O.K., let me preface this by saying that I have no knowledge, leaked info, or anything else on Canon and forward plans. I just got to thinking a lot more after seeing the Leica S2 pricing and stuff.
Do any folks think that Canon could produce something similar to the S2, but done with Canon strengths and capabilities? By this I mean does it seem feasible to maybe build a new body that could handle a sensor about the size and density of what is in the S2, and still be able to utilize the EOS mount and other features to some degree? As we have seen, the new 17mm TSE lens can throw quite an image circle, so it may be realistic to enable use of a larger sensor in a newly designed body.
My thinking was to also create a new line of glass, call it "L+" for lack of anything more creative that would fit the EOS mount for the camera, and have stellar performance levels rivaling Leica's stuff. Canon (or even Nikon at this point) have enough depth in the 35mm DSLR market, and at the higher performance end where folks are looking for this sort of camera and glass (S2 type stuff), that they could build it.
My thoughts are that this new camera could still utilize existing EOS mount glass, but maybe that could trigger an internal masking on the sensor back to present 35mm FF size or something, while the "L+" glass would cover the larger image circle. There may have to be some adjustments with depth mounting, etc., but that seems doable.
Effectively, one could keep their existing glass and use it on a body that would also be able to handle higher performance glass at higher resolutions. So folks that really like the 85 f1.2L II for example, could continue to use it on this new body, still producing great results to maybe 25MP equivalent files, or drop on a new 100 f1.4L+ lens for example, and deliver to 40MP equivalent files or something. (I have not bothered to work out sizes and stuff, but just looking at where the sweet spot may be.)
The new "L+" glass would most likely be costly, but probably nowhere near what Leica is asking for their new S-line. Even if it was close, one would not have to completely forgo existing EOS mount glass to cover things.
The other specs could incorporate all of latest tweaks and more that we do not know about. Maybe 3-4 DIGIC VI processors if needed, fast and accurate AF over many more points than just one, image stabilization in lenses (Canon does this pretty well), etc., etc. While probably not able to handle both leaf and focal plane shutter capabilities, a 1/400s or 1/500s sync may be possible anyway, which may be enough, and avoid the leaf shutter costs and build issues. (Recall, the original 1D had 1/500s sync speed, so it is doable.) The trick may be the sensor design and fab. Nobody is doing a CMOS at that size, but has anybody tried yet? Since Canon does its own fab, it may be in a position to do that. Not going to go into the concepts of AA filter and microlenses and stuff, but at this point, it seems obvious what could possibly be done to challenge or better the MF sensors and still have the higher ISO capabilities, camera speed, etc.
If such a beast is possible to build, it could create an entirely new ripple on the pond, and more so if the pricing were kept in line. I could see even going to $10-12K for the body, and that would still be reachable and very attractive for many if all the other pieces came together. The overall versatility would be tremendous, and permit users to buy up in glass as needed/wanted, while still having 35mm FF performance from body and existing glass.
Anybody else see this as something possible and interesting? Let's face it, if the S2 does hit the mark for size and handling, this sort of solution might be "proven", but available at a much more reality-based cost for users.
P.S. I sort of chafed at the "blue collar/white collar" analogy in the Leica thread, as I see that as being a foolish line of thinking. I know a lot of folks that are considered "blue collar" workers that have and use tools that far exceed anything the "white collar" counterparts might consider. Price is a bigger practical consideration now than it may have been for a while, but that does not mean one has to scrimp on quality....this is where Canon volumes could overcome that situation easily, I would think.