Canon EOS 1n, 5D Mark II, and 7D Water Resistance

Reading various photography forums, you might believe that 90% of digital SLR toting photographers love to spend time shooting pictures in the rain. It seems to be one of those features people always claim to need. Additionally, whenever a manufacturer makes the claim of “water resistant”, the same people are quick to dismiss it as “weak” or “not good enough”.

I’ve seen rumored “specifications” thrown about. For example, some people perpetuate the rumor that a Canon EOS 5D Mark II can withstand 3, 5, 10, etc “inches of rain per hour”. Personally, I find that a very subjective measure (after all, what is rain? what size of rain drops are we talking?) and find it hard to believe that a company like Canon (or any company for that matter) would use such a gauge. It sounds like something a sales or marketing guy tossed out at a photo show once and has since perpetuated itself to become “fact”.

So in reading 5D Mark II and 7D marketing materials, they mention something to the effect of “weather and environmentally sealed like the Canon EOS 1n”. I have no idea what a Canon EOS 1n is. Film never did anything for me, so naturally, I never gave a crap about film bodies. I did find one “rumored specification” regarding the Canon 1n and the famed “rain per hour” though. It was on Photo.net in a Canon 1n review. The writer said that he heard the 1n could withstand “1/3 inch of rain per hour”. Now, that sounds more likely, although I’m still not believing in the whole “rain per hour” thing.

Digging a bit more, I found that the Canon EOS 3 was made with the same level of weather resistance as the Canon 1n. Since I couldn’t really find much about the 1n’s weather resistance, I wondered if I’d find anything about the Canon EOS 3. Although this is anecdotal, I did find this review of the Canon EOS 3. In it, here is what the author said in regard to weather sealing:

Weather Resistant Design รขโ‚ฌยข The body sports water and dust seals and is build to the same durability and sealing specs as the EOS 1N. For example, all buttons and dials use rubber gaskets to block out water droplets. The back door has a seal as well. Important electrical contacts are bipolar and gold plated. I’ve been caught in tropical downpours many times with my EOS 3 and A2. Not once did the EOS 3 jam or lockup. It just kept on tickin.’ The A2, in a similar downpour, ate it. Luckily it rose from the dead after drying out for a week! If you frequently shoot in wet or dusty conditions this camera should be able to take it. [emphasis mine]

Additionally, I found (at the Canon Camera Museum) that the Canon EOS 1v (the successor to the 1n and grandfather of the 1D digital bodies), was “required to be completely resistant to water, sand, and dust.” Completely resistant.ร‚ Pretty strong words. Now, again, that was for the Canon EOS 1v, not the 1n, which is supposed to be the level of sealing for the 5D Mark II and 7D.

But I think its pretty safe to say that the 5D Mark II and 7D are undoubtedly “weather resistant”. Now, maybe you get caught in a flash tropical downpour (like the EOS 3 reviewer) or maybe its a light shower. Either way, I’m confident that the 7D (and the similarly sealed 5D Mark II) would be able to continue functioning.

Now, if you’re talking about standing out in a typhoon or hurricane, trying to get images of the eye of the storm, then that may not be the case and you should perhaps invest in a Canon EOS 1D or 1Ds body.

What I wonder is, all these people thinking they need “true” weather sealing and water resistance.. do you guys carry a raincoat with you where ever you go? Is the cell phone you carry equally water resistant?

Latest Round of Canon EOS 3D, 5D Mark II, 6D, 7D, etc Rumors!

Its been a while since I followed the “scene”. Thats probably because I went ahead and bought a Canon 40D even though I said I wouldnt. After reading all the anecdotal evidence about the increase in AF performance, I figured I should go for it. That, plus I sold my Canon 30D for $600 to a friend, so it was a short jump to the 40D.

