Fresh rumors hint at radical new AF system coming to Canon EOS R1

Canon EOS R1 mock-up
(Image credit: Future, Canon)

Last week we reported on a Canon patent outlining development of Quad Pixel autofocus. The tech involved is fairly complex, but in a nutshell, Canon is trying to improve on its current Dual Pixel AF system with an improved version that addresses the current limitations of the decade-old DPAF. However, filing technical data in a patent is one thing; putting such tech into real-world use in a production camera is quite another, potentially taking years, and that's if it ever materializes at all.

Pictured: Canon EOS R5. It's replacement might feature Quad Pixel AF if rumors turn out to be true (Image credit: James Artaius)

Well, just days after this patent info surfaced, we're now getting rumors that Canon is set to include QPAF in the upcoming EOS R1, and potentially also the EOS R5 Mark II. It's alleged that Canon has given an EOS R1 technical briefing to select distributors before the camera is launched, and QPAF is said to have been one topic in the briefing.

Now, this is still very much rumor territory at this stage, and we can't verify the credibility of the source, but it would at least make sense (and frankly be a necessity) for Canon to introduce a fresh feature like QPAF in the EOS R1. The current EOS R3 is already an extremely capable pro body and a fitting flagship for the EOS R range in all but numerical designation. It also commands a flagship price, in line with the Nikon Z9 and Sony a9 III. Assuming Canon intends to put a clear price and performance differential between the R3 and R1, the latter will have to be a very special camera indeed when it materialises, supposedly next year.

Story credit: The Camera Insider

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.