Is Canon About to Announce an 85-Megapixel Full Frame Mirrorless Camera?

Is Canon About to Announce an 85-Megapixel Full Frame Mirrorless Camera?

Just as we recover from Sony’s surprise launch of its 61-megapixel a7R IV, rumors have just started circulating that Canon is about to announce its own high-resolution, full frame mirrorless camera featuring a sensor that may boast more than 80 megapixels.

Canon Rumors is claiming to have spoken to a source at Canon who says that the Japanese manufacturer has “caught up to Sony” in the sensor wars. As it stands, the rumors seem to suggest anything between 70 and 85 megapixels, with some throwing some maths at the pixel density of the rumored EOS M6 Mark II and scaling it up to full frame. While Canon might be about to outdo their rivals in terms of resolution, it seems unlikely to me that it will match the a7R IV’s 10 frames per second, however.

After the furor following the launch of the EOS R and the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7, readers might be pleased to learn that dual card slots are expected.

An announcement in the next month or two might account for the unexpected release from Sony of their new “medium format quality” full frame mirrorless camera. Most major announcements tend to come in late spring or early fall, perhaps making the IV a few months early.

Such a move from Canon would not be entirely unexpected, although fans might prefer the company to be focused on improved dynamic range, better low light performance, and video specifications that aren’t protecting Canon’s other cameras.

What do you expect? And if you’re a Canon fan, what are you hoping for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Colorblinded Photo's picture

So many pickles. I could see shooting in sRAW most of the time but having the extra resolution available would be nice at times, not that I probably have enough lenses that can keep up with such a beast.

Granted I don't really care unless it can keep up with the best sensors in other parameters beyond pixel count.

Marc CORBI's picture

Canon already showed a body with 120MP at 9.4f/s (APSH) .. more than one year ago.
Technology is there for a while .. but at what price !!!!

The 60MP at 10f/ps of Sony A7RIV are not exactly an issue for Canon.. question is that Canon is here for decades and they have to manage the future too.

Spy Black's picture

It's amazing how many pictures I take all the time with my 16 and 18 megapixel cameras...

Dillon Murphy's picture

What about cropability? I just switched from a 6D to a 5Ds and i noticed a huge difference. Maybe not in sharpness of the same images side by side on a computer but if you start cropping all the resolution is nice

honderd woorden's picture

Saying something doesn’t make it a fact.

>>and if we can't see it then it's not there<<

Well you didn’t show any pictures for us to see if there is any truth in your statement, so if we can’t see it…

Shank Brisket's picture

@mark mark Silly. Run real-world tests on a RUMOURED camera without established (widely accepted) test methodology and accepance criteria. So much pointless one-upmanship in this clickbait article.

Shank Brisket's picture

Are you an idiot?

Jessadayut Speers's picture

If you have to crop your images to the point where resolution matters I think I have bad news for you.

Dillon Murphy's picture

Sometimes i don't have a lens as long as I want for a wildlife shot, sometimes i don't get the best composition and a crop looks better. I don't crop every image and i try to get what i see in my mind recorded directly by my camera but sometimes a crop is helpful to the end product. I wish i had a 400mm lens but I don't and buying a 5ds (which was a better camera in every way than my 6D) for those rare situations made more sense than spending more money on a 400mm lens. You don't need resolution all the time but it is a tool, i recommend renting one and trying it!

Jessadayut Speers's picture

Sounds like you're not getting close enough to your subject not the fault of your camera. Anyone can take a picture of a lion with a telescope but get one in the wild with a 24 mm would get some admiration. I get your point of view and of course more resolution is nice but when does it become a hindrance to your personal experience of photography. Thanks for the reply Dilon!

Deleted Account's picture

Game on!
Ahh, takes me back. The good ol' days when the megapixel brag was the in-thing.

Guy Incognito's picture

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

El Dooderino's picture

I'm an "amateur enthusiast" who's shot with Canon cameras for many years. The Sony looked interesting, but I don't want to have to drop a lot of money on all new lenses, etc. I'm just now starting to look at the mirrorless cameras to add to my kit, so I may give this a look.

Deleted Account's picture

At this point you'd have to adapt your glass anyways the Canon mirrorless needs an adapter to use the classic EF line. There are some really good adapters (I shoot EF on my a7) for the Sony. If you're switching from DSLR expect to adapt or buy new glass.

El Dooderino's picture

I don't know that I would be switching from DSLR. More like adding to my collection! I didn't think about the need to use adapters. This is a hobby I started with an A1 I bought many years ago while in the military. I kinda drifted away from if for several years but moved to DSLR with a 7D (original) several years ago, and I just recently added a 5D mk iv. I've also been playing around with a G7x mkii for fun. I'm sure it will be a bit before I take the mirrorless plunge. Who knows what technology will be out by then!

Ted Mercede's picture

That's the part that would suck, I would be all in if the camera would be EF mount. If not, I would take a "wait-n-see" attitude. Also, I have used adapters in the past and would rather not use them.

Deleted Account's picture

Personally, I think this is where Canon and Nikon are going to have a hard time. They have to start walking away from their established lens ecosystem for their new mirrorless cameras. Sure, they can offer an adapter but because Sony was there first and embraced the reality that people will be using glass from their previous systems until they ultimately switched. Canon/Nikon both have to deal with the fact that since they're adding a completely new system, it gives people a reason to consider switching to a competitor.

Eric Salas's picture

You’d have to adapt your glass either way. Your argument is null and void here. I use my canon glass on my Sony almost daily.

El Dooderino's picture

Not really an "argument". I guess I didn't really think about the need to use adapters.

Eric Salas's picture

I wasn’t meaning it abrasively, it reads bad lol. It’s the same pain everyone that switched to Sony a few years ago went through. It’ll get better but will still suck for now.

El Dooderino's picture

No worries. Sometime communication on a thread can be challenging. I'm just starting to dip my toes back into an old hobby. So much has changed with technology! I like to come to sites like this to be inspired and learn new things from "pros" and much more advanced hobbyists. I always feel like I have so much more to learn...and that's part of the fun of photography for me! Cheers!

Alec Kinnear's picture

Nikon F glass on Nikon Z or Canon EF on EOS R are far better than Canon EF on Sony E. The FTZ adapter blows the very good Sigma MC-11 out of the water for auto-focus speed and accuracy and most especially reliability.

Eric Salas's picture

I’ve found the same but I attribute it to the glass no being fast enough for the body/adapter.
People complain about the price of Sony emount glass but they don’t factor in the AF speed and why adapted glass is less than optimal on any system.

Alec Kinnear's picture

The issue is not with the lenses. Lenses not suiting focus systems applies more to the Panasonic S series and their DPD focus which is very hard on non-DPD lenses.

The problem with adapting EF glass on Sony is that the adapter is not produced by Canon or Sony. It's a third party crutch with limited support. Sigma itself only supports Canon's lenses on the MC-11 as to make the MC-11 not work with Canon lenses means they would probably not work well with Sigma lenses then.

Metabones adapters are simply not good enough. They tried hard but couldn't bridge the gap between Canon EF and Sony cameras well enough.

Nikon has all the code for both Nikon F lenses and Nikon Z autofocus. Of course their adapter can be close to perfect. Same applies to Canon.

Ronnie Mayo's picture

Canon already lost me. I shot Canon for 13 years but I just sold all of my gear. Im tired of them playing catchup when I know they have the tech. They just want to squeeze as much money out of the market as they can by releasing these stripped down products. They will eventually drop a pro-level camera with the things all of the other manufacturers already have, but its too late for me. Bringing an 80mp camera to market when they dont have a solid contender to the A7R, Z7, or S1R shows that they dont understand the market. The S1R has everything I could ever want in a camera and Im glad I took the leap. Ive enjoyed all the Canon products ive ever owned, and there have been a ton, but the market has left them behind.

michaeljin's picture

They're playing catch up because they DON'T have the tech.

Alec Kinnear's picture

Michael, if you seriously mean this, you don't understand Canon. The 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern shoots HD ProRes and even HD RAW with no line skipping and no dropped frames (with right CF cards). This is a camera released back in 2014. Instead Canon crippled the video with line skipping, making the 1080p effectively a not very good 720p.

This is the same Canon which has 1.7x crop for video on the EOS R while their 1DX Mark II is the only full frame DSLR which shoots 4K 60fps natively.

Canon has always had the tech (apart from the low shadow noise, high dynamic range at base ISO – and even there the 5D Mark IV does go four stops vs 1.5 stops most Canon cameras vs 6 stops Sony sensors). Canon management are cynical gits and just don't want to give it to us.

