Hi, I have noticed a few disgruntled 40D users and decided to test the camera. I enabled high-ISO noise reduction and zipped out to take a photo of one of my resident frogs. With firmware version 1.1.1, it seemed that the low light focus capability is also better. The results show that the RAW file has acceptable levels of noise and with a little tweaking; it is possible to remove this and maintain sharpness.
Luminance was a bit more than chrominance noise and in DPP setting both RAW reduction values to 2, and one pass in Noise Ninja 2 with the resulting JPEG, gave an impressive result, see headshot\100% crop below.
The picture below is an attempt to show the RAW as is (no corrections), but obviously the JPG conversion and size reduction will alter the results. It is however a good example of what the RAW looked like. The JPEG files were more gritty/noisy when DPP converted it into JPEG without trying the RAW options first.
The headshot is a 100 crop with me trying a few things to clear the noise. Shot taken ISO 1600, built-in flash, F3.5 at 1/60. As close as possible to frog which waited patiently outside below a floresant light.
At least, I am impressed and improving my noise reduction techniques will yield better results.