Canon U.S.A. has announced two new pro-level digital cameras, a photo printer and an updated lens in a standard zoom range to add to its lineup of top imaging products.
Chuck Westfall, Technical Advisor for Canon U.S.A., Inc., discussed the features of the new pro-level EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 80D DSLRs. The 1D X Mark II’s predecessor, the EOS-1D X, established a strong position in the professional market for applications in sports, photojournalism, nature and wildlife, as well as wedding and portraiture. The new flagship EOS-1D X Mark II, with a 20.2 megapixel, full-frame Canon CMOS sensor, targets these markets as well. “This camera hits all the sweet spots for speed, low-light sensitivity and low noise,” Westfall comments.
For sports photographers, the EOS-1D X Mark II offers continuous shooting speeds of up to 14 frames-per-second (fps), and a maximum of 16 fps at full resolution when the mirror is locked up. “For the wedding and portrait market,” Westfall says, “one of the key aspects is how well the camera performs in extremely low light.” Canon got feedback from photographers regarding the ability to see the focusing points through the viewfinder, especially at wedding receptions where light levels are extremely low. Thus, the EOS-1D X Mark II offers improved, bright red illumination around the active focusing points, which makes it easier for you to see the AF points in dim lighting and get the picture you want.
The ISO range of the camera has also been extended to 409,600. “You can shoot in moonlit conditions and still utilize autofocus,” Westfall says. Nature and wildlife photographers often use very long lenses with tele-extenders, which causes the maximum aperture of the lens to drop to f/8. In the past, digital cameras featured numerous focusing points, but only one was active when focusing. “But with the 1D X Mark II, we’ve been able to activate all 61 AF points,” Westfall asserts. “So this feature is a big step forward.”
The EOS-1D X Mark II also has advanced video capabilities. “The market stepped up and said that they’re looking for 4K video,” Westfall reports, “which is four times the resolution of full HD.” Users requested a fast frame rate in order to do slow-motion video. This camera can record 60 frames per second (fps) in 4K video, and 120 fps in full HD.
While Canon incorporates a double compact flash card slot in their professional camera models, the EOS-1D X Mark II features a more advanced CFast card slot in addition to a compact flash card slot. “One of the major benefits is the data writing speed,” explains Westfall. “It can support 4K video directly in the camera, so you don’t need an external recorder.” The estimated selling price for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is $5,999. A kit that includes the camera body, a CFast memory card and card reader is available at an estimated price of $6,299.
For the emerging pro, the EOS 80D offers innovative features at an affordable price point. This new camera boasts a 24.2 megapixel (APS-C) CMOS sensor and 45 cross-type auto-focusing (AF) points. It also features the latest generation Dual Pixel CMOS AF for Live View shooting, which is a powerful tool for video. The 80D has an articulating vari-angle finder which you can adjust to virtually any angle to get a shot. “A touch screen enables you to tell the camera where you want it to focus when you’re recording movies, so you can keep the subject sharp,” says Westfall. The EOS 80D sells for $1,199 with a Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-f.6 IS USM standard zoom lens.
The EF 24-70mm is a great “walk around” standard zoom that offers a wide f/2.8 maximum aperture throughout its focal length range. “This redesigned lens is the best standard zoom lens available for EOS cameras,” says Westfall. It incorporates several exotic lens elements, including two types of aspherical lenses to minimize spherical aberration and distortion. Optimized lens coatings help produce great color balance and minimize ghosting. A circular nineblade diaphragm generates soft, pleasing backgrounds, while a Ring USM (ultrasonic focusing operation. Westfall says that many photographers who have only used fixed focal-length prime lenses in the past now attest to the sharpness of this zoom lens. The retail price of the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is $1,799.
This 17-inch desktop model is the latest in a line of Canon professional printers, according to Jim Booth, Marketing Manager. “It’s capable of printing up to 17×22-inch prints and is ideal for 16×20 prints, which is a popular size for the portraiture and wedding photography market,” he notes. “This printer gives emerging professionals the ability to produce amazing prints for their customers.” The printer has a superior air feeding system, which ensures accurate ink placement, and Booth points out, “It has an archival based ink system, so the prints will last a very long time.”
He adds, “The imagePROGRAF PRO- 1000 has multiple black inks, making it possible to reproduce accurate shadow details that the cameras are now able to capture.” It can print on a wide variety of papers, canvases, fine-art media, cottonbased papers and glossy photo media.
Canon’s proprietary Print Studio Pro software is incorporated to help you take the guesswork out of printing. “Emerging professionals are often trying to fine-tune the art of photography,” Booth observes. “This software makes it easy for you to determine variables like paper type, quality settings and printer profiles.” Print Studio Pro software also makes it possible to create a contact sheet that enables you to see adjustments to CMYK levels, brightness and contrast. “You can print over 30 thumbnails on a sheet of paper,” he says. The imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer sells for $1,299.99.
For more information on Canon imaging products, visit www.usa.canon.com.