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Canon 40D vs 60D

The Canon EOS 40D and the Canon EOS 60D are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2007 and August 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 40D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixels, whereas the 60D provides 17.9 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 40D   Canon 60D
Canon 40D Canon 60D
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 17.9 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/30p Video
ISO 100-1600 (100-3200) ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 1040k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
6.5 shutter flaps per second 5.3 shutter flaps per second
Not weather sealedWeathersealed body
750 shots per battery charge1100 shots per battery charge
146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g 145 x 106 x 79 mm, 755 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 40D and the Canon EOS 60D? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 40D vs 60D

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Canon 60D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 40D vs Canon 60D
Compare 40D versus 60D top
Comparison 40D or 60D rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 60D is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the 60D is markedly lighter (8 percent) than the 40D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 60D is splash and dust-proof, while the 40D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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 compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the 40D gets 750 shots out of its BP-511A battery, while the 60D can take 1100 images on a single charge of its LP-E6 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D» 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 60D« 145 mm 106 mm 79 mm 755 g 1100 Y Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 80D« » 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« » 149 mm 112 mm 78 mm 910 g 670 Y Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » 139 mm 104 mm 79 mm 755 g 920 Y Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 1100D« » 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 7D« » 148 mm 111 mm 74 mm 860 g 800 Y Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« » 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 800 Y Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 450D« » 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 30D« » 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« » 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 20D« » 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Nikon D90« » 132 mm 103 mm 77 mm 703 g 850 n Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-30« » 142 mm 108 mm 75 mm 701 g 750 n Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 40D was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the 60D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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 40D vs 60D

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, the 60D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 4) than the 40D (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.

Canon 40D and Canon 60D sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 60D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixels, compared with 10.1 MP of the 40D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 33 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 60D has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, it should be noted that the 60D is much more recent (by 3 years) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.

The resolution advantage of the Canon 60D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 60D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 13.8 inch or 52.7 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 11.5 inch or 43.9 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 40D are 19.4 x 13 inch or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inch or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inch or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 40D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 60D are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

40D versus 60D MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D» APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.370364Canon 40D
 
Canon 60D« APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.581366Canon 60D
 
Canon 80D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p22.411.8108270Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« » APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/30p22.511.692668Canon 70D
 
Canon 1100D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562Canon 1100D
 
Canon 7D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.011.785466Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« » APS-C 15.1 4752 3168-21.811.469663Canon 50D
 
Canon 450D« » APS-C 12.2 4272 2848-21.910.869261Canon 450D
 
Canon 30D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.510.873659Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« » APS-C 10.1 3888 2592-22.111.066462Canon 400D
 
Canon 20D« » APS-C 8.2 3504 2336-21.911.072162Canon 20D
 
Nikon D90« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.597773Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-30« » Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024-21.310.453055Olympus E-30

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 60D indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the 60D can use is 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 40D vs 60D

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 40D and the 60D 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same magnification (0.59x), but the one in the 60D has a wider field of view (96%) than the finder in the 40D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 40D and Canon 60D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D»optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n Canon 40D
 
Canon 60D«optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel n 1/8000s 5.3 Y n Canon 60D
 
Canon 80D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 10.0 Y n Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n Canon 70D
 
Canon 1100D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 1100D
 
Canon 7D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 6.3 Y n Canon 50D
 
Canon 450D« »optical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Canon 450D
 
Canon 30D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »optical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Canon 400D
 
Canon 20D« »optical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Canon 20D
 
Nikon D90« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 4.5 Y n Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-30« »optical Y 2.7 230 swivel n 1/8000s 5.0 Y Y Olympus E-30
The 60D has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 40D does not have a selfie-screen.

The 40D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 60D uses SDXC cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 40D vs 60D

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 40D and Canon EOS 60D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D»Y-----2.0---Canon 40D
 
Canon 60D«YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Canon 60D
 
Canon 80D« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Canon 70D
 
Canon 1100D« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Canon 1100D
 
Canon 7D« »Ymono-Y-mini2.0---Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 50D
 
Canon 450D« »Y----mini2.0---Canon 450D
 
Canon 30D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 400D
 
Canon 20D« »Y-----1.1---Canon 20D
 
Nikon D90« »Ymonomono--mini2.0---Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-30« »Y-----2.0---Olympus E-30

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the 40D and the 60D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the 60D was followed by the Canon 70D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.


Review summary: Canon 40D vs 60D

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 40D and the Canon 60D? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 40D:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6.5 vs 5.3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).


Advantages of the Canon EOS 60D:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (17.9 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 33%.
  • Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 4 vs DIGIC 3).
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (96% vs 95%).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1100 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years of technical progress since the 40D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 60D is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

40D 02:11 60D

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 40D and the Canon 60D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the 40D and the 60D in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Canon 40D vs 60D

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Canon 40D»+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299- i Canon 40D
 
Canon 60D«+79/1004/55/54.5/5 Aug 2010 1,399- i Canon 60D
 
Canon 80D« »+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199 i i Canon 80D
 
Canon 7D II« »+84/1004/55/54.5/5 Sep 2014 1,799 i i Canon 7D II
 
Canon 70D« »+ +83/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jul 2013 1,199- i Canon 70D
 
Canon 1100D« »80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449- i Canon 1100D
 
Canon 7D« »+ +84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2009 1,699- i Canon 7D
 
Canon 50D« »+ ++ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Canon 50D
 
Canon 450D« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799- i Canon 450D
 
Canon 30D« »+ ++ +oo- Feb 2006 1,399- i Canon 30D
 
Canon 400D« »+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799- i Canon 400D
 
Canon 20D« »-+ +-o- Aug 2004 1,499- i Canon 20D
 
Nikon D90« »+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Aug 2008 1,299- i Nikon D90
 
Olympus E-30« »-71/1004.5/5-4/5 Nov 2008 1,299- i Olympus E-30
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 40D:
Check Ebay offers
Canon 60D:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon 40D vs Canon 60D

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 40D Canon 60D
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Canon EF mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2007 August 2010
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 1399
    Sensor Specs Canon 40D Canon 60D
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.3 x 14.9 mm 22.3 x 14.9 mm
    Sensor Area 332.27 mm2 332.27 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.8 mm 26.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.6x
    Sensor Resolution 10.1 Megapixels 17.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 5184 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.73 μm 4.31 μm
    Pixel Density 3.03 MP/cm2 5.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-1600 ISO 100-6400 ISO
    ISO Boost 100-3200 ISO 100-12800 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 DIGIC 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 64 66
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 22.2
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 11.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 703 813
    Screen Specs Canon 40D Canon 60D
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.59x 0.59x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 40D Canon 60D
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 6.5 shutter flaps/s 5.3 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon 40D Canon 60D
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Canon 40D Canon 60D
    Environmental SealingNot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-511A power pack LP-E6 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)750 shots per charge1100 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 108 x 74 mm
    (5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
    145 x 106 x 79 mm
    (5.7 x 4.2 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 822 g (29.0 oz) 755 g (26.6 oz)

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