Poll: Any chance Canon would release a Monochrome R Camera? Would you buy one?

Poll: Any chance Canon would release a Monochrome R Camera? Would you buy one?


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Sporgon

5% of gear used 95% of the time
CR Pro
I'd say no & no.

If I really want to, I can make digital pretty well indistinguishable from black and white film, with one exception, so I don't see the point.

People talk about increased res and light gathering, but as with the 5DS I have 50 damn mp anyway plus a quantum efficiency of about 60%, that argument won't stack up with me. I bet in a blind test no one could pick out an image produced on a B&W digital vs normal digital.

I think the biggest draw to a B&W sensor would be the ability to use traditional coloured filters. IME software doesn't do this in quite the same way.

The biggest drawback is the fact that much of good, powerful black and white images comes from the much greater dynamic range in the highlights as well as highlight headroom of film, and of course with current technology B&W digital will still cut off highlights abruptly just as any other digital camera does in extreme lighting.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,369
353
I can't get my head around how they might implement it. Without the color filters, couldn't each formerly color pixel be read as four separate pixels for ridiculous resolution? I'm not sure that would be a good idea, but wouldn't it be possible in the design? Or if they really wanted to go all-in, couldn't they design a sensor that wasn't geared toward being filtered for color in the first place?

As it is now, we can take color shots and process in Lightroom, ACR, or Photoshop to mix as we please, having a virtually infinite choice of color filter equivalents. With B&W film, I used to choose between yellow, orange, red, and none, according to the effect I wanted. Unless the camera had some amazing advantages otherwise, I don't think I want to go back, filterwise, to those thrilling days of yesteryear.
Well, with my VERY limited knowledge of how this is done, from my reading I am to understand that the basic sensor itself, is luminance only, it is the added color Bayer filter that helps translate the color over a particular area of luminance....that if you took the color filter off and just had the bare sensor, that you'd have luminance only, hence monochrome....

So, the thoughts I got from reading on this was that that added Bayer filter actually reduces some of the light hitting the sensor and if you remove that, you remove a light obstacle , for more light/sensitivity....and while I don't fully understand it, one reading I recall said that you get more sharpness...

Again, this is just my understanding from recent readings....please someone correct me if I"m reading things wrong.

Just a slight tangent.....did Canon every make a rangefinder type camera?

cayenne
 

YuengLinger

Sufficiently Pixilated
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,109
1,374
USA
Where is the option, "Doubtful, because even if there is a sucker born every minute, Canon's tight profit margins push them to bodies appealing to a larger market."
 

CanonFanBoy

Real men single speed.
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,167
3,339
Irving, Texas
I wouldn't buy one. I convert all the time in Lightroom. I don't think Canon will make one. Now, if I were wealthy and just wanted to "collect" oddities I'd buy the Leica. Not because I think the Leica offers anything special.
 
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Rule556

I see no reason for recording the obvious. -Weston
Dec 19, 2019
95
97
Seattle
www.flickr.com
I get the impulse, having grown up shooting b&w through my AE1 and my Yashicamat 120, but no, I'm happy to now have the flexibility of modern digital cameras. I do not feel hobbled in any way, shape, or form shooting b&w on my R.

And if I ever miraculously become rich enough to decide that a Leica seems like a good idea, I'll choose one that can shoot in either b&w or color. :)
 

YuengLinger

Sufficiently Pixilated
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
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Think of all the great black and white images from the days of film. Do you think that most of those photographers we're completely color blind? I don't. I think most of them saw their subjects in color and took great photos that resulted in black and white negatives.

The moment you take your eye from a black and white viewfinder, wow, the whole world is in color again.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,369
353
Think of all the great black and white images from the days of film. Do you think that most of those photographers we're completely color blind? I don't. I think most of them saw their subjects in color and took great photos that resulted in black and white negatives.

The moment you take your eye from a black and white viewfinder, wow, the whole world is in color again.

Well, I didn't think the view finder would be showing B&W...but I guess it could/should be an option.

At this point, I"m actually trying to "train" myself to see in B&W or more to see in "tones" and differences in luminance...and it is something that is a bit tough with color out there.

A B&W viewfinder would actually make shooting B&W easier.

I've seen some really good YouTube videos about this, and showing how two colors, one looks brighter than the other, but when you change them to greyscale, they are the same tones exactly.

Anyway, fun topic.

I must admit, I'm a bit surprised to see how many here were not just indifferent to a possible Canon Monochrome digital camera if ever there were a thing to be made, but outright seemingly distain for such a beast.

I'm actually quite surprised...

C
 
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Rule556

I see no reason for recording the obvious. -Weston
Dec 19, 2019
95
97
Seattle
www.flickr.com
Well, I didn't think the view finder would be showing B&W...but I guess it could/should be an option.

At this point, I"m actually trying to "train" myself to see in B&W or more to see in "tones" and differences in luminance...and it is something that is a bit tough with color out there.

A B&W viewfinder would actually make shooting B&W easier.

I've seen some really good YouTube videos about this, and showing how two colors, one looks brighter than the other, but when you change them to greyscale, they are the same tones exactly.

Anyway, fun topic.

I must admit, I'm a bit surprised to see how many here were not just indifferent to a possible Canon Monochrome digital camera if ever there were a thing to be made, but outright seemingly distain for such a beast.

