Canon has squarely targeted the ‘advanced amateur’ market by today unveiling the 10.1-million-pixel EOS 40D digital SLR.

Billed as an ideal second body for professionals the 40D boasts improvements over its 30D predecessor such as a 3in LCD screen, Live View mode and a menu system borrowed from the EOS-1D Mark III.

Canon has redesigned the nine-point AF system, claiming to have improved its speed, precision and ?functionality? using a cross-type AF system.

?The 10.1MP CMOS APS-C size image sensor has been significantly improved thanks to the use of larger microlenses over each pixel to reduce noise and expand sensitivity up to ISO 3200,? said a spokesman for Canon USA.

Canon also claims it has upgraded the camera?s dust and weather resistance.

Other features include a top shutter speed of 1/8000sec.

Also on board is a DIGIC III image processor and 6.5 frames per second burst rate.

The viewfinder features increased optical magnification (0.95x) and wider viewing angle than the 30D.

There is also a new ?more manageable? sRAW mode, enabling the number of pixels to be reduced to a quarter of a standard RAW image and halving the file size.

In the USA the 40D is expected to cost $1,299 and be available as a kit with an EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom, priced $1,499.

No UK specification was available at the time of writing.

The camera is expected to be officially announced in the UK at a press conference in London later this morning.

Click below for full specification:

EOS 40D full specification