Is Canon actually going to launch RF-S lenses alongside the Canon EOS R7?

Dragon

EF 800L
May 29, 2019
649
671
Always tradeoffs. A friend of mine used to tell his video clients "cheap, fast, good. You can have two of the three, but not all three. Now pick which two you want."

More seriously though, I do wonder if we are moving into an era where the next stage of innovation in optics is likely to come through software solutions. It seems that lenses still reside (mostly) in the analog era, while camera bodies live in the digital age. I wonder if, in the not too distant future digital solutions will become standard for many lens designs.
There certainly is room for more effective digital correction. A good example is lateral CA. The current approach is to simply mask the color fringing, which doesn't repair the resolution damage that is generated by CA. OTOH, given the known CA of a lens, the raw files could be jiggered by accurately scaling the R, G, and B channels to exactly the same dimension. That would noticeably improve the corner resolution of many lenses. AFAIK, there is no raw converter that currently goes to this level to fix CA, but it is certainly possible either in a raw converter, or in camera as the raw file is being created. Field flatness is not so easy, but all lens design is a balancing act, so building a lens that optimizes the characteristics that cannot be digitally corrected at the expense of those that can may well result in a better overall image.
 
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Dragon

EF 800L
May 29, 2019
649
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I do wonder though... while I think the impact of diffraction is generally overstated, I don't see much benefit to mounting f/11 lenses on sensors of the sort of pixel size/density the 7D folk seem to want. I know AlanF has done some tests on this with the 90D, but obviously you can't mount the RF lenses on that. Would they be getting much more reach? It's diminishing returns, I feel a bit of wishful thinking might be involved if that's what people are hoping for.
The 800 f/11 with a 1.4x TC mounted on an R5 does show some improvement in detail, but certainly not 1.4x improvement. With some of the smart tools (like Topaz Sharpen), the files are quite usable, but they are noticeably soft out of camera. A 32 MP APS-c sensor on the bare lens should show very close the same IQ as a 45MP FF sensor on the 1.4 TC. The challenge is that you now will never see the FF quality of the lens (which is noticeably sharper at the pixel level) and must always live with the TC equivalent quality. As I see it, the fallacy of using a FF lens on and APS-c camera is that you only get to use something less that 1/2 the light that comes through the lens. The only way to fix that is to use a focal reducer, which effectively shortens the reach of the lens so that the APS-c reach is similar to the FF reach. With a 1.4 TC and a FF sensor, you only get half the light that comes through the non-extended lens, but you do have the option of removing the TC and getting all the light. For lenses that don't support a TC, an APS-c sensor is the only way to extend the reach, but my sense is that that is a minority use case. Just my two cents, but based on using a wide variety of lenses with 70D, 90D, M5, M6 II, 5DS-r, and R5. At this point, the R5 is my go-to camera unless I need small and light, in which case the M5 or M6 II gets the nod.
 
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Czardoom

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Why did it take Canon 5 years to release a 7DII, longer than any other series update cycle? Why did Canon never release a 7DIII?

Canon knows things we don't, and their treatment of the 7-series does not suggest they believe it to be a 'huge winner'.
I agree that the evidence says that the wildlife market is not a large one. I do believe, however, that Canon will release such a camera. Unlike others, I make no claim whatsoever to know sales numbers, but when I look at Canon's offerings over the years, I would say that they are the most likely of the big 3 to produce more niche cameras. I would say that the R3 is evidence of this - if they were looking for a more "general usage' camera appealing to more potential buyers, then I think the camera would have had a higher MP count. But they seem to be quite content with marketing the camera to sports and action shooters primarily. I think the 5DS R DSLR was also more of a niche camera aimed at those wanting high MPs. So, I think Canon may still try to design some of its R line to aim for more specific markets, and the Wildlife market - though not large - will be one of them.
 
