Canon unveils new digital SLR
Following the usual "unofficial" leak yesterday (via a Chinese website) Canon has today officially lifted the lid on new products. Most interesting is the successor to the EOS 350D, Canon's entry-level SLR. The new 400D, offers a 10.2-megapixel sensor, dust reduction technology for the first time, the 9-point auto focus system from the 30D, and does away with the monochrome LCD. Instead, like many other SLRs at this price point, the 400D puts all its shot settings on the main LCD, which has been increased in size to 2.5-inch.
This is canny marketing from Canon. The 400D looks like a "just enough" product, providing key features -- the extra resolution, anti-dust technology -- that the company's competitors were hoping to provide as points of difference. While the 400D retains the 3 frames per second continuous shooting speed of the 350D, its buffering has been improved to offer 27 JPEG or 10 RAW images in a burst. There is also proximity sensors beneath the viewfinder that turn the LCD off when the eye is too the viewfinder, and many other minor tweaks.
The big question will be whether the increase in resolution will effect the 400D's production of noise at higher ISOs. The 350D, along with the Nikon D50, lead the field among entry-level DSLRs in this respect and Canon users will be loath to loose this advantage for a few extra megapixels. We'll know more when we get out hands on the real thing.