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?

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Previous comments
Alexander Petrenko's picture

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

Josh Rain's picture

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?

Edo Photo's picture

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.

Steve White's picture

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.

Roland Ayala's picture

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.

Ziggy Stardust's picture

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

Hector Belfort's picture

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.

Lawrence Huber's picture

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.

ed louis's picture

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

Jason Flynn's picture

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

Igal Pronin's picture

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

Rich Bind's picture

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?

Rob Gatson's picture

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.

Rayann Elzein's picture

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.

Jason Finch's picture

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

Kirk Darling's picture

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.

nigel walker's picture

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?

Iain Stanley's picture

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

Jaswant Madhavan's picture

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.

Steven Meyer-Rassow's picture

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

Sam Tang's picture

Huge, mind-blowing, utterly pointless hyperbole.

Gordon Scott's picture

Entitled much? So you ordered one of the most anticipated items and moan about not getting yours yet because of the high demand for it, during a global pandemic, aww, boo boo.
Just because you haven't got your R5 yet, you think that should mean Canon should not announce or release new lenses for the thousands of us EOS R, RP, R6 & R5 users that do have bodies for those lenses?
You sound like a spoiled brat when you only talk about RF lenses and those that ordered the R5 & haven't got theirs yet.