But enough about me.. lets get on with the rumors.. the reason why you’re really here. I think we, me plus most of the photography gear rumor whores, are pretty confident there will be a Canon EOS 5D Mark II come Photokina in August 2008. What is unknown still are the specs. Although as we get closer to August, there’s no doubt that the rumors will get closer and closer to the truth. Here’s the latest rumor I’ve heard:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II (or possibly Canon EOS 3D? baby brother to the 1D?)
Resolution: 20 megapixel, full-frame sensor
FPS: 5fps
LCD: 3″ 640×480
AF: 19 point
ISO: 50-6400
Memory Card/Storage: CF & SD
Sealing: 1D-style, true weather sealing
Price: $2999 USD

The resolution seems somewhat high to me. With the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III being 21, I really doubt the successor to the Canon EOS 5D is going to be 20. I’m still thinking 16-18 megapixels (as I’ve said mentioned earlier). I’m a little mixed about the frame-rate. On one hand, 5fps is kind of the “minimum” for a pro-level or prosumer-level body, especially considering the Canon 40D is at 6.5fps and the Canon 450D/XSi is at 3.5fps. So in that sense, 5fps is believable. But the Canon 1Ds Mark III is also 5 fps. But I suspect the successor to the Canon 5D will come in at 5fps based on the first reason. They’re not going to let the 5D Mark II encroach on the 1D Mark III territory (or even anywhere near 8.5fps since that has long been Canon’s standard for sports photography, Canon 1D, 1D Mk II, 1D MkIIn). The LCD screen is a no brainer since Nikon has brought that into the game. Take a quick peek at DP Review or POTN and you’ll see daily posts complaining about Canon LCDs being crappy. Can’t say I disagree. The 19 point AF, I’ve heard before also. I think this would really help push the 5D Mark II (3D) into its rightful place in the Canon line-up (and the competitive landscape, even). ISO 50-6400 was introduced in the Mark IIIs (1D and 1Ds), so it wouldnt be unreasonable to believe they’re going to include this, especially considering ISO 50 was present in the 5D. Although Canon could skimp and just make it ISO 50-3200 and still make it an “upgrade” (over the 5D). So don’t be surprised if that does indeed happen.. somewhere.. read on ๐Ÿ™‚ . Weather sealing would be nice and would really make it more of a pro-body. Left up to Canon, I’m positive they would’ve left this out. However, since Nikon has made it a “standard” feature in their lower bodies, Canon can’t ignore this one, not for the #3 camera in their lineup. The price is also what I would suspect. The Canon 5D MSRP’ed at $2,599 when it was introduced. This price, $2999 USD, would represent the upgrade to the existing Canon 5D. Recall that when the 30D was released, the MSRP was slightly below the 20D. When the 40D was announced, it was slightly below that of the 30D. So I’d almost be willing to bet on the $2,999 USD MSRP of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II considering its an upgrade. So what would fill the gap between $2999 and the 40D at $1000??? Read on.. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Now, whats more interesting is, the rumor of a more inexpensive “5D successor” has once again surfaced. I’ve mentioned this in the past.. and I really do believe this is the best bet for Canon. But here are the rumored specs of the Canon EOS “7D” (or 6D, but a higher number than the 5D, for sure):

Canon EOS 7D (or possibly Canon EOS 6D? baby brother to the 3D?)
Resolution: 14 megapixel, full-frame sensor
FPS: 3fps
LCD: 3″ (rez?)
AF: 9 point
ISO: 100-3200
Memory Card/Storage: CF & SD
Sealing: 40D-style, wanna-be weather sealing
Price: $1999 USD

This camera would basically be the “30D” of the 5D line.. basically, an incremental upgrade and an incremental price increase (over street prices in this case). With a small bump to 14 megapixels, the full-frame sensor could very well be the cousin to the existing 5D sensor with some tweaking to give it 2 more megapixels (just like how the Canon 20D to 30D gained 2 megapixels). FPS would basically be the small upgrade from the 5D’s current 2.5fps. I think the screen would still be a 3″ 640×480 (aka Nikon style) screen. Nikon is basically playing out the screen so if Canon doesnt follow suit, they’d just look like they’re skimping here. AF would probably be borrowed from the 40D, although I would think it could just use the existing 5D focusing system (9 point with 6 points for assist). At $1,999 USD, it would be the prosumer full-frame body.

