Latest Canon EOS 3D, 5D Mark II and 7D Rumors

Latest Rumors: 06/13/2008 Click here to read more

Well, I, as well as most of the internet were wrong in predicting an update to the Canon EOS 5D (either a Canon EOS 5D Mark II or Canon EOS 7D).

After PMA came and went, I heard that Canon representatives were telling customers that Canon’s consumer lines were on 18 month product cycles, something everyone who follows Canon should know by know. However, note that the representatives mention “consumer” line specifically. Something that never really crossed my mind was that the Canon EOS 5D is not a consumer camera. That’s not to say I never saw the Canon EOS 5D as a professional camera, but I think being a new model, you don’t see it on the same level as a Canon EOS 1Ds or 1D. Additionally, being relatively cheaper (by half, even) than the 1Ds and 1D, I think its natural to just group it into the same realm as the 40D/30D/20D/10D. But anyway, back to the rumor.. so the rep said 18 months for consumer cameras.. and 3 years for professional cameras. That means we won’t see a Canon EOS 5D replacement for another year, most likely February 2009 at PMA. But rumors are saying 12.8 megapixel, availability of ISO 3200 (vs. ISO 1600 with the current 5D), improved auto-focus, blah blah.. nothing else worth noting.. but if these rumors are true, then the Canon EOS 5D Mark II may be what the Canon EOS 30D was to the Canon EOS 20D.. in other words, not much.

This may be true if Canon wants to place the 5D Mark II at a price point that is low enough to entice Canon prosumer camera owners to make the leap to full-frame. But again, if they introduce a Canon EOS 7D, that would probably be its job.

As for the Canon EOS 3D, I’ve always believed there was a spot in Canon’s line up for this “type” of camera.. something to fill in the gap between the Canon EOS 1D Mark III (MSRP $4,500) and the Canon EOS 5D (MSRP $3,299, although it can be found in the low $2,000 range now).. or Canon EOS 5D Mark II or whatever it may be. So if we go by the MSRPs, we’d be looking at a camera, presumably the Canon EOS 3D, in the mid-high $3,000 range, call it $3,799 or $3,899. But what I’ve heard recently is:

    – 15.1 megapixel
    – 14-bit color processing (no brainer considering all the latest Canons have this)
    – 3″ LCD screen (hopefully high resolution)
    – Available ISO 6400, possibly extendable to ISO 12800 (possible for marketing reasons vs. the Nikons)

For the Canon EOS 7D.. I’m not hearing much that is worth mentioning. I’ve seen a few rumors of a Canon EOS 7D that sound a lot like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. In my opinion, if Canon is going to release a 7D, its going to have to be around 12 megapixels. However, where would that leave the Canon 5D Mark II? With the Canon 3D being a rumored 15 megapixels, there’s not much room for a Canon 5D Mark II and 7D. If the Canon 7D were what the Canon 5D is today, that may be a possibility if they wedge it into the high $1,000 range.. like $1,899 or $1,799.

Stay tuned..

Zooomr

I was just checking out Thomas Hawk’s photoblog and saw a post regarding Zooomr. Not knowing what it was, I decided to check it out. Turns out that Zooomr may be the next big thing in photo sharing. It’s part social network, part photo sharing, and part microstock site. The best part about it is that they claim to be the best photo sharing site on the internet right now.. why, you ask?

Zooomr is free. There is no upload limit, bandwidth limit, download limit, file size limit, set limit, or number of photo limits. We believe in no limit photo sharing. We think it’s about the best free photo sharing account you can get right now.

It sounds too good to be true. Most photo sharing sites won’t give you access to your full-sized image without a “pro” account. I just uploaded a few pics and I was able to download my full-sized image. In fact, its very much like Flickr v2.0. It looks and feels a lot like Flickr.. only, it has a lot of features you wish Flickr had. Best part, once again, is that it’s free! Also, with every photo you upload, you have the option of setting a price to license the image (like on microstock sites, like www.shutterstock.com, for example).

Check it out now.. or check out my Zooomr page here. I’m pretty happy that I got “http://www.zooomr.com/photos/aric“. My Flickr page is the same, “http://www.flickr.com/photos/aric“. Lucky me.

I’m not going to upload all 120+ gigs of pics I have.. but if Zooomr sticks around, I’ll definitely start using it a lot more. Check it out!

Canon EOS 7D / Canon EOS 3D / Canon EOS 5D Mark II Rumors – December 2007

June 13, 2008 Update: The latest rumors can be found here!

February 25, 2008 Update: The latest rumors can be found clicking here

Well, I had some spare time this evening so I thought I’d burn some of it scouring the internet for more rumors. I found one post on DPR from back in October that gave some unrealistic specs. It also pointed to a UPC code that was created in the UPC database. I quickly dismissed those as BS.

