Canon EOS R6 Moves Closer to Official Launch. Will It Be a Genuine Alternative to the EOS R5?

Canon EOS R6 Moves Closer to Official Launch. Will It Be a Genuine Alternative to the EOS R5?

With excitement about Canon's impending release of its new EOS R5 model reaching ever greater heights, there is now perhaps an equal level of anticipation building for the EOS R6, which many see as a cheaper, yet high quality alternative to the EOS R5.

When Canon recently revealed it would be launching a new full-frame mirrorless camera in the form of the EOS R5, the reported specs and rumors about what it would hold under the hood took a lot of photographers by surprise — in a very good way. There's no need to rehash them all now because you can find them all here, but suffice to say many Canon loyalists were jumping for joy. I was one of them, at first. I'm a 5D MKIV user for landscapes and a 7D MKII user for sports and action. For various reasons, I've been looking to consolidate my setup and do away with the need for two cameras. At first, I reasoned the EOS R5 could be the answer to all my prayers. However, after the initial buzz of excitement, I found that the only thing that really got me off my feet was the burst rate of 12fps on the mechanical shutter (20 fps through the electronic shutter). All the rest, particularly regarding the 8K video hoopla, I didn't care for too much. Nor for the rumored price tag.

However, news overnight has indicated that the release of the Canon EOS R6 may indeed be getting closer. According to Tech Radar, Japanese camera rumors site Nokishita spotted the wireless radio certification of new Canon model with the moniker "DS126831," which is highly likely to be the Canon EOS R6 given it's so close to the EOS R5's codename. The certification doesn't reveal much else about the forthcoming full-frame mirrorless camera, aside from the fact that it'll share the same battery as the EOS R5 and have Bluetooth 4.2 (rather than Bluetooth 5.0). If you can believe some of the reports, we might have the EOS R6 as early as June, though October is more likely given current global events. What I like most is that the EOS R6 seems to have most of the features of the EOS R5, including similar burst speeds. The R6 is likely to have a much smaller sensor though (said to be around the the 20MP mark) and an inferior build. If you're a landscape shooter, that might impact your decision, as it will take away some of the image quality and cropping capabilities larger sensors give you.

However, at a rumored price of just over $2,000, it could be the perfect entry camera for those of us wishing to make a foray into the mirrorless world without having to break the bank to do so. A 20MP sensor might be an issue though. I think I'm still conflicted. What do you think? Please leave your comments below.

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Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. He has presented at conferences globally and written for numerous international publications. To learn more about his work, his life in Japan, or how he plans to semi-retire at 64, check out his writing on Medium by clicking the website link above.

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Yeah, 20mp offers way too less for cropping. Could have been at least 30mp. Otherwise, there will be nothing to complain (provided Canon provides good low light performance)

With the rumored price for R5 being usd 6,700. R6 looks like a better choice. But the 20mp instead of 30mp might be a bummer for many.

20MP is nothing. Not worth buying if even the IV and R have way more MP than that. Heck even the 5D III has more than 20.

Right, so one not yet available camera is an alternative to another not yet available camera. The stupidity of it all.

If this camera could support over at least 25MP it would be Canon's biggest success. Everyone on the Canon side basically just wants a Canon camera with the capabilities of the a7III. But in 2020 having just 20MP for stills seams really low. It's ok if you are a pro photographer and you're carrying the big white glass with you - than you don't need to crop and the great buffer is more useful for you. But if you're a small guy, who wants one camera for basically everything and you are on a budget.. then 20mp are not gonna cut it..

I actually plan on upgrading mainly to get more MP. 20 is nothing.

Yeah totally agree. The current 5D4 is 36MP, so going down almost half for a new camera......hard to justify for stills in my mind at the moment. 30MP would be the perfect size, without 8k etc etc. That’s just my opinion


The 5D4has 30.4MP sensor, not 36MP. Just a correction, I totally agree that 20MP is not what Canon shooters, myself included, wait for Canon to deliver.

Yes, you’re right. My mistake. Cheers

Why would canon release a new camera with lower resolution than R or RP? Does not make any sense. My Huawei P30 gives more than that.

Maybe a happy medium...? Get the IBIS, the 8k video, the 12fps and other bells and whistles. All for a lot less than the EOS R5. But......with a smaller sensor.....gotta cut cost somewhere?

Totally agree with most of the comments but I could do 20mp no problem. Especially if the R6 I’d $5k+! As a wedding photographer and photojournalist, 20 is fine. Even if I had to crop in, I promise my editors at Biz Journals wouldn’t care/notice and couples wouldn’t know the difference.

Seems like having 1 R5 and 2 R6 bodies will be my future setup. Good thing I stuck with 5D Mark IV since the launch. ROI on point. I’m sure that’s not the same for most. So glad I waited and never switched.

