|Canon EOS 400D SLR camera review : Three years ago, Canon shocked the camera market with the introduction of the 6 Megapixel EOS 300D. It was a price breakthrough that would prove very important for the DSLR market. Suddenly, a digital SLR camera had become available for the novice photographer. And things didn't end there; since this event, digital SLR models have been in high demand. After a year and a half, Canon introduced the EOS 350D, which easily matched the success of its predecessor. It was a pretty safe bet that the successor of the EOS 350D would once again follow a year and a half later. Such was indeed the case. Canon's latest DSLR camera turns out to be the Canon EOS 400D, a ten Megapixel model. Remarkably, the EOS 350D will remain in stores for now. That doesn't change the fact, however, that the Canon 400D should be seen as its successor.
Canon EOS 400D - 2.5 inch LCD display
The frequency of the introductions may cause one to think the differences between the EOS types aren't all that big. Canon's rival Nikon, for instance, introduce their models at a more leisurely pace; which means the differences between, let's say, the D70 and the D80 seem considerably more significant. However, if we put the EOS 300D next to the EOS 400D, we note a comparably large difference. The Canon EOS 400D is still a very compact DSLR camera, and upon first glance it certainly does resemble the EOS 350D. The camera's back side, however, shows a main difference; the Canon 400D is equipped with a noticeably larger monitor, which has increased in size from 1.8-inch to 2.5-inch. Consequently, the small LCD display on top of the camera has disappeared. Canon have solved this issue by displaying the information on the large monitor, which is something we encounter quite frequently with many other competing models.
Canon EOS 400D - Features of EOS 30D
Naturally, the camera has also undergone a fair share of changes internally. The Canon 400D has, for instance, been equipped with the same 9-point auto focus as the pricier EOS 30D, whilst the buffer has been enlarged to 27 JPEG or 10 RAW images. As expected, the Canon EOS 400D has also been brought up-to-date with features that characterise all new Canon models. Examples are, among other things, Picture Styles, both a luminance histogram and a RGB histogram, three functions for the auto rotation of the image, 9999 images per folder, and the option to zoom in on a photo immediately after it is shot. In fact, the Canon EOS 400D has integrated many features of the EOS 30D; a DSLR from the higher segment.
Canon 400D - EOS Integrated Cleaning System
A striking difference between the EOS 350D and the new EOS 400D concerns the image sensor. However, it doesn't have all that much to do with the fact that the amount of pixels has increased to 10 Megapixels; the difference compared to 8 Megapixels isn't even that significant. The increase of Megapixels has likely been applied to ensure the camera keeps up with the competition; a marketing tool if you will. The Canon EOS 400D is the first Canon to feature a dust reduction system: EOS Integrated Cleaning System. We must say Canon take quite a clever approach to this issue. They start off with the area surrounding the sensor, the mirror housing and the bayonet. The parts that are used here have been designed in a way, and made from a certain type of material, that ensures dust will not stick to it quite as easily. After all, if dust isn't around in the first place, it won't come back to bother you later. A simple, yet very logical line of thought. The lid for the bayonet too has been made from a different material that attracts less dust. The surface of the sensor itself features an anti-static coating; which means dust is a lot less likely to stick to the valuable image sensor.
Canon EOS 400D SLR camera with Low Pass Filter
The third weapon in the battle against dust is the new Low Pass filter. A piezo element enables it to vibrate, which causes dust to fall from the filter, and thus vanish from sight. The digital SLR aficionados among us might find this story surprisingly familiar. After all, Olympus feature a similar system, and Sony too have shown they know how to shake dust from the sensor. Olympus, however, apply a system that features a separate filter, whilst Sony allow the entire sensor to vibrate. The advantage of Canon's approach is that it may just prove cheaper (as it does not require an additional filter), as well as considerably less vulnerable than a sensor that shakes and vibrates with all its connections. Thanks to the piezo element, Canon's anti-dust system also uses less power. With Canon's system, the filter is activated whenever the camera is switched on or off. Fortunately, this will not cost you any valuable time; the shutter release button is dominant. As a result, you will always be able to capture your image quickly.
Canon EOS 400D digital SLR camera review
If despite these precautionary measures, you still find dust in your image, it can be easily removed through software. Simply capture an image of a white sheet of paper. This allows easy detection of dust; after all, the dust becomes black. The camera will then turn this into a so-called "Dust Delete Data"; a map which contains all the dust. At this stage, you can use Digital Photo Professional to remove the dust. Every file, even the standard JPEG format, will include this map. It seems Canon have finally come to acknowledge one of the main obstacles when working with a DSLR: dust. Although the differences between the new camera and its predecessor might seem small at first, the Canon EOS 400D is in fact an entirely new DSLR camera with several very interesting improvements. We had the Canon 400D camera in our office for a considerable amount of time. Our findings can be read in the following Canon EOS 400D digital SLR camera review.