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Rumor: Canon Mirrorless CSC is Coming - What Will It Mean for Micro 4/3 Users?

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    According to CanonRumors, Canon will be announcing a new mirrorless system and a few lenses on July 24, 2012. What will the Canon system mean for Micro 4/3 users?

    While the Canon mirrorless CSC will almost certainly compete against Micro 4/3 cameras, I think it will overall benefit the Micro 4/3 system by validating the 4/3 sensor size. Assuming it uses the 1.5" sensor format from the G1X, Canon's CSC sensor will be only a bit larger than 4/3, much closer to 4/3 than to APS-C. Crop factors for Micro 4/3, Canon CSC, and Sony NEX would be 2X, 1.85X, and 1.5X respectively.

    What this means is that if a third party lensmaker like Sigma or Tamron were to design a lens for a Canon CSC, that lens would cover only very slightly more than the 4/3 frame and should be easy to adapt to our system. Currently, a third party lensmaker has to decide between designing a lens for Micro 4/3 and designing a lens for APS-C that can be used on Micro 4/3. Sigma chose to develop for Sony NEX, and we ended up with somewhat odd focal lengths (19mm and 30mm) and larger, heavier lenses than we require.

    Consider the rumor that Tamron is going to announce an 18-200mm lens for Micro 4/3. That's a 27-300mm equivalent zoom for Sony NEX, likely adapted by Tamron to serve as a 36-400mm equivalent zoom for Micro 4/3. On the other hand, if Tamron were looking to create a 27-300mm equivalent zoom for Canon's mirrorless system, it would be a 29-324mm equivalent for Micro 4/3.

    It's one thing for a company to invest in creating lenses for APS-C rather than Micro 4/3. It's another to invest in Sony NEX and Samsung NX rather than Micro 4/3 and Canon. I think we'll see a boom in 3rd party lens options for Micro 4/3 if Canon commits to the G1X format size.

    Source: CanonRumors via 1001NoisyCameras
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Thanks a lot or info Amin but I think it won't affect us by and large . The whole idea of MFT was to have a portable package in a small size. If canon offers small lenses only then its gonna be useful otherwise its the same NEX kind of story. MFT has touching new heights and some more competition means Panny and Oly will have to be more innovative and competitive as well .Moreover OMD is up there with many APSC sized sensors as far as performance is concerned so I dont hope Canon will offer something better than that. Anyhow it will be very nice to have some more toys to play with . As you said if we have more smaller lens for Canon system from third party then that means more fun for us.
  3. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Lynne Ezzell
    I may be glad I waited on getting the OMD.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Very true. And even those lenses that don't come to m4/3 will act as a form of price competition, as will (hopefully) the bodies. Canon has usually been aggressive about pricing, so I think we'll see soon just how inexpensive mirrorless cameras are to produce, compared to DSLRs.

  5. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think there are potentially multiple sides to this coin (to mix a really poor metaphor). Heck, why not mix in another metaphor while I'm at it:

    On the one hand, as Amin suggests, there's a good chance it will result in more m43 compatible lenses and price competition in lenses. And it could force Olympus and Panasonic to up their game and bring out even more competitive cameras. Panasonic has already acknowledged that need. That's good.

    OTOH, Canon's name recognition, market position, and marketing budget could, if they do the camera right, marginalize Olympus and Panasonic. Canon has a presence in every camera store, big box store, discounter, warehouse club and mail order electronics vendor in America (and maybe the world). Olympus is barely visible in most of those locations, and people think of TVs and phones when they hear Panasonic. I suspect Canon can spend more in a week to advertise their mirrorless than Panasonic spends in a year.

    But on the gripping hand (Science Fiction reference, there: see Larry Niven), Canon's presence could validate the mirrorless concept, and make people more aware of the genre, and actually help PanOly sales even if their share of the market drops.

    But on the final hand, if Canon doesn't do a good job (and if the Rebel T4i / EOS 650 live view AF performance is a guide, they may not), and people try Canon's mirrorless and find it lacking, it could tarnish the whole mirrorless segment. "Oh, I tried one of those mirrorless cameras. AF really sucked. I'm sticking to DSLRs from now on."

    Just too many unknowns to predict anything right now.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    As long as they don't screw up like Nikon (and I don't think they will) then I would bet they'll be outselling M4/3 hugely, and quickly. Olympus and Panasonic released far too many similar models in a short space of time which confuses and annoys people and Canon is still a far bigger brand than either of them.
  7. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    It's Canon. Even if a Canon-branded CSC is a piece of junk it will have decent sales because it is a Canon. I'm not hating on Canon for that ... I'm just acknowledging a simple truth in the camera market.

