Canon officially announces the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
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Alberta, Canada
It doesn't sound like they declared 20mp as a 'limitation' as such. They said it was 'sufficient' therefore Canon has decided to aim for that one stop of high ISO performance over an increase in MP as well as reducing the strength of the AA filter(which will effectively give a resolution bump over the 1dx2 anyway) as an increase in MP was not deemed necessary for the target audience.
I was torn between going for higher resolution via 5D4 or 1 level camera via 1DX2. It went on for weeks and finally my wife nudged me over the edge - she sees 1D as "the best". Essentially it was a coin toss. To compensate for no bump in MPs (sold the 6D) I bought the 400 DO II, really over-spending and rationalized that 400 X2 based on reputable comments would be very satisfactory. Truth is, 800 did put me within reach for a lot of birding situations but as more samples of the results of high MP shots passed by me I came to realize that my cropping capabilities were now more limited if I wished to maintain the detail and sharpness I was accustomed to (I had previously used the 300 2.8 II, which uncropped was amazing).

As a retired person and just an amateur photographer what in the world is wrong with me not just being satisfied with what I've got?! Well, the problem is I tend towards being a perfectionist; nothing to do with showing off, I just love excellent results. Honestly, I can't afford this hobby but by cutting out other likes, I do, and I really enjoy it.

With over 3 years of fun with the 1DX2, I've absolutely loved the 14 FPS and the 4K60 and could have been quite happy with a boost of 4 or slightly more MPs and in that case jumped on the expensive 1DX3 bandwagon. Others say no, but I maintain that often I'm on the edge, where cropping that would be offset by those extra MPs, would be very much appreciated. Perhaps by analogy it could be compared to having a car that tops out at 55 when speed limits are 60.

On the other hand, talking about being on the edge, recently in Costa Rica, I was reminded what it was like to have roughly 12 hours of light and dark and mist and deep shadows in jungles and, well, there is no doubt that low noise higher ISO would have been really helpful especially when I was at F4 X2. In many of those cases my reach with 800 (560 probably would have worked too) was fine but the lighting just wasn't there.

So, which poison do I choose. What I'm reading about the 1DX3 resonates because I am very aware of improvements that could be game changing if the reports are trustworthy but would I ever be happy with just 20 MPs. Anyone else feel like me, or share the same thoughts? ;) :cry::unsure::)

Jack
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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It doesn't sound like they declared 20mp as a 'limitation' as such. They said it was 'sufficient' therefore Canon has decided to aim for that one stop of high ISO performance over an increase in MP as well as reducing the strength of the AA filter(which will effectively give a resolution bump over the 1dx2 anyway) as an increase in MP was not deemed necessary for the target audience.
Yes but that is an easily disproven fallacy. Besides there is no way there is going to be a 1 stop improvement in high iso performance. The 20mp number was set by the limitation of video raw readout, they could do 5.4k, they couldn’t do 5.9k so 20mp it was! The mp count of the 1DX iii was set by a video performance limitation.
 
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Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
630
757
I was torn between going for higher resolution via 5D4 or 1 level camera via 1DX2. It went on for weeks and finally my wife nudged me over the edge - she sees 1D as "the best". Essentially it was a coin toss. To compensate for no bump in MPs (sold the 6D) I bought the 400 DO II, really over-spending and rationalized that 400 X2 based on reputable comments would be very satisfactory. Truth is, 800 did put me within reach for a lot of birding situations but as more samples of the results of high MP shots passed by me I came to realize that my cropping capabilities were now more limited if I wished to maintain the detail and sharpness I was accustomed to (I had previously used the 300 2.8 II, which uncropped was amazing).

As a retired person and just an amateur photographer what in the world is wrong with me not just being satisfied with what I've got?! Well, the problem is I tend towards being a perfectionist; nothing to do with showing off, I just love excellent results. Honestly, I can't afford this hobby but by cutting out other likes, I do, and I really enjoy it.

With over 3 years of fun with the 1DX2, I've absolutely loved the 14 FPS and the 4K60 and could have been quite happy with a boost of 4 or slightly more MPs and in that case jumped on the expensive 1DX3 bandwagon. Others say no, but I maintain that often I'm on the edge, where cropping that would be offset by those extra MPs, would be very much appreciated. Perhaps by analogy it could be compared to having a car that tops out at 55 when speed limits are 60.

On the other hand, talking about being on the edge, recently in Costa Rica, I was reminded what it was like to have roughly 12 hours of light and dark and mist and deep shadows in jungles and, well, there is no doubt that low noise higher ISO would have been really helpful especially when I was at F4 X2. In many of those cases my reach with 800 (560 probably would have worked too) was fine but the lighting just wasn't there.

