The calendar tells us that the 5D, Canon's second best DSLR range, is due for a refresh. It comes from a message board, so take this with a grain of salt, but someone on DP Review forums has posted specs for a second generation 5D with the following changes: A modest 15.3MP up from 12.8MP, and a massive 2 stop bump in light sensitivity to 25600 ISO.
The cam will supposedly shoot at 6fps instead of 3, and will have dual Digic III processors instead of a single Digic II cpu. The AF system will use 29 points instead of 9, and it'll have the same weather sealing as the topline 1Ds Mark III, as well as live view. The announcement is supposed to come on April 22nd, at $3500. That's a lot of stat smather, but the bottom line is that Nikon's D300 better watch its ass. [DP Review via Photography Bay, thanks Eric]
The new 5D II will not be released at Photokina, but instead will be a surprise announcement on April 22, according to a source I am unwilling to disclose. The specs of the new camera are as follows (final name unavailable):
- 15.3 MP full frame CMOS sensor (vastly improved light-gathering capacity per pixel: improved micro lenses; miniaturized micro circuitry; enhanced signal/noise ratio)
- Weather sealing same as 1Ds Mark III
- Dual Digic III with all-new "CXR" NR system reported to best 3rd party NR software. Available as a C.F with 4 levels of customizable parameters.
14 bit A/D conversion
- ISO 12800 (C.F. up to 25600)
- Reported 1 2/3 stop sensitivity improvement
- All-new 29-point TTL CMOS sensor
with 12 cross-type for F/2.8 or faster lens
(35% faster than 40D)
- Micro lens fine adjustment for up to 14 lenses
- 300,000 exposure shutter durability
- 6.0 / 3.0 fps
- 3.0" LCD
- EOS Integrated Cleaning System
- Live View (improved from 450D; latest generation)
- 6/3 fps continuous shooting for up to 68 frames
- MSRP $3499, available June 2
The CMOS in the new camera will be an entirely new generation, not based on the current flagship or the current camera it is replacing. The reason Canon can do this without cutting into the 1D series is because the new flagship will best the 5D in 3 key areas: frame rate, buffer, and AF. Canon recognizes these are extremely important to sports photographers. No one shooting pro sports goes backwards to save a few thousand dollars on a body. Canon knows this and understands it isn't competing against itself - even if amateurs on forums such as this (who wont buy the pro-series cam) do.
The CXR NR system will detail retention at 12800 similar to 3200 on current model, though a 1 2/3 stop improvement is the conservative, stated estimate. Canon hopes to create a "wow" factor with a conservative estimate that surpasses itself in studio/ pro review tests, because they know at this level, you'll be looking there. The philosophy here is that it will create such a "buzz," many who would not consider this camera will consider it. Calling a 2-stop advantage a 2-stop advantage would simply be meeting expectations. FPS will also slightly exceed 6 (and 3), as stated. Canon received negative feedback for the 6.5 FPS quoted in the 40D and learned from their mistake here. (Expect Nikon to underpromise at D3 and above cameras in the future. This is common when technology advancements under perform "consumer pull")
The weather sealing will, in fact, be the same as the current flagship. This is in direct response to Nikon and Pentax. Expect full weather sealing to be a feature in all but low-end (Rebel) bodies in the next cycle. You can thank Pentax for this.
Battery life will only be improved by just under 10% due to the extra processing required.
The market segment is not in direct competition with the D300. Just as the 5D created a new class of camera 3 years ago, the new 5D will create a similar new niche above the D300, but below the current Canon flagship. It will remain the affordable, full-frame niche that Nikon chose not to produce. The new Canon flagship, this Fall, will have a "1.5:1 price/performance advantage to the Nikon flagship." (Read carefully: this statement refers to the coming Canon flagship, not the 5D II being discussed here).