Canon has noticeably lagged in releasing new DSLRS, especially on the higher end versions. To their credit, they did a big upgrade to the Digital Rebel line earlier this year with the Rebel XTi. This is a great camera that improves on a few areas that the 20D/30D had, even though it’s considered part of their consumer lineup. Some of the nicest changes in my mind for the XTi are:
- The ability to view the ISO in the viewfinder. On the 20D, you have to hunt for it
- Larger LCD screen over the 20D
- Canon sensor cleaning system
I consider the last one very important. I’m very careful when I change lenses.. I normally have the body pointed down and set myself up so I can do the switch in about one or two seconds. However, I still an prone to sensor dust from time to time. I’ve had it professionally cleaned once, and I was amazed at how much sharper and colourful the photos looked after that. I had it un-professionally cleaned once (I took it to a camera store where they claimed to do it properly, and then watched in horror as the guy stuck his finger into the body, manually lifted the mirror, and proceeded to blow compressed air over the $500 sensor), and that didn’t really help at all. However, in town, the cost of a cleaning just went from $50 at the authorized Canon facility up to $70 I believe. Which is pretty expensive considering I probably would have it done every six months if I could. So, having an integrated system that cleans it for you is a huge step forward for digital SLRs IMO.
Ever since the XTi came out, people have been waiting for that other shoe to drop in the prosumer 30D line. Unfortunately, it still hasn’t come (and I’m waiting patiently), but Canon just announced their new flagship EOS 1D Mark III, and boy is it awesome.
Here’s a brief overview of the feature set:
- ISO 50 to ISO 6400
- 10.1 megapixels
- Live preview on the LCD without having to take a shot
- Remote viewing of what the camera sees
- Integrating sensor cleaning system
- 45 point autofocus system
- Shooting speed of 10 frames per second
- Lens crop factor of only 1.3, instead of 1.6 on my body — the return of the wideangle
- 2200 shots on one battery charge
This thing is a real beast. Unfortunately, it’s part of their pro line, and I don’t use my camera enough to justify paying that amount of cash for it (I think the MSRP is around $3999 or something). So, I’ll sit and wait for the next version of the 30D, with hopefully a reduced crop factor and the sensor cleaning system.