Canon just announced a new full-frame DSLR, the EOS 6D. Clearly recognising the appeal of full-frame photography and more recently, videography, Canon is pricing the new camera at an extremely competitive price.
What this will mean for full frame photography and cinematography is clear – more people with have access to it. Some might not understand the big deal, but a larger sensor, in this case equivalent to 35mm film, means the camera literally captures more in the frame. Traditional digital cameras, including many DSLRs, have a cropped sensor that actually cuts away much of the image. Manufacturing cropped sensors costs much less, and they can be useful for telephoto photography as they, in a very vague sense, magnify the image. Less of it is seen in any case. A smaller sensor also means a wider depth of field, allowing deep focus.
However, the benefits of full frame sensors are the beautifully shallow depth of field you can achieve and full-frame lenses will also work as originally intended, meaning you can get closer to subjects – in fact, that is the very reason depth of field increases when compared to cropped sensors. You have to move closer to achieve the same framing. This also means wider angle lenses will shine in all their wide glory. Furthermore, full-frame sensors will generally have their receptors spaced further apart. This is why the 5D produces less noise when compared to cropped cameras.
Now, with the arrival of the 6D, we may be seeing the rebirth of the full frame as a standard for image capture, and it will literally widen the scope of photography and video for more people than ever before in the digital age.
UPDATE: Philip Bloom has written up some basic thoughts about the newly announced camera at the bottom of his post here. He notes that the 6D has an All-I format like the 5D MkIII. It seems that at least in terms of video, the 6D might not be far off the MkIII.
Impressions have been quite poor of the new camera for video but positive for stills. It certainly won’t be cannibalising 5D MkIII sales to filmmakers.