Canon’s Latest Camera Offerings

We consider Canon’s latest camera offerings and just what it means.
Well it has been a long time coming but the replacement to the 5D is announced and it is not called the 6D. The 5D Mark II seems to be a mix of the new DiGIC 4 sensor combined with the sensor resolution off the 1Ds Mark III (21.1 Mpixels). That combination seems to raise some more questions. It also brings HD video recording to the Canon range, just as the A900 has to Sony’s. This is a feature we will see spreading to many more models.

Canon has had issues with the DiGIC 3 chipset, at least in the top end models, and it would seem elsewhere from the rapid replacement of the 40D with the 50D, unless it was just prompted by the increased competition from Nikon and others. Now we have the 5D Mark II. Can a replacement for the 1Ds Mark III be far away at all? I would not be surprised if Canon launched its replacement as a show stealer at Photokina. It would make perfect sense as a counter to all the good press Nikon has achieved lately and would mean that they have diced the troublesome DiGIC 3 chipset across the attention getting models. We will have to wait and see.

A replacement for the 1Ds Mark III has to now come, and come quickly because the 5D Mark II looks like a much cheaper and far more capable alternative. Canon cannot leave that situation for long, as I am sure that all discretionary 1Ds Mark III purchases will now have stopped. The only ones still selling will be when people have no choice but to replace a camera or at the end of the market where price is really no option.

Canon 5D Mark II digital camera

So what should a 1Ds Mark IV look like? Well, a conservative model would boast a 24 or 25Mpixel sensor but a much more likely model would be a 30Mpixel or so sensor with one or two DiGIC 4 processors and perhaps even full 16-bit A/D converters.

What is interesting is the substantial delay between this announcement of the 5D Mark II and availability. If you compare this to the latest Sony announcement with stock available one month later then it is a hefty lead time.

Of course the 5D Mark II was not the only announcement today. Also announced were the G10, also a DiGIC 4 upgrade (do we see a pattern yet?), some new compacts and the 24mm f1.4 L Mark II lens. Sadly Canon did not take the opportunity to put a decent sized sensor, like an APS-C one, in a G model. Now that would really be a special compact.

5D Mark II press release follows:

Key Features:
*         35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with 21.1 megapixels
*         Live View movies in Full High Definition (industry first)
*         Live View shooting (AF mode: Quick, Live, Live Face Detection)
*         DiG!C 4 Image Processor
*         ISO speed range 100-6400 (expandable to 50-25600) (Canon first)
*         3.9 frames per second (fps) with continuous shooting up to 78 shots in a single burst
*         Newly designed, high-performance viewfinder (viewfinder coverage 98%)
*         3-inch, fine detail LCD monitor (920,000 dots, VGA)

Sydney, 17 September 2008: Canon Australia today announced the highly-anticipated EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR camera, successor to Canon’s acclaimed EOS 5D. The new model sets the benchmark in full-frame Digital SLR cameras and is perfect for enthusiasts and professional photographers seeking unrivalled image quality and high performance.

The EOS 5D Mark II boasts a range of new features, enabling users to take their photography to unprecedented levels, including Live View movies in Full High Definition (HD) and increased ISO capabilities to an incredible range of 50-25600.

Packed with Canon’s core technologies, the EOS 5D Mark II ensures Canon users continue to achieve the superior quality and creative control that they have become accustomed to with the popular predecessor model.

“Canon is pleased to announce the new EOS 5D Mark II, developed to push the boundaries of creative photography even further,” states Chris Macleod, Brand Manager – EOS, Consumer Imaging Products Group, Canon Australia. “Canon’s impressive 21.1 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, coupled with Live View Movies in Full HD and wider ISO capabilities, enables Canon to continually bring incredible performance to photographers.”

Full Frame for Fine Detail and High Image Quality
Central to the EOS 5D Mark II’s outstanding image quality is its high resolution 35mm full-frame, 21.1 megapixel CMOS sensor. In addition, 14-bit A/D conversion results in finer tonal gradation.

