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Canon EOS R Mark II to be announced May 2020 – but why so soon?

Canon EOS R Mark II to be announced May 2020 - but why so soon?
(Image credit: Canon)

While 2019 isn't even over yet, it already looks as though Canon will be kicking off the new year with a busy schedule. After reports that the Canon EOS Rs will be out as soon as February, we've now heard whispers that the official follow-up to the Canon EOS R will be announced before Photokina in May under the title Canon EOS R Mark II. 

With the original Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) only having been released in October 2018, this is a pretty fast turn-around for the Mark II - especially when you consider that the Canon EOS Rs is meant to be released only a few months before that. Does such a quick follow-up indicate a lack of faith in the original EOS R? 

Read more: Best Canon lenses (opens in new tab)

There were quite a few complaints about the EOS R's lack of dual card slots and in-body image stabilization when it was first launched, so perhaps this is what made Canon fast-track the Mark II. However, this still doesn't quite explain why Canon would announce two high-spec mirrorless cameras so close to each other.

The news that the Canon EOS R Mark II is due to be announced before Photokina came from rumor website (opens in new tab) Canon Rumors, who states that "the follow-up to the original Canon EOS R is now in testing by a small group of Canon professionals".

The Canon EOS Rs is rumored to be released in early 2020

The Canon EOS Rs is rumored to be released in early 2020 (Image credit: Canon)

Canon Rumors' source also claims that "the Canon EOS R Mark II is slated to be announced ahead of Photokina in May and will closely mimic the ergonomics of the Canon EOS Rs, which is slated to be the next EOS R body announced in the first quarter of 2020". 

Canon Rumors states that their source has promised some specifications soon, so hopefully this will shed some light on why exactly Canon will be bringing out two high-spec EOS R bodies so close together. Perhaps one will be more photo-oriented, while the other will focus more on video - just like the Panasonic S1R (opens in new tab) and Panasonic S1H (opens in new tab)

However, we would be surprised if Canon released a high-end video-focused EOS R. Canon has historically shied away from creating cameras that could rival their own popular cine camera division (by, for example, only having cropped 4K rather than uncropped). 

Alternatively, perhaps the Canon EOS R Mark II will retain the (relatively) smaller 30.3MP sensor and single card slot of the original, while the Canon EOS Rs (opens in new tab) will pitch itself firmly at professionals with a 75MP sensor and dual card slots. 

Either way, we're certainly curious about why Canon are choosing to release two high-spec EOS R bodies so close together - and only just over a year and half after the EOS R's original release date. 

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With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab) and  Digital Photographer (opens in new tab). Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.