The Canon EOS R was the first full-frame mirrorless camera that Canon made, and you can still buy it today, though it costs about half as much as it did when it first came out. It was followed by the cheaper Canon EOS RP, but both have been mostly replaced by the Canon EOS R6 and EOS R5 models, which are newer and better.
But there are rumours that the Canon EOS R will get a replacement, maybe not in 2022 but maybe in 2023. That would be interesting, but how likely is it, and who would a new EOS R be made for?
Why would a replacement for the EOS R be hard?
Even though the EOS R7 has a smaller sensor, it is more powerful than the old Canon EOS R. It has a higher resolution, better autofocus, a much faster burst mode, and much better 4K video.
And that kind of brings us to the next problem. If Canon decided to make a new camera to replace the EOS R, what on earth could it be called? Canon’s EOS R name doesn’t seem to leave any holes where they should be.
One possibility is a full-frame Canon EOS R8, which would be a step below the R7 in terms of speed and performance and a more modest all-around camera for enthusiasts. However, Canon has never given an APS-C camera a lower (better) number than a full-frame camera, so that doesn’t seem very likely.
The sensor is the last part. Both the 26MP sensor in the EOS RP and the 30MP sensor in the EOS R are pretty old. They were first used in the EOS 6D Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV, which are Canon’s DSLR cameras.
Canon doesn’t seem like a likely candidate unless a new processor pair can improve their performance by a lot. And 4K video without cropping seems to be a basic requirement for any new model, which makes these older sensors even less likely.
What about an EOS R6 sensor that is “detuned”?
Even if Canon used that sensor, that doesn’t mean the new model would have IBIS by default. Canon has already shown with the EOS R10 that it is willing to leave it out of cheaper models.
Is APS-C the way forward?
At the moment, all of this is just daydreaming, because the rumours that are going around have no real substance. Canon might not have any plans for a new full-frame mirrorless camera at all, for all we know.
There will also be a third APS-C model before any new full-frame cameras, according to rumours (it would be nice to get a third RF-S lens first… grr).
But when the “everyman” EOS R and the cheap and cheerful EOS RP stop working, they will definitely leave a hole. That can’t be too far off now, and Canon has to do something to fill the void.
My worry is that Canon thinks the gap has already been filled with the EOS R10 and R7 and that there won’t be a new full-frame camera below the EOS R6 at all. I hope I’m wrong so much!