Canon's New News

Finally feeling better after a case of the stomach flu and as a “get well” present, Canon has announced it’s newest batch of gear.

Have you seen the list?  New super-telephotos, new teleconverters, two new lenses, and the 60D.

Image by Canon USA

I’m underwhelmed.  Gee, thanks Canon…Honestly, I wasn’t all hyped up in anticipation of this announcement.  I check out when they post new stuff but nothing coming down the pipes really lit my fires.  And they sure aren’t flaming up now.  Let’s review:

We got two new super-telephotos, with news of two more on the way.  Cool, yes.  But we’re talking about four already great lenses that are so expensive that most of us can only ever dream of owning one of them, and only then if we sell a car (or a kidney).

We got an update on both the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters.  Not sure why they needed a version III update, but apparently they did.  Although that begs the question, “Why didn’t Canon get it right the first (two) time(s).”

We got two new L lenses: the 8-15mm fisheye and the 70-300 IS.  Now granted, the fisheye sounds kinda’ cool, and is a clear case of Canon playing catchup with several third-party manufacturers who have had ultra-wide fisheyes for a while now.  The 70-300, on the other hand, completely baffles me.  It’s essentially the current 70-300 IS repackaged as an L lens.  But what for?  It doesn’t have a faster aperture, and they’re a little vague about any weather-sealing, instead beating around the bush with the statement that it includes “environmental protection.”

And to top it all off, we got the 60D, which at first glance appears to be the bastard child of the line, falling into an ambiguous area between the 7D and Rebel line, while at the same time managing to be less-capable than it’s predecessor, the 50D.  Several key features have been dumbed down or removed, while little has been added.  (What’s the deal with the flip-out screen on a SLR, anyway?)

So here’s my question to Canon: where are the real lenses?  You know, the ones that might actually be useful to many of us?  We haven’t seen a new non-L, EF lens in quite a while now.  How about an update to some of the more popular EF lenses (28mm, 50mm, 85mm)?  Or heck, we’d even settle for a standard-range L update (28-70, 24-105) or even a brand new lens in the range.

Mostly what we want is something that’s useful to portrait/wedding/event photographers.  Something that isn’t just an update of an already excellent lens.  Something that won’t make us sell our first-born to afford.

Wishful thinking?

Brent Pennington is a freelance photographer and the driving force behind The Roving Photographer. When he\’s not working with portraiture or promotional clients, he’s usually in the field, hiking, or kayaking in pursuit of nature and wildlife shots.

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  1. I think you can pretty much sum things up in one word: Video. Canon really seems to be geared towards DSLR video. Yeah it’s cool and all that but I shoot stills 99% of the time and when I do shoot video it’s usually something very basic because you have to manually focus the camera when shooting video.

    I have been looking at Nikon P&S cameras for use in aerial photography because they have some nice build in features such as an intervalometer which would allow me to get a shot every few seconds while the plane is in flight. I know you can install the CHDK firmware hack to get this functionality but I don’t really want to do that. Hell even Nikon’s newest DSLR the D3100 will autofocus when shooting video. I’m, going to read more about the new D3100 and the Nikon line on general. I may be jumping ship at some point in the future.

    I’m sure Canon’s new gear is top notch stuff but my God have you seen the prices! The extenders are up to $500 from their normal $300 price tag. Are the new ones $200 better? We’ll just have to wait and see. $11,000 for the 400 2.8. Not in this lifetime I’m afraid :(.

    • Brent Pennington

      Exactly – it’s all priced so far beyond the means of most photogs that it’s absurd. And especially the teleconverters, which come off simply as a “get-rich-quick” gimmick; they’re optimized to work with the new super-teles and, if you read the fine print, it pretty much says that they’ll work about the same as the Mk II versions with older lenses. So unless you’re dropping $11k on a new 400L f/2.8, they’re most likely not $200 better at all.

      I can’t see myself ever jumping ship, but for the moment I’m disappointed with Canon’s continued attitude of disinterest towards what I’d consider to be the majority of semi & full-pro photogs. If you don’t want EF-S kit lenses or the super-high end L’s, then you’re SOL.

      And video… Dammit, I wish they’d put it back in video cameras where it belongs.

  2. Perhaps I won’t completely jump ship 🙂 but I will be looking hard at Nikon for future applications — especially aerial photography. That way if I totally screw things up in a crash I won’t be destroying Canon gear. Thanks for the info about the extenders being designed for the newer lenses. I’ll just get a used II version one of these days.

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