A raft of new Canon cameras – which are interesting?

Canon is a big company – much bigger than Nikon, its only real competitor.

In past years Canon has been in the habit of releasing a lot of new cameras models all at one time, and this year it is the same.

There are a number of compacts – the PowerShot A650 IS, the PowerShot A720 IS, the Digital IXUS 860 IS, and the IXUS 960 IS / SD950 IS. All of them have more pixels than the models they supersede and all of them must therefore suffer from the problems that come with decreasing the size of the microlenses in the array – which is, as I have said before, a poorer signal to noise ratio.

So what is left? Well I won’t even talk about the EOS-1Ds Mark III at $4,500 because it makes me drool. So that leaves the two that do interest me in a practical way and those are the EOS 40D selling body only at $1,300 as of its release date of September 20th, and the Canon PowerShot G9, which has now got what the older G models had, which is the ability to produce RAW images.

As to whether the G9 is any good I will leave until someone posts some images, and I won’t risk buying one on the chance it is going to be good. But the EOS 40D is bound to be good – well it should be unless Canon has done something really crazy.

Some of the features of the 40D that attract me are, that it has weather-proofing on the doors in the body, a shake-the-dust- from-the-sensor mechanism, a ten megapixel sensor, and three custom user modes.


But what really interests me are that it captures images in 14bit and that the mirror return is quicker and quieter. These should translate into better capture and better images.

And I see that all nine AF points can achieve focus on both horizontal and vertical planes. That is good. It is typical of cameras not to be able to acheive focus when held sideways (as when taking a portrait) except with the central focus point, so in practical usability terms, this is a good feature.

Anyone who is new to digital SLRs and has enough cash to buy this body and a good zoom (of which there are many and I will cover these in the next post) should give it serious thought – all this assuming Canon didn’t do something really crazy, which seems highly unlikely.

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