Canon mirrorless camera concept

A reader sent me his concept renderings of a Canon mirrorless camera. I like the idea of the EVF being mounted over the hot shoe. For more images visit

Canon is the last hope for a full frame mirrorless camera, otherwise I think we have to wait few years until the next generation of mirrorless cameras. As of today, the only full frame mirrorless digital camera is the Leica M9.

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  • Brian

    I’m hopin for a nex 9 type full frame. Maybe along side the a99

  • hiplnsdrftr

    My fantasy is that Canon styles their APS/FF mirrorless in the spirit of the 1Ds line…

    Something that would ultimately compliment the pro line and not compete with it. So that there would be something of the same quality of a 1Ds/1Dx but more compact, especially when combined with a 28mm prime or a 40mm pancake.

    And keeping with the goal of being compact, nothing frivolous like tilt/swivel screens.

    In other words… a serious street fighter.

  • AS-Foto

    No. 1 would be nice for a classic camera WITH mirror, but a pseudo-pentaprism is bullshit – look at Olympus.
    A modern design with roots from Canonet and Canon 7 like No.2, but with the matte-black finish and rounded edges like the 1Ds would be fine.

    • Sky

      all photos contain the same camera. What you see on photo 2 is not a pentaprism but EVF styled to look like a prism.

    • Don Pope

      “look at Olympus”

      The OM-D is a very good looking camera. No bullshit there.

      • Denis

        I noticed many people have strange taste. Your case 😉

  • I am sure Leica will take my money for a full frame digital solution (M9), but it would be nice to see other camera manufacturers enter the marketplace too. In a decade or so we all will have access to large format size digital mirrorless cameras, but till then we just have to wait for technology to mature, and who has time for that! I want a camera for an upcoming summer trip but I guess I will shoot my “obsolete” 1Dsm3. 😉

  • Wow.. those look AMAZING! That would be a dream come true.. IF it would be FF and as small as the old Canon AE.. IT WOULD SELL MORE THEN ANY OTHER FF CAMERA SINCE THE 5D MK1 !! ARE YOU LISTENING CANON?!?!?!

  • I would pay so much money for a full frame mirrorless like this. Especially with L quality lenses.

  • I don’t like the design – it’s just “normal”, there isn’t anything special or ground-breaking about it. I would like the Canon mirror-less to be a game-changer, a classic that breaks the paradigm and creates a new quality. It should be what T90 was to the other cameras when it was introduced – something absolutely new, with stunning new ergonomics.

    Come on Canon, work harder please.

    • AlexW

      “Come on Canon, work harder please.”

      Canon did not create this concept. A designer named David Riesenberg did.

  • Craig

    IF, Canon were to release this camera in FF, I would finally convert to Canon from Nikon.

    However, Canon will not release their mirrorless camera in FF because they like the other mass camera makers build to a price point. Also, Photojournalist are not a large enough market for them to release a FF.

    Frankly, and unfortunately, I doubt any Maker will challenge Leica in the FF rangefinder-like market because of lenses. Leica was lucky and already had the lenses. Al other makers will be forced to design and build new lenses because of the back focus distance.

    I hope some maker proves me wrong.

    • Everyone whats this camera, i’d convert too,
      the problem is that even thou everyone shouts that they want a full-frame smallish mirrorless – the camera manufactures turn the other cheek

      • grumps

        That’s because talk is cheap, most people who say they want a FF, cannot afford one and ends up buying a crop sensor. The manufacturers base their decisions from sales. If every stopped buying cropped sensor cameras – and this will never happen – FF mirrorless will be imminent.

        • hiplnsdrftr

          The popularity of 5D and 5D2 pretty much proves that people, including amateurs and people who only occasionally dabble with a camera will indeed buy a FF camera.

          I purchased a used 1Ds mark III from an 80 year old lady. (She wanted the best?)

          Given the popularity of APS mirrorless cameras I’m pretty certain “the masses” can be sold FF mirrorless cameras…

          • c.d.embrey

            I rented a Canon 5D MKIII yesterday, to do a video test for an up-coming project. The video was great, but I’ll never buy one. It’s way too effing big and heavy. I much prefer a small light camera, like maybe a T4i. For my advertising work I absolutely do not need a full frame camera, and I’m tired of carrying a heavy camera for eight hours. YMMV.

