Canon EOS R1 prototypes are in the wild [CR3]

Question: At this stage of testing are we mainly looking at firmware revisions or is it possible that different physical hardware is still being tested?

My gut instinct tells me that we are only looking at firmware revisions and features that can be modified as such. I would assume at this stage the the hardware (e.g., sensor resolution) has been finalized.

Lastly, I am not at all surprised that the R1 is being tested by professionals. When Leica released the M11 monochrome, it was being tested by professionals eight months prior to the official release.

Do other agree?
 
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Question: At this stage of testing are we mainly looking at firmware revisions or is it possible that different physical hardware is still being tested?

My gut instinct tells me that we are only looking at firmware revisions and features that can be modified as such. I would assume at this stage the the hardware (e.g., sensor resolution) has been finalized.

Lastly, I am not at all surprised that the R1 is being tested by professionals. When Leica released the M11 monochrome, it was being tested by professionals eight months prior to the official release.

Do other agree?
If the plan is to announce or launch in 1Q24 then yes, that makes sense. Historically, sensor resolution is not publicized until the actual announcement (i.e. that info is excluded from development announcements).
 
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If the plan is to announce or launch in 1Q24 then yes, that makes sense. Historically, sensor resolution is not publicized until the actual announcement (i.e. that info is excluded from development announcements).
Thank you. I do realize that sensor resolution is withheld until the day of the official announcement. Although if Canon tells us in a development announcement that it shoots 8K video then we know that the resolution is at least 45 MP.

For wildlife a 45MP powerhouse would be very useful.
 
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There's good chance there's various resolution versions being tested and the final version is not decided yet. Some test units might be running with R3 or R5 sensors too. Although, modern bodies the sensor is the biggest factor so they might run R3 or R5 bodies as mules for R1 HW upgrades and then the actual R1 prototypes have the most likely candidate for the actual sensor.
 
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There's good chance there's various resolution versions being tested and the final version is not decided yet. Some test units might be running with R3 or R5 sensors too. Although, modern bodies the sensor is the biggest factor so they might run R3 or R5 bodies as mules for R1 HW upgrades and then the actual R1 prototypes have the most likely candidate for the actual sensor.
If it's being released in under 12 months I can't imagine they haven't already decided basic stuff like the resolution. Surely manufacturing is well underway.
 
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If it's being released in under 12 months I can't imagine they haven't already decided basic stuff like the resolution. Surely manufacturing is well underway.
Knowing that most of the high end bodies don't sell crazy quantities in the first days, there's shortages often like 6+ months after release, I would guess they start building small batches to iron out factory issues and then higher quantities as they gain confidence. Don't have solid information on that but my guess would be the small batches start 3-4 months before the release and then ~1-2 month before release they are able to ramp up the factories more.

Resolution and the sensor in general is one of the main item on the camera, so I wouldn't call it "basic stuff". Instead, my guess would be they try to get reasonably close to release (like 6 months) before finalizing which sensor resolution (and even type) was finally selected. I wouldn't be surprised if they have QPAF sensors in the wild too and in case they prove to work well enough, they'll select that one to go with.
 
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Resolution and the sensor in general is one of the main item on the camera, so I wouldn't call it "basic stuff".
The main specs like the resolution is so central that it will exactly be "basic stuff" and decided as something of the earliest in the design.
Maybe they'll have a couple of options, but it will be locked down as soon as possible.

That's at least how all the products I've been involved with over the years has been designed.

Also remember that a mask set for an IC (such as the image sensor) takes several months to go through the fab, even for a prototype. I'd say that the specs for the sensor and DIGIC processor(s) are locked at least 12 months before launch.

You want to have engineering samples in hand and performance verified before committing to a launch date.

Now reading what I just typed, I'd say specs are locked 15 to 18 months before launch.
 
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The main specs like the resolution is so central that it will exactly be "basic stuff" and decided as something of the earliest in the design.
Maybe they'll have a couple of options, but it will be locked down as soon as possible.

That's at least how all the products I've been involved with over the years has been designed.

Also remember that a mask set for an IC (such as the image sensor) takes several months to go through the fab, even for a prototype. I'd say that the specs for the sensor and DIGIC processor(s) are locked at least 12 months before launch.

You want to have engineering samples in hand and performance verified before committing to a launch date.

Now reading what I just typed, I'd say specs are locked 15 to 18 months before launch.
Agreed. I expect EVT samples of the camera to have been produced a year away from launch (so early this year), and specifications would have to be locked 6 months before that.

Producing "a couple of options of sensors" to the whole camera EVT/DVT stage is far too expensive -- to make each additional sensor option basically cost the same as developing half the camera from scratch, since you have to re-engineer the firmware (AF, noise reduction, post processing, etc...), recalibrate IBIS, spin a new PCB layout, work out any power delivery issues, reconsider sensor cooling, etc...
 
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Agreed. I expect EVT samples of the camera to have been produced a year away from launch (so early this year), and specifications would have to be locked 6 months before that.

