Canon's new digital EOS has, at a stroke, halved the cost of buying a full frame DSLR. The EOS 5D costs u00a32500 and offers the benefits of a 35mm-size sensor in a smaller body.

Canon has announced a landmark camera which has, at a stroke, halved the cost of buying a full frame digital SLR. The £2500 EOS 5D offers the benefits of a 35mm CMOS sensor in a smaller body.Weighing just 810 grams, the EOS 5D is built from a lightweight, compact magnesium alloy shell similar in size to the EOS 20D, making it significantly smaller and lighter than Canon?s current full-frame DSLR, the EOS 1DS MkII (which costs over £5000). Although not built to the same build quality as the 1DS MkII, the EOS 5D is nevertheless a robust camera which is sure to appeal to the professional, semi-professional and affluent amateurs.

?The discreet full frame EOS 5D is the camera many photojournalists and agencies have been asking us for,? said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. ?It will be an indispensable piece of equipment for a wide range of professionals ? from contemporary wedding to reportage photographers.?

The 12.8 Megapixel full frame CMOS sensor measures 35.8 x 23.9 mm (the same as a 35mm film frame) and gives photographers a full angle of view from standard 35mm-based lenses without magnification or cropping effect. It provides tighter control over depth of field and, says Canon, offers better image quality because its large 8.2 ?m pixels allow the capture of a superior dynamic range, enabling the reproduction of subtle tonal gradations in shadow, midtone and highlight areas.

The CMOS sensor features the same second-generation on-chip noise reduction circuitry used on the EOS-1Ds Mark II which, Canon claims, suppresses random noise and eliminates fixed-pattern noise for extremely clean, hi-fidelity images. Its ISO 100-1600 speed range is extendable to ISO 50 and ISO 3200.

Key features
? A new hi-resolution 2.5inch 230K pixel poly-silicon TFT LCD monitor. The improved screen retains brightness and visibility throughout a wide 170° angle of view, both vertically and horizontally.

? 9-point auto focus with 6 invisible Assist AF points located inside the spot-metering circle to improve tracking performance

? Picture Style pre-sets simplify in-camera control over image quality by setting parameters tailored to specific types of subject, and can be likened to different film types. Within each easily selectable pre-set, photographers have control over sharpness, contrast, colour tone and saturation. Pre-sets include: standard, portrait, landscape, neutral, faithful and monochrome ? plus 3 user-defined entries.

? Compatibility with Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E1. Photographers can work cable-free. Full-frame image files can be transferred automatically through a wireless LAN to a computer in seconds . The EOS 5D also has USB 2.0, Video out (for playback a TV) and PictBridge (for direct printing to any compatible photo printer without the need for a computer).

? 21 custom functions with 57 user-definable settings to enable photographers to configure the camera for their preferred way of working.

? 1/8000 ? 30 second shutter speed with X-sync at 1/200s.

? Interchangeable focusing screens: in addition to the ?Standard Precision Matte? (Ee-A) focussing screen supplied with the camera, ?Precision Matte with Grid? (Ee-D) and Super Precision Matte (Ee-S) screens are available.

? Optional BG-E4 battery grip can accommodate two BP-511A/514/512/511 battery packs or six AA batteries . The Battery Grip BG-E4 features a shutter release button, AE/FE lock button, AF point selector and main dial to enable comfortable use of the camera when held vertically.

? Supports the optional Data Verification Kit DVK-E2 v2.2, which verifies the authenticity of images taken with the camera.

? Complete compatibility with all Canon EF lenses, with focal lengths from 14 to 600 mm.

? Supplied with the EOS Digital Solution Disk v11, which includes a new version of Canon?s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) RAW processing software ? now at version 2.0 (which includes support for Picture Styles) ? plus ZoomBrowser EX (PC) and ImageBrowser (MAC) v5.5 for managing images, EOS Capture v1.5 for remote shooting, PhotoStitch v3.1, PhotoRecord v2.2 (PC) and RAW ImageTask v2.2. The EOS 5D is also compatible with CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , which provides a 100 MB online photo album.

Also launched is a new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lightweight Image Stabilizer lens, which is likely be available as part of a 5D kit, though price is yet to be confirmed. Completing Canon?s f/4L-series zoom lens range, the new lens complements the EF17-40mm f/4L USM and EF70-200mm f/4L USM lenses. It will be available from October priced at £869.99.