2016 is going to be Canon’s year. No less than five DSLR cameras are expected and three of them are top of the line models. They might not sell in huge numbers like entry level cameras, but are very important for working professionals as well as company image; Canon cannot afford to make just an ordinary products. The expected cameras are 1DX mark II, 5D mark IV, 6D mark II, 80D, 1300D and probably a replacement for 100D.
Canon EOS 1DX mark II
Expected announcement: February; expected availability: April
Canon’s next top of the line model will be aimed at photojournalists and sports photographers and for them speed is the key. Current 1DX shoots at 14fps in RAW and the new model will probably remain at the same frame rate or might go a bit more like 15fps. I seriously doubt it will be more then that; it is both not needed and too complicated to make mechanical shutter and mirror mechanism to withstand that kind of speed. Instead we can expect 4K still mode in which the camera will record 4K video at 30p and allow extracting still images later. This feature is already available on many Panasonic cameras but what they lack is RAW 4K still mode. My best guess Canon 1DX mark II will have it.
Sensor will remain at relatively low resolution (20-22 megapixels) and have insane low light capabilities. Recently announced Nikon D5 has native ISO of 102400 and extended ISO at mind boggling 3.2 million; we can expect similar specs from Canon.
Video recording will be in 4K resolution but frame rates and other details remain to be seen. We can expect built-in GPS and probably Wi-Fi, as well as touch LCD.
Price will be high: at around $6000 this camera will be bough only by working professionals who need to have absolutely top level performance for any scenario.
Above: A week I spent with 1DX three years ago was very sweet but very short.
Canon EOS 5D mark IV
Expected announcement: March; expected availability: April (?)
The camera that started video revolution for DSLR is probably the most anticipated and best kept secret of 2016. For a long period, 5D series cameras were and still are the tools of the trade for many professionals: you can see 5D’s in hands of wedding photographers, photojournalists, sports and wildlife, landscape and fine art photographers… It is equally popular for video recording and this is why it will most surely feature 4k video recording. Besides that, I expect more advanced auto focus system, built in Wi-Fi and probably a touch LCD. Continuous shooting will increase to around 8fps.
The biggest question of all is the sensor. It will surely stay around 24 megapixels, but having in mind superb Sony sensors performance in Sony and Nikon cameras (dynamic range), the main question is how will Canon be able to compete.
Above: Canon EOS 5D mark III was all that people wanted from 5D mark II. These two cameras are still one of the most popular weapons of choice for many pro’s.
Canon EOS 6D mark II
Expected announcement and availability: Photokina in September is my bet.
EOS 6D was always regarded as a bit of an underdog but this camera sold very well and has a solid base of happy users – me being one of them. Current Canon 6D is light (relatively speaking), has one of the best high ISO sensors on the market, quiet shutter, excellent video, superb -3EV central auto focus point and is very easy to operate. This camera is very popular amongst landscape users (especially for astrophotography work) and this is where Mark II will probably be perfected.
You can expect even better high ISO performance (native ISO bump to 102,400) and articulated touch LCD like EOS 70D (5D mark IV surely will not have flippy LCD so Canon 6Dmk2 should). Auto focus will also be updated (even back in 2012 a lot of eyebrows were raised regarding 11-point AF in current 6D). It will probably be a variation of EOS 70D’s 19-point AF module. Don’t expect faster continues shooting; for sports there are 7D mark II and 5D mark IV. The camera might even more shrink in size and weight.
Above: having fun with legacy lenses on my EOS 6D
Canon EOS 80D
Expected announcement and availability: No info yet.
Canon EOS 70D is two and a half years old now and an update is probably coming this year. Canon EOS 80D will have slight incremental updates of all features except the image sensor. Rumors say it will be in the 28-34 megapixels range. This seems to me as a logical move; otherwise it would be to similar compared with 7D mark II what would hurt the sales. There was also a patent for EF-S 15-50mm F/2.8-4 IS lens what might be the new kit lens for EOS 80D.
Above: Canon EOS 70D has excellent articulated touch LCD
Canon EOS 1300D (Rebel T7)
Expected announcement and availability: late spring probably.
The popular entry level Canon EOS 1200D is due to update this year. New EOS 1300D will be an evolution rather than evolution. Sensor will be 20 or 24 megapixels unit from EOS 70D or late EOS 750D/760D and you can expect features like Wi-Fi or higher resolution LCD but no more than that. Canon knows it will sell no matter what and putting too much features will hurt EOS 750D sales.
Canon EOS 150D (Rebel SL1)
There is some information floating around the web of EOS 100D being discontinued. Being three years old this is no surprise but there are absolutely no rumors about the successor. Even more, some speculate there will be no successor what I highly doubt.
Instead, I think Canon might have a surprise for us. EOS 100D was well accepted due to its tiny size (smallest DSLR ever). The new EOS 150D (Rebel SL2) should be as small or even smaller and the only way to do it is to go mirrorless! The camera should have electronic viewfinder (1,5 million dots would be enough) but it would still use EF-S lens mount. That means all EF and EF-S would work natively on this camera. Mirror assembly would be completely removed and camera would work in full-time live-view mode. Auto focus would use Dual-Pixel AF technology from EOS 70D. EOS 150D would be targeted mainly toward amateur users but I suspect a lot of advanced users would consider buying it as a backup/carry-around camera due to small size and EF/EF-S lens native compatibility.
Paired with EF-S 24mm STM pancake this would be a perfect carry anywhere camera. Pair it with EF-S 10-18mm and EF-S 18-135mm STM and you have a small and light landscape and travel kit.
Above: My first contact with EOS 100D: It is so tiny!
Mirrorless models (EF-M mount)
With EOS M series, Canon failed to produce a good mirrorless for three generations in a row (yes, in spite some positive feedback from some reviewers and end users I think EOS M is a flop so far). In some late interviews Canon officials claimed we will see proper mirrorless cameras this year. What will they feature and how they will look like remains a mystery. We’ll just have to wait and see.