Could a Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel Be an Ace in The Hole?

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A cheap and cheerful, Full Frame Mirrorless Rebel camera from Canon really might make sense.

Everywhere you go these days it seems that Full Frame is the buzz word in the photography world. The gap between APS-C cameras and Full Frame cameras has closed significantly, but there is perhaps still an ounce of difference between the two platforms with Full Frame only just squeezing out a win. With Fujifilm and Sony dominating the APS-C markets, Canon and others may well have to move in a different direction. A recent interview with a Canon exec shed light on a rather interesting topic, and it turns out that there may be a cheaper Full Frame camera coming from Canon in the near future (yes cheaper than the EOS RP). Could this mean a Full Frame Canon Rebel is in the works instead of an APS-C offering? Lets talk about it.

A recent post on Canon Watch shared a rather interesting, and quite insightful interview with yet another Canon executive. This time it was Michael Burnhill, who is the European Technical Support Manager at Canon Europe. Multiple questions were asked including some about IBIS (yes, Canon are considering it), DSLR’s (Canon are planning on making more, see the Rebel SL3), and will there be a cheaper Full Frame camera than the already pretty low spec’d EOS RP? Surprisingly, the answer was yes!

Mirrorless Canon Rebel

The Canon Rebel line of cameras have always had consumers at heart. Entry level cameras such as the T5i, T6, T6i, and T7i gave a way for the masses to own a DSLR that could capture some decent images. They also offered flippy screens, and, well, that’s about it really. In all honesty that’s all they needed to offer, but they have always been APS-C based. Could the news about a cheaper Mirrorless Canon Rebel be true, and could it actually work? You know what, call me crazy, but I think it just might help Canon out with their market share worries.

A Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel would give the marketing boys and girls at Canon something to really harp on about and sink their teeth in to. It would be the one of the hooks that Canon would need to pull customers away from the very affordable, and quite nicely spec’d APS-C offerings from Sony and Fujifilm. Honestly, Canon has lost the APS-C market. There is simply no way back for them; even with an APS-C based Mirrorless Canon Rebel. Sony and Fujifilm have produced APS-C gems that have stolen the hearts of many, but a Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel priced around the same, or just slightly more than say the Canon Rebel T7i ,($700, give or take a few bucks), now that would turn some heads. Why? Because Canon would be able to harp on about the ‘superior image quality and low light performance of Full Frame’ over APS-C. Mom, Dad, Aunt Jackie, Uncle Tom, and old man Joe who lives down the street will lap it up like a cat does cold milk.

RF Mount Adapter being used with a Sigma EF Mount lens

The biggest sticking point would be lenses. Now, ditching APS-C from a business standpoint kind of makes sense. If Canon wants to streamline things going forward, then making lenses for one mount, and for one sensor size makes sense. It would save Canon countless time and money if they only had to cater for one platform.

You would assume that a Mirrorless Canon Rebel would have the RF mount in place, but what budget conscious buyer would want to spend four figures on new RF Mount glass when their camera costs (in some cases) possibly three times less than a single lens? Nobody is the answer; so what’s the solution? Canon could throw in, or heavily discount the RF to EF camera mount so that all of the cheap EF Mount glass could be used on the Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel. Easy Fix really. Customers get their cheap Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel, and they can get some cheap glass too. Having the RF mount in place though means that those customers will still have the option to buy that shiny RF mount glass, and it will allow them to grow into the RF mount system; and there’s the real hook.

Bring the masses in on the cheap with a Full Frame, feature sparse (Canon are good at this) Mirrorless Canon Rebel that’s capable of producing nice images, let them grow their passion for photography with it, then when they’re ready to get a better camera they will automatically look at the Full Frame EOS RP, the EOS R, or the EOS whateveR. It sounds crazy, but it really might work, and this tactic could really help Canon increase their market share down the road. If this is true, I tip my hat to you big C. Well played Canon (slow clap), well played. What do you think about the possibility of there being a cheap, Full Frame Mirrorless Canon Rebel camera? Do you think it would be a smart move on Canon’s part? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.