Canon full-frame mirrorless camera coming to surprise us? [CW3]

Canon FF mirrorless camera mock-up by David Riesenberg

Canon FF mirrorless camera mock-up by David Riesenberg

Canon Watch was the first site to report that Canon is working on a full-frame mirrorless camera. Now some more tidbits point in this directions. It’s suggested that

Canon will “surprise a lot of people” with one of their next mirrorless camera

While this new rumor doesn’t explicitly mention a full-frame mirrorless camera, it’s likely that only such a camera could surprise us. The same rumor also suggests that Canon will “no longer playing catch-up” in the mirrorless domain. That Canon is willing to get serious with mirrorless was also posted first here on CW.

The latest reliable rumor I got about a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera dates back to November. It was suggested that Canon’s FF mirrorless camera is delayed because of mount-related issues.

All rumors about a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera are listed here.

Stay tuned…

  • tor2

    Well, Canon is very late. A camera is only relevant if it’s launched together with a substantial set ov relevant lences; 50 1.4, 85 1.4/1.8 and 28-70 2.8. Without such Sony and Fujifilm is better choices. The latter has a smaller sensor size, but very good lenses.

    • Michal Rosa

      “The latter has a smaller sensor size, but very good lenses” – you seem to be somewhat confused about the concept of FF.

      • tor2

        For me image quality in a somewhat smaller package than dslr is important, not concept definitions.

      • Matthew Buick

        When Tor2 says “latter” he’s referring to Fuji, not Sony.

    • HF

      If it is build upon an improved version of dual-pixel AF, couldn’t most lenses be used then?

    • Ironically, Sony didn’t launch with any of those lenses you mention…

      • tor2

        But Sony did not have any competition then. Now there are good alternatives. Beeing late, means that you need to lanch with a better overall sulution. A sulution competitive with todays alternatives

  • SoapyEyes

    bullshit rumor is bullshit

  • Wade Marks

    A surprise in mirrorless could also be an APS-C but a very high end, very functional one…one that has the advanced performance that people have been asking for in the EOS M. It could also include a really class retro design.

    Given Canon’s iconic designs from the past, I’m really surprised that they haven’t released a really nice looking higher end mirrorless that plays off on that. Look at the success that Fuji has had; look at the success that Olympus has had playing off of its OMD and PEN lines. Canon would easily surpass those brands in sales with a mirrorless that had the looks of let’s say, an AE-1.

    • Rick

      AE-1? Another dumb retro camera look?

      if they wanted to do something that treats back to the start of EOS for Canon, I’d pick the T90.

      fuji’s retro looks isn’t selling. Olympus sells because they mass discount. can’t say I ever saw the DF on any top sales lists..

      so where and why would they surpass again?

      • tyger11

        Fuji sells very well in Asia.

      • Wade Marks

        Actually, Fuji seems to do pretty well and has a nice niche in the market.

        One could say that most of mirrorless sales are at a mass discount; look at Sony, they sell primarily heavily discount A6000s and A5000s and such. Their A7 series is a small niche in itself.

        As to the Nikon DF…it actually seems to be a bit of a cult classic. In the US it’s the only Nikon camera not discounted, and it has a very loyal following who swear by the camera. Again, a small but profitable niche.

        My point is this: one could say that mirrorless itself is a relatively small niche, and certainly that mass market sales are through heavy discounting. But at the higher end, the retro look cameras do well, relatively speaking for this market, and seem to be a good way to go. One huge knock on the Sony A7 series is that it lacks any soul, any style or grace, it’s just a gadget. Sony would be wise to introduce some style, whether retro or something else, into their high end mirrorless.

        Canon, with its far larger user base and heritage in the camera industry, would do quite well with a design that harkened back to some of their iconic film cameras.

        • MdB

          “One huge knock on the Sony A7 series is that it lacks any soul, any style or grace, it’s just a gadget”

          Never in 25 years of photography have I picked up a Canon and though it had ANY semblence of ‘soul’, ‘style’ or ”grace’.

          Fanboys be fanboys I guess.

          • Wade Marks

            MdB: First, I will say that I do take pride in using a nice dslr with a nice lens…it’s a great feeling to have such a piece of fine image making equipment in one’s hands. So I do enjoy using Canon and Nikon equipment…to me they do have a very nice feel and quality build. And yes they do have the soul of a finely developed photographic tool. Just my feeling…you can laugh if you will. Maybe it’s because I remember a time when I couldn’t afford such nice equipment and so I really appreciate it.

            Second, I was not comparing the Sony to Canon dslr’s…but only to other mirrorless options like Fuji and Olympus that offer more pleasing designs, IMHO. One could also add Leica to that mix, but of course Leica is far more expensive. So actually your comment about Canon dslr’s has no relevance to the point I was making. I did mention one dslr: the Nikon Df, which of course has a retro design element.

            My point remains: style and design matter, esp. if you are trying to establish a new market, as mirrorless still is. A retro mirrorless Canon that plays off of their classic designs from the film days to me would be both something I would like and something that would do well in the market.

