Review of the Canon EOS 40D

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For four lovely days last week I was a Canon user I had rented the Canon EOS 40D with a 24-70 mm 1:2.8 lens.  I have to say that I expected to hate it.  I expected to use it for an hour or less and then grab my Nikon for the rest of the weekend.  That did not happen.  I fell for this camera and I fell hard as I was putting it back in the case to return on Monday I was a little sad.  On to the review:

1. Within five minutes of taking the camera out of the box have I taken a picture?  I was able to do this without a problem.  Figuring out the details of how to adjust the aperture or the ISO or the white balance required a quick glance over the manual but it was easy.  
2. Camera weight and the scale of sturdiness – This camera was pretty heavy with the lens in a substantial way.  Like my time with the D300 I liked the sturdiness that I felt while shooting with this camera.  
3. Camera setting options – what does the camera have as far as features – The different settings with the icons were present on this model and I liked the option to play around with those presets. The 9 cross-type AF points, including center AF point was awesome – I didn’t realize how important this could be until I played around with the different auto focus points for about 45 minutes one night. 

4. Continuous shoot speed – this was one fast camera and I had about 20 shots of my daughter mid-blink.  

5. Shooting in low light test shots – I have to say this was one area that I felt the camera was a little weak – I really did not like the look of the shots I took with the flash on and in the low light situations even with a very high ISO I wasn’t getting the shots that I wanted.  They were very grainy with a lot of noise.  I would definitely want either a diffuser or an external flash if I were to buy this camera.  

6. Thing I loved most – The way that the different settings are changed on this camera is really smart – it’s easy to adjust aperture and exposure without stopping what you’re doing and using both hands.  I felt like I could really see the depth of field that I was getting with my shots in the viewfinder and that is an area my Nikon really struggles with.  

7.  Would this make a good first DSLR camera?  I think it would.  It’s easy enough to use and the auto mode delivers great photographs and it has the power, settings and functions to go with a photographer as skills are expanded.  I do think an online class would help the user of this camera as there is a lot to learn.  

Here are a handful of my favorite shots this weekend with the Canon EOS 40D
CassJustCurious 2009-02-08 (1)
The auto white balance created really creamy skin tones.
CassJustCurious 2009-02-08 (6)
This is our friend Bean and the camera loved this little girl.
CassJustCurious 2009-02-08 (5)
The depth of field is great here – the cats were about 18 inches apart.  
CassJustCurious 2009-02-08 (4)
I played around with the focus points on these roses; this is one of about 50 shots.
CassJustCurious 2009-02-08 (3)
T
his shot is a little grainy and speaks to why I felt the need for an external flash.

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