The Canon EOS R was the first full-frame mirrorless camera that Canon made. You can still buy it today, but it costs about half as much as it did when it first came out. It was followed by the cheaper Canon EOS RP, but both of these models have mostly been replaced by the newer and better Canon EOS R6 and EOS R5 models.
But there are rumours that the Canon EOS R will be replaced, maybe not in 2022 but maybe in 2023. That would be cool, but how likely is it, and who would want a new EOS R?
Why would it be hard to find a replacement for the EOS R?
There are some things in the way. First, does the EOS R line still have a gap between the full-frame R6, R5, and R3 and the APS-C EOS R10 and EOS R7?
Even though the EOS R7 has a smaller sensor than the old Canon EOS R, it is more powerful. It has better autofocus, a faster burst mode, and a much better 4K video. It also has a higher resolution.
And this kind of brings us to the next problem. What in the world could Canon call a new camera that would replace the EOS R? The name “EOS R” doesn’t seem to leave any gaps where there should be some.
One possibility is a full-frame Canon EOS R8, which would be slower and less powerful than the R7 and would be a better all-around camera for hobbyists. But Canon has never given an APS-C camera a lower (better) number than a full-frame camera, so that doesn’t seem likely.
Canon doesn’t seem like a likely candidate unless a new pair of processors can make a big difference in how well they work. And any new model seems to need to be able to record 4K video without cropping, which makes these older sensors even less likely.
What about an “out of tune” EOS R6 sensor?
That might make more sense, and Canon might have looked at how Nikon designed the Nikon Z5 to compete with the more advanced Nikon Z6 II.
Even if Canon used that sensor, the new model wouldn’t automatically have IBIS. Canon has already shown with the EOS R10 that it is okay to leave it out of cheaper models.
Is APS-C the right way to go?
At the moment, all of this is just daydreaming, because the rumours that are going around are not true. We don’t know if Canon has any plans to make a new full-frame mirrorless camera at all.
According to rumours, there will also be a third APS-C model before any new full-frame cameras (it would be nice to get a third RF-S lens first… grr).
But when the “everyman” EOS R and the cheap and cheerful EOS RP stop working, they will leave a hole. That can’t be too far away now, and Canon needs to do something to fill the void.
My worry is that Canon thinks the EOS R10 and R7 already fill the gap and that there won’t be a new full-frame camera below the EOS R6 at all. I really hope I’m wrong!