          • Christian Wilde

            You could argue, that the A6000/5000 series has no soul and I’d agree. But the A7(x)II series has a nice modern design with a little retro touch. Meanwhile DSLRs are just ugly and bulky and haven’t really changed their design since the 90s or even 80s or whenever that stupid curvy look started. So I have to strongly agree with MdB: DSLRs have no soul in my opinion, they are just tools, nothing more. And not even good looking at that.

    • MdB

      Canon said themselves they aren’t interested in retro, which probably answers ‘why’.

      • Wade Marks

        Yes they have stated they aren’t interested in retro, but that does not explain why. My contention is that there is a viable market there.

    • DouglasGottlieb

      Agree. They should use that heritage. But seemed to dismiss the retro trend in an official release last year. Hope that changes.

  • Rick

    meh .. I really can’t see it.

    full frame mirrorless isn’t selling with dogcrap. canon sees the numbers probably in much greater details than we do.

    I look at amazon even in the US, and the 6D, 750D and 5D for the most part have always been outselling any A7 series. and that’s the area of the world that it does well.

    so why on earth would canon spend millions on a niche of a niche?

    just because sony did it doesn’t make it right, heck under most cases, probably means the reverse.

    I figure we’ll get a G5X-like EOS-M, and I’d be shocked if they actually fixed all the damned bugs that exist in the powershot firmware.

    A canonet though would be kind of cool to see.

    • Cheesehead FAL

      http://petapixel.com/2015/10/27/canon-profits-down-21-as-mirrorless-cameras-cut-into-dslr-sales/

      http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2015/06/03/news-sony-kicking-booty-the-1-mirrorless-brand-dslr-sales-decline/

      http://m43.co/mirrorless-camera-sales-2015-olympus-panasonic-sony-fuji/

      This is why.. Mirrorless isn’t a niche of a niche market, it is growing everyday, what rock have you been living under.. You hear a lot of people dropping the DSLR for mirrorless.. If you could use the current DSLR lenses, canon can stop people from jumping ship

      • Rick

        Still a niche. Lol. Canon makes alot more than cameras?

        Reporting quarterly earnings means what exactly? That you don’t know what you are talking about?

        Mirrorless is 25% of the market split between 9 vendors. Versus 70% from 2. Grasp the difference?

        Growth stat are vague because its shipped stats and across 9 vendors you have more releases per year that with two.

        Much of the shift was because sony dumped for the most part a mount.

        The second largest mirrorless vendor, Olympus, is projecting 520,000 units this year. Canon and Nikon ship over 3 million. Each.

        Not niche? Okay.

        • Cheesehead FAL

          Hey Rick,

          I know canon makes a lot more than camera. Reported quarterly earnings would reflect decrease in revenue or an increase in expenses. Which I think is a mix of both seeings how they are jumping into mirrorless.

          The whole point of this was to say that mirrorless camera market is growing. I would think another 10 years you would see that 3 million drop to 1-2 million. The mirrorless market is improving much faster now than what a DSLR is now a days. The camera body stabilization is an amazing advancement.. I don’t see this in DSLR’s. The image quality is starting to catch up and carrying around a mirrorless is more convenient than a DSLR..

          Everyone has their reasons for switching or staying.. What do you carry? Personally I was going to dump my Canon gear and go with Sony A7II until I heard of this announcement.

          • Cheesehead FAL

            Also, just a quick question. Why do you use a DSLR?

            And yeah you made some good points.

            Cheers

          • Wade Marks

            Thom Hogan has done a lot of analysis of the camera market. If you read his analysis, and that of others, you see that the relative market share of dslr to mirrorless has remained roughly steady over the last few years. Mirrorless is not taking over, at least not yet. There are some small bits of movement in both directions over time but nothing significant and no big trend.

            This year will be the year of the dslr with new stuff from Canon and Nikon garnering most of the attention.

    • MdB

      Good they should definitely continue to bury their heads in the sand like their loyalist customers want them to.

      • Rick

        Yea they should chase unpredictable and unprofitable segments in the market because a few find it exciting.

  • Europa and JDM

    I’d be definitely interested. Even if it’s a FF version of the EOS M or something similar. It would be a nice enthusiast offering.

  • Michael – Visual Pursuit

    And what if….. the 5D MkIV will be kick-ass mirrorless?
    The mirrorbox costs around 40 dollars each, and the new Epson EVF display goes approximately at the same price point, with savings in the viewfinder assembly. Strong argument. Pretend Canon will deliver the camera with an EF to M tilt/shift adapter included – bam!

  • Noor Arnaout

    I hope they use a large flange distance (more then 30mm) so they will make an adapter to use with Sony !

  • peevee

    ““no longer playing catch-up” in the mirrorless domain”

    So far it does not seem like it is playing at all.

