Canon EOS 40D – mini Review + Problems

Am a happy owner of the Canon 40D.
Canon EOS 40D
You can get plenty of complete previews/reviews off other sites

I will merely mention several things.
I purchased the kit, which included the 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM lens.

Initially I was considering of purchasing the 400D, although after having a handle of my friends 350D [which practically has the same physical dimensions] – I decided that the camera felt … feminine. Not the build of it, but more so that actual ‘lack-of’ grip. It was simply too small in my hand.
To overcome this – I thought of getting the battery grip, and upon a visit to the local CameraHouse – I didn’t like that either, as the seams of the battery grip didn’t meet up properly with the base of the 400D. This resulted in the camera simply not feeling right, plus it was smaller than my 300D!
Then I envisioned purchasing the 30D, but that thought quickly faded, as I’d be investing in old[er] technology. So I set my sights on the 40D.

Upon driving 90km to the store I ended up a happy camper. So how did it fare?

Body

Holding this puppy makes me feel like Kim Jong-il with his finger on the button. The finish of the body can be described like Vista – without the sarcasm – “Wow”. It is quite solid, and I have yet to drop it, hopefully I won’t be testing that feature.
The LCD is simply stunning, large [3.5″] and the LiveView is quite nice, if ever-so subdued and seemingly dull.
The buttons and their layout will be familiar to all previous Canon SLR users.

Lens

The kit lens is nice and bulky so it has a right balance with the body. The USM is very quick to focus, and the IS helps you get those photos you previously discarded due to being too blurry.
One gripe, and the main gripe I have with the lens is its ability to focus. I hope I just got a bad copy of this beast, but it simply cannot focus properly. I end up with images that are way too soft to be appreciated. At first I thought it was the camera, yet upon donning the 50mm 1.8 II and seeing the exceptional images it produced I simply decided to take the lens back, which I’ll be doing once the store opens up on Monday.
So far – that is it. There are too many features to mention that this camera contains, which is most likely more than an S-Class Mercedes.

Overall

Extremely happy with the camera, not so much with the kit lens.

UPDATE

I did a few test shots, to outline what I believe is a pretty bad copy of the 17-85, or perhaps as some have suggested the new focusing mechanism in the 40D playing up with a lens that can’t go f2.8..

Lens – 50mm 1.8 II

210
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: 1/160
FStop: f/2.2

211
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: 1/60
FStop: f/3.5

212
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: 1/50
FStop: f/4.5

213
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: 1/30
FStop: f/5.6

Lens 17-85 IS USM

NOTE: Check the focal length
217
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure: 1/60
FStop: f/4

218
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure: 1/30
FStop: f/5.6

219
Focal Length: 17mm
Exposure: 1/13
FStop: f/9

220
Focal Length: 35mm
Exposure: 1/50
FStop: f/5

221
Focal Length: 35mm
Exposure: 1/30
FStop: f/6.3

223
Focal Length: 53mm
Exposure: 1/40
FStop: f/5.6

224
Focal Length: 53mm
Exposure: 1/25
FStop: f/6.3

226
Focal Length: 85mm
Exposure: 1/25
FStop: f/5.6

227
Focal Length: 85mm
Exposure: 1/15
FStop: f/7.1


As you can see, the lens simply isn’t usable around 17mm, yet it does perform quite nicely at 35 and over. Understandably this isn’t L glass, but I don’t think it should be THIS soft. I will be returning the lens to Canon for re-calibration.