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Gear Rumors

Canon To Take Mirrorless Seriously In 2015 | EOS M3 On The Way?

By Anthony Thurston on December 1st 2014

I held off on posting this rumor when I first heard it mid-last week because the details were scarce. But today, the rumor gained a little momentum, and actually has some info to discuss. Basically, it seems that Canon is finally taking mirrorless seriously, and they will soon be announcing the development of the EOS M3.

Canon EOS M

Now, what makes this something worth discussing is that we have this rumor coming in from multiple sources: Canon Rumors has a source, and CanonWatch mentions two sources. According to the CanonWatch post, this is an EOS M3 that we “will really like, and that’s what we were all waiting for.

The CW post goes on to mention that at this point, the two sources differ on what exactly the new EOS M3 will look like. One indicates a full frame sensor and the other a rangefinder style design, but what is clear between the two is that Canon has an EOS M3 in the works, and that it will not be just another evolution of the EOS M/M2.

To quote CW, “The only thing that appears to be pretty sure is that Canon is indeed working on the release of a new mirrorless system camera. And all signs so far suggest that this time it will be a serious affair.

Canon EOS M with Sigma 50mm F/1.4

[REWIND: Canon’s Loss Is Your Gain: The EOS M]

As you all know, I am a huge fan of the original EOS M for its portability and incredible image quality from such a small compact device, while retaining the ability to use my Canon lenses (albeit through an adapter). I am very excited to see where this rumor takes us, and what the specs/details of this new body are once it is announced.

This actually comes at an interesting time for me, as I had been seriously considering switching to a Fuji X-T1 and finally cutting the Canon cord. Now, I am thinking I will wait and see if this EOS M3 is something I should stick around for…

What are your thoughts on this EOS M3 rumor? What are the biggest improvements (besides the obvious Canon sensor woes) with the EOS M3 over the current EOS M bodies that you would like to see? Leave 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. Tanya Goodall Smith

    Any updates on this? Still shopping for a smaller camera. Can’t decide ;) Would love to be able to stick with Canon if possible since that’s what I already own. Thanks for keeping us all updated on the latest gear rumors and news.

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  2. Dawn Eshelman

    Thank you Phil and Adam ;) I’ll let you know how things go, and what I end up with…

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  3. adam sanford

    If you can’t find a local store, I had no trouble using LensRentals to ship to Honolulu earlier this year (they carry all A7 models). I love that business.

    As for lenses, I can’t help you as I’ve never used them.

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  4. Dawn Eshelman

    Adam, Derek and Phil…thank you so much for your comments! I’ll check around to see if there is a rental store here on Maui, and check out the A7 line up ;) If I can take advantage of the discount/trade-in promotion, and get a decent trade price on my other gear, I may be looking at around $500 for the A7 body. Any recommendation on lenses? I’ve heard good things about the Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA, the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS, the Sony 35mm F 2.8 Sonnar T* FE ZA, and the Sony 24-70 mm F4 Vario-Tessar T* FE OSS…

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    • Phil Nelson

      Dawn, the FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA is very sharp – highly rated by DxOMark ( I have the 24-70 mm F4 Vario-Tessar T* FE OSS, and it’s OK (I have pretty high standards when shooting landscapes) – not nearly as sharp as the 55, but a good walking around lens. The 35 and 70-200 are highly rated as well.

      If you are going to be using auto-focus a lot, you really need to have the Sony FE lenses. Auto focusing through a lens adapter is very slow with lots of hunting. That said, I do not have experience with the Sony adapters for the A series cameras and Sony A and E mount lenses, but I know that third party adapters for third party lenses are slow. Perhaps someone else in this forum can weigh in on the focus performance using the Sony adapters.

      If you are planning on manually focusing, then there are a lot of other options from other manufacturers. I am primarily a Canon shooter and have used some of my Canon lenses with a Metabones adapter – works very well.

      Hope this helps.

