i'm really curious to see how canon (if canon) tries to compete with the sony a7 and a7r.. and the olympus OMD..
there will always be a need for a fast focusing powerhouse camera.. i wont sell my 5d mk3 anytime soon.. but i think the real advances will be in other directions..
there is a lot of good things to come..
Here is a post I put together the other day on my vision for a serious mirrorless camera body.
"I think Canon in part will be influenced by the camera offerings by companies that are taking (in my opinion) mirrorless technology a bit more serious right now. Maybe Canon has something up their "mirrorless sleeve", maybe they don't, who knows?
I think cameras like the Sony A7/A7R are going to change, for the better, how mirrorless cameras CAN be designed and SHOULD be designed. I think a lot of people were surprised by a serious mirrorless FF camera body being announced AND from a company other than Nikon or Canon.
Here is what I see possible from a serious FF MIRRORLESS camera. I don't think you can do this with current DSLR technology.
They can design a FF camera that can take APS-H and APS-C images from the same body. I am NOT talking about any kind of JPEG cropping OR any kind of weird, "cheating" in camera processing. Look, the idea is very simple. My 7D in which the full resolution of the sensor is 5,184 x 3,456 pixels, can ALSO take HD video at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It simply uses the pixels it NEEDS, nothing more, nothing less. Now HOW it does it, is not the important part, the fact that it CAN do it, is.
So you design a 5D2 sized (or so) FF mirrorless body, one that has a mount that can accept EF AND EF-s lenses. Wait... EF-s lenses on a FF camera? You can't do this on one that has a mirror, but with a MIRRORLESS camera you can! There will be NO mirror to slap up and strike the rear of the EF-s lens!
So you take (for the sake of argument) a sensor that is, say 36MP (7360 x 4912), so cropped down to APS-H (the sensor would only use the pixels that would make up an APS-H sized sensor) would make it about 22MP (5867 x 3888). In APS-C mode, the sensor would only use the innermost pixels making up an APS-C sized sensor giving you a 13MP (4538 x 3029) sized image. The crop factor would take place too. In FF mode, no crop. In the other modes, 1.3x and 1.6x respectfully. (The Nikon D7100 already has a 1.3 crop mode that is VERY similar to what I am speaking of, it's not that difficult to do)
Now, here would be the awesome part. In FF mode, the camera would take 4-6 fps. In APS-H mode, 6-8 fps and say 12-14 fps in APS-C mode. The larger images would take longer to process and would take up more buffer room. The smaller images would take up less room and could be processed faster, all in RAW format. Also, being a FF sized sensor, the pixel density would not change so the high ISO performance of the sensor would carry through (in theory) to all of the other image sizes. The advantage of such a camera would be unimaginable. All of this could be carried out by the processor to choose whatever pixels it wanted to or not. If current DSLR cpu's are fast enough to process HD video, certainly they are fast enough to make an image size smaller while retaining full image quality. Unlike the D7100 where the viewfinder does not change for the new 1.3 crop factor, this camera would have an electronic viewfinder, not an optical one. It will be able to change with each mode giving you 100% coverage for each shooting mode.
All of this can be controlled as simply as we change "one shot" to "AI servo". On the top LCD just have three "icons" that read "FF", "APS-H" and "APS-C". Done! There would be NO hardware to change or control. The distance from the lens to the sensor is the same in a FF body to a APS-C body. It can all be done with programming, like changing your ISO or "f" number. The shutter as well, can be programmed for preset speeds, kind of like how my 7D can do 8fps or 3fps by a "click of a switch", so to speak.
This idea is already being done by several cameras but not to this extent. The Panasonic Lumix FZ200 is a good example. It is a 12MP camera and in one particular shooting mode it shoots approx. 60 frames / sec @ 2.5MP and another good example is the Nikon D7100 with the 1.3 crop mode. This CAN be done and IS being done. The market is already showing signs that people are ready for these kind of features and are willing to pay for them.
There are times you need a FF camera for weddings and beautiful landscapes and there are times you want a fast crop sensor body to maximize your lens reach and have the fast fps you need for sports or wildlife photography. The only disadvantage that would be is that EF-s lenses could only be used in the APS-C mode because of the smaller image circle they produce, but NOT because they won't work! Even though currently I own all EF lenses, there are a few EF-s lenses that I have owned in the past that were fantastic, the EF-s 60mm macro is one of them. Say a person who had a rebel and owned a few EF-s lenses... they wouldn't be discouraged from upgrading to this camera because they could still use their lenses on it!
WILL Canon make such a camera? Don't know, but I sure hope so. But I bet that SOMEONE will and WHEN they do, it might be enough competition to get Canon and/or Nikon to take notice because you better believe that I would buy such a camera if it was reasonably priced. The Sony A7 is a good start and shows what can be done with mirrorless technology. This is one reason why I am excited to see where they they will go with it.
Will mirrorless cameras replace DSLR's? Not sure, DSLR's work pretty good right now the way they are.
Like has been said, maybe they would consider such a camera, maybe they won't. But maybe the MARKET will force the hand. Competition is a wonderful thing!"
Now, all of this being said, are current DSLR's dead? Not at all! I love my 7D and am not going to replace it anytime soon, even if a 7D2 comes out in the next year. I just have a vision that other companies like Sony and Panasonic will create such a competition (because they replace bodies much faster than Canon or Nikon) that Canon and Nikon will have to take notice.
This is all about what the market wants and what people would buy. Canon and Nikon may find themselves not to be on the top for long if these "smaller" (no pun intended) companies make more and more serious cameras and we have not seen the end of bodies like the Sony A7.
Now, I realize that Canon may NEVER put this into production because they may WANT to keep camera bodies separate so that people would HAVE to buy a different body to get a different feature. BUT, the market may be changed in ways we can't predict with the whole mirrorless segment.
This is just my 2 cents and my opinion,