Bodies News Product Announcements

The new Nikon D300

Nikon D300

Nikon UK has just announced the newest addition to its family of digital SLRs, the Nikon D300. Surprisingly, the news came just right after Canon announced the EOS-40D and the EOS-1Ds Mark III, perhaps its own way of “stealing the limelight” considering the technical advantages it has over Canon’s offerings.

The simultaneous announcements from both camera makers surprisingly puts Nikon at an advantage, its model now capable of going head–to–head in the features department. Here are the notables for the Nikon D300, as compared to the 40D:

  • 12.3 megapixel CMOS sensor, much higher than the 40D’s 10.1 MP.
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting, almost as good as the 40D’s 6.5 fps, but can go up to 8 fps with the optional Multi Power Battery Pack. A little strange though that it can achieve its maximum burst rate with added power only.
  • ISO 200–3200 sensitivity range, with ISO 100 and 6400 as expanded options. Better than ISO 100-3200 on the 40D.
  • 51–point autofocus system shames the new 9–point all–cross–type on the 40D, though we’d have to test this in the real world for any advantages.
  • 150,000–cycle shutter durability is 1.5 times better than the 40D, bested only by top–level models.

Considering how much Nikon has evolved technologically with the D300, it wouldn’t be too surprising if it significantly dominates the DSLR field in the next few months, as more are now upgrading to digital SLRs and some are switching from other mounts/systems. The Nikon D300 has got thinking of switching, if only I could afford it. How about you?

Bodies News Product Announcements

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Announced!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Canon wouldn’t suffice with just one DSLR body and several point–and-shoots, they made sure they grab the big news with the release of the update to their flagship model, now the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. It seemed that the EOS-40D and the recently available EOS-1D Mark III would’ve been enough to lead against its competitors, but with a 21-megapixel full–frame sensor, now who can closely threaten them technology–wise?

The new EOS-1Ds has an unrivaled 21–megapixel CMOS sensor and can shoot at five frames per second, for up to 56 JPEG or 23 RAW images. Also improved in this model is the viewfinder, now brighter and with higher magnification compared to the EOS-1Ds Mark II. It also inherits the Live View functionionality from the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, along with the 3–inch LCD.

With these new features and improvements, will the Mark III be good enough for users to upgrade to this new model, especially considering the 8,000 dollar retail price?

Bodies News Product Announcements

The new Canon EOS-40D

Canon EOS 40D - front view.

It’s DSLR time once again this year as it’s raining new models from major players Canon and Nikon, each one trying to outdo its counterpart from the other camp.

The Canon EOS-40D is the long–awaited successor to the 30D, which used to be one of the better bodies in the market until compared to Nikon’s D200 and D80. The 40D though packs a lot of punch that should put offerings from other camps in the backseat.

Unlike the previous years, it took little time from leak to official release, Canon beating other DSLR makers to the punch by announcing their new models ahead of everyone.

The Canon EOS-40D is exceptional in its feature set, now capable of 6.5 frames per second continuous shooting at its 10–megapixel resolution. At this rate, it can take 75 JPG or 17 RAW images before the buffer slows down. A new AF system is also introduced, with 9 cross–type sensors plus another one mounted diagonally in the center that works well with f/2.8 and faster lenses.

It also carries most of the new innovations in the Canon EOS-400D like the Integration Cleaning System for the CMOS sensor and Picture Styles, which was also in the 30D. Taking from the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, the 40D also sports a 3–inch LCD with Live View Function, allowing for framing/shooting through the LCD.

This is certainly a revolutionary camera for die–hard Canon shooters, and DPReview provides us a preview of the Canon EOS-40D to give us the lowdown on this new model.

Canon EOS 40D - rear view.

Bodies Rumors

Nikon D40 & D40x: Good Enough?

Nikon D40

We’ve seen Nikon’s entry level offerings reviewed several weeks ago: the D40 and the D40x, all done by DPReview. Seeing that almost all reviews of both cameras proudly proclaim their strengths, are they really today’s best entry level digital SLRs?

