It seems Canon does not believe in low key announcements, so when we were invited to welcome in its latest range of products with a powerboat trip down the Thames followed by lunch at the renowned Blue Print Café in SE1 it would have been rude to decline.
Some days are better than others for journalists. Yesterday, for example, was a good day; while today it is write up time. Certainly, the most eagerly awaited product on show yesterday (apart from the RIBS: Rigid Inflatable Powerboats) was the Canon EOS 350D SLR, the replacement to its highly successful 300D.
The 350D is a high end digital camera capable of taking whopping eight megapixel photos. Responsible for this is a new CMOS sensor, the fourth from Canon in just 12 months. It is powered by the same DIGIC II image processor found in Canon’s professional series D-SLR cameras and features three frames per second, 14 frame burst operation, 0.2 second start up time and simultaneous RAW and large Jpeg writing.
On top of this, reduced component size means the 350D is 10 per cent lighter and 25 per cent smaller than its predecessor. Pricing looks good too with an RRP of £749 including VAT, which breaks a new price bracket for Canon with its eight megapixel D-SLRs. Understandably, the imaging specialist is putting a lot of effort behind its latest baby, seeing its position in the market place as a major investment opportunity. “The D-SLR market will double in size by the end of 2006,” declared Malcolm Hills, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging in the UK and Ireland.
Designed to compliment the release of the 350D is a new EF-S lens. The EF-S 60mm F2.8 macro works specifically with digital SLRs and provides the equivalent field of view of approximately 96mm and a true 1:1 macro magnification ratio. If you are a fan of close up photography or portraits this lens could make for an interesting addition to your armoury if you can afford the £349.99 RRP including VAT when it debuts in March.