Canon Mirrorless Camera to Get APS-C Format Sensor?

Canon Mirrorless

The latest rumblings of Canon’s upcoming mirrorless format suggest that the sensor within will be larger than the Canon G1 X-sized sensor that has been previously rumored. ¬†Instead, it seems that the popular 18MP sensor found in the Canon Rebel T4i will find its into the Canon mirrorless camera.

This seems like it will be a big win for Canon, if true, as it would enable the Canon mirrorless system to more directly compete with the strong offering from Sony’s NEX line of mirrorless cameras – with a standard-sized sensor and an apples-to-apples competition with what I think is the current king of the mirrorless market.

What are your thoughts on Canon using the larger, 1.6x crop APS-C format over the previously-rumored 1.85x crop sensor?

[via Canon Rumors and Northlight]



  1. says

    I’d even prefer a full-frame sensor, but I guess that isn’t going to happen just yet. :)
    The bigger the better (in my I-want-small-depth-of-field view), so I’d prefer a 1.6 crop sensor to the 1.85 crop any time!

  2. Alex B says

    I think NOT doing an APS-C or FF sensor will make this thing DOA. If canon does an APS-C and makes it prices close to the NEX line it may make a big impact into the market…if of it will be like the Nikon 1.

  3. Peter says

    Minimum APS-C sensor in my book. 16-18mp with a low noise figure and good dynamic range.
    Must come with decent lenses and a viewfinder. That will take it into direct competition with the Sony (not so good lenes) and the Fuji.

  4. Matthew says

    I would need to see at least an APS-C sensor to be even remotely interested. I’d actually prefer the 1.3x APS-H from the 1D lineup. Give it 18mp or less (maybe even 12 or 15, although idiots in the basic consumer market will think it’s not as good because it doesn’t have twenty-something megapixels when even 8 or 10 is plenty for most people) with low noise and high dynamic range (as Peter said). Make it compatible with the current lens lineup (new 40mm pancake on a 1.3 sensor comes out to a ~50 f/2.8 which would be nice). I would be very disinterested in a camera that I had to buy new lenses for that wouldn’t work with my current lineup of EOS cameras (film and digital).

    Anything smaller than APS-C and they’re just making another PowerShot G-Series camera albeit with interchangeable lenses to compete with the likes of the Pentax Q and Nikon J-Series (shudder).

    I predict Canon will be competing with Fuji and Sony on this one, rather than the m4/3 or 1-1/1.8″ (serious compact) market which are already very saturated with cameras.

  5. Jeremy says

    I think an APS-C sensor using the ef/ef-s would sell quite a bit. Like Matthew above, I’m hoping that the new 40mm pancake lens foreshadows something along these lines. Otherwise your just trying to compete with the Nikon 1 series for who can sell the least of a new and utterly useless system.

  6. Allen says

    APS-C, then I’d buy it and use my existing lenses. Smaller sensor means new lenses or an adapter for existing lenses but a smaller camera body. Lots of tradeoffs.

  7. Phiroze B. Javeri says

    An APS-C sensor is the best balance between professional-quality performance and cost and size of lenses. With rapid strides being made in improving electronic viewfinders, the day is not far when the flippin’ mirror of DSLRs will finally become redundant, and DSLRs as we know and adore today will be replaced by top-quality mirrorless cameras. This will happen in spite of the wrong impression even among photography experts as of now that the only aim and target of mirrorless cameras is to make them as compact as point-and-shoot toys meant for novices and casual photographers, and that if their camera-lens combination cannot be made that small, they are not justified. The mirror of the DSLR is an archaic carry-over from the old days, a result of linear thinking and an aberration of design in the digital era, and will inevitably disappear, even if the resultant camera is not as compact as the dainty toys now seen between manicured fingers that are capable of little more than locating one button to press.


    You guys are full of yourselves. If canon makes a mirror less camera why would they make one to meet the needs on just a few rather than meet the needs of many? The changes in lens design required by a mirror less camera means an adaptor of significant size ala Sony’s big Bertha which just yields an unwieldy camera to use if you are trying to use existing glass and keep all the functionality of a dSLR or using a whole new series of lenses. My guess is that they will try to do both, a large lens adaptor for those who want to use existing glass and a new series of lenses.

    I made the switch to mirror less 6 months ago and the only thing I miss is a very sore neck and back. The IQ of even the Sony 18-55 kit lens is very good as is the lack of noise at higher ISO. I think many of you would have a very difficult time picking out which picture was shot with a dSLR and which was mirror less

    • Matthew says

      Let’s see… We’re all full of ourselves because we want a camera with an APS-C sensor (or better)? Why is that such a shock to you? Sony did it (and you seem to be a fan of that). And as far as I can tell from reading back through the comments, no one said anything about a huge adapter. Only you made a big deal about these things.

      I simply said that I would be disinterested in a camera with anything smaller than an APS-C sensor and that ideally, I’d like something that retains compatibility with EF/EF-S lenses. It’s unlikely that we’ll see an EOS-compatible system, but I do hope they can figure out a way to do it. If not, then I hope they hit the market with some nice glass that isn’t just the standard f/3.5-5.6 18-55 zoom. Being that Canon is essentially the last large camera company to enter the mirrorless market, I would expect they have taken cues from those that entered the market before them and are releasing something very special.