Thom Hogan reviewed both cameras to compare and contrast their common strengths while identifying what may be better in one model, compared to the other. If I were to start in DSLR photography all over again, I’d go with the 6–megapixel D40 and invest my remaining money in good lenses. Getting a D40x means just more pesos (dollars?) spent with the same limitations from its cheaper sibling. And spending more would only be justified if one were to get a D80, or a D200. Thom specifically mentioned how Nikon has been able to maximize their not–too–new 6-megapixel CCD sensor:

First, the image quality is excellent. Nikon has proven once again that they know how to suck every last little bit of quality out of the 6mp sensors they’ve been using for more than four years. And amazingly, the included kit lens doesn’t let the sensor down. For those that aren’t trying to shoot wall murals and are satisfied with the size prints you’d get off, say, a really good desktop inkjet, there’s nothing to complain about in image quality until you get to ISO 3200, and even then some will find it usable at smaller print sizes.

So if you’re just starting to play with DSLRs now, you know the advantages of getting a D40, or a D40x.

Bodies News

Pentax 50th Anniversary Asahi Pentax DSLR

Pentax 50th Anniversary Asahi Pentax DSLR

Are you seeking a cool–looking digital SLR that combines today’s technology with the nostalgia of old school screw mount, manual focus, silver bodies? Then the 50th Anniversary Asahi Pentax DSLR might just be the camera for you! Unfortunately, this camera is not slated for production and is just a concept model, a design study based on the Pentax K10D.

But if the demand for such a novelty toy is good, there’s no doubt we’ll see it in the market soon.

Bodies Reviews

Review: Nikon D40X

Nikon D40X

Just half a year ago, the digital SLR market was busy speculating on Nikon’s entry level DSLR that will break the 500 dollar mark, which turned out to be the Nikon D40.

The D40 was a groundbreaker upon its entry, and even up to this point. But with the introduction of the Nikon D40X just a few months after the D40, they have agains raised the bar in the competitive DSLR scene. Now with a 10-megapixel sensor and 3 frames per second continuous shooting, this new body can sit well against its more expensive sibling, the D80, and other offerings like the Canon EOS 400D/XTi or the Sony Alpha A100.

But how do we really know how good it fares? Well, our friends over at DPReview have reviewed the Nikon D40X, giving it a “Highly Recommended” badge. It would be nice to try this one for a day. ;)

Bodies Software

DSLR Firmware updates


In case you haven’t heard, a firmware update might have been released for your digital SLR in the past few weeks. Here are some of the more recent firmware upgrades:

If you have any of the cameras mentioned above, check if you have an older firmware and upgrade as necessary.

Bodies News Product Announcements

Canon EOS-1D Mark III released!

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Finally, the wait is over! Canon has just announced the EOS-1D Mark III, its update to their professional 1–series digital SLR. With its recent advancements in its technology, the new 1D is undoubtedly the best in its class today, putting the competition way behind.

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

The Canon EOS-1D Mark III now sports a 10.1–megapixel CMOS sensor with data passed through a dual DIGIC III processor, enabling it to churn through information much faster than before. The new APS-H sensor is now capable of reaching ISO 3200 with ISO 50 and 6400 as sensitivity extensions/expansions, it being touted as Canon’s most light-sensitive and innovative sensor developed to date. The improved processing pipeline can now handle a burst of up to 110 Large JPEGs or 30 RAW files, an impressive number that matches this camera’s superb performance.

And performance is where the Canon EOS-1D cameras have always been known for. This update now has 19 high–precision cross–type AF points instead of 7, a highlight of the brand–new autofocus system. Now capable of bursts of 10 frames per second, the Canon EOS-1D Mark III is indeed today’s fastest digital camera available. Another unique feature is the Live View LCD, a first for a Canon DSLR and something not many were actually expecting.

