Canon patent discloses kit lens for mirrorless system and APS-C sensor!


The question now is not if Canon will do a mirrorless camera or not. The real question is when is it coming? The last patent discovered by the japanese Egami website (Clcik here) dicsloses a new 18-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens for mirrorless camera with ASP-C sensor (That is what Egami reports). The lens has a spherical aberration of 0.1mm ±, astigmatism less than 0.2 ±, a wide-angle distortion of -11% and chromatic aberration is about 0.6μm ±.

And I guess it’s about time for Canon to announce the mirrorless camera as soon as possible. The G1 X alone will not stop the growth of the competition. And also reviewers from top websites are thinking the same:
The guys from Cnet (Click here) reviewed the G1 X: “A big camera capable of shooting some lovely photographs, the Canon PowerShot G1 X’s slow lens disappoints given its high price“.
Also Digitalcamerainfo (Click here) tested the camera: “We see the PowerShot G1 X as a miss for Canon. We had a lots of fun shooting with it, and love the shots we were able to capture. But with the $800 price tag, and the explosion of the mirrorless camera, there are too many better, cheaper options available to list. This is a fine camera, but one we cannot recommend.

It’s time Canon!

  • Gunt

    Sure they’ll jump in soon or later. But their EF mount is way too big for mirrorless, and I don’t think they’ll be able to catch up with the expertise of Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji and Sony, even Samsung on EVIL camera technology. Haha, look at Nikon.

    Well, time will tell though.

    • L.Coen

      Canon has nothing to catch up, they have the tech and the money and the means to crush the rest of the CSC makers when and if they want. Nikon purposely made the v and j series like that, and at their first attempt, the af speed is one of the can’t say that for panny or olys first attempt…remember the ep1? Canon has a long tradition of making rangefinders, slrs, aps, small camera ps name it. The 900 pound gorilla is just sitting in the corner and taking his time..but once you wake that gorilla out. As for EVIL tech, what is there realy but the removing of the mirrorbox and contrast AF? Fast AF more or less depends on faster and more processors, something i think Canikon can afford or know how to do.I think m43 users should enjoy what they have cause if Canikon decides to seriously make CSC cameras with new mount and lenses, it will spell the end for the competition. And that might be a good thing, cause Iam sure many ppl have an issue with buying an ep3 or a gx1 for 700 and that doesn’t even get you a VF.Be careful of what you wish for because when Canikon CSC’s destroy the competition, there will be just a Canikon monopoly.

      • Miroslav

        If any of them make better, cheaper and as small alternative to m4/3, I’ll be the first to sell mine. I’m not under contract, I just want small camera that makes good pictures and so far there have been none from Canon or Nikon.

      • M

        I look forward to when the might of Canon join the CSC market. (I’ve used Canon’s for a long time.) The G1X suggests that they have real problems with focusing using contast AF an a larger sensor.

        Do you really think that they have the technology and know how to do it well – but just could not be bothered to put it in the G1X?

      • Denis

        They couldn’t make good APS-C camera for 2 years already. The ones they have produced are inferior compared to cameras with sony exmor sensor.
        Their AF even in 1D… series is less versatile and reliable than one of Nikon.
        Although fanboys aren’t smart enough to realize this 😉

      • T-L

        Canon won’t be able to support new camera with good lenses, simply because they don’t know how to do them. Just look at their silly EF-S lenses.. or almost any of EF and L(OL) glass. Their 70-300 L is as poor as it’s cheaper sibling, yet 3 times more expensive, and their 50mm lenses are the worst 50s on the market…
        So, they will create yet another fanboy-only system, just like Pentax did with their K-01.

      • Vlad

        While I would agree that Canon can allow itself to be late to the mirrorless market, I think you are greatly overestimating them. And with the introduction of more advanced mirrorless cameras, it is getting late.

        “Nikon purposely made the v and j series like that, and at their first attempt, the af speed is one of the can’t say that for panny or olys first attempt…remember the ep1?”
        What kind of argument is that? Olympus’ attempt was several years ago.

