Canon raises the bar
DUE to be launched on Monday August 20th to the press, and to reach the shops a month later, the new Canon EOS 40D anticipates some of the rumoured features of the Sony AA (Advanced Amateur) project also known as the A300. It also leapfrogs the more conversative rumours.
The specification of the Canon was leaked on August 19th through Amazon’s advance-order pages:
Edit August 19th 21.00 hrs: Amazon has taken the page down. Bob Atkins managed to copy the entire information here:
This is basically the press release which will be issued to journalists roughly 12 hours after I write this edit.
I will not repeat it all here, but the salient points are:
- Live Preview, plus two Silent Modes which use the ‘LiveMos’ type CMOS sensor’s electronic shuttering ability (‘LiveMos’ it is not, since that is an Olympus trademark, but it’s a Canon equivalent).
- Unlimited JPEGs or a substantial 17-frame RAW sequence at 6.5 frames per second.
- Tethered shooting via Ethernet, remote shooting via Wireless (g), GPS metadata embedding, and shoot-to-HD on camera all enabled by add-on base unit/s.
- Interchangeable focusing screens.
- New CMOS focusing array including a high resolution crossed sensor with enough sensitivity work well with typical superzooms, f/6.3 maximum aperture at the long end.
- An Auto-ISO function based on ISO 400 default and 100-800 range.
- A standard ISO range limited to 100-1600 unless you use a menu item to get 3200.
- A conservative 10.1 megapixels in a small 1.6X sensor format, as with previous amateur and semi-pro Canons.
- A mode very similar to Hi200 on the Alpha 100, preserving highlight detail, but operating at 100-800 ISO instead of just one setting.
- A 14-bit A to D converter and 14-bit sRAW file format.
- 30 seconds to 1/8000th and flash sync at 1/250th.
- A price of $1299 for the body only.
The rumours currently attending the A300/AA are:
- That it has an APS-C 12.x megapixel sensor capable of 10 frames a second.
- That it doesn’t, and really has a 14.8 megapixel 1.25X factor sensor capable of 5 frames a second.
- That it has Live Preview.
- That it doesn’t have Live Preview.
- That it will have excellent noise reduction or noise levels, and the ISO range will go the 3200 as standard.
- That Sony has used a clever arragement of sensor elements, which permits upwards interpolation to approximately 20 megapixel file size.
- That actually this only refers to the ‘Flagship’ model which is rumoured to around 20 megapixels native resolution and full frame, and can be interpolated up to a staggering 40 megapixels!
Here is my considered opinion:
- The A300 will be APS-C and 12.x megapixels, and 5fps unlimited with a substantial RAW capability like the Canon.
- The ‘Flagship’ will be 1.25X and 14.8 megapixels, with a similar shooting speed and sequence capacity, and may perhaps include interpolation to 20 megapixels.
- That both will have entirely new AF modules and focus motors, new focusing screens and finder designs, improved SSS, better metering especially with flash, and other improved functions we can’t guess.
- That the AA/A300 model will continue to disappoint by not offering 1/8000th top speed or 1/250th sync.
- That the feature set and price position of the Canon 40D will oblige Sony to launch the AA/A300 at $1099 or under.
And that it will be announced early in September, with two weeks of the Canon announcement, and go on sale one month after the Canon.
And maybe Amazon will have the full pre-order specifications up for everyone to see next week 🙂
– David Kilpatrick