A different paradigm for ‘Canikon’ FF/ APS-C mirrorless

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Richard B99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,268
A different paradigm for ‘Canikon’ FF/ APS-C mirrorless

I’ve just been reading another thread about MILC vs DSLR and Canon / Nikon’s need to get into the MILC sector but the problem they both will have with lens availability and compatibility.  It occurred to me that they could follow a different path.  We assume that Canon an Nikon will need to introduce a new, shorter flange distance mount to allow smaller and thinner bodies to be created.  After all, that’s what Sony, Fuji etc have done.  But they could choose otherwise and maintain the existing mounts.  Here’s why:

- Camera bodies don’t necessarily need to get (much) smaller.  The D3400 is already a small neat body that sits comfortably in the hand.  Hands aren’t getting smaller and a decent handgrip is useful.

- Maintaining body size allows flexibility in several ways.  First it gives more space for battery capacity.  EVFs will continue to consume a lot more power than OVFs.  Some of the mirror box space can be recovered to put more power in or for other ‘features’ (better wifi, cellular connectivity.)

- Modular design.  They could use the larger form factor to create modular bodies (always needs a bit more space).  This could provide, just for example, interchangeable sensors (FF vs cropped or low light vs hi res versions) with inherent upgrade ability.  Lots of different levels of functionality and upgrade ability could be provided.  They could also keep the OVF option or create hybrid OVF with active overlays - something that cant be done by pure MILC mounts except using rangefinder optics.  Modularity is perhaps attractive to consumers (especially as the bottom end of the mkt dissolves away by phones) and mfr due to true ‘system’ capability and getting rid of competing sensor format ranges and managing costs.  Gearheads delight

- Lens backward compatibility to attract your current customer base and bring them into the modular world.

It’s the last two that could be the real responses to being late in the game.  Something quite different to the existing ‘camera as a monolithic body’ coupled with a ‘system’ commitment.

Granted, there are risks.  Maintaining flange distance does mean there will need to be ‘spare air’ inside the body (though not all the mirror box space as we have now will be needed).  And that depth does complicate lens design, especially at the wide angle end; though we don’t seem to get materially cheaper / better lenses from the MILC mfrs.

Just really wondering if one or both of Canon / Nikon might choose this point to reinvent the camera and align it with their existing strengths rather than follow the followers.  Given the conservative nature of both these companies and that this would be tantamount to going ‘all in’, I suspect the answer is no.  Oh well.  

Nikon D3400
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