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Camera related rumours/patents/info.

Specific camera model info can be found on the rumours index page (along with lenses and printers and other makes).

We’re sent all kinds of suggestions – some more believable than others. Rumour accuracy plummets once you are more than a few months from any ‘announcement’. Please do use your common sense when reading these pages, and remember that they are here for entertainment as much as anything else.

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2020 July

30th Canon’s latest financials include the expected decline given the current problems. [CR]

However, there is this slightly cryptic comment…

“Furthermore, we will enhance our new concept camera initiative, which gives no regard to traditional camera concepts, as we prepare to launch the new models within this year.”

It’s in a financial report so a bit more than some translated quote from a manager in a trade show ‘interview’.

We also have ‘the new models’ – plenty to keep rumour interest going ;-)

16th Some US patent information [USPTO] shines a light on low pass filters and, by its timing, may well reflect what’s in the R5.  A note of caution – this is not a ‘how it works article’  Optics/physics knowledge is needed ;-)

mtf-filter

 

15th A Nikkei article definitely expects more to go in the camera market. However there’s nothing really new in it other than this year’s sales dropping even quicker [Nikk].

I suppose we have to give a quick run through the ‘What’s next’ considerations after the R5/R6 launch…

Printers A PRO-1000 update? not his year [Canon printer info/rumour page]

R1 An R5 style camera in a much heftier body. A year away at least, unless Canon really want to try and have something out for the delayed Olympics [R1 page]

R5s the high MP camera  I’ve heard mentioned as coming ‘some time after’ the R5. Whilst an autumn announcement is a chance, I’m currently more inclined to early 2021 [R5s page]

EOS RP II or an update to my 26MP EOS RP – a 2021/22 camera I’d suggest.

5D mk5 was on the roadmap, but how many DSLRs does Canon want to continue with? Dropping much of the R5 into a DSLR body would be an obvious route, but how does Canon see EF mount cameras selling with the recent acceleration of change/decline?

RIP – Likely DSLR ends of line? 6D2, 7D2, 77D, 5Ds, 2000D, 4000D

EOS M could do with a refresh, even if we don’t share the popularity it has in Japan. An M5 mk2 could push the capabilities of the EOS M range, but there’s the question of lenses and whether Canon is content to mostly selling EOS-M to people who are unlikely to ever actually change a lens.

Crop sensor RF mount – Could even be a replacement to the EOS M line with enough empty space between sensor and mount to make an EF-M to RF adapter possible.  Allows the EF-M line of lenses to be be shuffled off into retirement and makes every new lens an RF lens. Or if Canon felt like it, it could just be a clean end to EOS-M [RF_APS-C]

Here’s the current Canon timeline – recently expanded

  Crop  00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
            1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Best Full       1Ds 1Ds Mk II 1Ds Mk III 1D X 1DX II 1DX III
1.3     1D 1D Mk II 1D MkIIn 1D Mk III 1D Mk IV                  
video                             1D C        
High Full                               5Ds/5Dsr
            5D 5D Mk II 5D Mk III 5D Mk IV
1.6                   7D 7D Mk II
'Better'  Full                                               6D 6D 2
1.6 D30 D60 10D 20D 30D 40D 50D 60D 70D 80D 90D
Mid 1.6         300D
Rebel
Kiss
350D
XT
Kiss N
400D
XTi
Kiss X
450
XSi
X2
500
T1i
X3
550
T2i
X4
600
T3i
X5
650
T4i
X6i
700D
T5i
X7i
760D T6s 77D
        750D T6i 800D T7i 850D T8i
Micro 1.6                                 100D SL1 X7 200D SL2 250D
Entry 1.6                   1000D / XS / F 1100D / T3 / X50 1200D T5 X70 1300D T6 2000D T7
                                    4000D
EOS R Full                               R5
                              R6
                              EOS R
                              EOS RP
EF-M
Mirror
-less
1.6                               M5
                              M50
                            M M2 M3 M6 M6 II
                              M10 M100 M200

Note: dates start in announcement quarter, not shipping dates. Video capable 4k 8k

Digic | Digic 2 | Digic 3 dual | Digic 4 dual | Digic 5 dual | Digic 6 dual | Digic 7 dual | Digic 8 dual | Digic X dual

June

24th My 20 year desire to see a digital version of my OM2 became even more of a pipe dream with Olympus selling off its imaging division.