        “if Canikon decides to seriously make CSC cameras with new mount and lenses, it will spell the end for the competition.”
        I am pretty confident this won’t happen, but does this somehow sounds good to you?

        One more thing: Canon’s G1x is 800US and hardly has a VF.

      • flash

        Should Canon enters the CSC market they will sell their cameras to people who are Canon brand customers for the first year or two. This will cause them DSLR sells. That is a problem in this bad camera market. They maybe tempted to using the EOS mount (to allow for a upward path), its registry is about perfect for a APS mirrorless high megapixel camera. The registry is much smaller the the Pentax and Nikon. With lens with retrograde elements and focus they can make some smaller ones then they currently have in EOS, but they would not be compatable with their DSLRs.

        As you mention they are a 900 pound Gorrilla, so I expect if they were to introduce a new mount it would not be for APS size but a little smaller. They can make 5 or 6 new lens for it.

        I do not think the patent necessarily refers to a CSC camera, but rather a One lens APS camera; they are missing one.

        Whether their CSC will be any good is questionable, they have made some dogs in the past, and some good ones. They can look at what is sold now and try to do it better, but following others sometimes does not lead to a good product. I look forward to see what they offer.

      • ronnbot

        Do you work for Canon? Silly fanboy.

        I have a T2i and it’s good/reliable but they haven’t really made an APS-C camera that made me go ‘wow’ despite there being countless Rebels. I much more enjoy using my E-PL2 (w/ VF2 and lenses like 9-18, 20/1.7, 45/1.8, etc.). IMHO, the $600 G3, which has an EVF btw, is far more interesting than any Rebel and 60D. Also, Canon doesn’t have an APS-C DSLR that has better IQ than the 3 year old 7D but Sony, Pentax and Nikon do.

        How many EF-S lenses that are f/2.8 or faster? 2, 17-55mm and 60mm. Actually, Sony so far made more NEX lenses that are f/2.8 or faster while everyone is still complaining about the lack of lenses! There are even way more lenses on m4/3.

        Anyway, surely Canon will create a mirrorless in the near future and I’ll get it if it’s any good. But, I don’t expect improved IQ and most likely it will have the same sensor as the G1X. Also, I don’t expect to see nice primes like those on m4/3 any time soon.

        As it stands, m4/3 is the system to beat but I welcome more mirrorless options since stronger competition is a good thing. I just wish more companies would share mounts and other protocols/standards.

      • Roy_K

        100% agree with L.Coen

        Once Canikon decides to move more aggressively, it will be a monopoly market for sure.

        • Roy_K

          Plus, if what Canon releases is really impressive in terms of size, IQ, performance, and price, I won’t hesitate to sell my m4/3 gears.

  • JudoDom

    Digital Canonet?

    • Nico

      +1 😉

  • MrKal_El

    It still worries me that in the long run mu43 will not be able to keep up w/ all the ASP-C competition… :( (Eventually they’ll all get solid glass selection, no?)

    • Miroslav

      “It still worries me that in the long run mu43 will not be able to keep up w/ all the ASP-C. Eventually they’ll all get solid glass selection”

      Yeah, but how many years would it take Canon to get where m4/3 is lens wise? Three to five? And where will m4/3 be then? And if new E-M5 sensor is really as good as first images show, why would anyone go APS-C? In five years, with another sensor generation, high ISO advantage APS-C holds will become irrelevant, because m4/3 high ISO will be good enough for most uses. Canon and Nikon are not in an easy position right now, more hesitation may cost them dearly.

      • ihur

        Don’t you think its abit of irony when you always use ‘Good enough’ or ‘little difference’ to describe the quality of that micro sensor m43 to copare it with apsc sensor ? Are you talking about 5 years from now? Where would be the apsc sensor 5 years from now? Have you ever come across nex 5n quality? Or see how fuji x1pro or nex7 compete with ff camera very well or perhaps even superior?

        where would be the apsc sensor in 5 years from now? Haven’t you realized the mirrorless apsc cameras are so compact yet delivering top IQ? With all support from sony,fuji and now canon and well, not to mention the mighty Leica to join the caravan, where would the apsc go?

