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Canon releases the successor to the 20D and 2 new lenses

Canon 30DCanoneos30d

Canon releases the 30D, EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM and EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM (Canon's official press release).

What's new and significant:

  • new body design, more 5D-like
  • new shutter, now good for 100,000 cycles
  • larger 2.5" LCD
  • spot metering
  • ISO now displayed within viewfinder (finally!)
  • Picturestyles

Argh, after reading the fine text, ISO is only displayed within the viewfinder as you change the ISO, presumably disappearing after you change it.

The speed at which new DSLRs are being released means that fewer and fewer groundbreaking features are being incorporated. The 30D uses the same CMOS chip as the 20D and the same DIGIC 2 technology. We can expect noise management to be similar as well.

Should 20D owners upgrade? Personally, I don't see a compelling reason to, unless spot metering is very important to your line of work, which in case you'd have bought a dedicated spotmeter.

The 30D has price on its side though. The release price of $1399 USD is $100 less than then 20D at its launch.

You can read up DPReview's 30D rundown.

The lenses

Canon gets serious about its EF-S lenses with the annoucement of the EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS lens. According to initial reports, it is built almost as good as Canon's top of the line L lenses, but the clicher has to be the constant f2.8 on this baby. Previously, having 2.8 though this focal range meant that photographers needed to purchase the EF 16-35/2.8L and the EF 28-70/2.8L, each of which cost significantly more than the 17-55's release price of $1,149. On top of that, there is image stabilization on this lens. This is definitely the walk-about lens to own for DSLR owners who's cameras support the EF-S mount.

Enough has been said about the grand dame of portrait lenses, the EF 85/1.2L. Bokeh that literally watercolours the background into a dreamscape, surrounding your subject with satin pixels. Being the huge chunk of glass the 85/1.2 was, focusing was slow and depth of field extremely narrow.

Then enters the 85/1.2L II. Upgrading the focusing motor means that the one single weakness of the older mark 1 model ought to be addressed. If all goes well we might be seeing what is the ultimate portrait lens.

At a price of course. List price $2,099 USD.

DPReview's summary on

ps. FredMiranda has a pretty good discussion going on the new 85.

Lucian | February 22, 2006 in Camera Bodies, Lenses | Permalink


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