[N.B. I really do not know what the future is for Canon DSLRs. I am just speculating here. It would be nice if I'll be privy to some Canon secrets, and Apple secrets as well, but I am not at that level yet. I wish and hope I would be in the future...]
Canon, with the T4i, released a couple of lenses last friday. I can see that the T4i is a very good upgrade since, according to Gizmodo, the T4i is "as close as a DSLR has come to using an easy camcorder." I believe that, despite the higher price compared to DSLRs of the same capabilities but at a lower pricepoint, the T4i will do to the Rebel series what the Canon 5D Mark II has done for DSLR videography in general.
However, I am more excited about one of the lenses that was announced together with the T4i: the 40mm f/2.8 pancake.
This is the first time Canon has released a pancake lens. But what really got me excited more is that this is an "EF" lens - this means that this new lens can be used on all Canon DSLRs that can accomodate the EF mount.
Now, why am I excited?
Well, and this is where I am already speculating, Canon is really in the process of making the next generation of cameras, Trey Ratcliff's so-called Third Generation SLRs. This is, after all, the reason for "pancake" lenses: smaller lenses for smaller, mirrorless "SLRs". I know, I know, that's a contradiction in terms...
But more so, what got me really pumped is that the new pancake is an EF mount which means that, when Canon finally comes around to revealing that new line of SLRs, all the EF mount lenses will still be compatible! So now, the fear of buying an EF lens has somehow abated: you can buy an EF lens and still be able to use it when the next batch of cameras come around.
The EF mount lenses will be compatible with the third generation cameras and the future EF mount pancake lenses will be backwards compatible with the existing Canon DSLRs.
One thing though: I would be greatly surprised if ever the current EF-S lenses will not be compatible with the next-gen Canon cameras. It would be counter-intuitive...
(The track made by Canon here is different from what Nikon has done with their 1-series. If you want to use your old lenses, then you will have to buy an adapter, albeit with some limitations.)
So, I think that we are now seeing glimpses of what Canon is trying to achieve and I am happy that, if I'm proven correct, that Canon has chosen this path.
So, do you want to have a taste of the future? Pre-order yours here: