The rumour mill has been in full swing over the holiday season. A number of you have written in requesting additional information about Canon's answer to the Nikon D1 as well as the discontinuation of the DCS 620, DCS 520 and EOS D2000. Here is what I've pieced together from both official and unofficial sources:
Rumour #1: Canon has discontinued the EOS D2000. Not true, say Canon representatives in Canada, the U.S. and northern Europe. It's true that the D2000 is all but unavailable at this time, as there are few if any D2000 bodies on dealer shelves worldwide. But representatives of both Kodak and Canon insist that they are still in partnership to co-assemble the cameras, with units to become available again starting in April. Why the extended gap in availability? I've been asked not to disclose the reason, but I will offer that it's likely not related to the imminent release of a new Canon pro digital camera.
Rumour #2: Canon has ended their agreement to supply modified EOS1n bodies to Kodak, in effect killing the DCS 520 (and DCS 560). Not true, and not really plausible anyway, since it's not in either Kodak or Canon's best interest to have no Canon-based digital camera to compete with the Nikon D1 in either DCS 520 or D2000 skin. Representatives of both Kodak and Canon insist that they are still in partnership to co-assemble the cameras. Though the D2000 is all but unavailable until spring, the DCS 520 is readily available now.
Rumour #3: Kodak has stopped ordering modified F5 bodies from Nikon in anticipation of discontinuing the DCS 620, perhaps as early as next month. Mike Deluca, Kodak's U.S. Product Manager for Digital Capture, insists that this is not true. In his words:
Kodak has a signed supply agreement with Nikon Corp. in Japan for F5 bodies which are used for the DCS 620 camera. We have not stopped ordering these bodies, nor has Nikon stopped shipping the units from Japan to Kodak's Rochester manufacturing facility (where the DCS 620 camera is built).
Rumour #4: Canon will soon introduce, and shortly thereafter start to ship, a pro digital camera that will surpass the D1 in every way, including price. Beats the heck out of me if this is true, though I'm naturally wary of over-the-top rumours like this. That's because such rumours have a habit of representing what photographers really, really want, as opposed to what's actually about to occur in the marketplace. If Canon is going to announce a major new digital camera, it'll be at a major trade show. The next such show is PMA in Las Vegas next month. If Canon doesn't take the wraps off a new camera there, then it's a safe bet that the release of one is not close.