Like Ronnie Mayo, I've started selling off my Canon gear. The EF 300mm f2.8 L IS I is still the sharpest lens I own. The EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 L II is still significantly sharper than the otherwise very good Nikon 200-500mm f5.6 VR. It's hard to kick the Canon habit. Still it doesn't look Canon has reformed. They are still looking to steal our wallets while giving us the least possible camera they can.

I feel sorry for the engineers, making such great lenses and forced to cripple the otherwise mostly excellent camera bodies in firmware.

michaeljin's picture

Canon definitely crippled their video features on purpose, but that's not what I was referring to. It's the sensor technology that I was referring to. They literally do not have the sensor technology to catch up with Sony and that's in part because Sony is essentially the global leader in imaging sensors. They also don't have the autofocus technology, which is why the EOS R's focusing is inferior to the third generation Sony cameras in regard to speed, tracking, and accuracy.

Anyone who thinks that Canon is just hiding all of this stuff in a shed and waiting for some big reveal when they're in the middle of a vicious fight for mirrorless market share is deluded. Sure, there is always stuff currently in development, but the same could be said of Sony so nobody should think for a second that they would have released the EOS R as it is if they were capable of better at the time of release.

Yes, whenever Canon finally releases their higher end cameras, they'll be better than the EOS R, but it'll take a minor miracle for them to leapfrog Sony's sensor tech or even match it. Canon has compensated for this in other ways, but their cameras have had inferior specs to the competition for some time now and it wasn't for lack of trying. I highly doubt that Canon execs are particularly happy when they see their sensors consistently rating lower than the competition in benchmark tests that (hate them or love them) play such a huge role in consumer opinion these days. They are a company that strives to dominate the market and wants to be #1.

Of course this isn't to say that the EOS R is a bad camera or that Canon shouldn't be taken as a serious option. There's a lot more to a photographic system than 13 stops of dynamic range vs. 15 stops of dynamic range or who happens to have better Eye-AF. I'm just trying to point out the realities of the hardware.

Alec Kinnear's picture


There's not a big difference in sensor quality between a 5D Mark IV and a Sony A7 III/A7R III (the 30MP of the 5D Mark IV is right in between those two models so it's hard to decide which one to compare it to). So Canon can make a sensor with wide dynamic range and low noise shadows. The last stop of dynamic range and the last two stops of low noise shadows (4 of 6, Nikon Z6/Z7 offer 5 of 6, D850, A7 III offer 6 of 6) don't really matter.

On the other hand, to achieve this performance Canon had to give up its trademark lifelike pink skin tones and move to a yellow/green cast in their default colour profile. The 5DS R and 5D III have the old colour profile. It's strikingly different and as a long time Canon shooter I don't like it at all. The old advantage in out of the box skin tones was an enormous selling point for Canon.


Unlike you and the YouTube pundits, I haven't been waiting my whole life for fully automatic eye focus, so I don't really see the focusing disadvantage of Canon cameras. From what I understand the latest Canons have pretty decent face detect and eye detect. Canon has always been known for its excellent autofocus and nothing had changed. Unless you are a full time commercial portrait photographer (at which point eye focus really does help with workflow and would allow you to create more factory assembly images more quickly), I don't see the eye focus as a crucial distinction/advantage.


Canon have superior optical image stabilisation and a slew of patents in this area. They just refuse to put IBIS in their cameras as it significantly increases costs and their engineers know what Sony, Panasonic and Nikon aren't telling us: cameras with IBIS will wear out sooner and the repair won't be cheap (probably can't be justified in a three to six year old cameras). IBIS is a complex moving part, failure in inevitable). Canon have justifiably prided themselves on their excellent record on reliability (built like a tank) and after warranty service (Canon swapped out the entire power unit on my 5D III within a week for €200: try and get that kind of service for your four year old Sony or even Nikon).

Adding IBIS will cause Canon all kinds of failures against their benchmark reliability (camera should work for at least ten years under heavy use, whereas Sony cameras are calculated to fail within two to four years of moderate use) on prosumer and up lines, i.e. 5D and EOS R and up, not the 6D II or RP.


On the other hand, a broken user interface paradigm (EOS R vs 5D series) and heavy rolling shutter do really bother me. User interface that Canon had already developed and rolling shutter issues which Canon had already solved (see 1DX Mark II) are clearly not technology disadvantages.

