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Is Canon Testing Its Mirrorless Technology On The Rebel T4i/650D/X6i?

Techradar had this pretty smart intuition: The T4i/650D/X6i features technologies that are needed in mirrorless cameras, and that, therefore, the T4i/650D/X6i could be Canon’s testbed for its upcoming mirrorless system cam. Well, there is something in that. As techradar writes:

[…] the EOS 650D [Rebel T4i/Kiss X6i] is Canon’s first DSLR to feature full-time autofocusing in Live View and video mode. Both of these modes require the reflex mirror to be lifted out of the way, so the camera in effect emulates a mirrorless model.

Right. The T4i/650D/X6i sports a new Hybrid AF system, combining phase detection and contrast detection. Hybrid AF system are already featured on mirrorless cameras such as Nikon’s J1 and V1. techradar again:

[…] the technology […] doesn’t have to be DSLR specific. In Live View and movie mode, the camera’s reflex mirror is lifted, and Canon uses a dedicated AF system on the image sensor instead of the independent AF sensor in the camera’s mirror box. It’s a hybrid system that uses both contrast and phase detection to get superfast, precise autofocus. That’s important because it means Canon has built a sophisticated AF system that already works without a mirror.

Next, it’s the touchscreen that captures our attention. Mirrorless cameras are smaller than DSLR yet delivering all the advanced features of the latter. In other words: little room for buttons and controls. A touchscreen would solve that problem.

What do you think? Is the Rebel T4i/650D/X6i showing technologies that are perfectly suited for a mirrorless camera, and could this be a hint that Canon’s mirrorless system camera is really around the corner?

See here for more information (and pre-order links) about the new Rebel T4i/650D/X6i, here for hands-on videos, here for a comprehensive first impressions review.

[techradar via gizmodo]

Canon Mirrorless Concept by D. Riesenberg
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