With 2022 well underway, the camera rumors are picking up steam faster than a speeding locomotive.
Spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere, along with a number of huge camera rumors that have already come into bloom – from the full-frame 8K Canon EOS R5 C (opens in new tab) to the latest flagship Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Olympus OM-1 (opens in new tab) and Panasonic GH6 (opens in new tab).
With both the 35mm and Micro Four Thirds formats already having had huge updates in 2022, what's next for the key players in the APS-C arena like Sony, Canon and Fujifilm? And after the rousing success of the Nikon Z fc (opens in new tab), will we see more retro-styled cameras on the way?
We’ve rounded up all the rumors that have been debated and discussed. Make sure to take a healthy pinch of salt with each of them, but also be conscious that there's often fire where there's smoke!
Canon rumors 2022
Canon is always the subject of more camera rumors than any other manufacturer, in large part because it has been the most prolific photographic patenter for 35 consecutive years (opens in new tab).
Last year saw some of its most innovative products ever, with the launch of the 30fps, stacked sensor, eye-control AF Canon EOS R3, the "personal family photographer" Canon PowerShot Px (opens in new tab), and the radical camera that looks like a Pixar character, the Canon Posture Fit (opens in new tab). Not to mention its first venture into 3D VR, with the EOS VR System and the Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye (opens in new tab) lens.
And of course, Canon kicked off 2022 with the 8K 60p, Dual Base ISO powerhouse that it the Canon EOS R3. In other words, what we're seeing from Canon in the new RF-mount era is a dynamic, daring, convention-defying company – a far cry from the conservative, careful, iterative company of a few years prior. So what is the biggest camera manufacturer in the world beavering away on right now?
Teased at CES 2022 (opens in new tab), Canon is working on a new virtual reality video system named Kokomo, which enables users to make face-to-face, real-time "ImmersiveCall" video calls in an experiential 3D environment. The in-development Kokomo software is described by Canon as an "exciting new way of connecting" and "an innovation in virtual reality that combines the 3D experience of beautiful and life-like VR destinations with video calling.
The system will require a VR headset, and will be powered by Canon cameras along with a newly designed app for your smartphone. As you might expect, the system will ultimately accommodate the innovative Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye Lens (opens in new tab) – a specifically 3D optic designed to deliver immersive 8K VR content for the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab).
Canon EOS R1
With the R5 and R6 now firmly established, respectively replacing the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab) and Canon EOS 6D Mark II (opens in new tab), and the R3 resurrecting the 3-series pro product line, it looks like the next DSLR to be succeeded by a mirrorless model will be none other than the flagship sports camera, the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab).
Now, you'll need to take this with such a huge grain of salt that it's dangerous for your sodium levels, but here are some leaked Canon EOS R1 specs (opens in new tab): it will supposedly boast an 85MP global shutter sensor, capable of continuous 20fps bursts at the full 85MP resolution 40fps when cropped to 21MP, with Quad Pixel AF, in-body image stabilization capable of up to 9 stops, along with 15.5 stops of dynamic range with a maximum ISO sensitivity of 1.6 million.
Sound too good to be true? It probably is. But then again, the specs of the R5 sounded too good to be true when they first leaked, too…
Canon EOS R7
While the scuttlebutt suggested that Canon had no intention of introducing an APS-C body that makes use of the new RF mount (since that would seem to conflict with M-series cameras, such as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II (opens in new tab)), Nikon pressed ahead with a very successful ASP-C iteration of its Z-system – the Nikon Z50 (opens in new tab).
Whether or not Nikon's success had any bearing, we're now hearing rumblings that Canon is doing likewise – and that the Canon EOS R7 (opens in new tab), effectively replacing the 7D line, might be on the way. Which, given that the manufacturer is now definitively moving away from DSLR-first development, makes perfect sense.
Recently, we've heard tell (opens in new tab) that the EOS R7 is probably going to be coming in the second half of 2021. It's expected to be the smallest member of the EOS R family, pitched at sports shooters and videographers, and while there are no current plans for dedicated RF-S lenses, there will be lenses that suit both this smaller camera and its larger brethren.
Canon EOS RS
Not to be confused with the EOS R5, rumors persist that Canon is developing a high-resolution full-frame mirrorless camera to compete with the likes of the 61MP Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab). In fact, we've even seen some reports suggesting that a medium format-rivaling 100MP EOS R (opens in new tab) is being worked on.
The latest rumblings come in the form of a list of purported specs for what has been dubbed the Canon EOS RS (opens in new tab) – a nod to the Canon EOS 5DS, which is the 50MP high-res DSLR that the mirrorless version would effectively replace.
According to these claims, we can expect an 80MP sensor, with a slightly larger body than the EOS R that comprises a bigger grip, LCD and EVF. Additionally, it is claimed that the "viewfinder" (it is unclear whether this is the EVF or the LCD) can be tilted up and down, and that the camera possesses a "new style" of joystick (potentially the Smart Controller from the 1D X Mark III (opens in new tab) that also features on the R3) along with dual SD card slots.
Canon EOS RP replacement and 'big brother'
The Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) was one of the first EOS R cameras out of the gate, so it makes sense that it would be due a refresh. We understand that it's getting a replacement which – happily – is expected to be cheaper than the original.
The other half of this picture is that the EOS RP is expected to get a 'bigger brother' camera, to fill the sizeable gap that will occur between the entry-level replacement and its next-nearest cousin, the EOS R6. Details are scant on this camera right now, though we know it won't be an 'EOS R Mark II'.
Canon EOS C50 and C90
Also expected to join the party in 2022 are the Canon EOS C50 (opens in new tab) and C90, two more cinema cameras with RF lens mounts. While we don't know much at present, we're hoping we won't have long to wait, as these cameras are expected to make their debuts around the midpoint of the year.
Canon EOS-M vlogging camera
The future of Canon's EOS M series of mirrorless cameras remains a popular talking point, particularly with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II (opens in new tab) offering but minor upgrades to the line.
Intriguingly, though, the future of Canon's APS-C system might lie in this – a vlogging camera that's essentially an interchangeable lens version of the DJI Osmo Pocket (opens in new tab) / DJI Pocket 2 (opens in new tab).
A handheld vlogging camera with a built-in gimbal, making use of the best Canon EF-M lenses (opens in new tab), would be an ingenious implementation of Canon's APS-C system. And given that it has already been the subject of around nine patents, it certainly feels like a product that's likely to be realized…
The Canon verdict
What we think: Canon seems to have gone all in on mirrorless, but not just in the sense of traditional camera bodies – more and more we're seeing it stretch the boundaries of photo products, with concept cameras like the PowerShot Pick and Posture Fit. Sony has fought fire with napalm in responding to the EOS R5 with the Sony A1, and Canon has returned a ferocious salvo of its own in the form of the 30fps, eye-controlled Canon EOS R3 – which may also spell the beginning of the end for mechanical shutters.