        perhaps the real question is where would be all the micro sensor fanboys find their new identity

        • Miroslav

          It’s not the question of ‘good enough’, it’s a question of ‘sensible enough’. With my E-PL1 and 20mm F1.7 I can shoot in a room lit only by street lights at 1/8 F1.7 ISO 800. And that’s an overkill, because I myself cannot see anything. ISO 800 is pretty clean on m4/3. If E-M5 sensor enables clean ISO 1600, and it looks it will, I can get the same shot at 1/16 F1.7 ISO 1600 or 1/8 F~2.5 ISO 1600. And that’s for the low light situation where I don’t see any sense in making a photo. I suppose that with 1/10 F2.8 ISO 1600 on E-M5 there may be something to shoot. And that’s my point. Why would I need anything more? High ISO race will soon be obsolete as high megapixel race. 8 Mpx is sensible enough or good enough if you want for 99% of situations. Clean ISO 1600 with F2.8 lens and stabilized sensor will be as well. Or look at car analogy: there are relatively affordable cars that go up to 250 km/h, but speeds up to 120 km/h are good enough for 99% of situations.

          I can only repeat what Eric said: “Olympus OM-D looks really good all the way up to ISO6400 and may even be usable at ISO12800 for some things. With that type of noise control an extra stop or two advantage for APS-C is really irrelevant for most users.”

          DR? Good high ISO goes hand in hand with DR, so I expect E-M5 to be better as well. If not, by multi shot stitching and today’s fast camera processors you can get higher DR than from any camera on the market.

          So why would anyone want an APS-C size and weight penalty couple of years from now?

    • Dummy00002

      “(Eventually they’ll all get solid glass selection, no?)”

      Well eventually they’ll all get great glass and great sensors, the only difference is mu43 will always have the most compact lenses.

      • Vlad


    • Eric

      5 years ago the 1-2 stop advantage APS-C had was a very big deal since even APS-C was only decent up to ISO1600 (and some cameras such as the Nikon D200 were only good to ISO800). However, the new Olympus OM-D looks really good all the way up to ISO6400 and may even be usable at ISO12800 for some things. With that type of noise control an extra stop or two advantage for APS-C is really irrelevant for most users. Better lens selection is more important now, at least to me.

      • Pei

        Wait till you see the new sensor SONY is working on. 16mp APS-C is a year and half old now. (First appeared Aug 24, 2010 on A55). This is of course in addition to Canon, Fujifilm, Sigma, Samsung and Aptina all working on APS-C sensor.

    • Do

      In the long run, it’s 2/3rd stops worse low light performance (because that’s the difference if the sensor quality is the same) versus bigger aps-c lenses (if the quality is comparable). So it all depends on the buyer’s pereferences.

  • BornBad

    MFT just needs to get their marketing straight. IQ is good enough, lenses are there. Sony did a lot of things right too.

    Nikon, come on.
    Canon, didnt even see a market a few years back, a lot of time lost. All the others, wont have a huge market share.

    In the end, (M)FT has a better stand then ever before.

  • L.Coen

    The end of m43 will come when nikon or canon make a camera that has a better sensor, better AF and at a similar price point.These are the things they CAN do. the question is not if but when. If the competition eats too much into canikons dslr market, they will come in with all guns blazing and leave not one surviving m43 victim. the canon gx1 and the nikon 1 are just stop gap, test the water products. It’s obviously not a true serious reply to m43. i would never bet against Canon or nikon, as they always have something they hide up their sleeve. Just look at how they throw in a gx1 like it was something from their scrap heap of cameras pile.I’m sure they have a lot more solutions they won’t launch until they see fit.Panny and oly are walking on a double edge sword. If they gain more and more dslr market share and overall camera market share, they run the risk of waking up the 900lb gorilla in the cage that is Canikon.And once the gorilla wakes up, there will be no stopping its wrath. If they don’t wake the gorilla, they will continue being marginal camera makers and will eventually fall into nothingness. Oly and panny have to chose carefully but the future may be an end game no matter what they do. By introducing the smaller CSC cameras, oly and panny will get historical credit but Canikon will reap all the rewards.

