The Canon EOS R5 Should Be Priced Less Than $4,000

The Canon EOS R5 Should Be Priced Less Than $4,000

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I should clarify that the title of this article is a suggestion and not a claim. 

Recently, there has been some speculation about the price of the upcoming Canon EOS R5. Although no official numbers have been announced yet, there was a rumor that originated from an Australian retailer, suggesting the price will be $6,700. For many people, including myself, I'd say that's a pretty reasonable price point, considering what this camera could offer. At that price point, the EOS R5 would be the cheapest full-frame 8K video camera on the market that also shoots raw. The few alternatives cost significantly more (when you consider the full setup required), and the R5 is likely to offer some brilliant options for photographers too.  

I'm sure some of you will disagree with how fair that price is, however, it's difficult to argue, considering what the camera is set to offer. Despite this, I still think the price of this camera, when released, should not be any higher than $4,000 mark. 

Competition

Canon does not have a majority stake in the full-frame mirrorless camera market. Although its position is growing, Sony is still holding the biggest portion and has sold the majority of units. Many Canon customers made a switch to Sony, and if they are to be enticed back, flagship-level price points are probably not going to work. It wouldn't really matter if Canon was the best option on the market, because if customers can't afford it, the camera will probably not sell very well. The other thing to consider is the fact that competitors like Sony will likely release a good alternative, which may not be priced over $4,000. 

Consider the potential Sony a7S III. This camera doesn't need to do an incredible amount for it to be competitive, especially if it's priced at a more reasonable point. Most people do not want or even need 8K features. For a lot of people, full-frame 4K at 60p with better color and a good codec is more than enough. Sony could comfortably price this somewhere around the $3,000 mark, and that would be an incredible option for most people. There would be little need for customers to buy the Canon if it's double the price of the potential Sony. 

Essentially, if the EOS R5 is priced too high, then it's out of reach for most customers. Therefore, it doesn't matter how great the camera is. A perfect example of this is the Canon 1D C. This camera was missed by the majority of the market due to its huge price point. It only recently come back in the public eye because of some popular YouTubers and its secondhand price point.

I believe Canon understands this extremely well and will likely price the EOS R5 competitively. 

Leaving the EF Mount Behind

When a new platform is developed, one of the most important factors companies are interested in is the adoption rate. This is true for operating systems as much as it is for lens mounts. It's no use in spending lots of money on a new platform if no one uses it. For this reason, the adoption rate is extremely important. 

Canon obviously wants customers to start moving over to the new RF mount, and to do this, Canon has produced some incredible lenses. Lenses like the RF 28-70mm f/2.0 are completely unique to the RF mount, and rumors suggest more fast aperture zoom lenses are on the way. For many photographers, the lenses were not the issue. It was the cameras. The EOS R and the EOS RP just weren't compelling enough options for many to make the switch. 

Based on this, it would be somewhat odd for Canon to release a camera that's out of reach for most of its customers. The adoption rate of the RF mount will probably remain about the same if the EOS R5 is priced significantly over $4,000. If the R5 is priced similar to other 5D series cameras at their initial release, it's very likely that huge numbers of customers will migrate over to the RF mount. 

Short-Term Loss

It's common for companies to take a short-term loss on certain products with the hopes of becoming profitable in the long-term. Instax cameras from Fujifilm are a great example of this. Based on some discussions I've had with a few people at Fujifilm, they almost always make a loss on the cameras. The return on investment is predominantly based on the sale of Instax film. 

Sony is another company that is reported to have sold its Playstation consoles at a loss in order to make returns from games and other products on the platform. 

Canon could do something similar to the EOS R5. If the R5 is priced at around $3,500, I assume they would be selling it at a loss, with the hopes that it will dramatically increase adoption rates and entice customers to switch from other manufacturers. Once customers become comfortable on a specific platform, it's rare for them to change, unless there is a significant benefit. The R5 offers that significant benefit, and once customers are on the RF mount, Canon will once again be in a strong position. 