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  5. Dawn Eshelman

    Thank you so much for your time, and thoughtful reply, Adam! I started with underwater photography (Nikonos V and slide film! ), then switched to digital when I started shooting topside. Even though I have the T1i, and 60D, I shoot primarily with the G12…so anything would be an upgrade! I now shoot primarily nature/landscape, and handheld. I love using Live View, and having the articulated screen on the G12, but am limited with the small sensor and MP. Even with the limitations, I have sold images in many stores and galleries here on Maui, and through my websites. I think it’s time for me to upgrade, and I just want to make the best decision ;) Whatever I upgrade to, will have to serve me for several years down the road. What is your opinion on the Sony RX1 cameras?

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    • Derek Schwartz

      Dawn, I’d completely agree with Adam’s comment above: try some rentals. That way, you can decide which body/sensor feels best in the hand and gives you the best results.
      As an aside, if you want to go full frame, but don’t necessarily care about weight/size combo and want great selections of glass, you could also consider a Canon 6D or Nikon D750. They both have a helluva lens lineup and support, and produce amazing image quality. Plus, the Canon 6D and a Pixma Pro10 printer can be had for 2/3 the price of the Sony A7 body alone, at least right now.

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    • adam sanford

      I’ve only used an RX1 (it might have been the RX1R) briefly in a store. A fixed lens FF camera is effectively a ‘budget’ Leica with LiveView shooting (though an old-school modular OVF and EVF are available). The size and IQ is terrific but the AF (from reviews I’ve read) is not rock-solid like on more recent mirrorless offerings.

      But I think the fixed lens is a dealbreaker if it’s your *primary* camera. I can’t justify spending $2k on a rig you can’t change the lens on, even if 35mm is the FL I would personally choose if I was forced to. You can absolutely shoot landscapes at 35mm, but I think you’d feel handcuffed and want more width at times. And if your nature work includes macro, you’ll be greatly limited as well.

      As a *second* camera body dedicated for walkaround shooting, I think it’s a fine choice, albeit a pricey one. Walkarounds needs great AF (for me), so I’d read reviews carefully about that before purchasing.

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    • Phil Nelson

      Dawn, I agree with Adam and Derek. It’s best to try out some cameras and see if they are flexible enough to meet all your needs. I have a couple of months experience with the Sony a7R. I use it solely for shooting landscapes and making large prints. The image quality is great if the camera is coupled with a high quality lens. On the other hand, if you are shooting nature, i.e. fast moving animals, this is not the camera for you. It’s auto focus is just too slow to track fast moving subjects.

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  6. Dawn Eshelman

    I really enjoyed reading the article, and all of your comments ;) I am seriously considering trading in all of my Canon gear (G12, T1i, 60D, 18-55 and 55-250, and investing in either a Sony A7, A7R or A7S. They have some awesome promotions going on now with from $200 to $400 off, and $300 to $375 with trade of a DSLR body or lens.

    I haven’t really researched the Fuji XT-1 yet, and just recently researched the Sony RX1 and RX1R, which I also find interesting, but there is no promotional pricing or trade being offered for it.

    Do you think I should wait for the A7II, or Canon mirrorless before making a decision? I shoot primarily handheld, and the A7II sounds like it would be nice for that.

    Any suggestions as to whether you recommend Sony/Olympus/Fuji, and if Sony, which model?

    Many thanks!

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    • adam sanford

      Dawn, I welcome everyone else’s take on this, but here are my thoughts:

      1) If you are pondering a full conversion from SLR to mirrorless, I strongly recommend a rental before the switch. Mirrorless rigs are awesome, but make sure you can live without an OVF or a without the responsiveness of the SLR setup — think of the fastest moving thing you somewhat routinely shoot (children? animals? sports?) and try to capture it using whatever your new rig might be. I am not arguing against mirrorless so much as staring down mirrorless’ biggest drawback and then fighting through it. If you can do that, consider the switch. If not, think twice.

      2) If you need a FF sensor with interchangeable lenses, your choices are Sony A7 bodies or (ha!) Leica rangefinders. I believe the A7R is the one to get for landscape work (highest MP count) and the A7S is the better call for either video or handheld stills in really low light (but note that it has a much lower resolution).

      3) If you don’t need an FF sensor, you have many more options — have a look at Fuji, Olympus & Panasonic. but I would personally stay away from Canon and Nikon’s mirrorless offerings.

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  7. Mark Sheppard

    Back to Adam’s response to my comment… I definitely think that there is a lot of validity to what you say, but I still wonder where the people seeking smaller form factor with higher IQ and DR are coming from. If you already have a pile of pro glass, are you really going to be willing to change systems just to save a few bucks and a few ounces on a new body?

