Canon announces EOS-10D digital SLR
Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Thursday, February 27, 2003 - 09:00 EST)
First there were rumors, then there were leaked photos - now Canon's latest digital SLR is here!
The reason for Canon's discontinuation of the EOS D60 has become apparent, and that reason is a camera that not only improves on the past camera in literally dozens of areas, but does so with a reduced price-tag to boot. Following in the footsteps of two extremely popular cameras (the EOS D30 and D60), the 10D's change of naming schema suggests a shift in strategy at Canon. Digital SLRs are reaching the point where for the average user, the benefits of further increased resolutions (ability to print photos larger or crop them more) are outweighed by the disadvantages (comparitively higher noise, lower ISO ratings, higher costs, more strenuous lens requirements, increased storage demands, and increased computer requirements to edit the photos). 6 megapixels is a level that is useful to most users, but doesn't overtax their computers, storage and lenses - nor the capabilities of the technology itself. Yes, there will continue to be specialised cameras with significantly higher resolutions, but the change of name suggests a move away from the megapixel race towards considering other equally important areas of camera design.
Size-wise, the EOS 10D is very similar to the EOS D60, and weight is also near-identical, but at a glance it is obvious that the 10D has an all-new body. The camera is much more rounded looking than the D60 - more reminiscent of the EOS 1D and 1Ds. The camera has a magnesium alloy body over stainless steel, in place of the D60's plastic over stainless steel... That bugbear of D30 and D60 owners is probably going to be considered the single most important update in the 10D by many users, though - gone is the troublesome focusing mechanism of those cameras, replaced by the seven-point AF system from the Elan 7. Because the 10D has a smaller sensor area than 35mm film, though, the AF sensors cover a larger area of the final image than in the Elan 7, extending most of the way towards the edges of the image.
Image quality has also been improved in the 10D, even though it has a very similar sensor to the one the D60 used. The combination of improvements to the on-chip circuitry and the use of Canon's DIGIC image processor (seen in some of the consumer digicams, and making its first appearance in an SLR) gives higher processing speeds and reduced noise. The buffer in the 10D holds one more shot than the D60 (9 shots versus 8), and the D60's ISO rating of 1000 is blown away by the 10D with a standard rating up to 1600, and with an option to extend this right the way out to ISO 3200. As an added bonus, the DIGIC processor apparently consumes *less* power, which should lead to even longer battery life.
Other improvements in the EOS 10D include the ability to choose color space (Adobe RGB or sRGB), increased degree of control over contrast, saturation, sharpening and color tone, an extra white-balance preset, plus both white-balance bracketing and the ability to specify a white balance in degrees Kelvin. There's also a brighter backlight for the color LCD display with more range for brightness adjustment than the D60, and lower power consumption; a variable playback zoom with true scrolling, a new camera orientation sensor that flags images with the orientation in which they were taken, the ability to choose what size of JPEG file is embedded in your RAW files, a USB Direct Print feature for certain Canon printers, and a whole lot more besides.
Most importantly, all of the above comes at a list price of $1999 - some $200 less than the price of the D60. Bear in mind also that this is a list price - with competition from other digital cameras, and between different retailers, there is the potential that the camera could sell for less. We don't yet know what Canon's Minimum Advertised Price for the EOS 10D is, but if we find out we'll let readers know... You might be thinking to yourself "well, this sounds great - but I couldn't get hold of a D60, and these will be flying off the shelves like hotcakes". You're probably right - as the prices come down, digital SLRs are coming within reach of a huge number of people eager to own one - but Canon assures us that they have more than tripled the production as compared to the EOS D60! Equally impressive is that unlike is often the case with such announcements, the EOS 10D will be shipping in only a few
from now - not months, as is often the case. The camera should go on sale in the USA in mid-March.
Without any further ado, a comparison (courtesy of Canon USA) between the EOS 10D and EOS D60 follows, along with full specifications and press release for the new camera.
You can also find our
full review of the Canon EOS 10D
online now, including numerous sample photos.