But I did find this page, Northlight Images. He/She does a great job sorting through the BS and listing rumors as he/she discovers them. I’ll list the two that I liked 😯 :

Picture of a Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Here’s a link to a Flickr page with a picture of a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Although I can’t say its fake for sure, these types of images always pop up around the time a new camera is supposed to be released. Although I dont follow the Nikon scene, I’d imagine they will be getting their fair share of these images soon (say, for the Nikon D4/D5 or Nikon D400/D500?).

Canon EOS 5D Mark II was included in the beta version of Capture One
Northlights Images later reported (4 days later), that Canon in Denmark was informing people that it was a “typo”. Hmm..

I also read a bunch of forum posts where people claimed there was nothing wrong with the Canon EOS 5D and no reason Canon would replace it. I love these guys. Last time I checked, Canon was a corporation. If I had to name one thing that was pounded into my head in grad school, it would be that “corporations exist to maximize shareholder value.” We also know that Canon has recently (past 3 years?) been on an 18 month lifecycle for the Digital Rebel and XXD series. The 5D was a first “prosumer” level full-frame camera, but based on one of my earlier posts that discussed Canon’s future, we should know that they are going to push the full-frame cameras aggressively. Why? Well, if you’re asking why, you probably didnt read my post. The reason is, Canon has a competitive advantage in full-frame sensors and cameras. Prior to the D3, Nikon wasn’t even a player in the full-frame segment. Presumably, Canon has been making full-frame sensors longer and should therefore be better at it (i.e. more efficiency, lower cost). That’s not to say they’ll toss out the XXD or 1.6x crop factor lines.. not at all. But that is to say they will push full-frame very aggressively. Why compete with all the 1.6x guys when you don’t have to?

So let’s recap:

1. Canon will replace the Canon EOS 5D, Im guessing after it turns 18 months old (which will be right around the PMA 2008 time frame)

2. Canon has a competitive advantage in the full-frame sensor arena, why not capitalize on it further? Why not use full-frame to further differentiate yourself from the competition?

3. Canon will want to re-assert itself in that market segment right above the Nikon D300 and below the Canon EOS 1D Mark III or Nikon D3. For the same reason people would spend a few more Benjamins on a Nikon D300 versus a Canon EOS 40D, now you’ll have potential Nikon D300 owners questioning whether they should spend a few extra bucks for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II / Canon EOS 3D / Canon EOS 7D.

4. The Canon EOS 5D is currently selling, body only, for $2,099.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably trying to burn time as well.. so I’ll just wrap this up by giving my predicitions of what the next XD series will include:

– at least 14 megapixels.. some have suggested that they just use the old Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II 16 megapixel sensor, I don’t think they would.. that is, after all, an old sensor.. but bumping it to 16 megapixels would basically make pros consider the 5D Mark II versus the 1Ds Mark III. I mean, prior to the 1Ds Mark III, the 1Ds Mark II was “good enough” for these pros, right? So just because the 1Ds Mark III is 21.1 megapixels, all of a sudden 16 megapixels is not good enough? Yeah, so that’s why I dont think the new 5D will be 16 megapixels. Although 14 vs 12.8 doesnt seem like a big jump either huh? 😕

– 5 frames per second.. the 5D does 3 fps now.. the 40D does 6.5 fps.. 5 is good

– New and improved auto focusing system over the 40D (when the 5D came out, it had improved AF over the 30D). This makes sense anyway.. we know Canon already has a buff auto-focus system from the original 1D days (45 points).. the only reason they put 9 in the 40D is to make you want 12 when the 50D comes out 😆 .. but that also means that every new generation of camera body can (and will) have incremental AF upgrades.

– Weather sealing? I think it will have the same “weather sealing” as the Canon EOS 40D.. which is slim to say the least.

– 3″ screen.. size for sure, but I dunno about higher resolution.. Nikon and Sony are making it “standard”.. so you’d think Canon would want to include that also..

– Price? I’d say $2,299 or $2,399.. the 5D was $2,599 MSRP.. Canon needs to bring it a bit closer to the Nikon D300, which is selling at $1,999.

That’s about it for me.. thats really all I care about myself.. yeah, it’ll have all that other crap that they put in the 40D (although I really like the user settings on the dial)

Monitor Calibration

Reading the photography websites, you come across forums posts from time to time regarding monitor calibration. I never thought too much about it since I figured that the screen on my laptop or desktop didnt seem to be out of calibration. In post-processing pictures from my Canon 30D, I figured if the picture looked good on MY monitor, it’d probably look very very similar to everyone else. WRONG.

I actually purchased a Spyder 2 Express a while back. It’s remained brand new in the box for about 3-4 months. Yeah, I bought it but never used it. That’s how unimportant I thought monitor calibration was.. until this week.

