Crazy or sensible? A full-frame sensor in a smaller-sized body.

Same-same-but-different? How about the 5D MkIII's sensor, in a smaller body?

Sometime yesterday, a couple of articles on a rumoured smaller-sized Canon camera with a full-frame sensor popped into my news feed. Most of yesterday was spent writing, not reading, and I didn't get the chance to pay much attention to them until this morning.

The gory details of the camera are themselves interesting: it would be smaller and lighter than a 5D MkIII, with a mostly plastic construction and possibly a pop-up flash. It'd have a 19 point auto-focus system, a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 51,200, and 22 megapixel full-frame sensor.

But what actually interested me more was F-Stoppers' reaction to this potential new camera:

Canon Rumors has said that an entry level full frame doesn’t make sense, and though affordable access to the 5D MKIII sensor is tantalizing, I kind of agree. A full frame sensor isn’t really necessary for most of the photographers out there and may just be an attempt to move emphasis away from megapixel count and grab a few more of those consumer dollars that drive the company.

Really? You reckon that there are photographers out there who wouldn't be seriously interested in a camera that has a full-frame sensor, but is smaller and lighter than a 5D MkIII. Sure, Canon would have to get this camera absolutely right, but hell, I'd love a full-frame sensor in a body that I didn't need a small trailer to transport.

You see, I like this idea of having choice. My reasons for choosing to use a camera that isn't classically categorised as 'Pro' or 'Prosumer' aren't necessarily dictated by whether or not I'm scared of all the knobs and levers on one, or whether or not I think I need to be able to shoot lots and lots of frames per second, or whether or not I'm wooed by all those extra megapixels. One of them is size and weight. The other is cost. There are certain elements in a camera that I'm prepared to sacrifice for others, but if I'm offered a camera that closer meets my wish-list, then so much the better.

Ideally, I'd like some kind of identi-kit camera, where I could pick and choose the elements that are most important to me. The progressive scale where you have more of everything in each iteration doesn't necessarily meet my needs. Of course, in some respects, it goes with the territory; increase one factor and it automatically increases another. Still, wouldn't it be great to have a camera that meets your specifications? If that's even a possibility, it's a long way off. But until then, Canon offering a variation on a theme is a good thing, in my opinion.