Canon EOS 40D

10 December, 2007
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Canon’s energetic promotion of CMOS sensors leads to the release of the interchangeable lens EOS 40D — an excellent example of the breed. Resolution is 10.1 megapixels, which accounts for a maximum image size of 3888×2592 pixels; print this at 300dpi and enjoy a fine print 33×22 cm in size.

The camera writes 14-bit images to a CompactFlash card in the form of JPEG or RAW files as well as JPEG and RAW simultaneously and a novel option — “small RAW” — saving 42 per cent in file size.

This big gun can shoot a continuous run of 75 full res JPEG — or 17 RAW — images at a rate of 6.5fps. Using the new DIGIC III processor and DDR DRAM high-speed memory, the camera uses two separate motors for operation of the shutter and mirror.
Top shutter speed is 1/8000 second, with flash sync at 1/250. Slowest speed is 30 seconds and a Bulb function can handle extended exposures.

Exposure control is well served: a 35-zone metering sensor operates in evaluative, nine percent partial and 3.8 per cent spot as well as centre-weighted metering. The auto focus system offers a nine point cross pattern as well as a centre AF detector sensitive to vertical and horizontal lines. The big bugbear of an interchangeable-lens camera — dust landing on the sensor — is addressed, thanks to a dust removal function at power up and power down.

In normal operation you use the optical pentaprism viewfinder but there’s also the handy option of Live View, so you can preview the shot on the huge 7.6cm LCD screen as an electronic image. There are some issues with Live View, chief among which is heat from the environment and extended operation; ignore this and erratic colour rendering and image noise may result.

Australian Macworld’s buying advice. A big camera that makes fine pictures. AMW

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