Canon EOS 40D: No points for predicting the obvious

You don't have to be Nostradamus to work out that Canon would like to launch an EOS 40D this spring. The interesting question is whether it will offer something new.

The blogosphere is currently awash with speculation about the imminent arrival of the Canon EOS 40D, which would be an update to the EOS 30D. Frankly, I'm surprised it has taken so long for this particular rumourfest to take off.

Here's how I see it:

1. Canon typically releases a seasonal bouquet of new cameras and camcorders in the spring (February-March), ready for the summer market, and another bunch in the autumn (September-October), ready for Christmas.

2. Last year Canon launched the EOS 30D in the spring. Although it had a bigger LCD and a better shutter mechanism, it used the same 8.2-megapixel sensor as its predecessor, the EOS 20D.

3. In the autumn, Canon launched the EOS 400D (reviewed here), with a 10.1-megapixel sensor.

4. With the EOS 400D, the Nikon D80, the Nikon D200, the Olympus E-400 and the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 all offering 10-megapixel sensors, Canon's EOS 30D now looks underspecified.

So, you don't have to be Nostradamus to work out that Canon would like to launch an EOS 40D this spring. The interesting question is whether it will tweak the 30D to add a 10-megapixel sensor, or attempt to leapfrog the competition by offering more -- which could mean more pixels, but could also mean something new. For example, Canon used to offer eye-control focus in some of its film SLRs. I don't think we'll see that again, but we might get something equally innovative.

I hope we'll see something cool, because I don't want to see the dSLR market degenerate into a tedious skirmish over megapixels. I'm more than happy with the resolution of the 8-megapixel images from my EOS 20D, so it'll take something special to persuade me to upgrade -- and more pixels ain't special.

 

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