So, which poison do I choose. What I'm reading about the 1DX3 resonates because I am very aware of improvements that could be game changing if the reports are trustworthy but would I ever be happy with just 20 MPs. Anyone else feel like me, or share the same thoughts? ;) :cry::unsure::)

Jack
Ah. To be able to have the best of both worlds. Nothing worse than havint to pick between two important aspects. If i had the cash to drop i would be in a dilemma as well. Lucky for me i dont ;)
 
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Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
630
757
Yes but that is an easily disproven fallacy. Besides there is no way there is going to be a 1 stop improvement in high iso performance. The 20mp number was set by the limitation of video raw readout, they could do 5.4k, they couldn’t do 5.9k so 20mp it was! The mp count of the 1DX iii was set by a video performance limitation.
I would be surprised if they eeked out a full stop of improvement as well but you never know. As for the resolution. Pretty annoying for stills(particularly wildlife) shooters if it was a video spec that limited the resolution. I suppose the only bright side might be that now they have the 1 series shooting at 16fps they might give the 5 series at least 10fps with the higher resolution and a lot of the focusing capabilities. I would take that.
 

Travel_Photographer

Travel, Landscape, Architecture
Aug 30, 2019
94
126
I was torn between going for higher resolution via 5D4 or 1 level camera via 1DX2. It went on for weeks and finally my wife nudged me over the edge - she sees 1D as "the best". Essentially it was a coin toss. To compensate for no bump in MPs (sold the 6D) I bought the 400 DO II, really over-spending and rationalized that 400 X2 based on reputable comments would be very satisfactory. Truth is, 800 did put me within reach for a lot of birding situations but as more samples of the results of high MP shots passed by me I came to realize that my cropping capabilities were now more limited if I wished to maintain the detail and sharpness I was accustomed to (I had previously used the 300 2.8 II, which uncropped was amazing).

As a retired person and just an amateur photographer what in the world is wrong with me not just being satisfied with what I've got?! Well, the problem is I tend towards being a perfectionist; nothing to do with showing off, I just love excellent results. Honestly, I can't afford this hobby but by cutting out other likes, I do, and I really enjoy it.

With over 3 years of fun with the 1DX2, I've absolutely loved the 14 FPS and the 4K60 and could have been quite happy with a boost of 4 or slightly more MPs and in that case jumped on the expensive 1DX3 bandwagon. Others say no, but I maintain that often I'm on the edge, where cropping that would be offset by those extra MPs, would be very much appreciated. Perhaps by analogy it could be compared to having a car that tops out at 55 when speed limits are 60.

On the other hand, talking about being on the edge, recently in Costa Rica, I was reminded what it was like to have roughly 12 hours of light and dark and mist and deep shadows in jungles and, well, there is no doubt that low noise higher ISO would have been really helpful especially when I was at F4 X2. In many of those cases my reach with 800 (560 probably would have worked too) was fine but the lighting just wasn't there.

So, which poison do I choose. What I'm reading about the 1DX3 resonates because I am very aware of improvements that could be game changing if the reports are trustworthy but would I ever be happy with just 20 MPs. Anyone else feel like me, or share the same thoughts? ;) :cry::unsure::)

Jack
Firstly, I loved your post. Just good, honest assessment and discussion.

Question: Have you used Canon mirrorless yet? I wonder if you do better waiting for the next R announcement?

I was a slow-mover from 5D series to R-mount mirrorless. I wanted nothing to do with mirrorless (for no particular reason except I was used to D-SLR). Well I can't express in words how much better for me mirrorless has been. Of course the type of photography I do lends itself to mirrorless, but full-time dual-pixel autofocus through the viewfinder, eye-detect AF with wide-open apertures at tiny DoF, viewing images 10x magnification through the viewfinder (vs LCD), focus peaking in manual focus through the EVF with your color choice, they have all been game changing for me. Different strokes for different folks. The 1Dx3 looks *awesome*. I wouldn't hesitate to get it. I'm just mentioning mirrorless because you seem to like more cutting edge, and I can tell you first hand the R-mount would give you something to really be excited about.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,489
1,718
Alberta, Canada
Having said I won't buy, it's the AF that keeps catching my attention. https://www.canon-europe.com/cameras/eos-1d-x-mark-iii/autofocus/ I have spent many hours trying to catch small birds in great action poses and in spite of fiddling with the case settings never got what I would describe as true auto focus that could catch scenes like the one I'm posting. If that's possible now ... oh dear ... lets see, how can I scare up the cash.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird F_s_51252.JPG
Ruby-throated Hummingbird F_s_51253.JPG
Ruby-throated Hummingbird_s_51254.JPG

Firstly, I loved your post. Just good, honest assessment and discussion.

