D now also offers direct in-camera control over the functions of compatible Speedlites like the 580 EX II, allowing you to adjust the compensation, bracketing, sync and zoom modes.


Canon EOS 40D connectivity

Canon 40D ports
 

On the 40D’s left side are two large rubber flaps hiding the same four ports as the 5D (albeit with two curiously swapped round). The left flap hides the PC Sync port for external lighting and a terminal for N3-type cable releases.

Behind the right flap are the video out and USB ports. The latter can be used with supplied software to remote control the 40D and even preview and focus the shot in Live View mode – see Features pages for more information.

Underneath the 40D is an additional connector for the optional WFT-E3(A) wireless transmitter.
NEW: see our Canon WFT-E3(A) review.


Canon EOS 40D battery

The Canon EOS 40D is powered by the same BP-511A Lithium Ion pack as its predecessor and the EOS 5D. Canon claims the battery is good for up to 800 shots with viewfinder composition and 50% flash usage at temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius. Switch to Live View for exclusive composition and this number falls to around 170 shots.

Obviously the battery life greatly depends on your usage, but we typically managed around 600 shots per charge with a mixture of flash and Live View use, along with several long exposures in cold temperatures. If you’d like extended shooting time, you can fit the optional BG-E2N battery grip which can take two battery packs and also provides a portrait grip.


All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs