Professional photographers prize full-frame cameras for their excellent low-light performance and large field of view, though such cameras usually cost $2,000 or more. Now, a new leak suggests that Canon is developing an $800 full-frame RF mount camera. It would be the most affordable full-frame camera ever to hit store shelves and a wonderful product for amateur photographers.
Most budget cameras have a crop sensor, meaning that they do not capture the full image that enters their lens. Instead, they “crop” the image to a smaller size. While this may have some benefits in terms of cost and portability, it reduces low-light performance and depth of field (background blur effects). A cropped sensor can also limit the effectiveness of wide-angle lenses, as they cannot take advantage of the lens’ full field of view.
While full-frame cameras aren’t “better” than cropped sensor cameras, they’re often better equipped for certain styles of photography, particularly landscape or night photography. An $800 full-frame camera from Canon would open doors for some amateur photographers, especially at a time when the best alternatives are Sony’s A7 II ($1,000) and Nikon’s Z 5 ($1,300). And while Canon’s upcoming full-frame camera is still just a rumor (courtesy of Canon Rumors), it comes from a reliable inside source.
So, what’s the catch? Assuming that Canon follows the game plan from its discontinued EOS RP camera (a full-frame model that cost $1,300 in 2019), its upcoming $800 full-frame camera probably lacks weatherproofing, its autofocus system is probably a bit slow, and its sensor will fall short of slightly more expensive models. Optical image stabilization is also not a guarantee, and although it probably shoots 4K video, a low frame rate and other limitations may rear their head.
These downsides aren’t that big a deal, and they’ll be familiar to anyone who owns a budget crop sensor camera (like the Canon EOS Rebel). In short, this cheap full-frame model will do its job (taking photos) with gusto, even if it doesn’t have fancy bells and whistles. That is, assuming that the $800 full-frame camera will ever come to fruition.
If Canon Rumors’ source is accurate, then the $800 Canon full-frame RF mount camera will launch in 2022. That’s a long time to wait for a DSLR that may never come out—again, this is just a rumor, and Canon could always change its mind. Those who are shopping for a camera today shouldn’t let this rumor impact their wants and needs. Just buy a good camera (Canon EOS Rebel T7i and Nikon D3500 are two solid budget options) and start shooting.