Canon Is Planning 'Big Things' to 'Astonish' Photographers With Their Mirrorless System

Canon Is Planning 'Big Things' to 'Astonish' Photographers With Their Mirrorless System

Canon's EOS R mirrorless camera system has been met with mixed reviews, but Canon is pressing on with the system and expects to expand it. In particular, they recently said to "expect big things."

In speaking with DPReview, Canon engineers had a lot of interesting things to say, highlighting how in particular, the new RF mount will allow them to create some previously challenging or impossible lens designs, such as the new RF 28-70mm f/2L lens. Speaking more generally, the engineers said: "We want to surprise and astonish you, so please expect big things." While it's highly likely the EOS R was not meant as the flagship camera of their mirrorless line and we'll see more capable models released as time goes by, companies like Sony and Fuji have made some remarkable products in their own respective ways, and they've also had several years to refine them. Thus, it'll be quite interesting to see how Canon plans to "astonish photographers." Certainly, lenses like a professional-level f/2 standard zoom are a good start. Either way, it's a great time to be a consumer, as the choices and competition continue to grow. 

Head over to DPReview to read the full interview. 

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58 Comments
Pedro Quintela's picture

I´m not sold yet to the R but it´s growing on me. I sincerely hope that those surprises are good enough to worth the waiting. Also it will be good to all of us, competition is great to see development.
Meanwhile I guess my 5d4 will get the job done, particularly in rough environments.

Lino Paul's picture

EOS r is the mirrorless 6D

Rui Bandeira's picture

I think that the EOSR is not the top of the line mirrorless cam, from Canon.
They will be making some better models...
Never the less i will be testing the EOSR Tomorrow at a Canon presentation

Mr Hogwallop's picture

I agree, but it's not the best marketing path. The trick is to bring out the best model first. The expensive one that people aspire to buy will get the rich folks to buy and the thrifty folks to save until the somewhat less luxury model comes out that they can afford.
Knowing Canon they will hobble the R's features to push the buyers to the S then the T.

Steve White's picture

Um, no. Canon's market has always been amateur to pro-sumer. The pros drive the brand image but the sales to the pros are dwarfed by the sales to the rest of us. So bringing out the R (which I agree is akin to a 6D2) is smart -- the camera is apparently selling well to the affluent pro-sumer and amateur market, and this allows Canon to start recovering their investment (which they have to do). Now Canon can serve up a 1Dx or 5D variant of the R for the pros. I predict we'll see that about six to nine months before the 2020 Olympics.

David Pavlich's picture

I disagree. Nikon made the mistake of bringing out there pro priced body (Z7) missing some of the pro features, the big one, no dual card slots. I doubt many D850 owners got excited with what the Z7 offers.

I highly doubt that Canon will make the same mistake. My guess is that the pro R model will have a very similar button layout of the 5DIV and two card slots and a much higher frame rate. IBIS? Could be, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Eye AF? Hope so.

For me, though, the best choice that Nikon and Canon made was to not try to emulate that miserable Sony body style. Subjective for sure, but that little Sony body was a deal breaker before an image was taken.

Spy Black's picture

"Nikon made the mistake of bringing out there pro priced body (Z7)"

A "mistake" that's selling like hotcakes. Contrary to your perception, it's not a pro body either.

"I doubt many D850 owners got excited with what the Z7 offers."

Many D850 owners now own Z7s.

David Pavlich's picture

You are correct in one respect, it's not a pro body. However, it's priced like one. Would you care to show your source as to how many 850 owners switched to the Z7? Could you show your sales figures?

Spy Black's picture

My "source" is merely the D850 owners over at Nikon Rumors that have been commenting on their purchases, whether positive or negative, about their experiences wwith the Z and how it compares to their D850.

David Pavlich's picture

Nothing like source material being Nikon owners talking about their Nikon cameras.

Spy Black's picture

Indeed, and they're being quite frank about it. It's not always rosy.

Frank Hatcher's picture

I can see where this was a "test" camera for the mirrorless path. It isn't fully loaded...but...it's not a dud either. I'm still holding out. I've been with Canon since 2002 and have considered jumping ship to the Sony A7r3. I really want a stabilized camera body..eye auto focus/tracking... and several other features the Sony offers. It would be great to see Canon implement stabilization in their future cameras among other things. I plan on making a new camera purchase in March... I just don't see Canon having something new in the market by then... so.. it's looking like I'm going to make the jump to Sony unless something new comes out.

