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Canon EOS 40D Review


Canon EOS 40D Review, Phil Askey, October 2007

Review based on a production Canon EOS 40D

The EOS 40D becomes the sixth Canon 'prosumer' digital SLR, a line which started back in 2000 with the EOS D30, and how far we've come. It's been eighteen months since the EOS 30D and although on the surface the 40D looks like a fairly subtle upgrade there's a lot that makes this an even better camera. Of course we expect a step up in megapixels, and so the 40D comes with a ten million pixel CMOS sensor with the same sort of dust reduction as the EOS 400D, an ultrasonic platform which shakes the low pass filter. Other improvements bring the EOS 40D closer into line with the EOS-1D series, these include a move to the same page-by-page menu system, both RAW and sRAW (2.5 MP), 14-bit A/D converter and 14-bit RAW, cross-type AF points for F5.6 or faster lenses, a larger and brighter viewfinder, interchangeable focusing screens, a larger LCD monitor (3.0') and faster continuous shooting (6.5 fps).

Model line history

Effective pixels
Continuous (JPEG) LCD monitor
EOS D30Apr 20003.1 mp 3 point 3.0 fps, 3 frames 1.8'
EOS D60 Feb 20026.3 mp 3 point 3.3 fps, 8 frames 1.8'
EOS 10DFeb 20036.3 mp 7 point 3.3 fps, 9 frames 1.8'
EOS 20DAug 20048.2 mp 9 point 5.0 fps, 23 frames 1.8'
EOS 30DFeb 2006 8.2 mp 9 point 5.0 / 3.0 fps, 30 frames 2.5'
EOS 40D Aug 2007 10.1 mp 9 point 6.5 / 3.0 fps, 75 frames 3.0' (Live view)

Canon EOS 40D vs. EOS 30D feature and specification differences

Canon EOS 40D
WeatherproofBattery door and storage compartment No
Sensor• 10.1 million effective pixels
• 5.7 µm pixel pitch
• 8.2 million effective pixels
• 6.4 µm pixel pitch
A/D converter 14-bit12-bit
Image sizes • 3888 x 2592
• 2816 x 1880
• 1936 x 1288
• 3504 x 2336
• 2544 x 1696
• 1728 x 1152
RAW files • CR2 format, 14-bit
• RAW full resolution
• sRAW (2.5 MP)
CR2 format, 12-bit
RAW full resolution
Image processor DIGIC III DIGIC II
Dust reduction High speed vibration of filter None
Auto focus • 9-point TTL CMOS sensor
• Points cross-type for F5.6 or faster lens
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster
9-point TTL CMOS sensor
Metering range 0.0 to 20 EV 1.0 to 20 EV
Spot metering Approx. 3.8% at centerApprox. 3.5% at center
Auto ISO ISO 400 to 800 / 100 to 800 depending on exposure mode ISO 100 to 400
Kelvin WB 2500 - 10000 K in 100 K steps 2800 - 10000 K in 100 K steps
Viewfinder • 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.95x
• Eyepoint: 22 mm
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.90x
• Eyepoint: 20 mm
Focusing screen • Interchangeable precision matte
• Two other screens available
• Fixed precision matte
Viewfinder info Now includes ISO sensitivity, B&W icon
LCD monitor • 3.0 ' TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 2.5 ' TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
LCD Live View Yes, including mirror-drop AF No
Main LCD settings display When changing settings such as AF mode or White Balance No
Tilt correction YesNo
Opening CF door Warning message shownPower down, loses images
Mirror lock-up Single or multiple exposures Single exposures
Mirror mechanism Motor up / down, quieter, faster Spring up / motor down
Playback modes Exposure line at top in single image view No exposure in single image view
User modes Three custom user modes on mode dial No user modes
High-speed continuous • 6.5 fps
• Up to 75 JPEG Large/Fine images
• 5.0 fps
• Up to 30 JPEG Large/Fine images
Portrait grip WFT-E3/E3A, BP-E2N, BP-E2


Wireless connectivity • WFT-E3/E3A
• Integrates as vertical hand grip
• WFT-E1/E1A
• No grip
Menu UI Same as EOS-1D series Same as previous xxD series
Menu languages 1815
Custom functions 2419
AF-ON button Rear 'under thumb' None
Rear buttons • Direct print
• Menu
• Play
• Erase
• Jump
• Info
• Picture Style
• Direct print
• Menu
• Info
• Jump
• Play
• Erase
Top right buttons • Lamp
• Metering / WB
• AF / Drive
• ISO / Flash comp.
• Lamp
• AF / WB
• Drive / ISO
• Metering / Flash comp.
Dimensions146 x 108 x 74 mm(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)144 x 106 x 74 mm (5.6 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
Weight• No battery: 740 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 822 g (1.8 lb)
• No battery: 706 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 785 g (1.7 lb

Canon EOS 40D specifications

List price
(body only)
• US: $ 1,299
• EU: € 1,299
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor *• 22.2 x 14.8 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter (with self-cleaning unit)
• 10.5 million total pixels
• 10.1 million effective pixels
• 5.7 µm pixel pitch
• 3:2 aspect ratio
Image processor *DIGIC III
A/D conversion *14 bit
Image sizes *• 3888 x 2592 (L; 10.1 MP)
• 2816 x 1880 (M; 5.3 MP)
• 1936 x 1288 (S; 2.5 MP)
File formats

• RAW (.CR2; 14-bit *)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Fine / Normal
• RAW + JPEG (separate files)
sRAW (2.5 MP) *

File sizes (approx.) *• JPEG L/Fine: 3.5 MB
• JPEG M/Fine: 2.1 MB
• JPEG S/Fine: 1.2 MB
• RAW: 12.4 MB
• sRAW: 7.1 MB
Lenses• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount
• 1.6x field of view crop
Dust reduction *• 'EOS Integrated Cleaning System'
• Self-cleaning sensor unit (filter in front of sensor vibrates at high frequency at start-up and shutdown - can be disabled)
• Dust Delete Data - Data from a test shot is used to 'map' dust spots and can be later removed using Canon DPP Software
Auto focus • 9-point TTL CMOS sensor
• All points cross-type for lenses of F5.6 or faster *
• Center point additionally sensitive with lenses of F2.8 or faster *
• AF working range: -0.5 - 18 EV (at 23°C, ISO 100)
Focus modes• One shot AF
• AI Servo AF
• AI Focus AF
• Manual focus
AF point selection• Auto
• Manual
AF assist• Stroboscopic flash
• 4.0 m range (at center)
Metering• TTL 35 zone SPC
• Metering range: EV 0.0 - 20 EV *
Metering modes

• Evaluative 35 zone
• Partial (9% at center)
• Spot metering (approx. 3.8% at center *)
• Center-weighted average

AE lock• Auto: One Shot AF with evaluative metering
• Manual: AE lock button
Exposure compensation• +/-2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
Exposure bracketing• +/- 2.0 EV
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments

• Auto ISO (see below) *
• ISO 100 - 1600
• 0.3 or 1.0 EV increments
• ISO 3200 (Enhanced H)

Auto ISO *• P, Av, A-Dep: ISO 400 - 800 (will drop to ISO 100 to avoid over-exposure)
• Tv: ISO 400 (will use 100 - 800 if required)
• M: ISO 400
• Scene modes (apart from Sport and Portrait): ISO 100 - 800
• Sport scene mode: ISO 400 - 800
• Portrait scene mode: ISO 100
• With flash (all modes): ISO 400
Shutter• Focal-plane shutter
• 100,000 exposure durability
• 30 - 1/8000 sec
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Flash X-Sync: 1/250 sec
• Bulb
Aperture values• F1.0 - F91
• 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
Noise reduction • Long exposure (1 sec or longer)
• Optional for High ISO (default Off)
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin (2500 * - 10000 K in 100 K steps)
WB bracketing• +/-3 levels
• 3 images
• Blue / Amber or Magenta / Green bias
WB shift • Blue (-9) To Amber (+9)
• Magenta (-9) to Green (+9)
Picture style• Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User def. 1
• User def. 2
• User def. 3
Custom image parameters• Sharpness: 0 to 7
• Contrast: -4 to +4
• Saturation: -4 to +4
• Color tone: -4 to +4
• B&W filter: N, Ye, Or, R, G
• B&W tone: N, S, B, P, G
Color space• sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Viewfinder• Eye-level pentaprism
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.95x * (-1 diopter with 50 mm lens at infinity)
• Eyepoint: 22 mm *
• Interchangeable focusing screen Ef-A standard (2 other types optional) *
• Dioptric adjustment: -3.0 to +1.0 diopter
Focusing screens
• Ef-A (Standard Precision Matte - included)
• Ef-D (Precision Matte with grid)
• Ef-S (Super Precision Matte for easier manual focus)
Mirror• Quick-return half mirror (transmission:reflection ratio 40:60)
• Mirror lock-up (once or multiple exposures)
Viewfinder info• AF points
• Focus confirmation light
• ISO sensitivity *
• Shutter speed
• Aperture
• Manual exposure
• AE Lock
• Exposure compensation amount
• AEB level
• Spot metering area
• Flash ready
• Red-eye reduction lamp on
• High-speed sync
• FE Lock
• Flash compensation amount
• ISO speed (while changing)
• WB correction (while changing)
• B&W mode icon *
• Warnings
• Maximum burst for continuous shooting
• Buffer space
LCD monitor *• 3.0 ' TFT LCD
• 230,000 pixels
• 7 brightness levels
LCD Live view *

• Live TTL display of scene from CMOS image sensor
• 100% frame coverage
• Real-time evaluative metering using CMOS image sensor
• Best view or exposure simulation
• Grid optional (thirds)
• Magnify optional (5x or 10x at AF point)
• Optional Auto-focus with mirror-down / mirror-up sequence
• Two modes; normal and quieter
• Remote live view using EOS Utility 2.0 (via USB or WiFi/Ethernet using WFT)
• Manual focus only

Record review• Off
• On (histogram via INFO button)
• Display mode same as last used Play mode
• 2 / 4 / 8 sec / Hold
Playback modes *

1. Single image with exposure, file number, storage slot
2. As 1 but also image count and quality
3. Detailed exposure information, thumbnail and luminance histogram
4. Less detailed exposure info., thumbnail, luminance and RGB histograms