    IQ aside only because I haven’t compared the mirrorless systems vs my FX, I really like some things about the A7. The EVF is really nice and the new VR body is really cool, I also looked a little at the Nikon W version so I could shoot some underwater stuff without a box.

    My problem I think is similar to most others. I shoot Nikon because that’s where I started and my equipment grew from outdated to pro gear gradually so that the cost was controlled. To dump my currents gear for mirrorless would be very expensive for a questionable gain in convenience/portability and definitely have a learning curve.

    Anyone that’s good enough to care that much about IQ is most likely already invested in another system and while some will be willing to take the hit in the wallet, I can’t imagine it will be more than a fraction of the market. That alone, I think will stunt the growth of mirrorless.

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    • adam sanford

      Agree, Mark, and that’s why my money is staying with Canon and that’s also probably why Canon and Nikon are not freaking out right now.

      Mirrorless will be the future someday, but that someday will be expensive to convert to unless you trust adaptors for all your current glass. Canon and Nikon are probably tracking mirrorless sales very closely, and when it hits a certain threshold, they’ll release something ‘serious’ in this market segment (see my first post waaaay up top — they need to do all four of those things).

      I’m just wondering what it will actually take to get Canon and Nikon to panic about mirrorless. I always thought they’d stay calm until their pros starting converting in large numbers, but others have theorized that mirrorless is more likely to gobble up Soccer Moms and Tourist Dads at the entry end of SLRs (as they have no/less glass invested). We’ll see.

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      That threshold might come soon I think. I was in a camera store last weekend and all I could see people trying were Fuji, Olympus and Sony mirrorless cameras. There were no DLSRs on the counter whatsoever! I think that tells a lot about what’s starting to happen. And to be honest, I wasn’t surprised at all because if I was getting my first camera, it would be mirrorless.

      I think 2015 will be the year where we’ll start to see a big jump in mirrorless sales. Now that they handle almost like DLSRs, with viewfinders, fast focus and lost of controls and buttons, camera stores are more inclined to suggest them to new customers.

      Let’s not forget that new customers count for a big part of camera sales. They are not invested in any system yet so they have all the freedom in the world.
      I don’t know the numbers but I would think new customers count for a bigger part of camera sales than customers who already have a camera or two. Or am I completely wrong?

      All we’re hearing about is people “switching”. But what about new/fresh customers? What will they buy this year? They are the pros of tomorrow!

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    • Greg Silver

      I agree Jean-Francois – the pace has been set for the mirrorless cameras and it’s FAST and COMPETITIVE. Anyone jumping in now has better be in for rapid change.

      I know it’s easy to come down hard on Canon (or Nikon) but when their track record isn’t exactly quick to update models. Sony, Fuji and somewhat Olympus are much faster (Sony’s killing it right now).

      I fear Canon will release a somewhat decent mirrorless camera and then just sit on it as the competition runs by them. They need to step up their pace in a big way.

      I agree 2015 will be huge for mirrorless and their lenses.

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    • Phil Nelson

      Mark, I don’t think that buying a mirrorless camera system necessarily requires dumping the equipment that you currently own. I know a number of pro photographers who have bought compact system cameras and are using them in addition to the gear they already own, either with new compatible lenses or with their current lenses and an adapter or both.

      For those who have the means to own both a DSLR system and a new mirrorless system, the potential transition to mirrorless can happen more gradually without major disruption or a huge $ commitment. It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario.

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  8. Mike Stephen

    I love my EOS M + 4 EF-M lenses
    Fantastic for travelling light.
    I’d like to see perhaps the 70D or even the 7D2 sensor in the M3 – really not fussed about a FF sensor
    An EVF would be a bonus but I’ve never missed not having one as most of my shots are tripod mounted.
    An electronic level guide would be a great addition.
    AF needs to be improved but again I’ve never found it too much of a problem For my type of photography.

    As you can see, I’m easily pleased but I’d only like to see an already good camera become a great one!!

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  9. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Why wouldn’t people want big lenses on their mirrorless?

