Is Canon Really Plotting a Pro Camera With a Hybrid EF/RF Mount?

Is Canon Really Plotting a Pro Camera With a Hybrid EF/RF Mount?

Rumors are circulating that Canon is planning to incorporate a hybrid EF/RF mount in the flagship mirrorless full frame camera that is expected in the next 18 months. While this would be appealing to many Canon shooters, is it actually possible?

One of the significant advantages for Canon when it came to redesigning its lens mount for mirrorless cameras was the smaller flange distance (i.e., the distance between the back of the lens and the sensor). While the EF mounts have a huge 44mm (1.73") flange distance, the newly released RF mounts feature a mere 20mm (0.79"). The adapters currently offered by Canon for using EF glass on the EOS R and RP bridge this gap.

This is an unexpected and slightly curious rumor (via Canon Rumors), and one that has led to some brow-furrowed speculation as to how this large difference could be managed effectively in a body without an adapter. Would it be some sort of collapsible tube that hides away when RF glass is attached? Given that this feature is being linked to a future 1-series camera, would there be compromises in terms of weather sealing? This system seems unlikely.

Another option might be for the sensor itself to move in order to accommodate the different types of lens. This may offer further advantages, such as adding macro functionality to some RF lenses, or even tilt/shift options.

Given the technical complications involved, this rumor might be a bit of a stretch, though certainly Canon would no doubt love to be able to offer photojournalists, sports and news agency shooters a stepping stone from the 1D X Mark II and Mark III that doesn’t involve lots of adapters. If the camera body is a little bit bigger, so be it.

What do you think? Is an EF/RF hybrid mount feasible? Will there be space for two card slots? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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David Pavlich's picture

Lotsa' engineering things to overcome. I'm sure with enough work, it could be done, but at what cost? R&D has to be paid. ;-)

Benoit Pigeon's picture

R&D is only expensive if the project fails

David Pavlich's picture

I guess it depends on what you consider a failure. Back in the late 70s, Northrop developed the F20 Tigershark, a single engine fighter on par with the General Dynamics' F16 Falcon/Viper. The F20 was a successful fighter in every sense except that after 1.2 billion dollars of development, the Air Force rejected it.

Black Rock's picture

Tiger Shark was a beautiful war bird with the fighting ability to match. Too bad it was not deployed.

David Pavlich's picture

Chuck Yeager loved the F20! Two of the prototypes crashed due to pilot blackout pulling excessive Gs. The thing could turn!

Benoit Pigeon's picture

That's military, they don't go by the same rules. When I was in it they would burn fuel just to get rid of it. That's a failure to the tax payer, a success for who plans on getting the same volume the next year.

David Pavlich's picture

Like I said, it depends on your definition of 'failure'.

EL PIC's picture

Bi Focal Glasses even helped Mister MaGoo ..

Gary Pardy's picture

Collapsible flange tubes seems janky. Movable sensor sounds like ribbon cables bending and breaking. And then there's the compromise of a mount that mates with RF and EF glass. I can't see this happening.

Canon would much rather sell two cameras with different features than sell one that can be used two different ways.

Robert Nurse's picture

My only requirements: make it work and don't make it clunky. :)

Terry Poe's picture

An engineer inside me is cringing – more moving parts, less accuracy, and increased complexity, what the hell Canon is thinking? And all this for some bridge solution? Just give us more RF-mount models, professional/high resolution and APS-C RF mount models.

Canon works in mysterious ways. I still can’t figure out the reason for existence of EF-M line or why M6 Mark ii does not have built-in viewfinder.

William Salopek's picture

What's the purpose of the hybrid mount? Why isn't an adapter for EF lenses good enough?

David Pavlich's picture

I agree! Especially considering that most reports of the adapted EF lenses performing equal to or better on the R.

Tom Reichner's picture

When people come up with ridiculous rumors like this one, nobody should pay any attention to them. Not worth writing about or reading about. I wasted 3 minutes that I'll never get back.