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New Rumor: No new EOS R cameras in 2019
/ Categories: Rumors, Canon Mirrorless
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New Rumor: No new EOS R cameras in 2019

The latest rumors are striking fear in the hearts of anyone wishing to see a high-resolution EOS R before the end of the year from Canon. It’s being suggested that no new camera will ship in 2019, and that the Canon will hold off until 2020 for any new EOS R’s.

Personally, I feel this is certainly a possibility.  We know that Canon has some problems to overcome even in a high-resolution camera, especially if they deem 4K a necessity with such a camera.  With current DIGIC speeds, a 70-80MP camera will be quite pedestrian in terms of raw FPS, dual pixel autofocus (DPAF) sensor focus speed and also 4K video.  Simply moving that much data around for both autofocus and for video will be extreme.  Consider that with DPAF Canon would have 140 to 160 million phase detect pixels in a 70 to 80 megapixel sensor.

We can gain some possible insights on when a new DIGIC will be released by looking at the frequency of DIGIC’s in the past;

  • DIGIC 2 – 2004
  • DIGIC 3 – 2006
  • DIGIC 4 – 2008
  • DIGIC 5 – 2011
  • DIGIC 6 – 2013
  • DIGIC 7 – 2016
  • DIGIC 8 – 2018

Do you see a pattern? Yes. For the most part DIGIC releases are every 2 years, meaning the earliest we’ll see a DIGIC 9 is in 2020. Which means right now Canon is already developing cameras that will use the next generation of DIGIC chips.

The actual sensor is another area that Canon needs to improve.  While the Dynamic Range and sensor performance of the EOS R gets into the realm of “close enough” to Sony top of the line sensors, there’s still work to be done; primarily on the overall speed of reading information off the sensor and further improvement of dynamic range.

Canon we can surmise is in its first generation of 180nm full frame sensors, and possibly the second generation of 180nm APS-C sensors.  Subsequent generations will require further R&D and also simply time to increase production yields.  It may also be that unless Canon can fabricate a sensor using BSI techniques (Back Side Illumination) that they will have “hit a wall” unless they go to the more expensive stacked sensor fabrication process.

There's also another marketing reason.  There are no major shows until CP+ next year for photography.  There are smaller ones like PhotoPlus Expo in October, however nothing major.  Next year, CP+ and Photokina both happen between February and May of the year.  Next year is also the Canon 2020 Expo in September. There's a good chance that Canon will want to make major splashes at these shows. 

So where does all this lead back to a high performance EOS R, or even the high-resolution EOS R that was conjectured as coming out this year?

A high performance EOS R is most likely not going to happen without both a high generation of sensor and DIGIC, and a high resolution EOS R could, in theory, happen with current generation sensor and DIGIC however the overall performance would be quite slow, and perhaps that’s causing Canon to put it on pause until better performing sensors and DIGIC's are ready to be used in the EOS R's.

Canon has shown that it can hold close any and all information with the EOS R's, without having leaks, so there's bound to be a lot of on again off again reporting until we get closer to the end of 2019.

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