Aug 07 2008

My New 40D Gets Exercised

Published by at 6:28 am under Equipment

I bought a Canon 40D during the winter and finally gave it a good workout this past weekend.

It was the annual church picnic, with several hundred people attending. Highlights of the day for me were the children’s races and the volleyball tournament. Lots of sports photography type action to try my 6 frames a second camera on.

The 6 frames a second (with a huge buffer for about 70 jpg’s) was awesome compared to my older Rebel, which only has a 2.5 frames per second, 4 frame buffer. I never truly pushed the camera in this way, as my largest run of frames was only 6 or so, although I did have some situations where I would take a 5 frame batch, wait 1 or 2 seconds and then take another batch. Not possible with the Rebel, as it took a while to save the first 4 to the CF card. It was great being able to predict where the action would be, aim the camera there, and start taking photos before the action arrived. That increased my odds of getting a perfectly timed shot.

I used “Sports Mode” most of the time, and although it did blur some shots, the majority were good. I was disappointed that it seemed stuck on ISO 400, as the book suggested it would also use 800. Most of the afternoon was sunny, and thus 400 was fine, but by the end of the volleyball tournament it was cloudy and ISO 400 was resulting in shutter speeds that were unacceptable to me. Apertures were also too wide, giving little depth of field. I will have to study that and see if there are ways of me getting better settings without resorting to Av or Tv mode. My understanding is that Sports mode gives me better continuous auto focus control.

If you have a 40D and have learned some tricks that will help me, please leave a comment by clicking on the link just below this final paragraph. Thanks.

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