Question: Have you used Canon mirrorless yet? I wonder if you do better waiting for the next R announcement?

I was a slow-mover from 5D series to R-mount mirrorless. I wanted nothing to do with mirrorless (for no particular reason except I was used to D-SLR). Well I can't express in words how much better for me mirrorless has been. Of course the type of photography I do lends itself to mirrorless, but full-time dual-pixel autofocus through the viewfinder, eye-detect AF with wide-open apertures at tiny DoF, viewing images 10x magnification through the viewfinder (vs LCD), focus peaking in manual focus through the EVF with your color choice, they have all been game changing for me. Different strokes for different folks. The 1Dx3 looks *awesome*. I wouldn't hesitate to get it. I'm just mentioning mirrorless because you seem to like more cutting edge, and I can tell you first hand the R-mount would give you something to really be excited about.
I bought the R and quickly convinced my daughter it was perfect for her. Having filter capability with the R and 11-24 was a big deal so yes I'm thinking R but it would have to be 1 level or I'll just never quit griping. The video on the R was so poor compared to the 1DX2, especially the jello. You have to shoot 1 level to appreciate the finer points it offers. I remain conflicted.

BTW, I believe the shots I posted were 14 FPS in case someone is inclined to think 5 FPS would do the job. Is it just too much to expect a bird to be focused in this scenario? I think the only way is deep learning with bird photos.

Jack
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
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Alberta, Canada
I have yet to determine if the OVF has deep learning associated with its AF - I believe it does not relative to human eye and head but does it have any, given that there is a dedicated processor?

Jack
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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I have yet to determine if the OVF has deep learning associated with its AF - I believe it does not relative to human eye and head but does it have any, given that there is a dedicated processor?

Jack
No. The deep learning is learnt and burnt in. It doesn’t learn anything new but has enough stored data to estimate the true subject and maintain the af on what it has already been told is probably the subject. But this is only in full area mode, you can use the camera as a MkII in the other af modes and bypass the ‘learning’ which truly is a misnomer.
 
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Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,489
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Alberta, Canada
No. The deep learning is learnt and burnt in. It doesn’t learn anything new but has enough stored data to estimate the true subject and maintain the af on what it has already been told is probably the subject. But this is only in full area mode, you can use the camera as a MkII in the other af modes and bypass the ‘learning’ which truly is a misnomer.
But are there pre-learned (baked) algorithms that contribute to the AF action using the optical viewfinder, at all? Would that necessarily require live view to implement??

Jack
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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But are there pre-learned (baked) algorithms that contribute to the AF action using the optical viewfinder, at all? Would that necessarily require live view to implement??

Jack
Yes. And the ‘deep learning’ thing only works with the OVF and only when you are using area select. They have a dedicated sensor that is trying to guess what the subject should be from its ‘learnt’ programming, I did see/hear a suggestion that that library previously learnt could be expanded or adjusted in firmware upgrades.

Edit: Head and face detect work both through the OVF and during Live View shooting, eye detect only works during Live View.

as per the White Paper.

3. Accordingly, Face Detect AF, Eye Detect AF and Head Detect AF are all active when Subject Tracking Settings > AF Priority (People) is enabled during Live View.
 
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ahsanford

Particular Member
Aug 16, 2012
8,455
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Yes. And the ‘deep learning’ thing only works with the OVF and only when you are using area select. They have a dedicated sensor that is trying to guess what the subject should be from its ‘learnt’ programming, I did see/hear a suggestion that that library previously learnt could be expanded or adjusted in firmware upgrades.

Cool. I await the Juvenile Labrador deep learning preset, which -- if properly conceived -- will focus like a cotton-candy-fueled 6 year old playing whack-a-mole.

- A
 
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bhf3737

---
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Yes. And the ‘deep learning’ thing only works with the OVF and only when you are using area select. They have a dedicated sensor that is trying to guess what the subject should be from its ‘learnt’ programming, I did see/hear a suggestion that that library previously learnt could be expanded or adjusted in firmware upgrades.
Yes, that is true. It is possible to improve the learnt model and upload it via firmware. However, the way deep learning works is that each model learns one subject for max accuracy (e.g. a binary decision between face and not-face). The same model cannot be trained to learn face and bird and dog without compromising the accuracy. It seems that iDXIII has a trained model for human face and Sony has one for animal eye. It is very probable that we will see the camera having selectable modes added to it for face, bird, dog, insect, ball, etc., based on deep learning.
 
