Canon EOS R1 to include Quad Pixel AF and a global shutter?

(Image credit: Canon)

The Canon EOS R1 is rumored to be announced in some way this year – even if it's just an announcement of the development – and the rumors are already beginning to flood in for this high end Canon mirrorless camera. Seemingly intended as a mirrorless update for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, the Canon EOS R1 will reportedly be "shown to the world" ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Some recent rumors from Canon Rumors have speculated that the Canon EOS R1 could have Quad Pixel AF and a global shutter. Quad Pixel autofocus leads on from Dual Pixel AF technology, which is where there are dedicated left-looking and right-looking pixels on the image sensor that are used to calculate whether an image is in focus or not.

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This essentially means that if the edge contrast of what you're focusing on is 90º to how you're holding the camera, then you'll see a fantastic autofocus performance. Unfortunately, if you're holding your camera horizontally and the edge you're focusing on is also horizontal, then you may find that the autofocus will struggle. However, Quad Pixel AF is designed to fix this problem, splitting the pixels twice – not just the once. 

Having four 'sub-pixels' would theoretically mean that a camera would be able to lock onto high contrast areas – no matter what orientation the camera or the subject is. 

With the Canon EOS R1 seemingly intended as a high end sports and wildlife camera,  a good autofocus performance is essential. It's not surprising that Canon would be looking for ways to improve an already impressive technology by upgrading Dual Pixel AF to Quad Pixel AF.

Another feature that we could also see appearing in the Canon EOS R1 is a global shutter. This would effectively remove rolling shutter when shooting video or stills in the electronic shutter mode.

With at least another six months to go until the Tokyo Olympics kick off, we've still got plenty of time for more rumors and leaks to appear about the Canon EOS R1 – and we'll be reporting on them all!

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Louise Carey

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 and  Digital Photographer. 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.