I'm actually quite surprised...

C
I don’t think it’s disdain as much as it seems like a solution to a nonexistent problem to most of us.

I learned how to shoot b&w on an SLR like most folks, and learned the zone system, which did a great job in teaching how to “see in b&w”.

To this day, I tend to look at a scene with composition and tones first before color, so having the ability with a DSLR or MILC to render an image in color or black and white is a dream come true. With film you had to make a choice.

I think it’s an interesting idea, however, for me personally, I’ve been there and done that. I want the flexibility technology affords us now.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,712
575
Davidson, NC
Well, with my VERY limited knowledge of how this is done, from my reading I am to understand that the basic sensor itself, is luminance only, it is the added color Bayer filter that helps translate the color over a particular area of luminance....that if you took the color filter off and just had the bare sensor, that you'd have luminance only, hence monochrome....

So, the thoughts I got from reading on this was that that added Bayer filter actually reduces some of the light hitting the sensor and if you remove that, you remove a light obstacle , for more light/sensitivity....and while I don't fully understand it, one reading I recall said that you get more sharpness...

Again, this is just my understanding from recent readings....please someone correct me if I"m reading things wrong.

Just a slight tangent.....did Canon every make a rangefinder type camera?

cayenne
Of course filtering out some of the light reduces the amount of light. So obviously if you remove the filter, you should get more light on the sensor.

They Bayer filter normally has blocks of four for each "pixel" of the camera: one red, one blue, and two green. As you suggest, the underlying sensor is monochrome. Demosaicing involves interpreting the monochrome data in light of the colors they represent, and coming up with an RGB value for each pixel. I don't know whether that part is done in camera to produce the Raw file, or if the Raw file preserves all four values per pixel and demosaicing takes place in the Raw converter in the computer. I suspect the former but have never read the answer.

What you didn't exactly address in your answer is whether after removing the Bayer array filter you are left with four monochrome samples per former pixel. If so, how would that affect diffusion and moiré and maybe other artifacts I haven't thought of?
 

Michael Clark

Now we see through a glass, darkly...
Apr 5, 2016
3,126
1,832
I've been watching some YouTube and reading up on the Leica M10 Monochrom camera released not terrible long back.

I've been shooting and converting a lot of digital to B&W as a way to give myself new challenges, and I have several MF film cameras that I shoot B&W (Hassy 501CM, Yashica Mat-124, Fuji GSW690 III)...and those have proven to be a LOT of fun, not only with the different aspect ratios and working with film, but also, making me try to think and "see" in black and white.

The reviews of the Leica M10 seem to indicate that it has a LOT going for it, by being a dedicated monochrome sensor, with no color (Bayer?) filter in front of the sensor...that it will be capable of sharper images, and even gain you a stop or so of light.

I read this article : Why Don't More Manufacturers Make Monochrome Versions of Their Cameras? That got me thinking more about this.

It appears that there are some specialized shops that will make current digital cameras monochrome...but for a price!!

MaxMax - Monochrome Cameras

I know, it is a niche product, but as in that article it mentioned that the Canon Ra for astro photography is a bit niche....would they maybe consider a dedicated monochrome camera?

If so...would you buy it?

I gotta say....I would seriously consider it. But I also thought, that while I do want a FF B&W sensor, I would appreciate the smallness maybe of the Canon M cameras or even a rangefinder type one like the Leica ( or what if Fuji put out a B&W only X-Pro3?).

Anyway...what are your thoughts?

Would you want one?
Would you buy one?

cayenne

No, I would not buy one.

The only advantage of no Bayer mask is resolution.

But you give up the ability to apply different color filters to the same shot after the fact.

For me, that tradeoff is not an acceptable one.

When I convert raw files to B&W I almost always apply a color filter of some type to adjust the relative tonal values of various differently colored objects in the scene.
 

cayenne

EOS 5D Mark IV
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
2,369
353
No, I would not buy one.

The only advantage of no Bayer mask is resolution.

But you give up the ability to apply different color filters to the same shot after the fact.

For me, that tradeoff is not an acceptable one.

When I convert raw files to B&W I almost always apply a color filter of some type to adjust the relative tonal values of various differently colored objects in the scene.

I can see that view....I have color cameras I can do this with.

If I had the $$, I'd likely get the Leica for just B&W shooting. I mean, I have MF film cameras and very often shoot B&W for them, so the precedent is there for shooting monochrome only, if you were every a film shooter....

The images I"ve see so far coming out of the monochrome dedicated Leica are pretty incredible....so, if I had the cash I'd get one, as that it isn't going to replace my color digitals cameras it would be one more for the "stable".

With that in mind a canon dedicated monochrome would also be an addition to my stable.

I was never think "either or"....but both.
;)

Thanks,

C
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,712
575
Davidson, NC
I would be more inclined to get an EF or RF camera than the Leica for black-and-white. I'd want something I could fit a tilt-shift lens on so I could do pseudo Ansel Adams shots, like I did when I rented the 24mm TS-E. But for that purpose, a color camera works well, giving me the chance to choose virtual filters in post. The sliders in ACR and Lightroom give adjustments to make a wide variety of looks to the B&W shots produced.