It didn't take long for the camera rumors to start flying this year – or for them to start coming true!
Camera rumors had been dominated by chatter that Panasonic would at last embrace phase detect autofocus, and just a few days into 2023 the Panasonic S5II (opens in new tab) and Panasonic S5IIx (opens in new tab) were revealed. And Panasonic's autofocus epiphany raises questions about when that might trickle down to its Micro Four Thirds cameras (opens in new tab).
Then came the fruition of multiple Canon rumors, as the world's biggest camera manufacturer dropped both the Canon EOS R8 (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS R50 (opens in new tab) at the start of February. We've also heard fresh rumblings about new bodies from Fujifilm and Sony, which sound like they're about to arrive imminently.
As always, camera rumors are best served with a healthy pinch of salt – but where there's smoke, there's very often fire!
Canon rumors 2023
Canon EOS R5 Mark II
As if the introduction of the Canon EOS R6 Mark II (opens in new tab) wasn't indication enough, rumors have started surfacing that a successor to the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) is indeed on the way. In fact, the Canon EOS R5 Mark II is more of a priority than the EOS R1, and is expected to arrive before the new flagship.
While its feature set is still very unclear, it is highly likely that we will see a lot of the autofocus modes that debuted in the R6 Mark II and have been further honed in the recent Canon EOS R8 (opens in new tab) – namely subject detection expanded to include horses and planes, along with a bump up to 40fps burst shooting. We would expect the same 45MP resolving, as it seems that Canon is unleashing its higher resolution plans elsewhere.
Canon EOS R replacement
The latest word is that Canon's next full-frame camera will be a replacement for the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) (its first-ever full-frame mirrorless body) and could be announced by year's end. However, it won't be called the EOS R Mark II.
There is currently some debate over what the camera will be called, particularly with the R7 being the point in the naming nomenclature that models become APS-C bodies rather than full frame. Much as we saw the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS Ra (opens in new tab) carve out their own naming niches, could we see something like a Canon EOS RN or RT (just to pull out random letter suffixes)?
This latest unconfirmed rumor derives from an original post that was shared to the Chinese social media platform, Weibo (opens in new tab) (as first spotted by (opens in new tab) CanonRumors), which suggests that we won't see a 'Canon EOS R Mark II' as such – though it cited that the camera will actually be named the Canon EOS R8. Which invites confusion, given the latest R8 rumors above!
The post from Weibo also proposed some specs for the camera, including the same 30.3MP full frame sensor, but with 5-axis in-body stabilization plus uncropped 4K 30p and cropped 4K 60p.
Canon EOS R100 (vlogging camera)
Immediately after Nikon released the Z30 rumors started flying around about a rival vlogging camera from Canon. "Nikon announced the Nikon Z 30 Z-mount camera targeting vloggers and people that want a small camera body. Canon will be releasing a similar camera sometime this year," reported (opens in new tab) Canon Rumors.
Touted as (opens in new tab) the Canon EOS R100, is sounds as if Canon is getting ready to release an RF-mount APS-C camera with a similar form factor as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II (opens in new tab) – but with the vlogging market in mind. This makes sense, as the the M6 Mark II already seems to be discontinued (opens in new tab) in a number of territories as Canon adjusts its strategy with the EOS M line.
If there was a replacement for the M6 Mark II, it would likely enable Canon to create a more popular product that arguably never found an audience with the EF-M mount. It would also introduce a specifically vlogging-oriented body – which is very much lacking – to the EOS R ecosystem.
Canon is always the subject of more camera rumors than any other manufacturer, in large part because it has been the most prolific photographic patenter for 35 consecutive years (opens in new tab).
Last year saw some of its most innovative products ever, with the launch of the 30fps, stacked sensor, eye-control AF Canon EOS R3 (opens in new tab), the "personal family photographer" Canon PowerShot Pick (opens in new tab), and the radical camera that looks like a Pixar character, the Canon Posture Fit (opens in new tab). Not to mention its first venture into 3D VR, with the EOS VR System and the Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye (opens in new tab) lens.
