During the Photo & Imaging show in Shanghai earlier this month, Canon representatives did their normal interviews with various publications. As per usual, they were tight lipped about future products.

However, sometimes you can read between the lines, especially when they cannot confirm or deny a product is coming in the future, or at least being worked on. As an example, they used the “we cannot comment on future products” and that sort of language months before the launch of the APS-C RF mount cameras.

If there's something to confirm or deny… they say that they can't confirm or deny. If there's nothing to talk about, it's usually a “not in our plans at this time”.

One of the interesting bits in the latest round of interviews is in regards to a “retro” styled EOS R system camera body.

Canon has a lot of historic bodies, but do you have any plans or ideas to release a retro camera?

In conclusion, I can't say yes or no, but as you say, some consumers are particularly fond of some of the best-selling models of the past, their design and appearance.

In addition, you can see that our EOS body, whether in appearance or operability, has been improved by listening to customer feedback and requests. We attach great importance to the fact that there is a consumer base that wants a retro body, but it is a pity that we do not have more information to tell you.

https://asobinet.com/info-interview-canon-p-and-i-2023/

This type of response to a direct question is likely telling us that Canon is at least considering a retro styled camera body, and likely beyond just thinking about it. We don't know the sales figures for cameras such as the Nikon retro series that includes the DSLR based Df and mirrorless Z fc, but we assume they sell pretty well as they're preparing to announce another in the coming weeks with the Z f.

While some customers don't care what their cameras look like, there are probably a lot people out there that would be interested in a modern take on something like the Canon AE-1 or Canonet. We're sure that there are other favourites from the past as well.

We have no direct knowledge of a retro camera body coming from Canon, but this may be the first hint that one could be coming in the future.

Header Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

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Go to discussion...

81 comments

  1. I
    They would probably sell a heap of a retro styled bodies! Query which existing body they would adapt though? The R6 II maybe? The R8?
    I think the first question is what would the retro camera emulate? When I think of classic film cameras the Nikon FM and Pentax Spotmatic come to mind. Then the OM-1. The closest Canon camera would be the FTb (a TLb was my first SLR) or maybe the EF. Not sure how well an F would work. I owned an AE-1, but think that the FTb is more of a classic design.
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  2. I

    I think the first question is what would the retro camera emulate? When I think of classic film cameras the Nikon FM and Pentax Spotmatic come to mind. Then the OM-1. The closest Canon camera would be the FTb (a TLb was my first SLR) or maybe the EF. Not sure how well an F would work. I owned an AE-1, but think that the FTb is more of a classic design.
    I think the AE-1 is still their best selling ILC ever, something like 6 million units sold. I see more AE-1's in use today than any other Canon SLR.

    The FTb is nice though and I love the F-1 too.
    I did shoot with AE-1 and FTb.
    I have no need to go back to those ergonomics.
    Thank you, no!
    How well did the Nikon Df sell?
    Well enough to continue making the line in the mirrorless world.
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  3. Naturally, for this to work, Canon need to release with this eventual body a couple of prime lenses with a matching retro style. I don’t see zoom lenses working with this.
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  4. They would have to dig deep. Canon has been using the "Black Space Dildo ©" aesthetic since the late '80s/early '90s. An AE-1 could be pretty cool.
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  5. I think the idea of a range finder Canonet based on an R8 is an awesome idea. Certainly a nod to Canon coming full circle and SLR’s being a thing of the past.
    Since the addition of Live view in the 40D all those years ago, I’ve wondered if SLR’s would eventually become obsolete.
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  6. Yes, full frame with a matching 35mm f1.4. 32mpx. IBIS.
    They will probably strengthen their pancake and non-L line-up of primes first, those are the matching lenses.
    Voigtlander will likely add more manual focus RF-mount lenses as well. With a fast aperture, there is just no other way to keep the size in check.

    They will not make 1.4 if they are committed to 1.2 and it would look ridiculous with most RF-mount lenses on it.


    By the way if they wanted to make a "retro" camera a 6D Mark III positioned in between an R8 and the R6 Mark II would be a pretty sweet hybrid camera. But they aren't interested in EF lenses anymore, so no chance of that, but I would have appreciated the optical viewfinder and it is also not really any heavier than a mirrorless setup either.
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  7. This would be my suggestion: something with the guts of an existing camera, with either a fixed 50/1.4 or 40/1.4, 35/1.4, or, an RF mount with such a lens.

    As an intro special deal, they could refuse to sell the lens separately, and "make" you buy one even if you just want the lens.

    There have been such cameras in the past: super-high quality fixed-lens rangefinders. Leica's made it's share of digital and film, Nikon had the 35Ti and 28Ti. It'd also be similar to the Contax G lineup, which I personally owned and loved, it being my always-in-the-backpack camera from like 1999 to 2002. If they went the G2 route, they could then introduce what I've long felt was missing: tiny, high-quality, "street photography" lenses that don't emphasize spec. Like a 35/2.8, 28/2.8, 24/2.8, 90/2.8? They wouldn't have macro and maybe not control dials, but simply be super high image quality and super durable.

    This is their fixed-lens rangefinder QL14 (50/1.4) and they also had a 50/1.7 model the QL17.

    1692352914235.png
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  8. Instamax = Apple
    Canon = Lenovo
    Without seeing the ports most new Lenovo laptops look like 1990. It is possible to have something fun to use and get real work done.
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