About a week ago, a friend of mine asked me to help put together a web site for a friend’s restaurant (Jack n’ Jill’s Creperie on 3rd and Robertson in Los Angeles). We were discussing various colors and trying out different color schemes. My friend said, “dude, what’s up with the salmon pink?”.. to which I replied, “uh, no bro, its more like a dull pink, your monitor must be screwed up”.. I said ti with such conviction, I convinced him that it was his issue. At work I use an IBM T60 laptop with a 20″ wide Viewsonic as a 2nd screen. The IBM T60 is my main screen. Today, to check how the site would look at higher resolutions, I dragged my Internet Explorer window to the 20″ Viewsonic.. and that’s when I saw it.. the salmon pink background.. in fact, I wouldn’t even call it salmon pink.. it was almost like a flourescent orange. So when I got home from work today, I figured before I grace the internet with any more of my oddly colored photos and images, I better check my monitor calibration.

Spyder 2 Express
I paid about $50 on Amazon a while back.. I wanted the Spyder 2 Pro but I couldn’t justify the additional $100+ for the differences, which, for the record are:

Gamma Choices – Express is Fixed, Pro is Unlimited
Color Temp – Express is Fixed, Pro is Unlimited
RGB PreCal – N/A in Express
Ambient PreceiseLight – N/A in Express
Multiple Monitor Support – N/A in Express (I really wanted this)
Front Projector Calibration – N/A in Express
Custom Response Curve Targeting – N/A in Express
ICC Profile Support – Express has ICC2 only, ICC2 and ICC4 in Pro

Anyhow, after removing the colorimeter from the box and installing the software, everything was pretty simple. After starting it up, it went through a few questions asking about the type of monitor you’re using. It then displayed a picture of the Spyder 2 colorimeter on your screen and told you to position your colorimeter on the screen in that spot. From that point on, you pretty much don’t do anything. It checked the blacks, reds, greens, blues, and grays. It took about 5 minutes. Then it saved a new monitor profile in your WINDOWS/system32/spooler/drivers folder (something like that). Then it showed a montage of photos and a button that you could click to see your “before”. Prior to clicking the “before”, I already noticed the colors were much warmer. It made the monitor look “dimmer”.. not as bright. I was immediately thinking I wouldnt like it. Then I clicked the “before”. Damn, HUGE difference. The “before” was much “brighter”, but everything was more washed out. I clicked back and forth in amazement then decided I should head over to my Flickr to make sure my post-processed pictures didn’t look too crazy. Luckily, they looked OK. But looking at my IE, the top bar is actually gray. It was more silverish/whitish before. Now that I’m getting used to the colors, everything just seems more colorful. Was it worht $50? Hell yeah. Even if I never did any Photoshop work or anything, just looking at stuff online, everything is more vibrant, warm, and colorful.

Anyone thinking that they don’t need monitor calibration, think again. If you’re serious about your images, graphics, or photographs, or just plain want to see things on the internet as they should be, then definitely calibrate your monitor.





Canon’s EOS 40D.. and Nikon’s D300 and D3..

Canon EOS 40D

Well, the news broke while I was on vacation (and with spotty internet access at that). I was pretty excited when going over the Canon 40D specs. I was thinking that this was a worth upgrade to the Canon 30D (something that the 30D should have been to the 20D). The 40D isnt a crazy upgrade (like how the new Infiniti M was to the old Infiniti M), but it was a fair, EVOlutionary upgrade. And with a drop in MSRP, I think its a good deal.

Canon EOS 40D - back

So here are the features that would make me want to upgrade to the Canon 40D:

Improved Auto-focus system
Yes! This is probably the biggest reason for me. Although the Canon 30D was a big change from my Digital Rebel 300D back in the day, I still get envious when I read about the high-90% keeper rates that 1D owners get when panning with a slow shutter speed. From the description, the Canon 40D AF system sounds like it should be a big change improvement – nine (9) cross-type sensors for F5.6 or faster lenses (as opposed to 1 cross-type in the 20D/30D), plus the all new (and never before seen) cross-diagonal-type high-precision center point.

10.1 megapixels
If there’s more to be had, why not, right?

