Review: Canon EOS 40D

Canon's newest digital SLR is great for beginners and pros.

— -- The EOS 40D is the newest addition to Canon's mid-range digital SLR cameras and is completely adaptable to the photographer's level of experience. Whether you are a beginner, an experienced amateur photographer or a pro who wants an everyday camera, this camera may suit your needs.

This 10.1 megapixel camera is fully customizable and puts control back into the hands of the photographer. If you are not completely comfortable with customizing your settings, you also have the option of a fully automatic function that has an auto ISO feature, which adjusts the film speed to what best suits your shooting condition, and a total of 15 shooting modes with three spots for user settings.

The camera has many great features, including a fast 6.5-frame-per-second continuous shooting option, the fastest in its class of mid range SLRs, which comes in handy when you're trying to catch that fast action shot. The large three-inch LCD viewing screen is great for editing and taking a better look at your photos without uploading them to your computer. When shooting, you also have an option to use the screen for live views and can even zoom in on your subjects for more precise focusing.

The 40D also features an internal cleaning system that will reduce sensor dust and prevent dust that builds up from static cling, which causes shadows that are common in digital SLRs.

Despite all these great features, the 40D does have its flaws. First, there's the battery life. If you are a fan of viewing your shots through an LCD screen rather than the viewfinder, you are bound to have a shorter battery life.

Similarly, if you're used to small, pocket-size lightweight cameras, this is clearly not the choice for you. The camera is slightly larger than its predecessor and is a little heavier than you would expect.

The body of the camera sells for $1,249.99; for more value, you can buy EOS 40D kit, which includes the body and the 28-135 lens sells, for $1,499.99. As with most mid-range and high-end digital SLRs, the camera has several interchangeable parts, including lens sizes and other small add-ons. The 28-135 lens that comes with the kit is great for photographers who can't afford to own many lenses, but also want choice in focal lengths.

Overall, the camera is sturdy and has a great feel. It has a good rubbery grip for your shooting hand, and the colors are pretty accurate on photos. This would make a great gift for aspiring photographers or for photographers just looking to spoil themselves.