Canon Announces Development of “EOS R1” Flagship Mirrorless

Canon has announced its development of the EOS R1, labeling it as the “first flagship model for the EOS R system.” Given the company’s past development patterns, it’s not entirely unexpected that they would aim to release a professional sports flagship in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The Canon EOS R1 is now listed at B&H.

This forthcoming model marks a departure from Canon’s avoidance of the term ‘flagship’ in reference to its current EOS R3 high-speed model. Instead, the EOS R1 will explicitly supersede the EOS-1D series of DSLRs at the apex of Canon’s lineup.

Although specifics within the marketing language remain somewhat vague, Canon pledges enhancements in both stills and video performance over the existing EOS R3. They introduce a “Digic Accelerator” processor, expected to augment the capabilities of the Digic X processor it will accompany. This co-processor likely manages the intricate algorithms derived from machine learning, as Canon alludes to “never-before-seen” autofocus advancements. The camera targets improved subject tracking amid complex scenarios, introducing features like an “Action Priority” function designed to swiftly adjust the autofocus point to a player undertaking a decisive action.

Canon indicates that the new camera will incorporate a novel CMOS sensor and boast sophisticated noise reduction capabilities typically reserved for PC-based software applications.

Concrete details are anticipated closer to the Paris Olympics, but Canon hints at ongoing field-testing in preparation for the event, aiming for a 2024 launch.

Press Release:

Canon develops EOS R1 as first flagship model for EOS R SYSTEM

New Image Processing System Further Improves AF and Image Quality

MELVILLE, N.Y., – May 15, 2024 — Canon U.S.A., Inc. today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc. announced today that it is currently developing the EOS R1, a full-frame mirrorless camera, as the first flagship model for the EOS R SYSTEM equipped with an RF mount and is aiming for a 2024 release.

The EOS R1 is a mirrorless camera geared toward professionals that brings together Canon’s cutting-edge technology and combines top-class performance with the strong durability and high reliability sought in a flagship model. This camera will dramatically improve* the performance of both still images and video and meet the high requirements of professionals on the frontlines of a wide range of fields including sports, news reporting, and video production.

This camera employs the newly developed image processor DIGIC Accelerator in addition to the pre-existing processor DIGIC X. The new image processing system, composed of these processors and a new CMOS sensor, enables large volumes of data to be processed at high speeds and delivers never-before-seen advancements in Auto Focus (AF) and other functions.

By combining the new image processing system and deep learning technology to an advanced degree, Canon has achieved high-speed and high-accuracy subject recognition. For example, subject tracking accuracy has been improved so that in team sporting events where multiple subjects intersect, the target subject can continually be tracked even if another player passes directly in front of them. In addition, the AF “Action Priority” function recognizes subject movement by rapidly analyzing the subject’s status. In moments during a sports game when it is difficult to predict what will happen next, this function automatically determines the player performing a certain action, such as shooting a ball, as the main subject and instantly shifts the AF frame, thereby helping to capture decisive moments of gameplay.

The combination of the new image processing system and deep learning technology will help to improve image quality. Canon implements the image noise reduction function, which has been previously developed and improved as part of the software for PCs, as a camera function to further improve image quality and contribute to user creativity.

Canon is working on field tests for this camera and will support capturing definitive and impactful moments at international sporting events to be held in the future.

Going forward, Canon will continue to expand the EOS R SYSTEM lineup of fascinating cameras and RF lenses, thereby continuing to meet the demands of a wide range of users and contribute to the development of photography and video culture.

* In comparison to EOS R3 (released in November 2021)