« The Canon EOS 40D - It's Real | Main | Canon 1Ds Mark III »

Podcast #39 Show Notes - So ... What's New?

In this episode I talk about the recent announcements from Canon and Nikon of some great new cameras. Canon's new EOS 40D us a great new addition to their lineup and is a significant upgrade from the EOS 30D. The 40D is perfect for the amateur, prosumer or as a backup body for pros. Nikon steals the show this month with two new announcements, the prosumer D300 and the super high end professional D3 which might make Canon 1D Mark III users green with envy.


In episode 36 I mentioned the fact that All hard drives eventually fail. Yesterday I had that theory proven to me. In my MacPro there are 3 hard drives ... the 3# drive, a 500GB SATA drive crashed so hard that it prevented my machine from booting up ... and it was not even the boot drive.

The good news is that I went down to BestBuy, got a new drive, slid it in the machine and then formatted it and then copied all my files from my backup. The entire episode cost me under $300 dollars ... and it only cost that much because I replaced the 500GB with a 750BG drive and a few hours time. I did not loose a single file.

So, I just wanted to make that point again ... hard drives will eventually fail. Be ready for that day.

Canon EOS 40D

The EOS 40D becomes the sixth Canon 'prosumer' digital SLR, a line which started back in 2000 with the EOS D30, and how far we've come.

It's been eighteen months since the EOS 30D and although on the surface the 40D looks like a fairly subtle upgrade there's a lot that makes this an even better camera.

Of course we expect a step up in megapixels, and so the 40D comes with a ten million pixel CMOS sensor with the same sort of dust reduction as the EOS 400D, an ultrasonic platform which shakes the low pass filter.

Other improvements bring the EOS 40D closer into line with the EOS-1D series, these include a move to the same page-by-page menu system, both RAW and sRAW (2.5 MP), 14-bit A/D converter and 14-bit RAW, cross-type AF points for F5.6 or faster lenses, a larger and brighter viewfinder,
interchangeable focusing screens,
a larger LCD monitor (3.0") and
faster continuous shooting (6.5 fps).

Canon 40D review on www.dpreview.com

Nikon D3

Nikon's answer to the Canon EOS 1D Mark III

Their first full-frame digital SLR, the new 12.1 megapixel D3. The D3 is all about speed and sensitivity, twelve megapixels on a big CMOS chip means large photosites (8.45 ┬Ám pitch to be precise) and that adds up to base sensitivity of ISO 200 to 6400 with an additional two stop boost over that (up to ISO 25600).

The other side of the speed story (apart from blistering AF and shutter lag) is that the D3 can shoot at 9 frames per second with AF tracking or 11 frames per second without.

Other headline features are a newly branded EXPEED image processor, a new 51-point AF sensor, color AF tracking, dual CF compartments (with UDMA support),

3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor with Live View (including contrast detect auto-focus),

HDMI video output and even a virtual horizon function which can tell you when you're holding the camera perfectly level.

The D3 will be available in November, at around US$5000.

D3 preview at www.dpreview.com

Nikon D300

In addition to the FX format (Full-frame) D3 Nikon has also announced the new DX format D300 which also features a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor, 14-bit A/D conversion, EXPEED image processor, sensitivity up to ISO 6400 (with boost), the new CAM3500DX AF sensor (51 point), HDMI video output, UDMA CF support and last but not least the super-impressive 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor with Live View. No ordinary Live View either as this one supports Auto Focus in two ways; using the current 'normal' mirror-drop / mirror-raise but also contrast detect in the same way as a compact camera (although slower).

Speed and Performance

fast standard frame advance rate of 6fps (up to 8 fps with optional Multi Power Battery Pack). The D300 offers fast power-up, quick response and outstanding flexibility to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographic assignments. The D300 powers-up in just 0.13 seconds, with an almost imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter lag.

The D300 will be available in November, at around US$1800.

D300 preview at www.dpreview.com