Olympus announcement [PDF]

There were suggestions of this in October/November and In December it was denied. Even without knowing the problems that 2020 would bring it seemed a delay at best.

See a more nuanced analysis by Thom Hogan for more [TH]

18th Here are the camera products being announced by Canon on the 9th of July [CR]

  • Canon EOS R5
  • Canon EOS R6
  • Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 IS STM
  • Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
  • Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM
  • Canon RF 100-500mm f/4-7.1L IS USM
  • Canon RF 600mm f/11 DO IS STM
  • Canon RF 800mm f/11 DO IS STM
  • Teleconverter RF 1.4x
  • Teleconverter RF 2x

15th If you’re interested in B&W photography, I’ve used some new in-depth articles to re-jig the B&W Index page for my ~140 black and white related articles/reviews.

Ah, Foveon stuff… This was very big a few [~15!] years ago and just never quite took over the world of Bayer sensors the way some prophesied.

A new photosensor design uses perovskites [perovskites – WP] to make the photo sensitive elements and they stack on each other a lot more effectively that current silicon implementations.  However, this is just research at the moment… [ RG via ISW]

The very sharp spectral responses for each layer are interesting – see the full paper for more.

Perovkite-1Perovkite-2Perovkite-3Perovkite-4Perovkite-5

12th In our photography business articles I always stress the importance of knowing who will buy your products – this goes for camera companies too. Thom Hogan has an interesting look at what this should mean for camera companies [TH]. The marketing car crash of the Canon ‘Rebel’ range on their US web site is an excellent example.

4th When the Photography show announced its postponement in March, I seriously wondered who would go there in September. As things have progressed I decided that I wasn’t going to the NEC, even if it was on. It’s now being held as a virtual show on the 20th/21st of September this year [The photography Show web site]

Announcement (June): After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to take The Photography Show & The Video Show 2020 online due to the continued uncertainty around hosting large events.
We’ll be hosting a virtual photography and video festival over two days on Sunday, 20 and Monday, 21 September 2020 and the next show at the NEC will run between 18 and 21 September 2021.
While we believe that there’s nothing quite comparable to the benefits of the live show, we know that this decision is the best solution for our community during these unprecedented times.
We’re very disappointed not to be making the annual trip to Birmingham, but we’re really excited about the virtual version and we think it’s a fantastic opportunity to try something new, and show off photography and video in a different way to our ‘norm’. We look forward to seeing everyone in September, albeit virtually!
The virtual show will be free to attend and all pre-booked entry tickets and passes for the March 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 dates.
MORE INFO WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON – LOOK OUT FOR UPDATES!

It seems the organisers have decided that it will be September 2021 before people are going to be willing to pack in at events like this again.

eating at TPS

Picture is of using a strongly tilted lens for the ‘model world’ look from my TS-E50mm F2.8L Macro review.

Given the average visitor age at previous shows, I’m hardly surprised.

3rd DxO have updated the Nik Plugins. They’ve also added a new one ‘Perspective Efex’ – or as the more observant will notice, moved DxO ViewPoint under the Nik umbrella. I’ve used these for years and it’s nice to see them still workinng and being expanded for the likes of lightroom users.  DxO Nik Collection 3 review

Whilst it’s gratifying to see an uptick in visits to my articles and reviews for the Northlight site, the advertising revenue, which helps pay for running it it has dropped. No surprise there, but it’s rather more serious for sites and publications which employ staff, particularly the remaining paper photography magazines.

In Japan, Asahi Camera, is stopping regular (paper) publication after 94 years. [BCN] Although salese were increasing, advertising revenue is what keeps such magazines afloat and it went the other way, fast.

Hmm, more CIPA numbers, and they are what you might expect from CIPA numbers [cipa]

Comparing Jan-April this year with last year shows around 40-50% reductions in shipping units and value of those units. Of course those figures include January/February – for recent months it’s ~60% [DPR].

The chart shows the ongoing annual drop at the start and then the additional drop.

CIPA apr 2020

May

28th Canon have produced a Mac version of their webcam driver software

21st A Canon US patent application [USPTO] shows more about Canon’s sensor IS system. In particular how lens IS works with sensor IS.

sensor-IS

Sensor IS causes problems in applying lens corrections, since the sensor isn’t necessarily centred on the optical axis.

A Canon patent application [USPTO] looks at dealing with this.

sensor-IS-camera

Only for illustration in a patent… this body design has a focus screen, but no main mirror ;-)

The offset sensor is prone to vignetting…

image-correction-issue-with-IS

This is a somewhat extreme example – no sensor moves that much (although it’s an issue with tilt/shift lenses)

Dual pixel AF has a problem in that all the sensors are sensitive to detecting vertical edges. You could use quad pixels, but a Canon Patent application [USPTO] looks at using the focal plane shutter to detection for horizontal lines.

shutter-af-assist

This doesn’t sound very practical, but it’s a nifty idea.

18th How will Canon use the delay of the Olympics tp bring forward more cameras and lenses? The R5 will obviously play a bigger part…

An article [NKS – Google xlt] looks at the effects of the downturn in the camera market on various manufacturers. It also includes some comments from Canon (from Takeshi Tokura) about how the current situation has affected their plans

Interview / Mr. Takeshi Tokura, Executive Vice President, Image Communication Business Division, Canon Inc. Reviewing procurement from multiple perspectives:

Although the camera market continues to face a difficult environment, preparations for the “post-corona” society after the convergence are essential. We spoke with Canon’s Managing Executive Officer, Image Communication Business Headquarters about the future of product development, including strategies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which were postponed for the first time in history.

-Is it possible to say that the spread of new corona infections is unique compared to the past crisis?

“The effects of natural disasters are limited in regions and are temporary, but new corona infections are not yet globally visible. It is not uncommon for exhibitions and events to be canceled one after another.”

-The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have also been postponed.

“The postponement was very disappointing. Preparations for products and professional support were just beginning to run. However, the time to get used to professional products increased. The full-size mirrorless camera” EOS R5 “under development evolves. It will be time. ”

-In addition to the R5 and SLR top-end models, do you increase the number of products to be introduced according to the competition?

“If we have a year, we may be able to further expand our product lineup for the actual competition. There is room for more types of interchangeable lenses.”

-The camera market as a whole is in a difficult environment.

“Parts procurement will eventually recover, but market movements cannot be read. Sales are being affected, but there are new ways of enjoying and demanding even in the home environment such as an increase in video posting. After the convergence, self-restraint and restrictions will occur. I hope that it will turn into a good economy when it disappears.

-How do you plan to use this experience in terms of production?

“We are reviewing the procurement of parts from multiple perspectives. There are aspects that surpass alternative procurement, but there are also difficult parts. We make judgments by carefully observing the properties of the parts. It’s not a solution if you change places. “

13th There looks to be an update/replacement for the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT [CR]

Likely to appear alongside the R5 (or R6) – There is a Canon patent application [CN] that shows a design with forced air cooling. It also has LEDs so might even be a hybrid lighting solution?

6th Bluetooth certification is found for the R5, but as yet, when it will get a formal announcement and ship is up in the air (as is the R6)

In not unexpected news, several camera sales businesses are showing signs of the strain.. B&H has furloughed 20% of their staff and the Canadian chain Henry’s is closing branches in an attempt to remain viable. I’m seeing similar strains here in the UK, so if you need some kit, buy it from a photography dealer.

That said, people just aren’t buying kit or doing much photography – sure, I’ve had an increase of interest in the macro and printing articles I’ve written, but only so many photographers have a strong interest in these aspects of photography.

Earlier on in the year I had a book due to be published in June/July, and was looking to do some talks and events promoting it… Well, it’s now November at the earliest and who knows about the events. That’s a mere annoyance in comparison to the impact on some photographers’ work, but both Karen and myself are doing fine at home. we hope all is well where you are.

April

30th Long live mirrors… well in the form of a new Canon Patent [USPTO] showing they are still developing this area.

shutter-mechanism

The question of whether we will see any more DSLRs was an interesting one a few months ago – I guess the current situation has made it somewhat less likely, unless we get a ‘final’ 5 series DSLR based on the R5.

29th Canon have produced a beta version of software that allows some cameras to be used as a high quality webcam.

Win10 only at the moment – Mac is ‘pending’

EOS Webcam Utility beta

Supported cameras…

cameras for webcam

I’ve been using ‘Camera Live‘ and ‘CamTwist‘ on my Mac to get video over USB for use as a webcam.

26th In the “Really? who’d have thought” category come the March CIPA numbers [cipa]

CIPA-numbers-March-2020

Maybe there will be a pick-up later in the year, but not a lot of people are putting new cameras/lenses on their shopping lists.

My own book about using tilt/shift lenses is completed, but the shutdown has halted much of the print and publishing industry. So, I’m told it will be appearing as an e-Book first, in a month or so.
You can see the cover on the new index page I’ve put together covering all the many articles about tilt/shift use and lenses.

24th In not unexpected news, Canon’s quarterly figures are not good.

The report shows that net sales and operating profit for Q1 within the Imaging System division is down 13.9% and 80.6%, respectively, compared to last year. For the charts see the overview at [DPR]

22nd There will be a Canon Expo for 2021/22 – however, just the one in Japan. This from Canon (via CR)

As many of you know, every five years, Canon unveils what the future holds and presents its latest technologies and innovations at the Canon EXPO worldwide. The EXPO is made up of a series of events representative of all our fields of activity, not only in the EMEA region but all over the world, starting with Tokyo, followed by the United States, then by the EMEA region. and finally ends in Shanghai.

We had announced to you that the EXPO in the EMEA region would take place in Barcelona (Spain) from October 19 to 21, 2021, at the Center Conventions International Barcelona (CCIB).

Due to the uncertainties facing governments, businesses, and consumers around the world in the coming months, it has become clear to us that we need to review the timing and format of the EXPO program. We will, therefore, consolidate all the exhibition sites in one place, Tokyo, and hold only one event between the fall of 2021 and the end of 2022.

Renamed ‘Canon Global EXPO’, this unique event will present innovations in all fields of activity and sectors of all companies of the Canon Group. Thousands of guests from around the world, including from your region, will be invited to participate. For the first time, EXPO will also reach digital and online audiences around the world so that people can collaborate and participate virtually, wherever they are in the world.

By reaching a larger digital audience and focusing on one place, we will offer a new, impactful and exciting way to demonstrate our great ability to innovate on a global scale and how the future of our society looks. . We will provide more details in the coming weeks.

9th In my -stuff to do at home-  items, I’ve just published the second part of my look at focus/depth stacking multiple images

A Canon patent application [USPTO] looks at aspects of image stabilisation systems.

IS-functions

Whilst it’s easy to think is IS just working to take a photo, there are reasons to keep it running when using for AF, for example tracking moving subjects. The patent (for optical and sensor based IS) concentrates on movement detection for subjects.

moving-subjects

A few more details of the pop-up EVF from last week [USPTO]

EVF-unit

expanding-EVF

2nd A nifty pop-up EVF that includes an eye-detect sensor is described in a Canon US Patent application [USPTO] It allows a larger LCD display on the back, by having the sensor in the EVF unit.

pop-up-EVF

The February CIPA camera numbers were down again on last year. Of course, the rest of the year is going to be dire and it raises questions about just who is going to still be making cameras in a few years? [CIPA]

March

30th There are plenty of products to be launched – what does a company do?

Well, at CR they are saying that Canon will be launching products this year as intended, just that actual shipping is unknown [CR]

18th Photokina – due in May has predictably been cancelled [Photokina]

Now rescheduled to 2022.

12th Interesting Canon patent application [USPTO] covering aspects of how sensor and lens IS work together. In particular it looks at how the combined movement fits in the lens image circle.

canon-sensor-IS

10th I guess I won’t get to see the new Canon R5 just yet…

Over the last few weeks I’ve been hearing comments from companies due to exhibit at the UK Photography show that they were not overly happy about lots of their staff spending several days with people pressed around them in the sort of crush you sometimes get. Sure enough, last night the show was cancelled – or more accurately, postponed until September. [PS] (paid tickets can be refunded or used in September)

Knowing just how much work goes into an appearance at such shows (I’ve worked on a few stands over the years) it will cause a lot of expense and inconvenience, but I don’t think it’s unwarranted.

5th A Canon US Patent application [USPTO] shows a battery grip design that uses different intermediate adapters to allow its use with a number of different camera bodies. It includes some nifty gearing to allow the position of the tripod screw to be moved.

battery-gripsmaller-cameralarger-camera

3rd With Epson due updates to the P600/P800 what of Canon? First up should be an update to the 2012 vintage PRO-10, with both PRO-1 and PRO-1000 updates maybe finally getting roll paper support. Manufacturing issues may yet push updates back somewhat – see Canon Printer rumours/news for more.

After several years of waiting for printer updates, it looks as if we’re due quite a few (if they can get the parts)

2nd As expected, the CIPA figures for January didn’t start off well. Add to this the disruption of supply lines for parts and the potential economic slowdown, and 2020 could well turn out very badly for some companies in the photography market.  See also a good roundup of the current issues for camera businesses at [DPR]

cipa-jan-2020

February

28th The relaunch of Photokina is still (at time of writing) due in May… However it’s being  aimed much more at mobile phones, and they showed this slide to emphasise the changes.  I’d note the disparity in scales for the two products – the red bars should be 10 times their height, if using the same scale for each. [DCW]

The blue lines include compact cameras which makes the drop off seem a lot more severe

camera-sales

The shape of the camera graph also tells you why many popular photography forum sites are much emptier these days.

This chart from last year gives a more nuanced view of the decline in its historical context.

CIPA-camera-vs-smartphone-graph

27th A camera DS126832 using the LP-E6NH battery has appeared in Taiwan wireless registration info [Nok]

USB cable is IFC-100U (USB Type-C cable). Compatible with remote switch RS-60E3 and speedlight 600EX-RT

certification

All as usual, other than the recent reports [Nok] suggested as the R5 were DS126839

Could one be the R6 and the other the R5

wireless info

25th A good look at the confusion in models of mirrorless cameras from different makers by [Thom Hogan] is worth a read.

If you print your work then Epson’s new replacement for the P800 (17″) looks very interesting, and they have finally got rid of black ink switching. Only announced in Japan at the moment [Epson page] – looks like this year will see a return to printer reviews here on the site ;-)

And Canon? Time for a replacement for the Pro-1000 that supports roll paper….

18th An interview with Panasonic [DPR] discusses the S1 cameras an ‘L’ mount in rather more detail than most such ‘executive interviews’. The S1R with its sensor shift technology was a camera I really enjoyed testing. The amount of detail in those 187MP shots was very impressive. [S1R review]

17th It seems that Canon has definitely been at work in improving the sensor performance in the 1DX mk3, which bodes well for forthcoming mirrorless models. There some more info at [CN via P2P]

14th The CP+ show at the end of the month in Yokohama in Japan has been cancelled due to health concerns.

In April, Canon are launching image.canon a cloud platform for sharing and managing photos. [CR]

Has Canon come up with a reason for me to update my 2009 iPhone 3Gs? Given that all I know is that at the moment the phone is laying ‘somewhere’ in the house I might even remember to carry it with me more often ;-) Then again uploading lots of EOS Rs 100MP raw files isn’t going to be quick at a lot of locations…

image.canon

6th A lot of our camera products and accessories come from China, so expect knock-on effects for companies manufacturing in that country or sourcing components there.

The free CFexpress card reader being bundled with many 1D X mk3 sales is one such product, where delays are expected.

January

29th Canon’s 2019 financials are out [Canon] and the show a drop of ILC cameras to 8.8m in 2019 and a further decline to 7.5m in 2020. As Thom Hogan points out [TH], that means selling fewer higher price cameras.  There is this snippet from the Canon report that will be interesting to see how it matches upcoming products.

“…we have plans to launch a model that incorporates a newly developed image sensor and image-processing engine that offer even more advanced features.”

canon-figures

“Specifically, we will enhance our lineup launching 5 new lenses for mirrorless cameras. Through kit sales that leverage our broad range of mirrorless camera lenses and by bundling cameras with accessories like our lens adapter that makes it possible to use our existing rich lens lineup we will promote further expansion of mirrorless camera sales.
In addition, we will further strengthen our efforts to generate user interest in our mirrorless cameras. As a large percentage of high-end models purchases involve the customer actually handling the model and trying it out before buying, in major cities in Japan and other markets, we will create even more touch points for users, proactively expanding opportunities to actually experience our products.
Additionally, for professional photographers, we will foster trust in our products, offering, among others, enhanced support at international sports events.
Through these measures, we will further raise our presence in the market for high-end models, which will also have a rippling effect on more volume oriented cameras and subsequently link this to a further boost in sales.”

It looks as if the 45MP mirrorless camera will be the  R5

New stuff on its way [Nok].  This could be an 850D over here [More on 850D page]

“EOS Rebel T8i Body”, “EOS Rebel T8i Lens Kit”, “RF24-105mm STM”, and “QX10 (Black, White, Green, Pink)” have been added to Canon’s latest product list. If not a mistake, it should be announced in February

16th Canon US Patents …these give a feel for some of what Canon is working on – of course a patent application is not a product!

Single photon counting type pixels  and how you vary them across a sensor are in a new design [USPTO] –

Multi layer or stacked sensors are nearer market, and the fact that there are patents looking at manufacturing issues show Canon’s interest. [USPTO]

stacked-sensor

Another one (non stacked) for those of you with an understanding of semiconductor design [USPTO]

In an interesting example of user interface design (part of what I did before becoming a photographer) the problems of using magnified live-view displays and adjusting settings is part of what is looked at  [USPTO]

Note our old friend, the touch bar (82)

camera-design

 

15th Expect plenty to be made of the BCN camera shipping ‘awards’ – Canon does well in camera shipments (for Japan)  [Google xlt and CN] Just what this really means apart from generating a warm feeling at Canon marketing, is another matter altogether.  Take all such figures (and discussions) with a degree of care [See TH]

8th In an article I find it difficult to disagree with, Thom Hogan looks at what the features found (and not found) in the 1D X mk3 and D780 tell us about Canon and Nikon’s directions in camera development. [TH]

Canon will quite reasonably example trumpet 1D X mk3 features [see this white paper] but where was the real innovation?

As Thom puts it:

“The 1DX m3 update turned out to be predictable and mostly a mash-up of existing Canon tech, despite all the predictions of “big surprises.” Did we really need four years to stick in a faster card slot, add DPAF and better video to the sensor, and figure out how to offer HEIF? Sure, there’s a lot of the usual top-of-the-line tweaking in it, particularly to the focus system, but the Mark III feels a lot more Mark II.5-ish to me. There’s no “urgency” in the 1DX m3 design: virtually everything in the Mark III was predictable when the Mark II came out, and it took the usual amount of time to produce it.” 

Well, I’m hoping a mirrorless successor to the 5Ds arrives and gives me some good reasons for updating (T/S lenses would help), or am I going to be sticking with my 5Ds and EOS RP until the EOS R’s’ mk 2 arrives?

2020 January 7th The 1D X mark III is announced it looks a great camera if your work needs that sort of performance.

digic X

One thing to note is its (single) Digic X processor which Canon says boosts image processing speeds by three times over the dual Digic 6 found in the 1D X mk2

There is a single Digic 8 processor just devoted to AF and metering when using the viewfinder.

This performance boost is obviously what we would expect to see in a pro level mirrorless camera.

Also a sign of what we can expect is the option of 10-bit HDR photos in the HEIF image format

The camera also includes dual CFexpress card slots.

2019 rumours and info are now in the 2019 archive

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