Remember When No One Believed Rumors for the Canon EOS R5? Now We Have Rumors for the R1

Remember When No One Believed Rumors for the Canon EOS R5? Now We Have Rumors for the R1

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. 

Global Shutter

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. 

Final Thoughts

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. 

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15 Comments

Petr Klapper's picture

85MP not an overkill when you don't skip the second part of the sensor rumor - "21MP at 40fps unlimited continued shooting".
Not saying it's going to happen, and Canon is not even my brand, but it would be great of course to have 85MP when you want/need it and then "perfect quad-downscaled" 21MP RAWs for action/ordinary shoot.

Usman Dawood's picture

Would be pretty amazing if they turned out to be true

Benoit Pigeon's picture

You guys really need to grow up with the "no one believe the rumors of Canon's up coming cameras". They have been pretty much accurate since the D30 20+ years ago. Please inform yourself before writing this kind of stuff this is growing very, very old and childish.
R1 rumors have been consistent for the past 6 month. Done.

Usman Dawood's picture

The point of that was that no one believed the rumours but they turned out to be correct. I’m saying it’s unlikely but it could be true again. I feel like you’re missing the point on this one.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

"The point of that was that no one believed the rumours" If - no one - is you, then you must be right. If anything, Canon brought more than the rumors on the R5 did. But then R5 overheated and 8K is barely usable.

Matt Williams's picture

I find it hard to believe Canon would take their first global shutter and put it in a mirrorless camera likely to cost $6000-6500, instead of putting it in a new C700 FF cinema camera. Alternatively - an APS-C cut out of this sensor would come in around 38MP - they could come out with a 6K+ Super 35 EOS cinema camera with a global shutter to compete with the RED Komodo.

It also seems unlikely that they'd leap from having not a single global shutter sensor to an 85MP full-frame one.

I could see them having a GS sensor, I just don't know why it would appear in a camera like this instead of a higher-end, higher-price tag cinema camera, where global shutters are a very big selling point (granted, they would be for stills too, if they existed).

Edit: it's not out of the question that the rumored EOS C90 would have a 6K Super 35 global shutter.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I agree, financially they should keep stuff like that for their video camera line, especially after their over heating fiasco with the R5.

Seth Lowe's picture

I understand your logic, but I think it actually would make sense for them to put in a smaller camera. Very, very few people are buying C700s, and it would take Canon forever to get an ROI. Even if you viewed it as a "trickle-down" effect where it starts with the C700 and slowly gets added down the line over the next decade, most of the industry is just going to completely ignore the news. I am a canon owner and fan, but most people with 40k to invest in a camera package are buying Red (also an owner), Arri, or Sony. It would solve a ton of physics problems for not just video, but photo as well, so why not put it in your flagship stills/hybrid camera? Increases to resolution and speed aren't tech breakthroughs, just assumed advancements. If Canon wants to stand out as a company making actual tech breakthroughs, this would be a great way to do it, and the ability to recoup the R&D cost is much greater in a sub 10k camera.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

With the number of camera sales going consistently down toward pre-digital numbers, I don't see Canon giving something close to a RED away in the $6-7k range and hurt their cine line. Plus some of us can already do hyper sync with still photography. Not many will buy a Canon full frame above or even at near $8k for stills today, may be a few doctors, I don't know.
R&D cost is meaningless, it's not our problem, but raising prices to put more video will send me to Fuji right away. I've heard about the R1 something like 6 month ago, but I know what I need and want. Right now all that Canon does by cramming in video is help Fuji, just like Kodak contributed to the colossal rise of Fuji decades ago and Fuji is doing pretty good currently with its stills cameras.
If Canon does what you want, then Sony will be forced to do the same, splitting that new lower price market and if there is no real volume at this camera price range, then they have killed a major profit center for no reason.

Matt Williams's picture

Canon stands out above RED, Arri, Sony, etc. when it comes to documentary or run-and-gun work like reality TV stuff like that because of their amazing dual pixel AF - every Travel channel type show I've worked on has used a C100/200/300 because of that.

So yeah, it may not make sense in a C700 in and of itself. But it would make sense, as I noted, in a C90 (rumored higher end model to the C70), because it could do 6K Super 35, basically exactly what the Komodo does. Except a C90 would have the advantage of being ready to go when you pick it up vs a Komodo that needs rigged up. And AF would almost definitely work better on the native Canon body.

Maybe they do both? Put the FF sensor in the R1 and put a Super 35 cut out in the C90 and possibly C300 Mark IV or C200 Mark II.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Honestly I don't know much if anything about the Canon video line, and that's mostly because I don't have any video need. In fact I make a point at not doing any video when I meet a new team where we both do our separate work at the same location. Best way to make friends too and go after new clients together. I do see RED cameras because we do commercial shoots and some teams have them. I really wish Canon would not make us pay and impose all the video stuff for their marketing need/purpose, it's absurd and hopefully they learned a little after their R5 overheating debacle.

Vesa Lindgren's picture

Honestly, how many true problems R5 overheating has caused?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

If you can't use it, I guess none. I'm not a video guy so you should ask people with experience shooting jobs with it in 4k or 8k Raw. None of the video teams I know have rushed on the R5.

Matt Williams's picture

Yeah there is a convergence at the top end of Sony and Canon at least where the high end models are at a premium and part of that is certainly due to the video specs. The DSLR versions - 1DX series and D5/6 cost about the same as the $6500 Sony a1 (Canon is a bit less, Nikon is around that). And comparatively the Sony is loaded with non-video features that blow those cameras out of the water - resolution, essentially zero rolling shutter, flash sync at a normal speed in e-shutter, 30 FPS, etc.

The Nikon Z9 is more what I'd want out of this type of camera in terms of build quality and form factor. The Nikon Z cameras have always been a step above Sony in build quality, and I'd imagine the Z9 will certainly be better than the a1. We're not yet sure if Canon is going with an integrated grip with the R1, but my guess is yes they will.

Cameras like the Panasonic S1H or Sony a7S III - you know you're paying for the video. Neither camera is optimal for stills - the Panasonic is incredibly bulky and heavy because of its heatsink design and tilt/flip-out screen and the a7S is low-resolution.

Other cameras, you have to wonder. The Nikon Z5 was able to slash its price significantly and the only disadvantages from the Z6 is the top panel display and the lack of 4K using the entire sensor and I also think it doesn't do the video output options of the Z6. However, it has the benefits of dual card slots and the ability to use the new grip for the Z6 II. So, in that case, it does seem that by cutting back on the video, they cut the cost.

davidlovephotog's picture

When did Canon release an 8k capable camera? I know they click baited everyone into thinking they did and encouraged everyone else to dunk on them by doing it for real.