Monday, March 30, 2009

Eating Nikons Lunch

Last week Canon officially announced their new high end consumer camera, the EOS 500D / Rebel T1i (in the U.S. they use the Rebel name, everywhere else it's just another EOS); and to be honest, it blows basically every other consumer, and most prosumer cameras out of the water.

Here's the new product page.

and Gizmodos preview.

and Imaging Resources preview.

and finally DPreviews preview.

The salient points:
  • 15.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 1080p and 720p HD movie recording with HDMI
  • Native ISO 100-3200 (expandable to 12800)
  • 3.4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Max. 170 large JPEG images in a single burst
  • 3.0” ClearView LCD with Live View mode
  • List price, $799 (body only, should street for $649-$699 once demand calms down)
Seriously, this makes my Nikon D80 (which premiered at a considerably higher street price) look like a toy in terms of total features and capability.

Importantly, it also knocks Nikons current top consumer camera, the (currently several hundred dollar more expensive street price, though most likely not for long) D90, into the weeds. At the expected street price, it even obsoletes Nikons rumored new D40/D60 replacement, the D5000, two weeks before it's even going to be officially announced.

I predict that every pro Canon shooter is going to buy this as their backup/lightweight camera, it looks that good.

More importantly for Canon though, this is the camera that gets consumer/prosumer level Nikon shooters to switch to Canon. It's better than any Nikon short of the D700, at under 1/3 the price; and in some ways even more features (that HD video mode).

Yes, it really does look that good. Read the previews and watch the video:

15.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, very similar to the 50D at less than half the price (but without the "gapless microlens" technology; so it's not quite as fine, sharp, and good in low light); with live view, 1080p and 720p video...

Now, I've been solidly in the Nikon camp for years, but a camera this good, at this low a price... It has me seriously considering switching.