Photography by Jim Doty

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Canon has announced two new lenses and one new camera body today.

EOS-1D Mark II

This new camera body has an 8.2 megapixel sensor (almost twice as many as the EOS 1D at 4.2 MP) but the same sensor dimensions as the 1D for the same FOV (field of view) crop of 1.3.

It shoots at up to 8.5 frames per second with an image buffer of 40 frames in jpeg mode. This speed demon is obviously targeted at the Nikon D2H.

It has ISOs (digital "film speeds") from 50-3200, more than the EOS-1D. Images from the CMOS sensor are processed with new DIGIC II technology.

You can read a preview at

Canon EF 70 - 300 mm DO IS USM

This new lens is really exciting news.   It is very compact, it has Canon's Image Stabilization (IS) technology for handholding at much slower shutter speeds, and Canon's exclusive DO (Diffractive Optics) which results in higher quality in a smaller package.

At 75-300mm in focal length, it will be the equivalent on a Canon 10D or Digital Rebel of 112-480mm in focal length on a 35mm film body.

The lens is about the same size as Canon's current 28-135 IS lens. When mounted on a camera, this lens extends only 4 inches from the mounting ring on the body. It is 3 inches wide. This is quite amazing in a high quality lens that extends to 300mm in focal length. It is much shorter than my current 75-300mm IS lens.

The 75-300mm IS lens, released a number of years ago, is my light weight telephoto lens when I don't want to carry a bigger, heavier telephoto lens.  It is very good at 75mm and 200mm, but only so-so wide open at 300mm. It is a little better stopped down at 300mm but still a little disappointing. This new 70-300 DO IS lens should be much better. Canon claims the optical quality is comparable to "L" series lenses due to the three layer DO lens element.

The only down side is the expected price of around $1300 USD. Perhaps it will come down in price over time.

For people who want high quality and minimal size and weight, this will likely become the portable, telephoto lens of choice.

You can

Canon EF 28-300 mm F3.5-F5.6 L IS USM

For anyone who doesn't mind paying a premium for an all-in-one, "L" series lens here it is.  One lens can't really do everything, but at 28-300mm, this lens does a lot. It is reminiscent of Canon's 35-350mm L series lens but a little shorter in focal lengths at each end, and with Image Stabilization (IS) thrown in. On the Canon 10D or Digital Rebel, it is equivalent to 45-480mm in film terms.

It is a big lens at 7 1/4 inches long by 3 2/3 inches wide. It is also big in price, expected to sell at around $2500 USD.

Coupled with the Canon 17-40mm L series zoom, these two lenses would make a fine pair, covering quite a range of focal lengths.

Optical tests of both of these lenses should start popping up on the internet as these lenses become available.

You can

January 29, 2004

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