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Gear Rumors

Olympus, Canon, & Sony Mirrorless Rumors {Daily Roundup}

By Anthony Thurston on November 3rd 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Upcoming Olympus PEN To Feature A Viewfinder?

olympus-pen-e-p5

We have been hearing for quite a while now that this upcoming Spring, Olympus will reinvent their PEN lineup. Until now, most of what to expect has been held under a fairly tight lock and key over at Olympus, but today a bit has leaked.

According to the report over on 43 rumors, the 2016 Olympus PEN will feature a built-in viewfinder. One would assume it is an EVF of some kind, but there is always the possibility that Olympus goes to X-Pro 1 territory and does an optical viewfinder.

Regardless, for Olympus and PEN fans, this is a big leak. It shows the first of what are expected to be many changes to the PEN line as Olympus fights to remain relevant.

I am curious to see what other changes/advancements Olympus has up their sleeves for this line.

Canon Having Issues With Full Frame Mirrorless Mount?

Canon EF-M Mount

Hot on the heels of the initial rumors regarding Canon’s current quest to bring a full frame mirrorless camera to market over the last couple of weeks, we have our first bit of news – and it’s not good (for Canon).

According to a report, rated CW3, over on Canon Watch, Canon has reportedly delayed the full frame mirrorless camera further due to issues with ‘mount type’. Initially, reports have been that the camera would feature the EF-M mount, or some variation of that, with speculation of the team trying to work a full EF mount in there.

We don’t know what these ‘Mount Type’ issues are, but it appears that it has delayed whatever internal timeline the company has had for the upcoming full frame mirroless camera. The internal battle at Canon appears to be over what mount to use; the options are clear: EF-M, EF, or something new entirely.

I, for one, am very interested to see which option wins the day. On a side note, how awesome would it be for Canon to revive the FD mount (updated with AF & electric contacts, of course) for their full frame mirrorless line?!

Details On Upcoming Sony F/2.8 Zoom Lenses

Sony-70-200mm

The other bit of news coming around the rumor mill today was an update on the upcoming Sony F/2.8 zooms that we have been hearing so much about. We still don’t know exactly what lenses are coming first and when they will be announced, but here is what we do ‘know’ –

  • Current FE zooms will get “updated” to be faster (f/2.8) and also of higher optical quality
  • One of those should be the 70-200mm f/2.8 FE lens, also possibly the 24-70mm.
  • Announcement is likely to happen some time AFTER the Sony A68 announcement (rumored to be November 5th)

If we take a look at the current F/4 FE zooms, we have three lenses: the 70-200mm f/4, the 24-70mm F/4 (neither of which are much to write home about), and the 16-35mm F/4. The priorities here should obviously be the 70-200mm and 24-70mm; fast F/2.8 versions of these lenses with improved optics are what many pros have been waiting for to make their Sony conversion official.

Sony needs to hurry up and jump on these announcements if they want to get these out in time for the holiday season. Holiday shopping has already started for some, so getting these announced – with pre-order links – as soon as possible could go a long way towards getting these off on the right foot.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

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. Ralph Hightower

    Hmm… I could dig Canon reviving the FD mount lens. I have two cameras (F-1N and A-1) that I could buy new glass for.

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  2. Andrew Leinonen

    It would definitely not be awesome for Canon to revive the FD mount, since that would mean a flange focal distance just barely shorter than EF – i.e. no size advantage for their mirrorless lenses.

    If EF-M isn’t working as is, Canon should simply drop it. No one buying a full-frame mirrorless camera is intending to use it with a 1.6x crop to maintain compatibility with their current cheap Canon EOS-M mirrorless lenses. Especially given how few of those lenses there are. Rip off that band-aid now, Canon.

    As far as EF lenses, it goes without saying that those will need an electronic adapter to be used with any new mirrorless body. Again, if they aren’t going with a new mount that has a short FFD, they might as well not bother in the first place and simply make an FF DSLR with no mirror inside and a dual-pixel AF sensor. It would be functionally identical.

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    • adam sanford

      The $64,000 question is this: can Canon field an FF mirrorless system with only f/2.8 primes and f/4 zooms? (Hint: ask Sony how that worked out.) Because that’s really the only way to keep FF mirrorless small. Consider: flange thickness is pretty doggone irrelevant when you are strapping a 70-200 f/2.8 FF lens to your body.

      So if you are in the camp that will bolt bigger/heavier/faster glass on to your rig, you want those lenses to perform natively without adapters. These folks want Canon mirrorless to have a full EF mount, thickness be damned. They are in it for mirrorless’ advantages over SLRs, not for its size.

      But if you are in the “Size the only upside to mirrorless” or “I want to adapt off-brand glass” camps, realities of physics and the billion dollar obsolescence of the EF portfolio *isn’t your problem* and you want an A7-like small flange distance.

      …or Canon does both. (I kind of love that idea.)

