If Canon Is Releasing Four Full-Frame Cameras This Year, What Should They Be?

There’s been a lot of speculation about what camera Canon would add next to its new range of full-frame mirrorless bodies, and we might be a step closer to seeing what will emerge over the next twelve months. According to rumors, one is pretty certain, but the other two are a little more unexpected.

The new flagship, the 1D X Mark III is due to hit the shelves on February 13, and you can pre-order yours now for a meager $6,499. The first of what could be four major full-frame releases, this will almost undoubtedly be the 1D X’s swansong and it will be fascinating to see what other high-end DSLRs from Canon reach the market.

After this brief resurgence of interest in DSLR, the world of mirrorless is now set to dominate the headlines again, and Canon Rumors claims to have something resembling a roadmap for the Japanese manufacturer’s releases in 2020.

It’s long been expected that an RF mount version of that 1D X will take much longer to come market, being slightly more of a niche tool, and with so many agencies heavily invested in EF glass, it will be a good few years before Canon decides to make a mirrorless action-shooter to rival Sony’s a9 cameras. What’s almost certain, however, is a mirrorless equivalent of the 5DS and 5DS R — a high-resolution body that’s at least on a par with the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV. Dubbed the EOS Rs by the rumor sites, it’s thought that this will emerge ahead of Japan’s CP+ show in February, or failing that, in May.

Hardcore fans are working furiously on the maths of existing sensors to figure out what resolution it will be, with 75 megapixels apparently the most likely. The rear LCD will be larger than that found on the EOS R and, most importantly, will feature two card slots. With all of the furore surrounding the first batch of mirrorless cameras from Nikon and Canon, you have to wonder if Canon will  go with three or four card slots just to be on the safe side.

The other two slated bodies are a little more intriguing. The first is an entry-level Rebel equivalent that is thought may sell for even less than the EOS RP, which is already remarkably cheap for a full-frame camera and is currently available for less than a thousand dollars. Sensors are becoming cheaper and cheaper, but what would you drop from the RP to keep costs down? The EVF, potentially?

An entry-level, consumer camera that grabs those buying their first camera and pulls photographers into the Canon ecosystem does make sense as the Japanese manufacturer will want to sell a lot of lenses, especially when non-pro options start to appear in earnest. A nifty fifty and a pancake could already be on their way to sit alongside the RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS. Canon has proven that it is intent on continuing with EOS-M when it comes to APS-C, so EF-S glass might be about to become very cheap. A Canon equivalent of the Nikon Z 50 has looked very unlikely, and a body that’s even cheaper than the would seem to rule it out completely. Two sensor sizes, two different mounts (or not?).

Interestingly, some are suggesting that this full-frame budget option might be modular as opposed to entry-level, a body that’s more akin to the Sigma fp than the Rebel SL3, ditching the EVF and shooting C-Log, but this would be a significant departure for Canon.

Finally, there’s a possibility that a fourth body will be announced and will be closer to the Sony a7S line of cameras: a lower resolution with a fast burst rate that has excellent low-light performance and good video specifications — perhaps matching that of the 1D X Mark III albeit in a much smaller format.

Within all of this, there is the question of if and how Canon plans to produce some sort of equivalent or successor to the 5D Mark IV. Arguably, the EOS R is a 6D Mark II, though an EOS R Mark II with dual card slots would position it more in line with the 5D product range. And if Canon does go this route, should 5D fans give up on the idea of Canon ever producing a Mark V? If there’s still plenty of life left in the 1D X, can we see another iteration of an EF mount workhorse, or do all those Mark III-toting wedding shooters who like to skip a generation before upgrading need to face the fact that Canon is pushing them towards mirrorless?

What are you expecting Canon to do this year? And what would you like to see from them? Should a 5D equivalent be a priority over a 5DS? Which models will have IBIS? Which bodies will crop the 4K and cripple the dual pixel autofocus? And will Canon continue its infuriating habit of ditching 24p at random resolutions? Be sure to leave your comments below.

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