I believe it would be foolish for Canon to price the R5 a great deal beyond $4,000 because it could negatively impact the adoption rates and long-term potential.

Market Position

Canon has already confirmed that the EOS R5 is pretty much a mirrorless 5D series camera. 5D series cameras are not priced like Canon's flagship 1D series cameras. Canon understands the price points that people who buy 5D Series cameras would accept. Generally speaking, this point is somewhere around the $3,500 mark. It would be completely out of character for Canon to suddenly double the price for this series of cameras. 

The 1D X Mark III is regarded as the current flagship camera. It wouldn't make sense for Canon to demote this line from that position, especially considering the fact that it was only recently released. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Canon could price the EOS R5 higher than any current EF mount DSLR or RF camera, and it could still be described as good value for money. The issue would be that it could slow down some of Canon's primary goals. I believe one of these goals is to increase adoption rates for the RF mount system and also reacquire many customers that may have switched. Pricing the EOS R5 around what most people expect to pay for a 5D series camera, could dramatically improve Canon's market position. Of course, other companies will continue to develop their offerings too. However, I believe the EOS R5 might be one of the toughest cameras for competitors to contend with. This will especially be the case if Canon prices it below $4,000.  

What are your thoughts? Do you think Canon will keep the price competitive or price themselves out of certain markets? 

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52 Comments

Benoit Pigeon's picture

$3500.00 would be the top for me. I have no real need to switch from DSLR especially in a slow market. I have to add lenses too. I know I am pushing it, but above $2900.00 is not attractive considering it's a full new system to invest in and the demand for photography is very low. Covid19 + transition cost = bad time for manufacturers.

Byh Yew's picture

Same here. Anything more than $3500 would put off enthusiasts like me. Why not buy an used A7r2 plus an A9 for the same money? But maybe Canon just wants to sell the camera to videographers.

Jared Ribic's picture

I need two bodies, so hopefully the EOS R5 doesn't cost more than $3500.
I'll also need to get lens adapters, battery grips and the new expensive CFexpress cards.

Tony Northrup's picture

I think the price will settle around $3,500-$4,000 USD, but the current tend in camera pricing seems to be to gouge early adopters and then drop the price steeply in a year (to a fair, competitive price). I'm now thinking $4,999 MSRP... But maybe into the 5s or even 6s if they decide to push it as a video camera.

Phil Bautista's picture

Sony knocked it out of the park when they priced the a7iii at $2k. Canon and Nikon stumbled when they thought they could go over that price point because their offerings were newer. Canon needs to just hide that cripple hammer and start pricing their products as if they're the underdogs. The industry is dying and these companies act as if the pie is a never ending demand. What the consumers really need is a price war.

Kirk Darling's picture

I would agree with an MSRP of about $4,000 USD, but available here and there as low as $3500 USD by Christmas.

Michael Comeau's picture

A $2,000 Sony A7 IV could cause big problems for this camera.

Chase Hagen's picture

Unless it’s got 8K video in RAW, 10bit 4K video or a 45-ish MP sensor, I don’t think the A7IV will even be in the same league as the R5.

Phil Bautista's picture

It may not be in the same league but if the upgraded specs are compelling enough, it will likely draw sales away from Canon, in much the same way the A7iii pretty much killed the A7Siii. It performed so well in video and low light that Sony decided that whatever they put into the A7Siii wouldn't compel enough people to buy it at the price point they projected it should sell at.

Byh Yew's picture

Nikon D700 didn't have 21MP, nor HD video, yet it sold very well in the same price league as the Canon 5D2, so well that since 5D3 Canon went the Nikon way, by incorporating professional AF into the 5D line.

Andrew S's picture

But the sensor in the a7iv will be better. You know, the most important thing in the camera.

Usman Dawood's picture

Two things.

First we don’t know so we can’t say what’s better and worse. Remember, Canons flagship sensors are better than the competitions.

Secondly, just having a better sensor doesn’t make a good camera.

