Canon Still Plans to Release at Least One More Generation of Professional DSLRs

Canon Still Plans to Release at Least One More Generation of Professional DSLRs

There's no doubt that the future of the photography industry is mirrorless, but that's certainly not going to be an overnight transition, and just when each manufacturer is going to stop manufacturing DSLRs isn't clear. It appears Canon will release at least one more generation of their professional DSLRs.

Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon will likely announce an update to the 1D X Mark II in late 2019 and that the 5D Mark IV will too get another update (though it's not clear when) before that series goes mirrorless. Canon's thinking seems to be that both lines are coming due for an upgrade (both having been released in 2016) and that their current mirrorless technology is not of a level that would warrant it replacing those DSLRs (particularly the 1D line). We were big fans of the 1D X Mark II in our review, and it's still a highly capable and refined camera that any mirrorless camera seeking to replace it would have to live up to and surpass. Seeing as the EOS R has been met with very mixed reviews, it's probably a wise decision to give that line time to mature before they replace their top DSLRs. 

Head over to Canon Rumors for the full story.

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Rick Nash's picture

Big fail by Canon. Late, very late and really too late is the epitaph to be written. They may still sell more cameras in the world but many photographers have chosen more suitable alternatives. The Sony a9 shows what's possible in a mirrorless replacement to a 1DX Mk II and even the missing potential of the EOS R proves the 5DMk IV can be easily replaced with a mirrorless. Canon's lackluster approach to leading current trends will simply continue to drive more photographers elsewhere.

Andrew Morse's picture

"There's no doubt that the future of the photography industry is mirrorless, but that's certainly not going to be an overnight transition" - For all of you who'd like to transition overnight, I'm happy to take your EF glass off your hands and give it a good home. ;)

Paulo Macedo's picture

Well, i just hope DSLR's don't go away anytime soon. Can't trust mirrorless cameras, seem too fragile.

michaeljin's picture

In reality, they don't have to be any more fragile than a DSLR. I think Nikon's Z-series looks pretty robust.

DSLR is so dead and its funny to hear people deny it . Even Canon is saying they'll release "one more." I don't care for 4K so I am really happy with the video in the 80D. But i think it suffers in the photo department compared to the new mirrorless competition.

michaeljin's picture

Good for you?

user-156929's picture

You base that from comparing an 80D to a new mirrorless camera? :-/

Yeah. That was the point of my comment. DSLR vs Mirrorless. Especially when comparing a comparable DSLR that came out around the same time (80D vs A6500 for example). So while there should be some competition the a6500 blows it out of the water: has IBIS, higher ISO, more focus points, more FPS etc. These camera came out in the same year so one would think they were competing. Like I said, it really isn't a competition. In fact I don't get your point.

user-156929's picture

Sorry. You didn't mention which model of ML so I assumed (I know, I know) you were talking about Canon's EOS R, mentioned in the article, which is FF and newer.

michaeljin's picture

Before they completely shut down their DSLR production, could each of these manufacturers possibly use the equipment and modify their production lines to release one last film SLR that incorporates all of their DSLR technology (AF systems, GPS, EXIF data, etc.)? Just a request if anyone at those companies reads this stuff. :P

Nikon F7 with D5 Autofocusing and ability to use the 105mm f/1.4E....

Dan Watson's picture

It's simple... When there are still advantages to having a mirror, dslrs should exist. When there are more advantages to not having a mirror, a company should go mirrorless. Just because you get rid of the mirror doesn't mean the body needs to get smaller, have worse ergonomics, fewer features, and slower speeds. We have absolutely reached the point that there are more benefits to getting rid of the mirror. It's up to the manufacturer to put those features in the cameras but this debate that dslrs are the future is stupid. A dslr is just a mirror...and it's time to get rid of it

user-156929's picture

Speaking of stupid, the idea that any manufacturer of any technology should stop production of those items, some arbitrary group of people deem to have fewer advantages, is foolish. There have always been multiple products to serve the various needs of disparate customers.

I'm sure if anyone with a clue is running the company, they'll continue to produce whatever product sells and is profitable. If there was a consumer demand for a film camera, I'd bet they're start making those again.

You can get a nintendo classic for $60. Why would nintendo re-release a product from the 80's that's completely out of date? Because people are buying it!

michaeljin's picture

Problem is that the infrastructure to manufacture those products cost money so not only would the market for the continued manufacturing of said products have to be large enough to justify the infrastructure, it would also have to be profitable enough to justify the continued allocation of those resources to producing that line of products instead of something else that might be more profitable.

user-156929's picture

I guess that's why nobody makes 800mm lenses and why Nikon isn't making a 58mm f/0.95 lens or still manufacturing a film SLR or ...

michaeljin's picture

I'm pretty sure that Nikon is no longer actively manufacturing the F6. More likely than not, Fuji-style, they did one huge final batch years ago and at this point they're just selling off whatever stock is left over. I would genuinely be surprised if they were still making them... particularly given their financial state.

The 58mm lens is basically a peacock lens for their Z system and most likely will be absurdly expensive to make up for the ridiculous engineering costs combined with the low amounts that they'll likely sell since it's a manual focus lens. As for the 800mm lenses, have you seen how much those things cost?