  • Grumps

    These designs are the best i’ve seen for a mirror less camera period.

  • nik

    hopefully it’s fake. it’s too big.

    • grumps

      There’s always the Nikon 1!

  • Tony Bologna

    This would make me go Canon in a heartbeat!

    The only other concept i’m waiting for is an electronic viewfinder on the bottom of a camera. This would help left-eye dominate folks and keep my big nose from being smashed into the back of the camera.

    The tripod could be mounted to an extension at the base of the lens mount similar to NEX mount adapters.

  • Robert Falconer

    Personally, I think Fuji nailed both the aesthetics and functionality with the X-Pro 1:

    – Leica-like styling
    – Interchangeable lenses
    – OVF/EVF viewfinder
    – New APS-C sensor that offers resolution equivalent to a full-frame sensor

    • grumps

      Nailed? Close but not nailed.

  • Robert

    That´s porn….. superb design

    • Remedy

      Mate this design is 50-60 years old. Every camera in the 50-60’s looked EXACTLY the same. All this retro nonsense goes down to being a copycat of old designs. Seriously all of You stop fapping about repetitive designs. Yes, it’s a solid metal cuboid with rounded corners – welcome to 1950.

      • preston


        Dead on

      • c.d.embrey

        Retro styling … been there and done that — and don’t want to do it again. It’s the 21st century, isn’t it about time to live modern ???

        • Remedy

          Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against retro. I do love retro design but it has to be something new based on those retro principals. Not another clone of old cameras. I mean come on, is that all You can do? Putting an LCD screen on the back + adding a row of plastic buttons near the screen? Sad.

  • Huggs

    Very cool concept! Why wait for Canon to make it. Kickstarter!

  • John

    I just LOVE the 50mm F1.0 lens with a proper aperture ring! Please Canon, give us back the aperture ring!

  • Matt

    Personally I think the concept of a “compact” ILC with full-frame sensor is a bit ridiculous. With that said, regardless of sensor size, this concept looks beautiful! I love the removable and inconspicuous EVF. It would be cool if this could be made compact, eg with 4/3rds-ish size sensor. IMO APS-C sensors result in lenses that are too large to be compact.

  • pooh

    The FL/FD under Nikon’s shadow, the L39 systems before which are Leica copies (with many innovative features, though)… you seldom find Canon actively talking about its heritage.

    Thus the rendering are unlikely, especially the second one, which looks just like a Contax/Nikon S…

    More bets on a modern design. Canon is not Olympus.

  • anon

    the camera companies know what people want…if they made a FF+Interchangeable+~$1000-2000+retro looking+relatively small form factor+video+VF & LV camera…everyone would just buy that one camera and forget about the rest of their offering…and chances are with the sensors as good as they are now, you probably won’t need to upgrade for a long while….

    they’d have a monopoly on the market, till the time when they go out of business…

    • preston

      That’s so beyond ridiculous. So you’re saying their strategy should be to make a product that people aren’t satisfied with? Yea, great idea.

  • Ricoh is working on a full frame compact.


  • John

    very sexy and functiobal design with sharp horizontal and vertical lines! Nice idea with the integrated viewfinder!
    I personally think the omd em5 design is really ugly. This on i will buy!

  • elron

    The M9 is a rangefinder.

    • …and rangefinder technology doesn’t feature mirror. You have to learn a thing or two about different cameras.

      • Sina

        Rangefinder technology inside the Leica M does indeed have a prism and/or mirror. It is simply not placed in front of the film/sensor. Look up the mechanism, quite fascinating really.

      • elron

        Unlike a rangefinder, I am quite sure that my view camera does not have a mirror.

  • As long as they don’t do a 13.2 mm x 8.8 mm sub-sub-miniature format sensor…

  • At last really good concept. Thumbs up to author! Definitely better than Marc Newson bullshit. Unfortunally, Canon wouldn’t release such a thing.

  • Steve

    If they made this camera at a reasonable price, it would sell like crazy. One of the manufacturers has to challenge Leica. I love full frame but not the size and weight of the cameras and lenses. Sony or Fuji might beat Canon to it, they must see there’s a big market for this sort of camera.

