Canon and Nikon DSLR Timeline

UPDATE Feb. 20, 2016: I originally wrote this post in 2010. In case you’ve run across it, here’s an updated graph showing both Canon and Nikon through 2014. It doesn’t include the most recent cameras like the 5Ds series, 80D or 1Dx MKII on Canon’s side or the D5 and D810 on the Nikon side.

Canon & Nikon DSLR Timeline photo CanonNikonTimeline_zps1edc9160.jpg


Original post is below:


Canon DSLR Timeline

click for larger view

So I was trying to figure out how old some Canon DSLR models were and I had trouble finding one source until I found the nifty little graph above in an on-line forum.  Click for a larger view and underneath the model number you’ll see the megapixel count and the sensor crop factor (1.0x = full frame, 1.6x = APS-C, etc.). For more on crop factors, check out this previous blog.

The graph ends in 2009.  For a list which includes 2012 check out this list on Wikipedia. 

The prices are interesting. Eight-thousand for the 1DS MKIII in December of 2007! Three years later it goes for about 6-thousand. Not bad depreciation.

I’m not leaving Nikon shooters out. Check out this similar graph on Wikipedia for the Nikon lineup through 2012. If you want a more visual presentation, Ken Rockwell has a timeline from 1973-2012 in reverse chronological order with pictures of each model beginning with the D1, the  “worlds first practical DSLR”, in 1999.

Nikon D1

Nikon D1

It’s also interesting to see how quickly or slowly Canon and Nikon replace some models. The 50D, for example, replaced the 40D in only one year. But the 5D MKII came along about 3 years after the 5D.  Nikon seems to average about 2-years between upgrades. This is why I tell people to invest in good lenses and not to worry too much about camera bodies.  My problem is… I want both!

Here’s hoping you get one or the other in 2011 if you didn’t for Christmas. On that note…Happy New Year!


Most Important Camera of 2010 and More in Photo News Round-Up

– If you have 14-minutes and 43-seconds, then you must watch this video of two of my mentors; Scott Kelby and Joe McNally talking to each other about photography.

– Wired named The 10 Most Significant Gadgets of 2010 and there’s a point-and-shoot camera on the list!

– I spotted this very cool item on the PetaPixel site:

Speaker that looks like a DSLR

Camera Speaker from

It’s a speaker that looks like a life-sized Canon DSLR with a 24-105mm L lens. You’ll notice it says “Caoon” instead of “Canon”.  It can play audio files from a USB, SD card or from a device plugged in to the included 3.5 audio cable.  It sells for $82.99.  Click the image to go to the site.

– Finally, my new Web site is live! Check it out at:

1500 Pound Camera Takes 10-million images…per second!

Lightning X-Ray

National Geographic. Photo Courtesy Dustin Hill.

Scientists in Florida wanted to measure X-rays coming off a lightning bolt so they decided to take an x-ray image of one. Now, I’ve seen experiments where they fire a rocket into the air; a wire trails from the rocket which produces a static charge and…ZAP!

That’s what they did here (I suspect that greenish trail in the image above is the rocket exhaust), but to photograph it, they had to build a camera. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“You can’t just go buy a camera and point it at lightning,” he said. “We had to make it.”

The resulting 1,500-pound camera consists of an x-ray detector housed in a box about the size and shape of a refrigerator. The box is lined with lead to shield the x-ray detector from stray radiation.

X-rays enter the box through a small hole that in turn focuses them, like an old-fashioned pinhole camera.

Because lightning moves blindingly fast, the camera was required to take ten million images per second.  One challenge in taking such fast pictures is storing the data. To do so, the x-ray detector had to take pictures at a relatively low resolution of 30 pixels…

Click the image for the full Nat Geo article.

Nikon Lens Simulator and Lens Map

If you’re a Nikon shooter wondering which lens is best for you, the Nikon site has some cool interactive tools to help you decide.

The lens simulator lets you see the angle of view of different lenses. You can select whether you’re using a DX or FX body or lens. You can even select from a list of lenses to view the attributes of that specific lens.

 (Useless sidenote: As you use the slider to zoom in, you’ll see a woman reading a book. If you zoom slow enough, you’ll see different frames as she flips through the book. Hey, I told you it was a useless sidenote!)

Then there’s the Lens Positioning Map.  This tool shows you a line-up of Nikkor lenses arranged by focal length and f-stop. Again, you can select DX or FX, manual or auto focus and even features such as vibration reduction (VR) and types of lens coatings.

Save Your Pennies for That New DSLR

If you are saving your pennies for that shiny lens or DSLR, there’s an easy way to do it and keep your eye on the prize.

I saw this on the PetaPixel site over the weekend…

 DSLR Coin Bank

The coin bank looks like a Canon 350D with a 24-105mm L lens.

It reminded me of this USB drive I wrote about in a previous post:Camera USB Drive

 Or this miniature camera:


 They make good stocking stuffers for photographers. But you better hurry, only 4 shopping days left!

More Gift Ideas in Photo News Round-Up

Christmas Tree Ornament

Today is my birthday, and that means Christmas is one week away. If you’re still looking for gifts, I’ve got some help.

Jeff Revell at the Photo Walk Pro blog, posted a .pdf of Last Minute Holiday Gifts under $100.

The Photoshop guys have more gift ideas sprinkled in with some Photoshop tips. You can watch it at Photoshop User TV.

Westcott has 12 weeks of Christmas Holiday Specials.

If you’re into Photoshop actions, check out MCP Actions. The Digital Photography School is offering a 10$ discount if you use the code: mcp-dps-10off.

Don’t forget to check out the Gift Ideas for Photographers and Stocking Stuffers for Your Favorite Photographer posts.

4-in-1 Lens Gives You Lo-Fi Photographs

If you’re a fan of lo-fi images produced by plastic or pinhole camera, you don’t have to carry around multiple cameras or lenses. The “Subjective” lens give you four shooting modes in one lens and is compatible with Nikon and Canon.

The four modes are: Pinhole, Plastic, Zone Plate and Glass and produce images like these:

All lenses have a 65mm focal length. The lens is available at the Photojojo store for $249, but you can get 10% off, courtesy The Digital Photography School if you use the code: photojojodps.