Canon EOS 40D Operation

The Canon 40D has an enhanced interface, with both the traditional monochrome Status LCD and viewfinder LED display, and a rear Status display that can be brought up on the 3-inch LCD. Finally, Live View mode also has a Status display, including a live histogram.

The control layout is also revamped somewhat to make room for the larger rear LCD. Fortunately, except for the buttons left of the LCD, button placement is almost identical to past models in the series, which makes adding the 40D to your collection that much easier. However, menu navigation is different, employing both the Multi-controller and the Quick command dial on the back. The Set button in the middle of the Quick command dial also serves to activate Live View mode. Let's go over a few aspects of the new interface.

Canon EOS 40D Top-Panel LCD Display

The Canon 40D features a top-panel LCD display, which reports practically all of the camera's main exposure and menu settings. The display is black and white, and only shows the settings that are applicable during use, though the illustration below shows the full range of settings that can appear. (Illustration courtesy Canon USA.)

The 40D's rear panel LCD monitor also offers two information displays: One that's similar to the Status display on the Canon Rebel XTi, and a broader overview display that uses more text than icons.

Additionally, the EOS 40D's rear-panel LCD monitor can be used as a viewfinder, via the camera's Live View mode (see the Viewfinder tab). A small sampling of exposure information appears on-screen, and if the Exposure Simulation option is enabled, the image display reflects what the expected exposure outcome will be. An optional histogram can display, but unfortunately it isn't translucent, completely blocking that upper right quadrant.

Canon EOS 40D Playback Displays

The display mode used in Record Review is the same as was last used in Playback mode, or you can hit the DISP button to cycle to a different mode. Likewise, in Playback mode, you can cycle between the available display options by pressing the DISP button repeatedly. You can also select between the normal luminance-based histogram and the new RGB histogram option via a Playback-mode menu item. The screenshots below show the various displays and options available.

Canon EOS 40D Image Display Options
This is the default display in playback mode. The file number is displayed upper right, the shutter speed and aperture are shown to the left.
Pressing the INFO button cycles through the three available displays. This is the second option, which adds an overlay of the resolution and quality settings, as well as the file number in the series.
The EOS 40D's third playback display option adds a luminance histogram and more detailed exposure information.
The fourth playback display includes an RGB histogram in addition to the luminance histogram, but with less overall information.
You can also zoom in on an image, up to 10x at the highest resolution. The small navigator window in the lower right-hand corner shows you what part of the larger image you're currently viewing. The arrow keys let you navigate around the full image, and the zoom in / zoom out keys increase or decrease the magnification level.
If you press the Zoom Out button while viewing a single image on the LCD screen, it'll take you to a four-image, then a nine-image thumbnail display. The arrow keys let you navigate among the thumbnail images. The overlay text displays the same basic exposure info for the currently-selected image as does the default single-image display.
Pressing the Jump button allows you to jump by 1 image, 10 images, 100 images, by screen, or by capture date.


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