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roby17269

R5 + RF & EF L glass
Feb 26, 2014
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Why did it take Canon 5 years to release a 7DII, longer than any other series update cycle? Why did Canon never release a 7DIII?

Canon knows things we don't, and their treatment of the 7-series does not suggest they believe it to be a 'huge winner'.
Exactly... even Nikon took ages to update their Dx00 cameras and hasn't delivered a D500 mirrorless successor yet.
Sony hasn't really made any "pro crop" cameras at all.
This segment is not really getting a lot of attention from the major manufacturers, so there's not really a lot of pressure on Canon to deliver. Olympus (then, now OMD) have delivered in this space, but probably their sales were not large enough to push Canikony over the edge.

Again, these are conjectures. Canon or the others may surprise us with a R7 which is a 7D successor or equivalent camera for Nikon or Sony.
But I just do not see how that would be prioritized over new FF cameras in the current market.
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
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I have that Laowa too. I use it primarily for water insects, ect., for a nature magazine I contribute to. My beef with the lens is that the zoom feature creeps something awful when facing downward (important for watery subjects). I have have grip tape available to tape it in place.

Will also recommend the Laowa 15mm f/4 macro. This is not the "zero d" 15mm version of theirs. The wide angle macro is awesome for showing critters in their context.
I use a spot of "blu tack" to stop the creep, as tape tends to leave an adhesive deposit on the lens barrel. I think if I was shooting in near-contact with water, that I'd get the 24mm macro probe, which can tolerate immersion, let alone a splash.

I have huge admiration for Venus Optics, an extremely imaginative company that brings us high quality specialised optics at a real bargain price.
 
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Dragon

EF 800L
May 29, 2019
649
671
I agree that the evidence says that the wildlife market is not a large one. I do believe, however, that Canon will release such a camera. Unlike others, I make no claim whatsoever to know sales numbers, but when I look at Canon's offerings over the years, I would say that they are the most likely of the big 3 to produce more niche cameras. I would say that the R3 is evidence of this - if they were looking for a more "general usage' camera appealing to more potential buyers, then I think the camera would have had a higher MP count. But they seem to be quite content with marketing the camera to sports and action shooters primarily. I think the 5DS R DSLR was also more of a niche camera aimed at those wanting high MPs. So, I think Canon may still try to design some of its R line to aim for more specific markets, and the Wildlife market - though not large - will be one of them.
I agree that Canon will respond the wildlife market. The question is the form of the response. Already, they have released the 600 f/11 and 800 f/11, which, on an R5 or R6, perform much better than many would expect. Canon has also issued a flurry of patent apps for mirror lenses and even a spotting scope design. That leaves the question as to whether the response to the market will be an APS-c body or more smaller, lighter, cheaper FF telephoto lenses. An 800 f/11 plus an R5 body is likely already less costly than a mystical R7 plus an RF 100-500L and at 800mm equivalent, the aperture is essentially the same. Something like a light, inexpensive 150-800 would pretty much eliminate any perceived advantage for the R7. Canon can address the requirement either way. If they choose the FF route, there clearly will be some folks sitting on shorter EF glass that will be unhappy, but, having both, I will say that the R5 with the 800 f/11 is more likely to get the desired results than the 90D with the EF 100-400 II (and it is also lighter to handle) unless the zoom is critical for the capture, in which case, the aforementioned 150-800 would be the evener.
 
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entoman

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Maybe the 800mm will be "over the edge". I don't know. Will definitely try it myself ! But if I want 35mm-equivalent reach of 800mm, at approx. the same weight as the RF800/11 lens, I can get the RF100-500 as a much more versatile lens on an APS-C body:
1) Equivalent to 160-800mm fullframe zoom
2) Probably faster AF than the RF800
3) Much much better minimum focusing distance
4) Full sensor AF-coverage (vs. only center-part with RF800 on fullframe body)
5) f7.1 APS-C should also be comparable with f11 on fullframe I guess?

