Canon U.S.A. Delivers Highly Anticipated EOS 40D Digital SLR
Improved Image Quality
Although it is based on the image sensor used in the EOS Digital Rebel XTi, the EOS 40D Digital SLR's 10.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C size image sensor has been significantly improved thanks to the use of larger microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity up to ISO 3200. The EOS 40D retains the model 30D camera's 1.6x focal length conversion factor (compared to full-frame digital image sensors or 35mm film) and is compatible with the full line-up of Canon EF lenses as well as the Company's expanding selection of high-quality, affordable EF-S lenses created specifically for Canon Digital SLRs with APS-C size image sensors.
Adding to the improved virtuosity of the images captured by the EOS 40D SLR is the camera's 14-bit Analog-to-Digital (A/D) conversion process. Able to recognize 16,384 colors per channel (four times the number of colors recognized by the EOS 30D SLR's 12-bit conversion capability), the EOS 40D camera is able to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors. The EOS 40D also incorporates the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced earlier this year with the EOS-1D Mark III Professional Digital SLR.
DIGIC III is the latest generation of Canon's proprietary image processing engine. DIGIC III technology ensures that the fine details and natural colors of the images are optimally recorded and, as an added bonus, is also responsible for the EOS 40D SLR's high-speed performance, faster signal processing and even its efficient energy consumption.
In addition to retaining the RAW image capture capabilities of its predecessors, the EOS 40D SLR now offers a more manageable "sRAW" recording format. In sRAW mode, the number of pixels is reduced to one-fourth that of a standard RAW image and the file size is cut in half, while retaining all of the flexibility and creative possibilities associated with full-size, conventional RAW images.
Improved Autofocus and Exposure Control
While the EOS 40D SLR maintains the nine-point wide area AF coverage first introduced on the EOS 20D camera, Canon has made significant improvements to its speed, precision and functionality, minimizing subject recognition problems in the process. The EOS 40D camera's completely redesigned nine-point AF sensor provides cross-type AF measurement at all nine focusing points for maximum apertures up to f/5.6, and for the first time in any EOS camera, the central AF point offers enhanced precision for both vertical and horizontal subject contrast when using EF or EF-S lenses featuring maximum apertures of f/2.8 or faster. AF calculation speed with the EOS 40D camera is 30 percent faster than the EOS 30D model.
The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR retains the same 35-zone metering sensor as its predecessor. Available patterns include Evaluative metering, which is linked to all AF points and is set automatically in the Basic Zone modes, Centerweighted average metering, Partial metering and Spot metering, covering approximately 9 percent or 3.8 percent of the viewfinder at center, respectively. The camera's E-TTL II autoflash and 12 exposure control modes (11 AE modes plus manual) are also unchanged from the EOS 30D SLR model. However, as a result of consumer input, Canon has added three Custom exposure modes. As an added convenience, particularly for wireless flash operations, users can adjust the flash settings of the Canon Speedlite 580EX II directly from the camera.
The Canon EOS 40D camera offers ISO speeds from ISO 100 to ISO 1600 in 1/3-stop increments. Users can also opt for a high-speed setting of ISO 3200. For the first time in any EOS camera, the 40D model offers Auto ISO capability in Creative Zone exposure modes. This valuable new feature adjusts the ISO speed to the optimal setting based on low light or shaky shooting conditions. Additionally, the EOS 40D provides full-time display of the active ISO speed setting, both in the viewfinder as well as on the top LCD data panel.
The Canon EOS 40D Digital SLR is also the first camera in its class to offer two interchangeable focusing screens in addition to the standard precision matte screen. Users can opt for a grid-type focus screen that makes it easier to verify horizontal or vertical alignment while determining image composition, as well as the Super-Precision Matte focusing screen that makes it easier to grasp the "sweet spot" of manual focusing when using a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or faster.