    • c.d.embrey

      At one time Leica’s range finder cameras were used by many pros. Than the Nikon F came along, and all most all pros went to the SLR. In other words Nikon and later Canon, Minolta and Pentax ate Leica’s lunch.

  • inteliboy

    Love it. There used to be this world of beautiful manual-style bullet proof cameras for decades… then digital came along and ruined everything… (well almost everything)

  • John

    Hey Pentax should have hired this guy to design the K-01.


  • chris

    Cool rendering, but sadly with the EF lens registry distance is will have to be a lot chunkier – like the goofy Pentax K01. The only way to make it work and look like this is to go the Nex route, a new mount with an adapter for EF lenses.

    • asd

      🙂 Exactly.

      People doesn’t seem to understand that there’s a registry distance.

      An EF-mount mirrorless would be as thick as any DSLR (Pentax k-01 to name one). Because of electronics and the screen it can not be as thin as the pictures above.

  • preston

    Looks very nice except for 1 (big) thing. The only reason optical viewfinders were in the center was due to the pentaprism and mirror being in line with the lens so that you could actually frame through the lens. Now that these are electronic viewfinders they have to put it off to the side like on NEX-7, X-100, X-PRO 1, etc so that you don’t have to mash your nose into the screen to frame the shot! Yes, that gigantic eyecup shown in the rendering would solve that problem but adds tons of size and bulk to the camera unnecessarily.

  • digitalpowershot


  • Imagine this:

    FF sensor with a wide bayonet fitting and short register;
    Bayonet is wide enough to mount EF, EF-S, FD, M and R lenses;
    Able to autofocus and stabilise EF lenses;
    5 Axis sensor shift stabilisation disabled only when an IS lens is attached;
    Focus peaking, magnification, and pre-Autofocus;
    Able to choose the (P/L) orientation of EF-S lenses;
    No AA filter;
    Pixel binning;
    Decent video capabilities;
    Built in portrait orientation grip;
    Built in high resolution EVF;
    A display of iPad3 quality;
    Built in IR AF illuminator and ETTL-2 IR + wireless flash control;
    Full Bluetooth and WIFI teathering, including WIFI liveview;
    ND filter with auto function;
    A shutter that actually covers the sensor or a removable internal glass protective plate;
    Dedicated combined EV comp and ISO dial; and
    Weather-sealed, magnesium body that only comes in black.

    ~icing on the cake: call it the “EOS 3D”

    They have the opportunity to make this into a (the only) truly pro-grade mirrorless system. Leave the pretty coloured purse sized CSCs for the ladies and casual shooters. It would make Nikon, Fujifilm, Leica and the M4/3 group soil their collective britches.

    I would tolerate a 5D-level price and a 1D size and I would sell all my CSC, present and planned gear to buy it. I bet some Nikon shooters would swap to Canon if Canon could deliver on my wishlist.

  • pdc

    If you need an idea of what Canon will produce in a mirrorless system camera look no further than the G1X. There you will find the sensor they will use, and an indication of the flange-back distance of their NEW mount. Fuji prototyped the X1Pro’s basic metrics with the X100. Canon is doing the same. What will make or break the new Canon will be how good the EVF , AF and video are. I think they will come up with a very compelling camera that will be stiff competition for the NEX-7, the X1Pro and the OMD EM-5. Of course, we haven’t seen what Panasonic have up their sleeves.

  • Camaman

    That is right on the money!
    But it will NEVER happen…

  • photonut

    Could it be any uglier? Stop that awful retro-design

  • looks somewhat like the AE1 where is the film crank

  • bring back the good old days from the 70’s and 80’s with these styles next should be the leisure suit i had one in dark blue, lol

  • Erica

    If you look at the pictures from the link, you can see he “stole” the idea of the pop up flash from the Leica X1.
    Not a bad idea though.

  • Ben Y

    This is neat.

  • Roger Kaufmann

    ***This is a beautiful camera***Canon should have a look at it***Why not build this camera today???? Concepts are beauties !

  • Duke

    So good looking that I would almost buy it for the looks alone.

    Of course canon would actually come out with a rubbish looking brick design.

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