Will New Canon APS-C Cameras Fix a Big Problem?

Canon has always had a big problem with their Canon APS-C cameras. (Maybe I should instead say that it’s a small problem, right?) If you’ve been shooting for years, then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Canon APS-C Cameras have had a single, nearly lifelong problem since Canon EOS started. And now that it seems like even the Canon EOS-M system is dead, the company has a chance to start anew. But will they mess this one up?

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The Problem with Canon APS-C Cameras

Canon, for years, faced a perplexing problem when it comes to their APS-C cameras. We tried to understand why, but we never received a clear answer. It has to do with the size of their APS-C sensors. While the rest of the industry makes a 1.5x crop sensor, Canon APS-C sensors are 1.6x crop. This has been both a good and a bad thing. It means that a 50mm lens becomes an 80mm instead of a 75mm. 35mm lenses become something along the lines of 56mm (now a pretty popular lens focal length). A 28mm lens became a 45mm lens, and is closer to true normal than not. And of course, Canon APS-C cameras were great for things like sports and birding, to a point.

On the flip side, these Canon APS-C cameras had a few other major issues. There was always a lot of sensor noise at higher ISOs. It’s one of the reasons why I sold my Canon 7D long ago.

Now, Canon has a moment to fix this problem. 

Make It Larger?

Future Canon APS-C cameras could come in a 1.5x crop format. It would be more in line with the rest of the industry. And knowing Canon, they’d also probably keep using their own sensors instead of asking to use Sony’s. By making the sensor larger, they could eliminate noise. The big problem though is that they’d have to find a way to compete with the GOAT: Fujifilm. Fujifilm finds ways to make its image quality unique with film simulations. It’s a major reason why you shoot Fujifilm to begin with. Look at a few images from various cameras and it will be clear what comes from a Fujifilm, a Sony, or even a Nikon.

With that said, if new Canon APS-C cameras launch, they’d need to also launch a few lenses designed for birding and wildlife photography ASAP. It’s one of the major reasons why you’d use APS-C cameras otherwise if your image quality can’t stand out as unique.

Bring Back APS-H?

Now, here’s a very crazy idea! Canon, years ago, had the APS-H format in their 1D series cameras. This gave a 1.3x crop factor and enabled photographers to get a little more out of their lenses. It was fantastic for sports, wildlife, birding, etc. You got almost full-frame image quality with a bit more reach. 

Of course, Canon full-frame cameras also have the option to crop in-camera. But if you’re going for a smaller sensor camera, then you’re also going for a lower price point. I think Canon could bring back APS-H in a camera specifically designed for sports and at a mid-tier level. It could be below full-frame but above APS-C cameras. It wouldn’t be as small as some Canon APS-C cameras, but it would be quite the performer. Nothing would be able to compete with it in its class.

Let’s hope Canon doesn’t mess this one up.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.