We're just putting the finishing touches to a lengthier analysis of Canon's announcement, and this news item will be updated shortly. In the meantime, a comparison of the EOS D60 and EOS 10D follows below, along with full specifications for the new camera. The official press release also follows.
Imaging Element/Effective Pixels
Effective Sensor Size
15.1 x 22.7mm
35mm Focal Length Equivalent
Recording Media/Quantity/Slot Type
CF card / 1 slot / Type I or II
Compatible File Formats
FAT 16 / 32
RAW (CRW), JPEG
3072 x 2048
Reduced Resolutions (JPEG only)
2048 x 1360, 1356 x 1024
RAW + JPEG Recording
Yes / Selectable JPEG resolution / compression
Yes / Middle Fine JPEG only
Color Space & White Balance
User-Selectable Color Space
Yes, sRGB + Adobe RGB
No, sRGB only
Processing Parameters (Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Color Tone) / # of Increments
Yes / 5
Yes / 3
# of preset WB settings
Manual Color Temperature Setting Range
2,800 ~ 10,000K in 100K increments
WB Bracketing Range (JPEG only)
±3 steps, 5 mireds per step
# of Focusing Points/Superimposed Display
7 / Yes
3 / Yes
AF Working Range
EV 0.5 ~ 18
One Shot AF Speed
Predictive AF Minimum Tracking Distance at 50kph/30mph with EF 300/2.8L IS USM
8m / 26.4 ft.
12m / 39 ft.
AF Point Registration/Assist Button
Evaluative, centerweighted, partial
Metering System Working Range
EV 1 ~ 20
EV 2 ~ 20
ISO Range / Extended
100 ~ 1600 / 3200
100 ~ 1000 / --
Shutter Speeds, Framing Rate
Mechanical, all speeds electronically controlled
Shutter Speed Range / Maximum X-Sync Speed
1/4000 ~ 30 sec. & B / 1/200
Maximum Frames Per Second / Burst Rate
3 fps / 9 frames
3 fps / 8 frames
Built-in Flash / GN @ ISO 100, ft.
Yes / 39
Yes / 36
Playback Monitor Size / Type / Pixel Count
2 in. / LCD / 118,000
2 in. / LCD / 114,000
Enlarged Playback / Scroll
2x ~ 10x / Yes
3x / No (9 segments)
LCD Monitor Brightness Adjustment Range
Automatic Rotation for Vertical Shots
Direct Printing (CP-100, BJ Photo Direct)
Camera Default Reset
Custom Functions (Quantity / Settings)
17 / 61
14 / 38
LCD Panel Illumination
Yes (dedicated button)
Body Cover / Chassis
Magnesium Alloy / Stainless Steel
Plastic / Stainless Steel
BP-511 / BP-512
Shooting Capacity at 20C / 68F
100% AE: 650; 50% Flash: 500
100% AE: 620; 50% Flash: 490
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D, mm)
149.7 x 107.5 x 75
149.5 x 106.5 x 75
790g / 27.9 oz.
780g / 27.5 oz.
Operating Temperature Range
0 ~ 40C / 32 ~ 104F
Operating Humidity Range
Data compiled by Technical Information Dept./Canon USA, Inc.
Accurate as of 1/3/2003. All specifications subject to change without notice.
Approx. 6.3 million pixels (total pixels approx. 6.5 million)
CANON INTRODUCES THE EOS 10D DIGITAL SLR CAMERA: 6.3 MEGAPIXELS WITH DIGIC TECHNOLOGY
New Camera Incorporates Canon-manufactured CMOS Image Sensor, DIGIC Image Processor and EF Lenses
Magnesium Alloy Body, 7-Point Autofocus, Direct Print With Canon Printers, and Manual White Balance Highlight Newest Addition to EOS System Digital Cameras
LAKE SUCCESS, February 27, 2003 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ), continues to provide professional photographers and enthusiasts with the highest-quality digital SLR cameras available by taking the most advanced camera features and combining them with the latest innovations in digital imaging technology. In addition, Canon is the only company in the industry to offer a camera with the 3 primary components: an Image Sensor, Image Processor and Optics designed and produced by the camera manufacturer*. And with its suggested list price of $1,999, the new EOS 10D delivers one of the most important features requested by photographers – affordability.
