Canon’s long-awaited flagship mirrorless camera is being tested in the wild. Professional photographers are testing prototypes of the rumored EOS R1 full-frame mirrorless camera with a rumored announcement window of the first quarter of 2024.
This may cause some Canon fans consternation, as the feature has received mixed reviews. Canon execs, however, have stated to insiders that the company is continuing development on Iris tracking and believes that the feature has “impressively improved.”
Chief amongst the features that an R1prototype is believed to be testing is a new quad pixel autofocus tracking system, but some have reported that Canon believes the quad AF system isn’t really ready for prime time and Canon will instead opt for the same Iris tracking AF point selection scheme featured in the EOS R3.
Another feature is the image sensor itself, which is rumored to be twice that of the R3’s resolution of 24 MP. A 48 MP CMOS image sensor would fit it within the realm of where other camera manufacturers are heading in an 8K universe.
Another huge rumor is that the R1 will support a global shutter, which will serve to eliminate the dreaded rolling shutter issue as well as cause moving objects like helicopter rotor blades to appear static still while hovering in the air.
Global shutter also reads all sensor information at once, as opposed to the rolling shutter’s line-by-line design. This can also reduce image distortion.
There is a downside, however, as a global shutter invites more noise to the party for the sensor and lowers its native light-gathering sensitivity.
The other main problem is that Global shutters have traditionally appeared on higher-priced cinema cameras due to the higher cost associated with their design and manufacture.
This could be a leading factor in Canon’s choosing not to implement the feature to keep the cost of the higher-end mirrorless camera within a price range that professionals are used to paying.
The camera is also believed to be a bit larger, housing a 4-inch touchscreen LCD and built-in handgrip. The larger size may not, however, equate to being heavier as insiders have stated the camera’s design is lighter than a comparable DSLR like the 1DX.
Lastly, rumors state that the camera will support dual CFExpress card slots, an ultra-high capacity LP-E19 battery, and a massive 1,000-shot image buffer for burst modes.
However, a lot of this is speculation, and Canon is known to test a variety of prototypes in various configurations. If even some or most of these rumored features make the cut, the R1 is sure to be worthy of the flagship moniker.
Q1 is just over the horizon, so photo fans have only a few months to wait to see if the rumors of an R1 will become a reality or just vaporware hype to keep the faithful talking. Moreover, with the 2024 Olympics coming, the timing would be right to give it one final stress test before hitting the market.
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