Canon EOS 400D – experience after one week


I have missed a proper SLR since I stopped using my old Nikon F90S back in 2002. All these years I haven’t found anything that would fit my wallet and my needs. But after playing with a colleague’s Canon 20D and a cousin’s Canon 30D I knew that now there’s something out there that is good enough and within reach.

I went to the shop to buy a Canon 30D and came home with a 400D. They are both pretty similar and and also very different. Because other people might have considered some of the same equipment I have decided to post some thoughts here on my blog.

Why on earth buy a cheaper plastic camera when you went into the shop to buy a solid and pretty professional one?

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Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS @ 17mm F10, Shutter: 1/400, ISO100

The answer:
The 400D came out more solid than I initially thought. It is smaller and lighter than the 30D. And it will probably manage the strain I will give it for as long as I am going to keep it.

So why is the 30D twice the price of a 400D? The most important thing is that it is way more solid. And it takes 5 pictures pr. second compared to 3 for the 400D. And it has a maximum shutter of 8000 and ISO of 3200 compared to 4000 and 1600 on the 400D. And, it has spot metering. And probably a lot of other small details. Like the navigation wheel on the back.

If I was buying a camera for pure photography and not for family snapshots as well I would have selected the 30D. But I know that I am going to carry this camera around on holidays and all kinds of places. The difference in size and weight is absolutely an issue. Trust me, I have been traveling for months with my old F90S in my backpack.

As long as the 400D has the same beautiful type of CMOS chip, RAW files and support the same optics as the 30D I don’t think I will be able to take better pictures with a 30D. The fact that the 400D has automatic CMOS dust removal and a slightly better resolution (10MP compared to the 30D 8MP) also influenced my decision.

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Canon EOS 400D, EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS @ 17mm F9, Shutter: 4 sec, ISO100

Because I had decided to buy a very serious lens I also was a bit unsure of the combination. Was the 400D too small and too light for the Canon EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM that I had decided to buy? It also depends. I would say that the lens would fit the 30D better, but I have absolutely no problems operating this combination. So far I am more than happy with the 400D and the beautiful lens.

Here you can see the 400D with my lens. Compared to my Canon S2 IS. The red line on the 400D is the approximate balancing point with that lens.

Canon 400D Compared To S2 Is.001

And some more images of the Canon 400D with EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS USM