Is the Canon EOS R6 dead already?

Canon EOS R6
(Image credit: Jon Sparkman)

The Canon EOS R6 shook the industry when it launched in July 2020. It's a brilliant body – but is it really dead already, after just two years? 

Of course, the camera isn't really dead, but it seems that it's already set for replacement – which feels a bit soon, especially when for the first of those years it was pretty difficult to actually find the Canon EOS R6 (opens in new tab) in stock anywhere. 

Those who did find it, though, found one of the best Canon cameras (opens in new tab) that the manufacturer has ever released. Blistering 30fps burst shooting, industry-best autofocus (including spookily accurate animal eye AF that is a cheat code for wildlife photography (opens in new tab)) and stunning 4K HQ video… it's a stunning camera. 

However, according to the rumor mill, Canon is set to launch a successor – and again, this is a camera that only came out in 2020 and that is already very, very good. For context, the original Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) was released in 2018, and the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) in 2019 – neither of which have received successors, despite arguably being far more in need of an update than the R6. 

It's all just rumor, of course – albeit what appears to be a very reliable rumor. So why would Canon be replacing one of its best cameras so soon into its life cycle? 

The answer, it seems, is due to the cluttered nature of the company's mirrorless lineup. Despite being a fantastic camera, one of the oft-criticized features of the R6 is its 20.1MP image sensor – especially compared to the 30.3MP of the EOS R and the 26.2MP of the RP, both of which are technically junior to the R6. As is the Canon EOS R7 (opens in new tab), with its 32.5MP (albeit APS-C) sensor.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest rumored difference in the Canon EOS R6 Mark II (opens in new tab) is a bump to the resolution, in the form of a 24MP sensor. 

Obviously, the original Canon EOS R6 is still going to work just as well as it always did – even if Canon makes the inevitable move of discontinuing it. And two-year camera update cycles are far from the norm. It just feels odd, within the EOS R system, for it to be replaced so quickly when a four-year-old camera is still a current model. 

On the plus side, it means that we will probably see some of the best Canon EOS R6 deals (opens in new tab) – especially when the Black Friday camera deals (opens in new tab) kick in! 

Read more: 

Canon EOS R6 review
(opens in new tab)Canon EOS R5 vs R6 (opens in new tab)
Best Canon RF lenses (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.