August 22, 2005: Canon has confirmed speculations that were rife over the last fortnight by releasing details of two new DSLR cameras.
Of greatest interest is the 12.8 Megapixel EOS 5D, which Canon claims will create a new D-SLR category. With a lightweight, compact magnesium alloy body that weighs only 810 grams, it features a second generation 35.8 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor that supports a 0.2 second start up time and burst mode that records 60 Large JPEG frames at three frames per second. The EOS 5D is driven by the same DiG!C II processor found in Canon’s EOS-1D professional range cameras and features a new hi-resolution 2.5-inch LCD monitor, 9-point auto focus with six invisible Assist AF points to improve tracking performance. It boasts a shutter speed from 1/8000 to 30 seconds with X-sync at 1/200seconds and is compatible with Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1. A custom mode is provided for fast recall of user defined camera set-ups and a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface supports fast downloads of image files to a PC.
New Picture Style pre-sets offer different colour responses for JPEG images, with six settings covering standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful and monochrome options. Three user-defined settings can be stored in the camera and users can also download additional custom Picture Style files from Canon’s web site. A handy new feature allows current camera settings to be stored and assigned to the C (camera settings) position on the Mode Dial. This allows photographers to switch quickly between two completely different camera set-ups without having to switch bodies.
The EOS 5D body will be released in Australia in October at an RRP of $5,495. It is compatible with all Canon EF lenses and Speedlites, providing photographers with access to a vast range of accessories. It takes both CompactFlash Type I and Type II cards, including cards of 2 GB capacity and larger. The EOS 5D is supplied with the EOS Digital Solution Disk v11, which includes a new version of Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW processing software. DPP now supports RAW images shot on all EOS digital cameras from the EOS D30 onwards, and includes support for Picture Styles. Improvements and additions are aimed at improving functionality and workflow efficiency for professionals, and include: easy image selection with three levels of check marks; real-time adjustment of sharpness; improved image correction (Copy Stamp); enhanced image transfer function that supports single image transfer to Photoshop; extended colour space support, now including Apple RGB and ColorMatch RGB; and improved usability of the CMYK simulation function.
The camera’s launch coincides with the release of the high performance EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM a lightweight Image Stabiliser lens that is expected to sell for $1999 and will go on sale in September. Completing Canon’s f/4L-series zoom lens range, the new lens complements the EF17-40mm f/4L USM and EF70-200mm f/4L USM lenses. An ideal match for the lightweight EOS 5D, these lenses are designed for professional photographers requiring high quality lightweight lenses with a fixed aperture throughout the zoom range.
Also scheduled for release in September is a new EF 70-300mm f/4-5,6 IS USM lens, priced at $1,999. This lens has ultra-low dispersion (UO) and aspherical lens elements which correct aberrations that can occur while zooming. It can focus down to 1.5 metres at all zoom settings and has built-in image stabilisation. Canon will also release the Speedlite 430EX at the same time. Retailing for $499, thisnew accessory flash features an efficient power supply that improves flash recycle time by up to 40%. It can also utilise data from certain DSLR cameras to determine autozoom and colour temperature information and includes E-TTL II evaluative flash metering to ensure accurate exposures. A built-in slave with wireless compatibility makes it ideal for multi-flash set-ups and the AF assist function is compatible with EOS multi-point AF systems.
Canon has also announced a successor to the EOS-1D Mark II, known as the EOS-1D Mark II N. The new model, which goes on sale next month at an RRP of $6,999, retains the same image size and burst performance (8.2 megapixels at 8.5 frames per second) as its predecessor but has increased buffer capacity to support a 48 frame burst in JPEG and 22 frame burst in RAW. The LCD monitor has been enlarged to 2.5-inch size and dual CF and SD memory card slots provide for separate RAW and JPEG recording. Colour Matrix and parameter settings are replaced with the same Picture Style options as the EOS 5D.High quality images are provided by the combination of Canon’s DiG!C II processor and second-generation CMOS sensor, which features an on-chip noise elimination circuit to reduce fixed pattern and random noise. A low-pass filter in front of the sensor minimises false colour and moirø© effects, while the infrared filter suppresses red fringing caused by sensor reflections and fog. A new Auto option is available on the Noise reduction menu screen, which offers automatic detection and correction when necessary of noise levels in images with exposures of one second or longer. The EOS-1D Mark II N has a shutter durability of 200,000 cycles, and a weather resistant magnesium-alloy casing with over 70 dust and moisture resistant seals protects the camera. Details of the new cameras will be posted on Canon Australia’s website (www.canon.com.au) following the local launch on 25 August.