Canon DSLR Overview
Canon had taken the DSLR market reigns and many thought they would never let go. That was the case until recently, when Nikon started making itself a serious threat. But despite all that, and despite Nikon's buzz win with the D3/D300 power duo, it is Canon who has the most Top 20 DSLRs in terms of features and functionality.
The 1Ds Flagship
Now in its third incarnation, the 1Ds Mark III is enjoying its last days as the only contender in the big-megapixel 35mm full frame DSLR segment. With Sony for sure, and Nikon very likely announcing 35mm full-frame DSLRs at/by Photokina 2008, things are going to get hot. But until then, the 1DsMk3 is the queen of price and megapixels and can look up to the digital backs and other medium and large format equipment. Which is perhaps why it hasn't generated as much buzz as the more "down to earth" Nikon D3.
The 1D Flagship
The speed demon wing of the Canon flagship had its share of issues. It started with a soap opera of auto focus issues, and then it was overwhelmed by the buzz and excitement generated by the Nikon D3. While not the best start for a flagship-level DSLR, the 1D Mark III is a very capable and competitive DSLR.
Video killed the dSLR Star?
Forget the one-hit-wonder music pun, but the 5D Mark II is ushering a new era of 1080p HD video in dSLRs. Video along with the generational advantage over the 1D-series, gives Canonites an intriguing (and nice-to-have) dilemma.
Full Frame for Less
The 5D Mark I came in and generated a lot of buzz as it was the most affordable 35mm full frame DSLR out of the gate. Sure, you could get some of the older Kodak full framers for less, but it was only after their prime. With current prices approaching the psychological $2000 barrier, the 5D Mark I is positioning itself in history as the equivalent of the PMA 2002 Quartet that made DSLRs available to the rest of us. The historic PMA 2002 quartet of course being the Nikon D100, Canon D60, Fuji S2 and Sigma SD9. Oh those were the days!
Power for Less
If it wasn't for the Nikon D3/D300 power duo, the EOS 40D would have been the most buzzworthy DSLR out there. Considering its price and feature set, one could make the argument that it is the most bang for the buck DSLR out there, now that the Pentax K10D is being phased out.
Following up in the 40D tradition, the new 50D is not going to take away the buzz-crowd from the Nikons, but it looks like it is going to be a quiet workhorse for the EOS users for under $1500.
The EOS 30D goes from prime ticket to deputy as it slides further down the price ladder, and offers a reasonable alternative to those who want more than the D-Rebels but don't want to pay as much to get the 40D.
The Digital Rebel is quite possibly the most recognizable DSLR among the average consumer. Not just all the Andre Agassi commercials, but also the fact that it was a very popular model.
The current Digital Rebel line-up has two tiers now, as indicated by the new Canon naming scheme.
The first tier is the more "advanced" models, that continue the mainline D-Rebels. The newer model, the XSi 450D upped the ante by "stealing" some features from the more advanced EOS DSLRs. And it was about time. If focus motor is the albatross of Nikon entry-level DSLRs, spotmeter was the albatross of D-Rebels. With 12 megapixels, the XSi is able to match-up in terms of price and performance with a number of cameras, especially among those who are willing to spend up to $1000.
The second tier is the more affordable and not as fully-featured line, started by the new sidekick to the XSi, the aptly named Canon Digital Rebel XS 1000D Kiss F. As the name suggests, this is an XSi-Lite DSLR, gone is the spotmeter.
The price wars and the impact of the Nikon D40/D40x on the market, along with the sensor shift stabilization DSLRs from Sony, Olympus and Pentax, managed to reduce the price of the Digital Rebel XTi 400D to the point where it was considered one of the bang for the buck DSLRs out there. Considering that Canon is famous for their high profit margins and prices, this was a bit of a surprise. But a welcome surprise for the consumer who wants to see healthy competition in the marketplace.
Last but not least of the current Rebel models is the D-Rebel XT 350D, the second D-Rebel in Canon's digital SLR history. With time on the wrong side of the equation, the 350D has become a very affordable option for the beginner or the SLR shooter on a tight budget.
Older DSLRs coming in Phase II
Previous and older DSLRs will be featured here at a later point, such as the previous 1Ds and 1D, the 20D, D60 and such, along with the Original D-Rebel 300D.