We're settling back in after coming back from Comic-Con (you've seen the cosplay gallery, right?), and there's a ton of news to catch up on. Two reports that caught my eye concern Canon's upcoming camera announcements. Digital camera sites have been invited to a launch event on July 23rd, which is expected to be the debut of Canon's long-awaited entry into the mirrorless interchangeable camera category. Previous reports indicated that Canon's ILC system would adopt the same sensor as the company's Powershot G1 X compact, a 1.5" sensor that is sized between Panasonic/Olympus's micro 4/3rds standard and the popular APS-C standard. But now photography sites are hearing that Canon's ILC will use the same APS-C sensor as the Rebel T4i. This is good news for Canon fans as the APS-C sensor is about 20% larger than the G1 X sensor, which results in noticeably better image quality. Canon's ILC system is still expected to use a new lens mount, with EF adapters available as well.
Potentially even more exciting though are the new rumored specs for Canon's new full-frame camera, which is expected to debut at the Photokina event in September. Both Canon and Nikon have been reported to be working on more affordable full-frame camera systems (affordability is relative, of course), in the form of Nikon's D600 and now this unnamed Canon camera. What's exciting to me is the possibility that this camera will actually be the refresh of the popular EOS 7D, which currently uses an APS-C sensor. The rumored specs indicate that this camera will have the same 22MP full-frame sensor as the 5D Mark III and a 19-point AF system. At an expected price of $2000, that's more expensive than a used 5D Mark II, but the better AF system and possibly better video support makes this very enticing.
Both these rumors spotlight the camera industry's invigorated interest in digital camera sensors as a selling point for mid-range and prosumer products. This can be seen in Sony marking its new MILC cameras with the APS-C sensor size right on the front of the body as well as on cameras' packaging and marketing materials. Communicating the importance of sensor size to shoppers is an ongoing challenge for camera makers, but the rising sales of MILCs show that the improved image quality from larger camera sensors are speaking for themselves. This newly launched comparison site is a great resource for showing you the physical differences between various sensors types and camera specs. Also worth watching is this video on how a digital camera sensor actually processes light from the lens and converts it into a digital image: