If Canon Doesn't Fix This Huge Problem, Its Mind-Blowing Roadmap for 2021 Will Be Utterly Pointless for Many

If Canon Doesn't Fix This Huge Problem, Its Mind-Blowing Roadmap for 2021 Will Be Utterly Pointless for Many

Have you seen what's on the horizon for Canon in 2021? Wow. After a number of comparatively lackluster years, Canon roared back to life in 2020 with the announcement of a few new cameras and a bunch of new lenses. However, there's a glaring issue that needs to be urgently addressed or it will all be rather meaningless.

With rumors of Canon's 2021 roadmap reported on recently, it seems the camera giant is not resting on its 2020 laurels and has big plans for next year too, with more RF lenses reportedly coming onto the market. These are seemingly great times for Canon users, and it looks like the good times will just continue.

However, there’s a big elephant in the room that no one seems to want acknowledge, and it will render all these lens announcements utterly meaningless for many unless it’s fixed as soon as possible. What am I talking about? The simple fact that there are scores of people around the world twiddling their thumbs while waiting for delivery of their the Canon EOS R5s. Including me. It’s all well and good to have a wonderful roadmap of lenses ahead, but if there’s nothing to attach those lenses to, then it’s all rather moot for those waiting, isn’t it?

When I ordered my EOS R5 at the back end of July, I fully expected delays. I wasn’t under the naive impression that I would be first cab off the rank and have the Canon in my hands within a week or two. However, we are now in mid-October, and I have absolutely no idea when my camera will get here. Initially, I was kept in the loop by the vendor, but in the last month and a half or so, I haven’t heard a squeak. I don’t really blame the vendor, because they simply pass on the news they get from Canon. So, really, I think Canon has shot themselves in the foot here and taken on orders that they couldn’t keep pace with.

If you take a look at some of the biggest camera-selling websites in the world online, they tell the same story across the board.

This image above is from B&H Photo Video, which says the camera is backordered. Likewise, Diamonds camera in Australia, which you can see in the image below.

In Japan, Map Camera, one of the biggest camera vendors based in Tokyo, also has the same message, seen below.

So, this isn’t an isolated instance where I might have chosen the wrong vendor. This is a common issue around the world where people have ordered the EOS R5 and are no nearer to getting it than they were three months ago. As a result, it’s a fat lot of good hearing about Canon's exciting new lens roadmap for 2021 if we can’t do anything with them, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, the RF lenses cannot be used on an EF mount body. Thus, people who own the Canon 5D Mark IV, for example, cannot do anything with RF lenses that have been announced or RF lenses they might already have. I’m a perfect example of this scenario. When I made the order for the Canon EOS R5, I also ordered the RF 100-500mm lens and the RF 800mm lens at the same time. They both arrived after a small delay and now sit in a box in my bedroom. Literally.

I’m not in the habit of falling all over gear that I can’t use, so after unpacking the two lenses and giving them the once over, I put them straight back in the box, where they’ve remained ever since. The RF 100-500mm may well be the best lens I have ever owned, but it’s currently collecting dust. In a box. On the floor. And with no adapter that allows me to put those RF lenses onto my 5D Mark IV or 7D Mark II, I actually have no idea how they perform or what wonders they might produce. Wonderful, huh? And worst of all, I have no idea when this might change.

Initially, I felt that I couldn't show such an unglamorous image here on Fstoppers, but I think it illustrates my point perfectly. My two RF lenses have been relegated to the corner of the room where they compete for dust and space with frames I use for orders, a screwdriver, my old waterhousing, and other bits and bobs. They should be taking pride and place in my camera bag, but alas, they're not and won't be for quite a while, I imagine.

2020 has certainly been a strange year, to state the obvious, and you might assign the chaos of the year as one of the reasons for such a delay in people getting their EOS R5s in their hands. I don’t buy that excuse for a second. COVID-19 started in the early part of 2020, around about the same time that rumors of the EOS R5 started filtering out. The news got louder as the middle of the year approached, and then, it was confirmed that the EOS R5 and EOS R6 would be released in July/August. Thus, if Canon had any doubts about releasing the EOS R5/R6 because of the effects of the pandemic, it had ample time to make alternative arrangements. It chose not to.

Indeed, if you look at Canon Australia’s channel on YouTube, there was a blitz of promotional videos released at the same time as the EOS R5 (as you’d expect). Almost every day, my feed was cluttered with reviews and impressions and comparisons of the EOS R5, so Canon obviously had no doubts about getting the camera out for sale and was busy with its mass marketing.

And that feeds into my next point. I find it hard to believe that Canon was simply overwhelmed by the demand for the EOS R5 and was caught short on numbers because of such a surprise. Rumors of the camera started early in the year and simply snowballed into a giant avalanche by the time it was released in August. Everyone knew it was coming, and the internet was abuzz at what it would produce. Therefore, it’s a stretch to imagine that Canon just made a mistake and underestimated how many units it might need for shipment. And here we are now in the middle of October and people are still no closer to getting any answers about when their cameras might come.

Summing Up

On paper, 2021 looks extremely exciting for Canon and its loyal users. A bunch of new RF lenses are in the pipeline, which promise even more features and benefits than ever. However, no EOS R5s in the hands of many after three months of waiting is an issue that needs immediate redress. It’s rather pointless, and even a slap in the face to potentially announce all these new lenses when the body you need to attach them to is in some black hole vortex devoid of information or answers. I certainly hope Canon gets cracking and starts a new shipment batch as soon as possible. Patience is starting to wear thin for many — well, me at least! What do you think? Has Canon kicked an own goal here or will this all blow over before we know it?

Iain Stanley's picture

Iain Stanley is an Associate Professor teaching photography and composition in Japan. He has presented at conferences globally and written for numerous international publications. To learn more about his work, his life in Japan, or how he plans to semi-retire at 64, check out his writing on Medium by clicking the website link above.

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This has been my experience in the past specifically when ordering a D850 at least 6 months after it was available. And that wasn't in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Same story when ordering my Z CAM this year though I didn't pre order I just had to wait months for it to be in stock for a short period of time. On top of all that, I have budgeted our company for a Drobo HD enclosure but it's been out of stock since March and they say probably won't be in stock until December. It's a tough time for product releases. Marketing plans however are much less affected by COVID than actual production of new products. I think that's why we see the ball sort of dropped all over the place lately.

All good points. It is what it is, but the disconnect between marketing, availability, customer updates etc etc is rather lacking. Perfectly happy to keep using what I have but I think this was an opportunity for Canon to really make loyal users happy and bring some genuine feelgood to what has been an absolutely crap year. I think they dropped the ball, badly.

Honestly if there was a wait line or something else to let you know how long it was going to be - I wouldn't mind waiting. It's the unknown amount of time you will wait that kinda sucks....

I heard similar stories from my friends who were after the 5dmiv right when it was announced.

By the way, I have an order only for around 40 days, but last night a local shop’s website shown ‘in stock’ state, so I bought one. I guess some people put multiple orders, and cancelled ‘em after the first was delivered. Maybe you should browse through your local vendors, you might get lucky the same way.

Sigh! Another article about how a multi billion dollar company doesn't now what it's doing yada yada yada. If you don't want to wait for your item to come, there are plenty of other brands out there with plenty of stock - go get one of those.

Well..... due to unfortunate timing this year I/we have had to buy a new car and a new washer/dryer combo coz both mine clapped out. Both Japan made, both out of stock when we wanted to buy. Both were delivered within a week. So I don’t buy the whole pandemic, you should wait thing, especially when Canon’s public financial records for the first half of 2020 show a huge reduction in unit sales for cameras. Thus, if anything, availability should have been less of an issue. Shipping can’t be a factor either coz it’s local (Japan) and international

I guess life sucks that you can't get a camera when you want it during a pandemic. The pandemic aside, it's a supply and demand issue. Nikon had the same issue a few years ago when the D850 was released and there was no pandemic, just more people wanted the camera that they made available at the time. Same issue with the iPhone 12, some people are getting theirs with the first shipment and others are having to wait the following week and later.

Most popular trend of 2020: blame it all on pandemics.

... and the D800 before it (I waited six months to receive mine) and the 500mm pf (an 11 month wait for that one because I got cold feet and cancelled my original order).

Oh, and cars? Try getting a Kia Telluride. Some people have waited up to 11 months to get delivery on one of those.

These companies are notoriously conservative. For every release that sells like hotcakes, there are probably 3-4 Canon 6D's that sit on the shelf and gather dust. Eventually, they will have plenty of stock, and this shortage will be a distant memory.

