As rumors circulated about a Canon EOS R1, the camera giant decided to throw a curve ball by announcing the development of the Canon EOS R3.

Canon has stated that the EOS R3 will be a "professional high-performance camera" which will introduce a “new category in the EOS R system”. Then, What does this mean for the Canon EOS R1?

Fortunately, it looks like we'll eventually get both cameras. Canon rumors that we will finally see a Canon EOS R1 flagship model, with the caveat that you should not "set aside money for this now" because "it won't happen anytime soon."

The reason is that the Canon EOS R3, which is officially eBetween the Canon EOS R5 and the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III, is the mirrorless sports camera that will be Canon's main focus ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

However, Canon also pointed out that the EOS R3 is not its flagship camera, which could leave a space for the Canon EOS R1 fills up later this year or in 2022.

And with the rumors suggesting features like Quad Pixel AF and even a general shutterIt might be worth the wait. Here it is everything we know so far about the Canon EOS R1, plus our analysis of how it has evolved from its potential rival, the Sony A1.

Canon EOS R1 release date and price

  • It is rumored that it is in the pipeline, but «will not be published«.
  • No pricing leaks yet, but it is likely in the rough Sony A1 stage
  • The Sony A1 costs $6.500 / €6.500 / AU$10.500

In January 2021, Canon Rumors speculation indicated that the Canon EOS R1 would arrive "in the second half of 2021". But with the arrival of the Canon EOS R3 development announcement, those estimates have now been pushed back.

More recently, Canon Rumors suggested that the EOS R1 is still on the way, but "that won't happen anytime soon". This makes sense, as the Canon EOS R3, a mirrorless sports camera, will likely be Canon's go-to lens before and during the Tokyo Olympics, which start in July.

Given the early specs of the EOS R3, it could well become Canon's biggest launch of 2021, what would bring the Canon EOS R1 back to 2022. But that's just speculation at this point.

Of course, ultra-high performance and new technology probably won't come cheap. There hasn't been a price leak yet, but we don't expect the Canon EOS R1 to sell for less than the Canon 1D X Mark III or the Sony Alpha A1, which would mean a price of at least less than $6,500 / €6.500 / AU$10,500.

It's strange to think that the Canon EOS R5 looked expensive when it arrived for $3,899 / €4,199 / AU$6,899 in July 2020, but it seems that the price of the A1 is now a watermark of a camera.

Canon EOS R1: Will it have a global shutter?

  • Canon EOS R1 rumored to have a global shutter
  • It would help to eliminate the distortion problems of the roller blinds.
  • But the challenges associated with global currents mean that this is not safe.

At this time, Rumors predict that the Canon EOS R1 will use a global shutter. This helps eliminate distortion caused by movement when shooting with the alternative, a roller shutter.

Digital SLRs use a rolling electronic shutter when shooting video or still images in Live View mode. Mirrorless cameras use a rolling shutter most of the time, unless they use a mechanical shutter mode. In any case, DSLRs and mirrorless cameras still use a roller shutter behind the scenes.

A roller shutter "reads" the sensor one row of pixels at a time, from top to bottom. This happens very fast, but not fast enough to avoid fast-moving distortions. When the reading reaches the bottom of the sensor, the actual state of the object you are photographing has changed, resulting in some strange distortions in the final image frame.

(Image credit: future)

Canon EOS R1: Release date, price, rumors and leaks 1

What is a global component?

Unlike a rolling shutter, which reads the camera sensor one line of pixels at a time, from top to bottom, a global shutter captures information from all the pixels (or photodiodes) on the sensor at the same time. This can help eliminate image distortion associated with roller shutters (think lopsided buildings), which is why a global shutter is used on some high-end video cameras. But they also come with associated problems, such as lower native sensitivity.

Skyscrapers can bend in panoramic images, and if the sensor reading is synchronized with a quick movement, you can end up with helicopter rotor blades that appear completely static in the video or severely distorted in the images.

This type of distortion is less noticeable in still images when a mechanical shutter is used, since the shutter becomes the controlling factor of what the sensor sees. It doesn't matter if the roller shade is slower when a physical "wall" effectively controls exposure.

The global shutter offered by the Canon EOS R1 captures information from all the pixels on the sensor, all your photodiodes, at the same time. Rolling shutter image distortion is completely eliminated, which is why a global shutter is used on some high-end camcorders, such as the Canon EOS C700 GS PL and the Red Komodo.

