New Canon 5D MkIII or 7d - Out in the wild

I don't normally like to get involved in idle speculation but the post on Stephen Oachs blog is simply too much for a Canon junkie like myself to resist.

For the full story about how Stephen of the Aperture Academy, who most probably is not on Canon's Christmas card list anymore, came across the yet unreleased Canon DSLR out in the wilds of Africa you really must read his blog.

It is almost excruciating.

The Canon employee who was involved in this most unfortunate episode has, one imagines, made a career decision.

So what is it?

A 5DMkIII or a 7D MKII? Or could it be something else?

It is worth pointing out that this may not be the camera in its final form as they can change as they are being developed, but judging by the condition, fit and finish of the camera it looks like a preproduction model from the line, something that is relatively close to launch. Not a hacked about prototype model with temporary decals on the buttons, the likes of which were visible on pre production Canon C300's

Let's have a look at it in forensic detail.....

1. Locking Function wheel, Amen to that!

Photographers were crying out for that from launch, it is possible to get this retro fitted to your 5DMkII, but  it should have been there from day one, it seems Canon have listened.

2. Relocated On/Off Button

This does seem to have been moved to an ergonomic logical and streamlined position, just requiring a flick of your left thumb.

I have a slight reservation though, the current on/off switch on the MKII seems to be in a bit of an odd place, but it is not really possible to knock it to the 'On' position by mistake, I wonder if this is true for this switch?

3. 'Paintbrush' button

Could this be a rapid way of accessing the in camera picture styles?

4. Rate button

One suppose that this is exactly as it says, a fast way of rating images, some people will find this very handy.

5. Mic ?

On back of camera, logical place for voice tagging

6. LED?

Perhaps, could this work with the mic?

7.M/Fn Button

You can never have too many user programable custom function buttons, could this be one of those?

Easy access position too.

8. Video/stills selection button

Like the 7D, this would be a welcome addition to the 5D as it's currently a bit of a 'faff'

9. Q button

Could be another user programable 'Quick' access button

10. Gaffer tape

Why, oh why is there not more of this.....??????

11. Lock

Does this 'Lock' all the settings on the camera with a single switch??? or could it be linked to...

12.Grip/battery

I only commented on this as it makes it clear in my mind at least that it is not a 1 series derivative.

Overall quite a rare and revealing little snap shot of a forthcoming Canon DSLR.

But which one?

Ladies and Gentlemen place your bets.

I have no inside line on what this camera is, or is not

But I strongly suspect it is a Canon 5D MKIII

Why?

The MKII was launched in September 2008, 4 years ago this September.

An age ago in the world of digital photography.

The MKII, as good as it is, is surely due for replacement.

What would I like to see on a MKIII?

In no particular order...

Faster and improved Autofocus, faster frame rate ( how about 6fps?) better body sealing (though this has never been an issue for me), more user friendly Codec for the video.

Better connectivity for mic's etc would be nice too.

And when will this come?

Photokina would be a natural place to launch this camera but this camera looks very finished to me, so perhaps before then.

What do you think?