For example, when shooting architecture, I still pick the Canon 5DSR over the a7R III for a good number of reasons. I’m not gonna shoot proper commercial work with my Sony, it’s just not as reliable or work friendly. Point being, it’s not all about having a better sensor, lots of other points are equally as important or even more so.

Bonus point, when people talk about better sensors, they generally point at dynamic range.
Dynamic range is overrated.

Pieter Batenburg's picture

Editing 8k video is hard. The amount of storage and the raw horsepower needed to edit that footage makes it unpractical for most people. It will be an absolute plus for those who want to go that way but I think for most, it won't be a big deal.

Chase Hagen's picture

My guess is they will price it at $4000 ($3999) for the simple reason is that it offers the even better video features than the Panasonic S1H which is $3999, it should have slightly higher resolution sensor than the Nikon Z7 which is now under $3000, and likely the same/similar resolution to the Panasonic S1R @ $3700. (+ A7RIII/IV are $3500 but they lack decent video specs)

And finally if you look at the price of the 5D MKIV in 2016 it was $3500 ($3499) and with the amount of features the R5 has as an upgrade to any 5D series before it they can justify a $500 price increase especially looking at the fact that Sony is charging $4500 for the A9II and overall the specs between the R5 and A9II aren’t that different. No to mention the A9II’s video chops don’t even come close to the R5’s so if they wanted to they could charge $4500+ if they see the A9II as 1:1 competition for the R5. Internal 8K “Cinema RAW Light” pushes it past any other mirrorless for video so they charge whatever they want if they are focused on that!

I’d be shocked if they charged under $3500 considering all the features and the price of the competition!

Adil Alsuhaim's picture

My thoughts exactly. It should be about the same price as Panasonic S1H. I think $3999 is reasonable; $3499 is competitive, and anything less would be a shocker.

Keep in mind the new C300 Mark III just debuted at $10,999 compared to $15,999 introduction price of C300 Mark II, so prices might be trending down in Canon land.

David Love's picture

Nobody needs 8k so not like they are delivering a much requested feature. If they are marketing as a video camera I better see much better codecs than mjpeg and there better be video tools (zebra, false color, focus assist, etc). The 5d mark 4 is not much better than the mark 3. So much so that when I first got the mark 4 I still shot with the mark 3 and used the 4 for filming bts in 4k. That is until I realized there was no log and the file size was 4gb for a minute of video and the video was chopped into a zillion smaller videos.

I'm not even considering something like this unless they check all the boxes. I have a BMPCC 6K now and for the new discounted price of $1900, Canon coming out with a $4,000 camera which features nobody really needs doesn't work. I'd be better off using the mark 3 and 4 and waiting for a 8K GH6 or BMPCC 8K which would be cheaper. It's also harder to sell used gear since they drop the prices so fast and we lose half the value the moment we buy. I paid $2500 for the BMPCC 6K, now it's $500 cheaper. Bought a smallhd monitor for $600, now it's $300. WITHIN A YEAR OF BUYING. Waiting is my new thing.

And not just for sponsored youtubers to foam at the mouth about a product.

Big Name's picture

I would not be surprised if it is below the 5D in price. It is basically an EOS R with IBIS and a new sensor. I think the 8k thing is a bit of a middle finger to the competition who have been billing themselves as a video solution such as Panasonic and Blackmagic. Canon is looking to be the upgrade path for those customers so I expect competitive pricing so customers don’t have to think too much, lol.

Carlos Lazaro's picture

People are look into the 8k and going "wow" and forgetting that this 45+MP sensor will have to line skip and pixel bin for the 4k.
Yes the 8k will be amazing,but the 4k om this camera will be "beh". This camera is canons "a7r" a lower MP (such as the rumored r6) will mkre likely downsample tje 5.5k sensor into 4k at 60p.
Cant beliebe on how many people suggest that this sensor can read 8k120 and then downsample that into 4k120. That wouls suggest a sub 8ms rolling shutter at 8k for starters . Absolutely no way.