14-bit A/D converter
Who knows if this will make a difference, but see above regarding “more”

DiGIC III vs DiGIC II
Gen 3 is better than Gen 2, kind of like the Acura Integra, Pentium 3 vs Pentium 4, etc

sRAW, sRAW + JPEG
I only shoot RAW for special occasions, but if I had the option of small RAW, why not do it all the time, right? Especially when you have a lot of high-density Kingston Technology compact flash cards

Dust reduction
Some Canon 400D owners claim that this feature doesnt do much. But it can’t be worse than NOT having an anti-dust mechanism right? Sure, you can argue moving parts n’ all that.. but a rotary engine has less moving parts than a piston engine.. but I’d still rather have an RB26DETT over a 13B-REW

Improved viewfinder
Early reports suggest that the Canon 40D’s viewfinder is a big improvement over the 30D. Although I’ve never had any real complaints about my 30D’s viewfinder, bigger and brighter is always welcome. Also, the Canon 40D’s viewfinder display will also show ISO!.. I’ve been pinched by that a few times on my 30D.. set it for ISO 3200 the night before, but then shoot the next day with a series of pics at ISO 3200 🙁

3″ LCD monitor
2.5″ is good, but hell, I’ll take 3″ any day. I used to think 2″ was fine on my Canon 20D.. until I got the 30D.. now when I see my friend’s 20D’s.. it seems so tiny. So although I have no real complaints regarding my 2.5″ LCD on my 30D, I’m sure once I see a 3″ display on a dSLR, mine is going to look small (kind of like being satisfied with 19″ wheels on your car, until you see 20s on the same car)

Live View
I can see this being good for macro photography and also odd angle stuff.. like having the camera on the floor or shooting at hip level. I think it would also be good for those times when you hand off your rig to Uncle Herb and ask him to take a family photo for you. Do I need it? Nah, hell no. But would it be cool to have? Hell yeah

6.5 frames per second
Do I need it? Actually, I can see myself needing it. Case in point.. when I originally started photography drift events (locally of course), I really only did it hoping to get some good captures of my friend’s drift car. Unfortunately, in the beginning, he had some technical difficulties and his driver had problems adapting to a new ride. So I’d commit to going out to an event, but if his car didnt qualify, I may only get 2 chances (2 passes) to get some good pics of his ride. As a result, it usually became a “spray and pray” situation.. firing off as many pictures as I could and then hoping I got some really good ones. But when I’m not shooting cars in action, the high-speed continuous shooting isn’t that big of a deal to me

75 shot JPEG buffer
I dont think I’ve ever hit the 30+ JPEG buffer limit on my Canon 30D.. but if the 40D can do 75 JPEGs, it should be able to do atleast double the number of RAW images, right? When I’ve shot whole days in RAW, I’ve hit the limit a few times with my Canon 30D. So a larger buffer is a welcome addition to the Canon 40D

Weather sealing?
Canon’s description makes it sound like it is weather-sealed, with attention-paid to the access doors (CF, battery, etc). But the description of like the 1D Mark III just says “weather-sealed”. So what does the Canon 40D’s “weather-sealing” actually mean? I’m guessing is the same “weather-sealing” as the 1D. Maybe they wanted to make it sound new? Maybe they wanted to differentiate it from the 1 series bodies? We’ll see.. but some weather-sealing is better than no weather-sealing, right?

I think thats about it.. at least thats all that jumps out at me looking at DPReview’s chart.

So will I sell my Canon 30D? Actually, when I first saw the Canon 40D, I was all set to do that. Then I toyed around with the idea of keeping my Canon 30D and just saving up for a Canon 40D also. But then I thought about maybe getting a used 1D Mark II or Mark IIn over a new Canon 40D.. but after reading about it some more, I dunno.. I guess it really depends if the AF system is really that much better. If not, then I’ll probably just sit this round out, maybe wait for the next Canon 5D (Canon 5D Mark II? Canon 6D? Canon 7D? who knows.. but we’ll see in Spring 2008). I’ve always read and seen good things about Canon’s full-frame images. Full-frame would be good news for my Canon 24-70mm f2.8L, but not so good for my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS. But notice that image quality is not an issue for me? I’m more than happy with my Canon 30D’s image quality. And I’m sure the Canon 40D’s quality will be comparable, if not better. I trust Canon knows image quality is/has been one of their differentiators.

So right now, I guess I’m on the fence. If it will help with panning photography and AI Servo tracking, then I might have to make the upgrade to the Canon 40D.

Nikon D300 and Nikon D3??
But I guess what surprised me was that Nikon had a response for Canon’s 40D.. and this soon, even. They pretty much stole the thunder 2 days after Canon’s press release. I’m very impressed. The D300 looks great on paper. But it kind of starts to sound gimmicky. Thats not to say I dont think the D300 will be great, but in their press release they give names to all these new, fancy features. I’ll have to see the reviews to see if any of that stuff really makes sense (or works, even), but it looks good. I think the Nikon D300 is a good upgrade for the Nikon D200, definitely a good evolutionary upgrade.

And then there’s the Nikon D3.. wow. Canon has had a big lead in the full-frame arena for a while. So it will be interesting to see if the Nikon D3 will be comparable in quality to Canon’s offerings. If it is, then I think Canon will really be under the gun. But I have a good feeling that it wont be anywhere close.. at least not in the D3. But I could be wrong. Hell, 80% of the dSLRs I saw in Japan this past vacation were all Nikon.