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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
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Yes, that is true. It is possible to improve the learnt model and upload it via firmware. However, the way deep learning works is that each model learns one subject for max accuracy (e.g. a binary decision between face and not-face). The same model cannot be trained to learn face and bird and dog without compromising the accuracy. It seems that iDXIII has a trained model for human face and Sony has one for animal eye. It is very probable that we will see the camera having selectable modes added to it for face, bird, dog, insect, ball, etc., based on deep learning.
I think you will find the 1D X III learning has been tuned for the human head, as distinct from the human face. As I understand it this is to allow for the fast twisting and turning of the head in some sports and it allows for helmets, that is it still recognizes a helmeted head as the subject.

Maybe wildlife shooters will be able to buy firmware add-ons for specific animals!
 

Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
663
647
Hamburg, Germany
But are there pre-learned (baked) algorithms that contribute to the AF action using the optical viewfinder, at all? Would that necessarily require live view to implement??

Jack
I think you guys are talking about multiple things here. There are definitely elements of machine learning used in multiple ways for AF. There also is a capability to tune AF cases in the viewfinder. Regarding the former, the white paper has this to say, for example:

"Head Detect AF is supported by “deep learning.” Canon engineers have established a
database of thousands of images of heads in varying types of positions, including turned
away from the camera, and even wearing various types of sports helmets. Deep learning
has been applied to the AF system (within the DIGIC X processor) to leverage this info for
immediate recognition of human subjects, when traditional Face Detect AF cannot read
sufficient information to confirm a subject.
Interestingly, this transition from Face Detect AF to Head Detect AF leverages both the
DIGIC 8 processor (normally the primary source of AF tracking control) and the more
powerful, central DIGIC X processor. DIGIC X is the source of Head Detect AF data, and its
deep learning support library — but the transition from Face Detect AF to Head Detect AF
is extremely smooth, even in the middle of a 16 fps shooting sequence.

[...]

The concepts explained here apply to Live View shooting, at up to 20 fps, as well as
shooting through the viewfinder. The text above specifically addresses viewfinder
shooting."

There is face recognition and tracking and the new head recognition and tracking for OVF and LiveView operation. Additionally, LiveView also allows for Eye AF. The focus here is emphasized to be on human features at this point in time.

The viewfinder AF works closer to how LiveView operates now, if you compare the previous (right) and new (left) AF 'point' arrays the old one looks almost primitive:

Screenshot_20200109-075504~2.png

Calling it an upgrade from around 60 to around 190 points does not truly do it justice. That's just what the user has available, but there is a ton more data that the camera can work with now.

However, the way deep learning works is that each model learns one subject for max accuracy (e.g. a binary decision between face and not-face). The same model cannot be trained to learn face and bird and dog without compromising the accuracy.
Could you please elaborate on what you mean here? Neural Networks can be used for classification problems even if there are more than two cases in the output, so I'm not sure what you mean here.
 

Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
663
647
Hamburg, Germany
The 20mp number was set by the limitation of video raw readout, they could do 5.4k, they couldn’t do 5.9k so 20mp it was! The mp count of the 1DX iii was set by a video performance limitation.
I doubt that. Canon have demonstrated time and time again that they have 0 issues delivering movie crop modes. If 5496 * 2904 12-bit 60 Hz is the max data rate the 1DX III can handle (on an interesting side note, this is over twice the throughput the camera offers with its 20MP 14bit 20 Hz LiveView shooting), I believe Canon could have simply offered it with a minute crop on a 24 MP sensor.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,489
1,718
Alberta, Canada
I think you guys are talking about multiple things here. There are definitely elements of machine learning used in multiple ways for AF. There also is a capability to tune AF cases in the viewfinder. Regarding the former, the white paper has this to say, for example:

"Head Detect AF is supported by “deep learning.” Canon engineers have established a
database of thousands of images of heads in varying types of positions, including turned
away from the camera, and even wearing various types of sports helmets. Deep learning
has been applied to the AF system (within the DIGIC X processor) to leverage this info for
immediate recognition of human subjects, when traditional Face Detect AF cannot read
sufficient information to confirm a subject.
Interestingly, this transition from Face Detect AF to Head Detect AF leverages both the
DIGIC 8 processor (normally the primary source of AF tracking control) and the more
powerful, central DIGIC X processor. DIGIC X is the source of Head Detect AF data, and its
deep learning support library — but the transition from Face Detect AF to Head Detect AF
is extremely smooth, even in the middle of a 16 fps shooting sequence.

[...]

The concepts explained here apply to Live View shooting, at up to 20 fps, as well as
shooting through the viewfinder. The text above specifically addresses viewfinder
shooting."

