Fresh Rumors Suggest Canon is Looking at Jumping Into Medium Format


The idea that Canon would take the leap into medium format has been tossed around as both rumor and joke. Last August, we were told to expect a Canon Medium Format DSLR at Photokina — obviously that rumor didn’t pan out. Eight months later, photographer Krik Tuck made an April Fools announcement along the same lines.

It’s unclear how serious the company itself is about the possibility, but we now have a fresh rumor that is yet again pointing towards the same outcome.

According to a Northlight Images tip, Canon has been “investing significantly in a major European medium format digital camera manufacturer.” This apparently due to a shrinking demand for compact cameras. Northlight goes on to say that “At the moment, there is no talk of an outright purchase, but it remains an option.”

The irony here is that the rumor reads a bit like the Tuck April Fools announcement minus the sarcasm. The fake announcement went something like this:

Canon spokesman, Fol Ja Nau, elaborated on the company‚Äôs plans saying, ‘We were not content to play in the secondary photographic market behind Phase One and Hasselblad. With declining sales in the compact camera (point and shoot) markets we wanted to find a niche with fast and sustainable growth and very good profit margins.’

Well, it might not be a joke after all. Although the tipster didn’t reveal this information, both Northlight and Canon Rumors seem to think that the company in question is Phase One.

As always, until more sources (official or otherwise) emerge to confirm or deny these plans, we suggest nobody get their hopes up. Keep checking back and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as more info rolls in.

(via Canon Rumors)

  • Zos Xavius

    Well, when margins bottom out on Full Frame and compact sales keep dwindling where else are you going to go? I only pray that Pentax keeps the 645 around. There are precious few players in the MF market and MF fills a need that no other type of system outside of large format can. If the D800 can do 36MP and canon is talking about a 46MP sensor, just imagine what scaling that up to a 645 would produce.

  • Anonymous

    Spokesman with the name Fol Ja Nau (fool ya now)? Sounds like one of the names that hit the news with the SFO crash….

  • JackF

    I wonder what for? Expect for the bigger sensor

  • Sky

    FINALLY. Jeez… thought this will never happen.
    Hopefully Canon joining the MF party will put the insane prices of it down (as more competition is always good). Let just Sony follow and we might see some real progress in getting digital MF into a hands of richer amateurs.

  • Carl Meyer

    Not gonna happen. Let’s not forget that Canon Rumors is not Nikon Rumors so more than a humor this is whishful thinking.

    A high MP sensor on a 1D series body is a question of time. Once Canon is able to produce a high yield sensor with enough dynamic range and responsiveness it’s going to hit the stores as soon as possible to fill that niche.

  • Matthew Wagg

    If Canon brought out an MF camera they’d have to have a whole new lens lineup, new everything really. There won’t be an upgrade path and it’ll be hella expensive to buy into. They’d do a hell of a lot better by making an MF back that fits onto other makes bodies. That’d make MF digital killer and by pricing it lower than Blad and Phase one and the others, they’d make a killing. But that’ll never happen.


    have no doubt canons ready to jump into that arena .. the high pixel count of the d800 must be pushing this ,i love to see them come out with a 50+ megapixel medium format body that wold make the nikon d800 look like a point and it necessary? eh no really but thats the state of sensors and megapixels in the age we live in….:O)

  • jkantor267

    If there’s a way to make overpriced, unnecessary camera equipment, Canon will do it.

  • sam1741

    maybe EF lens lineup,…. already designed to accompany the possibility of medium format since the start… and now they just need to do the sensor and body, and we have medium format with whole range of nice L lens..

  • Zos Xavius

    The image circle in EF mount is too small as it was designed for 35mm film.

  • Crabby Umbo

    I’m with Matt, I’ve been expecting an affordable medium format back for my Hasselblad or Mamiya RB for years! How come you can build a full frame digital DSLR, with mirror boxes, precision lens mounts, meters, shutters, and motors, but no one is willing to build a very simple little back with a large image chip, but none of that other stuff, and deliver it for the same $3,000. It’s price fixing by the MF guys, plain and simple. If it ever happens, the used ‘blad and Mamiya stuff will be running off the shelves!

