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Canon EOS 40D | Digital Camera Review | Control
The hand-fit of the Canon 40D has not significantly changed compared with the EOS 30D. It still has a perfect hand-fit. The Canon EOS 40D DSLR feels solid and can take a few bumps. The main buttons are placed within reach of the thumb or forefinger. The easy operation of the EOS keeps surprising me. First it seems complicated and then all of a sudden it becomes a piece of cake. I found out everything without having to read through the manual.
Canon EOS 40D | Digital Camera Canon EOS 40D | Digital Camera
Canon 40D digital SLR - Sensor cleaning
What I like about the Canon EOS 40D is that it is ready for use immediately. After activating the camera the filter will shake the dust off and this does not even take a split second. It certainly outweighs the time you would lose if you had to retouch the pictures. Besides; cleaning the sensor is skipped when you press the shutter release. The shutter release always has priority. Canon understood the importance of this since you would certainly not want to miss that one special moment. Perfect! Also when the camera is deactivated the sensor cleaning takes place providing the camera was activated for a while. I have not been able to detect any dust in the pictures thanks to this cleaning system.

Canon EOS

Canon EOS 40D - Focus points
The Canon 40D has nine focus points which is similar to the EOS 30D. But that is where comparison stops. The auto focus has been changed, improved and has become more sensitive. All areas are now so-called cross-type sensors. They are sensitive horizontally as well as vertically. The sensitivity is f/5.6 and the centre focus point can also work with f/2.8. The auto focus works well in practice. It is very useful that you can detach focussing from the release button; especially for action pictures it works wonders. The only thing I could not figure out is how to dedicate exposure and exposure lock to the shutter release button and then the AF only on AF-ON. I was able to dedicate exposure lock to the shutter release but then I also had to press AF-ON for light metering.

Canon 40D DSLR camera - Joystick
I am definitely less happy with the joystick when it comes down to changing focus points. The joystick is a tad too small for me and it is giving me trouble to select a focus point in a corner. Moreover I touched the joystick frequently with my face looking through the viewfinder with my left eye which unintentionally changed the focus point. The alternative would be to use the main command dial at the back for selecting; it requires turning a bit more but I find that this works a lot faster in practice.
Canon 40D - Quiet digital SLR camera
The Canon EOS 40D is a remarkably quiet digital SLR camera. And when you use USM lenses you can almost shoot in silence. When you press the shutter release button all you hear is a dry click. It makes the Canon 40D extremely suitable for shooting in quiet environments like a church or a theatre play. Every sound would disturb on locations like these. Just don't forget to turn off the bleep for focussing! All settings are easy accessible and only for image quality requires diving into the menu. I would have liked to have seen a separate button for it, but then again, you're not likely to change this setting often. All settings are rendered and easily changed on the LCD monitor at the back of the Canon 40D. It doesn't work yet as it works with Olympus, but it is pleasant to work with when you're using a tripod and the camera is on a difficult height. The large viewing angle lets you see clearly which setting you want to change.

Canon 40D Live View - SET button & AF-ON
The large viewing angle is important for Live View too. Pressing the SET button in the centre of the main command dial will show what you are capturing on the LCD screen. Pressing the AF-ON button activates AF. The view will darken a second because the mirror has to be folded down in order to enable correct focussing. The Canon EOS 40D is unable to focus on the contrast on the image sensor like some compact cameras and the Panasonic L10 do. The menu also benefits from the large screen. It is so easy to read everything and you will notice the difference when you go back to a camera with a smaller screen. The menu has been changed considerably and it now has the same structure as that of its bigger brothers. It is pleasant to work with and so is the joystick.

Canon Digital SLR

Canon EOS 40D - Writing pictures onto the card
Canon finally listened to our pleas and changed a most annoying thing that occurred on the previous models. The Canon EOS 40D now gives a warning message if you try to open the door to the memory card compartment instead of shutting the power down and losing the remaining pictures in the buffer as was the case with the previous models. Thankfully this belongs to the past and after the countdown as for how many more pictures have to be written onto the card, you will know when it is safe to open the compartment, a vast improvement!
Canon EOS 40D Canon EOS 40D
   
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