It looks like Canon’s finally about to announce the long-rumored 40d and 1Ds mk III. They’ve been rumored forever, but they now have product pages at Amazon, so they’re probably legitimate this time:
The 40d looks fantastic–they increased the resolution slightly to 10 MP, which isn’t all that exciting, but they also raised the frame rate to 6.5 fps, bumped the buffer to 75 JPEG/17 RAW images, added their anti-dust shaker, sRAW, 14-bit DACs, weather shielding, and live view. They also completely re-did the AF unit–it still uses the same 9-point format as the 30d, but all nine sensors are now cross-type sensors up to f/5.6; this should make a huge difference in AF accuracy. They don’t appear to have improved the camera’s ISO range; it’s still 100-1600 + 3200, but other then that they seem to have picked up almost every other improvement that the 1D mk III added. I’m impressed; in the past Canon left features out of their mid-range series to avoid competing with higher-end models, but that doesn’t seem to have happened this time.
There’s also a new wireless module, the WFT-E3A, but Amazon doesn’t have any details yet. Presumably it’s a very slight change from the 1D mk III’s new wireless transmitter, hopefully at a lower price point. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay $999 for a wireless transmitter for a $1,299 camera. I could actually see myself picking up a 40d in addition to my 5d–it looks like a great camera for taking sports pictures, and the 1.6x multiplier would make my 100-400 lens a lot more useful for bird pics.
The 1Ds mk III is a bit out of my price range at $7,999. It’s up to 21.1 MP now, at 5 fps. It looks like they added everything from the 1D mk III, plus a new UDMA CF module, doubling write speeds with Sandisk Extreme IV and the equivalent Lexar cards. Amazon doesn’t mention ISO sensitivity at all, so it’s not clear if they now support ISO 6400 or not.
Finally, they updated their 14mm lens for better compatibility with the 1Ds mk III. Yawn.
All in all, this looks pretty good. Way to go Canon.