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What could be next for Canon?
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What could be next for Canon?

Without getting into grandiose predictions on what Canon is coming out with, we decided to take another long look at the periodic releases that Canon has done since getting into the digital era on a fateful September 25, 2001 with the release of the 1D Professional DSLR.

The successful EOS lineup has seen over 90 million camera bodies dating back from the film age, and over 110 million lenses in the digital era, over 130 million in total.  Canon has produced over the years 54 digital stills camera bodies ranging from the ultra-professional 1DX Mark II to the economical 1000D that sold to the masses.

Canon's current camera line is the largest of any camera manufacturer; covering 14 different cameras;

  • 1300D, 200D, 800D, 77D, 80D, 7D Mark II, 5D Mark IV, 5Ds and 5DsR, 6D Mark II, 1DX Mark II, 1DC, M100, M6 and M5

Canon has been steadily increasing it's camera lines since the 1D series first arrived on the scene.

The only dip in camera lines came when the 1Ds and 1D line was replaced with the 1DX. in 2012.  By all accounts, Canon is going to continue this trend in 2018.  There is an additional 3 or 4 different EF and EF-M camera lines being rumored already for 2018.

Looking at the overall camera release time graph (click on the bottom graphic to zoom further into the details so you can read it) you can see that there's very few cameras left really for a 2018-19 launch period.  Canon has very aggressively updated most of its cameras with DPAF technology in the last couple of years.

Cameras in which look like they could be updated soon include ones in which have certainly been floating around the rumor mill lately. In order of prioritization;

  • 1300D, 80D, 7D Mark II, 5Ds and 5DsR and surprisingly, the M5.

The M5 has surprised me a bit to be on this list, however as it stands right now today, it was released 530 days ago, and only the M3 at 556 had a longer mirrorless lifespan of any of the more "prosumer" M's.  The M10 survived for 686 days as the longest living M in the M's rather short 5.5 years of timelines.  One thing I noticed was that the timing is pretty much correct for a new APS-C generation with the prosumer and pro APS-C's all scheduled for updates sooner than later.  The 80D, 7D Mark II and M5 should all be updated within the next year.  That doesn't happen that frequent given the variations in lifecycles for the various cameras.

In other words, if Canon is going to do something big for the next generation of APS-C bodies, they are going to do it soon.

This again, has been echoed with both 7D Mark II and 80D rumors, as both have stated new sensor generations are expected from these two cameras.

The 5Ds and 5DsR camera bodies by the summer months will be in around the median time for a 5D class camera body.  They also are the only two full frame cameras without DPAF - however I would conjecture that a ultra-high resolution camera should not have DPAF has it does reduce the sensor's overall efficiency from what could be achieved with a normal singular pixel under each microlens.

What else could be coming that isn't on here?

Well, there seems to be a lot.  Enough that it seems like there is "too much" floating around out there to be done in one year.

It will be around 3 years since Canon announced they were developing a 120MP camera body that has appeared in various trade shows as a 5D styled camera.  This camera was officially announced as being in development on September 2015. We are coming up on Photokina this year.  Can we say - a perfect avenue to launch the largest MP DSLR in existence?

Could this be the 5DsR Mark II? It's probable, it's also probable at this point to assume that Canon will simply make another niche camera body.  Ultra-high resolution and low frame rates, and at the same time keep the 5Ds series as a step up in resolution from the 5D Mark IV.  Like Sony has three different A series cameras with varying resolutions, Canon could do the same with the 5D series, having 30, 60 (maybe?) and 120MP cameras.  There is also the matter of the 1Ds line that died with the release of the 1DX.  There are still customers and users of the 1Ds line that want it continued.  This would certainly be another place where the 120MP sensor could make an appearance as there would be more room to put in the necessary DIGIC processors to make it operate efficiency.

There's also rumors of an M50 which doesn't seem to fit right now with any mirrorless M model replacement unless it's a M5 replacement however since the certification has dual colors for the camera, and the M5 comes only in one color.  Therefore, it's unlikely to be a replacement of the M5 - unless the M5 is going two tones like the M6 which I must admit, would be nice.  If it is a M5 replacement, it would stand to reason this would be a new generation of APS-C sensor.  To be honest, since this camera is coming out in February, I can't see it being the forerunner for a new APS-C generational sensor.  We also have the fact that it seems like promotional materials seem to have a silhouette of an M6, making it even more improbable of being an M5 replacement.

Canon has claimed in the past they are interested in making more targeted cameras for particular segments and market niches.  The new style of camera may be a sign of Canon doing just that, as they may be branching off to see simply what sticks to the wall.  I will certainly be interested to see what they are coming up with, as it will be the biggest change since Luigi Colani worked with Canon and come up with the Canon T90.  Could this have a bearing on what happened to the 1DC and a possible extension of this line? Certainly, unknown at this time, as of right now, it looks like Canon has killed off the 1DC line with the 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark IV getting nearly the same features as the 1DC.

Summary

With or without us conjecturing on what Canon will do, rumors and speculation will always continue.  It's nice to look from a 10,000 foot level and seeing how far Canon's come over the years (and also seeing so many cameras in which we've had over those same years).

Obviously no guarantees we are right with anything in this article, however, we hope it's potentially a clearer picture to what may happen in the coming year or two and of course, we'll be checking to see how close we were ;)

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