Canon Announcements - August 2017

Hey everyone!  Closing out the month, Canon has released a new mirrorless camera and three new lenses.  Let's take a look at what has been announced.

Canon EOS M100

EOS M-100 in Black

EOS M-100 in Black

The M100 is the follow-on to Canon's EOS M10.  It is a compact mirrorless body that uses the EF-M family of lenses and can also use EF and EF-S lenses with an optional adapter.

  • 24.2MP APS-C Sensor
  • ISO Range 100-25600
  • Dual pixel AF for faster focus in video
  • Selfie orientable 3" LCD with touch focus
  • In camera RAW conversion to JPEG
  • Creative Filters
  • HDR Backlight Control
  • FullHD Video to 60p
  • Available in black in October at an MSRP of $779.99 CDN including EF-M 15-45/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens

Canon Tilt-Shift Macro Lenses

TS-E 90nmm f/2.8L

TS-E 90nmm f/2.8L

Canon has announced three new tilt shift lenses with basic macro functionality.  They are the 

  • TS-E 50mm f/2.8L Macro
  • TS-E 90mm f/2.8L Macro
  • TS-E 135mm f/4 L Macro

Each lens provides edge to edge flat field sharpness and a maximum life-size capability in lens of 0.5x   All the lenses feature Canon's new Sub Wavelength Coating (SWC) and the 50mm and 90mm also have Canon's new Air Sphere Coating (ASC).  SWC is an improvement in flare control and ASC is designed to deal with internal reflections at a higher level.  There have been enhancements to the tilt shift knobs, position locking and ease of rotation.  No mention was made of the existing 17mm, 24mm and 90mm TS lenses in the announcement.

The new lenses are targeted to be available in November of 2017 at an MSRP of $3139.99 CDN

Canon MT-26EX-RT Twin Lite Macro Flash


This may be a replacement to the MT 24EX (still listed) offering brighter focusing lamps and support for control by Canon's RT series of radio transmission tools.  The flash can be dialled down to 1/512 output in Manual or 1/128 output in Manual when triggered by radio.

It has two removable flash tube units that allow for creative positioning.  The device has a guide number of 26 (M ISO 100) so roughly the same maximum power as its predecessor.

It is scheduled to ship in November 2017 with an MSRP of $1299.99 CDN.

Canon 85mm f/1.4L IS USM Lens


This lens, first rumoured nearly a year and a half ago has been announced.  This is Canon's first 85mm lens to have image stabilization.  There was no notice if the in market 85mm f/1.2L II would be dropped from the line.  The existing 85/1.2 is renowned for sharpness but also very slow AF performance.  The new lens brings both aspherical elements and the new ASC coating as well as a nine bladed aperture control with the goal of delivering lovely bokeh from out of focus highlights, but without troubling reflections.

The lens is expected to ship in November 2017 at an MSRP of $2219.99 CDN

Announcement Assessment

Pros have been looking for a high speed Canon alternative to the aging and slow focusing 85/1.2L II.  The new lens should address this concern for buyers looking for a Canon brand lens.  We will not know how it performs until release, but Canon L glass is typically superb, although this lens will face strong competition from Sigma's 85/1.4 ART.  Not a buy for me, I already own the 85/1.2 and do not mind its quirks.  Pricing is about twice that of the Sigma, so making the step up will be as much a matter of brand loyalty than anything else.

Three tilt shift lenses at once might imply that Canon knows something that no one else does.  That would include me.  I get a lot of value from a tilt shift lens, having learned on view cameras, but for those who have never used one, acclimatization takes a while and at this price point, this is not a casual investment.  One half life-size macro is a useful deliverable to be sure, particularly when dealing with extremely shallow depth of field up close and being able to change the plane of focus.  That's a very solid idea.  I am confident that they will all be grand lenses optically, but this is very much a niche market, again raising the question, why three new TS lenses and why now?  The very high price points will limit adoption to those whose business can pay for this gear.

The announcement of the MT-26 EX-RT could tie in nicely to the new macro tilt shifts.  The existing MT-24 is a super unit with good power capability but I suppose it's showing its age to the very small segment that bought one.  While it now boasts integration with Canon's RT system (it really could not have come out without this), the price point is extremely high, particularly considering the continued falling prices of daylight balanced continuous LED lights with similar maximum power.  Canon loyalists may go this route, but it is priced as specialist equipment and is at a significant premium (nearly $500) over the still listed MT-24 EX

Canon has stated in their financial results that their mirrorless business has grown 70% Y/Y if I read the numbers correctly.  That's a big jump but does not qualify the number of units sold.  Canon mirrorless cameras are near invisible in the Canadian marketplace and are uncompetitive across the board with other mirrorless camera lines.  Their calling card is the Canon brand, and the potential to use regular Canon lenses on the smaller bodies.  Given that the overall performance is at best the same as a Rebel DSLR costing $500 less, I do not anticipate any more customer enthusiasm for the M100 than has developed for any of the other M family.  With the M5 and M6 Canon finally addressed the glacial performance of the AF system, but when you look at retailer shelves, the M family is missing in action, and it still appears that Canon is afraid to build and price the line aggressively for fear of eating into their highly profitable Rebel business.  I have shot every M camera since inception and while the image quality is very good, at least as good as the equivalent Rebel, there is nothing that justifies the higher price point and deprecated functionality that has been standard since the first EOS-M.

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