No, Canon WON'T use global shutters for the EOS R1 and R5 Mark II (report)

No global shutter on Canon EOS R1

Despite all the furor over global shutter sensors, Canon will not be adopting the technology for its upcoming EOS R1 and R5 Mark II. 

That's the latest chatter emerging online, in the wake of the headline-grabbing Sony A9 III and its incredible global shutter image sensor. Given the hype surrounding the A9 III's capabilities – such as 1/80,000 sec shutter speed and 120fps full-frame RAW shooting – there has been speculation that the Canon EOS R1 and the successor to the Canon EOS R5 will feature global shutter sensors. 

Indeed, these rumors actually predate the A9 III by some time; we first heard that the R1 might possess a global shutter way back in 2020. And fuel was added to the fire last December, when Canon revealed its 5.7K full-frame global shutter sensor (which you can see in the video below).

However, it seems that the manufacturer has no plans to use a global shutter in either the R1 or R5 Mark II. 

"We have been told by an extremely reliable source, that Canon will not be bringing a global shutter to either the EOS R5 Mark II or EOS R1," reports Canon Rumors. It was suggested that readout speeds will be good enough to make the advantages of a global shutter less prominent, while maintaining the expected image quality in the next generation prosumer and flagship camera bodies. 

"The same source claims that Canon's next image sensors will have bigger advancements in performance than we're used to from a new generation of Canon consumer sensors."

Canon has already made a camera with a global shutter sensor: the now-discontinued Canon EOS 700GS cinema camera. It was prohibitively expensive, though, and the company currently reserves the technology for industrial applications.

Is it missing a trick by not featuring a global shutter in its upcoming top-tier cameras? It's a good question. I recently wrote about the Sony A9 III's unusually high base ISO, and generally more limited ISO performance, which Sony said is simply a "characteristic" of the technology. In short, global shutters are designed to be fast, while rolling shutters are designed for fidelity. 

The R5 line is known for resolution, with its 45MP sensor and 8K video, so a global shutter makes little sense here. While nobody really knows what the R1 will look like, my feeling is that it will be geared towards a combination of resolution and speed (like the Sony A1 and Nikon Z8 / Z9). 

Canon already has a speed-oriented professional camera, the 24.1MP Canon EOS R3. So if a global shutter is going to debut anywhere, my feeling is that it will be in the lower-resolution 3-series. 

Either way, with an expected announcement for the R1 just around the corner, it won't be long before Canon shows its hand.

Need serious speed? Take a look at the best cameras for sports photography, along with the best lenses for sports photography.

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a 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 like 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, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. 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.