    I understand that the “main” purpose of mirrorless is the smaller factor but, for me, mirrorless isn’t only useful because it’s small. It means I can have only one camera with which I can do everything I want. I can put on a bigger lens whenever size doesn’t matter (landscape) but I can also put on a smaller lens for the times I want a little more discretion (street, restaurant, travel, etc.).
    It gives me the freedom of choosing.

    Right now, my DLSR is the thing I often hate to bring (even don’t bring) because it scares people away. A lot of people think it’s a big bazooka ready to be fired so after a few dirty looks it often goes back in the bag.

    If Canon came up with a very good mirrorless camera that would support the current Canon lenses I have then I could simply add a small fast pancake like the EOS-M 20mm f2 and that would be perfect.
    The EOS-M is almost that. If it was like Sony’s a6000, I would run out and get it today and be a very happy camper.

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  10. Greg Silver

    Just going to through this out for the record. I personally am not hung up on the small size of mirrorless. I went with mirrorless because of features not size. If they can put the same awesome mirrorless features I have now into a nice size DSLR body (like the Canon 70D) then for me that would be the best of both worlds.

    I do however see how the compact size is a big deal for many. I get it! :)

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    • adam sanford

      Agree, Greg. I’d use mirrorless if it didn’t make me wish for various SLR creature comforts. They will absolutely get there eventually.

      I think it would be wise for the next 3-5 years to be the ‘both worlds’ years for Canon and Nikon. For every new sensor they offer, offer an SLR **and** a mirrorless rig with that sensor. They could steadily improve in mirrorless tech (batteries, EVFs, focus peaking, adaptor performance, ergonomics, etc.) while SLRs remained fully supported. Over time, as SLR sales decline in favor of Mirrorless, Canon and Nikon can slowly obsolete all but the highest end of their SLR bodies and have good momentum with Mirrorless.

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    • Greg Silver

      Sounds like a good strategy Adam!

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  11. Raoni Franco

    Yep, Sanford is killing the snake and showing the stick!! (brazilian saying). Much more mature and realistic then the “Canon is stupid and their cameras are all crap” kinda people.

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  12. Leland Rust

    @Sanford: What can I say? Your views on this are great!

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  13. Scottie Nguyen

    They are not really serious until they make a full frame mirrorless. This is just going up to bat at the plate. EOS M1, strike 1. EOS M2, strike 2. EOS M3 ????? In terms of mirrorless, who are they better ? Sony? No, Fuji? No, Olympus? No, Nikon ? No….Samsung ? No….. When film became digital, Canon ran away with it. It is now the time of SLR to mirrorless and they just woke up to the party and are seeing so many sexy girls at the party and are panicking !!! Time to wake up Canon !!!

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  14. Arnold Ziffel

    My first thoughts were, it’s about time. I’m not sure it’s not past time, unless they’re cooking something revolutionary.

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  15. Sebastian Martin

    I really like the direction Fuji is heading. The XT-1 is a fantastic camera and the lens line up they are offering is impressive. The fact that Fuji publishes a lens “roadmap” is fantastic and transparent.

    Canon has a ton of catching up to do when it comes to mirrorless cameras.

    I this industry, regardless of wether you are a photographer or camera manufacturer, you need to adapt and evolve to survive. Otherwise things become stale, boring and lack excitement…. eventually you become nothing more than am memory.

    Canon really needs to announce an extremely mind-blowing and revolutionary product. Otherwise consumers will continue to switch and won’t take notice. Once you are late to the game, it becomes very difficult to catchup.

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    • adam sanford

      Photography enthusiasts change brands as often as most of us change our underwear. But until Canon starts losing *pros* in large numbers, Canon doesn’t “really need” to do anything except hold serve and maintain a sales leadership position. And they’re doing it. What they sell isn’t sexy, but it’s well built and it works.

      I think Canon’s execs have flagged mirrorless as an enthusiast-only market — for now — and have not committed a large percentage of their resources to it.

      But even a dedicated SLR guy like myself admits that mirrorless will eventually take over. Canon has to get some significant skin in the game before too long.

