Canon readying 20-1900mm ultrazoom?

2 Jan

Imaging-Resource (IR) has relayed a rumour based on a patent filing uncovered by Egami along with I’d say pretty well-founded speculation that it could be used in an upcoming Canon PowerShot “SX100”, successor to the SX50.

While IR did not want to muse on the possible equivalent focal lengths this would generate, I have done so here based on the sensor size of the SX50. For reference, the SX50 provides a 24-1200mm equivalent range of focal lengths. It’s unclear whether the lens can support the image circle needed for the SX50 sensor, though, which is why IR is holding off. They also note that aperture drops from f/3.5 to f/9, so much of this focal range may not be usable without a tripod.

To the best of my knowledge, the longest-reach lens built by Canon at this point is the Canon EF 1200mm, which gives a 1920mm equivalent focal length if used with Canon’s version of an APS-C crop body.

That prime lens, however, has a maximally wide aperture of f/5.6, while the newly patented zoom lens tapers down to f/9 at the long end, and would require any wildlife you may wish to photograph at long range to sit rather still. Use of the hypothetical SX100 for sports photography would depend on how quickly the aperture narrows down. Current-generation superzooms are somewhat usable for sports in bright sunshine, although not at full zoom, with the exception of the Panasonic LUMIX FZ200 with its constant f/2.8 aperture and maximum 600mm equivalent zoom. Sports photographers usually favour 400mm lenses.

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