In less than three weeks the photographic industry will converge on Cologne, Germany for the bi-annual photo technology-fest. Some of the biggest industry announcements are always made around Photokina, and this year is no exception.

We already have the announcement of the most expected new DSLR at Photokina in the Nikon D90. You can check out the announcement by clicking the Nikon D90 link. We also have the most unexpected DSLR announcement so far in the Canon 50D.

Canon had been like clockwork in 18-month announcements of new members of the 40D-30D-20D "prosumer" series, but a new Canon prosumer model had never been so poorly received as the Canon 40D. This time around Canon has fierce competition from Nikon, Sony, and even Pentax with higher resolutions, faster frame rates, and even higher ISO performance. In particular, the Sony and Nikon higher-res and more detailed LCD displays helped encourage many shoppers to buy the competing models instead of the 40D.

Certainly the competitive environment pushed Canon to crank up their release schedule, so we now have the early Canon 50D. With 15.1MP (megapixels), a now similar hi-res LCD to the competition, and ISO options extended even further the 50D now looks like it should compete very well in prosumer space, keeping Canon loyalists happy and perhaps even winning some new users over to Canon.

The two biggest announcements expected at Photokina, both full-frame DSLR cameras, have not yet been announced. Sony showed prototypes of their new full-frame at PMA in January with the promise it would launch this year. Everyone expects that to occur at Photokina. The other full-frame we expect is from Canon, as the Canon 5D is now 3 years old. While it is a competent full-frame, it no longer is up to date in current Canon checklist features or the latest faster generations of Digic processors. The new 50D features Digic IV while the aging 5D is still using Digic II. Canon has most industry observers scratching their head because they have already made pre-Photokina announcements and the 5D Mark II (3D or 7D have also been rumored) is just not there. In the past Canon made DSLR announcements in a single group, but either this year will be different or the 5D replacement is delayed again.

With so much happening so fast, let's take a closer look at the best info and rumors we now have on both these new full-frame cameras.

Sony A900


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  • Wesley Fink - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    Typo corrected.

    We certainly don't think the 40D is a bad camera, and Canon fans welcomed it. However, the 40D did not do as well in a fiercely competitive market as Canon had hoped it would. That is the likely reason for the early and deep price cuts and sizable rebates on the 40D.
  • chiew - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    thank you for the reply. i was just stating my own experience, and i know a lot of people on canon forums were dismayed when nikon's stuff came out. i was a bit caught up in it, too, but i know that canon and nikon will continue to duke it out for a long time to come. it's futile trying to chase the best, especially with a sizable investment in glass. i'd liken the competition to AMD vs Intel or ATI vs NVidia, but it's so easy to switch companies in the computer business without having to lose hundreds of dollars when buying and selling in making the switcheroo, like i'd have to do if i bought nikon glass. Reply
  • chiew - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    oh, and if you're interested, things have changed a little bit in the past few hours and canon has released a teaser of sorts on its different webpages (US, Europe, Asia, etc). It looks like a 5D replacement for sure, based on its huge viewfinder hump, and because the outline is not square like their 1D series. But I'm sure you guys don't write articles on small trailers like this :D Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the tip. We added a link to the Canon USA teaser page to the page 3 discussion of the Canon 5D replacement. Reply
  • chiew - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    cool, glad to contribute Reply
  • chiew - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    that, and i don't think the 40d was poorly received, at least not in my hands :D Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, September 5, 2008 - link

    I'd say the 30D was less well received than the 40D, as it was even less of a change over the 20D than the 40D over the 30D. ISO in the viewfinder only when changing? Come on.

    Also, EF-S lenses fitting only APS-C bodies isn't rumor, unless Canon releases a spacer it is fact. The whole point of the EF-S spec is that it allows the lens to protrude another 5mm into the body. Canon couldn't change their registration distance and still have EF lenses be usable, so the EF-S spec allows wide-angle lenses to be a little less retrofocal, and takes advantage of the smaller mirror needed for APS-C. This is why the 10D and earlier cannot use the EF-S lenses either - they had a larger mirror that can hit the back of the lens. Some EF-S lenses can be modified to fit, some cannot.

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