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  16. Jason Switzer

    Even if Canon gave me what I want (a mirrorless full-frame alternative to Sony’s A7 line), I still wouldn’t buy the camera unless it’s sensor was better than what is offered in the A7R. I already own a 5D3, so
    A miniture version isn’t going to get me to fork over more cash to Canon. I need product differentiation (and size alone is not enough). Where is the improvement in dynamic range? Where is the higher resolution? Until Canon can fulfill that request, I’ll simply stick with their full frame DSLRs (because I’m so heavily invested in their glass). If I move to a mirrorless system so I can get a lightweight kit, I’m going to buy the system with the best sensor and ability to let me use glass from anywhere via adaptors. At this point, that system looks to be Sony.

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    • adam sanford

      Agree. Sony has a considerable lead on this front.

      I would say that the ‘competently executed future’ version of Canon we want (with FF mirrorless) would have equivalent sensors in their DSLR and mirrorless rigs.

      In other words, if Canon was wise, every time a new sensor came out, it would go into both a new DSLR *and* into a new Mirrorless rig. People would simply pick whatever camera best suits their needs — DSLR for responsiveness, sports, access to the huge stable of lenses, etc. and Mirrorless for folks who want a smaller rig, smaller native lenses, an EVF, etc.

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    • Holger Foysi

      I think Canon sensors are a little underrated (I don’t shoot Canon, just for the record). They lack in DR at lower ISO, but are very good at high ISO values. Their latest 7Dii is indeed a stellar performer at long exposure and high ISO, look here (this guy know a lot about astrophotography): Looking at all the great pictures taken with Canon gear, my take is that the real-life differences aren’t that huge, unless you want to do handheld “one-shot HDR images” at low ISO (as I like doing with the D810).

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    • adam sanford

      Holger, I agree. Astro folks are really surprised with how well noise is suppressed at long exposures with 7D2. No one expected that from the non-FF and non-astro-specific 7D2.

      As for dynamic range, it depends on what you shoot. I do believe the Sony/Nikon advantage at low ISOs *is* important for landscape folks. When I’m off-tripod and HDR is off the table, I can only push my shadows so much on a single 5D3 exposure (your “one shot HDR” as it were). In higher ISOs, I agree that Canon fares pretty well against class-for-class competitors.

      But we don’t know if the EOS M3 will have a 7D2 sensor or a *70D* sensor in it. Most betting folks would argue it’s the latter, as it’s (a) the cheapest existing DPAF sensor they have (DPAF being vital for solving the EOS M’s AF speed woes) but (b) it’s also a step-down from their best in class APS-C sensor, and we all know how Canon hates their mirrorless bodies to have best-in-*anything* compared to their bigger DSLR brothers. :-P

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    • Holger Foysi

      @Sansford: agree. I find it extremely useful to know that ETTR will suffice for almost all situations when using a sensor as in the A7r or D810. Interestingly, other Nikon cameras used for low light, like the D4(S) and DF have their sensor tuned similarly as the Canon sensors. They lack DR a lower ISOs compared to the D810, for example, but provide more DR at higher ISOs. Their advantage was less artefacts or banding when pushing in post, but the 7Dii seems to got rid of it, too. Nevertheless, for me the Nikons are all I really need (mirrorless for fun).

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  17. Derek Schwartz

    I think getting the DPAF tech from the 70d is a must. If Canon were looking a bit forward and willing to take a bit of a leap of faith (I know, I know), M3 might be a great way to move forward with a Full Frame DPAF sensor that wouldn’t also run the risk of cannibalizing DSLR (5d3/4) sales. Or, at least, they’d have an opportunity to put second-gen FFDPAF tech in the coming iterations of 5d and 1d…

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    • adam sanford

      I just don’t see a FF mirrorless rig coming out unless it’s an SL1-like miniaturization of a 6D, i.e. “as small as we can make an FF rig without a new mount”.

      On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a cease of development work and 10 being a mad frantic schedule of new releases, I peg Canon’s current support of each mount as:

      EF: 6 (make fun of “the year of the lens”, but new lenses have been rolling in)

      EF-S: 3 (a new pancake and some new STM versions of old EF-S zooms)

      EF-M: 1.5 (I see two Canon first party EF lenses up on B&H right now)

      With that kind of lens throughput, I question Canon’s desire to birth a fourth mount just for FF mirrorless. I think Canon knew this when they went for APS-C with mirrorless and must ride that out.

