The latest rumors for the Canon EOS R1 have been published on several sites, and in many respects, they're pretty unbelievable. The alleged leap in technology from Canon's current flagship, the Canon 1D X Mark III to the potential EOS R1 is huge, to say the least. However, this seems awfully familiar to what happened before the Canon EOS R5 was released.
Skepticism was at an all-time high when rumors for the Canon EOS R5 were first released. Canon was known for being quite a reserved company, especially with how it had been updating its 5D series of cameras. Customers were hoping that Canon would produce a practical 4K camera, and 8K was not even on the radar. So, when rumors started suggesting Canon was going to release an 8Kcapable camera priced under $4,000, most reasonable people quickly dismissed them.
We're now in a similar situation where rumors about a potential upcoming Canon camera are difficult to believe. So, let's run through some of these rumored specifications and discuss why they could actually be true.
Disclaimer: The rumors for the Canon EOS R1 have not been verified in any way, and the points made in this article are highly speculative.
85-Megapixel CMOS Sensor
Rumors suggest that the Canon EOS R1 will have an 85-megapixel sensor. This will effectively make it the highest-resolution full frame camera on the market, based on what's currently available. Several reports have suggested that Canon is working on a high-resolution sensor, however, it was previously assumed that this was for a 5DS R replacement.
It's now being suggested that this high-resolution sensor will be used for Canon's potentially upcoming flagship camera, the EOS R1. In the past, this would have been unlikely, because flagship cameras have historically been about speed and reliability over resolution. This seems to have changed since Sony released its latest flagship camera, the Sony a1.
We're now seemingly at a point where manufacturers have found a way to produce super-fast, high-resolution cameras. Due to this, it's doesn't seem farfetched to think that Canon may produce a flagship 85-megapixel camera. Having said that, it's pretty overkill to produce a high-speed flagship camera with that kind of resolution. For many photographers that use flagship cameras, that kind of resolution is a hindrance more than a benefit. For this reason, it's probably unlikely for a flagship camera to have that kind of resolution.
This is probably the most exciting rumored feature for the potential Canon EOS R1. A global shutter is likely going to be one of the most impactful new features to hit the market. This kind of sensor offers a number of benefits for both photographers and videographers.
Why a Global Shutter Would Be Incredible
For video shooters, a global shutter means that any rolling shutter issues such as banding, warping, or jello effects will be completely eradicated. This is especially useful when filming fast-moving subjects or when panning quickly. The jello effect is one of the more unattractive issues with a rolling shutter sensor, and a global shutter would completely nullify this.
For photographers, the benefits of a global shutter could be even more profound. With the use of the electronic shutter in mirrorless cameras, photographers should be able to shoot fast-moving subjects without any fear of introducing distortions into the image. This also means that photographers can shoot at much higher frame rates than what current mechanical shutters can manage.
Another benefit of a global shutter is that photographers could potentially sync flash at any shutter speed. Even at the fastest shutter speeds, the camera sensor will be able to sync correctly with flash without losing any power. Currently, most cameras have a flash sync speed of 1/200 of a second. Leaf shutter lenses have a current maximum of 1/2,000 of a second. A global shutter could in theory sync flash at any shutter speed, even beyond the 1/8,000 of a second mechanical shutter speed limit.
Finally, a global shutter could completely eliminate the need for having a mechanical shutter. The shutter module in a camera is one of the more likely things to fail. Removing it completely from a camera means fewer moving parts and one less point of failure.
Could the Canon EOS R1 Have a Global Shutter Sensor?
As great as it would be for Canon to produce a flagship camera with a global shutter sensor, there are some challenges to overcome. The problem with a global shutter is the fact that it requires a great amount of data to be read almost instantly. This poses a whole new set of issues, especially when you're dealing with high-resolution sensors.
Overheating would likely be a difficult problem to overcome, especially in the relatively small bodies of professional cameras. This is in comparison to industrial devices, where larger, more effective cooling systems can be used. Another issue is that data channels can quickly become inundated. The data taken from the sensor isn't broken down into smaller, easier-to-manage chunks. Instead, the camera needs to take all of the data at once and consistently. Then, this data needs to be processed, and that requires an extremely capable processor.
This could be feasible in a consumer camera if the resolution is limited to around 20 megapixels. However, an 85-megapixel sensor would be difficult to manage and process.
Interestingly, the recent announcement from Sony about its new 127-megapixel global shutter sensor does offer some insight. The fact that Sony has managed this means that it's not impossible, and Canon could also produce a high-resolution global shutter sensor, athough it needs to be mentioned that the sensor produced by Sony is specifically for industrial uses and isn't currently for consumer cameras.
Despite this, it is entirely possible that Canon could produce such an incredible camera; however, based on current technology and processing capabilities, it's probably unlikely.
Nine Stops of In-Body Stabilization
The major benefit of having in-body image stabilization (IBIS) is that slower shutter speeds can be used when shooting handheld in lower-light scenarios. In the past, you'd have had to increase the ISO settings to compensate, and this would introduce noise into the image. Another alternative would be to shoot with a wider aperture, but this would mean that you have less depth of field. The fact that you can shoot with a slower shutter and still produce sharp results can be extremely useful.
Of course, there are limitations, because it can't compensate for a moving subject. Having said that, it's still very useful in many situations. Videographers can also expect to see slightly smoother-looking footage when using IBIS; although sometimes, it can appear a little jarring.
The Canon EOS R5 is rated to have up to eight stops of IBIS with certain RF lenses. This level of stabilization is pretty incredible, because you can shoot long exposures completely handheld. This has been shown to be very possible with the Canon EOS R5 up to a certain point.
Due to this, it's not crazy to think that Canon has improved this feature by another stop. When you consider what Canon has already managed with the EOS R5, it doesn't seem farfetched to think that the Canon EOS R1 will have up to nine stops of in-body image stabilization. More than likely, the EOS R1 will only be able to manage this level of stabilization with certain specific RF lenses.
Some of the rumored features in the potentially upcoming Canon EOS R1 camera do raise some eyebrows. Features like the high-resolution global shutter sensor are the most unbelievable from the list. It's difficult to believe that Canon could produce something like that in a consumer camera. It's more likely for Canon to produce a low-resolution global shutter camera for its flagship system. It's a little difficult to believe that Canon has managed to produce an 85-megapixel global shutter sensor that's suitable for consumer cameras.
Having said that, it is possible that the rumor mills have got this right and Canon is about shock the industry once again.
Other features like the IBIS and high frames per second seem outlandish on paper; however, they do come with a few caveats. Also, these features, in essence, are just improvements on what Canon has already produced or what is already currently available on the market.
The EOS R1 could be a game-changing camera, although at this point in time, some of the features do seem pretty unbelievable.