If you want to step up from an entry-level digital SLR, you have to get something that has at least a little extra oomph. The Canon EOS 40D delivers outstanding image quality at a price ($1300 body only, or $1500 with a 28mm to 135mm lens, as of November 2, 2007) that's within the reach of photo enthusiasts and professionals alike.
The EOS 40D received a score of Superior for image quality in our PC World Test Center tests. Images were well balanced, with good color saturation and accuracy under both flash and natural light.
One of the EOS 40D's advantages is that it has enough high-powered features to appeal to enthusiasts as well as to professionals seeking a second camera. It has many of the same capabilities, in fact, as its higher-end cousin, the $4500 Canon 1D Mark III, which the company introduced in the spring. The two models share a 3-inch, live-view, 230,000-pixel LCD; Canon's Digic III image processor; highlight tone priority for preserving the details in bright areas of an image; and similar menus and controls.
On the whole, this is a powerful, scalable, 10.1-megapixel camera. If you're moving up from a Rebel-series digital SLR, you'll appreciate this model's versatility, which will help the camera grow along with you. And if you're a more advanced shooter or a pro looking for something smaller and less costly than Canon's top-tier cameras (the 1D and 5D series), the EOS 40D is perfect for you.