So Canon’s line up would look like this:

EOS Rebel XS/1000D (~$500)
EOS Rebel XSi/450D(~$600)
EOS 40D (~$1000)
EOS 6D/7D (~$2000)
EOS 3D/5D Mark II (~$3000)
EOS 1D Mark III (~$4000)
EOS 1Ds Mark III (~$8000)

This would basically allow Canon to compete with Nikon at different levels. I’ve said this before, but why would a company want to compete with another company.. if they don’t have to? Anyone that believes a company likes competition is an idiot. So think about this.. where does the Nikon D300 fall in against Canon’s line up at $1800? Way above the Canon 40D (which people erroneously believe competes with the D300) or slightly below a 14 megapixel full-frame Canon body with decent specs. Is the D300 faster? Hell yeah. Does it have more bells and whistles? Hell yeah. But if I want comparable speed and features, I’d be looking at the 40D for $800 less (MSRP). But hell, for $200 more, I have MORE MEGAPIXELS (probably the biggest selling point in retail) and its full-framed (something that would appeal to people who know what they are looking for).

I’ve said it before, Canon can’t ignore that gaping hole in their line up (currently being ~$1300 for a 40D, MSRP, up to the Canon 5D’s MSRP for $3299). Its a gap no one has been able to fill.

So with all that crap I just wrote above. I’m gonna have to say I’m kind of believing these rumors. Some are a little wacky, but in general, I think these are going to be pretty close to the real deal.

So with that said, I’ll say it again.. my next body will be the Canon EOS 3D/5D Mark II..

Keeping score?

Canon 3D, 5D Mark II, 6D, 7D Rumors from December 2007
Canon 3D, 5D Mark II, 6D, 7D Rumors from February 2008

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..

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฏ :

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? ๐Ÿ˜•

– 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 ๐Ÿ˜† .. 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)

Latest Canon EOS 40D and Canon EOS 7D Rumor


Update 12/7/07: I’ve done some more “research” and re-iterated some thoughts on the soon-to-be Canon 5D Mark II / Canon 7D / Canon 3D, here

I’ve been sorting through a lot of rumor threads on various internet forums and I found this gem:

Canon EOS 40D
– It will be called the Canon EOS 40D

– 5 frames per second

– DiGIC III – will provide lower noise and higher ISO, quite possibly above 3200, better dynamic range

– Better Auto-Focus system – more focus points and faster AF (DiGIC III)

– An improved 10.1MP (improved upon the one in the Digital Rebel XTi / Canon EOS 400D)

– 1.6x crop image sensor

Additionally, the author of the post said that there is a 12 megapixel 1.6x CMOS sensor currently in testing, but most likely reserved for the Canon EOS 50D. Looking at the list, there’s not much different from my previous post. But since this kind of just reaffirms the previous rumor. Like I said before, the DiGIC III is a given since the last three (3) Powershots, SD900, SD800IS, SD40, all have the DiGIC III processor. Since the Canon EOS 400D/Digital Rebel XTi comes with a DiGIC II, this would allow Canon to further differentiate the 400D from the 40D, something I think they had difficulty doing with the Digital Rebel XT/Canon EOS 350D. One added “rumor” is the “more focus points”. That would be nice.. maybe the existing focusing system from the Canon EOS 5D (12 points)?

Canon EOS 7D
Nothing majorly new to report on as far as the EOS 7D. Its been widely rumored to be a “5D Lite” or “Low Cost EOS 5D”. I mentioned before that I thought it would be difficult to actually create a “5D Lite” given that, I think, the Canon EOS 5D is already fairly slim on features. HOWEVER, the poster mentioned that the 7D would be a smaller 5D (closer to exisiting 30D size), added anti-dust sensor, DiGIC III, etc. But what is interesting to note is that he mentions that the Canon EOS 5D would be upgraded to 16.2 megapixels, DiGIC III, improved AF, 5fps, etc.

If this “Canon EOS 5D MkII” (or whatever it is to be called) does materialize as rumored, then I think this would be a good alternative to the Canon EOS 1D MkIIn. Although the MkIIn is much faster at 8.5fps, I think I would rather have the 16.2MP full-frame sensor and 5fps than the 8.2MP 1.3x sensor and 8.5fps (although the 8.5fps is intoxicating).

A few more days to go..