Mood Translator's picture

Im in an identical boat. Ive been using a 5D3 for wedding/portrait work and while im good with it, I want to stop having to constantly pick my focus point so I can pay more attention to the expression, composition, lighting, etc. It's a pain in the ass after 100 weddings when time is short and I want to produce better art in very short time constraints. Do we absolutely need Eye AF? Of course not, we were fine before it existed. But now that it exists, I absolutely want it. That's the pinnacle of tech convenience to not have to think about choosing the focus point. All I'd have to do is compose and talk to my subjects to get the expression I want. Ahhh, that thought soothes me greatly

Frank Hatcher's picture

There are a number of features I would love to see in a Canon body. Sony isn't perfect from what I've read/watched online...that being said...they've nailed a number of things with the mirrorless line. I agree... eye af would be a very useful tool to use. If my 5Ds had in-body stabilization I wouldn't make the move or at least it would deter me from moving. Sony glass is getting great reviews as well.. and I've shot a ton of Sigma glass over the years... and they've stepped up their game considerably. When and if I make the jump... the Sigma 105 F/1.4 is going to be in the shopping cart along with the A7R3. Come on Canon... I would like everything Sony has and any other tricks you want to throw in LOL.

Nacona Nix's picture

As I just posted below, I switched from the Nikon D7200 to the Sony A7R3. The results are compelling but I can't say that I enjoy using it as much. It's the most 'digital' feeling digital camera I've ever used. The lack of weather sealing worries me, as does any possible encounter with their customer service. But I'm going to continue building my collection of lenses in the Sony system until Nikon or Canon get serious and catch up.

Mood Translator's picture

I hear you that it's the most 'digital' feeling camera to use. What do you think about the photos though compared to Nikon/Canon? Do those feel too 'digital' as well?

Joel Meaders's picture

Whatever happened to eye AF? I loved it on my very old EOS 3.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Wow, another Canon announcement that they will someday announce something at some future announcement!

Wonder Woman's picture

Company plans to do well! GOOD PLAN

Robert Nurse's picture

That actually made me LOL!

David Pavlich's picture

Company is doing well. #1. Guess the plan has and is still working.

Mike Stern's picture

Company WAS doing well. Not is.
Canon is way behind their projections. New photographers are not buying canon. Many existing photographers switching away. Aren’t you reading anything.

David Pavlich's picture

Care to cite your source? From Nikkei, BCN, and CIPA: Market share: Canon, 49.1, Nikon, 24.9, Sony, 13.3. I guess Canon owners are flocking to other camera manufacturers besides Nikon and Sony. Yes, I read.

Mood Translator's picture

PLEASE CANON PUT EYE AF IN THE NEXT ONE IM DYING

Bjarne Solvik's picture

Nikon shuld Canon did even if not up to Sony standard. Get the A7m3 and be done with it. Even colors are good on that model:)

Mood Translator's picture

Well thats the one thing stopping me is the color science of the A7R3...portraits/skin looks way better on Canon

Nacona Nix's picture

The color science on the R3 is largely corrected compared to the R2, although there are some slight corrections/improvements in the A73. Before I finally jumped from Nikon to Sony, I worked with both R2 and R3 raw files to assure myself I could replicate Canon color if I wanted to. If you're proficient in Lightroom/Photoshop, it can be fairly easily replicated.

Mood Translator's picture

Well im a busy wedding photographer so if its easy to replicate it would have to very quick since I have to process thousands of photos. What does it require doing? How did you learn how to do it?

Nacona Nix's picture

It's just a matter of slight corrections to white balance, tint, and the HSL sliders related to skin color in Lightroom. I can't say that it would be a quick or easy edit, or that the settings could simply be copied and pasted across an entire set of photos in different settings and light. (And, of course, you'd have to have a Canon shot of each scene if you wanted an exact duplicate--there is no simply 'Canon profile' you can make in Lightroom and never have to worry about it anymore.) . I'm just saying that that concern about color science was an issue I had to overcome, and ultimately decided to go with Sony.

But, frankly, if I were dedicated wedding photographer, I'm not sure I'd want that extra work. I'd probably stick with a 5dmiv and be quite happy with it. It's an amazing camera. There are benefits and disadvantages that accord to each system and brand.

Mood Translator's picture

Thanks for explaining and confirming what I originally assumed that it wouldn't be a reliable method for processing many weddings easily. I really like the idea of a 5D4, I'm just tired of choosing the focus point every time since my compositions are all vastly different shot to shot. If I was a hobbyist id surely go for the A7R3 and not think twice. Is the 5D4's focus system any faster or more accurate than the 5D3? Do you think theres any chance Eye AF can come to DSLRs or is that a pipe dream?

David Pavlich's picture

I'm going to assume that you're a successful wedding photographer. My son retired two MkIIIs and replaced them with MkIVs (he's a wedding photographer as well). His assessment is that the MkIV is a better camera in every way over the III. I sold my III and got a IV on his word and found his findings correct.

Where I find the focus system better in the IV is low light situations. The III was okay, but struggled in some situations that the IV has no problem with.

Mood Translator's picture

The 5D4 does look like a very solid, reliable system. Two questions for you if you dont mind: 1) I shot close to 80000 photos this year. How will I know when it's time to get my camera's shutter replaced? 2) any experience with the Sony A7R3 in comparison to the 5D4? I feel like the Sony is a lot better in features and focusing but I'm not sure. Thanks.