Playback features • Optional blinking highlight alert *
• Optional AF point display *
• Magnified view (up to 10x)
• 2x2 * or 3x3 thumbnail index
• Jump (by 1, 10, 100 images / by screen or date)
• Delete / Protect
Flash• Auto pop-up E-TTL II auto flash
• FOV coverage up to 17 mm (27 mm equiv.)
• Guide number approx 13 m / 43 ft (ISO 100)
• Cycle time approx. 3 sec
• Flash compensation +/-2.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV increments
• X-Sync: 1/250 sec
External flash• E-TTL II auto flash with EX-series Speedlites
• In-camera flash configuration (currently only 580 EX II) *
• Wireless multi-flash support
• PC Sync
Shooting modes

• Auto
• Program AE (P)
• Shutter priority AE (Tv)
• Aperture priority AE (Av)
• Manual (M)
• Auto depth-of-field
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Close-up
• Sports
• Night portrait
• Flash off
• Camera user settings 1 *
• Camera user settings 2 *
• Camera user settings 3 *

Drive modes

• Single
• High-speed continuous: 6.5 fps *
• Low-speed continuous: 3 fps
• Self-timer: 2 or 10 sec (3 sec with mirror lock-up)

Burst buffer *• Large/Fine JPEG: 75 frames
• RAW: 17 frames
• RAW+JPEG: 14 frames
Orientation sensor Yes
Auto rotation *• On (recorded and LCD display)
• On (recorded only)
• Off
Custom functions *24 custom functions in 4 groups
Menu languages *

• English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Portuguese
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Greek
• Russian
• Polish
• Simplified Chinese
• Traditional Chinese
• Korean
• Japanese

FirmwareUser upgradable
Portrait grip • Optional WFT-E3/E3A *
• Optional BP-E2N battery grip *
• Optional BP-E2 battery grip

• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out
• N3 type wired remote control
• PC Sync flash terminal
• Communication terminal on base for WFT-E3/E3A *

Storage• Compact Flash Type I or II (inc. FAT32)
• Canon Original Data Security Kit supported ('Original Image Data')
• No CF card supplied
Power• Lithium-Ion BP-511A rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• Supports BP-511 / BP-511A / BP-512 / BP-514
• CR2016 Lithium battery (date/time backup)
• Optional AC adapter
Wireless connectivity *
(optional WFT-E3/E3A)
• Mounts on base of camera and also acts as vertical grip
• Has its own BP-511A battery
• Wireless 802.11b / 802.11g
• Wireless security: WEP, TKIP/AES, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK
• Wireless methods: Infrastructure or Ad Hoc
• Wired ethernet (100 Base-TX)
• Transfer: FTP, PTP (remote control by computer), HTTP (view / remote fire)
• USB host capable: External hard drives, flash drives
• USB comms: GPS devices (records coordinates and altitude in image header)
Dimensions *146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
Weight *• No battery: 740 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 822 g (1.8 lb)

* New or changed compared to the EOS 30D

What's new / changed (key points)

10 megapixel CMOS sensor
It's been three years since we saw an increase in resolution in this model line, Canon went to eight megapixels with the EOS 20D in August 2004 but stuck with the same sensor for the EOS 30D. No surprises then to see a two megapixel upgrade and as usual Canon are (likely correctly) claiming that despite smaller photosites noise performance is in line with the EOS 30D due to improvements in sensor design.
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
With the introduction of the EOS 40D and EOS-1Ds Mark III Canon can now claim that their entire DSLR product line has dust reduction built-in. We have anti-static coatings and a piezoelectric element which shakes the front facing part of the low pass filter at startup and shutdown (you can disable this or operate it manually). It's worth noting that the exact design of the moving parts appears to have changed slightly since the EOS 400D.
DIGIC III image processor, 14-bit ADC
As with the EOS-1D Mark III and EOS-1Ds Mark III the EOS 40D gets the DIGIC III processor (although in this case only one of them). This enables various new features including Live View, faster image processing and we presume improved image quality.
Faster continuous shooting, larger buffer
Up from five frames per second the EOS 40D manages six and a half frames per second and can buffer more than twice the images resulting in a 75 image burst in 11.5 seconds versus the EOS 30D's 30 image burst in 6 seconds (based on Canon official specs, however we achieved 40 images in our review).
Larger, bright viewfinder
Frame coverage remains the same at 95% however magnification goes up from 0.90x to 0.95x, in use this is clear to see, indeed it would be fair to say that the EOS 40D's viewfinder view appears as large as that of the EOS-1D Mark III. It's a noticeable improvement.
Interchangeable focusing screens
Also new are interchangeable focusing screens. These come in three flavors; the Ef-A Standard Precision Matte (as included), the Ef-S Super Prevision Matte (slightly darker but easier for manual focus) and the Ef-D Precision Matte with grid (as shown above).
ISO display in viewfinder, B/W icon
Something we've seen requested (and we have asked) for quite some time was a permanent display of ISO in the viewfinder, this has now been implemented there's also a new B/W icon more as a warning that you are shooting in black and white mode.

Faster and quieter mirror mechanism
One of the more noticeable improvements when you first use the EOS 40D (apart from the larger viewfinder) is the much quicker and quieter mirror mechanism. Instead of relying on a spring to lift the mirror it is now motorized in both directions (and hence damped). This makes for much shorter blackout times and a quieter overall shutter release sound.

Nine-point AF sensor with cross sensitivity
The EOS 40D has the same nine focus points we first saw introduced on the EOS 20D however now all points are cross-type (meaning they are sensitive to both horizontal and vertical detail) with lenses of F5.6 or faster. Additionally the center point is now twice as sensitive as any other point with lenses of F2.8 or faster and has cross-type sensors set at forty-five degrees.
AF-ON button
A welcome addition and a carry-over from the EOS-1D cameras is the dedicated AF-ON button on the rear of the camera to the left of the AE lock button (just 'under your thumb'). This button becomes particularly useful in a continuous focus situation where you want focus to follow the subject while being able to trigger the shutter release independently.
WFT-E3/E3A wireless transmitter / grip
The most interesting new addition from an accessory point of view is the WFT-E3/E3A wireless transmitter which now also doubles up as a vertical grip. Attached to the EOS 40D it provides all the normal vertical grip controls as well as WiFi, Wired Ethernet and USB storage connectivity. It has its own BP-511 battery which it is said will last as long (in constant use) as that in the camera. The WFT-E3 supports various protocols including FTP, PTP (remote control) and even has a built-in web server for HTTP browsing of images and remote shutter release.
Weatherproof compartment doors
We're looking for an exact clarification on this point, it appears that while Canon has now weatherproofed the battery and storage compartment doors (water and dust can't enter these compartments when the doors are closed) other areas such as buttons and dials aren't fully weatherproofed as they are on the EOS-1D series. Hence while the EOS 40D's weatherproofing is an improvement over the EOS 30D it doesn't appear to be up to EOS-1D standards.
Larger 3.0' LCD monitor
No real surprise, everyone has to have a three inch monitor these days (although looking at the cramped button layout I'd be surprised to see them go much larger next time). The same resolution as the 2.5' it replaces but does appear brighter and of course larger is always better for reviewing images.
Live View
The EOS 40D provides a Live View mode which gives you a true 'Through The Lens' view, once enabled you activate Live View by pressing the SET button. Optional Auto Focus can be activated using the AF-ON button, this drops the mirror momentarily to achieve focus and then lifts it again to restore the Live View. Other Live View features include magnification (5x or 10x), information display, exposure simulation and Silent Shooting (a quieter but delayed mirror movement is used).
Shooting Information Display
Taking a leaf out of the EOS 400D book you can now optionally display a live 'control panel' type screen on the LCD monitor.
EOS-1D style menu system
Gone is the single long scrolling menu of previous EOS x0D cameras, now the EOS 40D gets the more logical and easier to navigate page grouped menu system of the EOS-1D, use the multi-controller (joystick) to move between pages and dials to navigate.
On-screen settings adjustments
Again, optionally you can repeat settings adjustments on the main LCD screen, this can be especially useful if the camera is mounted high on a tripod or with the top LCD panel facing away.
Auto ISO (400 - 800)
On the EOS 30D Auto ISO was available only in the Auto and scene exposure modes. Now it's available in all exposure modes and interestingly for the 'creative' modes (P, Av, Tv) starts at 400 and goes up to 800. It's a pity though that Canon still haven't implemented the very flexible automatic ISO seen in Nikon and Pentax digital SLRs which effectively becomes an 'ISO priority'.
Camera user settings
The EOS 40D has three new positions on the mode dial marked C1, C2 and C3. These allow you to recall saved camera settings instantly including shooting mode, menu settings and custom functions.
Trimming including tilt correction
In addition to being able to trim (crop) an image in playback mode you can now also tilt the crop rectangle by plus or minus ten degrees in 0.5 degree increments, perfect for correcting slightly tilted images before direct print.
RAW and sRAW
We first saw the idea of 'small RAW' in the EOS-1D Mark III. In sRAW mode you capture a RAW image which has about a quarter of the pixels of a normal RAW file, so in the case of the EOS 40D around 2.5 megapixels. Stored as 14-bit unprocessed data you can still apply all of the normal post-processing RAW adjustments such as exposure compensation and white balance correction but the resulting image is simply smaller.
Optional High ISO Noise Reduction
By default this 'extra' level of noise reduction is disabled however you can enable it to deliver even cleaner images at the expense of continuous shooting buffer.
Does not power down if card door opened
Only seven years of moaning in probably a dozen digital SLR reviews and finally Canon listened! Instead of instantly powering down when the CF card door is opened the EOS 40D displays a warning message and a countdown of how many more images are being written before it is safe to remove the card. At long last!
External USB media support
This feature is only available with the WFT-E3/E3A wireless transmitter / grip attached to the camera but does allow you to connect USB storage devices (such as external hard drives or flash drives) and use them as storage devices. The EOS 40D / WFT-E3 can power flash based USB drives but hard disk based drives will need their own power supply.


From the front at least there are very few changes from the EOS 30D, a little chiseling of the viewfinder chamber and a new finger tuck on the hand grip but overall no real surprises. The rear however has undergone more of a re-design, mostly thanks to the now three inch LCD monitor. Several buttons which ran down the left side of the EOS 30D's monitor have now shifted to below the EOS 40D's monitor also there's now a dedicated AF-ON button 'under your thumb'. We should be thankful that Canon hasn't removed the most useless button of all; Direct Print.

The same materials, build and construction as the EOS 30D, a two piece magnesium shell which makes up much of the front and rear of the camera which is well put together with no rattles or creaks, as with previous EOS x0D cameras the 40D feels just as solid and reliable.