More information on the Canon EOS-1D Mark III is available from Canon’s official press release. With the announcement of this camera, Canon has thrown down the gauntlet by establishing their advantages in digital imaging. Will the likes of Nikon, Fujifilm, and Sony produce an answer anytime soon?

Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Bodies Links News Reviews

Preview: Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro

Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro

Fujifilm announced in Photokina 2006 their newest digital SLR, the Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro. This camera will replace the S3 Pro with lots of improvements and new features. The company has not been up to pace with their development compared to rivals Canon, Nikon, and Sony, though they certainly have a good following backed by the imaging advancements they’ve made in the past few years.

Our friends from LetsGoDigital were able to get their hands on a pre–production sample of the S5 Pro and expectedly, sensor technology and imaging quality are among the Fijifilm body’s strengths. Still, the verdict is wide open especially when compared to the excellent Nikon D200, a direct competitor of the S5 Pro.

Will the Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro stand out against the rest of the DSLR field? In a few months, we should find out.

Bodies Links Reviews

Nikon D40 Reviewed

Nikon D40 has finally reviewed the Nikon D40, the nice little camera we mentioned just a few weeks ago. This camera is revolutionary for its price with a body–only tag of 499 USD, and 599 USD for the kit version.

The Nikon D40 gets a “Highly Recommended” seal from Phil Askey, with him noting:

One thing which stood out for us when we reviewed the D80 was its responsive performance, the feeling of instant connection between the photographer and the camera. So imagine I was very happy to find that the emphasis on responsiveness has been carried through to the more affordable D40. Indeed apart from a very slightly slower viewfinder blackout and probably slower auto-focus (although not measured) the D40 doesn’t really feel any slower in use and for some functions is actually faster thanks to smaller files.

In many ways, Nikon has progressed much more than Canon for almost a year now. The release of the D200 followed by the D80 and now the entry–level D40 makes them very competitive in almost all levels of the DSLR market. The D40 should further solidify their market share and with a price finally hitting the 500 dollar point, they should remain uncontested at least for a few months. This being a model for first–time DSLR buyers, its shortcomings shouldn’t be a big hindrance since its users will most likely have no prior SLR investments, be it in lenses or other accessories. Will Nikon continue to dominate in 2007?

Bodies Links News Product Announcements

Fujifilm announces Finepix S5 Pro

Fujifilm Finepix S5 Pro

FUJIFILM U.S.A., Inc. has recently announced their latest digital SLR, the Finepix S5 Pro. This camera is especially aimed at wedding, portrait, and studio photographers with features specifically useful to the said type of photography. Developed since Photokina 2006, this new Nikon–based body is scheduled to hit the market in February 2007 with a retail price of $1,999.

Further enhancements in Fujifilm’s sensor technology makes this camera a tough contender, especially when it comes to color and image quality. The PR states:

One is an expanded dynamic range from the double pixel technology (6.17 million S-pixels and 6.17 million R-pixels) of the camera’s Super CCD SR Pro sensor that is approximately 400% wider than that of a CCD working on a single-pixel design. In addition, the FinePix S5 Pro goes a step further by coupling the new Super CCD SR Pro sensor with Fujifilm’s new RP Processor Pro for smoother tonality from brightest light to the darkest shadows. An ISO equivalent sensitivity of 3200 is also available on the FinePix S5 Pro, thanks to the RP Processor Pro technology.

Face detection technology is another feature for this new camera. This feature is now steadily making it to consumer compact digitals though not in digital SLRs; perhaps the Finepix S5 Pro is one of the first bodies to sport this consumer–friendly technology.

