Canon 5d MkIII, 7D MkII or Something Completely Different?

I don’t normally post anything to do with rumours of upcoming cameras, but today, a series of images was posted, purportedly taken by a tourist in Kenya, who was in the same vehicle as a Canon employee testing the new 600mm MkII and the announced 200-400mm with built-in 1.4x extender. The photos look a pretty good match for released images by Canon. More interestingly though, not only does there appear to be a 1D-X being tested, but also a mystery smaller format camera. Speculation varies as to whether it is the future 5D MkIII or the 7D MkII, but it is clear that the layout appears to be an evolution from that of the 7D, which isn’t really unexpected. It also appears to not have a pop-up flash and the size of the pentaprism would suggest it is full frame. Beyond that though, it is anyone’s guess.

See the images for yourself:

or read the discussions:,2963.0.html

Having had some time to digest the available information, the following summarises the salient facts.

  1. Pentaprism size suggests larger than APS-C, perhaps full frame.
  2. Some of the visible buttons might suggest high speed shooting.
  3. Button layout is a combination of 1D-X and 7D.
  4. Longer format rear screen might suggest greater emphasis on video.
  5. Lack of Creative Auto setting on mode dial – departure from both 5D and 7D lines.

So, lots of ifs buts and maybes, that don’t really do much to answer the questions. When the specifications of the 1D-X were released, some of them had me interested, for example, the better low light and overall image quality. However, the price is out of my range and the move to full frame would lose me “reach” over the 7D, which would be the obvious camera to replace. The thought of a possible small format version of the 1d-X (with its cheaper price point) does interest me and if it just happened to have  1.3x crop (i.e. the now supposedly defunct APS-H format) and around 22MP, so that it would offer improved image quality over the 7D, then I would probably be planning on a purchase in the future. Even full frame at around 25MP if it had improved image quality, better tracking and improved dynamic range and sensitivity over the 5D MkII would spark interest, as I could then keep the 7D for when I need the reach and use the new camera for all other circumstances, effectively replacing the 5D MkII.

Time will tell in the end and ultimately, we just have to wait for the announcement. The Camera and Photo Imaging Show starts on February 9th in Japan and with Focus on Imaging a month later, it is an ideal time coming up for Nikon and Canon to make some high profile announcements.