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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

How To Make Canon's Full Frame Professional Mirrorless Camera Successful

I am back from my East Africa Wildlife Photo Tour. It was a great trip with many sightings and photo opportunities. Time to process my photos and return to writing this blog. While I was away, there were a few interesting pieces of photography news that caught my eye.

Apparently, Canon has sent out a rather dramatic invitation to selected dealers and VIPs for a mirrorless camera announcement in February. It is rumored only owners and senior management are permitted to attend, no sales people.

My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer, utilizing Canon equipment for over 30 years and traveling the globe on wildlife photo tours. You can follow my travels on Facebook  and Twitter , see my equipment bag and works on

Those who have toured extensively know how heavy an equipment bag can get once all the gear and accessories are accounted for and how tiresome hand holding an EOS-1 body with a proper lens for long period of time can get. I have been interested in buying a professional grade mirrorless camera ever since Sony introduced their A7 and now A9 series of full frame cameras but the current offerings do not meet my needs.

Canon has been experimenting with different versions of their full frame mirrorless camera for over two years now and is expected to announce one some time in either 2018 or early 2019 but in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. They may even announced two versions, a pro model first, followed by a prosumer one later. Not necessary, in my opinion. Do it right with just one top-of-the-line pro model.

In my opinion, any new Canon professional full frame mirrorless camera must have the following features :

Native EF mount

Any new mirrorless camera without an EF native mount is not going to attract serious photographers who have invested in their extensive EF lens inventory. I am NOT interested in using adapters.

Feel, Size and Weight

The current crop of high end mirrorless cameras do not feel right to me. Once a professional lens is mounted, the combo feels front heavy. The new Canon model must have the feel of an EOS-1 body, with built-in molded grip and a well balanced weight, albeit lighter, once the commensurate lens is attached.

Electronic Viewfinder

First in class Electronic Viewfinder is a must and the screen must come with the highest megapixel, replete with crisp and faithful colors reproduction.

Battery Life 

The current EOS-1D X Mark II camera's battery can comfortably lasts a full day's shooting on an average trip unless it is in extremely cold climate. The new mirrorless camera must be able to come close to this performance. I know short battery life is the Achilles' Heel of many high end models, like the Sony A7 and A9 but I am confident Canon engineers can and will overcome this limitation.

Burst Rate

As a wildlife photographer, I do need fast shooting speed in my equipment but a burst rate of around 12 - 14 fps is adequate for my needs. Anything faster than that is marketing hype.

The other bells and whistles like 4K video, GPS, WiFi, etc. are nice to have but they add weight, complication and cost to the final product and are not a deal breaker for me. There must a healthy compromise between features, price and weight.

Let me hear your thoughts about what you feel are important in Canon's upcoming high end, full frame, mirrorless camera. Keep checking back for the latest news for any future announcements.  

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