The new EOS 10D is the first digital SLR to offer Canon’s exclusive DIGIC Image Processor for maximum camera performance as well as direct connectivity to several Canon Bubble Jet Direct printers and the CP-100 Card Photo Printer. The camera’s body, constructed with rigid magnesium alloy covers, houses and protects a number of advanced camera features which are distinctively Canon including a very fast, wide area 7-point autofocus system for precise focusing; 3 frames per second drive speed in 9-frame bursts in either JPEG or simultaneous RAW + JPEG capture settings; an extended ISO range of 100-3200; manual white balance mode; selectable color space options including Adobe RGB and sRGB; a scrollable 10x zoom playback mode; and a Plug and Play USB interface.
The EOS 10D also supports EXIF 2.2, DPOF 1.1, FAT32, and Compact Flash Type I and II, and is completely compatible with all EF-series lenses, including the new EF 17-40mm f/4L USM.
“The EOS 10D is as much revolutionary as it is evolutionary,” says Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “It represents the perfect combination of advanced features from existing EOS System cameras and the latest in digital imaging technology such as Canon’s exclusive DIGIC Image Processor. With features not found in other digital SLRs at this, or any other pricepoint, we are confident that the EOS 10D will meet and exceed the expectations of even the most demanding photographers,” Mr. Hashimoto added.
Elements of Image Quality
The image quality of any digital camera is not based solely on its resolution. While resolution is clearly a key component of image quality, two additional factors must be taken into consideration. First is the quality of the camera’s optics. The second is the quality of the camera’s image processor. Collectively these three units, working together, ultimately determine the image quality of any digital camera. Today, Canon is the only manufacturer of digital cameras that combines its own extensive EF-series line of high-quality lenses, its own Image Sensor (CMOS), and its own dedicated Image Processor (DIGIC), to help users achieve maximum image quality.
Canon EF Lenses
Canon’s heritage as an imaging company dates back almost 70 years to the company’s founding in 1935. Since then, Canon has worked hard to perfect the process of creating extremely high-quality optics for its line of 35mm cameras and other imaging products and is now the world’s largest manufacturer of cameras and lenses. Canon is a global leader in optical design, with many advanced and original technologies such as aspherical and fluorite lenses, optical image stabilizers, ultrasonic motors, and more. Canon currently markets over 50 EF lenses for the EOS 10D, representing one of the largest selections of interchangeable autofocus lenses from any manufacturer.
Canon’s CMOS Image Sensor
The EOS 10D incorporates a large-area 6.3 megapixel CMOS sensor designed, developed and manufactured entirely within Canon. This sensor has the same picture area (15.1 x 22.7mm) and aspect ratio (2:3) as the EOS D60, but features superior image quality thanks to peripheral circuitry improvements and a refined manufacturing process. A new amplifier circuit boosts the S/N (signal to-noise) ratio to provide an extended sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 3200 and superior noise reduction at all ISO speed settings.
Canon’s DIGIC Image Processor
Every digital camera uses a CPU of some kind to “process” images recorded by the camera and also to control overall camera functions. In most cases, this is the same type of general-purpose CPU typically used for video games, word processors and computer spreadsheets. However, when such CPUs are applied to image processing in digital cameras they tend to be very slow.
Canon’s proprietary image processor, called DIGIC, was developed specifically for use with its line of digital cameras and combines the jobs of image processing and camera function control into one chip. Canon’s DIGIC (short for Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) is much faster at image processing than a general purpose CPU because it employs parallel processing rather than the sequential, one pixel at a time processing methods used by “conventional” digital cameras. The extra speed of DIGIC makes it possible to incorporate higher quality signal processing algorithms than conventional digital cameras, while at the same time improving buffer performance and consuming less battery power because signal processing is completed more quickly on a per-image basis.
