I’ve been following the latest camera gear releases by Canon and love where they are heading. Long time readers of my blog will know that there was a time when I had only criticism when it came to Canon, but things changed starting with the release of the 1DX and later the 5D Mark III.
I love how Canon have split the 5D line into the 5Ds for the high megapixel version and the existing 5D for the lower megapixel version. This is something many people had requested, including me in my 5D Mark III review:
Please keep the sensor resolution on the 35mm sensor in the 21-24MP range. We don’t need more resolution!! It’s great where it’s at now. For people who want more resolution, consider introducing a medium format system. Or alternatively, introduce a new camera line, say a 4D, with more megapixels and more noise and slower framerate for the amateurs (as Ken Rockwell calls them) who go crazy about megapixels. But for us professionals, keep the 5D at 22MP.
Personally I don’t think I’ll be getting a 5Ds anytime soon, because low light performance and speed are a lot more important to me than resolution. I’ll wait for the 5D Mark IV which will probably be announced later this year.
In addition I’m also curious about the performance of the sensor in the 5Ds with regard to the noise and banding issues, especially in the shadows and skies. This has been a consistent problem for Canon sensors for many years now. The problem was reduced in the 5D Mark III but it is still far from what the latest Sony sensors are capable of.
I hope the 5D Mark IV will stay in the 20MP range but will have some considerable improvements in image quality instead. Personally I wouldn’t mind if they just used the 18MP sensor from the 1DX, added the latest improvements in sensor development (including the on-sensor phase detection autofocus) and reduced the noise and banding issues while increasing dynamic range (not in JPEG files, but starting with the RAW files!!). It would be nice to have a 5D Mark IV camera that came close to the Sony A7s when it comes to image quality.
I also like how Canon are now including their best autofocus systems even in the lower camera models. This is also something I’ve complained about a lot in the past, when Canon used to cripple their bodies with old and inadequate autofocus systems. The 7D Mark II came with a 65-point autofocus system (including a 150.000 pixel RGB and IR Metering sensor) and the 5Ds also comes with a 61-point autofocus system, including the 150.000 pixel RGB and IR Metering sensor like on the 1DX. The metering sensor was also something I requested in the 5D Mark III review:
Better metering system. Perhaps we can get the 1DX metering system in the 5D Mark IV. Also, spot metering linked to the selected autofocus point.
I hope it does make a difference because metering on the 5D Mark III isn’t always consistent. I’ll be surprised if the 5D Mark IV doesn’t come with an autofocus system that is at least as good or better than the ones on the 7D Mark II and 5Ds.
When it comes to lenses, I also am very pleased with how the new EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II turned out. I own the older version, and will be replacing it in the future with the newer model when possible. And another lens I’ve wanted for over 6 years now is finally coming out, namely the EF 11-24mm f/4L.
Originally I thought this would be Canon’s version of a 14-24mm f/2.8, but it became a 11-24mm f/4L instead. I am disappointed that it’s not a f/2.8 lens. But on the other hand I am happy with the fact that it’s 11mm at the widest end. I considered getting the TS-E 17mm f/4L in the past for architectural photography, but decided to wait a little and I’m glad I did. At $3000 the 11-24mm is a very expensive lens. Canon are going to make me a very poor man this year and the next. 🙁
It’s funny how even Canon Inc. executive Masaya Maeda made a remark recently about saving up for this lens:
If you think $3000 is a bit steep, you might be interested to know that Masaya Maeda – Chief Executive of Imaging Products at Canon – agrees. He tells us he’s saving up his own money to buy one.
But I know I must own this lens because I need it. I’ve been suffering with the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II for way too long now — everyone knows how soft that lens is especially at the full-frame edges (it’s better on APS-C bodies).
It’s at times like these that I miss doing the Fake Chuck Westfall blog. I’d have a field day with these announcements. For example, while everyone is obsessing over the 50MP sensor in the 5Ds, Fake Chuck would have pointed out that Canon has been experimenting with a 10TP (terapixel) sensor as early as 2009.
Anyway, I can’t wait to hold the EF 11-24mm f/4L in my hands. He who is about to get poor salutes you. 🙁