EOS MF - Would Canon ever try the Medium Format Digital Market?

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
ON another thread about Canon financials forecasts, discussions about higher and higher MP sensors came about, and it occurred to me...if we're talking going well over 50MP, would canon at some point maybe try to quit trying to squeeze too many more pixels in a FF sensor, for all the technical challenges that might open up, and possibly entertain the idea of a new EOS (or other name) line of Medium Format cameras?

They did mention they seem to be going for the upper level market somewhat, and with cameras on the market like the GFX100 and the Hasselblad X1D II 50C and such, do you think Canon would ever dip its toe into the larger sensor with higher MP market?

Granted, it would be a smaller market than FF, but we are seeing other companies like Fuji doing some interesting and well received MF type cameras....do you think Canon might be looking that way in the future too?

I just thought it might be a fun topic to throw around...

cayenne
 

Brown

I'm New Here
Apr 17, 2018
14
2
Unlikely, at least, for the next several years.
With a shrinking market base, the last thing Canon would want to do is spread their resources out even further.
Look how long they waited until developing a FF mirrorless system.
If they did, it wouldn't be with MF crop (44x33mm) sensors; there would have to be a significant increase in performance as with actual 645,

The "S" variant might very well be the only 75+ MP camera for long a time considering the increased focus on video functionality for the other models and the invariable link between video crop and resolution.
So smaller photosites may not be as big an issue as originally thought.
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
Unlikely, at least, for the next several years.
With a shrinking market base, the last thing Canon would want to do is spread their resources out even further.
Look how long they waited until developing a FF mirrorless system.
If they did, it wouldn't be with MF crop (44x33mm) sensors; there would have to be a significant increase in performance as with actual 645,

The "S" variant might very well be the only 75+ MP camera for long a time considering the increased focus on video functionality for the other models and the invariable link between video crop and resolution.
So smaller photosites may not be as big an issue as originally thought.

Well, that just had me thinking...

If they *do* keep upping the MP from 75-90 or more...at some point, does it make sense for them to actually begin working with a much larger sensor...more of a true MF sensor?

C
 

docsmith

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 17, 2010
887
273
A few years ago there were rumors of Canon considering MF and maybe even buying, I think it was Hasselblad. Then, the rumor went that Canon decided against it.

To me, the move to MF is less to do about the MP on sensor, but the lens lineup. Canon out need to populate an entirely new lens lineup that projected a larger image circle to fill whatever MF size they selected. Considering Canon's efforts are currently focused on filling out the RF lineup, I do not see that happening anytime soon.

All that being said, most "MF" sensors are not that much larger than current full frame sensors. For example, the current digital "MF" sensors from Fuji are 43.8 mm x 32.9 mm (1441 mm2) which is much smaller than film MF, which, of course vary, but the "120" base of 56 mm is popular. So a square 56 mm x 56 mm would be 3,136 mm2. This is compared to FF which has a surface area of 864 mm2.
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
A few years ago there were rumors of Canon considering MF and maybe even buying, I think it was Hasselblad. Then, the rumor went that Canon decided against it.

To me, the move to MF is less to do about the MP on sensor, but the lens lineup. Canon out need to populate an entirely new lens lineup that projected a larger image circle to fill whatever MF size they selected. Considering Canon's efforts are currently focused on filling out the RF lineup, I do not see that happening anytime soon.

All that being said, most "MF" sensors are not that much larger than current full frame sensors. For example, the current digital "MF" sensors from Fuji are 43.8 mm x 32.9 mm (1441 mm2) which is much smaller than film MF, which, of course vary, but the "120" base of 56 mm is popular. So a square 56 mm x 56 mm would be 3,136 mm2. This is compared to FF which has a surface area of 864 mm2.
Interesting....

IN your last part...WoW....that would be a big sensor.

I wonder how much something like THAT would cost?

C
 

StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
Jan 3, 2018
238
142
Yorkshire
Interesting....

IN your last part...WoW....that would be a big sensor.

I wonder how much something like THAT would cost?

C
Well, to get a bit of an idea, try looking up something like the prices of the Hasselblad H6D-100C (UK list c£32,000) or H6D-400C (£43,500) - to which you can then add on the price of your chosen lenses!!

I'd be delighted if Canon stepped into this sector - but, like others, I think the sensor is only part of the equation; they would then have to design a whole new range of lenses also. Next, they would have to crack into the established MF market, and persuade pros using Hassie etc to switch to a 'new' system.

Nice to dream though (hand-in-hand with the lottery winning numbers too).
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
Well, to get a bit of an idea, try looking up something like the prices of the Hasselblad H6D-100C (UK list c£32,000) or H6D-400C (£43,500) - to which you can then add on the price of your chosen lenses!!

I'd be delighted if Canon stepped into this sector - but, like others, I think the sensor is only part of the equation; they would then have to design a whole new range of lenses also. Next, they would have to crack into the established MF market, and persuade pros using Hassie etc to switch to a 'new' system.

Nice to dream though (hand-in-hand with the lottery winning numbers too).

Well, you look at the Fuji entries into that MF format..and well, they seem to think it is a viable area to step into...more "affordable" MF digital as it were.

The GFX 100 (and 50)....they have new lenses to use, etc.

