Canon 40D, Tips, Tricks, Techniques, Camera settings

First published on: Monday, 23 February 2009

This is a compilation of tips, tricks and recommended settings for the Canon 40D, and is based on various discussions in forums and other 40D sites.

How to use the three user modes — One of the best features of the 40D is the availability of three Custom Modes which lets you customize your camera in three different ways.

Each setup is able to capture virtually any combination of settings that lets you quickly prime the 40D for a particular shooting situation. You can even dictate whether the flash should fire or not.

Dan Sumption has written an excellent article explaining how he uses the 40D’s user-definable custom modes.

How to effectively use AF-On for baseball photographyIn this blog post, I’ve put up a link to Bryan’s explanation on how he gets such a high keeper rate in terms of focus accuracy using AI Servo and AF-On.

Birds-in-flight, Canon 40D vs 30D — M Armani, who’s been shooting birds for many years, started a thread about problems he has keeping the 40D focused on a bird-in-flight (BIF).

Greg probably has the most useful replies in that thread, where he said that he gets better BIF results with the 40D than was the case with his old 30D, and offers a tip on how to compose for the shot in order to minimize the tendency for the 40D’s super-quick AF (autofocus) system to quickly grab the background instead of maintaining focus on the bird, something which didn’t occur as much on the 30D.

Clint Thayer’s tips on shooting high-contrast landscapes

This is before: Canon 40D Landscape -- Before This is after: Canon 40D Landscape -- After

Follow the link to Clint’s landscape shooting and post-processing tutorial. This is the most clearly-written guide I’ve read on using a graduated filter — thanks Clint!

There are several additional contributions in that thread, one of the most valuable is Rich’s tip on using both a graduated neutral density (GND) filter, AND composite exposures (one RAW file developed multiple times, or several bracketed exposures).

Cannot access ISO 100 or ISO 3200? — Despite setting custom function C.FN 1-3 ISO expansion to 1: On, Jcharity couldn’t access ISO 3200 on the 40D. Rraquib advised to ensure that HTP (Highlight Tone Priority) is switched Off, since you lose ISO 100 and 3200 if HTP is turned On. Jeff Seltzer adds that the last two digits of the ISO reading will appear in lower case if HTP is enabled.

A 40D wireless shutter release? — Consider the use of a price-effective wireless remote control that operates on RF (radio frequency) to act as a shutter release for your 40D.


Canon 40D – Main page

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