    What that means for m4/3 is another system is going to be competing for some of the same customers. I agree that it will probably make life easier for 3rd party lens makers to build lenses for the m4/3 mount (since they will CERTAINLY make lenses for anything with the word "Canon" on it and the Canon CSC will likely have a similar sensor size to m4/3.

    I would only be concerned about a severely negative impact to m4/3 if Canon comes out swinging ... meaning they deliver a "serious" CSC with a commitment to "serious" features and a wide range of high quality (fast aperture) lenses.

    If the Canon CSC is essentially just a Canon version of the Nikon V1 with better looks and a larger sensor then m4/3 will still have the dominant position in the market for serious photographers who want a compact camera.

    If Canon delivers a great system for serious amateurs (and even some professionals) then I suspect most people who don't already own m4/3 gear will probably be more likely to buy the camera with the Canon logo on it.
  8. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Good points about lenses Amin. :wink: Haven't thought about it this way, but it makes sense.

    I'm with Thom Hogan (Welcome to sans Mirror | Sans Mirror — mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan) in that, it seems, things have started to settle down concerning major sensor sizes available today. As he notes in this article: Sensor Sizes Redux | Sans Mirror — mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan :

    He refers to 1" (Nikon/Sony), :43:/G1X, APS-C, FF sensors. There is also a whole other discussion about technology for mobile phone sensors, but it doesn't concern us here. But it WILL concern us in the future, I think, because of new technologies developed for them. At this point, it's evident to me that Nikon didn't exactly "srew up" with the 1 series. They just chose an "appropriate" format to introduce themselves into the mirrorless market; and the V1 has its place there.

    Speaking specifically for Canon, at this point they are just testing the waters I believe. Their main audience shall be Canon DSLR users in need of a smaller/mobile system that is compatible with EOS. I'm 100% positive they'll offer EF/EFS lens compatibility (same as Nikon did). The G1X fell short in that department.

    I have no doubt the Canon mirrorless camera will be succesful. But, at this point, I don't see it making a dent at :43: for non-Canon users. They'll need probably around a year to come up with an adequate collection of native (read: small and full performance) lenses for the proprietary mount. Also I'm not that confident about their sensor performance. The 650D was not exactly a revelation at that.

    And it's most probably good news about third party lenses as Amin points out. This is a major thing missing from :43:.

    What I'd like to see as a response from Olympus and Panasonic during the next 12 months:

    • Full "pro level" body
    • A new "high tech" sensor (FOVEON type, non Bayer-type, or similar designs, already introduced as patents)
    • Advancements in AF speed/accuracy, like PD-AF in-sensor, motion sensing AF, etc
    • A collection of native lenses, some of them already announced, to complete the system
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Very interesting development... my initial reaction is that I suspect this will be much like Sony NEX; it will develop its own following, and will likely have certain technological advantages. However, I think the main advantage to Micro Four Thirds is the multiple manufacturers and open standard rather than necessarily the "best" technology. Look at the native lens choices we have compared to Sony NEX for example - a bigger/better sensor only means so much without the glass in front of it. Not only that, but with the open standard you can buy from any MFT manufacturer with the assurance that a lens will work 100% on your camera body. That's a big deal to me when you compare that with other systems.

    If Canon comes up with its own format then they're starting from scratch. They have the juggernaut power in the industry to maybe get away with that to a point, but I think MFT will retain the same strengths here as it has compared with other systems.
  10. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Canon must be my least favourite camera manufacturer. They just never seem to get anything right. I doubt this will be any different: too big, too expensive, too late. But I guess we shall see.
  11. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    I don't exactly agree, but one thing I guess we'll have to agree is that, at least, they are not stupid. And they are No1 in total camera sales, if I'm not mistaken.

    The fact of the matter is this: DSLRs are going to die in the following years. It's just a matter of time to get rid of clumsy 40 year old mirror technology, it's just natural evolution. Canikon are just preparing for the change, the way they consider best. They may have a 5 to 10 year agenda, I can't tell, but officials from both companies have hinted on this several times. For them it's just a matter of consolidating their new technology with legacy ones, and that mainly means lenses. But it has been done before: Canon FD to EOS mount.