PS. Personally I don't only want R7 for "reach". I want it because it (I assume) is high-end and fast tool I can afford, and because the all-purpose kit I want will be much more lightweight with the lenses I would get (or EF-S lenses I already have) for an APC-C camera, including wideangle lenses. But reach for wildlife and sport/action is definitely also a good thing.
For me it is mainly about price. A hi-res "R5S" with the same pixel density as a 33MP APS-C sensor would make a lot more sense for me, as it would allow much more space around the subject when trying to track it visually - a safety margin for error when framing fast moving subjects.

The R5 sells in the UK for £4299 and the R5C for £4499, so if and when it is released, I'd expect the "R5S" to sell for about £4599 - a justifiable price IMO...

The problem with the "R7 theory" is that the only major cost saving when manufacturing, would be the smaller sensor and possibly a lower powered processor, so the APS-C wet-dream machine would likely be around £3599, and at that price only a handful of people would probably buy it. This is why I have so much skepticism about the "R7" - I just won't believe it until I see it.
 
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Dragon

EF 800L
May 29, 2019
649
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For me it is mainly about price. A hi-res "R5S" with the same pixel density as a 33MP APS-C sensor would make a lot more sense for me, as it would allow a lot more space around the subject when trying to track it visually - a safety margin for error when framing fast moving subjects.

The R5 sell in the UK for £4299 and the R5C for £4499, so if and when it is released, I'd expect the "R5S" to sell for about £4599 - a justifiable price IMO...

The problem with the "R7 theory" is that the only major cost saving when manufacturing would be the smaller sensor and possibly a lower powered processor, so the APS-C wet-dream machine would likely be around £3599, and at that price only a handful of people would probably buy it. This is why I have so much skepticism about the "R7" - I just won't believe it until I see it.
I agree. With the "R5s", you would get the best of both worlds - all the light from the lens and all the detail the lens can deliver - in the same shot. If you are somehow data limited, just flip the switch to crop mode :). Many of the R7 speculators look at R6 pricing and then wish for an R3 style sensor and R5 features without understanding the cost implications.
 
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JasonL

I'm New Here
May 5, 2021
17
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For me it is mainly about price. A hi-res "R5S" with the same pixel density as a 33MP APS-C sensor would make a lot more sense for me, as it would allow much more space around the subject when trying to track it visually - a safety margin for error when framing fast moving subjects.

The R5 sells in the UK for £4299 and the R5C for £4499, so if and when it is released, I'd expect the "R5S" to sell for about £4599 - a justifiable price IMO...

The problem with the "R7 theory" is that the only major cost saving when manufacturing, would be the smaller sensor and possibly a lower powered processor, so the APS-C wet-dream machine would likely be around £3599, and at that price only a handful of people would probably buy it. This is why I have so much skepticism about the "R7" - I just

I agree. With the "R5s", you would get the best of both worlds - all the light from the lens and all the detail the lens can deliver - in the same shot. If you are somehow data limited, just flip the switch to crop mode :). Many of the R7 speculators look at R6 pricing and then wish for an R3 style sensor and R5 features without understanding the cost implications.
I think we're looking for decent (not spectacular) low light performance, R5/6 AF and weather sealing.
 
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unfocused

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I agree that the evidence says that the wildlife market is not a large one. I do believe, however, that Canon will release such a camera. Unlike others, I make no claim whatsoever to know sales numbers, but when I look at Canon's offerings over the years, I would say that they are the most likely of the big 3 to produce more niche cameras. I would say that the R3 is evidence of this - if they were looking for a more "general usage' camera appealing to more potential buyers, then I think the camera would have had a higher MP count. But they seem to be quite content with marketing the camera to sports and action shooters primarily. I think the 5DS R DSLR was also more of a niche camera aimed at those wanting high MPs. So, I think Canon may still try to design some of its R line to aim for more specific markets, and the Wildlife market - though not large - will be one of them.
I generally agree. although I think the wildlife market is larger than the naysayers believe. As proof of the market as viable and lucrative I would simply suggest people spend a little bit of time on the internet searching for photo-oriented trips and experiences. Price out a nature photo tour to the Galapagos, Africa, Central America or Alaska. Then check to see about availability and how far in advance they are booked up (A year or more is not uncommon.) And, those are only the most common destinations, there are hundreds, if not thousands, more limited and specialized experiences available. Of course not everyone paying for these experiences will buy an R7, but Canon has no doubt done the research and knows the market.
 
