Is Canon About to Announce a 45-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera That Shoots 8K Video and Stills at 20 Frames per Second?

Is Canon About to Announce a 45-Megapixel Mirrorless Camera That Shoots 8K Video and Stills at 20 Frames per Second?

Not long after I suggested that a mirrorless version of a 1D X camera was still a long way off, Canon Rumors reports that Canon is a few weeks from announcing a 45-megapixel RF-mount beast that shoots at 20 frames per second (12 fps mechanical). Can this be true?

Such a rumor was being taken with a pinch of salt until Canon Rumors doubled down on it yesterday. This new mirrorless camera is said to have 5 stops of in-body stabilization and shoot 8K raw video at 30 fps. As Canon News describes, if this outlandish array of specs proves to be true, this could be regarded by many as “the last camera I’ll ever have to buy.”

Canon News goes on to break down the figures, arguing that the 1D X Mark III’s blistering speed processes 400 million pixels per second when its 20.1 megapixels are blasting away at 20 frames per second. This supposed "R5" camera would need to process data at 900 million pixels per second, putting incredible demands on the processor and generating a significant amount of heat. The new DIGIC X processor inside the 1D X Mark III is certainly impressive, but is this possible? Battery life could be an issue, making some doubt that such a camera would be likely at this stage.

For me, what made it improbable is the recent release of the 1D X Mark III itself and Canon’s priorities for continuing the development and roll-out of its mirrorless cameras. The a9 II probably does not need mirrorless competition (as argued in this article), and Canon fans seem much more interested in a 5D Mark IV or 5DS equivalent (read more here), rather than something that is geared for insane levels of speed. This, apparently, might not be such a concern if Canon has this level of technology to deploy who might be about to produce something epic. Brace yourselves for an announcement in February with launch slated for July this year.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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If true I'll probably get one in the fall after the first bugs are fixed.

I'm holding out for a cheaper version that offers the same image quality without the video capability, is that wishful thinking?

Now that sounds like me. :-) Video has no attraction for me.

I don't know that they make cameras without video any more. I would take a cheaper stills only version as well.

If you don't want video I think you will need to forego the live view as it is the same technology. It won't be cheaper, in fact, they will make a premium price for th 5% who don't want video on their cameras instead of just not using it.

Kind of like the same filtered water from a soda cost you more if you don't get the sugar and chemicals in it. Yeah, I can see that.

I always skip the video specs part cause I barely ever use it on my cameras. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Yeah, video just doesn't interest me. Don't like shooting it and don't even really like watching it. No clue why!

Any camera with live view already has video capability built in--video recording is just firmware. It was possible to hack the firmware of old non-video Canon live view DSLRs to record videos

So, a camera with live view and no video is just a camera that has had the video recording capability turned off in firmware. It's not going to be any will probably be more expensive.

I more meant without the extra video features like 8k/30fps, which I'd never use. I'm not sure if I've ever even used the video function on my Canon 5d.....

Do you want a big image buffer for stills? Do you want a high rate of continuous shooting for stills? That video is still mostly just along for the ride after you've improved the still capabilities. The cost difference would be minuscule, but if they had to set up a separate line just for people who wanted the video turned off, it would be more expensive for that minority market.

Image buffer, maybe. Continuous shooting isn't necessary for me, though. I don't shoot wildlife, sports, portraits or events, just travel, architecture and landscape. But, I see why people want it.

I appreciate your answer, it makes sense.

Let's wait for the fine print to be released. You know, you get this feature only if you use certain lenses or that staggering video will actually be cropped or hobbled in some kind of way.

It will just be an 8k time-lapse gimmick.

At the rate we've been getting these predictions about Canon, they'll be coming out with a dozen cameras by 2021.

