Interview: Talking with Canon about the EOS R system and its future

miketcool

EOS T7i
Jun 29, 2017
80
127
Launching a €2500 mirrorless cameras with a derivative of the 5DIV's sensor, which is the cause of most of the R's controversial specifications, doesn't make me feel that they've got much better in store. This is the second time Canon seems to display a difficulty to manufacture FF sensors with a certain degree of performances for a given manufacturing cost (6DII).
It took Sony several years of iterative developments, most often starting with smaller sensor sizes, to go from the readout speed of Canon's current sensors, to where they're at now (A7III, A9, XT3 sensor, etc.). I don't think that we'll see Canon pulling a miracle.
A realistic expectation for the short term (2019, maybe even 2020) is that we may see either a mirrorless 5DS(R) with DPAF, with very slooooow fps in continuous drive with AF, and no 4K (but no pixel stripping, yeah !), and / or a camera matching the A7III's sensor readout speed, at a minimum of $4000 (of course with a completely different - and much better in most ways - body design). Anything else and you're likely to be disappointed. Stuff like the A9 or even the XT3 sensor are years away.
I would expect quite a few video-centric cameras as well, and sooner rather than later.
Canon and Sony approached autofocus from two completely different points of view. It will take Canon's route longer to pay off, but it is the future.

Sony doubled the amount of processing power their sensors could handle, allowing for faster data output and faster autofocus. Their hybrid AF is essentially pulling twice the data from focus points using a stacked sensor with double the output. This is why the A9 is a beast at continual AF and FPS shots.

Canon created a new AF system called Dual Pixel Auto Focus. It essentially doubles the amount of data but outputs at the same speed to the sensor. This is one of the big reasons DPAF sensors have a data and heat limitation for video and high FPS shots. However, the advantage to using a split pixel detecting distance in parallax is the ability to detect the range of out-of-focus objects while focusing on an object. By being able to detect the range of objects in a shot, Canon is able to smoothly move between points. This is the biggest advantage of DPAF and it is helping their Cine EOS line by giving filmmakers the ability rack focus smoothly using autofocus.

When Sony or Nikon racks focus it has to hunt for a moment to find the depth of objects as it goes from one in-focus point to the next. This is a different scenario than capturing a moving object and tracking. This is moving from one extreme foreground element to a background element. Hybrid AF does not have the ability to know the depth between objects until it switches focal points. DPAF is able to see ranges within the shot which is why is glides effortlessly between points.

They're different approaches and they speak to the different strengths for each company. As production teams get smaller and smaller, systems like DPAF will be helping filmmakers and journalists capture cinematic quality moments without the need for additional equipment in the field. Sony will be hitting a wall for speed of glass soon that both Nikon and Canon have leapt past with their wider flange size. Perhaps they'll go the route and create a full professional medium format mirrorless to compete with Hasselblad and Phase One. Either way, we are close to another revolutionary leap forward in photography technology.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
My 5DIV’s track focus on peoples’ faces while they walk swiftly. At weddings. 95+% of photos I Shoot this way with the 5DIV are in perfect focus. It’s so consistent.
So DPAF is great for sports! If you’re Tony Northrup...
(Not really a comment on your post, just that your statement put me in mind of a TN ‘infotainment/commercial’ —the first...and last...TN video I ever watched— where he compared the ‘sports performance’ of the D800 and 5DIII and concluded that the D800 was much better for sports; sports in his contex was his subject/wife walking towards him.)
 
Reactions: aa_angus

miketcool

EOS T7i
Jun 29, 2017
80
127
:unsure:

I can see the in-VF histogram, etc., being a big deal. But removing a couple stops of vignetting? Doesn’t seem impactful, unless the problem is severely magnified by the VF being compressed to 8-bit, but I doubt that’s the case.
It's more along the lines of, you can see the full completed photo live. The Digic 8 processor renders out a live image for you to look through and compose. This opens the door to other creative additions, like live HDR viewing, live double exposure composing (I don't mean just a gimmicky overlay), and live image preset view. It has the ability to expand functionality going forward while also removing one more step from your workflow. This feature could have huge implications in a studio setting where a client sees a near complete and color adjusted image live on a tethered display all done on the camera.
 

MayaTlab

EOS 80D
Oct 6, 2015
183
65
Canon and Sony approached autofocus from two completely different points of view. It will take Canon's route longer to pay off, but it is the future.
I don't think that anyone will disagree with this. Canon selling video cameras with low mp count most likely explain why they invested in DPAF even at the opportunity cost of not investing elsewhere. In that application it's just better.

That said, the idea that cameras using masked PDAF point necessarily hunt in video just no longer stack up to reality. Smooth AF pulls are possible with other cameras than Canon.

A more direct negative consequence of masked pixels is the phenomenon that's been called "pixel stripping", but even it can vary widely depending on implementation.

And finally issues with interpolation - again most likely what drove Canon towards DPAF as video sensors with low mp counts may suffer more from this.

I'm wondering if 8K may or may not produce a convergence of technologies, as we'll need both for video and photo a lot of pixels, quickly read.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
It's more along the lines of, you can see the full completed photo live. The Digic 8 processor renders out a live image for you to look through and compose. This opens the door to other creative additions, like live HDR viewing, live double exposure composing (I don't mean just a gimmicky overlay), and live image preset view. It has the ability to expand functionality going forward while also removing one more step from your workflow. This feature could have huge implications in a studio setting where a client sees a near complete and color adjusted image live on a tethered display all done on the camera.
Yes, all that is interesting and potentially feasible. But all of that is implied...none of that explains how, “Pulling the vignetting out from F/1.2 or F/2 lenses live in the EVF is a big deal.” Probably you chose not to address that because you realize that it’s not really a big deal at all.
 

miketcool

EOS T7i
Jun 29, 2017
80
127
I'm wondering if 8K may or may not produce a convergence of technologies, as we'll need both for video and photo a lot of pixels, quickly read.
The ability to output this information is a few years away. The difference between cine bodies and stills bodies will have more to do with the amount of color information, not just the density of the sensor data. Look at the RED Monster which is getting 17+ steps of dynamic range while shooting insane color depth at 8K between 60--75fps. I don't expect stills cameras to reach that level, but a lower color data output of 8bit at 29.97 is possible in the next 5 years at 6-8K.

The thing I am constantly reminding people about is that 4K is overkill 99% of hobby shooters. It requires much larger file storage, faster computing, faster editing, and time demands to render. It's a royal pain in my ass when most of the content viewed on the web or tv is still in 1080p. Even to get the advantages of full 4K 10bit output, you need an external recording device with SSD blades. That setup can easily cost more than the camera.

Yes, all that is interesting and potentially feasible. But all of that is implied...none of that explains how, “Pulling the vignetting out from F/1.2 or F/2 lenses live in the EVF is a big deal.” Probably you chose not to address that because you realize that it’s not really a big deal at all.
It is a big deal dependent on the application and the shooter. It's probably not a big deal for the point-and-shoot hobbyist. It is a big deal when composing landscape shots for fine art and in a studio, especially when working with clients. We are getting to a point where the workflow will be achieved in camera, allowing us to cut down our post-work. If this happens live, even better. No more looking at the viewfinder on the back to see how the shot came out AND no more battery loss to having that damn preview screen on when I can do nearly everything in the EVF.
 

bks54

EOS M50
Aug 30, 2018
40
40
EOS R, is it positively an EOS 5D class camera?
Mr. Kiyota : I believe so. (Google Translated)

This is like a Rorschach test. Note that the question referred to "5D class". Not 5DIV or anything else. Depending on your psychological state, you could interpret this to mean that a Canon spokesman considers the R to be a 5DIV equivalent camera (which is ridiculous, because it is not), or an enthusiast level FF camera, or something else altogether. Trying to divine what features Canon will include in future EOS R cameras is a fun exercise, but Canon is not telling us anything that will be helpful to getting that guess right. The same goes for trying to predict lens releases from a presentation slide that is absolutely devoid of any real information. Canon does not do roadmaps.
 

Treyarnon

EOS T7i
Jan 11, 2018
59
35
Cornwall, UK
Visit site
Yeah I was thinking about that as well. When Canon announced the EOS R I wasn't initially put off about the single card slot fiasco, because I believed at the time that EOS R was Canon's entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera. I assumed that EOS R was simply the 6D standard (single card slot as well) for Canon's mirrorless push into the market, and a very promising offering considering the higher MP count and AF capabilities over the Sony A7 III and Nikon Z6.

But if Canon execs are reaffirming the DSLR product positioning for mirrorless by saying the EOS R is a 5D-series equivalent, and that we can expect a lower-end (6D-series) and higher-end (5DS(R)/1D X-series) in the future, then that's a serious setback for event and wedding photographers considering going into the system. Those genres of photography where tethering and wireless transfer backup isn't a feasible option has forced photographers to embrace redundant card slot capabilities. Apparently, only Sony and Fujifilm are the mirrorless system manufacturers who understand the needs of that market - and it's not a small market either.

I see a 6D EOS R equivalent camera with a single card slot as a forgivable exclusion, even though Sony is including card redundancy in their entry-level mirrorless system. I cannot see the exclusion of dual card slots as being forgivable for a 5D level camera - that just defies all forms of logic in my opinion. .
That interview comes across as very marketing orientated - so the language should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt.

When the features, build and price of the R are taken into account - the camera fits right into that '6D' market segment.
However, given the 5D4 sensor - it not surprising that the marketing department are selling the R as 'like a 5D4'
 

melgross

EOS RP
Nov 2, 2016
307
108
This really seems out of place to me. The portion where they mention that the EOS R is a 5D IV level camera doesn't fit in my mind. The 5D IV seems like the superior camera to me, and there's a considerable price differential between then. The EOS R seems more like a ramped up 6D II in my mind. Maybe that's splitting hairs to be fair.

I like that they're planning on building higher and lower level models, and the fact that they specifically mention high resolution bodies is encouraging for a 5D SR equivalent body. But if the EOS R is a 5D IV level camera, will the 5DSR equivalent just be an EOS R with a different sensor? I guess we'll find out.
Well, this is Google ?Translate, which is terrible translating grammar, among other things.

Possibly he meant that it was 5Dmk IV image quality, not camera features.
 
Reactions: Jethro and amorse

angrykarl

R, M5
Jul 19, 2017
42
30
Prague
www.flickr.com
In one of the Canon's promo videos there are several RF-looking lenses. They may very well be dummies (and probably are!), but they kind of make sense and match the mentioned f/2.8 and rumored f/2 zooms as well as some expected primes.

roadmap_1280.jpg
 
Sep 10, 2018
1
0
they need to stop bitching about 8K, I mean first get 4K right. This interview is all BS, just giving us hopes about future and nothing to deliver at the present.
 

MayaTlab

EOS 80D
Oct 6, 2015
183
65
The thing I am constantly reminding people about is that 4K is overkill 99% of hobby shooters. It requires much larger file storage, faster computing, faster editing, and time demands to render. It's a royal pain in my ass when most of the content viewed on the web or tv is still in 1080p. Even to get the advantages of full 4K 10bit output, you need an external recording device with SSD blades. That setup can easily cost more than the camera.
Agreed. But this isn't just about 4K. It's about fps with AF. It's about bit depth in continuous mode. It's about getting a liveview feed in between frames. It's about getting a silent shutter with a sufficiently fast scan time. Readout speed isn't just to provide FF 4K. With mirrorless cameras, it's also an operational benefit.
Personally I couldn't care less for 4K video at the moment. But I do care when I don't get a liveview feed in continuous mode (I find that far more problematic than 1fps more or less or a slightly dodgy AF), and I find silent shutters with a fast enough scan time awfully tempting.
 

Josh Leavitt

EOS T7i
Aug 19, 2018
90
101
I don't follow your logic on it being a 'serious setback'. Whether Canon are calling this an equivalent to their 5DIV (are they?) then that still does not say they will not have dual card slots in the higher model.
My implication was that the EOS R was a 5DIV-equivalent in the form of mirrorless, and therefore, would be expected to have dual card slots as the 5D IV currently possesses.

