Canon has revealed its next-generation of digital SLRs in the shape of the EOS 400D -- its follow-up to its popular, consumer-focused EOS 350D. The 400D sports an improved 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, new EOS dust-prevention system, 9-point auto focus, and a larger 2.5-inch LCD. Canon says the EOS 350D has proven to be the best-selling SLR camera of all time.

Canon says the new EOS 400D is the first of its range to offer dust-busting technology. Dubbed the EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Canon says the technology combats dust problems via three approaches. Canon says the internal mechanism of the EOS 400D is designed to minimise dust generation, with a redesigned body cap. Anti-static technologies have been added to the low-pass filter covering the front of the sensor in order to repel dust, says Canon, while a specialized unit uses high-frequency vibrations to shake off dust, and it operates for roughly one second following start-up. For instant shooting, the company says the feature is automatically disabled immediately after the shutter release is depressed.

Canon has also developed an internal system for automatically removing dust from captured images, which it is calling its Dust Delete Data system. According to the company, this maps the position of any visible dust on the sensor, and this can then be deleted automatically following the shoot using image-manipulation software.

As well as the EOS Integrated Cleaning System, the EOS 400D incorporates a number of developments over the EOS 350D. Resolution increases from 8.0 to 10.1 megapixels, using high-sensitivity, high-speed, low-noise CMOS technology now found in all six EOS models. At nearly twice the size of the EOS 350D display, the 2.5-inch LCD is the brightest in the EOS range and now displays all of key shooting and user interface information along with image playback. The AF system expands from 7 to 9-point, with a highly sensitive f/2.8 center point for exceptional performance in low light. Even with the image resolution increase, maximum frame burst almost doubles from 14 to 27 large JPEGs and from 5 to 10 RAW, according to Canon.

A photo of the Canon EOS 400

The EOS 400D also incorporates the same DIGIC II processor found across the EOS range right through to EOS-1 professional models, says Canon. As well as providing solid image quality through advanced rendering algorithms and almost instant 0.2 second start up time, DIGIC II’s accelerated processing prioritises the photographer’s ability to keep shooting by clearing the buffer quickly between frame bursts, Canon reckons.

Consistent with the EOS family, the EOS 400D is supplied with a comprehensive software suite to help the photographer’s workflow. This includes Digital Photo Professional (DPP), a RAW converter that provides complete RAW image processing control. DPP integrates with camera features such as the Dust Delete Data and Picture Style. The camera also comes with EOS Capture, Image/Zoom Browser and Photostitch, plus 100MB of personal online space on CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, Canon’s online photo sharing service.

The EOS 400D 18-55 kit will be available from late September 2006 for £719.99 including VAT. Body only price is £649.99 including VAT.