Could Canon have incorrect data listed on their site, or is it just as simple as a full 50 MP CR2 file with a flag set for cropping in the raw editor?
Could be both, but they have the file sizes right for jpeg :-o
If it's just a flag for jpeg and the in-camera preview, Canon can expect bucketloads of sarcasm until the June release. And probably only Canon's own DPP will honor this flag while other raw converters like Adobe/DxO/oss will leave it up to the user to expertly apply the crop tool :-)
It does sound like something Canon would do though, "when in doubt, software-fix it":
- in-camera hdr for lack of dr on 5d3/6d
- multi-shot noise reduction for high iso noise on crop
- new: software crop flag for high jpeg file sizes on 5ds
That's pretty much how B&W works when you shoot raw: a B&W JPEG (previews) is included in the raw file but the raw file still has full RGBG data plus a "flag" saying that it is a B&W shot. When you load pictures like this up in LR, in previews you see B&W but after it renders its own preview, it is always in colour.
So I'm not surprised that they chose to do the crop mode in this fashion but it is not what anyone was expecting.
But it kind of makes sense...
When you are shooting in "cooked" mode (where JPEGs are all that is written to your card) then the size will be reflective of the crop factor. If you're using it for sports or other photographic endevours where the luxury of time to process raws is not available then you will benefit from the crop-mode size saving.
When you are shooting in raw mode, all of the raw sensor data is written to the card but the JPEG file included inside the raw file is rendered in crop mode. This should also make the raw files slightly smaller...