Cameras with more dynamic range allow you to take photos with dramatic differences in highlight and shadow areas while retaining detail in both.
Think of a brilliant sunset on a rocky beach: Bright sunset in the background, with dark rocks in the foreground. High dynamic range means more of the extremes will be faithfully reproduced.
Dynamic range test data courtesy of DxO Mark.A58 test data on DxO Mark 40D test data on DxO Mark
Improved 20.1-megapixel resolution; Impressive image quality, especially for its price; Fast and decisive autofocus (in most conditions); Very good battery life; Good video quality (Full HD 1080p, though it doesn't support 60p frame rate).
Plastic lens mount; Slower burst mode speeds and shallower buffer than A57; LCD no longer fully articulating; Mediocre kit lens; Electronic instead of an optical viewfinder may be a turnoff for some.