Conclusion: it's mainly a choice Canon is making, crippling its lower tier cameras. I've moved on at this point and prefer to deal with Nikon. Their cameras aren't perfect (autofocus on dark subjects against lighter backgrounds is definitely weaker: sometimes autofocus just won't flip over to the closer subject at all) but at least they are trying (great sensors, full frame video with superior highlight rolloff, 10-bit 4:2:2, RAW to external recorder, IBIS).

Shank Brisket's picture

@Ronnie Mayo Ironically L-mount has to catch up in terms of lens offereings and accessories. So unless the body is the only thing you care about, your point is moot.

Kurt Hummel's picture

I would be interested in it. I love my 5dsr so I would expect this to be even better.

Ramon Acosta's picture

Let’s do some math then. The Sony A7R IV has 60MP and a crop mode with 26MP.
So if canon is about to release a APS-C camera (the rumored 90D) with 31MP, so 26x2.3=59.8, then 31x2.3=71.3 .
So that’s what I expect from Canon, about 70 million glorious pixels!
Feel free to correct my math.

honderd woorden's picture

Canon APS-C has a 1.6 crop factor.
1.6 x 1.6 x 31.2 = 79,9 so let’s call it 80mp

Steve Hall's picture

A) It will take 3+ years for drive/cloud space and bandwidth to catch up
B) Amazing still photography bargains just around the corner (6DII, 5DIV, 5DSR, etc.)
C) Sensor tech gets to phones.. the iPhone XII iLens mount is introduced

michaeljin's picture

A interchangeable lens mount for phones would actually be pretty cool...

Ryan Mense's picture

Isn’t this what the RED Hydrogen was kinda sorta supposed to be at first?

michaeljin's picture

No clue. The only thing I remember them touting was a holographic screen or something like that... :/

Dillon Murphy's picture

Already some awesome deals on the 5Ds

Ryan Mense's picture

If there’s any truth to this, I worry that Canon would put all their eggs in the megapixel basket and sacrifice other functionality just to do it. Highest megapixel sensor for the marketing to cling to, but the same outdated functionality in other areas would be a disappointment. I’ve been eyeing the 5DS R’s being sold for $1,700 on eBay because the sensor would be really nice to have, but what holds me back is the supporting cast of features that are lacking in a world where the D850 and a7R III/IV exist. I’d want a new high megapixel camera to be a more clear and obvious choice all around like Sony and Nikon has for their users.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

If it’s not 320MP then no sale!

Rodrigo Ortiz's picture

I think that "their new “medium format quality” full frame mirrorless camera" should read "their higher count FF sensor camera.

michaeljin's picture

Not all "medium format" sensors are the same size and some are barely larger than a full frame sensor so it's probably not that far from the truth...

Motti Bembaron's picture

And I still shoot with my 12MP Nikon D3 :-)

michaeljin's picture


David Pavlich's picture

I hope not. I'm hoping for a Canon version of the D850 when it comes to pixels and fps. Considering the stress that 85 MP puts on just about everything to do with photography, I don't need it. For my work, I wouldn't mind a 40MP 9-10 fps camera that mirrors Nikon's base 64 ISO. I don't need the 'flippy' screen, but having one that lets me use live view overhead and on the ground would be nice. I do zero video, so that isn't any concern here.

EL PIC's picture

But of course .. they know how stupid their customers are.

michaeljin's picture

Bring on MEGAPIXEL WARS 2.0!

Josh Wright's picture

Honestly I'm happy at 16MP

Daniel McAvoy's picture

I'm still shooting on a 20mp 6D, and have been professionally for years. My work is printed on large scale posters frequently and not once has resolution ever been an issue.

HOWEVER, the ability to crop in on huge 50/60/70/80mp files would be really useful.

I've not bought a 5DSr because it's built on an even older camera (The 5D3). And I haven't bought a Sony A7R3/4 because they don't give you any option to shoot smaller raw files which would make workflow a nightmare with the amount I shoot.

I've almost upgraded to an EOS R several times but I keep hearing about this supposed "Pro" R series camera so I've held off.

If Canon release a high megapixel mirrorless option with all the benefits of the EOS R and the ability to shoot both 20/30ish megapixel files as well as 70/80mp files when I need them I will 100% buy it.

Sounds like an ideal camera to me.

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