DPReview had a chance to talk to the folks from the Canon EOS R development team. They spoke with someone from each of the main parts of development, someone from physical design, optical design, UI design and the product design team. Apparently, the design team was given more freedom for the EOS R system, than any previous Canon camera project.
There were obviously design decisions that are new to a Canon EOS camera, and one of them is the lack of a mode dial.
Trying to accommodate the needs of video shooters ended up leading the removal of the camera's mode dial, says Koji Yoshida: “if you have a mode dial then the [exposure] settings will be the same for both stills and movies.”
“We consulted with a lot of different people and talked about this a lot, and decided to have different settings this time,” he says. But it's clear this isn't a decision made lightly: “[The mode dial] is a function that's been common in the past, so getting rid of that was a big decision that required a lot of consideration,” said Shintaro Oshima. “There was a lot of internal discussion about this point,” concurs Yoshida.
Interviewers always ask about future product plans from camera companies, and obviously, Canon didn't tip their hat, but we are told to expect “big things” from Canon and the EOS R system in the future.
…. When asked whether there was any chance of an APS-C RF-mount camera, Oishi was suitably non-committal: “we're thinking about it, but we can't answer in detail,” he says. But the individual engineers did all discuss what they were looking forward to.
“It gives more structural freedom in terms of design, because it doesn't have a pentamirror”, says Oishi. “I'm excited about improvements in Digic image processor and functions that create more value and make easier to use,” says Yoshida. But it's optics specialist Kato who seems most enthused: “This is just the start of the system,” he says, talking about F2.8 zooms and other possibilities, before settling on a broader-reaching point: “We want to surprise and astonish you, so please expect big things.” Read the full interview
We've been told that an APS-C EOS R camera body was in the works, but there is no timeline on when we might see one. We think it's too early to replace the EOS 7D series with an EOS R mirrorless camera, so we'd likely see a lower end APS-C EOS R camera.