Sounds perfect right? But a global shutter poses certain problems.

The first is quite easy to understand. With a standard rolling shutter, the camera has to handle a stream of data that is dumped into a buffer, a very fast memory "chip" that contains information before it is processed and transferred to your storage, your memory card.

Canon EOS-C700

(Image credit: Canon)

A global shutter puts a lot more pressure on this pipeline because it needs to be able to handle the entire sensor data load in an instant. The sensor design is also much more complex, as additional transistors are needed on the chip to wire the lines of pixels so that they can be read simultaneously and sent to the buffer.

And this bandwidth demand only increases with sensor resolution and maximum burst frame rate.

There is another problem that the Canon EOS R1 should deal with. Global shutter sensors have a lower native sensitivity. Or, looking at it from another angle, less native dynamic range and more image noise. This is due in part to the additional wiring required on the chip, which reduces the light-sensitive area available at each photo site. Current global shutter sensors have a lower "fill factor," to use the technical term.

In a global shutter, the sensor's photodiodes are also reset after exposure, to discharge them. The entire sensor is put into an "off" state, where this can occur row by row on a roller shutter, allowing a continuous sensor reading if necessary.

A technique called CDS (Correlated Double Sampling) can be used to compensate for any residual charge on the sensor's photodiodes in a global shutter. This involves taking another reading from the sensor in its "off" state. You take the "on" state reading, subtract the "off" state reading as noise.

Of course, this presents more problems for the Canon EOS R1. Each sensor has a maximum sensor read rate. By using half of those reads for the CDS process, you cut the actual frame rate in half and double the amount of data the buffer and processor have to handle in a very short period of time.

No wonder global shutter cameras are so expensive: These things sound like a headache. Which means that, despite the rumours, it's certainly not a given that the EOS R1 has a global shutter. Instead, Canon can play it safe by using the 45MP sensor seen in the Canon EOS R5.

Autofocus: Revolutionary four-pixel AF expected

  • Canon EOS R1 is expected to have a new Quad Pixel AF system
  • This could allow for improved autofocus on the horizontal and vertical axes.
  • It should improve focus on subjects with edges parallel to your camera

Autofocus is another area where the Canon EOS R1 is likely to be innovative. In late 2020, we saw patents detailing a Quad Pixel AF system that promises to improve autofocus performance.

Canon's current AF system for mirrorless cameras is Dual Pixel AF. This is phase detection for mirrorless cameras, which don't have the separate phase detection AF modules of traditional DSLRs.

Canon EOS R1 four pixel

(Image credit: Canon)

The sensor's sub-pixels are divided into two photodiodes, the reading of which can be compared. The closer they are to the same thing, the closer the camera will be to perfect focus, since these light sensors are placed next to each other.

However, in a Dual Pixel AF arrangement, these photodiodes are placed side by side horizontally, so focus is always judged in this plane. If the Canon EOS R1 has this Quad Pixel AF system on offer, it will have four photodiodes per sub-pixel. These are arranged in a 2x2 grid, allowing phase detection to do its job on both the horizontal and vertical axes.

Add that to Canon's latest (and no doubt recently improved) eye, face and animal tracking algorithms, and you'll probably get world-class AF performance in the same vein as Sony's real-time tracking AF.

Design: Bigger battery, bigger body?

The Canon EOS R1 is likely to have a larger body and a much larger battery than the Canon EOS R5. This is not only because of the technology it needs to be integrated into, but also because of its role as a hybrid powerhouse.

Canon EOS-R5

(Image credit: Canon)

We expect to see a built-in vertical battery grip and contours designed to balance the weight of heavy lenses. This means a lot of grip and a relatively high body weight.

Sensor: What is the expected resolution of the EOS R1?

  • Currently, there is no real consensus on the resolution of the Canon EOS R1
  • Possibilities include a 45MP, 21MP, or even 90MP sensor
  • The latter might be more likely now, depending on the resolution of the EOS R3.

Rumor cannot decide what sensor resolution we will get with the Canon EOS R1.

Some suggest it will have a 45MP sensor, similar to the Canon EOS R5, which in turn would see it close to the Sony A1.. Other sites believe that it will have a sensor of around 21MP. There are even slightly more optimistic suggestions about the Canon EOS R1.

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