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    • adam sanford

      Typo: I meant “two Canon first party *EF-M* lenses”

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  18. adam sanford

    Canon is dead in the water in this segment until *all* of the following occur:

    1) Canon stops nerfing / crippling it’s mirrorless offerings for fear of undermining DSLR sales.
    2) Canon offers a proper EVF
    3) AF speed dramatically improves
    4) Canon offers more native/small EF-M lenses — adaptors are lovely, but you buy mirrorless to create a small rig — not to bolt a pickle jar of an EF lens on to it!

    Note that going to a FF sensor is *not* on that list. Canon doesn’t necessarily have to do that.

    The sad bit is that likely only #3 above is a lock to occur (with a reasonable expectation of a 70D-like sensor with DPAF to be offered). #2 will eventually occur but possibly might get saved for a later release. But #1 and #4 are not happening anytime soon — I can’t see them offering pro-level glass for bodies that don’t even have viewfinders!

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    • Mark Sheppard

      I’m with you Adam. What’s the point of having a tiny camera body with a bazooka hanging off the front? All that does is make it harder to operate and less comfortable to use.

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    • adam sanford

      Agree, Mark.

      The problem is that the mirrorless market hasn’t segmented itself properly yet — it’s too young a market. It’s not just a matter of setting price/feature points for budget / enthusiast / pro shooters. It’s much more nuanced than that.

      Consider just two (of many) groups coming to mirrorless from more traditional SLR setups:

      1) People who love the small form factor for carrying or discretion reasons — street, reportage, travel shooters and such. They *don’t* want big lenses, huge grips and such. They want 90% the IQ/features of a same-sensor-sized-SLR in 50% of the size.

      2) People who are migrating to mirrorless from DSLRs simply for the best IQ they can get (i.e. people buying the various a7 Sony models) — a good example would be Canon landscape shooters wanting more MP or more DR. These folks don’t give a damn about form factor and are bolting big L lenses on to these bodies with adaptors. Effectively, they *aren’t* mirrorless devotees so much as fans of wonderful sensors and don’t mind fighting through the limitations (battery life, AF, etc.) of today’s mirrorless rigs. Landscapers don’t mind tricky AF systems as they do a lot of MF LiveView work on a tripod. So an A7 and an adapter is a much cheaper way to upgrade your sensor than buying a D810 and new lenses.

      Those two examples alone show that it’s not just about the market evolving to cheap / good / pro price points. Those two groups are apples and oranges as far as needs go. So delivering a product *all users* will like is really tricky right now. I think that’s why Canon and Nikon are not making huge investments here yet — it’s a chaotic market to walk into today.

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    • Phil Nelson

      “People who are migrating to mirrorless from DSLRs simply for the best IQ they can get (i.e. people buying the various a7 Sony models) — a good example would be Canon landscape shooters wanting more MP or more DR. These folks don’t give a damn about form factor and are bolting big L lenses on to these bodies with adaptors. Effectively, they *aren’t* mirrorless devotees so much as fans of wonderful sensors and don’t mind fighting through the limitations (battery life, AF, etc.) of today’s mirrorless rigs. Landscapers don’t mind tricky AF systems as they do a lot of MF LiveView work on a tripod. So an A7 and an adapter is a much cheaper way to upgrade your sensor than buying a D810 and new lenses.”

      Being a Canon landscape shooter who is now using a Sony a7R with Canon glass, I strongly agree with you. IQ and high resolution are most important to me. That said, I would love to be able to ditch the weight of my big L lenses for lenses that are smaller and lighter. Hopefully, Sony will continue to introduce sharp Zeiss lenses on par with their FE 55mm f/1.8. If Canon cannot deliver a mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, high MP and DR in a light weight form factor with sharp, high quality lenses, I simply am not interested.

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    • Joao Coelho

      Pardon the potential naïveté, but aren’t larger lenses better at capturing light? Don’t they have an edge in low light situations by allowing more light to come through?

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    • adam sanford

      Joao, of course, you need bigger to go faster, but bigger is not always better.

