Canon T3i and 320EX Announced

Canon made a bunch of new announcements last night. I know they’re a Japanese company and all, but announcing your new entry level camera on the same night as the SuperBowl may not be the best marketing move.

In any case, the Canon T3i has been named and detailed. And guess what? It’s basically the same thing as the 60D, but without the second scroll wheel. It includes the swivel screen and the 18MP sensor, too. It even has the built-in speedlite control, which was a big part of the reason I went to the 60D instead of just getting a T2i. (Man, if I had bought a T2i instead of the 60D four months ago, I’d be very annoyed today. Dodged that bullet!)

At $799 body only, it’s an amazing value. If I were a professional photographer, I’d be tempted to have one of these as a backup. On the other hand, the 60D is down to $999 these days, and if I were a professional photographer, having the same layout of controls on both cameras might be worth that extra $200. Less muscle memory needs to be learned that way.

The other interesting bit of news is the new Speedlite, a 320EX. Here’s the surprise of the new lens:

In a first for Canon Speedlite, the Speedlite 320EX features a Video Light function, complementing bodies with EOS Movie by enabling users to illuminate low light scenes continuously when capturing HD video. When using the Speedlite 320EX in combination with the new EOS 1100D or EOS 600D, Auto Light mode ensures that the LED light automatically turns on or off according to the ambient light of the scene when in Movie mode.

Interesting, eh? All that can be yours for $250. Order on Amazon today! Maybe you’re better off buying a small $100 LED panel if you’re interested in video light. I don’t know. I’ll be curious to see the reviews on this one, though. There’s one big benefit of such a light: If you’re learning lighting and would like to see how the angle of your flash affects the final image, using it in video mode will let you see your change in real time without taking numerous pictures.

But why think cheap? Canon also announced a 600mm f/4L lens for just $12,000. That’s no typo. Twelve thousand dollars. If you want to save some money, grab the upcoming 500mm f/4L lens, instead, for a mere $9500.

Canon-related: Zeikos now has a battery grip for the 60D for half the price of the Canon one. I can’t recommend a battery grip enough for those of us with larger hands. I can’t use a camera without one anymore.

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