Canon 40D – First Impressions

*Warning equipment measurbating ahead*

I admit that in our whole wedding photography career, we were never first adopters of camera gear. It was either we bought our gear second hand or we waited a few months before buying a camera. But for the past few months, we’ve been wanting to buy a new cam as our four other cams have quite often been in and out of the service center. Thankfully we have friends like CJ and Jon of Threelogy who lent us their cameras when we were short of backup gear.

Anyway, when the Canon 40D was announced a few weeks ago, I knew it was the right time to upgrade and I wanted it ASAP. So I had my cousin buy my camera in Hong Kong and had my brother bring it here. Today is the local launch of the Canon 40D and since I’ve been using the camera for the past two weeks, I might as well write down my impressions on Canon’s new camera.

Impressions of a Filipino Wedding Photographer on the Canon 40D (after upgrading from a Canon 20D)

The features I love best:

Faster and more accurate AF
The 20D focuses fast at the center focus point but not at the other focus points. It also back-focuses a lot when I’m using my 10-22mm lens. The 40D focuses fast at all focus points and is spot on using the 10-22mm. But I did notice some front-focusing problems using my 70-200mm. The good thing is the LCD is huge so you know right away if the shot is out of focus.

Custom user settings
The 40D has 3 custom user settings on the dial. I find this feature very useful when I need to quickly change settings, i.e. during the bridal march. I use setting #1 for the entourage walking down the aisle (on board and off cam flash); #2 during the bride’s entrance (backlit, no flash); and #3 for the groom waiting by the altar (off cam flash). Before when using the 20D, I had to use 2 bodies set at different settings during the bridal march. Now I only carry the 40D. ;)

Larger viewfinder
Always a plus if you can see more, hehe.

AF-ON button
Ever since I started using the Canon EOS digital line, I’ve been assigning the rear [*] button as the Auto Focus button. Now the 40D features a dedicated AF-ON button beside the [*] button. I like that the AF-ON button is ergonomically placed, it feels better to shoot.

Live view
With the 40D, you can now have the option to view in real time what your camera sees on its humongous LCD, similar to what most point and shoot cameras do. Canon is mostly promoting this feature for macro and studio shoots. I used this feature a lot in our last wedding, mainly for checking the composition when I was shooting from the hip. I like shooting without looking at the viewfinder to catch the subject off guard or get a different angle.

Shutter/mirror noise
The 40D is quieter than the 20D and its shutter sounds more electronic, if I can describe it as that hehe.

Things I’m not too excited or happy about:

10.1 megapixels
I already stopped counting megapixels at 8MP.

6.5 frames per second
Not much use for weddings (except for those occasional split-second altar kisses hehe) but a killer feature for sports photography.

3-inch LCD
The LCD is huge but the colors are way off. Either the LCD is too blue or too yellow. I wish the 40D had the 5D’s LCD.

In conclusion, I love the Canon 40D. It’s fast and feels good to hold even without a battery grip. It may take a while though to get used to the different button placements and the menu system. My only rant is the LCD color.

As for Mimi, she said she’s not too sold on the 40D, as she’s perfectly happy with her 5D. :P

15 Responses to “Canon 40D – First Impressions”

  1. louie santos Says:

    ei,, just want to ask bout da price as well as the lens. kc balita ko ang kasma daw na lennte is 28-135 instead of its regular 18-55.. tenx anyway..and more power.

  2. Dino Lara Says:

    I just came back from the Canon 40D launch. I’m gonna buy one!

    Thanks for sharing your impressions. :)

  3. Abby Says:

    Thanks for the detailed review. Nalaunch na rin siya dito sa SG. Kaso lang, curious pa rin ako sa Nikon D300. Hmm.

  4. Jayson Says:

    Chief, nice to hear it from a wedding photog! Salamat. Likewise, will gonna upgrade by December. =)

  5. markku Says:

    I want! I love the AF-On button, the faster AF, and 6.5 fps. ;) Pati na din pala yung Live view.

  6. ate sel Says:

    Wala akong naintindihan, hehe. But methinks since ikaw yang nag re rave, at bihira kang mag ganyan, maganda nga talaga :-)

  7. ellyn Says:

    pareho kami ni ate sel na walang naiintindihan.. it all sounds geeky to me! hahahaha

    miss ko na kayo ni mimi!!!! (pati na rin si ate sel hahaha..)

  8. AJ Says:

    -insert tulo laway emoticon here-

    AF-ON button FTW!

  9. karl Says:

    Louie, the 28-135 is a good all around lens. We started with our wedding photography with that lens, a 50mm 1.8 and 19-35 Tamron. Photo of our first prenup using that lens.

    Dino, no problem! Happy Birthday! Magandang birthday gift yan hehe!

    Abby, the D300 really looks good… but I’m a Canon boy all the way.

    Jayson, ayus!

    Ate Sel and Ate Ellyn, di ko rin naman kayo naiintidihan pag nag Accounting & Finance talk na kayo eh :P

    AJ, hinanap ko pa meaning ng FTW haha

  10. pikoy Says:

    one thing i found useful for fast shutter speeds during wedding is when the groom kisses the bride. Usually the room is quiet and as they start the smackaroos… my 20D goes click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click,click. When reviewing the pics later i find that since i took a lot of that scene i could select the best one from the bunch. I had a client who also asked me to create an animated gif of them kissing hence i was able to use them. On the other hand … i want a 40D. :)

  11. Sus Says:

    Same frustrations with the LCD colors. Seems off. Too goody goody. Makes you feel your colors are too saturated when they are not. I’m still trying to get the hang of it. This didn’t seem a problem on the 20D or the 30D. Oh well… practice, practice, practice. =)

  12. Bambam Says:

    Hi, it was interesting to read your comments and feedback on the 40D. I was looking for something like this exactly, meaning professional, practical reviews from users/owners (esp wedding photographers) since I was planning to invest in a dSLR this year for this same field. Would you compare please the 40D against the EOS Digital Rebel Xti 400D, since on paper, the 40D tops the entry level 400D, except of course on price. But it also seems performance for both cameras are at par with each other (except the 6.5fps and 3200ISO, found only in the 40D), if sample images around the web would be believed (almost no difference). The extra savings in getting the Rebel would have been spent on premium lenses/accessories sana, or maybe a similar body as spare (dagdag konti sa budget ng 40D). But if it would mean missing a shot because of slow focusing, etc, then what would be the point, di ba? Hoping for your honest opinion. Thanks!

  13. Elm0 Says:

    Hi. Great review. I am planning on getting one myself and this certainly reinforces my view of the 40D. One question though, I also am getting a lens to go with the 40D to replace my 28-135. I am torn b/w the 24-70 and 16-35. If you had these in your bag, as a wedding photographer, which one would most likely be used more often? Thanks and great photos too!

  14. Ariel Says:

    Ive been browsing this site for over an hour now and Ive been in the state of “awww” eversince! You guys are great in your field! Ang gaganda ng mga kuha inspirational! Pwede ba mag work sa inyo? Hehe! Anyway, 40D is really a blast! Very nice gear! Way way better than what I used before (350D&400D). 6.5fps and 3200ISO is really something! But its the jog dial that made my shift really worth it! More power and more projects to you guys!

    To elmo, if youre planning to sell your 28-135, pls give me a buzz. 09164971954. Thanks! :-)

  15. Elmo Says:

    Ariel, sorry nasa CA ako at nabenta ko na rin sa kapatid ko. It’s a great lens (28-135) but not wide enough for my use.

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