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unfocused

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For me it is mainly about price. A hi-res "R5S" with the same pixel density as a 33MP APS-C sensor would make a lot more sense for me, as it would allow much more space around the subject when trying to track it visually - a safety margin for error when framing fast moving subjects.

The R5 sells in the UK for £4299 and the R5C for £4499, so if and when it is released, I'd expect the "R5S" to sell for about £4599 - a justifiable price IMO...

The problem with the "R7 theory" is that the only major cost saving when manufacturing, would be the smaller sensor and possibly a lower powered processor, so the APS-C wet-dream machine would likely be around £3599, and at that price only a handful of people would probably buy it. This is why I have so much skepticism about the "R7" - I just won't believe it until I see it.
Of course, everyone has their own perspective. A couple of comments though. The problem with the "more space around the subject" theory is that the autofocus is (at least in my experience) less accurate when the subject is smaller in the viewfinder. I find that in 1:6 mode, my R5 is easier to focus on a small bird than it is in full frame mode. As for birds in flight, yes the extra space can be helpful but again, it can come at a price in accuracy. Of course a high mp R5 could be shot in crop mode, but for those who never intend to use it in anything but crop mode, it's kind of a waste. And, I suspect that an autofocus system specifically tuned to APS-C would be more accurate than a crop mode R5.

As far as your financial calculations go for the "wet-dream machine" you ignore the price of the R6. The major differences between the R5 and R6, to the best of my knowledge, are: a mode dial, two SD slots, the sensor resolution and a lower resolution viewfinder and rear screen. From comments received from persons who have expressed an interest in the R7 on this forum, I haven't found anyone who considers these to be deal killers, although they might prefer one or more of the R5 specs. It seems to me the autofocus is the main feature people are interested in and that is identical in the two bodies. (And of course, Canon has a record with the 7DII of putting its top of the line autofocus in the 7 series.) Since no one on this forum has any knowledge whatsoever about what goes into Canon's pricing decisions, it certainly seems plausible that an R7 could be offered in the price range of the R6. In addition, if Canon chooses to eliminate the mechanical shutter (which I expect them to do in almost all future bodies) there should be some cost savings that would make the R6 price point more viable.

Finally, let me once again make it clear that I'm not necessarily in the market for an R7 and don't really care what Canon does. I'm just surprised at how many people twist themselves into knots to come up with reasons why Canon won't do something that this site has stated that they will do. I'll say it once again, I've learned over many years of following this site and doubting its rumors that it is generally not a good idea to bet against Canon Rumors. The two most recent examples I can think of are the sensor resolutions of the 1DX III and the R3. In both cases, despite much skepticism, this site turned out to be correct.
 
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becceric

Making clumsy photographic mistakes since 1980
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Exactly... even Nikon took ages to update their Dx00 cameras and hasn't delivered a D500 mirrorless successor yet.
Sony hasn't really made any "pro crop" cameras at all.
This segment is not really getting a lot of attention from the major manufacturers, so there's not really a lot of pressure on Canon to deliver. Olympus (then, now OMD) have delivered in this space, but probably their sales were not large enough to push Canikony over the edge.

Again, these are conjectures. Canon or the others may surprise us with a R7 which is a 7D successor or equivalent camera for Nikon or Sony.
But I just do not see how that would be prioritized over new FF cameras in the current market.
“Canikony”.
While I love the synergistic name, that would be a conglomerate I would have mixed feelings about...
 