    • M

      May be you are right. Canon will release a great CSC. Or they might just through something else which people will say looked like it came from their scrap heap of cameras. (It would be hilarious bluff for Canon to pretend that they can’t do contrast detection AF well by releasing the G1X when really they can. Although G1X buyers might not see the joke.)

    • D

      I don’t really agree with you. Sure, Canikon has a lot of resources but that does not automatically mean that they will succeed. Remember, kodak had great resources too. When they enter they will really have to commit. Nikon has already done so. The 1-system is their entry to the field. They went for smaller than m43 with PD-AF and in many ways it make sense. Now it looks like Canon will go for APS-C. There thay will have competition of Sony, Samsung and Fuji (I don’t really count the pentax k-01) who are already in the game and who has great resources as well. In the end Canon has a stronger brand but I don’t think they automatically will become a market leader in mirrorless because let’s face it m43 is the top dog in that game. It has the biggest system and a great compromise between size and performance. Let’s face it. Canon is late to the game and unless they have something really revolutionary they will have to play catchup to the big guys. With their marketing resources they might do alright but they are not “the 900lb gorilla in the cage”. They are a big player that is realizing that the market in many ways is running away from them. Reminds me a bit of Nokia actually and how they are failing in the smartphone-game.

      • Zach Wagner

        Agreed. What’s really funny about the Canon fanboys saying that Canon will kick the crap out of everyone is that if they’re such a massive, indestructible force, with seemingly unlimited resources, why couldn’t they see the market for small, interchangeable lens cameras far sooner than anyone else? And it IS getting late in the day, especially to be releasing yet another APS-C camera. m43 has the size right, the lens system, and now the tech is finally just about there sensor-wise. If Canon/Nikon had had the foresight to enter the mirrorless market much sooner, then I might agree that Pana/Oly had little chance, but now?
        Who in the heck (besides a serious professional) says, “Even though the image quality is about the same from these two cameras, man, I’m gonna buy the big one, so I can lug around 2x the weight with a bag 2x the size!”
        Oh wait… I almost forgot we live in America, where everyone’s trying to compensate for SOMEthing. Hell, maybe L.Coen is right.

        • c.d.embrey

          “Oh wait… I almost forgot we live in America, where everyone’s trying to compensate for SOMEthing. ”

          You got that right, the Canon 1D or !Ds with a EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS is the Red-Porsche of the camera world.

          A lot of Canon Pro Bodies and L lenses are sold to RUPs (Rich Urban Photographers 😉 ). While many (not all) Pros opt for the smaller/lighter 5dmkII/7D and EF lenses.

    • BornBad

      I think the gap in IQ between APS-C and MFT sensors will stay about the same. MFT has a good sensor-size therefor good lens-size. It now makes much more sense than four thirds did.

      I like your picture of the “gorilla” sitting on the technology to wipe out all competition. But i dont think its that drastic. Sure they are not “OMG now they threaten our market share, lets get the Micro-Über-Cam out of the labs. Its been waiting there for 5 years to eat Olympus.”

      • Zach Wagner

        “…lets get the Micro-Über-Cam out of the labs. Its been waiting there for 5 years to eat Olympus.”


    • Vlad

      Well, Sony did make a better sensor and a cheaper price and a system almost the same size. Still, I don’t see m43 disappearing.

      • c.d.embrey

        Because Sony has a great camera with not-so-good lenses.

        Many see the CSC as a step-up camera from P&S. But P&S owners are stepping-up to camera/smart phones, not CSC. While many (not all) Olympus/Panasonic/NEX shooters are stepping-up from DSLRs :)

  • Spititom

    Overall a better product or System does not win a market for a company. Nice example is VHS vs. Video2000.

    I think in photography market a lot of cameras are sold through retail? How can a camera manufacturer make a shop-guy recommend a special camera (-system) to a newbie asking for advice? I think thats where Canikon are mighty.

    Or: how can a camera manufacturer make the newbie ask for a special system in the shop? Seems as if Nikon did a marvellous job in the US for the 1 system here.

