I understand from the main blogs on this monkey see, do, sue thing that the monkey (which is not a person, almost certainly a minor, etc, etc)has no rights of ownership or copyright?
Correct. Only humans can hold copyright over creative works in current copyright law both US and international.
If this is the case does the chap that owns the camera now own the image?
The chap who owns the camera owns a physical (digital) copy of the image. That does not make it "his" image, it means he has a copy of it... just like if you own a magazine, you own a copy of a bunch of images, but you don't own those images.
If he owns the image can he apply for a copyright on that image?
If you think this one through I'm pretty sure you'll understand the answer. Of course not. Just because you walk down the street and pick up the newspaper does not mean you can clip out the photos and apply for a registered copyright on the images in the newspaper. Even if you say, gave an elephant a canvas and paintbrush, you can not apply for copyright over the final work because you didn't paint it.