Following an entry into the world of mirrorless that was generally regarded as somewhat underwhelming, rumors suggest that Canon has some exciting developments in the pipeline for the coming year.
With its single card slot and brutal 4K crop, the Canon EOS R was a step in the right direction for some and an inept scramble to catch up with Sony for many others. The Japanese manufacturer might have been testing the water, getting a lackluster product to market early rather than risk losing more of its market share by continuing to drag its feet.
By contrast, the rumors of the last few months seem full of promise for 2019. In November, it was suggested that two EOS R models will be announced in the coming year, and now it seems possible that one of them might feature a sensor that boasts more than 75 megapixels. Hopefully, this is a more realistic prospect than the 120 megapixels that rumors were suggesting back in 2015.
According to Canon Rumors, two mirrorless bodies will be announced: the first will be more of a consumer camera with specifications that place it below the EOS R, the second will be a higher-specced version arriving later in the year. Some will no doubt be asking just how Canon can produce a camera with lower specifications than the EOS R, and personally, I would expect the more professional body to be released sooner. However, if Canon wants to continue carving into Sony’s dominance of Japan’s mirrorless camera market, perhaps a consumer body is the smarter option.
More recently we discovered that Canon is working on 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Stabilization is something that Canon has long said would remain in its lenses and not its bodies, but according to the recent rumors, this seems set to change. Speaking to a member of Canon’s development team, The New Camera reports that IBIS was missing from the recently released EOS R due to compromises on size and heat. As the website also notes, patents can take a year or more to make an appearance, so whether this becomes a reality in 2019 will remain to be seen.
With the Olympics coming to Tokyo in 2020, to me, there’s the strong possibility that Canon’s new products will be skewed towards a focus on sports photography, and for this reason, multiple card slots and a fast burst rate seem like a much higher priority than an incredibly high resolution sensor. Furthermore, I don’t see resolution as Canon’s big concern right now; if I were them, I would be much more worried about the processors, low light performance, and dynamic range.
As well as questions around its mirrorless models, there’s speculation as to when Canon will release the EOS 6D Mark III. The Mark II did not get a great reception (poor dynamic range and a dated autofocus system), but its successor is not expected to hit the shelves until early 2020. Will it have the same sensor as the 5D Mark IV? Will Canon fix the woefully slow burst speed? Or will the mirrorless distractions mean that Canon will be pushing its development resources — and thus customers — towards the new EOS R series of cameras instead?
If we can take one thing from the rumors, it's that next year promises to be an interesting year for the firm, building on its entry into the mirrorless market and developing products that excite its customers. What do you expect to see from Canon?