What say me?
A lot of unknown and exciting things are swirling around that November 3, 2011 announcement in Hollywood. I can tell you truthfully that I have seen just about every possible scenario. What's true? For the moment I don't know.
I think EOS will evolve a lot in the coming 12 months, the business of digital SLRs has changed with the advent of video in the segment. I figured I'd offer my opinion on the line partially based on things I've been told and things that just make sense to me.
I'll start at the top of the EOS lineup and work my way down.
By the way, Photokina is next September in Cologne/Koln, Germany. See you there!
*This is NOT fact*
I don't think we'll see this camera announced until 2012. I also see the amalgamation of the line has highly possible. If Canon has the technology to give big megapixels as well as frame rate. It makes no sense to produce two different bodies. I'm not sure if we've seen the last of APS-H, though I think it's likely. I could see this body in the $5000-$6000 range.
5D Mark III/3D
The camera most of the planet wants to see announced and shipped now! I don't think it's likely to appear before the end of 2011.
If in 2012 the top tier of cameras is merged, there will be a price gap a 5D3/3D could move up to. Say, $3500. There could be a lot of advanced video features, big megapixels and an upgraded, but not pro body level AF system. I fully expect Canon to figure out a way to directly monetize the video features of DSLRs.
When? I've heard anytime between tomorrow and Photokina 2012.
One of the recent rumors has been the coming of a new full frame EOS body added to the lineup. It would be in the $2000 range. It would see a drop in megapixels from the 21 of the 5D Mark II and be solely designed for ISO performance. To meet the price point, I'd expect a modified 9 point AF (more crosstype sensors).
If the 5D3 moves up the latter in performance and price, a $2000 full frame camera at launch would be an industry first and a massive seller. Canon was the first company to break the $1000 price barrier with a DSLR, no reason they can't do it again.
I can definitely see this as a possibility, though I'm not convinced of it yet.
*correction* The full frame Sony A850 launched at $2000 USD. Thanks for pointing it out.
7D Mark II
I think the 7D will make it all the way through 2012 and into 2013. What is there to improve on the camera? How do you really make it better enough to justify a new model? If Canon is spending a lot of resources on developing 3 new full frame sensors, I could see APS-C remaining relatively unchanged.
The biggest upgrade I think to the 7D will be a price drop over the next 12 months.
As with the 7D, there's really no need to upgrade this camera. It will only be 2 years come Photokina, and the cycle of camera updates is slowing down.
It's a good little camera that sells well. I think we'll see it last into 2013.
More of the same here (a bit boring eh), I don't see a new rebel in 2012 either. A domino in the APS-C line will have to fall before they all get an update. Using the same sensor in the 3 cameras is probably great for the bottom line. I can't see them abandoning that mindset.
When Canon announces a mirrorless system, I think it's going to be a standalone product. So it won't be EF or EF-S compatible. I see Canon launching a unique product to their line, not more of the same. I think the low end of mirrorless cameras is a crowded world, especially with the rainbow of cameras Nikon just announced. So why add another bunch of cameras to the segment? I think the gold mine for Canon is convincing the North American market to buy a mirrorless camera. Their mirrorless camera. So it's going to have to be different.
To be honest, I really have no great hypothesis of what they're going to do. It's something I'd have to think more on.
So that's it, as of today, that's the way I see the EOS lineup going. It's based on some information I've received as well as some opinion.