Canon 7D Rumors

Speculation about a new DSLR and several new lenses is running wild on photography discussion boards this week. The current rumors, at least as of Friday evening, involve a new Canon “7D” that is supposedly a cropped sensor body with a 18MP sensor. Other features reputedly include HD video and a rather fast frame rate of 8fps. Judging from the “7D” designation it would be positioned between the 50D (or 60D?) and the 5D2 and below the current cost of the older 5D.

While I have little to offer – nothing, actually – in terms of real information about the rumors that are currently floating around about a new Canon DSLR. But, heck, if everyone else can speculate, why can’t I?

Many are linking the camera report to information about two lenses; both are reportedly EFS lenses (e.g. – for crop sensor bodies only). The notion that the camera and lens releases might be linked actually makes me wonder a bit about the accuracy of the camera specs – and this isn’t the only issue that catches my attention.

First, if the described crop sensor 7D is to be positioned above the current 50D it doesn’t really make much sense to release two EFS lenses with moderate capabilities for such a camera. One of the lenses is reportedly a variable aperture 15-85mm f/3.5-f/5.6 IS lens – a great lens for more casual users, but not necessarily what you would expect a photographer looking for something more advanced than the XOD bodies would want. The other lens is supposedly a 18-135mm f/3.5-f/5.6 lens. Again, this seems more like a lens designed to appeal to more casual users. It also seems to me that unless Canon is discontinuing some other EFS lenses (perhaps the current EFS 17-85?) there could be a lot of lenses providing overlapping functionality, and quite a few of them would be for cropped sensor bodies only. Something seems a bit off about this.

The other thing that seems odd is the idea that Canon would position another cropped sensor body between the 50D and the 5D2. The small increase in megapixels is not likely to be worth anything significant in improved image quality, and the small increase over the 50D frame rate is not very significant here either. I have to wonder how two cropped sensor bodies with relatively similar feature sets could coexist between what used to be called the digital rebel series (e.g. – the new T1i) and the full frame bodies, the $2700 Canon 5D2 and now the $2000 Sony A850.

Again, something about all of this just doesn’t quite add up.

So, going with my completely unsubstantiated hunches that something might not be quite right about the (also unsubstantiated) rumors, what are the possibilities?

I wonder if the 7D-type camera might actually replace the X0D series cameras – at least in the not too distant future. In other words, perhaps the 50D is the end of the line for those cameras. If the rumored price point of $1699 is correct, the new camera would be initially somewhat more expensive than the current X0D, but that isn’t necessarily a deal killer, and the sale price could drift downward at some point.

Or, perhaps Canon really is going to finally migrate the X0D point in the lineup to full-frame? Maybe the 7D will be full frame and mark the move away from the X0D bodies. I think it is possible to produce and sell a full frame body for under $2000, and such a camera would sell like crazy. However there are still some loose ends. What about the reports of a faster frame rate? Why an 18MP sensor? And what other Canon cameras might be “cannibalized” by such an introduction?

In any case, interesting times in the DSLR space continue as a number of companies are now producing very credible and competitive cameras, and three are producing full-frame bodies of increasing capacity and dropping prices.

OK, I’m done with rumors for now. Back to our regularly scheduled programming… :-)

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