David Pavlich's picture

Not from my experience, but from my son's. I mentioned that he 'retired' two MkIIIs. Actually, one of them is in the hands of his second shooter and it has over 300,000 clicks and has never been to Canon's service department. His other sits at home just in case and it has over 350,000 clicks.

So, my answer to your question about when to replace? When it goes bad. While 350,000 clicks is well past Canon's predicted shutter life, I've read posts that were substantially higher that 350K with no problems.

A7R3. Never shot with one because I don't like Sony's in hand feel. Subjective, but a deal breaker for me. It's no doubt a good camera, but is it as robust as the 5 series from Canon? Maybe someone else can chime in on that.

If you haven't shot with the Sony, you should rent one. I also recommend that you rent one of Sony's larger lenses to see how it feels with a heavy lens attached. My IV has a battery grip and when I have my 70-200 f2.8 mounted, it feels terrific in hand.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

Well Conon might blend the red in the skin better, but it gets a really red tint at times. For pail skin it can be terrible.
Anyway the A7r3 have better color then privius models, but the A73 is even better, some claim it's close to Canon.
Dustin Abbott who is a Canon color fan claims it's colors are just fine for portraits.
I do not share his taste for skin color but I just changed from A7r3 to A73 and exposure is more correct, and colors look promising to me also.
https://youtu.be/riOJ3GSOX3I

After some 20 min.
Also I changed white balanse behavior from standard to white.

Mood Translator's picture

Do you think theres any signs of an A7R4 coming next year with better skin color?

Bjarne Solvik's picture

I do not know. Also I can not say how much better A7m3 is compared to A7Rm3, but it looks good what I have seen so far.
What I can say is the even the A7R3 have much better color then previous generations.
A7m3 have better autofocus, better low light performance and are the best mirrorless option.

Jason Levine's picture

Free trips to Hawaii for all photographers

Josh Wright's picture

I know I'll get hate for this but wow me with a new 35mm film camera instead

chrisrdi's picture

Any articles about The Nikon Z cameras coming through the pipe line? I'm seeing loads about what the R system but little about the Z system. Or is there just not enough o talk about the z system yet?

Simon Patterson's picture

Let's face it, there's not really anything in particular to talk about regarding the future of the EOS R system either!

Robert Nurse's picture

I wonder if the 5D Mk V (if they even call it that) will be mirrorless. I also wonder if mirrorless offerings take off, are we seeing the end of mirrored DSLR production?

David Pavlich's picture

The proof that Canon is going to be replacing their mirrored cameras will come when they make their pro bodies as robust as the 1D and 5D series, and, when they announce a line of native super telephoto lenses for the R pro bodies.

For now, considering the recent upgrades of some of their L lenses, I don't see it happening any time soon.

Brook Brown's picture

We are absolutely seeing the end of the DSLR. Mirrors and pentaprisms are obsolete technology that will eventually be phased out.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

Wait until a new technology will be better than CCD and CMOS, but too slow to feed an EVF and SLR will gain back its crown.

All the rave about MILC is just because sensors are now good enough to sustain EVF feed.

Imagine a real RGB photosite x50 millions but that can only work at 5-7fps because CPU and datamoving is not possible. Or you are telling us you will prefer a faster but less accurate/accutance/DR system because it does not give you EVF or 8k movie capability ?

Richard Bradbury's picture

Hi Robert,

Not for a long time yet.

Canon and others will still make new DSLR's and lenses in years to come and then you have the used market.

Whilst the EOS R has caught my eye the next body for me will be a Canon DSLR. I'm holding on until the 5D V is released and then bagging a used bargain 5DIV and 5DS to upgrade my 5D Mark II's. That's at least two years away.

Mike Stern's picture

Canon has been showing off big fluffy news this last year and we all came to realize that they were nothing but a “wait up I am still in the business cry outs”
Canon eos r has been a disappointment. Max Yuriyev just published his comparions.

In the mirrorless market, by the time Canon will be ready to astonish photographers, new kids on the block will have taken everyone for an ice cream next town.

Sorry canon. Instead of promising words, put yourself together and make production. Let that speak for you.

Simon Patterson's picture

When was the last time Canon made something we considered "astonishing" and a "big thing"? Maybe the 7D from 2009 got close, otherwise perhaps the 5d2 from 2008. More action and less talk please, Canon.

Nacona Nix's picture

I have every confidence they'll make great lenses. I have no confidence they'll release a camera comparable to the D850 or A7R3 in terms of price and functionality.

I recently switched from a D7200 to an A7R3. I don't even particularly like shooting with it. The Sony name inspires no confidence and it feels like I'm holding a computer up to my eyeball. But until Nikon and Canon get serious with their alternatives I'm going to continue building my collection in this system. The results are too compelling for now.

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