As someone who has hauled around a 4x5 and sherpa'd a 8x10 and even used the kodak disc camera (the iPhone of the film world), I have always thought that 35mm was the sweet spot for ergonomics... Big enough for quality but small enough for portability. In the studio, portability isn't much of a concern so medium format was the hot technology.... And when doing landscapes or architectural nothing touched large format, particularly when you could tilt and angle both the film plane and lens plane to straighten out buildings or warp the focus plane... Sort of like a tilt/shift lens on steroids.....Double the sensor and you cube the weight of the lens to get the same field of view.... That's twice as long, twice as high, twice as wide.... Eight times the weight...An alternative from Canon, where they made a body with a 36x36 size sensor, would be interesting.
That would give a number of advantages:
- 50% area increase
- 27MP with the same pixle size as the 1DX sensor (or 54MP with the same pixle size as the a7r/800)
- All EF lenses would work
If I could get a 40MP-ish sensor, with proper high ISO performance, a fair fps and Canon user interface in a reasonably sized body ... It would put a abrupt stop to my Phase One ambitions ...
I know some will oppose a square image format, but that would be OK with me. Thoughts?
I don't see why that would be any better than just going up a centimeter in each dimension, and making a whole new line of lenses. It's not as if many couldn't afford to buy new lenses. And like I said, 10 years from now, it's quite possible they would be making super telephoto lenses to go along with the new mount and larger image circle. Weight need not be an issue, the physical size of everything would not be much bigger.
These two lenses have the same field of view and F-stop. The small one is from an Olympus 4/3 system and the big one fits Canon FF....a lot of the width of the small one are the focus motors, just look at the lens caps to get an idea of the difference in the weight of the glass....
I, for one, will not be paying for a lens that dwarfs the Canon "big whites"
I agree, I wouldn't want to be using lenses that much larger than the Canon great whites. That said, if Canon ever did enter the medium format market, I suspect they would be serving the same customers as the current offerings in that market: Studio photographers, and possibly landscape and the rare wedding photographer. That's really what medium format services.
Those cameras usually don't even have frame rates much above 3fps, and nothing anywhere close to 10-12fps. Achieving that kind of readout rate would be rather difficult as well. Canon achieved it once with the 120mp APS-H, but as far as I know that was with a special test bench, not an actual camera with existing data storage devices.
If we figured on 4µm pixels, a 44x33mm sensor (the "crop" sensor of the medium format world) would be 90mp. If we figured on a 54x40mm sensor (the size of an IQ180), that would be 135mp. If we also assume 16 bit data, rather than 14 bit, were talking a LOT of data to move around for each frame, 180 to 270 megabytes per raw image. You could get 0.9fps with a single DIGIC5+ (which has 250mbps throughput), and less than 2fps with dual DIGIC5+. You would need something like a DIGIC7+ with some 7x the performance of a single DIGIC5+ to get 5fps at those image sizes, and there is no question you would need MUCH faster memory cards to handle that kind of throughput for a useful continuous buffer depth. Even then, I still don't see such a camera being used for action photography...it would just be too big and unwieldy. Even if it was mirrorless, it's the body and lens size that really kills you at longer focal lengths.
There is definitely a place for everything, but going to a larger format really makes the size and cost of everything skyrocket... It isn't as simple (or inexpensive) as slapping in a bigger sensor. Your point about file sizes and read speeds hammers in the point.... EVERYTHING is affected.