Side by side

Despite a $500 price difference it's clear that many people will compare these two cameras as the current state-of-the-art serious-amateur (stroke semi-professional) digital SLRs from Canon and Nikon. The D300 is the larger and heavier of the two, by 80g, although in use it's unlikely you'd really notice this. One more difference is a two megapixel advantage to the D300.

In your hand

In your hand the EOS 40D feels almost exactly the same as the EOS 30D, except for the subtle new finger hook moulded into the front of the hand grip which I'm sure will be noticed by some but didn't really have a significant effect for me (it is however more in-keeping with the EOS-1D design). One thing you can't take away from the EOS 40D is that it does feel solid, reliable and 'well sorted' from an ergonomics point of view.

Design changes compared to the EOS 30D

Place your mouse cursor over either image below to compare the design of the EOS 40D to the EOS 30D.

LCD Monitor

The EOS 30D saw a step up to a 2.5' LCD monitor, the EOS 40D gets a 3.0' LCD although maintains the same 230,400 dot count (320 x 240 x RGB) which although good has now been overtaken by the amazing 921,600 dot 3.0' LCD's seen on the new Nikon D3, D300 and Sony DSLR-A700. As you can see from this shot the lack of an anti-reflective coating means that the screen does tend to pick up reflections.

LCD control panel

On top of the camera is a large LCD control panel which provides a wide range of information about camera settings and exposure. The main numeric section of the panel doubles up to provide other types of information such as the 'Busy' warning, AF point selection etc. The EOS 40D panel now features a dedicated readout of ISO sensitivity. The panel has an orange backlight which is illuminated by pressing the backlight button to the top left of the panel, the backlight stays on for approximately six seconds.

A breakdown of information displayed on the LCD panel can be found on the diagrams below.


The EOS 40D gets a new viewfinder which has a higher magnification than that of the EOS 20D/30D (up to 0.95x compared to 0.90x), although in spec terms this is a subtle increase the viewfinder view is noticeably larger and brighter and still doesn't suffer any distortion or corner softness. As with previous models the eyepiece rubber is removable allowing for the eyepiece cover or different eyepieces / angled finders to be fitted.

Focusing screens

Another significant change is that the EOS 40D now gets interchangable focusing screens:

  • Ef-A Standard Precision Matte
    - the supplied focusing screen, bright and with a normal matte
  • Ef-D Precision Matte with grid
    - a more matte finish easier manual focusing also includes a grid pattern
  • Ef-S Super Precision Matte
    - even more matte but obviously slightly darker, optimized for F2.8 and faster lenses
Focusing screen as supplied with installation arm The range of EOS 40D focusing screens

Viewfinder view

At first glance the view provided through the viewfinder hasn't changed that much, we still have the spot metering circle (about 3.5% of the frame) and nine AF points. The most significant and appreciated change is the addition of a permanent ISO display on the status bar. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF points chosen by the camera are highlighted briefly when you initiate AF (half-press shutter release / AF button), otherwise the selected AF point is highlighted. In automatic AF point selection mode the AF point will only highlight once an AF lock has been achieved. With a single AF point selected it will blink once as you half-press the shutter release and once more upon AF lock (or not at all if no AF lock was possible). In AI Servo AF mode (with the shutter release half-pressed) the selected AF point blinks just once and then tracks AF.

1AE lock / AEB in-progress 8Exposure level indicator / compensation
2Flash ready / FE lock warning 9Monochrome shooting
3High-speed sync (FP flash) 10ISO speed indicator
4FE lock / FEB in-progress 11ISO speed
5Flash exposure compensation12White balance correction / WB bracket
6Shutter speed / status indication 13Maximum frames in a burst
7Aperture / status indication 14Focus confirmation

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the EOS 40D is in the base of the hand grip, behind a simple clip- locked door. The door itself is removable (to make way for the optional battery grip). The EOS 40D is supplied with the BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack which provides 1390 mAh at 7.4 V (10.3 Wh). There's a tiny door on the inside edge of the hand grip where the cable from the optional AC adapter's dummy battery exits.

Battery Charger

As with previous EOS x0D SLRs the 40D is supplied with the CB-5L battery charger, it's relatively small and lightweight and easy to pack for travel. Charge time is around 90 minutes and the LED on the top of the charger indicates charge progress.

WFT-E3/E3A Wireless Battery Grip (optional)

The EOS 40D supports no less than three different battery grips, the BG-E2 (same as the EOS 20D & 30D), the new BG-E2N which is almost the same but has rubber seals around the battery compartment door and finally the new WFT-E3/E3A wireless battery grip. The one thing the WFT-E3/E3A doesn't do is provide any extra power to the camera, as you can see it's a different design to the BG-E2 series as it doesn't have the dummy battery stalk, instead the camera battery stays in the camera and the grip simply attaches to the bottom of the camera (and communicates through a new connector).

With the WFT-E3/E3A you can shoot wirlessly (802.11b/g) direct to FTP servers as well as have two-way communication over PTP and HTTP. In HTTP mode you can effectively remote control the camera, see a live view, change settings and take shots. The USB port can be used to store directly to external USB hard disks (although only small flash devices can be powered by the grip) or provide GPS data from USB GPS devices.

CompactFlash Compartment

The CompactFlash compartment on the EOS 40D is at the rear corner of the hand grip and is opened by sliding the door towards you and flipping outwards. The door itself has a metal hinge and opens with plenty of room to remove the CF card once ejected. The CF activity light is to the bottom right of the quick control dial. The EOS 40D supports both Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards and cards greater than 2 GB in capacity (FAT32) although doesn't support the newer super-high-speed UDMA standard.

The same old design flaw Fixed!

For the last six or so years I've been complaining about a design flaw which meant that buffered images were lost of you opened the CF door during a write process, somethingwhich had been addressed in the PowerShot G series several years ago. Finally we the same in a Canon DSLR, if you open the door during a write process the camera simply displays an animated warning on the LCD monitor along with a countdown and warning beep (if beeps are enabled).


Just like the EOS 30D all of the 40D's connectors are on the left side of the camera behind rubber covers, however the arrangement of the covers and the layout has changed. There are now effectively two columns of connectors each with its own cover. On the left we have PC sync and the remote terminal (N3), on the right video-out and USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed).

Base / Tripod Mount

On the bottom of the camera you'll find a metal tripod socket which is aligned exactly with the center line of the lens. Also worth noting is the new grip connector at the bottom right edge.

As I've requested in previous reviews it would have been nice to have had a rubber 'foot' on the base of the camera, although I will speculate that this could cause the camera to be incompatible with the optional battery grip.

Internal flash

The EOS 40D features an E-TTL II pop-up flash (same as the EOS 30D and previously 20D), it has a guide number of 13 (approx. 3.3 m @ 17 mm / 2.3 m @ 85 mm; ISO 100) and a wide angle coverage of 17 mm. Support for E-TTL II means that lens distance information is now used to calculate the required flash power. Flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

AF Assist

As per previous x0D DSLRs the EOS 40D uses the internal flash for AF assist. Instead of having a separate lamp to provide assistance to the AF system in low light you have to raise the flash unit which will strobe to provide illumination for AF.

External flash

The EOS 40D's hot-shoe can be used with Canon and third party flash units (sync only). As with the internal flash the hot shoe supports E-TTL II metering which uses distance information from the lens to calculate flash power. This works with all Canon lenses (although distance information is only provided by lenses with ring type USM motors). You'll note also the new weather seal surround which works in conjunction with the newer 580EX II Speedlite.

Lens Mount

The EOS 40D has a standard metal EF / EF-S lens mount which means that it supports all Canon EF and EF-S lenses plus some older as manual focus and compatible third party lenses. Because the sensor is smaller than a 35 mm frame all lenses are subject to a field of view crop (sometimes called focal length multiplier) of 1.6x, thus a 17 mm lens provides the same field of view as a 27.2 mm lens on 35 mm film.

Shutter Release Sound

In some of our digital SLR reviews we now provide a sound recording of a continuous burst of shots. Below you can see waveforms of a recording made of the EOS 40D shooting continuously JPEG Large/Fine for 30 seconds. The storage card used was a 2 GB SanDisk Extreme IV Compact Flash.

JPEG continuous, 30 seconds

Supplied In the Box

The EOS 40D is offered as body-only or as a kit with either the EF-S 18 - 55 mm IS or EF-S 17 - 85 lenses. Included in the body-only box is:

  • Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR body
  • Eyecup Eb
  • BP-511A Lithium-Ion battery pack
  • CB-5L (or CG-580) Battery charger
  • Neck strap
  • USB Cable
  • Video Cable
  • CD-ROMs
    • Canon EOS Solution Disk
    • EOS Utility
    • ZoomBrowser EX
    • Remote Capture
    • Digital Photo Professional
  • Manuals / Reg. card

Top of camera controls (left) - Exposure Mode Dial

Situated on the top of the camera on the left hand side is the exposure mode dial. This controls exposure operation be it fully automatic, a preprogrammed scene composition, flexible program, a range of manual and semi-automatic options as well as three 'camera user' positions. In the user manual Canon breaks these exposure modes into two groups; Basic Zone and Creative Zone.

Basic zone exposure modes

Full Auto and the six scene exposure modes are collectively referred to as the 'Basic Zone', in this 'Zone' certain settings are either fixed, limited or unavailable, as shown in this table. Variable settings are detailed in the second table. In the basic zone the camera will indicate that blur may occur because of slow shutter speeds, it does so by blinking the shutter speed on the LCD and viewfinder status bar.

Fixed settings

Fixed or limited settings

Unavailable settings
Metering mode (Evaluative) AF mode Custom functions
Color space (sRGB) Drive mode AE lock
Flash compensation (0 EV) Flash mode Bracketing
Exposure compensation (0 EV) Picture Style RAW image format
ISO sensitivity (Auto)
White balance (Auto)
Focus point selection (Auto)

In the basic zone the camera will indicate that blur may occur because of slow shutter speeds, it does so by blinking the shutter speed on the LCD panel and viewfinder status bar.

