EOS R: So now what?
Now that the dust has settled on the EOS R, it’s time to already start looking ahead to what Canon should do to the system. Of course, at this time, we have no clue to what Canon is thinking so this is just an opinion piece and some guesswork based upon what they have done before, what they have stated they are doing, and where everyone else is.
More Camera Bodies
One camera body is a good start, but it’s incomplete.
With Canon’s inability to do full screen width 4K there’s an obvious need for an 8 or 12mp EOS R tailored to low light and CINI. Similar in nature to the A7S, but with Canon’s color science and superior ergonomics. This would solve now embarrassing lack of technology to create sensors and pipelines capable of processing an entire 30+MP sensor for 4K video without a huge crop factor.
A high-resolution camera is needed as well to take advantage of the new R optics. 30MP is a good in between resolution, however, Canon has promised us a 120MP DSLR since September 2015. Is this a good time to dust off those plans and drop that promised sensor into a R system? DPAF may play an important reason to why this isn’t out yet. But even with current sensor design rules, Canon could create a DPAF 62MP full frame sensor right now using existing 24MP APS-C sensor designs scaled up to full frame. I know personally, a high MP EOS R camera is the one I’m waiting for.
The main core reason of a short registration distance mount is that it’s more optimal for the design of wide and ultra-wide lenses. The RF 24-105L IS USM is just begging for its related ultra-wide-angle lens, a 12-24mm, or a 16-35 F4 RF IS USM lens to pair with it. Without this lens, you are forced to use EF lenses which are not optimized for the RF mount. It should be noted that there still are some advantages of using EF ultra-wide lenses on the RF mount. A great use-case may be a drop-in filter adapter for RF to EF and a 11-24mm F4L, or a TS-E 17mm. With the drop-in filter adapter, you can use far more economical filters. Even with that EF lens benefit, there’s a need for a filter based ultra-wide angle lens, such as a 14-24, or a 16-35mm to augment out the system. Much in the same way as the first additional lens to the EF-M system was the 11-22mm less than a year after the EOS M was announced.
We noticed that the main EOS R video stated “f/2 zoom lenses” and not f/2 zoom lens. This leads us to believe that just maybe, the 70-125 F2.0 patent that we discovered may be a RF lens in the making. The back-focus distance was perfect for the RF mount, being around 16 to 21mm in distance (the RF mount is 20mm).
Canon mentioned in the press announcement that they were going to add in F2.8 and other zooms and lenses to the RF lineup. It would make sense to see new trinities of 16-35,24-70 (or 24-105), 70-200's come out in both F4 and also F2.8 variants. Because the RF mount and EF mount can coexist and lenses that are EF mount and longer focal length will not show any benefit to using the RF mount, Canon may prioritize longer focal lenses later, as it's less important than the wide angle lenses.
Lenses are going to be the key to the system (and to the Nikon Z system). How quickly Canon can roll out lenses will have a lot to do with the success of the RF mount. They certainly can’t launch lenses as infrequently as they have with the EF-M mount.
The Canon EOS R with a 5fps with AI servo will not win any awards for blazing AF speed. The Sony and Nikon cameras can shoot far faster in AI servo or AF-C, this is a problem that Canon needs to overcome. It could be that Canon is aware of this, and there will be faster cameras later, perhaps by adding more DIGIC’s into the camera. In the 1DX Mark II, for instance, there is a DIGIC processor that independently handles AF and AE calculations.
Canon now needs to work quickly to augment the RF lineup with both other cameras and lenses. We feel this will be an exciting time over the next few years as Canon quickly moves ahead with the RF mount, such as what they did originally with the EF mount.
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