  • jm jones

    they realize stuffing their 100mp + prototype sensors to a full frame dslr is not feasible. the only way is to go up the size plus new lenses to match the resolution.

  • YS

    Do people read? That was part of the joke announcement made previously, not the current rumour.

  • Tyler Magee

    Will this be the so to speck 75mp?

  • Trq Atallah

    i think a square format is a bad move and a waste of resolution for the commercial market. square format has always been the choice for fine art photography and artists who consider their art-print as a priority and not market proportions, since 95 percent of commercial publications r rectangular. Cropping to fit rectangular is a losing game commercially, but a cropping feature for a square format would b a good menu option for whomever wants it. i can’t see any logic for canon to do it the opposite way, unless they have an elastic transformable sensor hiding in the bush! If Canon releases a medium format system they would also release a 35mm FF sensor in the range of 43MP and the medium would be no less than double that res. For the system to succeed it should b cheaper, faster and better if not on par with IQ. My hunch is that Canon will create Canon digital backs (60, 80, 105 MP) (10, 14, 17.000 USD) consecutively to fit professional photographers who need to use them on professional technical cameras for dynamic creative and technical angles. they will also release a medium Canon body, and a range of 5 to 7 lenses. This way they will sell the system to both sophisticated and non-technical photographers alike. To beat the IQ canon need to get in the technical market and b able to fit linhof, sinar, alpa etc…

  • Matt

    Canon has produce 8×10 sized sensors in the past as proof of concept and for satilites and telescopes. So, maybe not a joke.

  • T-Dawg

    That’s not completely true.

    A russian company researched a method to use a handful of EF lenses for the 1.3x crop large format (same size as entry level medium format digitals and the Pentax 645).

    This included if I recall, all the tilt-shift lenses, and there were a handful of other lenses that were not specifically mentioned.

  • T-Dawg

    oops I meant 1.3x crop medium format.

  • Zos Xavius

    My guess is that it will be mirrorless and therefor able to use any other manufacturer’s lens. BTW, the pentax is indeed a crop sensor, but also has more area than the leica S2. I wouldn’t say that entry level bodies are the only ones cropped. MF is the new full frame. I predicted this with the first wave of rumors, but everyone dismissed the rumor and here we are again.

  • gio alma

    Well Canon better gets a higher M Pixel camera out soon, while I’m tired of waiting, Tuesday I will be shooting with a rented Nikon D800 with 36 Mp. Advertising clients want bigger than 22 Mp.
    Canon, I love you, please wake up!

  • Oj0

    A higher pixel density normally results in a lower image quality. That’s why you’ll find 40MP medium format cameras can produce image quality that the 36MP Nikon can’t rival. Remember, pixel count isn’t everything.

  • Jim Lokus

    You MUST belong to the Nikon “braindead fanboi” club. Keep walking kid.

  • John Kantor

    I’m glad you said that. I’ve been using Canon professionally since 1998 or so when I bought an EOS 3. That was a great camera in every regard, including price – but the main reason I went with them was because of their selection of primes – amazing quality and fair pricing. Since then, I’ve had two 10Ds, a 20D, a 40D, a Zt2i, and a T3i (for video). I’ve watched them put out overpriced, crippled digital bodies to protect their obsolete film bodies, and ridiculous L lenses that almost no one needs (but lots of wannabes with day jobs will buy) – but even that wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t also ignore their normal prime lineup – in order to make sure you had no choice in the matter. Nikon has it’s own problems, but they are nothing compared to the fact that Canon only sees its customers are marks waiting to be fleeced.

  • Garry

    Well well, it’s almost August again. It’s very quiet in the Canon camp while others spit out new amazing gear (Pentax, Sony, Nikon)