Canon's pre-announcement of their new range-topping 1DX will have that there internet awash with commentary. Much of it, inevitably, will be predicting the imminent demise of arch-rival Nikon if it doesn't immediately launch a competitor that does everything Canon's camera does, plus make the tea. So, for what (very little) it's worth, I thought I might as well add my ha'pennorth:
1. Canon got there eventually
There's nothing magic about full frame. DX works just as well, most of the time, and has a significant cost advantage. But Canon and Nikon both have many thousands of pro users out there with large collections of legacy full frame lenses. A fair few of them have even been around long enough to remember film. And there's no doubting that if you want to go wide AND fast, full frame is where it's at. Plus, of course, all else equal, bigger sensors work better in low light.
For years, though, Canon users had to choose. Full frame, slow and expensive... or cropped, fast and (marginally) cheaper. Canon has cunningly simplified the choice to one. Full frame, even faster and, er, expensive. Cunning.
2. It's gonna cost
Yep, that's the big downside of the new camera, as far as I can see. The asking price is around the same as for Canon's high pixel count 1Ds series of old. There'll be a lot of pro snappers wincing at that price tag. It always was a bit of a reach, but in the past you could opt for the slightly less wallet-pounding option instead. Not any more. With pro rates stagnant, clients' budgets stretched and more competition than ever, pro snappers with their heads screwed on will be pausing before reaching for the plastic.
3. More, bigger, faster
Not that there won't be plenty of takers. The 1DX is all about more and bigger and faster. 50% more pixels than Nikon's D3S (note that that doesn't mean 50% more resolving power, though). 33% faster frame rate. More AF sensors. Faster processors. And all that jazz.
Does any of this mean better pictures? Nope. It's all predictable, evolutionary stuff that'll have little noticable impact for most photographers (see also 'it's gonna cost', above).
4. Video yawn
Inevitably, it's got video. And, inevitably, it's got pretty good video. But it's still not a video camera, and the very companies that were clamouring for video-and-stills a few years ago (think big print media organisations) are now backing away from the idea. Is it cheaper than a RED? Sure. Is it as good as a RED? Doubt it.
Personally, as a stills snapper, I'd rather have the option of a 1DX without video... and pay less for it. But that's not going to happen anytime soon.
5. Everything's different. Everything's stayed the same
A new camera with bigger stuff, more widgets and faster things always gets people excited. The thing is, though, the cameras we're all using right now didn't suddenly get worse. For all the upgrade frenzy, these are straitened times for western economies in general and pro photographers in particular. The 1DX was bound to happen. But it won't revolutionise photography.