Canon 40D versus Canon 7D II
The Canon EOS 40D and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2007 and September 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 40D has a resolution of 10.1 megapixel, whereas the 7D Mark II provides 20 MP. 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 40D vs Canon 7D II
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 40D and the Canon 7D II. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 40D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 7D II is notably larger (6 percent) than the Canon 40D. Moreover, the 7D Mark II is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the 40D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 7D Mark II 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 find an overview of suitable optics in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
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|
|Canon 40D»||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-|
|Canon 7D II«||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon T5i« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||20.5 oz||440||n||Mar 2013||649||-|
|Canon 70D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-|
|Canon SL1« »||4.6 in||3.6 in||2.7 in||14.4 oz||380||n||Mar 2013||549||-|
|Canon 60D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-|
|Canon 7D« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-|
|Canon 50D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-|
|Canon XSi« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||2.4 in||18.5 oz||500||n||Jan 2008||799||-|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|Canon XTi« »||5.0 in||3.3 in||2.6 in||19.6 oz||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-|
|Nikon D90« »||5.2 in||4.1 in||3.0 in||24.8 oz||850||n||Aug 2008||1,299||-|
|Olympus E-30« »||5.6 in||4.3 in||3.0 in||24.7 oz||750||n||Nov 2008||1,299||-|
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 40D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 28 percent) than the 7D Mark II, 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 40D vs Canon 7D II
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 7D Mark II 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.
With 20MP, the 7D Mark II offers a higher resolution than the 40D (10.1MP), but the 7D Mark II has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.10μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). Yet, the 7D Mark II is a much more recent model (by 7 years) than the 40D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 7D Mark II has a markedly higher DXO score than the 40D (overall score 6 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.3 bits higher color depth, 0.5 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 7D II«||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79|
|Canon T5i« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.7||11.2||681||61|
|Canon 70D« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68|
|Canon SL1« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.8||11.3||843||63|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63|
|Canon XSi« »||APS-C||12.2||4272||2848||-||21.9||10.8||692||61|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59|
|Canon XTi« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57|
|Nikon D90« »||APS-C||12.2||4288||2848||720/24p||22.7||12.5||977||73|
|Olympus E-30« »||Four Thirds||12.2||4032||3024||-||21.3||10.4||530||55|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 7D Mark II indeed provides for movie recording, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the 7D Mark II can use is 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Canon 40D vs Canon 7D II
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 40D and the 7D Mark II 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 40D and Canon 7D II along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.
|Canon 7D II«||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n|
|Canon T5i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon 70D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n|
|Canon SL1« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.9||Y||n|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||6.3||Y||n|
|Canon XSi« »||optical||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||3.5||Y||n|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon XTi« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n|
|Nikon D90« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||4000||4.5||Y||n|
|Olympus E-30« »||optical||Y||2.7||230||swivel||n||8000||5.0||Y||Y|
The 7D Mark II is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 40D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 40D was succeeded by the Canon 50D.
Review summary: Canon 40D vs Canon 7D II
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon 40D better than the Canon 7D II or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 88g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (750 versus 670) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (28 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2007).
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 41%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (6 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 6.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years of technical progress since the 40D launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 7D Mark II is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 40D and the 7D Mark II in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known 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.
|Canon 40D»||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-|
|Canon 7D II«||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|Canon T5i« »||-||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2013||649||-|
|Canon 70D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-|
|Canon SL1« »||Rec||78/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||549||-|
|Canon 60D« »||Rec||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-|
|Canon 7D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-|
|Canon 50D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-|
|Canon XSi« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2008||799||-|
|Canon 30D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-|
|Canon XTi« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-|
|Canon 20D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-|
|Canon 10D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-|
|Nikon D90« »||HiRec||HiRec||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-|
|Olympus E-30« »||-||71/100||4.5/5||-||4/5||Nov 2008||1,299||-|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to add information on that model to the database.
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