As for me, there is no way I'm letting a $2700 lens sit on the floor unused, untested. I'm either sending that sucker back or I'm renting a lesser body to make sure that there are no problems.

You don't buy the whole pandemic? Really? I mean, REALLY?

That bombastic title..

Yeah, just can't come right out and say it in the title. Must use the ultimate clickbait word, "this". Oh how I hate that way way way over used crap.

I ordered mine through Mikes Camera about a week before it released, I got it about two weeks after release.

Hang in there Iain!! I think it will be worth the wait. It's not just Canon. I've seen this with a lot of products this year.

I ordered the R5 on the first day it was available to pre-order. I finally received it about 10 days ago. Based on information I've read, if you preordered the camera and haven't received it yet, you should get by the end of October. B&H has a message on their product page that says you should receive the camera in November if you ordered today.

"First cab off the rank"? Author must be Australian?

Ordered mine from a regional dealer a couple weeks after the announcement, and it was delivered a week after the release. Had zero trouble. Don't order from the big shops.

I'm noticing that.

Duly noted!

Sadly, ordering from your local shop can get you screwed over too. I placed a preorder at my local shop, was at the top of the list for the body only version, the first two batches that were supposed to hit at my shop got diverted to a national brand rental company because canon has a huge contract with them. I ended up having to get the KIT version instead, because they STILL don't know when they'll get body only version will come in.

Now I'm stuck with a lens I don't really want because I can't sell the dang lens as everyone either has one, or they don't want it.

Granted the kit lens IS good, but I didn't want it. I'm not being overly entitled at whining about it, yeah I needed the body quickly because of a job I had coming up, THAT is why I ended up going for the kit version when I had the chance instead of waiting for the body only.

MAYBE Iain should get the kit that is probably available locally today and quit being angry about nothing.

Hmm, I placed orders at Adorama and B&H because I didn't want to have to wait. I planned to cancel the second after the first order was filled. Of course, both orders got filled within a day of each other.

Fortunately, there was eBay...

Has anyone heard that there might be a pandemic affecting manufacturing around the world? Can we please not write articles like this? Yes, the R5 is phenomenal, everyone who wants to order one should have one (or two)...and Canon has really outdone itself. So let's congratulate Canon, place our orders and understand that wish fulfillment requires patience sometimes.

The author commented about that he doesn't buy the whole pandemic thing so... what do you think? :-)

"This" article is a "Huge" waste of time and is "Pointless" "For Many" have got this "Mind-Blowing" camera and you will just have to wait your turn, so use your existing "Canon" even if you have to wait till "2021".

Silent recalls take time.

A very popular product with pent-up demand is in short supply during a pandemic and that’s a major world crisis!? The majority of those who ordered the moment ordering was opened—that includes me—have been enjoying their cameras for some time. If you snooze, you lose.

i think you have nothing else to do in covid19 and you wrote all this story based on your personal views and thinking. stop crying like a baby, these are unexpected times, all manufacturers are facing similar issues, i m not comparing but for sake of example nikon took almost one year to ship some of their lenses. also everyone knew things will delay....how long not sure but will delay for sure. if you were not sure of how soon to get it, better didnt ordered. canon has nothing to do and your biased posts will not hurt canon in any way. its only your personal view that delays can harm canon. good luck crying.

I ordered my first R5 on 8/3 it arrived on 8/23. I ordered the second one on 9/2. It shipped on 10/13 and arrived 10/15. I was also fortunate the EF to RF adapters were in stock. I managed to snag 1 regular and 1 control ring. The R5 is an incredible machine. I took a picture of the proverbial black cat in a dark area. THe R5 kicked the ISO to 12800 and found his eye. It was well worth the wait.

mmm. Pandemic? Every customer is on a waiting list from virtually every manufacturer you dumb nuts. Me? I'm waiting on order number three for a 907x - am I going out of my mind? No. I am patiently waiting like normal people

A mind-blowing in its simplicity resolution for this issue is on my Instagram profile

this may be the most clickbaity headline of the month, congratulations
"Huge Problem" "Pointless for many"
but actually it's just that you had to wait a bit longer to receive the camera.
Drama queen much?
Do you write articles bout the demise of Amazon when one of your Amazon Prime deliveries doesn't arrive in 2 days?

Funny, I thought one of the big concern that would be mentioned was the outright super high prices of the entire system. There's no way I could even get an R6 because $3,000 before I can buy a lens is simply out of my price range and I'm sure many many many many others.

