Here’s the link.
Here are a few reasons why this is interesting.
First, on the stills side…
1. This represents the consolidation of Canon’s top 2 model lines (previously the 1DMKIV and the 1DsMKIII in various versions) with a full-frame sensor. Previously, this was an area where Canon’s (less expensive) full-frame 5DMKII held an advantage over the 1D (though not the 1Ds).
2. The fact that the full-frame sensor is 18MP (as opposed to the earlier 21MP on the 5DMK II or 16MP on the 1DMKIV full-frame versions, or 11MP on the 1DMKIV) is very good news indeed for low ISO performance, giving it larger pixels than either of the previous 1D models or the 5DMK II, which translates into the potential for less ISO noise. The 1DMKIV was Canon’s previous low-light champion but was noticeably outperformed by the Nikon D3S, especially at the highest extended ISOs (both in stills and video, though losing out in video resolution). Which may be why…
3. … the new upper limit ISO has doubled to 204,800 (which also means double that on the Nikon D3s). It remains to be seen how ISO 204,800 performs, but I have not heard of another DSLR sporting it before. Especially in regards to my recent documentary work, I am very interested to see how this turns out.
4. The burst rate for full-resolution images has been upped to 12 FPS, effectively allowing you to shoot “half-rate” film (which is 24 FPS in the U.S.) when taking pictures. It can even manage 14 FPS if you shoot JPEG with locked focus (and mirror). And as a side benefit the shutter should allegedly last 30% longer, too.
This is exciting stuff may help to address some of the disappointment felt by many professionals that had hoped Nikon would announce a success to the D3s last month (which could have meant either 1080P video support or even better low ISO compared to the D3s, as two possible examples). If you want to go faster at this resolution, the next step up is a big price hike for the RED Epic.
Now, as someone that has been pushing the envelope of HDR and TM work since last year (including providing input to several software developers on how to improve batch processing in the respective software with an eye towards timelapse work in particular) it remains to be seen how well the “composite” modes that Canon promises will work, but it is something to keep an eye out for.
Now, on the movie side…
1. More compression options, including much lower compression than on previous Canon DSLR models. It remains to be seen if this will more in line with the bit-rate hacks on the Pansonic GH1 and GH2, or whether it will be something more drastic, like the more powerful RED RAW codec (though that seems far-fetched at the moment).
2. Adds support for the 4GB file splitting that has already long been supported by Panasonic (notably on the GH1 and GH2, which won praise for not being limited to the shorter recording time of the competing DSLRs by Canon, Nikon, et al) to a Canon camera for the first time.
3. Movie modes retain 1920×1080 support at 30, 25 and 24P and 1280×720 at 60P (though 1920X1080 60P is noticeably absent, like all other DSLR models I can remember off the top of my head, though present on HD cams like the Panasonic HD TM700 and drastically exceed by the RED Epic).
4. Dual CF cards. Need I say more? [Update 1: Looks like I will. I recently wrote a rather lengthy comment on someone else’s blog about how limiting memory card capacities can be when doing timelapse featuring either RAW images or bracketed exposures, so this could be quite helpful.]
5. Gigabit ethernet port. This could potentially be really helpful for transfers, though the recent introduction of USB 3.0 card readers has diminished the impact somewhat.
Those are the highlights from my perspective. On first reading. Now let’s hear yours!