Fujifilm’s article on this product release also boasts of improvements in ergonomics, weather sealing, and a 100,000–cycle shutter mechanism. Familiar? Of course, I think the Finepix S5 Pro is essentially a Nikon D200 fitted with Fujifilm’s imaging sensor and electronics. Just like previous incarnations of Fujifilm’s S-series professional bodies. This camera will likely be a favorite of portrait photographers if Fujifilm manages to improve on their already good color and image rendition. Reportedly however, just like the models before it, the Finepix S5 Pro is rumored to have the same sluggish performance that may be a little slower compared to today’s digital SLRs, even against the entry–level offerings from Sony, Nikon, and Canon. Will the Finepix S5 Pro make significant strides into the digital SLR market? We should see in the next few months, though I wouldn’t be expecting much.

Bodies Links News Product Announcements Rumors

Is this the Nikon D40?

Nikon D40

Just a few days ago, several photos were leaked on the web on what is supposed to be Nikon’s latest digital SLR, the Nikon D40. This new camera is positioned to take the place of the budget D50, the lowest model on Nikon’s DSLR lineup. Price is expected at around $499 for the body only, with the kit going for $599. The kit will include the G-II version of the 18-55mm which was featured in the D50.

The Nikon D40 has a 2.5 inch LCD that has been very common for all recent cameras. It will have the same 6.1 megapixel CCD from the D50 and an ISO range of 200 to 3200. Despite having just 3 AF points and lesser dedicated controls at the back of the camera, this should be a bestseller especially if it pops up at the rumored price. 500 dollars for a digital SLR body — times are good for us digital enthusiasts!

Compatibility with older Nikkor lenses (those not designated AF-S) is one of the D40’s downsides, though this wouldn’t be much of a limitation for first–time DSLR users, the target market of this camera. For the casual shooter just toying with the DSLR idea, the Nikon D40 should be a good match. But for those with a more serious plan and looking forward to more options in terms of accessories and lenses, the Nikon D80 should be of better value.

For a more thorough analysis of this new Nikon offering, Ken Rockwell’s article on the Nikon D40 should prove to be very helpful. By the way, have you noticed that Nikon seems to be producing better cameras for the past few months? Somehow it feels like my Canon EOS D60 wants to pair up with a Nikon D80. ;) Though seriously, a two–system approach to camera gear is almost impossible unless you’re a seasoned pro with a fat paycheck. And even professionals at the highest level rarely do a Canon + Nikon gear lineup. Just not possible, financially and especially emotionally. ;)

Bodies Lenses Links Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

Several months ago, Panasonic announced the Lumix DMC-L1, their first interchangeable-lens digital SLR camera. This camera is a direct product of its partnership with Olympus and its Four Thirds System. The DMC-L1 is a unique digital SLR with an interesting feature set; it is the the first with a dedicated shutter speed dial and aperture ring. These makes it closer to the hearts of analog shooters from decades ago.

Michael Reichmann reviewed the Lumix DMC-L1 last August and somehow liked the camera. However, he criticizes it in some aspects considering Panasonic should’ve learned its lessons from the cameras it released before it, the Panasonic LX-1 and the Leica Digilux 2/Panasonic LC1. Of importance is the DMC-L1’s value as compared to Nikon’s D80 and Canon’s EOS 400D/Rebel XTi, making it somehow lacking in many respects. No matter what unique features Panasonic may serve, it is still the market that will decide. Unfortunately for them, it will likely lean towards the D80, 400D/Rebel XTi, or Sony’s Alpha A-100.

For a comprehensive rundown on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1, read the Luminous Landscape review as well as its feature page on DPReview and its own site.

Bodies Links News Product Announcements

Sigma SD14

Sigma SD14

Ever heard of Sigma’s new DSLR? They’re building up the anticipation until the actual launch on the 26th of September in Cologne, Germany. The Sigma SD14 is expected to use a new iteration of the Foveon sensor that touts better color capture capabilities. However, is this a case of too little, too late? With Canon, Sony, and Nikon fiercely battling it out in the consumer level, this new body better be catered to a more pro–inclined market. Sadly, this market is also Canon’s and Nikon’s turf. But with their supposedly revolutionary advantages, we should know in a few more months if they manage to get a good part of the digital photography pie. And if all else fails, they can always still sell value third–part lenses that are favorites of bargain shooters like me. :)

Bodies Lenses News Product Announcements Rumors

New Canon products confirmed!