However, DIGIC does much more than image processing. Because it was specifically designed for use in a digital camera, it is also capable of handling nearly every digital camera function including JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; Auto Exposure; Auto White Balance control and most other camera functions. In the case of the EOS 10D, for example, the number of consecutive frames is 9, compared to 8 in the EOS D60 and the battery life lasts approximately 30 percent longer. These improvements were made possible by the DIGIC Image Processor, not by any improvements in the camera or batteries themselves.
7-Point Wide-Area Autofocus
The EOS 10D’s advanced 7-point AF system is a major upgrade from the D60’s 3-point system, and its speed is as fast or faster than the EOS Elan 7/7E’s. The 7 focusing points are conveniently and unobtrusively superimposed on the viewfinder, cover a wide area for superb precision, and are manually selectable for a high degree of control. Ideal focus is achieved whether camera orientation is vertical or horizontal, with moving, still or off-center subjects, and even in low light/low contrast situations.
Intelligent Orientation Sensor
This new function detects whether the camera is positioned horizontally or vertically and uses that information in a variety of helpful ways. In addition to improving autofocus and exposure metering accuracy, the Intelligent Orientation Sensor enables the EOS 10D to automatically rotate vertical format images during playback on the built-in LCD monitor, and add rotation data to the image file header. Compatible software applications such as Canon’s File Viewer Utility, ZoomBrowser EX and ImageBrowser read this data and automatically rotate thumbnail images during downloads to accelerate workflow.
Expanded RAW + Jpeg Settings
When a RAW image is captured, the EOS 10D simultaneously records and stores a JPEG image in the RAW image file. Unlike the EOS D60 where this mode was only possible for the Middle/Fine setting, the JPEG image can be set to any of the six JPEG quality settings on the EOS 10D.
White Balance and Color Temperature
In addition to the five preset White Balance modes featured on the EOS D60, the shade setting (approximately 7000K) has been added for a total of nine white balance modes. The EOS 10D also features a Manual color temperature setting allowing for greater color precision and creative control over any scene. Users are now able to manually set the color temperature directly from the camera’s menu from 2800 to 10,000 degrees Kelvin values in 100–degree increments.
In the White Balance Bracketing mode, a set of three images is made at the same exposure level while shifting the white balance up to +/- 3 steps in 1-step increments, to render a cooler or warmer color temperature. Each step is equivalent to 5 Mireds (Micro-reciprocal degrees).
The EOS 10D is bundled with an upgraded software package featuring powerful drivers which are compatible with Windows XP and Mac OS X. Additional Canon utilities such as ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoRecord, RAW Image Converter, PhotoStitch and RemoteCapture are also supplied, together with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.
The EOS 10D measures 5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 inches and weighs 27.9 oz. (body only). It will be available at authorized retailers in mid-March with a suggested list price of $1,999.
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
The EF 17-40mm f/4L USM is an ultra wide-angle zoom lens that is being announced simultaneously with the EOS 10D, but is compatible with all Canon cameras that use the company’s proprietary EF lens mount. The new lens was developed as a more affordable alternative to the renowned EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM lens that has become a mainstay for professional photographers around the world. Featuring 3 aspherical surfaces and 1 UD glass element in a 13-element optical formula, the new 17-40mm lens delivers image quality equal to the 16-35mm lens. Like other current L-series models, the new 17-40mm lens is also built to professional standards in terms of build quality, with a metallic lens barrel and extensive gasketing for superb weather resistance. It will be available at authorized retailers in May with a suggested list price of $1,200.
Canon U.S.A., Inc. delivers consumer, business-to-business, and industrial imaging solutions. In 2001, the Company was listed as one of Fortune's Most Admired Companies in America, and was ranked #41 on the BusinessWeek list of "Top 100 Brands." Its parent company Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ) is a top patent-holder of technology, ranking third overall in the U.S. in 2001, with global revenues of $22 billion. Canon U.S.A. employs approximately 11,000 people at over 30 locations. For more information, visit www.usa.canon.com.
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All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks of their respective owners.
All pricing subject to change without notice.
*As of 2/27/03