Limited variable settings in Basic zone

IconBasic zone modeAF
Picture Style
Fully Automatic Exposure

Camera has complete control over exposure, point-and-shoot operation.
AI Focus• Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
Apertures are kept as large as possible (small F number) to produce a shallow Depth of Field (blurred background).
One Shot• Continuous
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
Apertures as small as possible (large F numbers) for the largest depth of field.
One Shot• Single
• Self-Timer
• Off Landscape
Close-up (Macro)

Aperture is kept to a medium setting to ensure the subject DOF is deep enough but the background is blurred.
One Shot• Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye

Shutter speed is kept as high as possible to ensure capture of fast moving objects.
AI Servo• Continuous
• Self-Timer
• OffStandard
Night Scene

Allows for slow shutter speeds combined with flash to illuminate foreground and background.
One Shot• Single
• Self-Timer
• Auto
• Red-eye
Flash off

Disables internal and external flash for taking automatic slow exposures.
AI Focus• Single
• Self-Timer
• OffStandard

Creative zone exposure modes

The five exposure modes will be more familiar (and preferred) by most prosumer / professionals. All menu functions and camera settings are available in these modes and can be used in any combination. In manual exposure modes (Tv, Av, M) you control the shutter speed with the mail dial (top) and aperture with the quick control dial (rear), you can reverse the operational direction of these dials with C.Fn IV-4.


Program Auto Exposure (Flexible)

Very similar to AUTO exposure but you have access to all the normal manual controls, can set the ISO, exposure compensation, use AE lock, bracketing etc. Program AE is flexible which means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures (in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps depending on C.Fn I-1) by turning the main dial. Example:
• 1/30 F2.8 (metered)
• 1/20 F3.2 (turn left one click)
• 1/15 F4.0 (turn left two clicks) etc.

Shutter Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the aperture will blink. You can select shutter speeds from 30 to 1/8000 sec in 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps depending on C.Fn I-1.

Aperture Priority Auto Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the viewfinder status bar and on the top LCD, turn the main dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the camera's exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the camera's exposure range the shutter speed will blink. The range of apertures available will depend on the lens used but 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps can be selected via C.Fn I-1.

Full Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above (plus BULB for shutter speed, apertures limited by the lens used). Top dial selects shutter speed, rear dial selects aperture. Half-press the shutter release and the meter on the viewfinder status bar and top LCD will reflect the exposure level compared to the calculated ideal exposure, if it's outside of +/- 2EV the indicator bar will blink either + or -.

Automatic Depth-Of-Field AE

In this mode the camera automatically controls the depth of field (via aperture) to ensure that all the subjects covered by the focusing points, from those close to the camera to those far away from the camera remain sharply defined.

Top of camera controls (right)

Top of the camera on the right side is the status panel LCD, directly above this are four buttons; LCD backlight and three control buttons (see below). In front of these is the main dial and shutter release button. Along the rear 'under your thumb' you can see the AF-ON, AE-Lock and focus point selection buttons. Settings buttons are press once, turn a dial to change setting value and then half-press the shutter release to return to shooting mode (or press another button).

With the EOS 40D Canon has altered the function of the three top control buttons which if you're used to an EOS 30D can take a little while to get used to, especially for ISO sensitivity which has both changed button and dial.

Canon EOS 30DCanon EOS 40D
Main dial (top)Quick control dial (rear)Main dial (top)Quick control dial (rear)
AF mode White balance Metering mode White balance
Drive mode ISO sensitivity AF mode Drive mode
Metering mode Flash compensationISO sensitivity Flash compensation

Top panel buttons

The table below shows the relationship between each of the top panel settings buttons and the parameters changed by either turning the main dial (top) or quick control dial (rear).

ButtonMain dial
Quick control dial

Metering mode

• Evaluative (35 zone)
• Partial (9% of screen)
• Spot (3.5% of screen)
• Center Weighted Average

White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Flash
• Custom
• Kelvin temperature (2800 - 10000 K)

Auto focus mode

• One Shot (focus lock on half-press)
• AI Focus (locks but monitors movement)
• AI Servo (continuous predictive focus)

AI Focus mode initially locks just like One Shot mode but monitors the focused subject, if the subject moves it will automatically switch to an AI Servo operation.

Drive mode

• Single shot
• Continuous L (3 fps)
• Continuous H (6.5 fps)
• Self-Timer 10 sec
• Self-Timer 2 sec

You can optionally combine self-timer with mirror lockup (to reduce mirror induced vibration) via C.Fn III-7.

ISO sensitivity *

• Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• H (3200) (enabled via C.Fn I-3)
Flash compensation

• +/-2 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn I-1)

* Shown in 1-stop steps, 1/3-stop ISO steps can be selected via C.Fn I-2.

Under your thumb buttons (Shooting mode)

Auto focus start

The AF-ON button allows you to trigger auto focus independently of the shutter release 'half-press'. The EOS 40D is the first EOS x0D series to get the AF-ON button and indeed it's a fairly recent new feature to even Canon's professional EOS-1D series. Note that you can re-program the exact function of the AF-ON button via C.Fn IV-1 or you can switch the AF-ON button and AE/AF lock button via C.Fn IV-2 (all custom functions detailed in the menus section of this review).
AE / FE Lock

Press to trigger automatic exposure and lock the exposure for the next shot. Hold the button to lock the exposure for more than one shot.
AF point selection button

Press to choose a single AF point, turn the main dial or the quick control dial to scroll around the available AF points. Alternatively you can also use the new multi-controller to select a point directly (press the selector for the center point). The exact function of this button can be programmed via C.Fn III-3.

Under your thumb buttons (Play mode)

Thumbnail index / reduce
If in single view play mode, pressing this button will switch to a 2x2 thumbnail index, press again for a 3x3 index. If already magnified pressing this button reduces magnification level.

Press to magnify the current image, there are fifteen steps up to a maximum magnification of 10x. Once magnified you can use the multi-controller to move around the image.

Rear of camera controls

As previously mentioned the new three inch LCD monitor has forced the control buttons from their old position down the left edge of the screen to a row of five below and the menu button above. The 'new addition' (apart from AF-ON which we've already covered) is the new dedicated Picture Style button which is used to display the Picture Style selection / adjustment screen. Lastly let's not forget to mention the least useful button, direct print, which is still not customizable.

Shooting mode

Enter / Leave the Menu
The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review. [clip]

Displays current camera settings / information (two styles are available). [clip]
Picture Style

Displays the Picture Style selection / adjustment screen. [clip]

By default the multi-selector has no function on its own, however you can customize it to provide direct selection of AF point via C.Fn III-3.
Quick Control Dial

With the power switch in the third position (one step past ON) the Quick Control Dial can be used to change exposure compensation (steps depend on C.Fn I-1).
SET button

If Live View is enabled pressing SET enters or leaves live view mode otherwise this button by default has no function in shooting mode, however it can be configured to one of four different functions via C.Fn IV-3.

Play mode

Enter / Leave the Menu
The camera menu is described on the following pages of this review. [clip]


Press to change the type and level of information shown along with the image:

• Large image + status line (shutter speed, aperture, comp, filename, card)
• Large image + status line + image size & quality + image number
• Small image + status line + lum histogram + detailed shooting info
• Small image + status line + lum histogram + RGB histogram + detailed shooting info

Jump mode

Image browsing on the EOS 40D is slightly different to the EOS 30D, the quick control dial (rear) browses images one at a time, the main dial (top) jumps using the chosen jump mode. Pressing the JUMP button allows you to change jump mode:

• Jump 1 image
• Jump 10 images
• Jump 100 images
• Screen
• Date


Displays the last image taken (or the last image on the card). The EOS 40D is a shooting priority camera, which means that no matter what is displayed on the rear LCD this will be canceled if any of the camera's photographic functions (example half-pressing the shutter release or AF-ON) are accessed.

Press to erase the current image, displays an OK / Cancel dialog.
Quick Control Dial

Turn the Quick Control Dial to browse through images (the main dial can be used to jump images).

Lens mount controls

On the side of the lens mount are the final set of camera controls. First is the flash open button, a press of this (in the correct mode) will pop-up the onboard flash. Next down is the lens release button and below this the depth of field preview button which stops the lens down to the indicated / selected aperture to give a preview of DOF in the viewfinder.



Shooting mode information

Pressing the INFO button with no reviewed image displays an overview of the current camera configuration, note that the EOS 40D provides two different info displays; Normal display and Shooting function display.

Normal display Shooting function display

Record review & play displays

By default the EOS 40D provides a two second review display immediately after the shot is taken, this can be disabled or extended to 4 or 8 seconds or as long as you hold the shutter release button. During record review you can press the erase button to cancel / erase the currrent image. Record review and play share the same display modes, just press the INFO button to select between the four available modes (see below).

Display modes

There are four display modes available in record review / play, you can also optionally enable 'Highlight alert' (blinking highlights) and / or 'AF point display' (the last two in the table below).

1: Large image + status line (shutter speed, aperture, comp, filename, card) 2: Large image + status line + image size & quality + image number
3: Small image + status line + lum histogram + detailed shooting info4: Small image + status line + lum histogram + RGB histogram + detailed shooting info
Optional 'Highlight alert' enabled Optional 'AF point display' enabled

Play magnification

The EOS 40D has dedicated magnify buttons and provides fifteen steps of magnification, the final step appears to go beyond the detail of the cached image and can look pixelated.

Play thumbnail index

Unlike the EOS 30D the 40D provides two levels of thumbnail index, the initial view being a four image 2x2 index, press the thumbnail button once more to switch to a nine image 3x3 index. You can use the multi-controller or quick comman dial to move around images or the main dial to jump images (ideal if you have the 'screen' jump mode selected).

Other Play displays

After pressing the erase button you are shown a Cancel / Erase option An example of the menu shown when the camera is connected to a Direct Print compatible printer

Live View

Canon first approached Live View with the EOS-1D Mark III, the EOS 40D's implementation provides live view of the scene with magnification up to 10x, optional overlays (such as histogram and gridlines) as well as optional 'mirror up' auto-focus, although no contrast-detect auto-focus as seen in the Nikon D300. I was a little annoyed that you have to manually release the AF-ON button to return to live view after auto--focus, surely a better implementation would be to simply return to live view once auto-focus had been locked (as implemented by Olympus and Panasonic).

Live View exposure simulation

You can optionally (via C.Fn IV-7) enable Live View exposure simulation mode where the Live View display will attempt to simulate the brightness of the final exposure. In this mode changes to exposure compensation or exposure (in manual mode) are simulated, but of course this may lead to the image being too dark or too bright to frame correctly.

Live view display modes

Pressing the INFO button while in Live View toggles between the four available display modes, each with differing levels of overlaid information. The final view shown below is the default view with optional 'thirds' gridlines enabled.

