The online camera-phile community inhaled a collective gasp of excitement as rumors swirled around a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera supposedly coming in 2015. The first time we heard about this was back in April 2014. Then there were the Nikon Df mirrorless rumors that disappointed a lot of people back in 2013. Now, forums are again ablaze with discussion. Rumor sites are abuzz with new traffic. Retailers are answering speculations about non-existent cameras. Canon is either getting nervous or excited, or maybe they’re just doing their own thing.
It could be wishful thinking. Or it could really be market demand. But within the often placid and innovatively revisionist camera industry, full frame mirrorless technology has been the hot topic for the last 12 months. Not since the Canon 5D Mark II (first FF DSLR with HD video) has the industry been transformed by a camera like the Sony A7 series. Now, the big speculation is, when will Canon or Nikon get into the FF mirrorless game?
We put on our Bloomberg hats today and do a little bit of market analysis. We discuss three issues that will affect Canon and Nikon’s likelihood of entering the FF mirrorless market. The article will focus on Canon because of the latest rumors, but it will also touch on Nikon. We’ll finish off with a bold prediction. A prediction that I hope would be wrong.
It also annoyed the existing A7 owners because the A7ii is coming out just one short year after the debut of the A7 (here are our first impressions). While 1 year (or less) production cycles are typical for consumer products, professional models like the Canon 5D and the Nikon DX00 series typically have a 2+ year production cycles. It’s going to be hard to keep up, buying a new camera every winter.
The biggest hoopla about the Sony A7ii is really its 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This is a first for full-frame cameras, chiefly because Canon, Nikon, and Leica, the only other full frame camera manufacturers, subscribe only to the optical image stabilization (OIS) philosophy. Other manufacturers sticking with IBIS include Olympus, Panasonic, and Ricoh/Pentax.