1Ds MkIIII've just arrived home after attending the Canon Autumn Collection product launch. In total 30 new products were released but the unquestioned stars of the show for us photographers were the Canon 1Ds MkIII and the Canon 40D. Neither will disappoint and you can see specs below. The 1Ds MkIII in particular, though, pushes the upper limits for Pro Digital SLRs much further into territory previously firmly held by the Hasselblads and Phase Ones.

In addition to the two new cameras, though, there were a couple of interesting other new gems. There's a new EF 14mm f/2.8L MkII and 2 new EF-S lenses (18-55mm and 55-250mm) with a new IS system claiming 4 stops of image stabilization. I put that boast to the test with the 55-250mm on a 40D and was able to hand hold 1/8 sec at 60mm zoom with good sharpness - that's 3 stops. At 1/4 sec it took a burst of 3 to get one decently sharp - reasonably good performance and a definite improvement on my previous experiences with IS lenses.

Canon were also showing a range of new compact cameras including 2 IXUS IS upgrade models and 2 new A series cameras that mostly seemed to be upgrades to existing models for extra pixels and higher ISOs. The only notable new feature seemed to be "Anti-blur", a feature that combines Image Stabilization with automatic ISO switching to keep camera shake to a minimum.

Also new in the compact range are the G9, an upgrade to the G7, and the SX100 IS, the first in a new SX range. How this fits along side the S and A ranges is unclear but it seems the SX100 is aimed at families wanting a long (10x) optical zoom, ease of use with Anti-blur and manual features when necessary. Both the G9 and SX100 also feature a new face tracking technology that not only detects faces in the shot but can also select one or more to be tracked as they or the camera moves, keeping them in focus.

There were a smattering of other products including HD video cameras, projectors and some new consumer grade printers. Check the usual sources for information on those if you're interested. But I'll leave you now with what you really want to know - the full details of the 40D and the 1Ds MkIII.

Canon 1Ds MkIII

21 Megapixel full frame 35mm sensor
5 fps continuous shooting for up to 56 frames (12 RAW)
Dual DIGIC III processors
14 bit RAW with Highlight Tone Priority
Auto focus system with 19 cross type sensors and 26 focus assist points
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
ISO 100-1600 (expandable to L:50 H:3200)
3.0” 230K pixel LCD with Live View mode
Redesigned viewfinder now wider and brighter
Canon 40D

10.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
6.5 fps continuous shooting, max. burst 75 JPEGs
New AF system with 9 cross-type sensors
DIGIC III processor
3.0” LCD with Live View mode
EOS Integrated Cleaning System
Clear and bright viewfinder
Picture Style processing parameters