Where is the Canon EOS R1?

Canon EOS R1 mockup
(Image credit: Canon)

We have written about the long-rumored Canon EOS R1 so often now without it ever materializing that it is starting to feel like an urban legend. 

Since the launch of the first Canon EOS R in 2018, it was understood that Canon would eventually replace all its numerically named EF-mount DSLR cameras with mirrorless RF-mount equivalents. So far we have seen this come to fruition, with the Canon EOS R5, Canon EOS R6 Mark II and Canon EOS R7 all being spiritual successors to their DSLR namesakes. Yet still we wait for the king of Canon cameras, the Canon EOS 1DX Mark III, to get its EOS R form.

A new report from Canon Rumors suggests that the manufacturer is in fact prioritizing the development and release of the EOS R5 Mark II over the EOS R1 – and rumors support our own speculation that the R1 may be delayed until 2024 for a release in sync with the Summer Olympic Games in Paris.

The company already has a highly competitive sports and wildlife camera with the Canon EOS R3, but lacking that flagship 1-series status it will always leave questions of when the real mirrorless king will arrive – and what it will be capable of.

With other manufacturers already showing what they can do with their flagship sports cameras, such as the Nikon Z9 and Sony A1, it is unclear why Canon is holding off the debut of its premium professional camera and ceding ground to rivals in a key market.

As for the Canon EOS R5 Mark II, a lot of its features are still very unclear. It is likely, though, that we will see a lot of the autofocus modes that debuted in the R6 Mark II and have been further honed in the recent Canon EOS R8, with subject detection and tracking for animals and vehicles expanded to include horses and planes, along with a bump up to 40fps burst shooting.

We might still have to wait a while to see the appearance of the R5 Mark II, but thankfully not as long as the agonizing wait for the EOS R1 if these latest reports are to be believed. You can keep an eye on the latest Canon rumors right here.

Read more about Canon in our guides to the best Canon cameras, the best professional cameras, and the best cameras for sports photography.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.