Tuesday, January 26, 2021

My wish list for the next Canon professional camera

Today, Sony announced their new flagship camera called the Sony Alpha a1.  This is the first professional level mirrorless camera designed for the high-end photographer who might shoot sports and fast action. This is all fine and good, but I am waiting to see what Canon has up its sleeve for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo (provided it happens).

I have been using the Canon R5 and Canon R6 for many months now and have fallen in love with both of these mirrorless cameras. As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I have become so reliant on these new cameras that my Canon DSLRs have sat virtually idle for many months.

There is a lot to love about these late model mirrorless workhorses, most notably:

* Even though these newer cameras are packed with features, the one feature that stands out the most to me is the eye detection mode. This fine focusing ability has yielded amazing results and let me concentrate on other parts of my photography, as opposed to the old DSLR day when I would spend a lot of my time making sure my focal point was on the eye of my subject. Not only is the focus incredibly accurate, it is also fast enough to lock onto my subjects, even when they are moving. 

* The image quality is also outstanding, even when shooting at high ISO.

* The battery life goes far beyond what Canon states in their manuals.

* The silent shooting mode is really helpful when shooting in quiet environments (which I am doing quite often these days).

BUT, even though I am extremely happy with the Canon R5 and R6, I still have some things that I would like to see from a pro level mirrorless camera (probably called an R1 or something like that) from Canon. 

A little Photoshop work - not a real camera!

Here is my list:

* Two CFexpress card slots

I would love to see two CFexpress memory card slots. These memory cards are super fast and I want to write to both cards at the same high speed. The Canon R5 has one of these slots, but the second slot is a slower SD card slot. And the Canon R6 has two SD card slots, which means that I have to use that memory card format. I prefer the CFexpress not only for the faster write speeds, but more importantly, I want the ability to download the images faster to my MacBook Pro. I also like the size of the CFexpress card more than the smaller and thinner SD card. 

* High capacity battery

Even though the battery in the existing Canon R cameras does a fine job, I would like to see a Canon R1 (as I will call it here) with an even more robust battery. The smaller LP-E6 battery can give me more than 1000 shots, but when I am shooting at events like the Olympics, I would like to have more than that. Can I just switch batteries? Yes, but having longer battery life means that I have one less thing to worry about when I am shooting under pressure.

* Even faster focusing

As I mentioned, I have been really impressed with the focusing capabilities of the Canon R5 and Canon R6, but that does not mean that I don't want it to be even better! I would love to see the focusing speed increased so that the camera locks onto my subject at lightning speeds.

* Faster and user selectable frame rate

Speaking of speed, I really want a camera that lets me select my frame rate, regardless of the shooting mode I have selected. In today's Canon mirrorless offerings, there are some modes where I can shoot in either one frame at a time or 20 frames per second. I want the ability to select something like 3fps, 8fps, 15fps all the way up to 30fps.

* User selectable image resolution

Many of the newer DSLR and mirrorless cameras are offering really high resolutions, in the 40MP to 70MP range. For most of my photography, I don't need or even want that type of resolution. But I would love to have the choice to shoot at various resolutions, depending on what I am capturing. I would love to have a camera that would let me shoot anywhere from 20MP to 50MP, and make it use selectable.  

* Better quality at high ISO

I can't have a wish list without asking for even better image quality at high ISO. This is not to say that the existing cameras do a bad job with high ISO, but hey, I always desire cleaner and sharper images in low light!

* Save / Load camera settings

I know that this is a small point, but the previous high-end cameras from Canon allowed me to save the camera settings to a card and therefore transfer all my settings (and custom menus) from one camera to another. I want this in the Canon R1.  

For those of you reading this and wondering if I have this camera in my hands to test right now, I can tell you the answer is "no". And I have not been told anything by Canon. If I knew anything officially, I would not be able to write this blog post as I would be under an NDA with Canon. But am I hoping to have a camera like this in my hands before the Summer Olympics? Heck yes! I guess that only time will tell.

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JDHallett said...

How about global shutter?

J said...

Just in case you didn't know...I read you are using the silent shooting mode. I found out a major problem when using that mode when LED lighting is used. If LED lights are dimmed they flicker. With the camera sensor exposed in silent mode this will cause what I call banding in the image. Unfortunately, that learning experience ruined a lot of otherwise good captures. I should have done more research into both LED lights and the silent mode.

Jeff Ross said...

Well...I must say this is quite list. I am a hobbyist so much of what you mentioned is really not needed by me. There are a couple of things I think the camera manufacturers are missing out on from my perspective.

One annoyance is when I am using bracketing, I have to develop a "scheme" to quickly enable me to isolate bracketed images before post processing. Usually this isn't a problem unless I am shooting a number of different bracketed shots one right after another.

The camera "knows" when it is in bracketing mode so why can't it annotate the capture with b1, b2, b3, etc.? After all, it is a computer!

Since I shoot mostly landscapes, I would like more cameras to include the ability to capture GPS data.

I enjoy looking at your work and reading about your ideas. Thank you for your moments of inspiration!

PS - I hope many items from your wish list become a reality.

Ngala said...

After spending years mastering the operational functions of the 1DX range of cameras, top of my list is to have the same look and feel for button operation. Who would want to start all over again with a new layout?