The EOS 5D Mark II offers the widest ISO speed range of any EOS digital camera, with a standard range of 100-6400, which can be extended to an incredible 50-25600 with ISO expansion (three stops more than its predecessor). Like never before, photographers are now able to capture incredible subject detail in extremely low light conditions. In addition, precise, low noise images can be achieved using the low ISO speeds – a must for professionals and high end enthusiasts who are producing large detailed images.

The EOS 5D Mark II also features Canon’s newly developed DiG!C 4 Image Processor, recently announced in Canon’s new EOS 50D. Building on DiG!C III’s high-speed rendering of fine detail and natural colour reproduction, DiG!C 4 provides even faster signal processing. This detailed processing of large-volume data at extremely high speed satisfies professional demands for exceptional image quality and responsiveness in any shooting situation.

New Features to Expand Shooting Possibilities
The EOS 5D Mark II features Live View movies and boasts an industry first with Full HD recording quality. Canon incorporated this feature in response to photographer’s demands for a camera that could shoot both stills and video in High Definition. In any shooting mode users can capture still photos and movies in Full HD quality or standard TV quality (VGA), making this the ideal camera for photographers who need to efficiently capture stills and movies without compromising on quality.

Like other Canon DSLR models, the EOS 5D Mark II features Live View shooting with Auto Focus capabilities. This allows photographers to preview images in real time on the 3.0-inch VGA LCD monitor with 920,000 dots for greater flexibility and creative composition. Similar to the recently announced EOS 50D, the EOS 5D Mark II also features live Face Detection mode in Live View shooting. By distinguishing human faces in each shot and adjusting the focus and exposure accordingly, Live Face Detection allows photographers to ensure their subjects are captured clearly and accurately.

Compatible with Canon’s range of EF lenses (excluding EF-S lenses), the EOS 5D Mark II is the camera for serious enthusiasts and professional photographers who to take their photography further with no limitations.

Canon Launches New High-Performance Wide Angle Lens
To support its extensive EOS system, Canon has also announced a new high-grade, fast, wide angle lens for professional photographers, the EF24mm f/1.4L II USM (successor to the EF24mm f/1.4L USM). The new lens is the brightest large diameter f/1.4 high-performance wide-angle L lens in the 24mm class. Improvements have been made in the periphery area of the lens, a requirement brought about from the rapid advancement of high resolution sensors available in EOS DSLRs. The circular aperture in the new EF24mm f/1.4L II USM produces beautiful blur effects and the also offers high resistance to dust and water droplets.

The Perfect DSLR Companion – the PowerShot G10
Canon also welcomed the PowerShot G10 to its second half 2008
line-up. Incorporating DSLR capabilities into a compact body, the PowerShot G10 makes the ideal companion to the EOS 5D Mark II. An upgrade from the highly acclaimed G9, the PowerShot G10 features Canon’s new DiG!C 4 Image Processor, new 28mm wide lens and increased megapixels while retaining the prized RAW format mode. Canon’s PowerShot G10 will impress professionals or photo enthusiasts looking to support their DSLR gear with a more portable option.

The EOS 5D Mark II body will be available in Body Only (RRP TBC), and as a Premium Kit with the EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens (RRP $TBC). These kits will all be available from December 2008 through Canon dealers nationally. For more information customers can contact Canon on 1800 021 167, or visit the website at canon.com.au.

About Canon
Canon Australia is a leading provider of advanced, simple-to-use imaging solutions for businesses and consumers. Canon’s Australian R&D company, CiSRA, develops customised solutions for local customers, and exports digital imaging technologies for use in Canon products worldwide. Canon has ranked among the top-three US patent recipients for the past 16 years, and had global revenues of around $US39 billion in 2007. Canon Australia also operates Canon Finance Australia, which offers one-stop shopping for customers wanting leasing or finance services. For more information, visit canon.com.au

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