Last week, I wrote about how Sony should build an A7 camera with a Canon EF mount. The premise behind the post was about Sony gaining market share and continuing to make bold moves. It’s a bit of a pipe dream but, holy crap, would that shake up the market.
What really needs to happen though is Canon should build a full frame mirrorless camera on par with the features we see in the Sony A7 series and that accepts EF lenses.
What we’ve seen from Canon in the mirrorless department thus far has been full of disappointment. Everything I said in last week’s article is actually what Canon should build. But, the thing is, we all know Canon won’t.
A camera like the A7 series in Canon’s line-up threatens to fragment its EOS DSLR line. As mirrorless cameras are trending up though, DSLRs are trending down.
It seems like every time a Sony A7 camera is mentioned, it is compared to Canon as a litmus test. For more and more photographers, Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras are passing the test. The recently-introduced Sony A7R II has been the mirrorless camera to raise the most eyebrows – and specifically in comparison to the Canon 5Ds and 5Ds R models.
You can hardly read a review or a forum post about the A7R II without some comparison to the Canon 5Ds models. Most of the conclusions match the two up closely across the board – with Canon winning some areas and Sony winning others.
The big limitation for Sony A7 models right now is the lack of lenses in Sony’s full frame E-mount line-up (or ‘FE’ lenses). And that’s what drove me to suggest that Sony should build an A7 camera with a Canon EF mount. But really, what all of us Canon shooters want is for Canon to come through with a killer mirrorless camera that beats the pants off Sony’s A7 models and allows us to use our bags full of EF lenses.
Surely Canon has heard this cry from its customers. But there was no sign of the killer Canon mirrorless camera at the Canon Expo last month . . . just the EOS M3, which has fewer native lens options than Sony and is limited to an APS-C sensor.
Canon was happy to show off a 120MP DSLR. As awesome as the geek in me wants to think that is, who really wants to deal with thousands of RAW files that are each 210MB+ in size? If that’s not enough, Canon also showed us a 250MP prototype camera, which we really don’t need in a DSLR right now, along with an admittedly killer 8K Cinema EOS camera.
If Canon is developing cameras like these, why can’t it at least produce a mirrorless camera that is not DOA when announced?
Actually, we know that Canon is able to make the mirrorless camera of our dreams to rival, or even best, Sony. But for whatever reason, Canon won’t.
It’s almost like they don’t want mirrorless to succeed… And maybe if their mirrorless line doesn’t succeed, no one else will be successful in the market either.
Coming back full circle though, I think that most of us who have a bag of Canon glass and are fans of what Sony is doing truly want Canon to make a great mirrorless camera. And I think if Canon simply took a rebadged A7R II or A7S II with a Canon label and EF mount on it, most of us would be jumping for joy saying, “Shut up and take my money.”
Of course, we know that Canon can’t make the exact form factor thanks to the longer flange distance of Canon EF mount as compared to Sony E-mount, which is around 40% of the distance. But there are some smart dudes engineering these things for Canon. They can think of some creative ways to mask that difference in the flange distance for the final body.
And unless you can make an adapter that provides identical support as native lenses, I don’t even want to talk about it. And if you can build that adapter, why not just build it into the camera because it’s going to stay on the camera most of the time anyway?
What we don’t need is another mount for a full frame mirrorless Canon camera to add to EF, EF-S and EF-M mounts. I can live with a little extra bulk too. We just don’t need all the extra bulk and weight for the mirror assembly and pentaprism. There are also over 110 million EF lenses floating around out there. The owner of each one is a potential customer for the Canon EOS A7…. Let’s stretch this amazing system out for a while longer.
Listen, I’m not down on DSLRs. I’m really not. Canon has some great cameras and I’ll probably stick with them for at least another body or two (and that’s 10-20 years for me), but getting real about mirrorless cameras would help my wondering eyes a bit.
And before someone calls me out about Nikon, just about every bit of what I said above can apply to Nikon as well. In fact, I may give an even bigger eye roll to the Nikon 1 system than the EOS M. However, Nikon has at least shown dedication to the Nikon 1, which is more than we can say for Canon on the EOS M.