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Camera rumors in 2020: what cameras are coming, officially and otherwise!

Camera rumors
(Image credit: James Artaius / Digital Camera World)

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. 

Without doubt, the hottest camera rumors right now surround the Canon EOS R5 –far and away the most talked-about camera in the industry right now. And not far behind it is its little brother, the Canon EOS R6, showing just how excited consumers are about Canon's efforts to claim the mirrorless crown. 

Sony won't give it up easily, though, with rumors heating up (again) over the Sony A7S III – which, if it doesn't materialize soon, is going to be thoroughly left in the dust by Canon's 8K marvel. 

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. With Canon and Nikon pulling out of the DSLR space, does this leave the door wide open? 

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 expanding Canon EOS R series of cameras, but also with the EOS M line of APS-C mirrorless cameras like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II, as well as its line of 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 EOS R5

(Image credit: Canon)

The camera on everyone's lips right now is the Canon EOS R5 – and while Canon has been incredibly coy, dragging out its reveal of the specs to an agonizing degree, we now have a very good handle on what the new camera will be capable of.

With 8K video capability, in-body image stabilization, dual card slots (one CFexpress, one UHS-II SD) and 12fps mechanical / 20fps electronic burst shooting, reports indicate that the camera will be fully announced around Independence Day and available in late July (alongside the R6, below) for $3,999. 

Regarding the sensor, the manufacturer is still sitting on the official megapixel count. However, we believe the reports that it will be a 44MP number – putting it on a par with the likes of the Nikon Z7 and Panasonic S1R. What we do know, though, is that sensor will deliver uncropped internal 8K RAW at up 30fps, and 4K up to 120fps 4:2:2 in 10-bit Canon Log (H.265) or 4:2:2 10-bit HDR PQ (H.265) – with Dual Pixel CMOS AF in all video modes.

It will also be Canon's first ever camera with five-axis in-body image stabilization, and it will deliver monstrous 20fps continuous shooting via the electronic shutter and 12fps mechanically, featuring Animal Eye AF – all supported by one UHS-II SD card and one CFexpress card slot. 

In short, the Canon EOS R5 could be staking a claim as the best mirrorless camera, the best camera for filmmaking AND the best cinema camera!

Canon EOS R6

Hot on the heels of the R5, and supposedly being announced and available alongside it next month, is the Canon EOS R6. Much less is known about this model, though it will reportedly possess a smaller 20MP sensor while keeping a few of the features of its big brother.

It will apparently retain the in-body image stabilization, the 12fps mechanical / 20fps electronic shutter burst and the dual card slots – though we're pretty sure that they will both be SD. 

There will be no top LCD screen (similar to the EOS RP), the EVF will be lower resolution and the build quality won't be as robust (meaning it likely won't be weather sealed). It is also said to record 4K up to 60fps and 1080p up to 120fps, and will have a new battery. 

Canon EOS R7

While the scuttlebutt suggested that Canon had no intention of introducing an APS-C body making 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 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

(Image credit: Future)

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

Some very flaky rumors have recently surfaced that Canon is prepping two M series cameras for 2020, which smart money says are likely to be successors to the Canon EOS M5 and Canon EOS M50… 

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 upcoming Canon EOS-1D X Mark III professional 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 like the new EOS M6, 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 its focus is on the RF mount, and there won't be any new EF lenses unless the market demands it, all indications are that 2020 marks the turning of a new mirrorless leaf. 

Canon concept cameras

The 100-400mm Canon Multifunctional Camera

The 100-400mm Canon Multifunctional Camera (Image credit: Digital Camera Watch)

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

More camera rumors: Nikon rumorsSony rumorsOlympus rumorsFujifilm rumorsPanasonic rumors

  • Mgradyc
    The R6 is not rumored to have a "smaller" cropped sensor. It is rumored to have a lower resolution sensor. But it will be a full frame sensor, not a cropped sensor.

    Also, in Canon nomenclature it's the EOS 5Ds/5Ds R and will presumably be the EOS R5s, not 5DS and R5S, respectively.

    One can say that the EOS M6 Mark II captures "uncropped" 4K video, but the fact is that the camera has a cropped sensor the same size as if a FF camera shot 4K at a 1.6X crop factor...