    For users that have a photography history beginnning in the film era, we (I’m one) will make our decision based on our very special and individual needs.
    Concerning me, the weak point in my photography is my eye and my imagination. All (system) cameras produce pictures of sufficient technical quality for me and cover all my essential light situations. So the best camera ist that one I carry with me. Guess what? I’m not interested in bigger sensors.

    • youdidntdidyou

      Nikon have largely been left an open field in the slim margin risky bricks and mortar market in the USA regarding the Nikon 1.
      Oly and Panny have basically said they can have the USA and we will have the rest of the world.
      The rate at which people are buying cameras in store is rapidly decline, quite often they go in store to get a look and feel and buy online anyway…

    • Vlad

      As I see it Canon and Nikon are doing one thing right – support for pro shooters. Everything else is just resting on their laurels. They caught the pro market, so people see that pros are using this equipment and consequently buying it. As an example search through Flickr and you will see more and better photos from Canikon users. Mostly because there are more Canikon users and because more of them are pros.

  • Mr Hipsta

    “The end of m43 will come when nikon or canon make a camera that has a better sensor, better AF and at a similar price point.”

    No, if Canon settles for APS-C sensors, m43 will still be smaller and lighter, and that is what many people prefer; good image quality in a small package. There will be cameras for all tastes and all budgets. Exciting times!

  • Atlasman

    Canon has had a long time to think through a long-term strategy for their mirrorless efforts. Olympus and Panasonic went mirrorless mostly out of necessity——the 4/3 format wasn’t hitting sales targets.

    I don’t think there is any question in Canon’s ability to deliver a winner. That they will lag the competition with lens selection will not stop Canon from success in the mirrorless market. Initially, all they have to do is ensure complete compatibility with their EF and EF-s lenses. And that means produce a smart adapter with phase-detection auto-focus.

    Canon has a huge captive market, all they have to do is just appeal to their existing customers.

    • youdidntdidyou

      Canon’s ” huge captive market” won’t do them any good as many them out their camera just once a year…

      Also Canon like Nikon will introduce a new mount which in this day any age will work against them as people prefer sharing, interoperability and ease of progression (up the camera path)…..

  • Kylberg

    Canon definately has competence and not least funding to develop a new camera system. I have a feeling though that Canon sensors has not developed as much as “Sony-based” sensors the last generation. There are Canon announcements on new cameras coming, FF and APS-C.
    Probably they follow the NEX concept with an intelligent enough adapter to be able to use legacy Canon lenses – they have some really great ones.

    – APS-C will always be larger than m43 sensors and subsequently better.
    – But – at one point m43 will be “good enough” for most needs. Not everyone do the photography that requires the ultimate quality.
    – Then we have price and weight; here m43 will always have an advantage over APS-C.
    = APS-C are in some ways competitors to m43, but not 1:1

  • Charlie

    I wouldn’t recommend that brick, either.

  • Okeygrak

    Canon and Nikon | 2012 = RIM and Nokia | 2007

    • youdidntdidyou


  • Tsengel

    In my contry there is only canon and nikon and only few nex, no micro 43 or pentax, I don’t know why so canikon are leading the world and if they anounce good but not so better than micro 43s camera they will be much better sales, because they have the manegment and brand that leads the world…no fanboy thing I am a olympus pen user, I will be using my pen couz it is fun and I like it, I won’t ditch my pen because it is likely to dissappear or have no future thing… I have a old zenit camera that I like to use, it’s all personal and giving up on a system because of these silly comments is stupid, use what u like couz life is short like hell

  • c.d.embrey

    There’s room for everyone, Canon entering the CSC markey won’t put anyone out of business.

    Canon loves their Consumer, Prosumer and Pro market fragmentation. Because of this expect to see poorer than m43 autofocus and metering on most of their cameras. And expensive Pro cameras that are almost as good as Nikon and Olympus, but not quite.

    Would I buy a less than stellar Canon CSC ??? Yes if had primes of the quality of the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro and EF 85mm f/1.8 :) No if all they had was a plethora of effing-kit-zoomz :(


    The more the merrier! Competitive markets for the win (or loss, in Nikon’s case).

