Canon has unveiled its latest digital single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, the semi-professional EOS 20D, claiming that it gives better picture quality than traditional film-based cameras.
Replacing the EOS 10D, the EOS 20D is powered by the same Digic II processor found in Canon's professional series EOS-1D Mark II.
The camera boasts a newly developed second-generation APS-C size 8.2megapixel CMOS sensor, shooting speed of five frames per second (fps), 9point auto focus and Canon's distance-linked flash system.
The EOS 20D will be available from mid-late September 2004, with prices starting at £1,279.99 for the body only and £1,349.99 including the lens kit (both prices inc. VAT).
The camera's enhanced Digic II processor combines with an increased buffer size to deliver a 23-frame burst rate up to 5fps, nearly double the performance of the EOS 10D. The company said that Digic also improves colour rendition accuracy and increases the speed of processing and start-up times.
Separate JPEG and RAW files can write simultaneously with no loss in performance, the firm claimed.
"The class-leading combination of 8.2 megapixels and the best of EOS digital SLR technology now surpasses the performance, operability and image quality of film SLRs," said Malcolm Hills, head of Canon consumer imaging in the UK and Ireland, in a statement.
The camera's purpose-built CMOS sensor boasts a high ISO 3200 setting and is also selectable to further extend the camera's ISO 100-1600 speed range.
The sensor features high pixel density made possible by the introduction of smaller area photo-diodes with a better S/N ratio and equivalent sensitivity to those of the EOS 10D.
A revamped on-chip noise elimination circuit is designed to amplify the signal in slow-read steps to eradicate fixed pattern and random noise, while a 3-layer optical low-pass filter placed in front of the sensor reduces false colour effects.
Coinciding with the launch of the EOS 20D, Canon also unveiled the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM wide-angle EF-S zoom lenses, targeted at advanced digital photographers.
The company said both lenses are designed to work only with its EOS 20D and EOS 300D digital SLR cameras.
The focal length ranges of the new lenses are equivalent to 27mm-136mm and 16mm-35mm respectively in 35mm film format.
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