Not to be out done by Nikon’s announcement last week, Canon has released a new camera, releases two new L (“Luxury”) lenses, as well as updates to four of Canon’s telephoto prime and updates to the 1.4x and 2x extenders.
Canon EOS 60D
With the release of the Canon EOS 7D, what would have been a prosumer dSLR like the previous generation EOS 50D, the Canon EOS 60D is rather an advanced entry-level dSLR that bridges the gap between the T2i and the 7D. The great advantage of this new camera is all the latest features for what is going to be a great price. With an 18 Megapixel CMOS sensor, full 1080p HD video, 63-zone dual-layer sensor, vari-angle 1,040k pixel LCD screen, and built-in Speedlite transmitter via the built-in flash, the new Canon EOS 60D is a killer camera for any photographer. I can definitely see myself owning one of these camera for everyday use and save my professional dSLRs for weddings and paid assignments where you need the quality and functionality. I can’t wait to see how the 1,040k pixel LCD screen looks like. I definitely like the twisting LCD screen and should make using Liveview or low perspective photographing easier.
Our Recommendation: Definitely recommend for anyone looking for a camera that is better than the Rebel series like the T2i but not quite ready to step it up to the prosumer Canon EOS 7D. Pre-order your Canon EOS 60D at B&H here.
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
If you currently use or have used the consumer grade Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM or even the prosumer grade Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO IS and looking for a professional grade version of this lens, you’re in luck, Canon has just released an L-version of this lens, the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. But as wedding photographers, and I would imagine sports photographer, this lens doesn’t capture our interest because of the variable aperture meaning slower shutter speeds in lower light, but an extra 100mm of reach over the 70-200mm is always tempting. At only 89mm (3.5in) diameter by 143mm (5.6in) and weighing only 1050g (2.31lbs) makes this lens small and light compared to the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS which is 89mm (3.5in) diameter by 199mm (7.8in) and weighs 1490g (3.73lbs).
Our Recommendation: At $1,500, I’d rather pick-up a 70-200mm f/2.8L Mark I and invest in a 1.4x or 2x extender, in which case you’ll have a constant f/4 aperture (with the 1.4x extender) or f/5.6 (with the 2.0x extender). If you are interested in this lens, you can pre-order from B&H here.
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L USM
Now this lens is crazy! This has to be the first professional grade fish-eye zoom lens we’ve ever heard of. Developed for full-frame Canon cameras, this lens can provide some crazy perspective views. I can certainly see some very cool fun shots with this lens, and a bit surprised that Canon would make a professional version. I’ve seen fish-eye lenses used effectively for video and with the advent of HD video in many of the latest released dSLR, there is finally a lens that can capture a 180-degree view. With the unprotected bulbous front element, you have to be extra careful to not scratch the lens. You also can’t use any filters.
Our Recommendation: Fish-eye shots are always fun and cool, but like HDR, use it too much and it becomes quite boring and gimmicky. It’s certainly not a cheap lens, MSRP is $1,400, but because it’s a L quality lens, it’s definitely not cheaply made. Cool lens, but I’d personally skip it.
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM and Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
Rather than speak about each one of these releases individually, I just lumped all of Canon’s super telephotos into one. Unless you’re a sports photographer or an individual with deep pockets, I doubt any of these lenses would be useful the everyday photographer or budding photographer. The 300mm retails for $7,000 alone and is quite an investment for a single prime lens. Even as a wedding photographer, the only lens of these four new super telephoto lens that would even be remotely useful for us would be the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM. Any longer focal length would require us to stand so far back, we would probably be photographing from outside of the church.
Our Recommendation: Skip these lenses unless you’re a sports photographer or have some moola to burn. But if you really want one of these lenses, I would strongly suggest you purchase from a reputable dealer like B&H. You can pre-order the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM all easily and pain-free from B&H.
Canon EF Extender 1.4X III and Canon EF Extender 2X III
Need a bit more reach but don’t want to drop thousands more for another lens? The Canon EF Extenders are the answer to your problems. You can’t use the Extenders on all the Canon lenses, but for ones that you can, it’s great. One of the most popular combination is to stack the Canon EF Extender 1.4X with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L to get a 98-280mm f/4 lens. You could also use any of the Extenders with any of Canon’s super telephoto lenses like the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM and Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM to get some crazy reach, especially if you’re fortunate enough to own any of those lenses. Keep in mind that the Extenders aren’t giving you “free” focal length; it does come at a cost of sharpness, aperture, and focusing speed.
Our Recommendation: I would certainly invest in having the Canon EF Extender 1.4X III to carry in the bag for when I need that little extra reach. Occasionally at weddings, I occasionally needed just that little extra reach, but not enough to justify purchasing the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM. At about $500 MSRP for the 1.4X Extender, you can’t go wrong. If you’re willing to do with an extra stop of light for more reach, you can get a bit more reach with the Canon EF Extender 2X.