1: Live view with magnification area indicated + status line showing shutter speed, aperture, flash compensation, exposure compensation, frames remaining and ISO sensitivity.2: Live view with magnification area + status line + brief overlay (simulation mode, battery status, Picture Style, AE lock, flash-ready)
3: Live view with magnification area + status line+ overlay + live histogram 4: Live view with magnification area (and nothing else)
Optional gridlines overlay

Live view magnification

Just as in playback mode you can magnify live view by pressing the enlarge button (or back out again with reduce). While magnified you can use the multi-controller to move around the live image. The 40D does appear to be able to go all the way to 1:1 magnification (one pixel on the sensor for one pixel on the LCD) which makes it easy to achieve perfect focus (it's worth noting that while magnified the camera applies higher sharpening than in the final image to assist focusing).

Live view Depth-of-Field preview, reaching the limit

One very useful feature in Live View is of course depth-of-field (DOF) preview, when the DOF preview button is pressed the camera stops the lens down to the selected (or metered) aperture which provides you with an accurate representation of the depth-of-field of the final image. As you can see from the images below this worked wel in our test scene up at F11 but at F22 the reduction in light produced by this very small aperture was beyond the video capability of the Canon sensor. (I personally was a little surprised by this, it does appear that Canon don't boost the Live View signal and so in low light situations you can end up with an image too dark to see).

Normal Live View DOF preview button held at F11
DOF preview button held at F22

Live view 'silent shooting'

One interesting addition to the EOS 40D's Live View options is 'silent shooting' where the noise made at the time of exposure is reduced by delaying (and/or slowing, it's not quite clear) the mirror / shutter return. When Disabled the camera is already quieter than in normal mode (the user manual says continuous shooting isn't available but we were able to use it), in Mode 1 the exposure sequence is slightly quieter and in Mode 2 it's quieter still as the shutter does not 're-cock' itself until the shutter release button is released (hence continuous shooting is not available).

To provide a better idea of just how 'silent' these modes are we have provided audio clips of each of the Live View silent shooting modes below. In each recording the sequence of events is the same:

Enter live view -> take a shot -> wait (live view returns) -> continuous shooting -> Leave live view


Live view exposure, silent shooting: Disabled

Live view exposure, silent shooting: Mode 1

Live view exposure, silent shooting: Mode 2*

* In 'Mode 2' continuous shooting isn't available and the delay between the exposure
and re-cock of the shutter depends on the photographer.

Camera Menus

With the introduction of the EOS 40D Canon has moved away from the 'one long scrolling page' layout seen on previous EOS x0D series, isntead we now have a tabbed multi-page layout which is consistent with their EOS-1D professional cameras. You navigate pages using the multi-selector or main dial and use the quick control dial or multi-selector to move up and down options, press SET to change. Colors (red for shooting, blue for play etc.) are used to distinguish the different categories of options. In Auto and scene modes the options available in the menus are limited.

Full menu (P, Tv, Av, M, A-DEP, C1-3) Limited menu (Auto, scene modes)

Shooting section (red)

Values / Actions
Quality [clip] • Large / Fine
• Large / Normal
• Medium / Fine
• Medium / Normal
• Small / Fine
• Small / Normal
• RAW + Large / Fine
• RAW + Large / Normal
• RAW + Medium / Fine
• RAW + Medium / Normal
• RAW + Small / Fine
• RAW + Small / Normal
• sRAW + Large / Fine
• sRAW + Large / Normal
• sRAW + Medium / Fine
• sRAW + Medium / Normal
• sRAW + Small / Fine
• sRAW + Small / Normal
• sRAW

- 3888 x 2592 JPEG Fine
- 3888 x 2592 JPEG Normal
- 2816 x 1880 JPEG Fine
- 2816 x 1880 JPEG Normal
- 1936 x 1288 JPEG Fine
- 1936 x 1288 JPEG Normal
- 3888 RAW + 3888 JPEG Fine
- 3888 RAW + 3888 JPEG Normal
- 3888 RAW + 2816 JPEG Fine
- 3888 RAW + 2816 JPEG Normal
- 3888 RAW + 1936 JPEG Fine
- 3888 RAW + 1936 JPEG Normal
- 1936 RAW + 3888 JPEG Fine
- 1936 RAW + 3888 JPEG Normal
- 1936 RAW + 2816 JPEG Fine
- 1936 RAW + 2816 JPEG Normal
- 1936 RAW + 1936 JPEG Fine
- 1936 RAW + 1936 JPEG Normal
- 3888 x 2592 RAW
- 1936 x 1288 RAW

Red-eye on/off • Off
• On
Enables the use of the AF / red-eye lamp just before a flash shot.
Beep • On
• Off
Enables auto focus confirmation beep. Also used for self timer.
Shoot w/o card • On
• Off
Allow shot to be taken without CF card inserted.
Review time • Off
• 2 sec
• 4 sec
• 8 sec
• Hold
AEB • +/-2 EV
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps (C.Fn I-1)
Configures auto exposure bracketing.
White balance [clip] • Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Tungsten light
• White fluorescent light
• Flash
• Custom
• Color temp. (Kelvin)
Custom WB • Set custom WBSelect image for custom WB.
WB Shift / BKT [clip] • Shift: B9-A9, M9-G9
• Bracket: BA+/-3, MG+/-3
Configures WB shift and WB bracketing.
Color space • sRGB
• Adobe RGB
Picture Style • Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Neutral
• Faithful
• Monochrome
• User Def. 1
• User Def. 2
• USer Def. 3

Picture Style

Now standard across Canon's DSLR range the Picture Styles are a range of pre-programmed image parameter sets intended to deliver the best results in different situations. Each Picture Style has its own preset mapping for tone and color response as well as providing the ability to tune sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone for each. For instance the default sharpening for the Standard Picture Style is level 3, if you prefer less strong you can just adjust it downwards. Sharpness has 8 levels, contrast, saturation and color tone all have have 9 levels.

Playback Section (Blue)

Protect images
Protect mode, allows you to browse images either in a single image or thumbnail view and mark each image as protected (or un-protect). This simply sets the read-only flag on the CF card file system.
Rotate mode, again, this can be performed in either single image or thumbnail index view. This option allows you to rotate an image on-screen by 90 or 270 degrees. Doesn't actually rotate the JPEG file, but marks its orientation.
Erase images
• Select and erase images
• All images on card
Print orderAllows you to create a DPOF print order file, for use with compatible printers or photo finishers.

• Select images
• All images
• Set up
Print type
File no.
Transfer order Allows you to create a transfer order file, for use with automatic image transfer software.

• Select images
• All images
Mark all on card
Clear all on card
Highlight alert • Disable
• Enable
AF point disp. • Disable
• Enable
Histogram • Brightness
Auto PlayStart an automated slideshow of images on the CF card, delay between each image is preset at four seconds.

Setup Section (Yellow)

Auto power off • 1 min
• 2 min
• 4 min
• 8 min
• 15 min
• 30 min
• Off
Sets camera power off time, this is the amount of 'idle time' before the camera powers itself off. In the power off state the camera can be woken by half or fully depressing the shutter release (or turning the power switch to Off and back to On).
File numbering • Continuous
• Auto reset
• Manual reset
Controls the numbering method used for filenames.
Auto rotate • On (play mode and EXIF)
• On (EXIF)
• Off
Chooses whether orientation information is recorded and if the camera should rotate in play mode.
INFO button
• Normal display
• Camera setting
• Shooting function
Selects the function of the INFO button in shooting mode
Format • Cancel
• OK
Format the CF card
LCD Brightness • 1 to 7
Date/Time • Set Date & Time
• Set Date format

• English
• German
• French
• Dutch
• Danish
• Portuguese
• Finnish
• Italian
• Norwegian
• Swedish
• Spanish
• Greek
• Russian
• Polish
• Simplified Chinese
• Traditional Chinese
• Korean
• Japanese

Select menu language.
Video system • NTSC
Select video system for video out connector.
Sensor cleaning
• Auto cleaning
• Clean now
• Clean manually

Defines the settings for the built-in cleaning system, by default the system is enabled and cleans at startup and shutdown (although can be interrupted).

The 'clean manually' option locks the mirror and shutter up.

Live View function settings
• Live View shooting
• Grid display
• Silent shooting
Mode 1
Mode 2
• Metering timer
4 sec
16 sec
30 sec
1 min
10 min
30 min
Defines parameters for Live View.
Flash control
• Flash firing
• Built-in flash function setting
Flash mode: E-TTL II
Shutter sync
1st curtain
2nd curtain
Flash exp. comp
-2 to +2 EV
• External flash function setting
• External flash C.Fn setting
• Clear external flash C.Fn setting
Camera user setting • Register
Mode dial: C1
Mode dial: C2
Mode dial: C3
• Clear settings
Mode dial: C1
Mode dial: C2
Mode dial: C3
- Records current camera settings to a mode dial 'C' user setting for easy recall.
Clear all camera settings • Cancel
• OK
FirmwareSelect to load new firmware from CF card Also shows current version, on our n camera; 1.0.3

Custom Functions

Custom functions on the EOS 40D are split into four categories, each has its own menu and is identified using a roman numeral (I, II, III and IV).

C.Fn I: Exposure

I-1: Exposure level increments0: 1/3 stop
1: 1/2 stop
I-2: ISO speed setting increments 0: 1/3 stop
1: 1 stop
I-3: ISO expansion 0: Off
1: On (enables ISO 3200; H)
I-4: Bracketing auto cancel 0: On
1: Off
I-5: Exposure Bracketing sequence 0: 0, -, +
1: -, 0, +
I-6: Exposure Safety shift 0: Disable
1: Enable (Tv/Av)
I-7: Exposure flash sync speed in Av mode 0: Auto
1: 1/250 sec (fixed)

C.Fn II: Image

II-1: Image Long exp. noise reduction0: Off
1: Auto
2: On
II-2: High ISO speed noise reduction 0: Off
1: On
II-3: Image Highlight tone priority 0: Disable
1: Enable

C.Fn III: Auto focus / Drive

III-1: Lens drive when AF impossible 0: Focus search on
1: Focus search off
III-2: Lens AF stop button function 0: AF stop
1: AF start
2: AE lock
3: AF point: M->Auto / Auto->Ctr
4: One Shot <-> AI Servo
5: IS start
III-3: AF point selection method 0: Normal
1: Multi-controller direct
2: Quick Control Dial direct
III-4: Superimposed display 0: On
1: Off
III-5: AF-assist beam firing 0: Enable
1: Disable
2: Only external flash emits
III-6: AF during Live View shooting 0: Disable
1: Enable
III-7: Mirror lockup 0: Disable
1: Enable

C.Fn IV: Operation / Others

Ps2 1.5.0 Download For Pc

IV-1: Shutter button / AF-ON button 0: Metering + AF start
1: Metering + AF start / AF stop
2: Metering start / Meter+AF start
3: AE lock / Metering + AF start
4: Metering + AF start / disable
IV-2: AF-ON / AE lock button switch 0: Disable
1: Enable
IV-3: SET button when shooting
(only when Live View is diabled)
0: Normal (disabled)
1: Change quality
2: Change Picture Style
3: Menu display
4: Image replay
IV-4: Dial direction during Tv/Av 0: Normal
1: Reverse direction
IV-5: Focusing Screen 0: Ef-A
1: Ef-D
2: Ef-S
IV-6: Add original decision data 0: Off
1: On
IV-7: Live View exposure simulation 0: Disable (LCD auto adjust)
1: Enable (simulates exposure)

My Menu

The 'My Menu' feature on the EOS 40D allows you to produce a custom menu made up of any of the cameras menu options (including custom functions) which means that previously buried but useful options such as Mirror lockup can now be brought to a top level menu.

