In what seems to be a first, Canon has announced an industrial camera sporting a 15 megapixel monochrome sensor and, most peculiar (well, at first sight at least) a Nikon F-mount. The camera is aimed at the manufacturing industry, where Canon reckons it’ll be used for quality control applications that the human eye isn’t sensitive enough for. To that end, the monochrome sensor provides low noise, high sensitivity, and great dynamic range to be able to capture the slightest imperfections in a product.
In their own words, Canon “entered the industrial camera market as a new business to capture these market trends,” which means they want a piece of the industrial camera market cake. And there’s the answer as to why they put a Nikon F-mount on the M15P-CL: in industrial applications, the F-mount is very prominent, and Canon would probably have a hard time selling their new camera would it mean that potential end-users had to buy new Canon EF lenses for it, instead of being able to use the F-mount lenses they already have.
Judging from the description, the sensor inside the M15P-CL is something that black-and-white enthusiasts would love to see in a Canon DSLR. As Leica demonstrated with the M Monochrom, a sensor that comes without a color filter is not only more sensitive to light, but can also capture much greater tonality, which is very important to serious black-and-white photographers. It is, however, highly unlikely that Canon will ever put this sensor in a consumer product, as the market for monochrome cameras is pretty small.
Via Canon Watch