The Canon R5 and the R6 are the most anticipated cameras of 2020, but Canon needs to get this right, or the RF mount may have to head back to the drawing board.
Canon has the photography world’s attention right now. All eyes have been on the BIG C since they first announced the Canon R5 and the Canon R6, and for a good reason. A quick look at the reported specs will make any photography and videographer weak at the knees, but until today, firm shipping timelines have been hard to come by, and there is still no word on pricing. It’s the latter part of that last sentence that has us slightly worried. Canon need’s to be really careful when it comes to pricing their new cameras, or they may find that their RF mount simply won’t gain traction. After the break, we will take a quick look at everything that may be happening in September and August, and we will discuss possible pricing strategies.
A recent report on the Canon Rumors website states that their sources have given them some more release details about the Canon R5, the Canon R6, and a bunch of new RF mount lenses. On July 9th Canon will supposedly make a massive announcement about the following new gear:
- Canon EOS R5
- Canon EOS R6
- Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 IS STM
- Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM
- Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM
- Canon RF 100-500mm f/4-7.1L IS USM
- Canon RF 600mm f/11 DO IS STM
- Canon RF 800mm f/11 DO IS STM
- Teleconverter RF 1.4x
- Teleconverter RF 2x
Now, this is going to be one heck of a launch party; there are no two ways about it. The lenses themselves can be talked about for hours alone, but the big talking points will be the Canon R5 (which we have previously discussed here) and the R6. According to the report, the Canon R5, which will be an 8K movie monster, will start shipping in September, and the slightly more modest IBIS infused Canon R6 will hit the streets in August; what’s notably absent is any word on pricing.
The Pricing on the Canon R5 and R6 Must Be Right.
Personally, I believe that the Canon R5 will be hitting the streets with a price tag of $3,799, and the R6 will likely sell for $2,299. My thinking behind this is that the 5D series (which the R5 is a mirrorless replacement for) has always sold at around $3,499. With the current climate, a few extra hundred dollars tagged on top should be expected. The Original 6D series cameras have always launched at roughly $1,999, and the R6 is, of course, the Mirrorless successor to the 6D line, and I think a price tag of $2,299 wouldn’t be out of the question.
These prices, if correct, won’t be too unreasonable, but any higher and Canon may find themselves in some hot water as they simply won’t be competitive. If the Canon R5 hits at $4,000 and the R6 comes in at say $2,599, they will eliminate a considerable portion of potential buyers, and their dreams of making the RF mount the one that professionals reach for may not ever fully materialize. The cost of the camera bodies, along with the admittedly incredible RF lenses but their astronomical prices, would just be too much for most.
What Happens to the Canon EOS R and the RP?
Will the current EOS R and RP sail off into the sunset to never be talked about again once the Canon R5 and R6 hit the streets? Not likely. I think we may see some aggressive price cuts on these two models. The Canon EOS RP has already dropped to $899 for the body only, and with the 24-105mm f4-7.1, it’s just $999.
I can honestly see the RP being rebranded as a Canon Rebel at this point. It would make sense as it would fall right into that target audience, and the price would match those of the Nikon Z50, the Sony a6400, the Fujifilm X-T30, and the Olympus E-M5 III. The killer feature will, of course, be that the RP is Full Frame, and perhaps that’s what we will see from the Rebel line going forward; cheap Full-Frame cameras. This will leave the EF-M mount and cameras like the Canon EOS M6 II in somewhat of a limbo status, but who knows, maybe both EF-M and Rf mounts can co-exist.
As for the EOS R, I can foresee a price drop down to $1,499. During the 2019 holiday period, Canon dropped the price of the EOS R to $1,499, and it sold like hotcakes. The Canon EOS R is a competent camera. At a price that undercuts other professional Full-Frame cameras on the market like the Nikon Z6, the Sony A7 III, and the Panasonic S1, the EOS R would do very well. At $1,499, I know I would probably dabble in the EOS R market, and I am sure many other photographers would too.
We could talk for hours on end about the current Canon cameras that are on the market and the ones that will be hitting later on this year, but at the end of the day, unless Canon gets their pricing strategies and marketing plans right, this could all go very wrong for Canon. We, of course, hope this will not be the case, but the camera market is more competitive than ever, and Canon needs to figure out how to cut through the competition. What do you think the pricing will look like for the Canon R5 and R6? At what price point will you take the plunge? Let us know in the comment section below.