Canon EOS 400D with the 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Yesterday’s news of new Canon products are almost officially confirmed as of this hour. We now have a live link for the Canon EOS 400D we mentioned yesterday at the Canon Australia website. They also have a running story on their new products which also includes the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon 50mm f/1.2L USM. Rob Galbraith also have coverage on the new consumer body and the new L lenses.

With these new leads, I’m definitely sure these three products are good as real. The next question is: Does Canon have a few more surprises?

Bodies News Product Announcements Rumors

The new Canon EOS 400D

Canon EOS 400D.

News just broke out at the forums pointing to a thread in a Chinese photography forum revealing what will likely be tomorrow’s announcement of Canon’s newest products. Of significant importance is the supposed replacement for the entry–level 350D, the Canon EOS 400D. This new body will also be known as the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTI for selected markets like North America.

This new Canon body boasts of several improvements over the recent Digital Rebel. Among them, most notable are:

  • A brand–new 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, producing a maximum image dimension of 3,888 x 2,592 pixels.
  • Dust Removal System. A first for Canon SLR bodies, this aims to take away some of the supposed advantages of other entry–level DSLRs like the Sony Alpha A100.
  • 9-point wide area autofocus system inherited from the Canon EOS 30D. Yes, this body shares the same high performance AF system from its more expensive sibling, one that is even better than the 20D.
  • 2.5 inch wide angle of view LCD which is now almost standard among cameras released this year, though this one is said to be brighter by as much as 40% over that of the #0D and the 5D.
  • Just like recent Canon bodies, the EOS 400D will have “Picture Styles,” adding more creative options that allows for mimicking various “photographic looks” that we’re made famous during the days of film SLRs.

Many shooters from the forum were speculating that this camera would eat into the 30D sales, though from a consumer’s point of view, that could only be a very good thing. If this camera retails below the 1000 USD range, and it should, Canon probably has another winner in their hands. Looking at the success of the 350D and Canon’s aggressive price reductions the past weeks, the EOS 400D should be fairly affordable and appears destined to be another bestseller.

Bodies News Product Announcements

The new Nikon D80

Nikon D80 (Photo courtesy of

Nikon UK has just officially announced the new Nikon D80, the latest addition to Nikon’s digital SLR lineup. This camera handily slots in between the D70s and the recently new D200, and should provide good competition in the DSLR market.

Highlights of this new Nikon body includes:

  • New 10.2 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor delivering images at 3,872 x 2,592 maximum dimensions.
  • Refined 11–area AF system inherited from the top of the line D2 series.
  • Auto ISO which works very much like aperture and shutter priority, varying the sensor’s sensitivity as needed. The effective ISO range is 100-1600, with extended settings labeled as HI-0.3, HI-0.7 and HI-1. ISO is adjustable in 1/3 EV steps, and several levels of noise reduction can be cofigured.
  • Startup time of 0.18 seconds is a direct attack on Canon’s 0.2 or 0.15 value, all of which passable as “instant startup.”
  • Creative in–camera effects like “D-Lighting” which is expected to mimic Picasa’s “I’m feeling lucky” mode, or “auto contrast” and “auto levels” in Adobe Photoshop terms. Also available is red eye reduction and several filter effects.
  • A first for DSLRs is multiple exposures merged in one image file, another creative effect available only to the D80.
  • Like every new camera these days, a 2.5–inch rear LCD monitor offering a better view of everything. Examining sharpness and details through the LCD is now more plausible.

More details on this release is available from, and they have a detailed hands–on preview as well.

