Canon are known to be an advocate for existing accessories, a fact that will undoubtedly be welcomed by all of those who intend to bid goodbye to their old "EOS". Thus, we are not surprised to see that the Canon EOS 400D again opts for the CompactFlash card to store the images, and uses the well-known NB-2LH battery for its power. Although more and more compact digital SLR cameras now employ Secure Digital cards, it seems that Canon still prefer the CompactFlash cards for their DSLRs. And something can certainly be said for that; after all, the Canon 400D can easily be used as a back-up for the EOS 30D. Nikon have decided to equip the cameras in the amateur segment with Secure Digital card slots, and use CompactFlash cards for the professional segment. A disadvantage is that the actual card slot takes up a little more space, but Canon seem to have dealt with this quite well.
Canon 400D - CompactFlash memory card
The Canon EOS 400D is the latest 10 Megapixel DSLR in the Canon assortment, and is able to deal with all types of CompactFlash memory cards, both fast and slow, as well as with all capacities. Although this may seem obvious, there are still quite a few (older) models that are not (yet) able to fully employ the newest, high capacity memory cards. Naturally, Microdrive, the small mini hard disk, can also be used, although there aren't many people who still work with it. This storage medium should in fact no longer be regarded as a serious alternative for a memory card. It is its instability in particular (not shockproof) that has caused many photographers a headache or two.
2GB SanDisk Extreme IV memory card
A disadvantage, albeit a small one, of a high amount of Megapixels is that the file size easily increases. Especially when shooting in RAW or RAW+JPEG, the Megabytes pile up rapidly! It is therefore wise to purchase a large memory card at the same time as the camera. A 1GB CompactFlash card has to be the absolute minimum; 2GB will give you plenty of room to work with. To enable the quickest possible finish, an Extreme III card would be recommendable. Although you may not always notice the benefits of an Extreme IV, the fastest memory card in the world, you will certainly become aware of the advantages when transferring your images to the computer. Especially when working with the fast Extreme card reader by SanDisk, which can also be employed with FireWire 800. When using a fast card, the buffer will be emptied very quickly indeed, whilst an Extreme III or Extreme IV card allows you to fill a 2GB sequentially in the highest JPEG mode. The following table shows the amount of images that fit onto a 1GB CompactFlash card.
Considering 1GB of storage capacity:
3888 x 2592 pixels - RAW - 9,8MB - 72 images
3888 x 2592 pixels - RAW+JPEG - 100 images
3888 x 2592 pixels - JPEG - Large - Fine - 3.8MB - 260 images
3888 x 2592 pixels - JPEG - Large - Normal - 2.0MB - 498 images
2816 x 1880 pixels - JPEG - Medium - Fine - 2.3MB - 432 images
2816 x 1880 pixels - JPEG - Medium - Normal - 1.2MB - 820 images
1936 x 1288 pixels - JPEG - Small - Fine - 1.3MB - 752 images
1936 x 1288 pixels - JPEG - Small - Normal - 0.7MB - 1418 images
Canon EOS 400D - Digital Photo Professional software
It is certainly useful to employ a fast memory card, especially as this means the images will be written onto the card considerably faster, whilst reducing the chance of having to resort to the buffer. The buffer itself is quite generous indeed, and fits either 10 RAW or 27 JPEG images in the highest quality. The average user, however, is unlikely to have to store this many images in the buffer. If you opt to work in RAW and JPEG at the same time, you will still be able to fit eight images in the buffer. All in all, a very decent score indeed. To process the RAW images, Canon supply the extensive Digital Photo Professional software. Although it isn't the fastest available software, it proves to get the job done both neatly and efficiently. Moreover, it also allows you to use the Dust Map and the Picture Styles, which makes the Digital Photo Professional software a useful and valuable tool. The fact that Canon supply this type of professional programme with the EOS 400D definitely deserves praise. Many other brands, including main rival Nikon, require you to dig deep into your wallet to get a decent converter.
Canon EOS 400D - NB2-LH Lithium Ion battery
The Lithium Ion battery of the Canon EOS 400D already made an appearance with the 350D, and the NB2-LH proved to perform superbly. The Canon 400D digital SLR, however, makes more use of the large LCD screen, and it goes without saying that the dust reduction system too takes its toll on the power. We are thus quite impressed by the fact that the battery life barely seems to suffer. The camera easily allows you to capture more than 400 photos with one battery load. The compact CB2-LW charger enables fast re-charging of the battery. Moreover, use of the optional BG-E3 handgrip enables the use of two NB2-LH batteries or six AA batteries. In addition to all of this, the Canon EOS 400D can be connected to the A/C power via an optional adapter. This type of adapter proves particularly handy when using the camera in a studio, such as when capturing product shots.