      If Canon makes a camera with anything less than APS-C, they’ll be unlikely to compete seriously. Sony has (in my opinion) the best IQ in the mirrorless market and Canon would do well to take notes from them on design and function (especially the NEX-7).

      I wouldn’t want to mount a 70-200 L to a mirrorless camera, but I could see using a 28/1.8 or 40/2.8 as a walkaround kit.

      I don’t think we’re full of ourselves. I think we just have expectations based on current lineups from the big makers and Canon has had the most time to get it right based on their late entry.

      • JERRY SCHNEIR says

        Let me see, if you and the others who express themselves so forcibly that they wouldn’t touch it if it didn’t have a APS sized sensor and must use existing glass and about 3 or 4 more constraints were the ones to whom I addressed my comments. For every one expressing those reservations there are hundreds who would gladly buy anything with the canon label that was mirror less. The point I was trying to make was to try and understand the constraints that goes into building that kind of camera. I can’t recall reading anyone addressing the lens mount geometry problems, all they seem to say, “I’m king and they got to do it my way or I will not buy it”, not a one expressing any understanding of what it takes to make a great camera. And yes, I am a fan of Sony’s NEX cameras, I just got their F3 today to go along with my NEX 3 and my very beloved 5N

        • Matthew says

          I can see where you’re coming from. I definitely think there’s a market for DSLR quality in a point-and-shoot-sized body. But I think that market has already been flooded with cameras. I mean, you yourself have three NEX bodies. A lot of people already own cameras in the m4/3 lineup. Sure, Fuji has a small piece of the market, but their cameras are priced way out of the consumer market, in my opinion (especially considering most people don’t think of Fuji when purchasing a camera). I was just saying that I think if Canon wants to really stand out and make a big impact they need something with an APS-C sensor and while I understand the constraints of the current EF/EF-S lineup, it would be amazing to have a camera that had the ability to use the current lens lineup. I’m personally not able to justify owning a completely different system for the sake of saving a bit of space in my bag, but soccer moms and traveling photographers would probably gladly buy into a completely new and different lens system for the sake of saving a few ounces. Because we all know when traveling and hiking, ounces turn into pounds really fast.

          Again, this is just MY opinion, but I think Canon would be hard-pressed to beat the Sony sensors with anything less than APS-C. Sony has made some really killer sensors of late and they’re really top-notch. I would even go as far as to say they best some of Canon’s Rebel lineup in terms of image quality and low-noise. Sony just knows how to make a sensor. They’ve been making camcorders and digital sensors and electronics for 1000 years and they’ve got it, literally, down to a science. A Canon mirrorless camera with a 1″ sensor is going to compete fine with its own G1x and the abysmal Nikon J-series and may even raise the eyebrows of people in the m4/3 arena. But to really make some people excited, I think they need APS-C and I think they need to do it better than Sony.

          One last thing… Last summer I was in Vegas for my honeymoon. I went into a Sony store (never been in one before) and they had a whole display of the Nex lineup. I almost bought a Nex-5 with 16/2.8 right there on the spot. My wife gave me the go-ahead. But when I asked about lenses they only had the 18-55 (which would be fine, but was bulky) and said that Sony was releasing a 30mm Macro lens. I asked about it and they showed me some literature they had in a binder and it compared the size of the 30 with the 16 and it was close to twice the length. Again, I understand the limitations, but if I’m buying lenses for a system that are dedicated to that system, there needs to be a significant size advantage. The rep at the Sony store said Sony had other lenses in mind, but that they would be a year or more in the making. I wasn’t willing to wait that long, personally.

          If Canon or Sony or any of the other camera giants could make a mirrorless camera with series of pancake primes like the amazing offerings from Pentax and maybe a couple of kit zooms for the snapshooters and one-lens setups, they’d have a homerun. I think the problem with coming out with a brand new system is that most manufacturers do so with one or two crappy kit lenses and don’t offer anything up to the prosumer or enthusiast market. Sure, they grab the attention of the snapshooters and soccer moms but what about the professionals and enthusiasts that want a small body with compact, fast lenses that don’t cost a fortune like the X-Pro 1 from Fuji?

          Sony is closest, I just want to see what Canon comes up with. I was really hoping the new 40/2.8 Pancake (which I have and love) would be some indication of an EF-compatible system in the works.


    I agree with almost everything you said. What you somehow missed is there are numerous adaptors that allow the NEX bodies to use multiple other lenses. There are drawbacks, but it does open the world a whole lot.

    Canon is doing what Kodak did, afraid to change to meet new demands, waiting to see what works and has market power not realizing that by the time they jump in the market is pretty well saturated. Sony’s sensors are fantastic which is why Nikon is using them.

    I personally think Canon is going in 2 directions, a whole new series of G cameras using the G1X sensor and a APS based camera that will have a built- in lens adaptor to accommodate many of their existing lenses.