Why do I keep calling my wife’s Canon 40D, a D40? It perplexes her as she is a dedicated Canon shooter and is fully aware that I have been a Nikon guy since the 1960s, shooting (an FTN camera that is) in Vietnam.
So I spent this rainy afternoon researching Canon’s timeline. Here are my discoveries:
April 2000 – Canon revealed the EOS D30, the first digital SLR that amateur photographers could really afford. 10 years later, we have the latest incarnation of the original design – the 15.1 megapixel EOS 50D. (Added note: There are megapixels and then there are megapixels. But that’s another story.)
The EOS D30 offered the amateur 3.1 megapixels, a 3 point auto focus, continuous 3 frames per second (JPEG), and a 1.8 inch LCD monitor.
In February 2002, Canon introduced the EOS D60. Now why did they go from 30 to 60? I don’t know. Maybe because the D60 had 6.3 megapixels, upgraded from the D30’s 3.1. Canon kept the 3 point auto focus, increased the continuous number of frames one could shoot from 3.3 frames per second to 8.
Now Canon seemed to be bouncing out a new camera every year. My thinking was, if you want a new Canon, you had better buy it always the first month cause if you wait you will get yourself a outdated camera pretty quick :=)
POW – another Canon just 12 months later on February 2003 – the EOS 10D.
WHAT? Did I say EOS 10D?
Now why did they go and put the “D” behind the 10 instead of in front of it? And 30 and 60 are higher numbers than 10 … so why 10?
The truth will reveal itself in the years to come, but they were not going to tell us yet.
At first glance the EOS 10D looks quite similar to the D60. However, the changes are fairly significant.
When you first pick up the camera, you will notice the new magnesium alloy case and restyled softer shape. Its body is now made from the same material as the EOS-1D/1Ds and shares quite a few style shapes with those cameras.
New important features are incorporated:
- New body and control layout
- Orientation sensor
- Improved auto focus
- New and improved LCD monitor
- Kelvin selectable white balance
- Extended ISO range,
- More flexible image parameters, and
- New manufacturing process for the CMOS sensor
What’s next? The Canon EOS 20D. Looks like we are now on a trip down “numbers first, D last” path.
Introduced in August of 2004, the 20D went from 6.3 megapixels to 8.2; and 7 point auto focus to 9 points. And wow – we are now at 5 frames per second all the way up to 23 continuous frames. That’s a big jump for us photojournalists. Same size LCD monitor.
Then 18 months later – you got it – the new Canon 30D.
What’s new of significance: A 2.5 inch LCD monitor. That’s a welcome change. But I’m not going to buy the camera. Why? Well because I just know in my heart that the camera that my wife is dreaming about is only 18 months away.
On August of 2007 the Canon EOS 40D was born.
The 40D’s 10.1 megapixels is what she wanted, including the 9 point auto focus that everyone needs, and would you believe this: 75 frames continuous shooting at 6.5/3.0 frames per second. Amazing how this Canon 40D can keep up with that.
And look at all these other features:
- A dust reduction system comprising a ultrasonic platform which shakes the low pass filter.
- More improvements that bring the EOS 40D closer into line with the EOS-1D series, which include a move to the same page-by-page menu system, both RAW and sRAW (2.5 MP), 14-bitk A/D converter and 14-bit RAW, cross-type AF points for F5.6 or faster lenses, a larger and brighter viewfinder, interchangeable focusing screens a larger LCD monitor (3.0″) and faster continuouis shooting (6.5 frames per second).
- Oh yes – and live view.
One year to the month, and here comes another. But its been a busy year in the camera manufacturing business with Nikon’s new D300 getting a lot of attention in the amateur/professional segment.
In true fashion Canon again comes out with a new camera: The 50D is essentially a 40D body wrapped around a newly-developed 15 megapixel sensor, and we all know everyone likes big numbers when it comes to sensors.
August 2008, Canon is claiming now that the new sensor’s design means that despite the higher resolution image, noise has improved. My wife didn’t buy a 50D to let me try it out so I don’t know about that.
Several other features of the 50D:
- Raw files: (CR2 format),(RAW full resolution),(sRAW1 – 7.1MP),(sRAW2 – 3.8MP)
- ISO’s up to 12,800
- And a bunch of other stuff that my wife will never use. A more techy photographer might, but she loves her 40D unconditionally
What’s next? Stay Tuned!