D-SLR Systems

Get a grip on the complete offerings from the major camera makers when selecting your new D-SLR

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canon 40dBuying a D-SLR is a little different than buying most other high-tech devices. You’re also selecting a complete photo system, from lenses and flash to accessories and software. The “right” camera for your needs, present and future, depends a lot on what you expect from your system.

All of the major camera systems here offer the essentials you’ll need for most subjects and situations. Longtime camera makers have an edge over newcomers in the depth and breadth of their systems, but leaps forward in technology even the playing field.

To help you get a clearer idea of the bigger picture offered by the camera makers, we’ve compiled a comprehensive overview of each system. While we don’t have the space here to list every lens and accessory available, we’ve attempted to provide a representative sampling that will give you insight as to what you can expect from the system you choose.

Canon offers an extensive D-SLR system that includes six camera bodies, 60 lenses, five flash units and a number of accessories.

Canon makes its own CMOS image sensors and processing engines—a decided advantage in getting them to work optimally together. All EOS cameras feature fully electronic lens mounts and a focusing motor in each lens rather than in the camera body. The electronic mount eliminates mechanical linkages for quick, reliable, accurate and near-silent operation of the aperture diaphragm, while each EF lens has a focusing motor optimized to its characteristics. USM lenses have Ultrasonic Motors that provide quick, accurate, near-silent autofocusing.

canonCameras. Canon’s top model is the rugged EOS-1Ds Mark III, by far the highest-resolution, “35mm form factor” D-SLR, with a 21.1-megapixel, full-frame, self-cleaning image sensor, dual DIGIC III imaging engines, 5 fps shooting at full resolution, a big 3-inch LCD with live-view capability and more.

For action shooters, the EOS-1D Mark III records its 10.1-megapixel images at up to 10 per second and otherwise basically shares the EOS-1Ds Mark III’s fine features, but has a smaller image sensor, with a 1.3x focal-length factor.

The EOS 5D features a 12.8-megapixel, full-frame image sensor at about one-third the cost of the EOS-1Ds Mark III.

The new EOS 40D provides 10.1 megapixels, 6.5 fps shooting, a 3-inch LCD monitor with even more live-view capabilities than its “big brothers,” a self-cleaning sensor and more. The focal-length factor is 1.6x.

Canon’s entry-level model is the EOS Digital Rebel XTi, with a 10.1-megapixel self-cleaning sensor, 3 fps shooting and very good performance. The focal-length factor is 1.6x. The even lower-priced 8-megapixel EOS Digital Rebel XT remains in the line.

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Tags: Cameras, DSLRs,

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