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    • Jean-Francois Perreault

      Good points Adam.
      So based on this, if someone’s never gonna put a zoom (70-200 or even 24-70 f/2.8), then why bother with a MILC at all? Why not simply get a FF fixed lens mirrorless instead?
      For those who prefer the size advantage would be better served with a fixed FF rangefinder and those who want the full potential of mirrorless and still be able to use bigger lenses wouldn’t mind a slightly bigger MILC.

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    • adam sanford

      J-F, I’ve brought this up a number of times. Going fixed lens would also allow you to tuck a sweet leaf-shutter lens deeper in the body than if it was modular (like the RX1 bodies).

      But no, there are a large number of FF mirrorless devotees that want to keep things small/light but still change their lenses out. They are willing to shoot with slower glass and cap their FL to something pedestrian like 135mm or so and call it good. A fixed lens FF rig would not appease them.

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    • Dave Haynie

      Agreed. I really don’t see much point in Canon releasing a mirrorless FF with EOS-M mount.

      First of all, they have to answer the question: why are you making a full frame mirrorless? If the answer is “to deliver a compact full frame”, I direct them back to the question, “why you are making a full frame mirrorless”. Anyone buying a full frame is buying into a system… full frame with pro lenses is not going to be small. Save some millimeters on that flange to sensor distance, and you have to add that back in on nearly EVERY lens. That doesn’t make things small.

      It’s pretty clear Canon did make that “small” decision for the EOS M series so far. And that makes sense when you can get away with a P&S styled body, APS field of coverage, consumer quality glass, etc. It’s an entirely different thing to make it a pro system.

      And then, what if they do make it a pro system? If I really want a pro mirrorless FF, doesn’t Sony already have a pretty big head start? I need an adapter for EF to M, but the adapters for EF to FE work pretty well already. I have multiple bodies, better APS options, more native lenses on Sony. If FF isn’t important, then there’s Olympus, Fujifilm, or Panasonic, depending on what you’re doing with your Canon today. All of these are complete systems. Olympus and Fujifilm deliver actually compact systems, Panasonic has video options Canon’s not going to offer (4K, no 30minute recording limit, Log color, all in an under $2K body), etc.

      No, I think the only sane move is to deliver an EF-mount mirrorless, or better still, an EF-mount hybrid mirror/mirrorless. I don’t expect Canon to do much innovation… one big reason all the mirrorless companies are gaining ground isn’t just “small” or “in-viewfinder data”, but the fact they’re hungry and innovating fast. I’m really asking myself here, what would get me, as the owner of a Canon FF system, to buy into a Canon mirrorless system. That’s the only one: mirrorless EF.

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    • Dave Haynie

      In entirely other news, I do hope that Olympus does a Pen with viewfinder. The add-on better than nothing, but it’s clumsy. I don’t use my old Pen E-M1 much, given the two OM-Ds, but there are times I’d like a really stealthy kit. I’ve been kind of drooling over some the Panasonic GM series with viewfinders… but they lack IBIS. So I’m waiting…

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  3. Jean-Francois Perreault

    Sony’s 2.8 zooms will cost at the very least 500$ more than their Canon equivalent. One of the reasons I quit Sony was because I found their (few) lenses too expansive, and not good enough, compared to others.

    As for Canon, well, I’m not surprised one bit. Also, when are they going to release a FF mirrorless if they haven’t even figured out the mount yet?!?

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  4. adam sanford

    Though the EF-M image circle is apparently big enough to fit a FF sensor, it doesn’t matter as there are only about 5 EOS-M lenses that would benefit from sticking with it for FF.

    What matters far far more is the flange distance. Canon could go skinny like Sony and force all EF glass to be adaptored, or they could go super thick with a native EF mount. There are two camps on this, and each make fair arguments.

    In either case, pros *will* bolt big/heavy glass on an FF mirrorless offering on day one. That absolutely will happen on day one as Canon won’t have more than 2-3 native mount FF lenses available at launch. So whatever flange distance they go with, it’d better have a chunky grip and be rated for 10+ pound glass.

    #conundrum

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    • Anthony Thurston

      Maybe we are all missing the point. Surely the answer here is a extending/retracting mount!! :P

      In all seriousness though, I can see the advantages to both sides. I think the million dollar question is if Canon can even make EF glass work well without a traditional DSLR AF system. If the performance of adapted glass on the current EOS-M cameras is any indication, most pros would not be happy with that performance. So then the question becomes, can they improve it to the point where it is acceptable. If not, then a new mount, with mirrolress optimized lenses makes much more sense.

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    • adam sanford

      Not really concerned on the AF front, Anthony. Ever use a 70D or 7D2 in LiveView?

      Remember: DPAF is not on EOS-M, but one would expect it’s a certainty on a future Canon FF mirrorless offering.

      I really think the mount (an by extension, the EF portfolio) is everything with this. Sensors can change, bodies can change, but the EF lens portfolio is not something you just relegate to an adaptor and say “Sure, that’ll do for a bit, at least until we remake 50 lenses or so for this new mount.” You could argue those lenses *are the customers* for this platform…

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  5. Skirmantas Rinkevicius

    I have plan buy 70-200 F4,but now I will wait few days till Sony announce news for us.

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