I was going to write a Lightroom post this week but who are we kidding? Nobody is thinking about Lightroom right now. Everybody is still in shock from the newest camera announcements from Canon and Nikon.
Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
First on the 20th of August came the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, WOWEEEE, I’m not a Canon DSLR user, never have been and probably never will be, but 21.1 million pixels full-frame in a 35mm format body, using the full range of lenses designed for 35mm, this is big time news for photographers.
A lot of studio photographers are going to either sell their Hasselblad H series digital equipment or cancel their orders. At only $8,000 for the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III body and $1,000-$2,000 a piece for a few pro quality Canon lenses, they can afford to go out and buy a new Porshe with the money they save not buying the Hasselblad gear.
Lightroom users should note that RAW image files from the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III will be approximately 25 megabytes in size. Meaning that a 1 Gigabyte Compact Flash card will hold only 40 images. So to shoot 400 images in one session, you will need 10 Gigabytes worth of Compact Flash cards.
If you are planning to go out on location or on a trip and downloading your images to your laptop, you will have to have a minimum of 100 Gigabytes of storage space available if you are planning to shoot 4,000 images.
Other Canon photographers are of course oooohing and ahhhing a lot too, but it is the commercial photographers who will immediately put themselves on the waiting list for the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, for them it is money in the bank.
On the 23rd of August Nikon dropped a smaller bomb, with such precision and skill that many Canon users declared the war over and that Nikon had won by producing the best camera for journalists and sports photographers yet. Very surprising really, because Nikon has not even labeled this camera as a sports or journalism camera (no H designation), but the specs speak for themselves. 12.1 million pixels full-frame, ISO 200 to 6400 (can be boosted to ISO 25600), nine frames per second with AF tracking (11 frames without), 51-point AF sensor, a virtual horizon function that can tell if you are holding the camera level, etc., etc. This camera is loaded and it will sell for around $5,000.
Perhaps the biggest threat to Canon is that the Nikon D3 is not intended to be competition for the new Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III. Nikon’s giant slayer has not even been announced yet and is not expected until sometime early in 2008. The D3 was instead targeted at the Canon EOS-1D Mark III (10 million pixel, APS size) and has effectively blown it off the playing field. As one Canon sports photographer put it, we are going to start seeing black lenses among the white again.
Which means that Nikon has an at minimum six months free pass to watch Canon either succeed or struggle with the new Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and then to drop another bombshell on them.