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Sunday, September 22, 2019

My thoughts on Canon EOS R mirrorless camera one year after its introduction

Canon announced the EOS R system featuring the newly designed RF mount on September 5, 2018. You can download the whitepaper on this new body here. I was invited by Canon to a hands-on demonstration of the production camera on September 9, 2018.

My readers know me as The Wildlife Ho-tographer. I have been using Canon gear for over 30 years. You can follow my travels on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, see my equipment bag and works on

After attending the invitation, I determined this new camera is not for me and made a post to explain my decision. It is the worst kept secret Canon is still 'behind' Sony in cutting edge mirrorless camera technology. The reason is not technical, it is incremental. Canon can easily match or beat Sony in any camera but since they have a huge existing EF mount and DSLR customer base to protect, Canon's caution is understandable due to the possible cannibalization of their existing business.

Canon's reluctance to match Sony's mirrorless performance must end soon and all signs point to 2020 as the year they will take their gloves off. Low to medium end DSLR sales have been dropping for quite a few years due to smartphone cameras' competition and to a lesser degree, competition from mirrorless cameras. 

First, there will be a major firmware upgrade V 1.4.0 to the EOS R and EOS RP on September 26, 2019. This will be an interim fix to pump up the performance of the two cameras. The megapixel version and the pro version of the EOS R will be announced in 2020, most probably before the June Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. To round out the debut, a mirrorless version of the EOS-1D X Mark III will eventually be announced, perhaps later in 2020 or 2021, since the Mark III will be the last top-of-the-line DSLR camera Canon will make.

I have not decided whether to acquire either the EOS R pro version or the EOS-1D X version of Canon's new mirrorless camera. Personally, I find the current EOS-1D X model to be nearly as perfect a camera line as possible. The weight does not bother me at all. I do not like looking at images through an EVF. Images do not appear natural to me. The new RF mount lenses are over priced and the current EF mount lens lineup is hard to beat. Canon can change the perception of a long time user like myself if they work hard enough but only time will tell whether management is willing to take some calculated risks and stay ahead in the competitive world of digital photography.

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