Timings & File Sizes

The EOS 40D's performance was good with no stand-out issues. Power on is virtually instant, and off to shot taken is a bat-of-an-eyelid quarter of a second, record review (the time taken for the camera to display the image after shutter release) was around one second and playback never takes more than a second, and once cached faster than half a second. Continuous shooting was slightly slower than specified and the fastest speeds can only be achieved with shutter speeds of 1/500 sec or faster. A large buffer and good CF throughput speeds mean that the EOS 40D is always ready to take the next shot and enables you to 'pump' the shutter release without being concerned about hold-ups.

Timing Notes: All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3888 x 2592 JPEG Fine (approx. 3,200 KB per image).

Download ScreenJump For Mac 1.0.5

The media used for these tests were:

  • 2 GB SanDisk Extreme IV CF card
  • 2 GB Lexar Pro 133x CF card
  • 16 GB SanDisk Extreme III CF card

Media comparison

Time, secs
(2 GB Lexar)

Power Off to On

Power Off to Shot0.250.250.25
Sleep to On<0.1<0.1<0.1
Power On to Off *1<0.1<0.1<0.1
Record Review RAW *
Record Review JPEG *
Enter Live View
Exit Live View <0.2<0.2<0.2
Play RAW0.5 / 0.3 0.5 / 0.3 0.5 / 0.3
Play JPEG1.1 / 0.5 1.1 / 0.5 1.1 / 0.5
Play Image to Image RAW <0.1<0.1<0.1
Play Image to Image JPEG

*1If the camera decides that an automatic 'sensor cleaning' is required then power-off take around 1.5 seconds.
*2Time taken from the shutter release being pressed to the review image being displayed on the LCD monitor.

Continuous Drive mode

Frame rate vs. shutter speed

Our normal continuous shooting test shutter speed is around 1/500 sec, this normally avoids any slow-down due to the shutter mechanism. However we soon discovered that this wasn't fast enough to achieve the 40D's maximum rate. To achieve maximum shooting rate you need to be at 1/4000 sec or faster (which is a bit disappointing) and will then get 6.3 frames per second at the best (not the specified 6.5 fps). The graph below shows the relationship between shutter speed and frame rate on the EOS 40D.

Continuous drive tests

To test continuous drive mode the camera had the following settings: Manual Focus, ISO 100, Shutter Priority (1/4000 sec). Measurements were taken from audio recordings of the tests. Media used were the same as above.

The tests carried out below measured the following results for JPEG and RAW:

  • Frame rate - Initial frame rate, this was always 6.3 fps (+/- 0.01 fps)
  • Number of frames - Number of frames in a burst (until buffer full)
  • Buffer full rate - Frame rate if shutter release held down after burst (buffer full)
  • Next burst - How soon after the burst the buffer has emptied / CF compartment light goes out

Burst of JPEG Large/Fine images

2 GB SanDisk
Extreme IV CF
16 GB SanDisk
Extreme III CF
Frame rate 6.3 fps 6.3 fps 6.3 fps
Number of frames 12812898
Buffer full rate 3.0 fps 3.0 fps 1.5 fps
Next burst (buffer 75 indicated) 20.7 sec 20.4 sec 45.1 sec

Burst of RAW images

2 GB Lexar
Pro 133x CF
Frame rate 6.3 fps 6.3 fps 6.3 fps
Number of frames 191919
Buffer full rate 1.0 fps 1.0 fps 0.7 fps
Next burst (buffer 17 indicated) 16.2 sec 16.5 sec 22.8 sec

First of all it's probably worth mentioning that we couldn't achieve Canon's advertised 6.5 frames per second, despite testing the fastest shutter speed and various combinations of settings. The other thing to consider is that you can only achieve the fastest frame rates (6.0 fps and faster) from 1/500 sec upwards (I do think Canon should report that caveat in their specifications for the camera). With that said the 40D's performance is still impressive enough, a big buffer means that with the fastest card you can shoot for twenty seconds at full speed before the camera slows to a still pretty acceptable three frames per second.

File Flush Timing

Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and 'flush' the image out to the storage card. Timing was taken from the instant the shutter release was pressed to the time the storage card activity lamp beside the compartment door went out. Media used were the same as above.

Image type
Time, secs
(2 GB SanDisk)
Time, secs
(16 GB SanDisk)
3888 x 2592 RAW + JPEG2.02.12.614,800 KB *1
3888 x 2592 RAW,600 KB
3888 x 2592 JPEG Fine,200 KB
3888 x 2592 JPEG Std0.70.81.11,400 KB

*1File size reported here is the size of the RAW and Fine quality JPEG files added together.

As we should expect the EOS 40D delivers very fast throughput, with the best performing card (the SanDisk Extreme IV) we get over 7 MB/sec for both RAW and RAW+JPEG formats. This combined with a large buffer means that you'll almost never find yourself waiting for images to write to the card (unless perhaps you shoot a burst of RAW+JPEG, pretty unlikely).

USB transfer speed

To test the EOS 40D's USB transfer speed we transferred approximately 128 MB of images (mixed RAW and JPEG) from a SanDisk Extreme IV 2 GB CF card.

Transfer rate
Canon EOS 40D (PTP device) 7.5 MB/sec
CardBus PCMCIA adapter10.5 MB/sec
SanDisk Extreme IV USB 2.0 card reader 13.3 MB/sec

The EOS 40D just like the EOS 30D doesn't have a 'mass storage device' option, instead communication is carried out using PTP (via WIA on Windows), that said transfer rates are much better than we have seen before via PTP, up to 7.5 MB/sec (more than twice the EOS 30D). That said if you want real performance then just pick up a fairly inexpensive USB 2.0 card reader.

Image parameters

The EOS 40D, like all current Canon Digital SLRs, provides presets of image parameters in different 'Picture Styles'. There are six default and three user defined Picture Styles, all of which can have any of their four image parameters (sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone) adjusted. In addition the user defined Picture Styles can be 'based' on any of the preset Picture Styles. This is important because as well as having slightly different image parameters each preset Picture Style also has a slightly different contrast and color map.

Image parameter adjustments

  • Picture Style: Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User def. 1 - 3
  • Color space: sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Image parameter adjustments
    • Sharpness: 0 to 7
    • Contrast: -4 to +4
    • Saturation: -4 to +4
    • Color tone: -4 to +4

Picture Style

As mentioned above, each Picture Style can be thought of as being similar to different types of 'film', each one is made up of a tone curve, color map (including differing hue responses) and default sharpness. The camera comes with six programmed Picture Styles but you can download other styles from Canon. The disappointing aspect of Picture Style (still) is that the tone curve and color map are not revealed to the user, you have to experiment to understand the effect of each Picture Style. An approximate summary of the available Picture Styles are as follows:

Picture StyleCanon description Tone curve Color
StandardVivid, crisp general setting usable for variety of conditions. Type 1
(more contrast)
Slightly more saturation
PortraitProduces a soft texture and beautiful expression of skin color.Type 1
(more contrast)
Medium saturation, skin tones get a pink hue
LandscapeSharp expression with particularly vivid results for blues skies and green hues.Type 1
(more contrast)
High saturation, blue and green emphasis, hue chg.
NeutralWith post-processing in mind, saturation and contrast are low.Type 2
(neutral, flatter)
Low saturation, neutral hues
FaithfulFaithful production of the subject's colors, with no exaggeration. Type 2
(neutral, flatter)
Low saturation, colormetrically accurate
MonochromeMonochrome expression in black & white, sepia, etc. Type 1
(more contrast)
B&W, can use filters (red, green, orange, etc.)

For a reference of how each of these Picture Styles relate to older EOS digital camera parameter settings please refer to the chart at the bottom of this page on One new addition which came along at the same time as the EOS 40D is the Canon Picture Style Editor, a piece of software which allows you to produce your own custom Picture Styles which can include complex color maps.

Picture Style default parameters

You can see an interactive representation of the contrast and color difference between each Picture Style in the 'Photographic tests' section of this review.

Color Tone 00000n/a

Picture Styles 'real life' scene example

Below are six images in different Picture Styles produced from the same RAW image. Each was saved at a reduced size to aid full size display / download speed (in these examples we're only interested in tone and color).

NeutralFaithfulMonochrome (no filter)

Landscape Picture Style

Below are three images in different Picture Styles produced from the same RAW image. Each was saved at a reduced size (as above). Here you can see the advantage of using the Landscape Picture Style when for shots with foliage and blue skies, stronger blues and a richer green hue.

StandardLandscapeMonochrome (red filter)

Image parameters (contd.)


The sharpness setting of zero appears to mean 'apply no sharpening at all', hence this is the image as captured (soft because of the anti-alias filter). The default setting for Standard Picture Style is two and three for Landscape.

Sharpness: 0 (Neutral and Faithful default)
Sharpness: 1

Sharpness: 2 (Portrait default)

Sharpness: 3 (Standard and Monochrome default)

Sharpness: 4 (Landscape default)
Sharpness: 5

Sharpness: 6

Sharpness: 7

Contrast adjustment

Adjusting the tone alters the shape of the 'S curve' used to map the linear image data captured by the sensor into the correct gamma. A lower contrast setting maintains more of the original data's dynamic range but leads to a flatter looking image. A higher contrast setting stretches the grayscale (dark to light) of the image and could lead to clipping of both shadow detail and highlights. The EOS 40D provides a wide range of adjustment with nine steps from -4 to +4.

