Anyone watching the camera press recently cannot have missed Canon's new product launches last week. No new DSLRs for us Luddites (alas), but some interesting hardware none the less.
The R5 has caught all the headlines, with its 45Mpixel full frame sensor, 12/20 fps shooting and especially IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation). That latter could make things very interesting - it means you can now get some stabilisation to your non-stabilised lenses (remember that EF lenses apparently all work very well on the RF mount with an adaptor). I'm wondering what the lovely 400mm f/5.6 L lens will be like for example. That's a superb lens, but its lack of stabiliser has always been the let down. Video up to 8K if that's your thing - and all for the bargain price of a mere £4.2k. Ouch! Mind you, I have seen a video clip showing the "Eye AF" in action on birds & animals and it does look amazing - really fast and responsive - that would be an attractive feature for us wildlife chaps.
The R6 gives you a lot of the benefits of the R5 but with a 20Mpixel sensor - basically the same as on the 1DX3, so no slouch. Indeed, with better ISO performance and a deeper buffer (smaller file sizes), it may be the better bet for many people, especially as it's "only" £2.5k. When did such large amounts get used in the same sentence as the word "reasonable"?
Battery performance on both is pretty rubbish (as you'd expect from a mirrorless camera) but I did spot the ability to charge from the USB port, so in theory at least, topping the camera up from a suitable power bank might be possible
On the lens front, a couple of new RF primes have appeared - a 600mm and 800mm. They are both fixed f/11 lenses - ie you cannot change the aperture at all. That, together with their use of diffractive optics, makes them small, light and inexpensive (the 800 is just over £900, the 600mm £750). They also feature a collapsible design, meaning you have to extend the lens before use. Takes up less room in the camera bag that way. Rather odd looking, but you have to commend Canon for thinking out of the box and doing something different. The f/11 simply wouldn't work on a DSLR (too dark in the viewfinder) but the limitation isn't there with mirrorless, so it will be interesting to see what the quality is like.
A new RF 100-500 f/7.1 L has also appeared - it's the RF version of our beloved EF100-400 (and looks very similar). This one I find a bit interesting. All comments so far have concentrated on the extra 100mm you get (which is handy obviously), even though you're at f/7.1 at the longer end. However, careful checking of the specs does show that minimum focus takes a hit, despite the blurb talking about improvements. The EF100-400 has a minimum focus of 98cm, whilst the RF100-500 mentions 90cm. However, that 90cm is only at 100mm focal length, at 400mm it's 1.2m minimum focus. Curious, I tried out my 100-400 and 98cm is the WORST it does (at 400mm). At 100mm, the minimum focus is actually closer (around 6-8" closer). So the benefits for swapping an EF100-400 for the RF100-500 should you buy an RF mount body are not as clear cut as you think, especially at £2.9k for the newly announced lens. Bug hunters in particular will be annoyed at having to step back a little, through the 500mm should offset it. Two new extenders (1.4x & 2x) are available and work with this lens, but only from 300mm up. You have to extend the lens past 300mm before attaching the extender. This strikes me as being annoying to say the least.
Still, it's been an interesting few days for us techie people to wade through information!
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In reply to Whistling Joe:
Mirrorless seems to be the main route of focus (pardon the pun) and no doubt continues to attract a lot of new buyers; those who want lighter, maybe a tad quicker, more silent mode of shooting and the others that just upgrade so they can have the latest fashion statement to tote round like a Gucci hand or man-bag lol Going mirrorless feels a bit like when rolls of film began to be replaced with the new and intriguing digital era, at a huge early price and digital that couldn't do a fraction of what todays models can, and my brother softly grumbled for years, sticking to his beloved Canon A1 and at his work place as a young man on the luxury cruise liners it was the flagship Rolleiflex and Mamiya ! - early digital introduction to him was like someone today saying that mobile phones take "equally" good photos as a professional (D)SLR ! I hope the 7Diii hasn't been placed further back on the development shelf but time will tell. At my age, I've never been a fan of mirrors LOL
I’m not sure it’s a fixed aperture, they have a starting f-stop of f11, and increase to f22, the focal lengths are fixed 600mm or 800mm respectively. Ideally for this professionals photographers they’d prefer a lenses that starts at f2.8 but that’s likely to cost upwards of £10k. Canon is trying to bring photography capabilities to those that don’t have a professional budget. The RF range is aimed at mirrorless for sadly for those , including me that are still holding on to the DSLR, these lenses aren’t useable. However if you use a mirrorless system the old conventions that you/we are use to, go out of the window and the mirrorless system allow you to use an f11 without the hinderance of not allowing enough light the see what you are doing , as the EVF can compensate, and you can post process if you shoot in RAW, it a must format. I personally think those lenses will offer something , but would want to either test it out first or see some results before buying them , but they look promising and might offer some exciting imagines to post in the future.
In reply to IndyW:
They're definitely a fixed f/11 aperture - the Canon page on them quotes N/A for the number of diaphragm blades for example (and websites like Wex quote the same value for max & min apertures). As you say though, on mirrorless systems the smaller opening is less of a limitation, so it makes for a far less expensive way to get lots of mm (and we always want more reach as wildlife shooters!). Like you though, I think I'd want to try one out (or at least see a few independent reviews) before I went there. I'd need a mirrorless body first too :-)
Ah ok, I see where the confusion has arisen. Extenders give you more focal length, but you lose light (ie aperture) when you add them. A 1.4x extender loses one stop (making the 800mm f/11 a 1120mm f/16); a 2x extender loses 2 stops (making the 800mm f/11 a 1600mm f/22). There's no way to alter the aperture of the lens in use like you can with most lenses. How well the lens handles the extenders will be interesting to see, certainly with the EF lenses you need the very best you can get if you want to use the 2x (the 1.4x is pretty good), so I'd be surprised if 1600mm is sharp - but we'll have to wait & see :-)
ETA - they should be fine for wildlife - I can't think of any scenarios where you'd want to close down f/11 at 800mm anyway
I've been inundated with emails from the camera shop I use about the new cameras, which like it or not, will be the way forward. Less moving parts, quieter and the added bonus of using a viewfinder.
While I love my DSLR, a 5D-MkIV, I'm watching the mirrorless market closely. I think for now, and it's a problem which has been addressed albeit with adaptor(s), once dedicated lenses become more available, and that includes Sigma and Tamron, I'm keen and I could easily be tempted.
Many modern DSLR's will work akin to mirrorless, when you select the viewing screen rather than using the viewfinder (I prefer a viewfinder), which for me, would be the big plus, once lenses are sorted.
My 5D-MkIV works well using the viewing screen, and the AF tracking is brilliant (may not be the best, I don't know, but it's good enough for me), esp when I use it through the Canon Connect app on my mobile or tablet.
However, I will miss the sound of the shutter actuating (annoying when out in the quite natural world, but useful for portraits etc), though I'd guess the sound effects will be added to some, if not all.
PS, in my very limited camera tech knowledge, many camcorders use use that technology already, or something very close to it, I've just had to replace my old camcorder, which has finally died, with a vastly upgraded model.
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In reply to Mike B:
Michael B said:However, I will miss the sound of the shutter actuating
I assume you still get that, when using the mechanical shutter. It's only totally silent when using the electronic shutter
Whistling Joe said:
Michael B said:
However, I will miss the sound of the shutter actuating
My guess, with mirrorless, the sound will be switchable from the menu settings, like it is with many compacts and smartphones.
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