How much do you think these companies would have to charge for each DSLR to justify their production in a decade? How many people do you think will be willing to pay that price? If they're still making DSLR's ten years from now, they'll likely be the cost of modern Leicas to justify the cost to the manufacturer in relation to the sales volume.

user-156929's picture

If I last another ten years, and need one, I'll let you know how much Nikon's DSLRs are. :-)

michaeljin's picture

Honestly, I feel like you're better off just buying two more D850's right now and just keeping them in storage for ten years. LOL

Nikon is so much smaller than Canon that I feel like they're going to have a much more abrupt transition away from DSLR production than Canon.

user-156929's picture

I'm pretty sure Canon doesn't sell SLRs anymore. When the bulk of your business is photography, unlike Canon or Sony, you have to be dedicated to it.

Their last 10 years since the 5D2 have all been incremental tweaks. I'm not holding my breath.

My problem with that is they just packed a 7D2 pixel pitch into a full frame sensor. Nikon had already completely eliminated the low-pass filter whereas Canon just included it and then canceled it. Okay, it brought Canon in the super-high-res. game (and I own one) but it had none of the Wow factor the 5D2 had when it came out or the D850.

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

Personally I'm fine with both but mirrorless does have a few advantages that I don't see mentioned too often. Less mechanical parts to wear out or fail with no mirror box. The mechanical shutter may even be completely eliminated too if future technology allows for it. Even less mechanical parts to fail. No separate AF sensor needed either. Mirrorless should be cheaper to produce without previous mentioned parts too. On the other hand DSLRs are pretty reliable and technology obsoletes most cameras before those parts wear out anyway except for pros that really put the clicks to them.

This comment is not a brand verses brand or DSLR vs Mirrorless. Just an observation.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

Whatever new DSLRs being introduced nw have been in the pipeline for a couple years. From the first "let's make a _____" to "order now". So they aren't going to pull the plug on the thing, maybe ramp down the number of units that pop out at the end of the assembly line but it's still going to sell.

DSLR, Mirrorless means nothing to me. I am satisfied with my Hyperdyne ASPH-315. The Proton multi mega pixel manipulator enchances a 36.3 file into a 75mp file with relative ease. The 8K video recording with Vidplex 5A file driver is enough for me. The 10G resonator 4 inslet sensor is remarkable technology. Just remarkable. It has a wide array of lenses fir the ZZ mount. I just purchased a F -2.15 variable apature with a zenon plus 4 image enhancer. Im happy with it.

Mirrorless has been the future it has just taken Canon until now to realize it. They know it and that's why the DLSR is going to have one last generation in their pro line. They will be ramping up their new glass to be able to resolve 60 plus MPs. Lens technology alone dictates a move to something different. Like it or not the DLSR is dead.

DSLR cameras have distinct advantages over MILC based cameras:

1) Battery life. This is huge. Requiring a glowing screen to take a picture gobbles up power. I can shoot *hundreds* of photos on a single charge with my EOS 5D III. The same can not be said of my wife's EOS M6. This can be somewhat mitigated by the use of an EVF which may consume less power vs the LCD screen to light up.

2) Especially for astrophotography or for low-light venue shooting - light pollution - keeping a bright LCD screen on while composing photos is detrimental to the experience (dark adjusted viewing the sky or other people) vs holding the camera to your face to compose.

3) Eye-in-viewfinder ergonomics (particularly among mid to higher end DSLR cameras). The placement of controls and dials to control your camera while looking through the viewfinder is much faster to operate than the controls on a touch LCD screen.

MILC has advantages over DSLRs:

1) Short flange distance - enabling DSLR lenses of other brands to be adapted and used.

2) Size / Weight / Cost - removing the prism / mirror box / AF sensor reduces the size, weight, and potential cost. While one might consider the smaller size to be a disadvantage, you can buy accessory grips to adjust MILCs to your preferences.

Both can compose via LCD. Both are equally functional for video. With the invention of dual-pixel phase detection, the PDAF sensor isn't a significant advantage. Precision focusing screens aren't really a factor vs more intelligent focusing systems.

To me, the battery life and ergonomics keep me from buying another mirrorless for a while. The EOS R is an interesting piece of kit. The RF 28-70mm f/2 lens is somewhat compelling. If they can make a 24mm-135mm f/2.8 with IS for a similar size then I'm interested in giving them more money. My 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 IS is a mainstay after 15 years. The 24-105 f/4L IS II is tempting, but so many of my shots are in the 100-135mm portion of that focal length.

I used to love canon. But I fear they are being too conservative with their product development.
What incentive is there to stay with Canon when Fuji and Sony have better sensors, and there is equal or better glass to be had?
Switching over to Fuji was like getting out of a 90s car and into a 2018 car. Oh wow, no cassette deck! Power windows are standard?

Canon overall has better glass than Fuji. Sony still lacks several specialty lenses.

Well it seems I'm in the minority having shot with mirrorless equipment and then going to a DSLR. Granted my mirrorless was a micro four thirds but it still offered all the advantages of a mirrorless system. I just really enjoy the look and feel of sitting a DSLR rather than looking at a screen. The live exposure view, live histogram, and other features offered on the mirrorless viewfinder LCDs are handy but I don't find that they're really essential when modern full frame DSLRs have the dynamic range that they do. I also find all of those features as detracting from the shooting experience.

The weight savings are over blown, especially now with everyone moving towards even faster glass for these mirrorless system. Generally I'm backpacking with my "heavy" DSLR equipment and I've done the math. A comparable Sony mirrorless lens/body would save about 4 oz. Not significant enough for me to jump to mirrorless.

Mirrorless is exciting because it's new tech, but I'd be really surprised if Canon or Nikon completely stop DSLR development in the next ten years.

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