In other words, what we're seeing from Canon in the new RF-mount era is a dynamic, daring, convention-defying company – a far cry from the conservative, careful, iterative company of a few years prior. So what is the biggest camera manufacturer in the world beavering away on right now?
In March 2022 Canon submitted an application for a patent for a product that is a drive device, an electronic device and an image pickup device with a mobile body.
From the illustrative diagrams included in the application, it looks like the design of the camera unit could be very similar to that of the Canon Powershot Pick (opens in new tab) – an AI-powered camera capable of recording both video and stills. It automatically detects movement, can track a subject and can be controlled using voice commands.
The Powershot Pick features an 11.7MP camera, has advanced face recognition, connects to a purpose-made app and is compact, lightweight and portable – all of which are features that would be desirable on a drone camera.
Canon EOS R1
With the R5 and R6 Mark II now firmly established, respectively replacing the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS 6D Mark II (opens in new tab), and the R3 resurrecting the 3-series pro product line, it looks like the next DSLR to be succeeded by a mirrorless model will be none other than the flagship sports camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab). But don't get too excited, as we're not expecting to see it materialize until 2024 – aligning with the 4-year Olympic cycle that pro camera launches used to sync with.
Now, you'll need to take this with such a huge grain of salt that it's dangerous for your sodium levels, but here are some leaked Canon EOS R1 specs (opens in new tab): it will supposedly boast an 85MP global shutter sensor, capable of continuous 20fps bursts at the full 85MP resolution 40fps when cropped to 21MP, with Quad Pixel AF, in-body image stabilization capable of up to 9 stops, along with 15.5 stops of dynamic range with a maximum ISO sensitivity of 1.6 million.
Sound too good to be true? It probably is. But then again, the specs of the R5 sounded too good to be true when they first leaked, too…
Canon EOS RS
Not to be confused with the EOS R5, rumors persist that Canon is developing a high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera to compete with the likes of the 61MP Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab). In fact, we've even seen some reports suggesting that a medium format-rivaling 100MP EOS R (opens in new tab) is being worked on.
The latest rumblings come in the form of a list of purported specs for what has been dubbed the Canon EOS RS (opens in new tab) – a nod to the Canon EOS 5DS, which is the 50MP high-res DSLR that the mirrorless version would effectively replace.
According to these claims, we can expect an 80MP sensor, with a slightly larger body than the EOS R that comprises a bigger grip, LCD and EVF. Additionally, it is claimed that the "viewfinder" (it is unclear whether this is the EVF or the LCD) can be tilted up and down, and that the camera possesses a "new style" of joystick (potentially the Smart Controller from the 1D X Mark III (opens in new tab) that also features on the R3) along with dual SD card slots.
Canon EOS C50 and C90
Also expected to join the party in 2022 are the Canon EOS C50 (opens in new tab) and C90, two more cinema cameras with RF lens mounts. While we don't know much at present, we're hoping we won't have long to wait, as these cameras are expected to make their debuts around the midpoint of the year.
Canon EOS-M vlogging camera
The future of Canon's EOS M series of mirrorless cameras remains a popular talking point, particularly with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II (opens in new tab) offering but minor upgrades to the line.
Intriguingly, though, the future of Canon's APS-C system might lie in this – a vlogging camera that's essentially an interchangeable lens version of the DJI Osmo Pocket (opens in new tab) / DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab).
A handheld vlogging camera with a built-in gimbal, making use of the best Canon EF-M lenses (opens in new tab), would be an ingenious implementation of Canon's APS-C system. And given that it has already been the subject of around nine patents, it certainly feels like a product that's likely to be realized…
HOWEVER, the launch of the APS-C EOS R7 and R10 have left a big cloud of doubt over the whole EOS M line-up, especially since the top model, the EOS M6 II has now been discontinued.
Sadly, patents and rumors don't always lead to actual products.
The Canon verdict
What we think: Canon seems to have gone all in on mirrorless, but not just in the sense of traditional camera bodies – more and more we're seeing it stretch the boundaries of photo products, with concept cameras like the Canon PowerShot Pick (opens in new tab) and Posture Fit. It has also finally brought APS-C bodies to the EOS R system – along with an outright replacement for the M50, which makes things feel increasingly precarious for the EOS M product line.