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Monday, June 4, 2012

Canon EOS 3D and EOS 70D camera rumors and discussion

CAPA is one of the most popular and reliable photographic magazines in Japan with a good record of predictions and leaks. There is a rumor circulating in Japan that Canon is thinking of releasing two new DSLRs some time in late 2012 or early 2013. The two cameras will be the Canon EOS-3D and the Canon EOS 70D. 

The EOS 3D has been rumored for years, partly because people like to see something that would fill the perceived void between the EOS 1 series and the EOS 5 series bodies. The rumored specs are listed below but in the absence of any suggested prices, I am offering my own opinion on this rumor.

Canon EOS-3D
  • 30+ MP, 1D-class body
  • 61-point AF system, functions very similar to the new 1D-X
  • Equipped with flash (or speedlite transmitter)
  • Perhaps equipped with the first 4K movie recording function?
  • Dual Digic 5+ processors for 6 fps
Canon EOS-70D
  • Compact Magnesium Body with better AF and continuous shooting
  • 22 MP and Digic 5+ Processor
  • 19-point AF system
  • 6 fps with Photo/Video live view modes
Let us take the rumored EOS 3D specs for discussion. It seems Canon has stopped the production of its APS-H sensor so the new camera presumably will be full framed. If it comes with the 1D body, 30+ MP sensor, dual Digic 5+ processors and the 61-point AF system (the 'crown jewel' features of the 1D series body) , how much would Canon price this camera?  The 1D-X lists for $6,800 in the US and has a 18MP sensor.  If the recent pricing of Canon's new introduction is any clue, they seem to be pricing any new bodies (other than the 1D series) at less than $4,000.  Why would anyone pay $6,800 for the 1D-X when they can buy the 3D for less and get almost the same features?

Canon has already 'killed' the EOS 1Ds line by pricing the EOS 5D MK III so aggressively and packed it with so many advanced features. I paid $8,000 for the EOS 1Ds MK III a few years ago and now the 5D MK III can do almost everything better for half the price.  Are they really that crazy to try and kill off the entire EOS 1 series line of camera bodies?

The rumored EOS 70D sounds a bit more plausible. The higher MP and Digic 5+ processor are all to be expected. The 6 fps and 19-point AF system are about the least one would expect from any new camera that will replace the EOS 60D. If Canon tweaks the specs a little and jazz up the new camera with some 'new features' and price it around $1,500 - $2,000, they may have a winning, marketable 'semi-pro' camera on their hands.

I have written about Canon's dangerous marketing strategy they are apparently embarking on. In the interest of broadening the appeal of DSLRs with professional capabilities and features, they have priced the EOS 5D MK III too low, which will threaten the EOS 1D line and blur their distinction. Canon should follow their pricing strategy on the L series of big 'white lenses'. I bought the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS, Canon 400mm f/4 L DO and Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lenses over the years.  Two of the Series II replacements, the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II and the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS II lenses are priced quite a bit higher than what I paid for mine.  The new models are lighter, have better optics, coatings and IQ so when it's time for me to upgrade, I feel confident that when the Series III lenses are released years from now, my purchases and investments will be protected, not like my EOS 1Ds MK III purchase.    

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