      Two of Canon’s wider primes — the 24L f/1.4L II and 35 f/1.4L — are worse (for my needs) than the non-L 24 f/2.8 IS and 35 f/2 IS lenses. The non-L lenses are just as sharp, far smaller/lighter, and offer IS — all for the price of losing a bit of draw/magic in shooting wide angle lenses wide open for, what — environmental portraiture and street shooting? Heck, I’ll make that bargain every time.

      The bottom line is a good chunk of the mirrorless market wants a small aggregate (lens + body) construct. Tack on any of the following — a bigger sensor, a mirror box, or a very fast max aperture (say f/1.4 on standard FLs) — and the aggregate construct will get large very quickly. Many folks don’t want that, and would gladly lose the mirror, lose a stop of max aperture or stick with APS-C or m43 instead of FF to keep the construct small.

      And that’s why Canon first offering of the uber-tiny EOS-M with a small 22mm (35mm FF equiv) f/2 pancake was a perfect decision… but it’s also probably the only wise call Canon made in mirrorless so far. :-P

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    • adam sanford

      Joao, to see how this adds up, head here:,333.439,312.368,312.400,ha,t

      Reading left to right you have:

      1) Smallest APS-C construct
      2) Same as 1, but tack on a mirror box
      3) Same as 2, but tack the impact of a larger FF sensor
      4) Same as 3, but ask for a lens that is one stop faster.

      I’ll take option (1) for my second camera, and I’d wager about 1/3 to a 1/2 of the mirrorless market would agree with me. Certainly, there are others that would find a way to bolt that f/1.4 lens on the right on to the tiny body from (1), but I am not one of them. Your take may vary depending on your needs.

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    • Jason Switzer

      I disagree with Phil. I have a ton of oro Canon glass, but if I bought an A7R, I wouldn’t be attaching my L lenses to that body. Yes, it’s true that I’m interested in the sensor technology that Sony has created, but I’m equally in it for the low weight. That’s means I’d buy a few key lenses (likely a 25 and a 50mm) and call it a day. For me, that means using rangefinder lenses. They’re small, lightweight and work on full frame sensors. My Canon glass and body is for work. My mirrorless would be for travel/play/backup body.

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    • Gustavo Mendes

      I often see comments like this complaining about the lack of viewfinders on mirrorless cameras, but the only benefits I could find for using a viewfinder instead o the LCD screen are:

      1. Steady the camera with your face.
      2. Shoot under very bright sunlight.
      3. Save battery.
      4. Faster auto focus.

      And #4 really gets me, because I always see people talking about viewfinders as a “pro feature”, like the last paragraph os this comment i’m responding to, but wouldn’t manual focusing be a more professional behaviour?
      And I think manual focusing is the most enjoyable thing of composing and taking a picture, I feel a lot more connected to my camera and to the act of photographing.

      As for the others, 1. I think I have pretty steady hands, specially considering the weight saving of a mirrorless camera, 2. I don’t remember the last time I had a problem like this, not being able to see the screen, and 3. I would carry extra batteries anyways, and going from a 5D to a EOS M I didn’t noticed any difference on battery life.
      So I can’t find a good reason to justify the extra bulk on DSLRs carrying viewfinders.

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  19. Austin Swenson

    If you are willing to wait for that long I say go for it, I think we all kind of jump the gun at times when what we are waiting for suddenly appears after we made an impulse buy… I have done it all too many times

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  20. Greg Silver

    Great article. Canon was definitely silent for a long time while Sony, Fuji and others gained a strong foothold into mirrorless. But Canon definitely has an opportunity to bring something great to the table. What I think Canon needs to do to compete (or succeed) in the mirrorless category is:

    1) Allow the use of their existing lenses to be used with their new mirrorless cameras (this would leapfrog some competitors right from the start).
    2) Enhance their autofocus sensors to compete with Sony’s (specifically the a6000’s AF). I jumped ship to Sony primarily over autofocus. I don’t have that much invested that I would take a second look at Canon if they could improve in this area.
    3) Pack it full of features like WIFI, NFC, weather-sealed and a fast shutter speed. (Don’t hold anything back)

    What I envision though is that they probably will release something good (but not great) as to not cannibalize their current DSLR offerings. Canon’s in a unique situation where they are still investing heavily into DSLR. The best they can do is to play it somewhat safe until they decide to move wholeheartedly into mirrorless (which IMHO isn’t a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’).

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