20mp is a huge disappointment.
32-36 mp today should be the minimum.
Unless this camera sees in total darkness with 0 noise at ISO 500,000 and a 25 stop DR.

They wouldn't use a sensor smaller than the EOS RP. It would be great if they used the sensor from the 5DS and made a body for those of us who desire definition over frame rates. Or split the difference and use the sensor from the 5D IV. Why issue another EOS RP?

Canon did not loose it's habit of crippling

When I read the comments I think everybody is doing posters in A1. Most of the people I know take photos for A4 and there I can clip a photo vertical out of a horizontal picture of my 1D4 with 16MPixel.
20MP is enough for A3 or even A2.
For Weddings I work in Capture One and the pics I give the customers are (downsized) 12 MPixel out of 5D3, A7R2 and 6D2. They can have it in higher res when they want.
So I think for landscape and architecture is 40MP and more top but for holidays, sport, family etc is 20 more then enough.
(please forgive my lousy english, I‘m german spoken :-) )

Yes, all good points, and context is certainly important. I print bigger than that for myself so I’m always mindful of cropping capabilities. But for many, 20MP probably suffices

As a wedding photographer, if the R6 checks the rest of the boxes, I do not mind the 20mp at all. I crop very little and my clients care about the content of the images and whether they look good in them . If I manage to do this successfully , no one really bothers . My 2c.

Ian Stanley said,

"The R6 is likely to have a much smaller sensor though (said to be around the the 20MP mark) and an inferior build. If you're a landscape shooter, that might impact your decision, as it will take away some of the image quality and cropping capabilities larger sensors give you."

I am a little confused, Ian. Is the sensor rumored to be smaller, or is it rumored to be the same full frame size as the R5 sensor, but with fewer pixels?

I have seen a few people here on F-stoppers refer to pixel count as sensor size, and this is very confusing and misleading. Sensor size refers to the physical dimensions of the sensor, and has nothing to do with resolution.

Could you please clarify whether you think this R6 will have a smaller sensor, such as an APS-C 1.6 crop factor sensor, or if you think it will be full frame?

Thank you.

Definitely full frame

I am kind of over the whole Canon tease thing.

Shooting many times in the dark of woods, a full-frame camera is of interest; 20mp may be ideal for those situations??

20 may be low for megapixels, but if it can deliver good performance ar high ISO I'm happy. Landscapes are fine and dandy, but I'm not making anything taking those shots - my money is in headshits and live events where its not that necessary to have the 45mp that the R5 has.

I shoot sports primarily. If 20mp is good enough for the 1dxiii it’ll work for me at 12 frames a second. Focus capability and focus speed are my questions about the R6.

Yeah I suppose it’s horses for courses. A lot of the sports I shoot is surfing. And because of geography/landscape etc I often need to stand waaaaaay back. In those cases, I use the 7D2 with a 600mm so it effectively becomes a 900mm give or take. If the new R6 had a bigger sensor, I maybe could have gotten away with the 600mm and cropped in. I could use an teleconverter, but am I really gonna shell out thousands to then need a teleconverter.....? 20MP is a tad on the small side in my specific scenario, and perhaps bird shooters too, for example

lol how many of you are actually printing photos larger than A3? 20mp is good enough for professional wedding, sports, and press photographers, and yet somehow you need 30mp+ so you can post 1080x1080 portraits to your Instagram. Get real.

I am not familiar with the term "A3", but I print pretty big. The smallest prints I have ordered in the last 5 years have been 20" by 30", with most of my prints being 36" by 24", and several being as large as 48" by 32".

It really hurts when a client wants a really big print, and I have to tell them that the resolution of the image, or the image quality, is not high enough for such a size, and that they will have to select a different image, or a smaller size. I have lost several sales that way, and it really makes one see the importance of high resolution and high image quality.

There are also a good number of publishers that I sell stock images to, and they have very demanding submission guidelines, with native pixel count often being specified at 300 ppi over an 11" by 17" spread. That eliminates most camera bodies' files from even being considered for submission.

If you don't have a sensor with at least 5100 pixels on the long side, you stand to lose a lot of stock sales to publishers and to also lose print sales.

double comment

Very valid points but obviously this camera is not aimed at you.

Honestly I’m extremely happy with the image quality and focus capabilities of my RP’s . Other than a dual card slot, I don’t want to upgrade. However that would be enough for me if it comes in with similar resolution. If not; I’ll wait for the next round or consider the R5 if the price is somewhat reasonable.

To interest me, the R6 needs to have the same build & sensor as the R5, just minus the video.

That’s exactly what I’d love too. Same burst rate, same sensor, minimal video bells and whistles