Canon 70D vs 40D
The Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 40D are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2013 and August 2007. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 70D has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the 40D provides 10.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 70D||Canon 40D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|20 MP, APS-C Sensor||10.1 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)||ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 230k dots|
|Swivel touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||6.5 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|920 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|139 x 104 x 79 mm, 755 g||146 x 108 x 74 mm, 822 g|
Body comparison: Canon 70D vs 40D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 70D and the Canon 40D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 40D is notably larger (9 percent) than the Canon 70D. Moreover, the 40D is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the 70D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 70D is splash and dust resistant, 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.
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.
|Canon 70D»||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 40D«||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 80D« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||3.1 in||25.8 oz||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||4.8 in||3.0 in||4.1 in||25.9 oz||300||Y||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||5.9 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||32.1 oz||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T5« »||5.1 in||3.9 in||3.1 in||16.9 oz||500||n||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon 6D« »||5.7 in||4.4 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 60D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||3.1 in||26.6 oz||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||5.8 in||4.4 in||2.9 in||30.3 oz||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||5.7 in||4.3 in||2.9 in||29.0 oz||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.9 in||27.7 oz||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||5.7 in||4.2 in||2.8 in||27.2 oz||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||5.9 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||30.0 oz||500||n||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7100« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The 70D was somewhat cheaper (by 8 percent) than the 40D at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
Sensor comparison: Canon 70D vs 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. 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 more expensive and 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 40D is 2 percent smaller. 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.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 70D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5+) than the 40D (DIGIC 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 20MP, the 70D offers a higher resolution than the 40D (10.1MP), but the 70D has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.11μm versus 5.73μm for the 40D). However, the 70D is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years and 10 months) than the 40D, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The 70D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS 70D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 40D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200..
For many 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. Of the two cameras under review, the 70D has a notably higher overall DXO score than the 40D (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.4 bits higher color depth, 0.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 70D»||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 40D«||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T5« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||21.9||11.3||724||63||Canon T5|
|Canon 6D« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82||Canon 6D|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||APS-C||6.3||3072||2048||-||21.1||10.9||571||57||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83||Nikon D7100|
|Sony RX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 70D indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 40D does not. The highest resolution format that the 70D can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 70D vs 40D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 70D 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 70D and Canon 40D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 70D»||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 40D«||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||-||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T5« »||optical||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon T5|
|Canon 6D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||4000||4.5||n||n||Canon 6D|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7100« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7100|
|Sony RX10« »||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 70D has a touchscreen, while the 40D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The 70D has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the 40D does not have a selfie-screen.
The 70D writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the 40D uses Compact Flash cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 70D vs 40D
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 70D and Canon EOS 40D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 70D»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 40D«||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 80D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T5« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon T5|
|Canon 6D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7100« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7100|
|Sony RX10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
It is notable that the 70D offers wifi support, while the 40D does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 40D (unlike the 70D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 70D and the 40D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 40D was replaced by the Canon 50D, while the 70D was followed by the Canon 80D.
Review summary: Canon 70D vs 40D
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 70D and the Canon 40D? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20 vs 10.1MP) with a 41% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5+ vs DIGIC 3).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/30p movies.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- 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.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (920 versus 750) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 40D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 40D:
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2007).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 70D is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 2 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 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 70D 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.
Expert reviews: Canon 70D vs 40D
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 70D»||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 40D«||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon T5« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||449||-||Canon T5|
|Canon 6D« »||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099||-||Canon 6D|
|Canon 60D« »||Rec||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 30D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Canon 10D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Feb 2003||1,999||-||Canon 10D|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Sony RX10« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
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Specifications: Canon 70D vs Canon 40D
|Camera Model||Canon 70D||Canon 40D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2013||August 2007|
|Launch Price||USD 1199||USD 1299|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||22.3 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||10.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||3888 x 2592 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.11 μm||5.73 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.91 MP/cm2||3.03 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||100-3200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+||DIGIC 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||68||64|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.5||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||11.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||926||703|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||230k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||6.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Not weather sealed|
|Battery Type||LP-E6 power pack||BP-511A power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||920 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
139 x 104 x 79 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
146 x 108 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)
|Camera Weight||755 g (26.6 oz)||822 g (29.0 oz)|
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