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Canon announces EOS 60D camera and new lenses

August 26, 2010

What a day for Canon’s “gear heads”!
Today, August 26th 2010, Canon announced new camera, EOS 60D

1.4x and 2x teleconverter and what is more interesting, 6 new lenses. Only one lens is new and the rest are just updates of the current ones. But these updates are very significant.

The biggest new feature for new Canon EOS 60D is an articulating screen. I don’t think it’s a deal breaker, but I know there are photographers that will benefit from it. Introducing this feature significantly changed the layout of the buttons on the back if the camera, something that doesn’t happen to often with Canon.
I’m surprised that microadjustment is missing in this camera. I thought this will be applied to all new cameras and will stay along the series. Another surprise is that Canon kept old AF technology. I believe that slight improvement over the 50D and 40D would be welcomed by many.

One of the surprises was an update of the EF 70-300 f/4-5/6 IS USM lens. As of today, this lens officially received status of the L lens. It has 4-stop Image Stabilizer, new glass and white body design.

The new favorite of the masses is newly introduced, and first on the market, EF 8-15mm f/4L USM fisheye ultra wide zoom lens.

But the spotlight was on the super telephoto lenses. Many websites reported for weeks, even months, that the update is coming to some of the lenses, but no one was expecting that Canon will update all of them! First to be available on the market are: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

and EF 400mm f/2.8 IS II USM

and on the beginning of the 2011 EF 500mm f/4 IS II USM and EF 600mm f/4 IS II USM will be announced.

What is hidden behind the new, mark II, versions of these lenses? Simply put, there are new glass elements with new coatings, new 4-stop Image Stabilizer, and new magnesium body. All of these improvements contributed to weight loss of these “super-teles”. Where 300mm lens is only 8% lighter then the previous version, 400mm lens received outstanding 28% weight loss! From 11.7 lbs to 8.49 lbs and now this lens is almost the same weight of the current 500mm f/4 lens (8.56 lbs) and gives you opportunity to shoot handheld more frequently.
Of course all of these improvements will cost. Provided early MSRP prices are way to high for most o the people. They are 300mm – $7000, and 400mm – $11,000!
There is much more to these lenses to write about but I don’t want to copy what is already written all over the internet. Just please read these official Canon’s material if you are interested: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products?pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e024801e8289

Couple weeks ago I’ve purchased EF 300mm 2.8 IS lens and a pair of the Canon teleconverters. I’m still in the process of learning/testing this lens but as most of you know, 2x extender doesn’t have the best reputation out there. As you can imagine I was very happy with today’s announcement of the new teleconverters.

1.4x Teleconverter

2x Teleconverter

New design not only ensure better image quality but also there is a new integrated microprocessor that improves AutoFocus. Right away I was sold and ready to replace at least 2x teleconverter with the new version. As the day progressed, more information started to come out from Canon. As it turns out, most of the AutoFocus improvements of the mark III extenders are available only when paired with new super telephoto lenses. What a disappointment… Also they are not compatible, they work but Canon doesn’t ensure the accuracy, with the older, discontinued lenses, such as: 300mm 2.8, 400mm 2.8 etc.
Definitely there will be some improvement in Image Quality over the older version of these teleconverters, but I won’t jump right away and buy them as soon as they will be available in the stores. I will wait for more test done in the field and how they compare to each other. Also prices of these teleconverters are well to high. Both have MSRP $500 compared to $299 for the current version.

Here is more information:

“Each Series III Extender features a newly developed microcomputer that increases AF precision when the extenders are used with an IS II super-telephoto lens. AF precision remains the same as the Series II Extenders when the Series III Extenders are used with earlier extender-compatible EF lenses.”

“As with previous EF Extenders, usage of Series III EF Extenders lowers AF drive speed to improve AF performance. When Extender EF 1.4X III is used, AF drive speed is reduced by 50%. When Extender EF 2X III is used, AF drive speed is reduced by 75%. This may seem like a drawback, but in reality subject tracking performance remains quite high when Series III Extenders are used with IS II lenses. This is due to improvements in AF precision made possible by the new microcomputer in the extenders.”

“AF may not focus accurately when a Series III EF Extender is combined with certain discontinued EF lenses (like 300mm 2.8, 400mm 2.8) This problem can be resolved through AF Microadjustment on EOS cameras equipped with that feature. Manual focusing is recommended when using Series III EF Extenders with those particular lenses on compatible EOS bodies that do not have an AF Microadjustment function.”

*AF may not focus accurately when a Series III EF Extender is combined with certain discontinued EF lenses marked with an asterisk in the table above. This problem can be resolved through AF Microadjustment on EOS cameras equipped with that feature. Manual focusing is recommended when using Series III EF Extenders with those particular lenses on compatible EOS bodies that do not have an AF Microadjustment function.


Upgrade of all super-telephoto lenses with new glass design, capable of the superior resolution, leaves me wonder what will Canon bring in near future. Will they introduce new sensor technology with upcoming 1Ds Mark IV? If not, what a new camera they will introduce instead? There must be a reason that Canon updates all the high end lenses!

For more specific information regarding new design of the telephoto lenses and teleconverter please visit this website: http://www.usa.canon.com/dlc/controller?act=GetArticleAct&articleID=3508

All pictures and links courtesy of Canon USA

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