    For Nikon the first step was the 1 series. If they continue using Sony sensors, I don't know what the next steps would be. Could they come up with a APS-C sensor camera like the NEX? Also, if Sony invests in Olympus, could they actually make a :43: sized sensor that could also be used in their cameras and Nikons? Canon is already talking about a mirroless line, probably with a APS-C sized (or larger) sensor to follow.

    What I'm trying to say is, Canikon, for better or worse, are in the position to control market movement. The wildcard is Sony. But, in any case, things will follow their natural course eventually.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I'd be very surprised (but pleasantly so) if Canon managed to tick as many boxes as the E-M5 does on their first attempt at a mirrorless ILC.
  13. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Will Canon outsell m4/3? Probably. Will that in any way affect my EPL2's ability to capture photos? No. No it will not.

    As has been said, I think the biggest effect that this will have on my life is that we will soon see more third party lenses being released for approximately our sensor size. A net win!
  14. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Agreed. I believe the rumour states that Canon's first camera will be an entry level offering anyway.
  15. CUB

    CUB Guest

    I believe Canon's mirrorless CSC will be the most significant introduction so far. Waiting until Nikon showed its hand with the 1 Series and Panasonic and Olympus introduced second generation m4/3 models was a masterpiece of strategy. Canon will have learned from any mistakes the others have made.

    The sensor size is key because it offers direct competition to systems using APS-C size sensors (Sony, Samsung, Fujifilm) AND Four Thirds size sensors (Olympus, Panasonic) while offering something quite superior to Nikon's 1 Series. However, Canon (unlike Nikon) will likely take a hit on its entry-level DSLRs because the Canon CSC's sensor size is so close to APS-C while Nikon's 1 Series sensor is so much smaller.

    I think the manufacturers that have most to fear from Canon are Sony, Olympus and Panasonic, all of whom are already losing money. Canon has money to burn and the ability to take the mirrorless CSC market by storm.
  16. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    I think Canon oughtta make a new lens mount and release with a few well chosen lenses, a la Fuji X-Pro1, but they should also throw an adaptor in the box so ppl can use their existing collection of Canon lenses.
  17. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    As a matter of fact, do you think the "entry level" Canon mirrorless shall have a new sensor? Because the G1X sensor was the same as their APS-C one, scaled down to "almost" :43: dimensions. I assume the sensor they may use shall be a scaled down version of the one in the 650D.

    The G1X had very good IQ, all the problems with it were not being a system camera. Objectively I cannot see what could make the new mirrorless more desirable for a non-commited (i.e. non-Canon) user against the best :43: offerings, or even competitors such as Sony and Samsung. Fuji may also introduce a camera cheaper than the X-Pro1 in the near future (along with their forthcoming kit-zoom lens?). And there is always the danger of cannibalizing their own entry/mid level DSLR market.

    The biggest asset for Canon is their market presense and financial status, as you note. They may start a "The Empire Strikes Back" level campaign for this camera, who knows? But announcing it in the middle of summer isn't that persuassive. Also, what would the price point be? Olympus Pen level? Higher? Lower? Too many parameteres.
  18. CUB

    CUB Guest

    I don't think it is so complicated. We already know the first Canon mirrorless will be an entry level camera and there will be three lenses, a kit zoom, a tele zoom and a pancake. All will be reasonably priced. That leaves a lot of room for Canon to introduce higher-end models at a later date.

    As jff1625 implied, compatibility with existing EF and EF-S lenses will be key. I don't expect a free adapter, but the interface will offer full electronic control of EF lenses including phase detect AF from the sensor. And yes, for that reason I agree it is very likely to be based on the sensor in the new 650D/Rebel T4i.
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I'm not holding my breath expecting Canon to be the savior of the 2x sensor mirrorless format. I've said it before, Canon is having a hard enough time with their DSLR line, why do people expect them to be some juggernaut in the mirrorless arena? They haven't released their 1DX which was announced last September and on paper specs, the 5Dm3 looks severely outclassed by the Nikon D800/E.

    Also what's the big deal with Sigma and Tamron making lenses for M43? I don't really see them making anything more significant that Panasonic or Olympus is producing. Even in the DSLR format, I'm not too fond of third party glass. I think where it stands, M43 is the best all-around mirrorless system, no need for Canon or third party support to validate the format.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I would debate that this is largely due to the huge amount of available native glass for Micro Four Thirds. I wouldn't under-estimate Canon or Nikon here. The tiny Nikon 1 sensor is quite capable of decent DoF when mated with fast glass as you can see here...

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    San Antonio Shooter by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr

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    San Antonio Shooter by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
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