    • Miroslav

      “The more the merrier!”


  • TysonRobichaud

    I agree that the more competition all have, the better all products will have to be to stay relevant and competitive.

    The fact that this is a patent regarding an APS-C capable lens tells us a couple things. Firstly, size isn’t the most important factor from Canon’s perspective (Nikon laid an egg in most every regard trying to ‘decrease size’ and while they have decent IQ in P&S terms, the system isn’t as small as I’d hoped it to be) and secondly, Canon should be able to make whatever they’re up to at least directly compatible with the EF mount which would immediately mean that a mirrorless compact system camera would have the largest proprietary lens compatibility of any mirrorless system. Yes, the current EF lenses wouldn’t be as compact perse, but I for one think that having a complimentary “travel” camera that could immediately use all of my lenses while dropping some weight in the cam bag could be compelling.

    I think the one thing that Canon can do with this release is to offer an EF compatible mount (with little or no conversion needed) that would be capable of all auto functions.

    Release this with a Voigtlander sized pancake prime and I think we’d see an interesting digital Canonet (as someone mentioned above), or smaller sized body, but I’ve been saying this for a while :).

    Will it be a one sized fits all system? No, but it would be different than what is currently out in that it would immediately offer existing shooters a compact/travel option all while potentially luring the bridge/convert crowd into the canon system.

  • Pei

    Not very surprising if the news is real. Canon and Nikon is going to make APS-C sensor the “FF” for mirrorless/EVIL camera while maintaining FF for DSLR. It is quite clear that APS-C is the most sensible size as there are a lot of DSLR lenses on the market that would lose it purpose if sensor size forced a 2, 2.5 or 2.7 crop factor.

    CX sensor for Nikon 1 is just a crop sensor for the CX mount. Once PDAF is perfected on APS-C size sensor, Nikon will produce new lenses and current CX lenses will be in crop mode on new APS-C bodies. CX mount is similar in size to SONY, Fujifilm and Samsung’s mirrorless/EVIL mount there is no reason to believe Nikon wants to be known as anything less than the best. There is also the fact there are 200 million F mount lenses on market and Nikon would be stupid not to convince their owner to pick up a Nikon.

  • gahmuret

    If this is true then it’s great that Canon will use a APS-C-sized sensor. The sensor size makes a difference in picture quality. I was quite disappointed that Nikon released a new format with a mini-sensor…

  • bilgy_no1

    Yeah… well, only 3 years ago everyone would have said the same about Nokia in the smartphone market. Where are they now? Things change tremendously fast these days, and what seems like a solid market leadership can collapse really soon.

    Already, the figures from Japan and Asia point to a huge growth in sales of mirrorless cameras: MFT and NEX leading the pack. Europe and the US are still a little behind, but are on the same track.

    Once people start asking for a mirrorless, rather than a DSLR, shops will drop more and more DSLRs from their lineup. Rest assured: there will be a tipping point.

    The challenge for Canon and Nikon will be to catch on in time. Don’t forget that they have huge sales, but also huge organizations supported by that. A downturn in sales will cause all kinds of reorganizations that will only make matters worse. Innovation is the only way forward and time is certainly running out for Canon.

    About the article. If Canon releases a mirrorless system, I would expect it to be based on the same sensor as the G1 X.

  • D

    “Oh wait… I almost forgot we live in America, where everyone’s trying to compensate for SOMEthing.”

    Speak for yourself…. Some of us live quite far from the land where everything “bigger is better…”

    But back on topic. What I was trying to say is that Nikon at least had a plan. Their offer is not perfect but it makes sense. The 1 system neatly fill a hole in the market in two ways; sensor size and on sensor PD-AF.

    We still don’t know what Canon plans but I think they are spooked. The last Japanese sales figure probably took them by surprise and if I remember correctly their CEO just resigned. Maybe not in disgrace but there was clearly an air of failure over him. If they just release an “me too” APS-C mirrorless then I think they are just desperate not to miss the train. And if desperate people makes mistakes so do corporations. There are already 4 APS-C mirrorless systems on the market not counting m43 and Nikon 1. Are there room for one more?

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