Friday, August 21, 2009

60D - The Empire Strikes Back?

The D300 was an important camera to the Nikon camp. For the first time, they created a camera that bettered Canon's best prosumer offerings in almost every department. To many that was the turning point of the Canon dominance in the dSLR market. The noise control was good, there were more AF points, the frame rates (at least in 12 bit mode) was better and at that time, the 12 mpx sensor was miles ahead of the then 2 year old 8mpx 30D.

What followed did not help Canon. The 40D and 50D hardly put a dent to the (perceived?) superiority of the D300, at least specs wise. For so long, Canon struggled to find a good answer to the D300.

So after years of being taunted by the Nikon fans for failing to produce a proper response to the D300, is Canon finally delivering that knockout left hook that Canon fans have been waiting for? In fact, it could be a double combo. Apart from the 7D rumor in my previous post, there is also rumor of a second APS-C based camera.

The top of the camera posted above could be the 7D or the 60D but I tend to believe it is the 60D. Rumors of an upgrade to the 50D has been rife. Since its release, the 50D has been much criticized by reviewers and users for its less than ideal per-pixel sharpness and high ISO noise. Here are the rumored specs on the 60D:

  1. 15mpx sensor - The 500D has demonstrated that a lot can be squeezed out of this sensor. With a few tweaks, Canon engineers manged to improve per pixel sharpness as well as high ISO noise control. If Canon engineers can further improve the performance of this 15mpx sensor, the 60D might be a worthy upgrade to some 50D users. See the DRange and Noise Control section for more details.
  2. 98% VF - This would be nice.
  3. 19 pt AF, all cross type - This would be the much awaited improvement to the EOS prosumer cameras. Since the D300, Nikon has had 51pt AF and even the D90 has more AF points than the 5D2. What is the use of so many AF points? You may ask. It is true that many photographers have said that they only use the center AF points. However, I have heard wildlife and sports photographers saying that numerous accurate AF points would be really useful when shooting fast moving wildlife or sports action. At the very least, having a few more AF points would make Canon systems look less handicapped in this aspect.
  4. Better DRange and Noise Control - Many Canon users find the Drange of the 50D more than enough in real life situation. However, after being faced by an onslaught of criticisms by reviewers and users based on the DxO mark ranking of sensors, I think it is time for Canon to start chalking better measured results on this sensor.
  5. 1080p Video (30fps) - The Digic IV or V chips have the capabilities to deliver HD video so why not?
  6. 7-8 fps - If the 60D can deliver 7-8fps in 14 bit mode plus 19 pt AF, it would be the equivalent of the baby 1DIII. What would be even better is if Canon allow the 60D to shoot 10fps at 10mpx/8mpx at reduced resolution.
  7. New Higher Capacity Battery - More shots between charges would always be better.
Other things on my wish list:
  1. In Camera HDR with multiple bracketed shots
  2. Popup flash which can be used as a flash commander for off camera flash (Nikon already has this)
  3. In camera correction of CA, distortion
  4. Faster Contrast Detect AF
  5. Better video controls
  6. Lighter weight
  7. SD Card support, which makes lighter weight possible
  8. Faster FPS at reduced resolution
  9. Image Quality x 100000......

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