I am definitely not hating on those that have the means to spend $6,000 plus when many have lost their jobs but I guess that's just the way it is. It is frustrating to order anything and have to wait months and months for it... I think after writing this article maybe the author can have a little bit of perspective. Everything you guys are describing here is completely out of reach for many many many photographers so for the love of God eat your cake.

It's not just the R5. Other Canon cameras (R6, 90D) are in short supply. And the EF-RF adapter has been backordered for quite a while.

While I wouldn't blame the pandemic for everything, it does seem that Canon's ability to deliver in 2020 has been hit hard. Lots of vendors, sub-assemblies, materials, and so on, and Canon has to keep it organized.

The good news is, the pandemic doesn't keep your current gear from working. Chin up, soldier on, and Canon will eventually get there.

It took forever for A7iii and Nikon D850 to become readily available after release, and that was in a pre-COVID economy. Supply chain issues are not unique to Canon nowadays, and ironically enough -- given the article's title -- Canon is one of the few camera companies that can weather a prolonged economic downturn.

Add "Can't-do Canon" to "Near-enough-Nikon".

This has to be one of the most pathetic and whingy posts yet on FStoppers. . Because he can get his washing machines and his new car he can't understand why he can't get his R5. It's an insulting article. Different supply chains are impact differently by Co-Vid 19. Hopefully FStoppers doesn't accept any more articles from this contributor. I'm not interested in his personal whinges.

Get a R or RP to use your lenses on while waiting for the R5.
It comes and you have a backup camera like real pros do.

Ya know you can still take pictures without a Canon R5 or whatever came out this month.

Why not get a used R or RP then sell it when the R5 comes?

Next article - "How I switched to Nikon because Canon was unavailable for a month"
Jeez, this article is really something

Some markets better served as more important. CANON camera assembly plants based in China dependent on suppliers in Japan? Here in France many imported cameras and lenses in short supply. Most Japanese companies manage their European operations out of Germany so they get first-call as the largest market in Europe. China is the largest market for Japanese companies. To what extent currency changes and tariffs affect US prices?

I ordered mine from an unusual Pro Photo Place, Best Buy. I didn't pre-order, I didn't order back in July, I was still on fence about even getting it. I ordered it Sept 18, I had it in my hands oct 2nd. Side benefit, I got 10% and enough BB points to get a 512GB CFe card for 1/2 off.

Welcome to 2020 when everybody is so entitled and starts whining when their item, that was just released, hasn't shipped due to the nightmare logistical issues that the whole world faces in this freaking PANDEMIC.

PS: the clickbait title of this article is so lame. And shame on me for being caught clicking. I was actually hoping to read something meaningful about the new lenses.

Do you think next time you could add the context of the story to the title instead of going down the clickbaity diatribe. Ii.e. If Canon Doesn't Fix Their Supply problem, Its Mind-Blowing Roadmap for 2021 Will Be Utterly Pointless for Many

This seems better suited as a forum post than a blog article.

I strongly suspect Canon did not devise a deliberate strategy not to sell cameras.

Bizarre title. When you use such dramatic words and phrases for an issue that is somewhat overblown then readers stop paying attention. I guess the usual click bait which worked but will stop working over time. Do you want to be that kind of writer? You do know there are other Canon mirrorless cameras that have the RF mount right?

The title comes, in part, from a very popular article that featured on Fstoppers about a week or so ago. That’s what inspired this article. You can find the hyperlink in this article, in paragraph 2, if you’re interested. Cheers

Fstopper authors have never been kind to Canon. Any small problem and its like the whole Canon world with all their customers is going down the toilet. When its a Nikon or a Fuji, I can practically hear the drool from the authors hit the floor. So forgive me if I don't feel sorry for your predicament.
You know why its taking such a long time to get the camera to you? Its because its very popular, its a fantastic camera and you just can't stand it that your purchase is somehow not at the top of the list. I ordered the camera the day it went on sale and received it two weeks back. So, if you really want it you just have to hold your breath. Also I have followed Fstoppers for many years now and have read the very similar predictions of impending doom every time Canon has brought out a new model. So take you predictions and place it where the sun don't shine because we are interested in the the objective news of a new model and not any of the predictions of doom and gloom you peddle.

I don't think it's a HUGE problem for Canon. Something tells me they'll be just fine for 2021.

Huge, mind-blowing, utterly pointless hyperbole.

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