While 2020 hasn't panned out as expected, the camera rumors certainly haven't abated. The year may have been plagued by delays, setbacks and production issues, but the leaks, teases and rumblings keep coming thick and fast.
There's plenty of fresh gossip around the virtual water cooler, though, with lots of chatter about the much-discussed (and finally confirmed) Sony A7S III, as well as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. And speaking of Olympus, the longstanding rumors about the sale of its camera business were recently made official as well – leaving the future of one of the pioneering mirrorless manufacturers up in the air.
The talk isn't all mirrorless, though, as Ricoh is keen to prove that there's life left in the DSLR with its upcoming Pentax flagship APS-C camera. And there are also rumors about the death of the Canon EOS 5D – so does this all leave the door wide open for Pentax to capitalize?
We’ve rounded up all the reports and rumors that are most likely to come true this year, and also thrown in our own predictions as to what we may be seeing from the major players as 2020 rolls on…
Canon camera rumors 2020
Canon is holding true to action points from its recent financial reports, and seems to be consolidating many of its DSLR offerings to concentrate on a more mirrorless-focused future.
Last year it amalgamated the Canon EOS 80D and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II lines into the new Canon EOS 90D, and the new Canon EOS 850D / Canon EOS Rebel T8i will replace both the Canon EOS 77D and the Canon EOS 800D / Canon EOS Rebel T7i.
However, aside from the newly released Canon EOS-1D X Mark III sports camera, Canon's future seems to be a mirrorless one – namely with the spec-tacular Canon EOS R5 and R6 full-frame cameras, but also with the EOS M line of APS-C bodies like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II. Not to mention its instant cameras, led by the Canon Ivy Cliq+ / Zoemini S and Canon Ivy Cliq / Zoemini C.
So what's next? Right now it appears that Canon is starting to replace its DSLR line, with the amazing-looking R5 and R6 being mirrorless equivalents of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS 6D Mark II respectively. In the fullness of time, will an R7 and R1 replace the Canon EOS 7D Mark II and even the mighty 1D X Mark III?
Canon is killing the 5D line
The release of the mirrorless R5 coincides with reports that the 5D DSLR has been put out to pasture. The latest rumors claim that development of the Canon EOS 5D Mark V was abandoned some time ago, and that there will be no direct successor to the popular Mark IV model.
While the story is sad, if true, it doesn't come as a huge surprise – and it certainly aligns with the company's publicly stated shift away from DSLRs…
Canon DSLRs and EF lenses
Canon has done a brilliant job to revamp its DSLR line from top to bottom over the past couple of years, from the new baby EOS 250D / Rebel SL3 through to the 32MP powerhouse Canon EOS 90D to the 1D X Mark III pro sports camera.
However, as the company stated again in a recent (and slightly alarming) financial report, Canon will be veering away from DSLR development and doubling down on mirrorless cameras, along with compacts such as the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III and Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II.
Couple that with the fact that Canon confirmed there won't be any new EF lenses unless the market demands it, and all indications are that 2020 marks the turning of a new mirrorless leaf.
Canon EOS R7
While the scuttlebutt suggested that Canon had no intention of introducing an APS-C body that makes use of the new RF mount (since that would seem to conflict with M-series cameras, such as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II), Nikon pressed ahead with a very successful ASP-C iteration of its Z-system – the Nikon Z50.
Whether or not Nikon's success had any bearing, we're now hearing rumblings that Canon is doing likewise – and that the Canon EOS R7, effectively replacing the 7D line, might be on the way. Which, given that the manufacturer is now definitively moving away from DSLR-first development, makes perfect sense.
Canon EOS RS
Not to be confused with the EOS R5, Canon is rumored to be developing a high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera to compete with the likes of the 61MP Sony A7R IV. In fact, we've even seen some reports suggesting that a medium format-rivaling 100MP EOS R is being worked on.
The latest rumblings come in the form of a list of purported specs for what has been dubbed the Canon EOS RS – a nod to the Canon EOS 5DS, which is the 50MP high-res DSLR that the mirrorless version would effectively replace.
According to these claims, we can expect an 80MP sensor, with a slightly larger body than the EOS R that comprises a bigger grip, LCD and EVF. Additionally, it is claimed that the "viewfinder" (it is unclear whether this is the EVF or the LCD) can be tilted up and down, and that the camera possesses a "new style" of joystick (likely the new Smart Controller from the 1D X Mark III) along with dual SD card slots.
Canon EOS M series
When the EOS R launched in 2018, Canon assured us that, "The M series is here to stay. The M series is an important part of our system, the reason being there’s no one camera that’s suitable for everyone, and it’s great to have different cameras at different sizes for different types of usage."
True to its word, the manufacturer breathed fresh life into the line with the Canon EOS M6 Mark II – a powerhouse 32.5MP camera that has more pixels than any Canon camera aside from the 5DS/R, and is the only body aside from the 1D X Mark III that captures uncropped 4K video.
In fact, it's so good that it has become the de facto flagship of the EOS M line – which begs the question of what happens to the previous flagship model, the M5. There were rumors that the Canon EOS M5 II would be revealed at the same time as the M6 Mark II, with very similar specs, though this was likely the camera that turned out to be the Canon EOS 90D.
Canon concept cameras
While some have accused Canon of playing it safe with its recent camera launches, the company revealed a number of concept cameras at CES 2020 that prove innovation is still at the heart of what it does.
In fact, two cameras in particular have made multiple appearances at trade events – including CP+ last year – which leads us to believe that the company is both intent and close to bringing them to market.
First is the 100-400mm Canon Multifunctional Camera, which offers an easy way to enjoy telephoto shooting with smartphone integration, while the Canon Intelligent Camera might be the device that sits next to the Echo in the corner of your room, with speech and gesture recognition for automated shooting.
While neither cameras may ever make it to market, Canon doesn't show off this tech idly; another of these concepts, the Canon Ivy Rec, made it to production and retail release last year. So with the Canon Intelligent Camera in its fourth generation of development, and the Multifunctional Camera in its second, we certainly expect them to materialize sooner or later.
The Canon verdict
What we think: This seems to be the year that Canon is going all guns blazing on its RF-mount system, particularly since it has ceased development (but not support) of EF lenses. We now have an amateur and an advanced model of the camera, a dedicated astrophotography version, and Canon has already announced the pro-oriented EOS R5. Later this year we expect new entry level and high-resolution models, as Canon goes all-in on the EOS R platform.
Read more: The complete guide to Canon's lens terms