40D: Surprise features in a forum

Today in a DPReview forum, it was heard a set of features for the yet-unannounced Canon EOS 40D. You’d better be solidly in your seat:

  • Live viewfinder (selectable)
  • In Body IS (adding stabilisation to IS lenses when mounted)
  • Good integrated sensor cleaning
  • More Mega Pixels
  • Better Noise management at higher Iso
  • Weather sealed

Can this really be the feature set of the successor to the 20D and 30D? Will the Canon EOS 40D shooting at these heights? I admit that, even if given some time to finish the product, Canon would have a real hard time to do so (However they already surprised the competition before, so who knows?).

Live view finder (I suppose it means loosing the reflex viewfinder in favor of a video display) would be a major surprise and would not be accepted as a positive progress by most SLR users. However, if this is the addition of a Live View to support photo studio shooting connected to a computer, quite a few users would be delighted.

In-body image stabilization would be like an earthquake: Canon (one of the most active supporters of in-lens IS with Nikon) would follow the general move to in-body IS? Shocking! but if this allows to effectively have twice the stabilization, let’s congratulate Canon. Anyway, most automaton systems engineers would remember that two close-loop systems in synch like that would not automatically double the performance. It would depend a lot on how the body and the lens cooperate, and the specification of the lens IS system may be the limiting factor (even on high-end lenses). In short, this would be a surprising marketing move (albeit understandable for the entry-level positionning of Canon) and a significant technical achievement.

Sensor cleaning would be in line with the recent evolution and the Canon EOS 400D.

“More mega-pixels” looks a lot like an empty marketing line. Who would be surprised by this? What news is there in this?

“Better noise management at higher ISO” is a similar empty statement if we just look at what has been happening any time a new D-SLR product arrived on the market for many years.

Weather-sealed is more significant. I have been very impressed by the Pentax achievement with the K10D (now exploited by Samsung with the GX10, too). Canon must take notice of an SLR camera under $1000 and weather-sealed. This looks like the most pro-looking D-SLR camera on the market. What should Canon do with that? Offer more than this at a similar price or just a little higher. However, it is difficult to determine if Canon is ready now for this counter-move. However, the 40D would be the natural price point to introduce such a significant product.

Now, it’s up to you to decide whether or not this message in DPR was adding to the rumours about the future/upcoming Canon EOS 40D. To me, it feels like wishful thinking. I am looking a lot at what is found on the Internet about this future Canon product, but I am quite hesitant to accept this as information.

We’ll have to wait a little more to know the truth since Canon confirmed that there will be no additional announcement in the PMA this month. If there is a 40D, it will have to come later, maybe in the Summer of 2007.