The Canon EOS R5 has rightly been grabbing all of the headlines recently, but rumors are growing that it could soon be joined by a more affordable sibling – the Canon EOS R6.
Leaving aside some of the apparently leaked specs, which we’ll dive into below, the general concept certainly makes sense. As Canon recently confirmed to us, the EOS R5 is the full-frame mirrorless equivalent of its 5-series DSLRs – and those cameras have long had more affordable equivalents in Canon’s 6-series models, such as the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.
This makes the prospect of a Canon EOS R6 a tantalizing one, on paper. But what features is it likely to have, and when are we likely to see it?
We’ve rounded up all the latest EOS R6 rumors in this regularly updated article, so you can get the latest on a camera that could potentially be even more popular than the super-powered R5.
Canon EOS R6: pricing and availability
Obtaining definitive release dates is tricky enough for cameras that are official right now, let alone ones that are still at the rumors stage. Still, while neither the Canon EOS R5 or unofficial EOS R6 have launch dates yet, there have been plenty rumors about when we can expect to buy them.
Naturally, some delays are expected. Canon Rumors recently claimed that a source told it that both cameras are “running at less than a quarter of Canon’s manufacturing capacity”, due to coronavirus-related supply chain issues.
Apparently, this means there are two possible release dates for the EOS R6. Canon may start shipping both it and the R5 according to their original schedule – which is rumored to be June for the R6, and July for the R5 – but in limited numbers. Or it could wait until October 2020 to release both cameras with more stock.
Either way, we’re still in the dark about pricing, although we can make some informed guesses based on Canon’s DSLRs. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II originally launched for $2,000 / £1,999 / AU$2,199; and while the EOS R6 sounds like it’ll be a little more powerful than an ‘entry-level’ model, that could be a rough guide to its ultimate price tag. Particularly if the EOS R5 does arrive, as expected, for around the $3,500 / £3,500 / AU$4,500 mark.
Canon EOS R6: specs and features
So far, the leaked specs for the Canon EOS R6 back up the idea that it’ll be a spiritual equivalent to the EOS 6D Mark II, although it’ll likely be on another planet to that camera when it comes to specs.
If the leaks from Canon Rumors are true, the EOS R6 will be surprisingly close to the EOS R5 on the features front. It’ll apparently have in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and even match the R5’s continuous shooting speeds, which would mean a speedy 12fps with the mechanical shutter or 20fps with the electronic shutter.
That would be seriously rapid for a supposedly ‘entry-level’ full-frame camera. It seems that this has partly been enabled by the rumored 20MP sensor, which would make the camera significantly lower in resolution than the EOS R5 (expected to be around 40MP) or even the 32.5MP Canon EOS M6 Mark II.
On the other hand, this sensor could potentially be the same as the one in the Canon 1DX Mark III, which is the company’s flagship DSLR for sports photographers – and if 20MP is good enough for pro sports snappers, then it’s fair to say it’ll work for the many keen amateurs this camera would likely be aimed at.
Where else will the EOS R6 cut corners to hit that lower price point? Canon Rumors suggests the build quality will be inferior to that of the EOS R5. It’ll also apparently have a lower-resolution EVF than that camera, and lack the top-plate LCD for glancing at your exposure settings.
Still, unlike the Canon EOS R, the EOS R6 will apparently have two card slots, which can be useful for creating a backup as you shoot (or for saving raws to one, and JPEGs to the other).
It’ll also apparently have powerful video capabilities (if not 8K powers), with the ability to shoot 4K/60p video and Full HD at 120fps. We’ll have to wait for further leaks or official teasers to find out about things like recording limits or codecs though.
Canon EOS R6: provisional verdict
The Canon EOS R6 is certainly shaping up to be an exciting camera, if the leaks are accurate. But perhaps the main question is where the camera will sit in Canon’s full-frame mirrorless lineup.
The Canon EOS R5 will unquestionably be on top of that tree for now, with the EOS R6 fulfilling the ‘EOS 6D’ role below it. Yet there’s also the existing Canon EOS R and Canon EOS RP to factor into the equation.
We imagine the EOS RP will remain as the affordable full-frame mirrorless option, a role it fills very well. But in many ways the EOS R6 sounds like an real upgrade on the original EOS R, particularly if it does indeed include IBIS, dual card slots, the ability to shoot at 20fps, and 4K/60p video powers.
The only major asterisk is over that possible 20MP sensor, which some shooters might find a little low-res. But this is also what could enable the Canon EOS R6 to appeal to sports and wildlife shooters, particularly if the autofocus performance is similar to what’s been promised on the EOS R5. We’ll bring you more rumors and analysis, and official info, as soon as we get it.