ThumbnailLuminosity histogram

Image parameters (contd.)

Saturation adjustment

Saturation adjustment allows you to control the strength of color in the final image. At the -4 setting you get quite a muted color response but this could be useful for post-processing, anything above +2 can lead to color channel clipping.

Thumbnail25% crop

Color tone (hue) adjustment

Ifrpfile 1.0.5 Download

Color tone subtly adjusts the hue of the image, a negative setting makes red tones appear more blue/purple, a positive setting makes them appear more yellowish.

Thumbnail25% crop


Ifrpfile 1.0.5 download

The EOS 40D is provided with the 'Canon EOS Solutions Disk 15' which includes:

  • Canon ZoomBrowser EX 5.8 - Easy to use image browsing and organization with a unique interface. Includes rudimentary image editting, printing and e-mail. Allows RAW conversion via the RAW Image Task plug-in (version 2.7 provided). - Windows only.
  • Image Browser 5.8 - Mac OS X only. *
  • Canon EOS Utility 2.1 - Automatic or Manual transfer of images via WIA, also allows for the adjustment of camera settings and remote 'tethered' shooting. *
  • Canon EOS 40D PTP/WIA driver - Windows only.
  • Canon PhotoStitch 3.1 - Panorama stitching utility.
  • Canon Digital Photo Professional 3.1 - Advanced image workflow and editing, specialized in RAW conversion with a range of adjustment and output options. *
  • Picture Style Editor 1.0 - Create custom Picture Styles. *

* Universal Binaries (Intel / PowerPC) for Mac OS X.

RAW conversion

As is normal in our digital SLR reviews I like to compare the supplied RAW conversion software, any optional manufacturer RAW conversion software and some third party RAW converter. In the case of the EOS 40D we had the supplied RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional as well as Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta.

  • JPEG - Large/Fine, Default settings
  • RIT - RAW Image Task 2.7
  • DPP - Digital Photo Professional 3.1
  • ACR - Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta

Color reproduction

Place your mouse over the label below the image to see the color from a GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart produced using each RAW converter. As we would expect there is no difference between JPEG from the camera and RAW Image Task which appears to contain the exact same algorithms as the camera. This time around there's no discernable difference between JPEG, RAW Image Task and Digital Photo Professional. Adobe Camera RAW takes a slightly more conservative approach to color response and has a less contrasty tone curve.

JPEG StandardRAW Canon RITRAW Canon DPPRAW Adobe ACR

Sharpness and Detail

Again RAW Image Task produced the exact same output as out-of-the-camera JPEG, the sharpest and most detailed image was from Digital Photo Professional closely followed by Adobe Camera RAW.





These crops demonstrate that more detail is available from Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW conversion of RAW files than can be obtained from JPEG or RAW Image Task. That said a lot of this detail could be described as 'false' (produced beyond Nyquist), although frankly the majority of the time this is useful as it improves the apperance of 'texture'.

JPEG from cameraRAW Image Task (RAW)
Digital Photo Professional (RAW) Adobe Camera RAW 4.3 beta (RAW)

High ISO noise reduction

Both Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW have selectable noise reduction options, a full comparison of these can be found in our ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels section of this review.

ISO / Sensitivity accuracy

In a new addition to our reviews we are now measuring the actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO sensitivity. This is achieved using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV.

Unlike the EOS 30D the EOS 40D proved to have the same sensitivity as indicated, much in line with what we've seen from other recent Canon digital SLRs and has been the case for most other brand SLRs.

Canon EOS 40D
(actual sensitivity)
Nikon D200
(actual sensitivity)
Pentax K10D
(actual sensitivity)
ISO 100 ISO 100ISO 100ISO 100
ISO 200 ISO 200ISO 200ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 400 ISO 400 ISO 400
ISO 800 ISO 800 ISO 800 ISO 800
ISO 1600 ISO 1600 ISO 1600 ISO 1600
ISO 3200 ISO 3200ISO 3200 n/a

ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels

ISO equivalence on a digital camera is the ability to increase the sensitivity of the sensor. The works by turning up the 'volume' (gain) on the sensor's signal amplifiers (remember the sensor is an analogue device). By amplifying the signal you also amplify the noise which becomes more visible at higher ISO's. Many modern cameras also employ noise reduction and / or sharpness reduction at higher sensitivities.

To measure noise levels we take a sequence of images of a GretagMacBeth ColorChecker chart (controlled artificial daylight lighting). The exposure is matched to the ISO (ie. ISO 200, 1/200 sec for consistency of exposure between cameras). The image sequence is run through our own proprietary noise measurement tool (version 1.4 in this review). Click here for more information. (Note that noise values indicated on the graphs here can not be compared to those in other reviews). Room temperature is approximately 22°C (~72°F), simulated daylight lighting.

Canon EOS 40D vs. Nikon D200 vs. Pentax K10D

  • Canon EOS 40D: Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, Manual WB,
    Default Parameters (Standard PS), High ISO NR (Default; Off), JPEG Large / Fine
  • Nikon D200: Nikkor 50 mm F1.4 Macro lens, Aperture Priority, Manual WB,
    Default Parameters (Normal), High ISO NR (Normal), JPEG Large / Fine
  • Pentax K10D: Pentax 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, Manual WB,
    Default Parameters (Natural), JPEG Large / Fine
Canon EOS 40D ISO 100Nikon D200
ISO 100
Pentax K10D
ISO 100
Canon EOS 40DISO 200 Nikon D200
ISO 200
Pentax K10D
ISO 200
Canon EOS 40DISO 400Nikon D200
ISO 400
Pentax K10D
ISO 400
Canon EOS 40DISO 800 Nikon D200
ISO 800
Pentax K10D
ISO 800
Canon EOS 40DISO 1600 Nikon D200
ISO 1600
Pentax K10D
ISO 1600
Canon EOS 40DISO 3200 Nikon D200
ISO 3200
Pentax K10D n/a

From ISO 100 to 400 there's very little to choose between these three cameras, at ISO 800 we begin to see some chroma noise in the K10D's gray crop as well as the effects of luminance noise reduction in the detail of the D200 crop. At ISO 1600 the difference grows, the EOS 40D and K10D maintaining more detail than the D200 but both with more visible chroma noise (thanks to Nikon's stronger chroma noise reduction). At ISO 3200 the 40D is looking much better than the D200 with considerably better detail reproduction and lower (although color mottled; this can be reduced, see next page) noise levels overall.

Luminance noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity on the vertical axis.

Chroma (color) noise graph

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of color on the vertical axis.

ISO Sensitivity / Noise levels (contd.)

In-camera High ISO noise reduction

A new feature introduced on the EOS 40D is optional 'High ISO Noise Reduction' which can be enabled via C.Fn II-1. As you can see from the graph below this appears to apply stronger chroma noise reduction while maintaining luminance detail (it made almost no difference to luminance noise). This leads to images which have less noticeable color blotch type noise and more film like grain, the only downside to using this option is reduced buffer space in continuous drive. The slight white balance shift you see in the crops below the graph are simply because we didn't re-capture the white balance preset after enabling noise reduction.

Indicated ISO sensitivity is on the horizontal axis of this graph, standard deviation of luminosity on the vertical axis (note that the standard deviation scale here is magnified 2x compared to the graphs on the previous page).

In-camera High ISO noise reduction Off / On (ISO 400 - 3200)

Canon EOS 40D
ISO 400
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 400
Nikon D200
ISO 400
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 800
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 800
Nikon D200
ISO 800
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 1600
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 1600
Nikon D200
ISO 1600
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 3200
Canon EOS 40D
ISO 3200
Nikon D200
ISO 3200

RAW noise reduction

As noted earlier both Digital Photo Professional and Adobe Camera RAW have selectable noise reduction options, both providing control over chrominance and luminance noise reduction independently. Digital Photo Professional provides three levels for each (Off, Low, High), Adobe Camera RAW provides a 0-100 scale for each. It's clear that even when the EOS 40D has its 'High ISO noise reduction' option disabled (as it is by default) there is still some noise reduction being applied by the camera.

The graph below demonstrates the differences between various noise reduction options compared to in-camera JPEG. As you can see the camera applies considerably more noise reduction by default than either DPP or ACR and that out of the two ACR does a better job at suppressing noise with its default settings. DPP's noise reduction worked but wasn't as effective as that of ACR which provides much more flexibility with its larger range of NR.

Noise reduction comparison at ISO 1600, graph

  • JPEG = JPEG direct from the camera (High ISO NR off / on)
  • DPP [a] [b] = Digital Photo Professional [luminance NR] [chrominance NR]
  • ACR [a] [b] = Adobe Camera RAW [luminance NR] [chrominance NR]

Standard deviation is on the horizontal axis of this graph, different output options on the vertical axis.

Noise reduction comparison at ISO 1600, test chart crops

  • JPEG = JPEG direct from the camera (High ISO NR off / on)
  • Canon DPP [a] / [b] = Digital Photo Professional [luminance NR] / [chrominance NR]
  • Adobe Camera RAW [a] / [b] = Adobe Camera RAW [luminance NR] / [chrominance NR]

JPEGHigh ISO NR Off (default) JPEGHigh ISO NR On n/a
Canon DPP Off / Off (default) Canon DPP Off / High Canon DPP High / High
Adobe Camera RAW 0 / 25 (default) Adobe Camera RAW 25 / 25 Adobe Camera RAW 75 / 25

Dynamic Range

Our new Dynamic Range measurement system involves shooting a calibrated Stouffer Step Wedge (13 stops total range) which is backlit using a daylight balanced lamp (98 CRI). A single shot of this produces a gray scale wedge from (the cameras) black to clipped white (example below). Each step of the scale is equivalent to 1/3 EV (a third of a stop), we select one step as 'middle gray' and measure outwards to define the dynamic range. Hence there are 'two sides' to our results, the amount of shadow range (below middle gray) and the amount of highlight range (above middle gray).

To most people highlight range is the first thing they think about when talking about dynamic range, that is the amount of highlight detail the camera can capture before it clips to white. Shadow range is more complicated, in our test we stop measuring values below middle gray as soon as the luminance value drops below our defined 'black point' (about 2% luminance) or the signal-to-noise ratio drops below a predefined value (where shadow detail would be swamped by noise), whichever comes first.

Picture Style options

As we have previously revealed the various Picture Styles use either one of two tone curves, the first more contrasty curve for Standard, Portrait, Landscape and Monochrome Picture Styles and a slightly flatter curve for Neutral and Faithful Picture Styles. Neither curve delivers more dynamic range and they both clip highlights at the same point.