I'd just LOVE to see what Canon could do I that market.

Well, like you say, you can dream.

One thing I am anticipating...is the Hasselblad is coming out (hopefully fairly soon) with a new digital back, the CFV 50 C II I think it Is called. Real sexy looking thing that will work with every old V System Hasselblad out there. I have a 501 CM I got not long back. If that back comes out maybe under the $5K mark, I might seriously look into saving my pennies for that.

UGH...but that would cut into my current savings for the Canon R5 and Rmount lenses.....

I just need to win the d@mned lottery and be done with it...hahaha.
:D

Cayenne
 
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StoicalEtcher

EOS RP
Jan 3, 2018
238
142
Yorkshire
Well, you look at the Fuji entries into that MF format..and well, they seem to think it is a viable area to step into...more "affordable" MF digital as it were.

The GFX 100 (and 50)....they have new lenses to use, etc.
Yes, agreed, but I was looking at 'real' MF - where one's looking at something closer to the 120 base of 56mm (the H6D is 53mm x 40mm). The fuji sensor is 'only' 44mm x 33mm - so more like half-way between 35mm and MF - albeit I realise there is no strict definition of "MF" per se.
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,078
200
Yes, agreed, but I was looking at 'real' MF - where one's looking at something closer to the 120 base of 56mm (the H6D is 53mm x 40mm). The fuji sensor is 'only' 44mm x 33mm - so more like half-way between 35mm and MF - albeit I realise there is no strict definition of "MF" per se.

Ok I gotcha....

LOL...yeah, that would be SWEET to get a true MF format sized digital sensor, man, talk about the images you could do with that!!!

I don't understand the pros behind making bigger pixels on larger sensors......I know there are benefits, but what are they?

Whats the difference of 100 pixels on a FF sensor, vs 100 pixels on say a sensor that is more of a true MF sized sensor?

Dynamic range? Low light? I'm just curios...as that I hear pixel density and size are factors, but I don't know how ti all fits together....

cayenne
 

Kit.

EOR R
Apr 25, 2011
1,659
1,001
Whats the difference of 100 pixels on a FF sensor, vs 100 pixels on say a sensor that is more of a true MF sized sensor?
Higher full well depth per same percentage of sensor area = higher DR at (lower) base ISO.

Theoretically, higher ISO performance could be achieved with the same lens formulas, but the same lens formulas will lead to much heavier and much more expensive lenses. Practically, with the lenses at the same manufacturing costs, MF sized cameras will have poorer high ISO performance.
 
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Pape

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 31, 2018
496
294
Cameras getting smaller.
I dont see why they couldnt make medium format too . with full frame converter so you can use full frame lenses on it.
So would need release only one normal focal lenght medium format lens.
 
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Bennymiata

EOS 6D MK II
Back in the old film days, there were lots of brands, both European and Japanese, that made MF cameras including Pentax, Mamiya, Bronica, Rollei etc., and they were very popular with both amateurs and pros.
However, neither Nikon nor Canon ever entered that market.
I doubt Canon or Nikon will get into MF now as FF sensors are so good and the investment for them to get into MF is not worth the return.
 

highdesertmesa

EOS T7i
Apr 17, 2017
79
57
Placitas, NM
www.flickr.com
I would love to see a three-camera set of fixed-lens, manual focus medium format cameras from Canon, with one of them being a tilt-shift – all using a larger 54x40 medium format sensor.

But right now they could squeeze a 44x33 sensor into the RF mount and:
  • Produce a small line of new RF(x) medium format lenses
  • Could use existing RF and EF lenses (with current EF adapters) either in full 44x33 or 35mm crop modes
It's likely the RF 50 f/1.2 and RF 85 f/1.2 lenses could cover 44x33 acceptably, much like the current EF 85 f/1.2 works well adapted to the GFX. Canon would have a huge advantage in that they could offer native autofocus speed and IS performance in addition to allowing the use of RF lenses, which the GFX will never be able to do due to its longer flange distance.

Bring it on.
 

old-pr-pix

EOS 7D MK II
Dec 26, 2011
401
52
MF is familiar territory for Fuji and Pentax, they have a well established MF film history and are used to working on a scale compatible with the volumes the MF market commands. On the other hand, Canon is tuned for mass production of much higher volumes. MF scale markets are likely of no interest to Canon unless they could purchase an existing company and profitably operate it as a stand alone entity (like their consideration of buying Hasselblad a few years back). 40+ years ago when there were several MF manufacturers the demand for MF was greater than now. It was driven mostly by the limitations of film and 35 mm cameras and lenses. Any decent wedding shooter had to use MF to be able to deliver 8x10's with minimal visible grain. Product photography was all done using large format film. As film and lens designs improved 35mm began to show in the wedding/event arena and MF was able to cover some product work. Back then 1600 ASA film was about the fastest film generally available. Royal-X Pan would produce gravel sized grain in an 8x10 from a 35mm negative. As I look at some of my 40 year old MF work I'm convinced even my 20 mp m43 gear produces sharper, higher contrast, better DR and superior overall low light results on average. There are situations that demand MF for more resolution, better color depth and DR; but the vast majority of the market is easily satisfied by FF and often 1.5-2x crop sensors.