I do love these posts, people complain about Canon not being innovative enough or driving enough change. Then you get posts when Canon produce something. Can't win can they? The rumours for the 1Dx III was pretty spot on and everyone criticised Canon before and after (and still do). It's arguably one of the best, if not the best, sports and ENG cameras out there. I know it's not out, but the 1Dx II is battle tested and proven itself so I've little to no doubt the Mk III will follow the heritage of every 1 series camera ever produced. Also from memory, the 1D series has usually dual AF modules, something no other Canon stills camera has to drive the AF and also a higher voltage to the lenses AF system, This means it can track, focus and lock on in fast moving scenarios such as a falcon in full dive killing a bird, tracking a cheetah or capturing a football player doing a crucial tackle in a low-light stadium. That's why the 1Dx is relevant, the 5D III and IV share the same AF system but when you use both side by side the differences can be stark.

Canon has the technical know-how, and the relevant research and development to pull this off. Is it likely? Who knows, but people (read mostly Sony fans) have been putting them down for years without understanding how Canon works. Canon only releases technology they're comfortable with and fully fleshed out, unlike other manufacturers. This is why there's relatively few issues with their new cameras. especially compared to the competition. Sure it's not exciting but if you're reliant on them for your bottom line to produce shots day in and day out, then that's all that matters.

RAW output is that, minimal to no compression so it's a straight data dump to buffer meaning low-heat and minimal data usage. I also believe CR3 uses new methodologies to handle the data rates and reduce power consuptuion. Downside it's likely going to put more demands on the processing station and Canon could have easily licensed a processing engine or used some of their in-house video processors in addition to their DIGIC processors. To be fair this is a 5D IV replacement, not a 1Dx which is a completely different market therefore set of requirements. The 5D IV is still one of the best all-rounder cameras on the market, a fact that's reflected by it's sales despite being on the market for years and it's held it's value both new and s/h.

So are stats believable? Yes, at least most of them are. No doubt there will be caveats such as 8k might be limited to time lapse as some have conjectured or some other similar mode. To be frank, if the rumours are true then this will put a wake up call to other manufacturers. Everyone has assumed Canon was going to continue into somnolence and fade away with the advent of mirrorless, Canon has been tinkering with mirrorless for a long time, maybe not successfully but learning about how people react to their cameras. The real acid test now is it too late? I suspect not, Canon still has a large user base, despite the efforts of Sony shilling... sorry marketing saying otherwise or even in the forums. The old arguments about DR will probably be meaningless if those specs are right, and the Mk IV is pretty damned good camera when used in the trenches rather than some fake metric that don't publish their test procedures.

I'm quite sure the stats are plausible, apart for the 8K bit. However, it's not groudbreaking - the Leica SL2 has pretty much these stats but does 5K video not 8K, hence my doubts about that. The SL2 is 47MP, 20fps in raw, 5 stop IBIS, video internally etc etc. It's kinda pricy though, but awesome!

I’ve heard it may be referring to an 8K time lapse feature. We’ll have to wait and see I guess.

It's not that I don't believe them. I'm just taking a wait and see attitude. If the R5 is as they say it is, I'll give it a look by renting it a few times. If I'm pleased, Canon, here's my money!

Same here, I currently use a pair of 5D III and a Fuji X-Pro 2 as my cameras renting out gear as I need it, I've waiting for the market to mature to the point where changes are iterative and you don't have to sacrifice features.

I don't think anyone thought Canikon were going to fade away because of Sony jumping on the ML first.
Think of Sony as Tesla and Canikon as Ford/GM. Never underestimate the big guns, they may be slow to react because they are not as limber as the more innovative companies but when they decide to do something it will probably be pretty good. Which will urge Sony to to leapfrog over Canikons latest and greatest. Competition is good for most.

I love my eos r so a more refined version of that is more interesting to me due to budget concerns. So I hope the mark ii rumors are true. This r5 sounds like a dream but priced like a dream. I can't justify a $4k+ camera.

8k30fps!!!... when shooting in 4/3 crop mode 😉

in mjpeg.

at 8bit 4:2:0

I feel as though 8bit 4:2:0 is my actual bane as I attempt to grade non-log footage. I tweak tone curves and everything gets so crunchy, any smooth contrast gradient is lost. I assume shooting is S-log or Cine should help alleviate that. But then i need to figure out correct exposure for log/cine.

I will definitely wait a while.

My 2016 olympus does 60 fps for a 20Mp sensor, that's 133% more pixel / second to manage. But yes, good job canon.
About the 8k, ok, that's really cool.