Don't worry, if you shoot with Fuji, Olympus or Panasonic you can stand on the sidelines and watch the spectacle without giving in to the urge to grab a fistful of credit cards out of your pocket and go berserk. But if you are a Canon power user you are no doubt on pins and needles because of the news we've heard in the last week (strong rumors) of not one but two Canon full frame camera bodies coming into the market which will seek to better the specifications of the Nikon D810. Or at least match that camera's imaging quality in a body Canon lens collectors can be proud of.
The rumors (somewhat confirmed for me by contacts in retail) point to two very high resolution bodies based around an improved Canon 5D mk3 body. By very high resolution we are told that the bodies will boast 50+ megapixel, full frame sensors. In a move similar to Nikon's just previous D8XX adventures one camera will have an anti-aliasing filter (a nod to the needs of videographers?) and the other will not. It will be unencumbered by a detail degrading filter in order to achieve maximum sharpness.
I'm hoping Canon goes for the Full Monty and adds real 4K video capability to the new machines. It's already available as a Magic Lantern hack for the 5D3 but hacking your primary shooting camera tends to scare the crap out of a lot of careful people so having it as a native feature is always a marketing plus.
It's overall an interesting strategy on the part of Canon at a time when the bottom part of their camera market is succumbing to the same entropy that everyone else's bottom markets are falling prey to. As camera sales decline around the world camera makers seem to be focusing more and more on the tops of their product mixes where (no doubt) the profit margins are thicker and the bang per sale is much greater for the bottom line. It's also no coincidence that the upper end of the enthusiast market is where the people with the greatest concentration of money are greatly concentrated. Especially those with an interest in buying some sort of cutting edge camera. It all seems to me to be like the big pirate ship that is sinking and all the officers (top cameras) are climbing the mast in the hopes that the ship will settle on the shallows before they themselves are totally underwater.
The clear winners in the race for maximum sensor resolution and image quality? That would be Sigma and Zeiss. Each is rushing to establish and brand segments of their product mix as the only lenses really capable of actually doing justice to all those tightly packed pixels. The mantra I hear on every forum and at every camera counter goes something along the lines that all the camera makers' lenses before a certain time period were designed in a time period when there was no need to design in critical performance at the levels that are now purportedly required to show even a mild difference between a 20+ something sensor resolution and those at 36 and now 50+ megapixels.
Sigma's "Art" branded lenses and Zeiss's "Otus" branded lenses are positioned as some of the few optical systems that are capable of delivering the resolution required to match the potential of the new generation of sensors. That older zoom lens? Not gonna do the job. So there's both an inertia to ignore the "ultimate upgrades" based on the idea that the lenses won't support them (or that you'll need to totally re-invest in better glass) or to pauper yourself buying new lenses that are a critical match for the new camera bodies you also have to have. No one wants to look like the jerk that buys a Canon 1DX and then puts a cheap, off brand, super zoom on the front.
Of course, this process is rarely binary and the first blush response after getting one of the new bodies and convincing one's self that the lenses are sufficient unto the task, will be to get "just my favorite focal length in the newest formulation." Which only breaches the dyke and starts the process of good judgement erosion that eventually leads to a spirited defense of the benefits of the new system upgrade.
I can hardly wait for the articles. "Battle of the Titans!" "Winners and Losers." "Who will wear the crown of Imaging when the smoke clears?" Perhaps by that point people will have played around with the Sony A7S some more and decided that 12 really fun megapixels is a better holistic value. Naw, people love a good school yard dust up and that's what we have to look forward to if the rumors pan out.
Ah, this way lies madness.