Producing "a couple of options of sensors" to the whole camera EVT/DVT stage is far too expensive -- to make each additional sensor option basically cost the same as developing half the camera from scratch, since you have to re-engineer the firmware (AF, noise reduction, post processing, etc...), recalibrate IBIS, spin a new PCB layout, work out any power delivery issues, reconsider sensor cooling, etc...
Due to the reasons outlined above I have a really hard time stopping myself from laughing when reading “The R3 is a renamed R1” conspiracy posts.
 
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Due to the reasons outlined above I have a really hard time stopping myself from laughing when reading “The R3 is a renamed R1” conspiracy posts.
They likely locked the R3's specifications in early 2019, but just designing a new name plate that says "R3" and replacing names in firmware, user manuals, and product packaging is a much easier lift. The decision of what model name any camera gets can be left fairly late into the product design cycle.

In fact I just scrolled through all the menus in the R3 and the only mention of "R3" is seems to be the default Wi-Fi network the camera can create contains the string "EOSR3" in it. The only indication that the camera is branded an R3 externally is the name plate below the EOS logo. Even the QR code that you can scan from the menus to get the online product manual doesn't say R3 in the URL (it goes to https://cam.start.canon/en/C010/).

Not saying Canon did it, but changing the branding is not nearly as big of a deal as producing multiple sensor options into EVT stage.
 
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They likely locked the R3's specifications in early 2019, but just designing a new name plate that says "R3" and replacing names in firmware, user manuals, and product packaging is a much easier lift. The decision of what model name any camera gets can be left fairly late into the product design cycle.

In fact I just scrolled through all the menus in the R3 and the only mention of "R3" is seems to be the default Wi-Fi network the camera can create contains the string "EOSR3" in it. The only indication that the camera is branded an R3 externally is the name plate below the EOS logo. Even the QR code that you can scan from the menus to get the online product manual doesn't say R3 in the URL (it goes to https://cam.start.canon/en/C010/).

Not saying Canon did it, but changing the branding is not nearly as big of a deal as producing multiple sensor options into EVT stage.
It’s also in all the picture and video metadata as well as the USB communication protocols.
And seeing how buggy the initial firmware release is on nearly all R bodies, I’m certain that we’d easily find R1 references if it had been renamed.
But I agree, changing the name is easier than changing the sensor.
 
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Due to the reasons outlined above I have a really hard time stopping myself from laughing when reading “The R3 is a renamed R1” conspiracy posts.
What makes me laugh is the idea that Canon planned so poorly that they supposedly designed an R1 and then panicked and scrambled to rename it after seeing the Sony and Nikon specs.

The tail doesn’t wag the dog. Canon committed to mirrorless by launching the R series in 2018. MILC sales didn’t surpass DSLR sales until 2020. Anyone who thinks that was a coincidence or that Canon was ‘late to mirrorless’ is foolish. The big dog moved, and the market shifted.

The R3 was designed as such. It came out the year after the 1D X III. Had Canon intended an R1 from the start, they’d have released it in 2020.

By launching the R3 in 2021 and at a lower price than 1-series bodies, Canon likely captured 1- and 5-series DSLR owners waiting for a high end MILC. When the R1 comes on schedule three years later, they’ll likely capture many remaining 1-series DSLR owners as well as R3 owners. Smart Canon.

Since @frankchn has brought up some EOS history, he probably knows that the eye controlled AF re-developed for and featured in the R3 was never used in a 1-series body…but was used in a film camera named ‘3’. Given the mixed user reaction to the feature in the R3, I’d say that is certainly another area where Canon would consider the tech not 1-series ready.
 
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The R3 was designed as such. It came out the year after the 1D X III. Had Canon intended an R1 from the start, they’d have released it in 2020.

By launching the R3 in 2021 and at a lower price than 1-series bodies, Canon likely captured 1- and 5-series DSLR owners waiting for a high end MILC.
This (and frankchn's contribution above) are surely the definitive answers to refutation of this theory on the R3.
 
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Would be super nice to get a 500mm lens that wasn't the product of teleconverter alchemy (lookin at you RF 800) or just an RF version of an older design (RF 600).

Who cares if the formulae for RF lenses are similar to the EF versions of the best SuperTelephoto lenses in the world, or of shorter RF lenses plus an extender group? They're not identical and have almost certainly been tweaked to be optimized for that single focal length, rather than for a range of FLs as the extenders must be designed.

Judge lenses based on one criteria: performance.

If you think the 400/2.8 + 2X is every bit as good as the 800/5.6, then Canon just saved you a boatload of money. Now demonstrate how anyone else's 800/5.6 is any better.
 
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The people I know using micro four thirds are happy. I'm not well versed in the bias against the mount / sensor size. is it related to the limitations regarding noise and depth of field?

Welcome to the 21st Century, where not raving that something is the greatest thing in the world since sliced bread is now a "bias" against anything someone else likes.
 
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