Canon EOS-1D X Mark III being field tested for 2020 Olympics

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III being field tested for 2020 Olympics

According to the latest camera rumors (opens in new tab), the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III – successor to the company's current yet outdated flagship model – is being actively field tested in preparation for an anticipated launch prior to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Its price will put it out of reach of anyone looking for the best Canon camera (opens in new tab) for everyday use, but its reputation and status in professional sports photography means any news will be eagerly anticipated.

UPDATE: Canon Rumors (opens in new tab) has been told that the new camera will be announced between Q4 2019 and Q2 2020, which tallies with our expectations below. Of note, the site was told to "expect an evolutionary update and nothing revolutionary. The EOS-1D series simply has to work and be the workhorse professional photographers expect." Further, it was suggested that the Canon EOS R pro model (opens in new tab) will not be revealed until after the 1D X Mark III hits the market. 

Canon Rumors (opens in new tab) notes that "a very small number of photographers and/or engineers" are currently testing the product, which makes an imminent announcement exceedingly unlikely. 

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II was announced in February 2016, so a reveal for the successor next February – in all probability synced with the 2020 CP+ event – would make sense.

The big question, of course, is what form factor the Mark III will take: will it remain a DSLR, or will Canon put its money where its mouth is and release it as a mirrorless model?

Will the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III still be a DSLR, or will it take the sleek mirrorless form of the Canon EOS R?

Will the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III still be a DSLR, or will it take the sleek mirrorless form of the Canon EOS R? 

When the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) launched last year, it was widely speculated that the follow-up would be a professional-specced version. Instead, however, we have the newly revealed Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) for advanced amateurs.

What is certain is that a professional model of the EOS R is in the pipeleine. "Have no doubt that a professional model is coming," said Canon's Yoshiyuki Mizoguchi (opens in new tab) earlier this year. "We promise we are working on this but it might take some time to introduce." That may well tie into a February 2020 release. 

We know that an EOS R with 8K (opens in new tab) is on the roadmap, and we also know that a 100MP model with in-body image stabilization (opens in new tab) is in development. Could one of, or even an amalgamation of, these be the basis for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III? 

We look forward to finding out more from the invariable leaks that will occur over the coming months.

Read more:

Best camera rumors 2019: what new cameras are coming out this year? (opens in new tab)

The 10 best cameras for professionals in 2019 (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.