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entoman

wildlife photography
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Of course, everyone has their own perspective. A couple of comments though. The problem with the "more space around the subject" theory is that the autofocus is (at least in my experience) less accurate when the subject is smaller in the viewfinder. I find that in 1:6 mode, my R5 is easier to focus on a small bird than it is in full frame mode. As for birds in flight, yes the extra space can be helpful but again, it can come at a price in accuracy.

As far as your financial calculations go for the "wet-dream machine" is that you ignore the price of the R6. The major differences between the R5 and R6, to the best of my knowledge, are: a mode dial, two SD slots, the sensor resolution and a lower resolution viewfinder and rear screen. From comments received from persons who have expressed an interest in the R7 on this forum, I haven't found anyone who considers these to be deal killers, although they might prefer one or more of the R5 specs. It seems to me the autofocus is the main feature people are interested in and that is identical in the two bodies. (And of course, Canon has a record with the 7DII of putting its top of the line autofocus the 7 series.) Since no one on this forum has any knowledge whatsoever about what goes into Canon's pricing decisions, it certainly seems plausible that an R7 could be offered in the price range of the R6. In addition, if Canon chooses to eliminate the mechanical shutter (which I expect them to do in almost all future bodies) there should be some cost savings that would make the R6 price point more viable.
You make some good points. I certainly agree that having the subject smaller in the frame (to allow more space around the subject) makes it harder for the AF to acquire the subject, although once locked on, the R5 holds on to subjects very well.

A lot is down to the tracking skills of the photographer. Really experienced BIF shooters will have marksman-like abilities to instantly locate the subject and keep it in the viewfinder, so frame-filling APS-C would perhaps be a better option for them. I'm a general wildlife photographer so BIF only represents a fairly small percentage of my work, and I don't have marksman-like reaction speeds or tracking abilities. So I *need* a safety margin for framing, and would prefer a "R5S" provided that it could maintain a series of at least 15fps bursts without locking up the buffer.

You could be right about the price being closer to R6 than to R5C, we'll just have to wait and see.

Nikon may well have caught other manufacturers sleeping, when they introduced the "electronic-shutter only" Z9. It may take a while for Canon and Sony to adopt the same approach, or they may well feel that it is better to continue offering a choice between mechanical, EFCS and ES for the next generation of bodies. Canon in particular have tended to let other manufacturers do the beta-testing with new tech, although there are plenty of signs that the "sleeping giant" is now fully awake. It would be interesting to see whether ES-only appears in a cheaper testbed model first, or whether it goes into the "R1" first, to compete directly with the Z9.
 

scyrene

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Why did it take Canon 5 years to release a 7DII, longer than any other series update cycle? Why did Canon never release a 7DIII?

Canon knows things we don't, and their treatment of the 7-series does not suggest they believe it to be a 'huge winner'.
And when Nikon released the D500, my recollection is the forums were abuzz with the idea it would reignite that part of the market. But that was a one-off too.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
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And when Nikon released the D500, my recollection is the forums were abuzz with the idea it would reignite that part of the market. But that was a one-off too.
Both the 7DMkii and the D500 were hailed as state-of-art wonders when they were released, yet haven't been replaced, either in DSLR or MILC format.

I know several serious amateur wildlife photographers who still own these models and swear by them. I also know a couple of pros who still use the original 7D. Like many people here, they say they would jump at a new rugged sports/wildlife crop body. Maybe they're just a vociferous minority - just as was the case with owners of the Sony a700, which like the D500 and 7DMkii was never replaced.

There are some cameras that people "fall in love with", but which don't apparently sell in big enough numbers over a period of time - perhaps upgrade demand is lower for these models simply because they are so durable and reliable?
 
