DSLR body | Canon EOS 400D

The Canon EOS 400D is an entry level DSLR, packed with features and full manual operation.

I decided to go down the Canon route for my DSLR body, mainly because my friend, used an EOS 30D which I was very impressed with and he also owns various Canon fit lenses, so myself having a Canon body made sense.

Not having any experience of DSLRs, I decided that an entry level model would suit me best. The choice at the time was the EOS 350D and the just released 400D. The extra pixels that the 400D offered plus the integrated cleaning system clinched the deal and to me was worth the extra money.

What I like about the 400D is the easy to use menu screen, all features are easily accessed and your camera setup is easy to view at any time on the 2.5" LCD screen. The EOS 400D set to fully auto is ideal for the beginner - taking control of all aspects of the shot, but as you progress and your knowledge increases, the 400D offers all the manual controls you would expect from a DSLR.

The APS-C sensor controls noise very well, even at ISO 800, images retain good detail and clarity.

Unlike the EOS pro bodies which use a full frame sensor, the 400D houses a APS-C size sensor in its lightweight, compact body. This means that when you attach a lens, you need to multiply the focal length by 1.6x, for example, a 300mm lens would actually be the equivalent of 480mm. This is great if you need that extra reach, but remember if you want a super wide angle shot, then an 18mm lens would actually be around the 28mm equivalent.

There are 3 options for metering: 35 area evaluated, center weighted and partial. Autofocus modes available are AI Focus, One Shot and AI Servo.

For more information on the Canon EOS 400D, browse the internet for forums and review sites, that way you will get a broad view from different users and different applications.

What Canon Says about the 400D:

The EOS 400D's 10.1 Megapixel sensor employs the same outstanding CMOS image quality advantage of its big brothers in the professional EOS 1 range. Super sensitive in low light and virtually noise free, CMOS is also fast and power efficient.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System
For consistently pristine results, a complete dust prevention and cleaning system works to keep the EOS 400D's sensor spotless. A combination of technologies reduces, repels and removes dust and includes a Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit that shakes dust from the sensor with each power on.

Large bright LCD
Reviewing your work is a delight with the super bright 2.5" 230k pixel display - nearly twice the size of the EOS 350D. Photos feel crisper, richer and more saturated, while a 160° viewing angle makes for easy at-a-glance checking and sharing.

Faster, longer
Shoot at 3 fps for continuous bursts of up to 27 large JPEG images (10 RAW): like shooting a whole roll of film in a single burst.

Picture Style
Switching between Picture Style presets is like being able to change film mid-roll to achieve different colour response and Black & White effects. Sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation are individually adjustable.

High precision 9-point wide-area AF
Select from one of nine fixed focusing points across the scene for fast, accurate focusing - even with off-centre subjects and 'rule-of-thirds' compositions.

This tiny super-computer renders colours with precision, accuracy and speed. Fast and power efficient, DIGIC II also delivers instant 0.2 second start up time.

Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software
Included in the box, DPP provides high-speed RAW image processing.

Lightweight and compact
Protecting the camera is a tough, durable casing that also keeps weight down to just 510 grams.

EF lenses and accessories
The EOS 400D is compatible with all of the more than 60 EF and EF-S lenses and all EX Series Speedlite flash units. E-TTL II passes data such as focal length and distance information from compatible EF lenses to the Speedlites for consistently accurate flash exposures.

Video Out allows TV screen review. Fast data transfer comes standard with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed.

Basic EOS 400D specs
  • 10.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • 2.5" LCD
  • 9-point wide-area AF
  • Picture Styles
  • 3fps with up to 27 frame burst
  • DPP RAW image processing software
  • Compact and lightweight
  • EF/EF-S lens and EX Speedlite flash compatible

Full spec on the Canon EOS 400D can be found on the Canon website. Click here for direct link.

Useful links

Canon EOS 400D webpage
DP review on the EOS 400D

Beginner tips

If you want to be more creative with your DSLR, but still want the camera to control the exposure, try using the P (programme) option, which allows you to alter things like the ISO.

The smaller the F number, the larger the aperture. A larger aperture allows more light in to your camera resulting in faster shutter speeds.

To achieve shots with blurred backgrounds and a sharp object in the foreground e.g. portrait photography, set your camera to A (aperture priority) and select a wide aperture (low F number - e.g. f2.8).

To achieve images that are sharp in the foreground to infinity e.g. - a landscape shot, select a higher aperture - e.g. F11, Remember, the larger the F number, the smaller the aperture, resulting in less light, therefore slowing own your shutter speed, a tripod may be needed.

If you don't want to use the flash on your camera in a low light situation, increase the ISO setting, this in effect, increases the sensitivity of the sensor to light, meaning that you can capture low light subjects and still hand hold the camera without motion blur. Remember that increasing the ISO setting does degrade the image, the higher the number, the lower the quality.

Click here to read the DSLR beginner guides

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