Canon's RF mirrorless camera system has so far focused on high-end full-frame models like the Canon EOS R5, but that could be about to change dramatically, according to new rumours.
Reliable Canon Rumors, which called its latest speculation "plausible, but from an unconfirmed source," says that Canon may be preparing to release as many as three RF cameras with smaller APS-C sensors.
Apparently those three cameras could be the Canon EOS R7, a vlogging-capable model called the Canon EOS R8, and an entry-level option called the Canon EOS R9. If the rumors are true, they would almost certainly mark the end of Canon's existing EOS M mirrorless camera system.
The Canon EOS M system, which arrived in 2012, is the mirrorless equivalent of your DSLR EF mount and includes cameras like the Canon EOS M50 Mark II and Canon EOS M6 Mark II.
But the system's lens collection has remained fairly limited, with only eight native EF-M options on offer, and in recent years the camera giant has focused on its new RF mount.
While the RF mount was primarily designed for its new line of full-frame mirrorless cameras, there have been growing rumors that it may also support smaller, more affordable models with sensors.
As Canon Rumors points out, if the rumors are true, "it would definitely be the end of the EOS M system." It also suggests that the Canon EOS R7, EOS R8 and EOS R9 could have the same sensor to reduce manufacturing costs, the main difference being their design.
The Canon EOS M50 Mark II (above) was a very minor update to the EOS M50, with most of the updates being software updates.
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The rumors of three APS-C RF cameras are certainly plausible and, at first glance, they make a lot of sense. After all, Canon has put all its time and energy into developing new RF cameras and lenses, and a “single-mount” mirrorless strategy (which Sony often brags about) is certainly more consistent and cheaper.
The lack of recent EOS M announcements also shows that Canon's current APS-C lineup is running low. The Canon EOS M50 Mark II, in particular, felt like the last breath of a dying system, although it's still a decent entry-level camera for many people.
But there are serious complications with the launch of the new APS-C RF-mount cameras, including lenses. All current RF lenses are designed for full-frame cameras, and while some of the longer focal lengths work well with APS-C sensors, Canon is expected to release new zooms and wide angles from the APS-C kit for the EOS. R7, EOS R8 and EOS R9.
The question would then be: what happens to the current EOS M system? The most likely scenario is that, like Canon's EF mount for its DSLRs, it would still be supported, but without new products or major firmware updates. This would still make Canon's lineup somewhat messy, but it's unavoidable during a period of change that is also causing similar problems to its storied DSLR rival, Nikon.
Still, Rumors of new APS-C RF mount cameras remain speculation And according to Canon Rumors, we're not expecting the first of these releases (the Canon EOS R7) until later this year at the earliest, or maybe early. 2022. Until then, Canon EOS M cameras remain solid and affordable options for beginners, even if their system doesn't promise the longevity of competitors like Fujifilm's X-series.