A Web site for reporting bugs in Phase One's raw image conversion software gives a new hint that Canon is preparing a sequel to its EOS 5D, its lower-cost SLR with a relatively large image sensor the size of a full frame of 35mm film.
"Canon 5D Mark II" appears on a list of cameras on Phase One's Capture One bug-report form that otherwise seems populated with shipping models.
Be careful assuming that means the 5D sequel is imminent or has its final name. My coworker Phil Ryan uncovered a reference to a UPC bar code for a Canon 7D in October. And Phase One's list isn't perfect; it doesn't include Olympus' new E-3, for example.
Canon's 5D, announced in August 2005, is popular among serious amateurs, landscape photographers, and as a backup camera for pros. Its starting price of about $3,300 has now dropped to about $2,200, and many expect a sequel soon--perhaps in conjunction with the Photo Marketing Association's trade show in January.
Now that Nikon has entered the full-frame SLR market, the $5,000 professional-oriented D3 due to ship later this month, the 5D has assumed greater strategic importance for Canon. Nikon has a more competitive lineup these days, but at least for now Nikon still doesn't have a lower-cost full-frame model.