There is face recognition and tracking and the new head recognition and tracking for OVF and LiveView operation. Additionally, LiveView also allows for Eye AF. The focus here is emphasized to be on human features at this point in time.

The viewfinder AF works closer to how LiveView operates now, if you compare the previous (right) and new (left) AF 'point' arrays the old one looks almost primitive:

View attachment 188143

Calling it an upgrade from around 60 to around 190 points does not truly do it justice. That's just what the user has available, but there is a ton more data that the camera can work with now.


Could you please elaborate on what you mean here? Neural Networks can be used for classification problems even if there are more than two cases in the output, so I'm not sure what you mean here.
Thanks. If possible, can you provide links where you've learned that both optical viewfinder and liveview use deep learning algorithms and precisely how they differ. This is extremely intriguing for bird photographers give most birds share similarities and the algorithms should be able to be pretty good.

Jack
 

Joules

EOS 7D MK II
Jul 16, 2017
663
647
Hamburg, Germany
Thanks. If possible, can you provide links where you've learned that both optical viewfinder and liveview use deep learning algorithms and precisely how they differ.
I quoted one of the white papers, which I have read about half way. You can check them out at the Canon site, here's the CR post about it:


I don’t think there is much focus on anything beyond humans at this point. From the same paper:

"In both viewfinder and Live View shooting, AF Priority (People) means exactly that…
Canon makes no claims that the EOS-1D X Mark III can recognize and focus upon
faces of animals or other non-human subjects."

I believe they have the ability to add that over time, but given the greater amount of detail they gave available with LiveView, I believe we'll see such recognition technology first in an RF mount camera. The 1DX III OVF already doesn't allow for human eye AF... I can't imagine how they would pull off focusing on something even smaller, more remote and varied like a bird's eye.
 
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dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
794
134
I have the 1DX II (30K shutter count) and a fair amount of L glass. Figured I'd be skipping the 1DX III as a small incremental improvement. It won't be as monumental as my 6D to 1DX II transition, but there is some aspects that interest me. I'm still waiting to see what the next high MP body has to offer.

The goal would be the same - "Give me more usable images". This actually has two interpretations.: quantitatively "Give me MORE usable images." and qualitatively "Give me more USABLE images." As a product owner in industry, these are the kinds of customer directions I passed onto my teams from our discussions with customers and let them figure out how to best achieve it. This is a real customer need from my perspective. We don't let the customers dictate how we are going to achieve that. We often did things they never expected. This was how innovation occurs, not tweaking the spec sheet to match the competitors (which is all the customer and marketing will often tell you). The 1DX III has some expected improvements to address the goal and a few surprises*, in no particular order.

Quantitative
  • small FPS improvement (improved mirror and shutter)
  • increased buffer depth*
  • built-in networking*
  • faster networking
  • improved battery life*
  • increased mirror/shutter reliability (500K)

Qualitative
  • AF accuracy (cross type points)
  • AF tracking (eye, head*, etc.)
  • new low pass filter (sharpness)*
  • better DR
  • more usable ISO range
  • GPS*
  • HEIC* (like it on my iphone 11 Pro, LR handles it nicely, no more JPGs)
  • Clarity*
I probably missed a few things, but these caught my eye. All in all, its a bit more interesting than I thought it would be and worthy of some consideration. I can live without them, but I'm willing to wait a while to see how some of these pan out. They may only result in small improvements. But more keepers means less wasted time on my part and less postprocessing. I'm particularly interested to see if OOC HEICs are more usable the JPGs such that I can change my workflow to review HEICs/crop for many uses and reduce the need to post process the raws. Too bad the M6 II didn't include HEIC. Wonder if they could do it with a firmware update ;)
 
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koenkooi

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 25, 2015
855
634
I doubt that. Canon have demonstrated time and time again that they have 0 issues delivering movie crop modes. If 5496 * 2904 12-bit 60 Hz is the max data rate the 1DX III can handle (on an interesting side note, this is over twice the throughput the camera offers with its 20MP 14bit 20 Hz LiveView shooting), I believe Canon could have simply offered it with a minute crop on a 24 MP sensor.
The 20MP/20FPS does AF in between captures, so I think it's more like 20MP/40FPS throughput.
 
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koenkooi

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 25, 2015
855
634
[..]Too bad the M6 II didn't include HEIC. Wonder if they could do it with a firmware update ;)
The JPEG engine in the Digic is hardware, so I suspect the HEIC one is as well, so I don't have high hopes for a firmware update adding it. But an M with the M6II sensor and a Digic X does become interesting. Especially in an Mx00 formfactor :)