• Nikon D200 ($1,500, street, body only) -- The 10.2MP D200 remains in the Nikon line to directly compete with the 40D. And, to its credit, the Nikon offers similar resolution, Excellent tested image quality, and slightly better noise suppression at ISO 1600. Its shutter life and battery life are also competitive, plus it has an equally rugged, sealed body and an AF system that also works down to the same ridiculously dim -2 EV. However, the EOS 40D has a faster burst rate, more cross-type sensors in its AF system, user-changeable focusing screens, a larger 3-inch LCD, and the real kicker -- live preview.
• Pentax K10D ($700, street, body only) -- Priced well below the 40D, the 10.2MP Pentax K10D competes on many fronts, including Excellent tested image quality, rugged body with dust and moisture seals, user-changeable focusing screens, metering and exposure controls, and system flexibility. The 40D outguns the K10D in AF speed, low-light sensitivity, burst speed, and resolution (about 10% higher), though the K10D delivers slightly less noise at ISO 1600. The 40D's 3-inch LCD and live preview are features it lords over the K10D (with its smaller 2.5-inch LCD), while the K10D fires back with sensor-based image stabilization that works with all Pentax-compatible lenses.