Canon officially announces EOS 40D prosumer digital SLR

Following a leak over the weekend of the full details of the new model on the Amazon.com website, Canon has officially launched the EOS 40D. The EOS 40D will be in stores in the States in early September.

Pocket-lint.co.uk is heading to the UK Canon autumn collection press event later today, so we will bring you full information then on the EOS 40D and its UK launch, but for now here's the information from the American press release.

Building on the success of Canon's prosumer EOS 20D and 30D models, the EOS 40D claims to be state-of-the-art for mid-range DSLRs, and is aimed at advanced amateur photographers and entry-level professionals, or even as a second body for more established photo pros.

The camera boasts a newly enhanced, 10.1-megapixel CMOS imaging sensor (designed and manufactured by Canon) and the proprietary DIGIC III image processor, completely redesigned autofocus sensor and fast, 6.5 frame-per-second (fps) continuous shooting capability (for bursts of up to 75 Large/Fine JPEGs or 17 RAW images).

The most easily visible upgrade on the EOS 40D Digital SLR is the camera's larger 3-inch LCD screen (compared with the EOS 30D's 2.5-inch monitor).

Canon has raised the brightness level of the EOS 40D 230,000-pixel LCD screen and broadened the colour gamut - but the viewing angle has been narrows from from 170 degrees to 140 degrees.

The viewfinder has had an upgrade too - Canon has increased optical magnification from 0.90x to 0.95x, expanded the viewing angle from 251 degrees to 264 degrees and raised the eye point from 20mm to 22mm.

The EOS 40D SLR's magnesium alloy exterior has been made even more rugged than its predecessors with upgraded dust and weather resistant construction, particularly around the camera's connection ports, battery compartment and single-slot compact flash memory card door.

The 10.1-megapixel CMOS APS-C size image sensor has been improved with the use of larger microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity up to ISO 3200.

The camera's 14-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion process is able to recognise 16,384 colors per channel (four times the number of colours recognized by the EOS 30D SLR's 12-bit conversion capability), this means the EOS 40D camera is able to produce images with finer and more accurate gradations of tones and colors.

The EOS 40D also incorporates the optional Highlight Tone Priority and High-ISO Noise Reduction functions first introduced earlier this year with the EOS-1D Mark III Professional Digital SLR.

Canon states that the DIGIC III technology ensures that the fine details and natural colours of the images are optimally recorded and is responsible for the EOS 40D SLR's high-speed performance, faster signal processing and efficient energy consumption.

The completely redesigned nine-point AF sensor provides cross-type AF measurement at all nine focusing points for maximum apertures up to f/5.6, and for the first time in any EOS camera, the central AF point offers enhanced precision for both vertical and horizontal subject contrast when using EF or EF-S lenses featuring maximum apertures of f/2.8 or faster. AF calculation speed with the EOS 40D camera is 30 percent faster than the EOS 30D model.

One of the most exciting new features for the camera, Live View functionality offers the framing and capturing of subjects using the camera's LCD screen instead of the viewfinder, so the shooter gains a 100% field view to more easily achieve the desired composition.

A new Custom Function on the EOS 40D allows autofocus during Live View by pressing the camera's AF-ON button. At that point, the reflex mirror goes down and AF is carried out in the normal way. Letting go of the AF-ON button resumes Live View functions. Also, in the Live View shooting mode the user can magnify the image by five or ten times in order to ensure that the shot is optimally focused.

The EOS 40D boasts self-cleaning with a sensor unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to shake dust particles off of the low-pass filter in front of the sensor each time the camera is powered up or shut down. Users also have the option of engaging the "clean now" function at will or bypassing it altogether.

The EOS 40D SLR also retains the EOS 30D's 0.15-second initial start-up, its durable shutter (rated up to 100,000 cycles), its top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec and 1/250 maximum X-sync flash shutter speed setting.

The Canon EOS 40D will be sold in the States as a body-only configuration at an estimated selling price of $1299.00. It will also be offered in a kit version with Canon's EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated selling price of $1499.00.

Canon has now set the UK price at £899.99 for the Body only and £1199.99 for the EOS 40D plus complete with EF-S 17-85 IS USM lens.