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Gear Rumors

When is Canon Entering the MF Market? Canon MF System Update

By Anthony Thurston on January 28th 2014

All of the buzz surrounding the new PhaseOne and Hasselblad 50mp CMOS MF sensors has drudged up more questions regarding Canon’s rumored entry into the Medium Format (MF) market.


In case you are not aware, it has been rumored for the last year or so that Canon could possibly be looking to join the MF market by releasing its own MF system, complete with cameras and lenses. It has been said that the reason behind this is that Canon needs new revenue streams with the shrinking revenue of the small compact and consumer DSLR markets.

[REWIND: PhaseOne announces new 50mp CMOS MF Back]

According to the latest buzz from the rumor mill, not much has changed in Canon’s quest to join the MF market, but that there will be no MF related announcements this year. It is said that Canon is happy with taking its time to release its MF system, and that currently the hold up is related to the resources to engineer, design, and produce the larger lenses required by a MF system.

It is also hinted that while there is a hold up in regards to lenses, there is no hold up with regards to the cameras. Canon is said to be testing several MF cameras, but that they will not be announcing any cameras without a full lens system announced along with it.


(Not a real canon MF back image, Mock image for illustrative purposes only)

This makes sense to me. The problem with several camera systems out there right now is a lack of pro level lenses. Releasing a new camera is great, but if the lens selection for these cameras are limited, then that can severely limit sales. It seems that Canon realizes this and is making sure not to jump the gun and release too soon.

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What are your thoughts on this? Is Canon’s entrance into the MF realm something that interests you? Let us know in a comment below.

[via Canon Watch]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joe K.

    I shoot medium format and can say, without any doubt, that if Canon releases a MF system, it will not be cheap. That is if they really want to compete in the market; maybe the price point will be on par with Hassy.

    Getting the MF quality requires much more than a bigger chip. The components that Phase/Hassy use, like the ADA processor and such, are much better made and can be updated (unlike the static components Canon uses). Using these components increases cost. Also, the lenses Phase and Hassy have, not to mention the tech camera lenses that I use, are much better. Canon would need to design lenses to these same standards to really compete. Third, MF is a niche market; very few will want a bigger camera compared to the overall market. This means no economy of scale to help keep prices low, like with all of the current 135 DSLR systems.

    Dont get me wrong, if Canon is planning on releasing a system, I wish them all the luck. More competition is better for consumers, only I highly doubt it will be a “cheap” option.

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  2. Bob Heathcote

    The two high-end companies mentioned have high end channels/dealer networks. Canon is more Best Buy, etc.. The exception is the cinema line channel, where maybe they could move some high end stills stuff

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  3. Bob Heathcote

    The two high-end companies mentioned have high end channels/dealer networks. Canon is more Best Buy, etc.. The exception is the cinema line, where maybe they could move some high end stuff

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  4. Gus Munoz

    The mock image is from the new Phase One IQ250 video I watched last night. Tim Kemple’s first IQ250 encounter | Phase One on you tube.

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  5. JT

    ”We can’t compete with Nikon’s sensors, and we can’t compete with Sigma’s new prime lenses. I know! lets move to medium format!” Bit of a cop-out if you ask me, but if it means affordable medium format camera/lenses i’m all for it.

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    • Anthony Thurston

      You think Canon would release an “Affordable” MF system? This is Canon we are talking about right? I think its more likely they overcharge for their MF stuff just as much as they do their 35mm stuff. lol

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    • Christopher

      1dx and a 50mm 1.2 over any nikon “SONY” sensor and sigma 50mm lens you choose.

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    • hf

      Well i have to agree with the previous comment. Canon won’t make this MF system affordable to most. I suspect it will be something only those who already can afford digital MF will get to enjoy; the rest of us can dream. As for competing against Nikon sensors… well Canon isn’t competing with Nikon; they are competing with these Sony sensors that are showing up in a lot of cameras now.

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