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scyrene

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Maybe the 800mm will be "over the edge". I don't know. Will definitely try it myself ! But if I want 35mm-equivalent reach of 800mm, at approx. the same weight as the RF800/11 lens, I can get the RF100-500 as a much more versatile lens on an APS-C body:
1) Equivalent to 160-800mm fullframe zoom
2) Probably faster AF than the RF800
3) Much much better minimum focusing distance
4) Full sensor AF-coverage (vs. only center-part with RF800 on fullframe body)
5) f7.1 APS-C should also be comparable with f11 on fullframe I guess?

PS. Personally I don't only want R7 for "reach". I want it because it (I assume) is high-end and fast tool I can afford, and because the all-purpose kit I want will be much more lightweight with the lenses I would get (or EF-S lenses I already have) for an APC-C camera, including wideangle lenses. But reach for wildlife and sport/action is definitely also a good thing.
Excellent points!
 
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David - Sydney

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What ample and readily available data is there, apart from good sales in Japan, to prove that things will improve in the future for EF and M?
Reasonable deductions based on multiple instances of manufacturers saying that they are focusing on the higher end of their offerings to serve pros and enthusiasts make me think that Canon and Sony and Nikon will pay at best lip service for crop cameras and lenses. Also, lack of new EF and M cameras and lenses will sooner or later become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Given Canon has discontinued some EF lenses, it is unlikely that they will release a new EF lens in the future. RF needs more lenses and Canon wants users to migrate as soon as possible. Note that RF lenses offer something additional to their EF counterparts to justify their higher price in most cases eg weight/size/aperture/focus speed/magnification/focal length etc. If we combine RF and EF, there is an amazing range of lenses available.

Is there a need for a new M lens? They seem to have a complete system and you can always use a EF-s/EF lens especially for telephoto.
A new M body would be welcomed.
 
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David - Sydney

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Canon knows that an R7 built with the same weather sealing and robustness of the 7D2 will be a huge winner. Not with folks attaching a kit 18-55 lens. With amateur wildlife and sports photographers that cannot afford $20K of flagship level bodies and long L glass.
Maybe but unlikely. Canon would like you to buy USD20k of big whites of course.

I think that a lot of wildlife togs have moved to R5/R6 simply due to the lack of 7Dii replacement and the fps/focus abilities of the R5/6.
RF100-500 (+TCs), RF600/800/f11 have provided a telephoto solution for people who can't afford big whites.... or kept their EF100-400mm + TCs.
 
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David - Sydney

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I agree. With the "R5s", you would get the best of both worlds - all the light from the lens and all the detail the lens can deliver - in the same shot. If you are somehow data limited, just flip the switch to crop mode :). Many of the R7 speculators look at R6 pricing and then wish for an R3 style sensor and R5 features without understanding the cost implications.
One issue with the mythical R5s would be the fps. It is unlikely to be 20fps eShutter/ 14fps mechanical which is what R7 users would be asking for.... unless it is possible that Canon will be able to increase the frame rate just for crop mode.
 

David - Sydney

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I generally agree. although I think the wildlife market is larger than the naysayers believe. As proof of the market as viable and lucrative I would simply suggest people spend a little bit of time on the internet searching for photo-oriented trips and experiences. Price out a nature photo tour to the Galapagos, Africa, Central America or Alaska. Then check to see about availability and how far in advance they are booked up (A year or more is not uncommon.) And, those are only the most common destinations, there are hundreds, if not thousands, more limited and specialized experiences available. Of course not everyone paying for these experiences will buy an R7, but Canon has no doubt done the research and knows the market.
I think that a lot of wildlife togs have moved to R5/R6 simply due to the lack of 7Dii replacement (almost 8 years now) and the fps/focus abilities of the R5/6.
The eye AF is simply amazing and nailing the focus is more important than having more pixels on subject.
The tools for up-resolution are vastly improved from the past - IMHO negating the benefits of optical "reach"

RF100-500 (+TCs), RF600/800/f11 have provided a telephoto solution for people who can't afford big whites.... or adapted their EF100-400mm + TCs.
 
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