The Canon EOS R5 Mark II and EOS R1 just edged closer to launch

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  • Another new Canon camera registration has been spotted on the web
  • Rumors suggest it could be either a Canon EOS R5 Mark II or EOS R1
  • Both cameras have been tipped for an announcement in mid-May

It's been a quiet year for Canon, with its last camera launch coming way back in May 2023 in the shape of the disappointing Canon EOS R100. But the latest rumors suggest it's about to end that lean spell with two new EOS R camera launches – most likely the Canon EOS R5 Mark II and pro-friendly Canon EOS R1.

As spotted by a Canon Rumors, a renowned leaker called 'E8M_8888' recently posted on the Chinese social media network Weibo that Canon has registered another new camera with a government agency. The model 'DS126928' joins a previously registered 'DS126922' model that was spotted in February.

Both models have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth specs that points towards new EOS R cameras, and registration typically happens in the months leading up to a launch. This means the most likely candidates are the Canon EOS R5 Mark II, which would be a full-frame successor to the popular Canon EOS R5, and a Canon EOS R1 flagship for sports photographers at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Canon Rumors thinks both of these cameras are expected to be announced “in some way by about mid May”. That slightly reticent “in some way” disclaimer is because the EOS R1 is expected to be a so-called development announcement, with the camera made available to pros in time for the Olympics ahead of a full release in the last quarter of 2024.

The more consumer-friendly EOS R5 Mark II, though, is apparently on track to hit store shelves in “June or July”, according to a separate Canon Rumors post. The camera has been tipped to get a stacked 45MP BSI CMOS full-frame sensor, a new DIGIC processor and AI autofocus features. It'll also apparently, like the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8, ditch its mechanical shutter for an electronic-only shooting experience.

Canon needs a hit

Canon EOS R8 in the hand

The Canon EOS R8 (above) and disappointing EOS R100 are the camera giant’s most recent launches (Image credit: Future)

Canon's last genuinely interesting camera was arguably the Canon EOS R8, which arrived over a year ago – so it's good to see glimmers of new life in the EOS R lineup.

Since that camera arrived, we've seen Canon's rivals release some of the best full-frame cameras ever made, from the recent Sony A9 III to the retro Nikon Zf and the all-round brilliant Nikon Z8. Leica has also released the full-frame Leica Q3 premium compact camera, which is a fine (if expensive) rival to the Fujifilm X100VI.

Canon, then, needs to release something special if it's to keep up – and the EOS R5 Mark II and EOS R1 could be those cameras. The original EOS R5 landed way back in July 2020, which means an update is well overdue – and if its successor can deliver a stacked sensor design (which is great for fast burst speeds and 8K video) for a similar $3,899 / £4,199 / AU$6,899, it could be another winner.

We've been waiting years for a Canon EOS R1 flagship, with the first early rumors stretching back to 2020. But with the 2024 Paris Olympic Games starting in July, it sounds like the pro sports camera – and spiritual successor to the Canon EOS 1D X Mark III DSLR – could be getting close to an announcement.  

If Canon also decided to open up its EOS R lens mount to third-party manufacturers (although there's currently no suggestion it will), then the sleeping camera giant might once again start to throw its weight around in the fiercely competitive full-frame space.

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