Canon EOS 40D Review

 
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Canon EOS 40D Performance


Timing and Performance

Above average speed for a semi-pro DSLR.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
0.4 second
Time it takes for camera to turn on. (Very fast; difficult to measure.)
Shutdown
0.3 second
How long it takes to turn off. (Very fast; difficult to measure.)
Buffer clearing time
Large Fine JPEG
10 seconds
(after 20 LF JPEGs)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Buffer clearing time
Small Normal JPEG
65 seconds
(after 100 SN JPEGs)
Buffer clearing time
RAW
14 seconds
(after 20 RAW frames)
Buffer clearing time
RAW
Live View Mode
24 seconds
(after 20 RAW frames)

Startup and shut-down times are quite fast: Not quite as fast as some, but the difference will really be academic. (The difference between 0.3 and 0.4 second really isn't likely to make the difference between a winning image and a lost shot.) Buffer clearing time depends on the image size and quality, burst length and how fast the card can be written to, to the flush the buffer. Live View mode increases RAW buffer clearing time significantly, but has very little impact on cycle times (see below).

 

Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.3 second
Time until first shot is captured.
Record to play
0.7 second
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.
Display
recorded image
0.5 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching is very fast. Almost imperceptible.

 

Shutter response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus
0.128 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using optical viewfinder (prime lens).
Full Autofocus
Live View
Silent Mode 1
0.166 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View Silent Shooting Mode 1.
Full Autofocus
Live View
Silent Mode 2
0.168 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View Silent Shooting Mode 2.
Full Autofocus
Live View
Silent Mode Disabled
0.283 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, using Live View Silent Shooting Mode disabled.
Prefocused
0.061 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.153 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual focus
0.078 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

The Canon 40D's AF performance is quite fast, a significant improvement over the 30D in most respects. Full autofocus lag is almost twice as fast at 0.128s vs the 30D's 0.245s, though prefocused, lag is just slightly faster (0.061s vs 0.068s). Continuous AF mode shutter lag is a bit longer though, at 0.153s vs the 30D's 0.105s, but shutter lag when manually focusing has been cut in half at 0.078s vs 0.154s. We were pleasantly surprised that the Live View modes add minimal shutter delay; not nearly as much as we're accustomed to seeing.

 

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.28 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Single Shot mode
Small Normal JPEG
0.20 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Single Shot mode
RAW
0.23 second
Time per shot, averaged over 14 shots.
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.16 second (6.40 frames per second);
20 frames total;
10 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
Live View Mode
0.16 second (6.17 frames per second);
20 frames total;
10 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Continuous mode
Small Normal JPEG
0.16 second (6.39 frames per second);
100 frames total;
65 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 100 shots.
Continuous mode
RAW
0.16 second (6.29 frames per second);
9 frames total;
14 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, then slows to an average of 1.21 seconds per shot, or 0.83 frames per second.
Continuous mode
RAW
Live View Mode
0.16 second (6.16 frames per second);
9 frames total;
24 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, then slows to an average of 1.14 seconds per shot, or 0.88 frames per second.
Flash recycling
2.9 seconds
Flash at maximum output.
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x CompactFlash memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

Cycle times for large/fine JPEGs are similar to the 30D, but have improved when shooting RAW, to 0.23s for 14 frames vs 0.27s for 11 frames for the 30D's smaller RAW files. Continuous mode has improved from 5 fps to over 6 fps with similar buffer depths. As with shutter lag, Live View mode has little impact on cycle times, though it does affect buffer clearing times. Flash recycling after a full power shot is quite fast at 2.9 seconds, slightly faster than the 30D's 3.0 seconds

 

Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
3,102 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
More than 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds are also very fast, so you won't feel the need for a separate card reader.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery

Excellent battery life for a lithium-ion design, as long as Live View is used sparingly.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
no flash
1100
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
50% flash (CIPA standard)
800
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
Live View
170

The Canon EOS 40D uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. Though runtime is excellent, we do recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand, especially if using Live View mode.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage

The Canon EOS 40D stores its photos on CompactFlash memory cards, and no card is included with the camera. The chart below shows how many images can be stored on a 512MB card at each size/quality setting.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
512MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
RAW
3,888 x 2,592
Images
(Avg size)
89
5.8 MB
185
2.8 MB
29
17.7 MB
Approx.
Compression
5:1 11:1 1:1
2,816 x 1,880
Images
(Avg size)
160
3.2 MB
337
1.5 MB
-
Approx.
Compression
5:1 11:1 -
1,936 x 1,288
Images
(Avg size)
286
1.8 MB
633
809 KB
55
9.3 MB
Approx.
Compression
4:1 9:1 0.5:1

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity CompactFlash memory card. At least a 2GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Canon EOS 40D

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