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Canon 400D versus Canon 40D

The Canon EOS 400D (called Canon XTi in some regions) and the Canon EOS 40D are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2006 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 10.1 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 400D vs Canon 40D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 400D and the Canon 40D. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. If you prefer, you can also use the toggle button to switch to a comparison in percentage terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 400D – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 400D vs Canon 40D
400D versus 40D top view
400D and 40D rear side

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 40D is considerably larger (48 percent) than the Canon 400D. Moreover, the 40D is substantially heavier (48 percent) than the 400D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 400D nor the 40D are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 400D gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH battery, while the 40D can take 750 images on a single charge of its BP-511A power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 400D (⇒ rgt) 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 no 2006 799discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft) 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 750 no 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.6 oz 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 19.9 oz 440 no 2015 849discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.3 oz 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 17.5 oz 700 no 2011 449discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.7 oz 440 no 2010 699discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.3 oz 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Canon 50D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.9 in 29.0 oz 800 YES 2008 1,299discont. check
Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.1 in 3.9 in 2.4 in 18.5 oz 500 no 2008 799discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.7 in 4.2 in 2.9 in 27.7 oz 750 no 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.3 in 2.6 in 19.6 oz 370 no 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.0 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 19.0 oz 400 no 2005 899discont. check
Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.6 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 22.9 oz 400 no 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt) 5.2 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 24.8 oz 850 no 2008 1,299discont. check

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 400D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the 40D, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison: Canon 400D vs Canon 40D

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 40D is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 400D and Canon 40D sensor measures

Even though the 40D has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 10.1 megapixel. This implies that the 40D has a lower pixel density and marginally larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.73μm versus 5.71μm for the 400D), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the 40D is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the 400D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

400D versus 40D MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar image quality. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 400D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62
Canon 40D (⇒ lft) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.3 703 64
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.6 12.0 915 70
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 720/30p 21.9 11.0 755 62
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.1 11.5 784 66
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Canon 50D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 no 21.8 11.4 696 63
Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4272 2848 no 21.9 10.8 692 61
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.2 3504 2336 no 21.5 10.8 736 59
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 10.1 3888 2592 no 22.1 11.0 664 62
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 8.0 3456 2304 no 21.8 10.8 637 60
Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 6.3 3072 2048 no 21.0 10.8 544 55
Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 12.2 4288 2848 720/24p 22.7 12.5 977 73
The 40D offers Live View, so that it can project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen for framing. The 400D lacks this capability. Both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison: Canon 400D vs Canon 40D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 400D and the 40D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 400D, the Canon 40D, and comparable cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 400D (⇒ rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon 40D (⇒ lft) optical YES 3.0 230 fixed no 8000 6.5 12 no
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed no 4000 3.7 YES no
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 YES no
Canon 50D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 920 fixed no 8000 6.3 13 no
Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 YES no
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 230 fixed no 4000 3.5 13 no
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 2.5 230 fixed no 8000 5.0 13 no
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.5 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 13 no
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 115 fixed no 4000 3.0 YES no
Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 1.8 118 fixed no 4000 2.5 YES no
Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 4.5 17 no

Both the 400D and the 40D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 400D was replaced by the Canon 450D, while the 40D was followed by the Canon 50D.

Review summary: Canon 400D vs Canon 40D

So how do things add up? Is the Canon 400D better than the Canon 40D or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 400D:

  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 146x108mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 266g or 32 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2006).

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (750 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (11 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 40D emerges as the winner of the match-up (6 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.

400D 04:06 40D

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 400D or the 40D. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 400D (⇒ rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check
Canon 40D (⇒ lft) 90/100 HiRec HiRec 4.5/5 reviewed 4.5/5 2007 1,299discont. check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 849discont. check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon 1100D (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 69/100 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2011 449discont. check
Canon 550D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 77/100 Gold 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2010 699discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Canon 50D (⇒ lft | rgt) 90/100 HiRec HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 1,299discont. check
Canon 450D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Canon XSi (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 799discont. check
Canon 30D (⇒ lft | rgt) 87/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2006 1,399discont. check
Canon XTi (⇒ lft | rgt) 85/100 HiRec HiRec reviewed 4.5/5 4/5 2006 799discont. check
Canon 350D (⇒ lft | rgt) 80/100 HiRec reviewed reviewed - 2005 899discont. check
Canon 300D (⇒ lft | rgt) - HiRec - reviewed - 2003 899discont. check
Nikon D90 (⇒ lft | rgt) 89/100 HiRec HiRec 4/5 5/5 4.5/5 2008 1,299discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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