And Panasonic, and Olympus....
Very true - my mistake

It would be interesting to find out what feedback Canon/Nikon have received for them to omit dual cards - Thom Hogan wrote that the obsession with dual-card is very much a Western Europe/US thing and it is nowhere near the same deal in Asia. My guess is that they intend the EOS R to be a second camera rather than a pro's main camera.
That must be the case. But given the level of disdain many Canikon DSLR users dished out to Sony users prior to the release of the A7R III, A9, and A7 III regarding single card slots, my expectation is that Canon could have anticipated the backlash. The feedback in western media is relatively universal - a single card slot in a camera, whether entry-level or professional-level, is a design flaw at this point. I've heard many reviewers and photographers say a single card slot isn't the end of the world, but none of them said it was a good idea - two us always better than one.

That is because phones have a connectivity that no (repeat NO) camera manufacture has built in yet - which suggests there are serious technical issues to overcome. So being 'disturbed' about something that apparently is not possible seems rather....over-sensitive to me.
Cameras for many years have come equipped with WiFi and bluetooth. Many of them can stream JPEGs to a smartphone wirelessly via an app, but I haven't heard of one that streams them automatically after the shutter button is pressed, and sends the RAW image files in the process. Maybe one exists, but Canon Camera Connect only sends JPEG as far as I know. A camera doesn't need a cellular antenna to achieve cloud redundancy, it just needs an option to allow for a constant synchronous connection to a close smartphone that can in turn perform those operations once the transfer to the phone is complete.

So you have a choice - quality photos with single back-up or phone with 5 back-ups. Care to photograph a wedding with a phone and tell the bride 'don;t worry, I have got 5 copies' ;) ?
FYI - you have named 4 levels of redundancy, not 5 :)
Or more accurately... Quality photos with another camera brand offering a similar product, at a similar price, with redundant backup capabilities. My phone analogy was exactly that, an analogy. Good catch on the redundancy levels though.
 

transpo1

EOS 7D MK II
Jan 12, 2011
723
74
Well, it's certainly a 5DIV level of camera concerning video capability, plus a fully articulating screen.
 

melgross

EOS RP
Nov 2, 2016
307
108
I don't follow your logic on it being a 'serious setback'. Whether Canon are calling this an equivalent to their 5DIV (are they?) then that still does not say they will not have dual card slots in the higher model.



And Panasonic, and Olympus....


It would be interesting to find out what feedback Canon/Nikon have received for them to omit dual cards - Thom Hogan wrote that the obsession with dual-card is very much a Western Europe/US thing and it is nowhere near the same deal in Asia. My guess is that they intend the EOS R to be a second camera rather than a pro's main camera.



That is because phones have a connectivity that no (repeat NO) camera manufacture has built in yet - which suggests there are serious technical issues to overcome. So being 'disturbed' about something that apparently is not possible seems rather....over-sensitive to me.

So you have a choice - quality photos with single back-up or phone with 5 back-ups. Care to photograph a wedding with a phone and tell the bride 'don;t worry, I have got 5 copies' ;) ?
FYI - you have named 4 levels of redundancy, not 5 :)
It isn’t so much technical issues as financial ones. It costs $130 to add both GPS and LTE to an iPad. Likely, something like that would be true for a camera. And where to put the antenna in an all metal body? But the biggest problem is that carriers would charge a monthly fee for LTE service, just as they do for my iPad, and Watch. How many people are willing to pay for the extra circuitry AND a monthly fee for something they won’t use all that much?

Not very many.
 

fullstop

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 23, 2018
1,088
151
EOS R clearly is a 6D class camera. Otherwise it would be priced higher than 5D IV. entire interview is just a joke. void of any information, 100% marketing BS, like any time one of the canon muppets is "interviewed".
 

MayaTlab

EOS 80D
Oct 6, 2015
183
65
Well, it's certainly a 5DIV level of camera concerning video capability, plus a fully articulating screen.
If only for the codecs / new Digic / C-log without paying an extra / new features such as focus assist, it's better actually. That said things have moved on and the 5DIV's level of video capability may not cut it for everyone at the R's price.