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Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 40D dSLRs: 21 not out

Canon has included in its autumn product launch two new dSLRs -- the 10-megapixel consumer EOS 40D and the 21-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III, plus accessories

Canon has launched a raft of new products in time for, er, autumn. It showed off 30 photography, video and printing products at a white-draped warehouse on London's Brick Lane, complete with catwalk show. The stars of the show, however, were undoubtedly the two new dSLR cameras: the consumer EOS 40D and the 21-megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark III.

Yes, you read that right: 21 megapixels. My word, that's a lot of little coloured dots. File sizes are correspondingly corpulent -- Canon mentions 100MB uncompressed 16-bit TIFFs, so lord knows how big the raw files will be. And there'll be a lot of them, as dual DIGIC III processors can chew up 5 frames per second (fps) of continuous shooting and spit out 56 large JPEGs, or 12 RAW files.

The full frame CMOS sensor is protected from dust by the EOS Integrated Cleaning System. The Mark III also includes a 76mm (3-inch) LCD screen with live view, as well as an extra LCD screen for settings. Along with a new dedicated ISO button, ISO is permanently displayed on the top LCD panel. The customisable My Menu option allows users to store favourite settings on a separate menu for easy access.

We're sold. How much? The EOS-1Ds Mark III will be available from October, priced at £6,000. Maybe not, then. Keep clicking to see more of Canon's new dSLR-related goodness.

Update: Read our full Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III review

Slightly more in the price range of real human beings is the EOS 40D, replacing the 30D. This has a still-pretty-hot 10.1-megapixel CMOS sensor and shoots a blistering 6.5fps. The DIGIC III processor handles up to 75 large JPEGs (17 in RAW) without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

EOS Integrated Cleaning System, My Menu tab and 76mm LCD with live view mode are present and correct. It also boasts 24 custom modes. A new addition is a dedicated autofocus on/off button that allows you to enable and disable autofocus with your thumb.

Canon describes start-up time on the EOS 40D as near-instant. It will be available from September and will cost £900 for the body, or £1,200 with EF-S 17-85 IS lens.

We didn't get a chance to touch, feel and covetously stroke the Mark III, but we did see it demonstrated by photographer Drew Gardner and a model in a dress made out of paper and broken CDs (don't ask). This involved the very cool new WFT-E2 wireless file transmitter, so we were able to see pictures on the big screens as they were taken. The WFT-E2 also connects wirelessly to external storage media and supports GPS geotagging. Two-way communication is possible with this bad boy, so you can trigger the shutter from your browser. 

The 40D doesn't miss out on the extras, either. Two new lenses were launched: the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS is a £160 budget zoom lens (pictured right), while the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS offers the longest focal range in the EF-S range to date for £240. Both incorporate 4-stop image stabilisation, shifting their insides to compensate for camera shake.

We also get the shortest focal length in Canon's professional L-series range, the ultra-wide EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM (pictured left), boasting a 114° angle of view for a wide-angle £1,800.

And there's some of that there photos-through-the-air magic with the WFT-E3 wireless file transmitter. Sorcery! -Rich Trenholm