We all know that the Canon EOS R1 is being released in 2024. But this is the first time that it has seemingly been confirmed by Canon itself.
An interview with Canon chairman, CEO and president, Fujio Mitarai, was accompanied by a slide stating that the "first mirrorless flagship model" would launch in 2024. Which, in effect, is the first official confirmation of the Canon EOS R1's release date.
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You can see the slide in question below, which was published alongside the interview by Nihon Keizai Shimbun (aka The Nikkei) – the largest financial newspaper in the world. It reads:
"Market development in all directions
Luxury model for professionals
Launch of first mirrorless flagship model in 2024
The first introductory model of the mirrorless “R Series” will be released in March "
Again, this is as we expected. Flagship cameras (pandemics notwithstanding) tend to launch in Olympic cycles – as in, every four years, to coincide with the Summer Olympic Games.
Next year is the Paris 2024 Olympics, and it seems a fait accompli that the EOS R1 will be announced before then and released by then, so it's in the hands of pro shooters at the Games (though the global component crisis may interfere with those plans).
However, given that Canon only acknowledged the existence of the R1 a few months ago, this is as close as we've got to an official confirmation of the release window. And it does feel officially sanctioned, if not official official. After all, we're talking about the head of Canon being interviewed by the biggest financial paper on the planet – it's not like anything is slipping out by accident, here.
"The EOS R3 could already claim the flagship title, but there's a reason we named it '3'… And you can expect there to be a '1', which is currently being worked on and will be our most premium model," said Go Tokura, general manager of Canon's Imaging Division, back in March, confirming the R1 for the first time.
With Canon holding its own Canon Expo event in Japan later this month, and the annual launch-stravaganza that is CP+ taking place in February 2024, an announcement could literally be coming at any moment…