Is Canon set to release an image-stabilized macro lens?

I'm an avid macro shooter. It doesn't matter if the subject is a bug, a flower, or a very small rock — if it's diminutive, I like to shoot it with a macro lens and make it big for everyone to see.

For most of my closeup shots, I use a Canon 100mm macro lens. But you know, ever since Nikon released an image-stabilized 100mm macro lens about 3 years ago, I've been wondering when Canon would rise to the challenge and come out with their own stabilized macro.

Looks like I won't have to wait long much longer. On July 22, Canon announced the "world's first optical image stabilization technology that compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake."

Yeah, I know, that doesn't sound much like a macro lens. But a few sentences later, the press release states that this new technology "synthesizes information from the two sensors to make optimal adjustments, thereby dramatically enhancing the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies" (emphasis mine).

The release also states that the technology will be featured in a "lens planned for commercial release before the end of 2009."

Well, if that doesn't mean Canon is releasing an image-stabilized macro lens before Christmas, I'm a monkey's uncle.

Guess what this monkey will asking Santa for this year...

To read the press release, click here.