  • peevee

    Given that camera sales (including Canon’s DSLRs) are falling, and Canon produces their own sensors, they have A LOT of spare capacity on their sensor lines. And primary cost of chips is capital/depreciation on these lines (and R&D for complex ones like processors). So to keep cost per sensor down, they should keep the lines busy as close to 100% as possible. FF would actually make it easier for them, and would take them right to the less busy market, out of competition with a6000/Fuji/m43 etc.
    If they are smart, they would also keep their EF mount as is. $999 EF-mount mirrorless with OSPDAF and variable ND filter instead of the mirror would kick so much ass…

  • animalsbybarry

    DSLR. Is dead
    Whether it happens today, tomorrow or two days from now does not matter.
    Canon can either gamble everything that I am wrong and DSLR will survive.
    Or they can prepare for the possibility that I am correct…and develope a competitive mirrorless system.
    With a strong mirrorless system, and thier strong DSLR system they will be ready for either possibility.

    • Wade Marks

      The dslr can be said to be dead…just like we’ve gone to a paperless society and paper is dead…just like the printed book is dead…oh wait, those haven’t happened…more paper than ever is used, and printed books are doing fine, and the ebook revolution has stalled.

      The dslr is old tech, but so is the wheel, and no one has offered a better alternative yet.

      Maybe the dslr is going away some day, but that won’t be anytime soon. I think the challenge is trying to plan for 10 or 20 years from now, when who knows what the landscape for cameras will look like? Smartphones are only going to get better using things like multiple lens systems and stacked sensor and computational photography. In one sense smartphones are the real mirrorless threat. We may reach a point where both the dslr and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras are either obsolete or a very tiny niche.

      • animalsbybarry

        DSLR sales will definitely not continue to be strong for another 10 years.
        Canon can deal with the issue now and begin building a competitive mirrorless system, or they can put it of….allowing Sony and others to gain a bigger and bigger head start.

    • Kallai Iosif Gavril

      I think Canon is really thinking about that. Is animalsburry right or is he wrong? It is the question of the day at Canon. This is the only question they have in mind.

      • Wade Marks

        I think the biggest question Canon has in mind, longterm, is what photography will look like in 10 or 20 years? What kind of market will exist for any dedicated camera system? Will there be much of a market or dslr’s or mirrorless, except perhaps at the very high end for pro’s and well off enthusiasts.

        We have seen so much change since digital, and since the first iPhone…we should know now that we cannot just extrapolate in a linear fashion from where we are now.

        The question is far bigger than dslr vs mirrorless; it’s about envisioning the future of the camera itself, and the role that photography will play. For instance, hat happens when we have video so good that we can extrapolate great still photos from it? We’re kind of there now with 4k video coming on, and with 8k we will really be there…and what about after that? The photograph has gone from something to be printed to something to be seen on a glowing screen of some computing device; how will photographs be used in the future? What kind of image sensor breakthroughs will occur and how will this impact the market Mirrorless is really just an incremental change from the dslr; but in reality Canon also has to consider bigger changes and disruptions in the market.

  • Oliver

    A limited white M3 edition ? 1080/60p on the 80D ? A mirroless SL2 ?… I’m bracing for impact. I still remember the “We see the impossible” website joke… They got to deliver big time with the 5D Mk4 or whatever they are going to propose.
    I expect big improvement in dynamic range, 4k video plus lot of features (focus peaking, in body
    intervalometer, etc.).
    The 5Ds was a big and pricy deception. For me 2016 will be the turning year when I decide whether or not to continue with Canon. And looking around me, it seems that I’m not the only one in this position.

  • MonkeySpanner

    Oh gawd. FF is so over rated. Crop is almost as good now. Why would someone want ff in a system that is supposed to be smaller and more portable?

    • Ernest Green

      Usually the people who bash FF can’t afford FF. I own both systems over my past 12-13 years owning DSLRs (did you know what a DSLR was 10 years ago?) and I can say without a doubt that FF is superior. I’ve created GREAT pics w/ crop, but it’s more work in post and just not as fun. When I NEED beautiful images, I reach for my FF all the time. When shooting casually or shoothing things that don’t count, I go for crop usually cause I’m lazy.

  • 250ninja

    I have two M3’s and love this camera and the EF-M lenses. I’m looking forward to the M4. The main feature I want is to be able to use a Canon RS-60E3 Remote Switch on it. A telephoto longer than 200mm, like a 100-300mm zoom would be great. A 60mm macro EF-M lens is also another lens I would buy. That’s all I want for the Canon APS-C mirrorless. If the FF mirrorless is designed to compete with the A7R or A7Rii, the big question for me is will Canon introduce smaller diameter and shorter lenses? I kind of doubt they will. I would expect a 24MP body and maybe a 50MP body later. I would buy the 24MP body if it was about the same size and weight as the A7R. I sold my A7R due to the difficult to navigate menus and shutter shake. I did like the size and weight of the body though. I wouldn’t buy an A7Rii due to size and cost. Yes Canon is very late to the mirrorless market but Google and the Tesla Model 3 were both late to market and we all know where that ended up.