I have played with my new 40D for a few days now since I boughtit on Sunday, so it’s time to write about some of my initialimpression on this new camera.
1. The viewfinder view is bright and is much bigger than the20D/30D. Definitely a nice upgrade. It’s great to finally have ISOvisible in the viewfinder at all times.
2. The Canon 20D makes a really loud shutter/mirror noise. The40D is much quieter, the sound is very muted. If the 20D soundslike a gun, the 40D sounds like a 20D with a silencer on.
3. Autofocus seemed faster especially under low light situation.Probably because all the 9 focus points are now cross-type, all thefocus sensors are much more sensitive than on the Canon 20D/30D.Previously, on the 20D, the peripheral sensors hunt a lot under lowlight situation, sometimes it was almost impossible to lock on afocus. On the 40D now, the peripheral sensors all locked focusinstantly just like the centre focus point.
4. The 3″ LCD is positively a huge improvement over the tiny1.8″ LCD on the 20D. It is probably not such a big improvementover the 2.5″ LCD on the 30D though. Without comparing the highresolution 3″ LCD on Nikon D3 and D300, which I have not seen andare not on sale yet, I would just say the 3″ LCD on the 40D isbright and clear with good viewing angle.
5. The menu structure has changed a lot compared to the 20D/30D,but is easy to use nevertheless.
6. Liveview and autofocus with Liveview is easy to use, once youhave made the correct settings in the custom menu.
To switch between Liveview and normal shooting(provided you have enabled Liveview in the custom menu), all youneed to do is press the “SET” button and the mirror would beraised instantly and you’ll get a Liveview on the LCD.
For autofocus in Liveview, there is a smallrectangle in the LCD which is the focus area, you can move thisrectangle freely to the point where you want to focus with themulti-controller. To autofocus, press the AF ON button once and themirror will raise up for a second or so. To shoot, just press theshutter release button as usual and it will shoot instantly.
To get out of Liveview mode, all you need to dois to press the SET button again.
7. Image quality with the 40D is very similar to the 20D/30D. Athigh ISO setting of 1600, my impression is that, their noise levelare very similar. However, the 40D sensor has 2MP more photocellsthan the sensor in the 20D. So the size of the photocells in the40D sensor would be smaller than on the 20D. Theoretically, if allother things being equal, you would expect that the 40D will benoisier than the 20D at high ISO, but since they essentially showedthe same level of noise, Canon has actually improved the noiseprofile on the 40D.
Personally, I have never had any complaints with the high ISOperformance with the 20D, so I am happy with the high ISOperformance of the 40D also. Of course it would be nice if Canonwas able to achieve some major breakthrough in technology andachieve ultra low high ISO noise in the 40D, but my personal viewis that the 40D high ISO performance is already very good andcertainly good enough for the majority of user.
You can see some test shots at ISO 1600 and ISO 1600 comparisonwith 20D at the links below:-