It would be great if it downsamples at 24/25p ,which i still doupt. But the 60/120p will be 100% pixel binning/line skipping
This camera will be under 4000 for that reason alone. Its not a "killer video camera" unless the 8k is all you want. This cameras 4k will be mediocre , mark my words.

Planning to buy 2 of these myself.

Adil Alsuhaim's picture

If it shoots 8K uncropped, the aspect ratio is perfect for binning or oversampling since 4 pixels corresponds to 1 in 4K.

Tim Dunlap's picture

You made an honest and fair review but its funny cause at the end after saying how the 4k will be you're getting 2 of them 😂. Well dang, I dont honestly care about 8k right now. Maybe in a 2-3 years...what I want is good 4k 10 bit 422 with good 24fps,60fps and then good 120fps at 1080p. All in a good codec and some working with Atomos to allow external recorders for better priced storage. Seriously if a camera mixed with the EOS R codec, focus, and the lenses mixed with the Nikon z6 capabilities of non crop 4k 24 and 60fps with 120fps in 1080 and the ability to shoot raw video with the Atomos...i dont understand what they are doing...oh heres 8k with crippled 4k...man I hope not. Smh

David Love's picture

Oh well then settle for 6k and get the BMPCC 6K. It has everything you're asking for. Leave the Canon for pics.

Lawrence Huber's picture

I hope that they keep it at 3499 or less .
Sell the crap out of them. Literally flood the market with the R5.
Then a very good 4K 32mp R at 1985.
This gets commitment to the RF mount that can not be adapted to Sony crap or to Nikon either.

jim blair's picture

Nobody seems to complain about $2500-$3000 RF lens but oh if this body is above $3500 Canon will fail which is laughable. Covid has zero bearing on pricing, it's only hurt the manufacturing and supply chain otherwise this body would be here today. If the 50mb medium format bodies are at the $5k, this body will closer to that price point than $3k.

jim blair's picture

.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I don't know who "nobody" is, but $3k lens, yes it is a problem for most of us. I don't complain, because they can keep it at that price, I have enough gear that works fine.
I don't know who is buying cameras right now and I know of zero of my friends who are on the market to switch to mirror less this year. Some video guys probably do if they have enough work to justify it. Most of my clients are hiring me back right now, but that won't change anything on my decision to wait.
This reminds me again of the first 5D that sold for $3500 when all the "professional social media experts" assumed it would go for $5k. And at the time, there was NO, ZERO, competition to affordable full frame cameras.
What I said above is, I won't buy if not under 3k as I don't need to rush the "upgrade". If Canon wants to crush Sony and start selling fast, near $4k would in my opinion not be effective in the current context and we know sales were pretty bad last year. Not saying they won't try, just saying I don't see it work and certainly Canon shouldn't expect me to fall for it. Others can, I have no objection.
Also, none of my clients expect a return in my cost to them right now. Additionally, I am a tiny investment vs radio, print, billboards, tv ads, web... Now is the time for them to look good and keep having a presence. That's how they survive during hard slow times like 2008 and today. Think business not camera buyer because that's what camera manufacturers do.

Iain Stanley's picture

The perfect camera for me (emphasis on me) would be a mirrorless with around 35-40MP sensor, IBIS, 12fps burst rate. All the rest, I have zero need for

jim blair's picture

I also have enough canon gear but the R family doesn't interest me as a future product, I think there pretty much dead on arrival. Why, because canon doesn't progressively update firmware like Sony. Now after 2 years since the R and RP were introduced, you'll never see another feature rich update so there dead products right now. Sony has been more like Apple, support older products with firmware to improve features. The a7r3 is nearly 3 years old, a better buy as a tool and I'm no Sony fan. Apple still supports a 7 year 5s.

David Love's picture

Same with Blackmagic. Canon products are pretty much dated the moment you get one because of the lack of firmware feature updates.

Grant Beachy's picture

They didn't, but they do now. I've had 3 or more firmware updates to the R, and even to one of my lenses. Each camera firmware update increased functionality noticeably.

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