Canon Announces EOS 5D and “fills the gap”

The rumors have been swirling for quite some time and they appear to have been mostly correct.

Canon officially announced the EOS 5D today to fill the approximately $5500 gap between their 20D and the 1DS Mark II. The 20D is an incredibly capable camera that lacks only a few of the highest end features, but the price difference in the existing models has really separated the high end pros from the “prosumers” and other professionals not wanting to drop over $7,000 on a single camera body.

The 5D comes in around $3300 retail (over twice the cost of a 20D) but picks up the key features people have wanted: it’s full frame, has a true spot meter and a larger LCD screen (2.5″ vs. 1.8″). This means no more 1.6x crop factor and EF-S lenses, but it also means your lenses better be of the highest quality or you’re going to be suffering from more cases of chromatic abberation, softness and distortion. Frankly, I’d take those risks for a full frame SLR, but I’m most definitely not in the ~$3000 price range right now for an SLR (especially having only bought the 20D four months ago). 🙂

Full details of the new camera can be seen here at DP Review.

Canon also announced the EOS-1D Mark II N (not the successor to the highest S model), two new lenses (24-105mm F4.0L and 70-300 F4.0 IS), the Speedlite 430EX and four new point-and-shoot digital cameras.

I’d say these are all additions to the existing line-up rather than replacements for any existing model (except for the 1D Mark II N replacing the former 1D Mark II). The new 5D definitely represents a nice middle point in the product line between 20D and the highest end 1Ds Mark II, so I’m eager to hear the first hands-on reviews. Arguably, the 1D Mark II N is the true middle point from an overall feature and form-factor standpoint, but the 12 megapixels of the 5D vs the 8 megapixels of the N will make that a hot topic for debate.

I imagine the forums today are going to be insane and mostly intolerable. 🙂

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