Not long ago, reports circulated around the web that Canon wasn’t going to continue the 1Dx series of cameras. Before that, Canon also said they wouldn’t make any more Canon EF lenses unless there were critical demand. It’s a very indirect way of also saying that they will focus on mirrorless cameras for the future. Good! Goodbye and good riddance to an era of cameras that made things difficult and created false gatekeeping. And most importantly, goodbye to the DSLR.
What do I mean by false gatekeeping? Well, DSLRs made photography very difficult. It’s one of the reasons why I have done with them for years. The Nikon D850 put the final nail in the coffin for DSLRs and me. As a legally blind photographer, DSLRs limited what was capable. Do you mean that I’d need to put the Canon 1Dx into live view to get face detection? Why can’t I get it right from the camera as it is? Let’s face it, through and through, mirrorless cameras do everything that a DSLR can do, and mirrorless does those things much better.
But I’d like to clarify this statement. I don’t think this sort of tech is all that awful. I just feel that it’s being used in a frivolous way. Instead, Canon could use the EF mount to create some cool, novelty, hype product. Take a look at the video above from Mathieu Stern and keep it in mind as you’re reading. Think about what the camera market is sorely missing. For starters, we’re missing digital TLR style cameras. We’re also missing digital medium format SLR-style cameras. By that, I’m not saying we’re missing digital medium format SLRs. We’ve got lots of those. Instead, I’m saying we’re missing SLR-style. Imagine a Canon SLR with a top-down viewfinder. These are otherwise called waist-level finders. Years ago, Canon made a bunch of them for the Canon F1. Instead of putting it up to your eye, you’d shoot with it from the hip. And there would be a magnifier and all. More importantly, just think about how it would work with the old EF lenses. A Canon top-down viewfinder SLR could be unique with the old Canon 50mm f1.2 L lenses. It could even work great with a 50mm f1.8 or the Canon 40mm f2.8 pancake lens. At this point, you wouldn’t need to spend Canon 1Dx prices either.
I could share this idea with Canon reps; some would think I’m crazy, while others I know would believe this is a beautiful idea. You might say, “Well why would someone use this,” and I’d reply with a ton of solid arguments. For most people, their primary camera is their phone. Digital mirrorless cameras do what a phone can do very well. But when someone wants to use a camera, they do it because they want a passion product. The photo industry really needs to embrace the idea of passion products. Canon, in this case, could easily take the pictures and tech from the 1Dx series of cameras and turn it into a waist-level viewfinder camera. Customers would want them alongside their mirrorless cameras because they’re a completely different experience. It’s similar to what they do with film cameras.
Personally speaking, I own a film point and shoot, two Leica rangefinders, one fixed lens rangefinder, and a medium format rangefinder camera. They all serve their individual purposes, and sometimes I choose one over the others. But the point is that each provides a different experience. That experience can be done with the same tech that made the Canon 1Dx.