Image Highlight tone priority

One feature new to the EOS 40D (although previously seen on the EOS-1D Mark III) is designed to deliver more highlight range. It's available via C.Fn II-3, once enabled the usable ISO range becomes ISO 200 - 1600 (ISO 100 and 3200 no longer available). In this mode the camera must be applying slightly less gain than normal combined with a different tone curve to deliver almost a whole stop (0.9 EV) more highlight range, that's pretty impressive.

ISO Sensitivity and Dynamic Range

The EOS 40D produced a fairly consistent nine stops (around 9 EV) of dynamic range from ISO 100 to 1600 dropping to 7.4 EV at ISO 3200 (due to shadow noise). While these are higher figures (by some two thirds of a stop) than we are used to seeing from most other digital SLRs the EOS 40D's improvement is in shadow range, highlight range (that above middle gray) still clipping at around 3.4 EV. We can make some assumption that this improved shadow range is thanks to the new 14-bit processing pipeline.

SensitivityShadow range Highlight range Usable range
ISO 100-5.7 EV3.4 EV9.1 EV
ISO 200-5.7 EV3.4 EV 9.1 EV
ISO 400-5.5 EV3.4 EV 8.9 EV
ISO 800-5.5 EV3.4 EV 8.9 EV
ISO 1600-5.5 EV3.4 EV 8.9 EV
ISO 3200 -4.0 EV 3.4 EV 7.4 EV

Dynamic Range compared

As you can see the EOS 40D produced slightly more highlight range than the D200 and over a third of a stop more than the K10D. Its biggest advantage however is at the shadow end where it extends to almost six stops below middle gray compared to around five stops for the other cameras. The 40D also features a softer 'roll off' at the highlight end which will deliver less hard-clipped looking white highlights.

Camera (ISO 100)
Highlight range
Canon EOS 40D-5.7 EV 3.4 EV 9.1 EV
Nikon D200-5.0 EV3.2 EV8.2 EV
Pentax K10D-4.5 EV2.8 EV 7.3 EV
Canon EOS 30D -5.1 EV3.3 EV8.4 EV

The wedges below are created by our measurement system from the values read from the step wedge, the red lines indicate approximate shadow and highlight range (the dotted line indicating middle gray).

RAW headroom

Experience has told us that there is typically around 1 EV (one stop) of extra information available at the highlight end in RAW files and that a negative digital exposure compensation when converting such files can recover detail lost to over-exposure. As with previous reviews we settled on Adobe Camera RAW for conversion to retrieve the maximum dynamic range from our test shots.

As you can see the default Adobe Camera RAW conversion delivers less dynamic range than JPEG from the camera (a more contrasty tone curve and less noise reduction in shadows). The best we could achieve was nearly eleven stops (11 EV) of total dynamic range, more importantly almost a stop of that is in highlights (although with no guarantee of color accuracy).

  • ACR Default: Exp. 0.0 EV, Blacks 5, Contrast +25, Curve Medium
  • ACR Best: Exp. -1.0 EV, Shadows 0, Bright. 70, Contrast -50, Curve Linear

WARNING: Although ACR was able to retrieve the 'luminance' (brightness) of wedge steps which were previously clipped there's no guarantee of color accuracy as individual channels may clip before others. This can be seen fairly clearly in the examples below, on the right the negative digital exposure compensation has revealed some more detail in the background but this soon turns into gray as one or more of the color channels clips.

Adobe Camera RAW default conversion Adobe Camera RAW with -3.0 EV digital comp.

Color reproduction

Here you can see a generated GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart, place your mouse over any of the labels below it to see the color reproduction in that mode. Select a camera/setting combination from the 'Compared to' drop-down to comparative boxes inside each patch.

Unsurprisingly (but sort of nice from a consistency point of view) the EOS 40D delivered exactly the same color response as the EOS 30D and EOS 400D, their now standardized Picture Style's at least mean that going from one Canon SLR to another you should get the same color. The color hue response is also virtually the same as the Nikon D200 and Pentax K10D although both used different tone curves which lead to slightly different 'brightness'.

Canon EOS 40DCompared to:
FaithfulMonochromeAdobe RGB

Artificial light White Balance

It's getting a bit old to say this in every Canon SLR review but the facts are pretty obvious, the EOS 40D doesn't do automatic white balance in artificial light, full stop. If you want white whites and your indoors or in any mixed light situation you will almost definitely need to take a manual preset or use the Kelvin temperature option. The whole 'we believe photographers want a representation of the light color in the scene' argument falls down when you consider that your eye doesn't see the light in any way as yellow as the camera captures it (and in any case if that's the intention then give the photographer the choice to have 'Accurate white AWB' or 'Representative AWB').

Incandescent - Auto WB
Red: 15.9%, Blue: -24.1%, Poor
Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red: 10.3%, Blue: -16.0%, Poor
Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red: 7.4%, Blue: -11.8%, Average
Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red: 6.8%, Blue: -6.8%, Average

The manual white balance dance (again)

Again (mentioned in previous Canon SLR reviews) something else which can get frustrating is the 'Now select manual white balance' message you are presented after taking a manual white balance reading (assuming you're not already in manual white balance), why not simply switch the camera to manual white balance, wouldn't this remove a step for the user?

Long Exposure noise reduction / Night shots

Our usual 30 second exposure test produced no hot pixels from the EOS 40D, so the optional long exposure noise reduction option (dark frame subtraction using an equal exposure with the shutter closed) made no difference here.

Noise reduction Off Noise reduction On
ISO 100, 30 sec, F8ISO 100, 30 sec, F8
(Brightness boosted by 50% in these crops)


Overall a good performance from the internal flash, no color balance issues and it coped very well with a white background (which typically throws most flash metering systems).

Highlight tone priority

The 'Highlight tone priority' option on the EOS 40D is activated by C.Fn II-3 , according to the 40D user manual it 'Improves the highlight detail. The dynamic range is expanded from the standard 18% gray to bright highlights. The gradation between the grays and highlights becomes smoother.' it goes on to warn 'noise in the shadow areas may be slightly more than usual.' We have already examined the effect of this option on Dynamic Range, below is a fairly good example of the difference enabling Highlight tone priority has on a real life shot (note that to produce the over-exposed areas in these shots we had to use +1.33 EV exposure compensation).

Highlight tone priority off Highlight tone priority on
ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F8ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F8 (Highlight tone priority)

Overall Image Quality / Specifics

I always go into a review such as this half-hoping to discover Canon has finally slipped up and we could find something critical to say about image quality, but I'm afraid for the competition the EOS 40D is another strong performer. Despite sharing identical specifications (10.5 total megapixels, 22.2 x 14.8 mm) the EOS 40D's sensor does appear to be different (or at least its backend electronics) to the EOS 400D (Digital Rebel XTi) as it did manage to deliver lower noise and higher dynamic range (topping nine stops, which is, apart from the Fujifilm S5 Pro, the best out-of-the-camera SLR performance we've had to date).

The EOS 40D's images always deliver lots of detail although you do get the feeling that they could be a little crisper and have slightly less visible sharpening if the anti-alias filter were less strong (this is done to avoid moire). You do also perhaps get the feeling that the obsession with keeping noise down means that in some cases images look almost unnaturally 'clean' (I've seen people refer to this as plastic). As mentioned above Canon's canned and now standard-across-the-range Picture Style tone and color combination do produce consistent performance between models.



Scarlett is a Mac application created with convenient EPUB reading in mind. It supports full-screen mode, Multi-Touch gestures, instant dictionary definition check and creation of spoken tracks (to easily take your books with you on your iPod/iPhone).
In addition to all of that Scarlett bundles delightful EPUB QuickLook and Spotlight plugins.
The application runs on both Lion and Snow Leopard.
I hope that you will enjoy using it as much as I do.
Scarlett does not support DRM-encrypted books.

What’s New

Scarlett 1.0.5 brings bug fixes and OS X 10.11 El Capitan compatibility.

4 Ratings

Just better. But: No bookmarking.

I tried the other ePub readers in the AppStore. I'm settling on this one. Why? Best all around. Best Quicklook plugin.
Scarlett has a Preview-like UI, unlike the other readers there's no pagination, you scroll thru the sections and then use Cmd-Down to jump to the next chapter. And, the Dev was thoughtful enough to put margin padding in. Thank you!
Where it really shines is the Quicklook plugin. Seriously, Apple should adopt this Quicklook plugin for the OS, as you get not only the book but the table of contents along the side. This is REALLY NICE when you have a lot of epubs to go thru. The competition either isn't as serious or (in the case one) the Quicklook plugin just shows a borked cover.
Shortcomings? At this point there's no bookmarking. It'd be nice to have a bookmark UI like does for PDFs that I'm reading. But seriously? This is a great start.

Utterly non-functional

This app is utterly non-functional. Purchase it at your peril.
I have only a modest collection of ePub books, 23 in total. They are all DRM-free and are all completely readable within iBooks. Nearly half of them are completely unreadable within Scarlett.
As just one example, my copy of The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, which works flawlessly on both my iPad and my iPhone within iBooks, displays nothing but a chapter list and blank pages when I load it into Scarlett. A search of the book for 'Kvothe' (the name of the main character) provides a list of results, but clicking on any of those results to actually view them reveals only more blank pages.
As another example, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six manages to display the book's title and a chapter list, but nothing else beyond that.
Yet another example, Neal Stephenson's Anathem can't even display a chapter list, it merely shows a list of the *sections* of the book, and no text.
Those books that do work function competently enough, but if the ratio of working to non-working files in my collection is at all representative, the odds are not in your favor.
If you actually want to use an app for reading ePubs on your Mac, do not buy this app. It does not work as advertised.

best option by far

I've been looking for a decent Mac epub reader for a long time and I'm glad to find a reasonably priced, nice looking one just for reading.
Library view -- Would love to have it show my iTunes ebook folder
Encoding fixes -- Characters (I've noticed dashes specifically) are displaying as other symbols even though they look right on my iPhone on some (not all) books
I don't know exactly how iTunes syncs bookmarks and notes across devices, whether or not it's editing the file, but it would be pretty great if this app opened books I'd read on my iPhone with the info I added.
Searching is very fast
Allows multiple windows

App Privacy

The developer, Milosz Staszewski, has not provided details about its privacy practices and handling of data to Apple.

No Details Provided

The developer will be required to provide privacy details when they submit their next app update.


4 MB
Requires macOS 10.6 or later.

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  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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