Canon has recently filed a patent for a full frame camera with a fixed lens that has a focal length range of 15-45mm. However, there seems to be a catch. The variable aperture of the lens is f/4.5-8, which is quite narrow considering the users wouldn't be able to replace the lens with something else for a shallower depth of field.
The fact that Canon has designed this narrower aperture range for a fixed lens could potentially point towards this camera being incredibly compact and lightweight. Perhaps we could even be looking at this camera being billed as the ultimate travel camera.
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As reported by Canon News this patent could mean that Canon is looking to produce a super compact full-frame camera. While the narrow variable aperture might seem strange to some users, it's likely that Canon has decided to experiment with this in order to have a zoom lens. To keep zoom lenses compact in design, certain sacrifices need to be made, including aperture design.
Of course, some users may prefer to have a fixed focal length with a wider aperture. Cameras such as the Sony RX1 and the Leica Q2 are great example of these, with the Sony offering a 35mm f/2.0 fixed lens and the Leica using a 28mm f/1.7 lens. However, a fixed lens means that users are unable to zoom in or out for a different composition and view.
A wide maximum aperture is often touted as being one of the most useful aspects of a lens, enabling users to shoot in low light and create pleasing bokeh effects. However, Canon may feel that some users would prefer the flexibility of an expanded focal range instead.
Either way, it's worth remembering that Canon is prolific for producing multiple patents a year. However, many of these potential products will never see the light of day. It'll be interesting to see whether this fixed lens full frame camera makes the cut!