ApertureAcademy has an interesting article by Stephen Oachs about a recent sighting of someone who apparently works for Canon. He seemed to be testing a new Canon 5D (or perhaps 7D) series camera. At some point, he also had pulled out a 600mm lens along with a new 200-400mm lens with -- get this -- a built-in teleconverter! Brilliant!
Here is what Stephen has to say about his findings:
What I also noticed was a Canon camera body that I hadn't seen before. You can see it in the photos I took...I see the "Q" button located by the big wheel on the right, which on the 7D is currently located on the top left. The battery grip seems to have a joystick. I also noticed a "Rate" button...hrm, any ideas?
While photographing a Cheetah on a Thompson Gazelle kill, we first spotted the Japanese Canon employee. He stood out because of the array of naked lenses (no skins/coats/protection) and the bright colored sticker labels on the tops. We immediately recognized the anticipated 200-400mm with built-in tele but at this time did not take any photos. Scott did his best to speak with the man who, via his driver helping to translate English to Japanese, confirmed he worked for Canon and that it was the upcoming 200-400mm Canon lens. At this time we had not yet seen the 600mm or the new Canon camera body.
Three days later, in another location of the Masaii Mara, where we were shooting wildlife, we again ran across the Japanese man. This time we noticed the 600mm Canon lens prototype and the new camera body, so we decided to take a few pictures, first just to zoom in to see what it might be. We quickly realized that this camera was something not yet released, thus we decided to share the images on this blog.
I hope this helps everyone understand that this is not an inside "leak" or media attempt on the part of Canon. We are just a couple of wildlife photographers who happened to stumble upon some pretty new and exciting gear in the works by Canon.
Stephen has even gone as far as releasing the RAW CR2 files to prove that his images are not photoshopped. http://www.ApertureAcademy.com/canon/B3J8584.CR2
We've known for some time that Nikon is expected to announce their new D700 replacement, the D800, sometime in the next two weeks, most likely on February 7th. Canon beat Nikon to the punch with their flagship announcement (though Nikon beat Canon as far as availability), but it's hard to say they'll introduce their 'D800 competitor' (the suspected 5D Mk III) before Nikon gets the D800 out. Either way, both are expected to be announced VERY soon.
Most of all, we're all waiting to see official specs so we can see which direction Canon and Nikon will go with these 'gripless' pro bodies. Of course, it's a delicate balance between serving customers' wants/needs and doing what each company needs to in order to not see cannibalized sales of the flagship models (Nikon is rumored to have learned from the D700/D3 similarities).
Likewise, according to ApertureAcademy, the Canon 200-400mm lens is supposed to be available in the March/April time frame. We're excited to see that come out. And sources have long confirmed that the 600mm f/4 IS II will be out in April after Canon's unexpected delay late last year. Either way, I'm excited for a lens like the super-telephoto zoom 200-400mm to include a built-in teleconverter. Currently, the only lens close to this range is the dated 100 - 400mm (which is at a bargain price) or the infamous Sigma 200 - 500 f2.8 (not so bargain price). What do you guys think, is this a Canon 7D replacement or a Canon 5D Mark II replacement?
As promised, here are the photos: