... they realllly need the next round of major cams to way improve the low iso image quality.
Sorry, but why do they 'need' to do that? Besides the fact that you and some others want them to, I mean... There's a small minority of people who DRone on about this issue, but a small minority carries little weight in terms of impacting R&D priorities.
It's interesting how people say Canon is 'sleeping' and 'not innovative', but when they come out with a technology that represents a profound improvement for AF, those same people dismiss it...because it's not the innovation they wanted. News flash: Canon sells cameras designed for the mass market, not designed for a small minority. The fact that they have been and remain the market leader says they've been making the right design decisions for that mass market.
I did say the dual-pixel AF was innovative. That is pretty cool.
But that still doesn't answer the fact that their low ISO quality has not improved one bit, actually a trace worse, for well over half a decade going more towards a decade now. Isn't it about time low ISO IQ got a look at again? Canon kept going on in their PDF about how they always are looking to find way to let people be able to shoot in more conditions. So that also means they should be looking into improving DR at low ISO.
I don't think the DR people are such a tiny minority as you think either. One could also say it's easy for those who don't care about DR to just toss it off a silly thing only a few extreme users care about. I see a lot more talking about that than the poor video AF actually if you want to go by forum polling.
The 5D3 getting top AF in it was awesome, but that wasn't innovative that was just a marketing change matching what Nikon was doing for quite a while already. One should also note that it was something people droned on endless in the forums. It seems that is what it takes for them to take notice. Had we not drone on about that maybe the 5D3 would be 7D AF AND the old sensor. I bet you would've loved that even more right? And don't forget it takes a LOT of time to get new tech going for sensors so if people wait until they have truly had it with the DR then it's wayyyy too late and you'd be waiting years beyond that still.
The RAW video in the 5D3 is a revolution and quite rather astonishing, although we'd have never ever seen it had Canon been the only ones at work. They credit for making the HW in the camera being to do it though and not blocking Magic Lantern.
If you want me to ping Nikon. Well they pretty much muddled up liveview and didn't do anything all that impressive for video on their recent cameras. 5D3 pulls those off with help of ML infinitely better than any recent (or older) Nikon and even without ML 5D3 pulls those off better.
Since I also have a video shooter side in me too though, now that we have ML RAW and video extras, the 5D3 finally is a pretty revolutionary DSLR IMO though, every bit as much as the D800, just in very different ways. For stills, it's a really fantastic body, top notch with lots of abilities and superb UI, saddled with a sensor that is somewhat regularly frustrating for low ISO shooting in this day and age (although pretty pleasing for high iso if not quite state of the art as D4,1DX,6D; it is a bit surprising they held back the high ISO tech and re-used older stuff for the 5D3 when they put it all in the 6D so relatively soon after).
I think Canon probably will improve DR. It is a tough thing to really scale peoples immediate wants to actual camera releases. Before the rash of new high end camera releases a year or two ago, the thing I remember people complaining about MOST in the Canon camp was "fewer megapixels, better high ISO". It was the thing I droned on about, it was the thing most of the people I knew droned on about, and it was the thing people droned on about in their blogs, review sites, etc. Everyone complained that more megapixels was dead, and we needed better high ISO. That was between the 1Ds III/5D II generation and the 1D X/5D III/D800 generation.
It really wasn't until Sony and Nikon dropped an Exmor into the D800 that a different segment of the Canon camp started DRoning on about DR.
When you boil it all down, the complaints of each era make sense. Canon claimed the megapixel crown on their high end cameras (the ones that generally take four years to replace anyway), and over the next four years, people saw interim Nikon cameras improve their high ISO performance. I think we saw a realistic shift from ISO 1600 being artistically usable to ISO 3200 and even 6400 being artistically usable, with ISO 12800 being the top native setting on Nikon cameras. That was occurring on LOWER megapixel Nikon cameras, at that. So, what did the Canon camp ask for? Pretty much the same thing...and, Canon delivered! We got the 1D X, with usable ISO 6400 and 12800, with a maximum native 51200 which blew everything else out of the water. We got the 5D III with native ISO up to 25600, and only a smidge more MP. That was what people asked for.
Today, the gap between camps is that Nikon now has both megapixels and DR at low ISO. Makes total sense thats the thing that people want now. I suspect it is an entirely different group complaining about low ISO DR than those who complained about too many megapixels and the need for better high ISO during the last generation. I do think Canon listens to their customers, and if the DRoning about DR DRivel is loud enough to be heard by Canon, I think they will probably deliver. I honestly can't say when...its only been about two years since the last high end camera releases...seems a bit soon for more. I can't say what we might see with the 7D II, but I kind of suspect it won't offer amazing low DR performance...it just doesn't seem to fit the model. If Canon does hear the low ISO DR message, then I suspect the camera it would make the most sense for is the rumored big megapixel monster. We did hear about Canon experimenting with active cooling technologies...and if it is applied to the image processing chips, it might indeed help with downstream noise contributors (although I kind of doubt it will improve low ISO DR by another 2 stops like everyone is hoping.) With recent rumors about a 75mp layered sensor, I guess there is really a split potential for improved DR in the next high end camera. It could be 50/50 between a layered (foveonesque) sensor or something that improves DR by a stop or so.
The only thing I really know for sure is...whatever Canon releases....someone will find something else to complain about. I think its human nature to complain about whatever it is you don't have and the other guy does.