Canon offers new DSLR, large format printer

Canon USA Inc. on Tuesday introduced a new Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera and a large format printer. The Canon EOS 30D DSLR will retail for $1,399 (body only) while the iPF5000 will cost $1,945.

In related news, Canon has dropped the price of its EOS 20D DSLR to $1,299. The EOS 30D will also be available as a kit bundled with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II zoom lens for $1,499. The camera’s coming to retail in March.

The EOS 30D features an 8.2 megapixel sensor, 2.5-inch 230,000 pixel LCD monitor and a shutter rated at up to 100,000 cycles. The camera features new spot metering technology that covers 3.5 percent of the viewfinder. ISO can be set from 100 to 1600 in 1/3 stop increments.

It also features burst rate shooting at up to 30 consecutive frames in JPEG L/F mode and up to 11 consecutive frames in RAW mode.

The EOS 30D features PictBridge support for direct printing to compatible printers; it can download images to a Mac or PC using USB 2.0 as well. It’s compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses.

Canon has also introduced two new lenses for its DSLR line. The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM features an f/2.8 maximum aperture and internal stabilization that makes it easier to shoot in low light conditions. It’s smaller and lighter than other similar lenses, according to Canon, and has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 27-88mm. The new lens is coming in May for $1,149 and is compatible with the EOS 30D, EOS 20D, EOS Digital Rebel XT and EOS Digital Rebel.

The EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is a revision to a lens first introduced in 1989 that’s popular with wedding, portrait and sports photographers. New to this revision are a 1.8x improvement in autofocus speed and the addition of lens coatings that reduce ghost and flare. The lens features high-speed manual focus, distance encoding for E-TTL II flash and a circular aperture diaphragm that improves the appearance of background areas. The new lens is coming in March for $2,099.

imagePROGRAF iPF5000

Canon also revealed its imagePROGRAF iPF5000, a new Mac and PC-compatible large format printer designed to produce professional-style print. The 12-color printer uses new Lucia pigmented inks — red, blue, green, gray, photo gray, cyan, photo cyan, magenta, photo magenta, yellow, regular black and matte black.

The printer switches automatically between regular black and matte black, so users don’t have to switch ink tanks manually. It uses a new print head that has 30,720 nozzles and features a maximum resolution of 2400 x 1200 dots per inch (DPI). It can print an A2-sized print (16.5 x 23.4 inches) at 1200 x 1200 DPI in less than three minutes.

Included with the printer is a Print Plug-in for Digital Photo Professional (DPP) that lets users process and print RAW images files from their DPP software; a plug-in for Photoshop is also included.

Canon’s Web site had not been updated with information about the new camera or printer as Macworld posted the article. Both announcements have been made in advance of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show in Orlando, Fla. which runs February 26 - March 1, 2006.

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