Canon has just announced what appears to be the company’s first camera for industrial applications, labelled the M14P-CL. The camera, which seems to be aimed primarily at quality control applications for which the human eye isn’t sensitive enough, sports a special APS-C-sized 15 megapixel monochrome sensor. According to the official announcement, the sensor provides low noise, high sensitivity and great dynamic range in order to spot even the tiniest imperfections in products.
Rather peculiar is the use of a Nikon F-mount in the camera instead of Canon’s own EF-mount. However, it is worth noting that for industrial applications, the use of F-mount lenses is very common, which might explain Canon’s decision to go with this mount. The product announcement states that Canon “entered the industrial camera market as a new business to capture these market trends.” Would the company have gone with an EF-mount in their first industrial camera, they might not have been able to sell it, at least not in significant numbers.
Though black-and-white enthusiast might drool over this new sensor and wish to see it implemented in a Canon DSLR, we’re pretty certain that this will never happen. While it is true that a sensor that comes without a color filter on top is more sensitive to light, allowing for higher ISO settings with less noise, and is able to reproduce much finer tonality than a color sensor, it is also true that the market for monochrome-only cameras is very small. It is thus unlikely that Canon will create such a niche product, even though we think the Leica M Monochrom could need some more reasonably-priced competition.
(via Canon Watch)