So Canon has just announced the 50D (wish they had announced a 6D instead). Pretty interesting upgrade, in my case it’s mainly the Auto-ISO mode being able to go from 100 to 1600 (rather than 400-800 as in the 40D) which might be worth the upgrade (that, and the fact that upgrading to every other release makes it very hard to sell your old camera). One thing dpreview.com’s extensive preview notes is that the ‘direct print’ button now has an actual useful usage as it gives access to the live view. They can’t understand the purpose of such a button on a ‘prosumer’ camera, and neither could I until I read this article. In short, it explains that Japan passed on the wave of 8-bits machines because they simply were not able to handle their alphabet. Therefore, instead of PCs, Japan mostly developed appliances. Machines which were pretty much stand-alone and could do one main thing and many other related things. Like taking photos, and printing them. Therefore I figure that the Canon’s “direct print” button could be a remnant of this “appliance culture”. At least that’s the only sane explanation I can think of.