Nikon D80

Bodies News Product Announcements Rumors

The new Canon EOS 3D

Canon EOS 3D

Pictured above is said to be Canon’s upcoming EOS 3D, but really, is it? The same picture has circled the various photography sites and forums, and many have already ignored it as a hoax. However, a recent thread on the Fref Miranda forums appears to contain convincingly genuine details regarding a “Canon EOS 3D“, said to be launched in around three weeks.

Rumored features appear very exciting and if true, this camera will indeed be a worthy competitor to the Nikon D200. Some of the highlights:

  • High performance AF system with 27 AF points, 11 of which are cross–type sensors up to f/4, with the center point cross–type up to f/5.6 and capable of AF up to f11. This performance is comparable or even better than the 1D series.
  • ECF: Eye–controlled focus. A unique feature carried over from the Elan 7NE.
  • 13.3 megapixel APS-H (1.3x) sensor with DIGIC III, capable of ISO 50 and 3200 plus ISO 25 and 6400 as expanded options.
  • 6 frames per second continuous shooting speed, up to 40 JPGs or 18 RAW files.

If this rumoured camera is indeed real, this should push down the prices of other models significantly. Maybe we can have a full–frame Canon EOS 5D breaking the 2000 dollar barrier along with a Canon EOS 30D for less than a grand. Good times are coming if this is true.

The text of the “supposedly leaked” Canon document is provided below:

Introducing the revolutionary EOS 3D.

Built from the ground up to represent the new face of digital imaging the EOS 3D will represent a breakthrough in high performance yet affordable photography. Featuring an elegant yet supremely functional design it takes the best of Canon’s previous designs and enhances the experience even further. A high performance AF system featuring 27pt of which 11 are x-type down to f/4 while and the centre point is cross-type to f/5.6 and allows AF down to f/11. The AI servo performance has been significantly improved too, exceeding that of the 1D Mk II.

Also Canon proudly brings ECF to the digital era and is greatly enhanced in performance over that found in the Elan 7NE.

However, the true revolution lies in the heart of the camera. Packing an amazing 13.3MP into an APS-H sized sensor the images are processed by a new DIGIC III engine. The next generation DIGIC III Image Processor builds on the legendary abilities of the digic II with double the processing power necessary to deliver unprecedented levels of resolution, speed and dynamic range. Despite the EOS 3D having smaller pixels than the EOS 5D, the DIGIC III provides even greater DR, more accurate colour rendition improved WB and lower noise. ISO 50 and 3200 are now part of the standard ISO settings and ISO 25 and 6400 are now included as an expanded option. Also it further reduces power consumption allowing class leading battery performance.

Thanks to DIGIC III the EOS 3D also boasts an impressive burst rate of 6fps for 18 shots in RAW and 40 in jpg.

In addition the body adds several sealing gaskets to the all magnesium shell allowing for operation in more extreme environments. A new evaluative algorithm allows more accurate metering in extreme lighting and can even correctly expose subjects like snow. Also a 2.4% spot meter allows for precise metering of any part of the scene. The viewfinder shows an impressive 98% of the scene both horizontally and vertically. Also for the first time Canon will be employing 2.75″ OLED display screen, offering superior resolution, brightness and power consumption to LCD screens and having markedly better performance in bright daylight.

Visit this site for more updates on this new product.

Bodies Links News Product Announcements

Nikon D2Xs

Nikon D2Xs

Nikon’s flagship digital SLR, the D2X, has been updated and now named the D2Xs. The new camera uses the 12.21 megapixel sensor from the previous model, delivering 5 frames per second of continuous shooting. New for this model is the “viewfinder masking” when shooting in Hi–Speed Crop mode, allowing the shooter to easily distinguish the smaller frame captured.

Rob Galbraith has an article covering the new camera which will surely be talk of the Nikon world in the coming months. Though some would contend that this will spark new rounds Nikon versus Canon debates, I refuse to agree. But I sure do hope that Canon picks a few innovations from the Nikon camp and makes it available to their loyal users. Certainly, advancements no matter how small or significant continue to enhance the state of digital photography for everyone concerned.