Over the past couple of years, the barrier to entry for full-frame has dropped significantly—starting with the $1,300 Canon EOS RP, and followed by the almost-as-cheap $1,400 Nikon Z5. But it seems Canon may be planning to release an even cheaper EOS R camera in 2021.
This report comes from our friends at Canon Rumors, who were told that “a new entry-level full-frame EOS R camera” would be announced in 2021 with a price tag that comes in under $999.
No specs were shared, and this is still a ways out so expect this camera to be a bit of a “moving target” at Canon as of this writing, but the fact that this is even being considered is wild. Few cameras (if any) manage to hold their MSRP/starting price for longer than a few months, so if Canon is willing to release this camera at $999 (or less), they expect to sell most of them at $100 or $200 below that price, bringing the full-frame barrier to entry all the way down into the $700 range for a brand new camera.
Case in point: the Canon EOS RP, which debuted at $1,300 less than two years ago, can be had for $1,000 brand new as of this writing.
As Canon Watch points out, this isn’t pure speculation… a Canon Europe Technical Support Manager admitted that they could make an even cheaper full-frame mirrorless camera than the EOS RP way back in April of 2019.
But being able to make this camera and actually planning to make it are two very different things, and the “race to the bottom” consequences of releasing a brand new, sub-$999 full-frame camera could be significant. We all love cheaper gear… but Canon would likely lose money selling this camera in an attempt to get people hooked on the RF mount and its (mostly expensive) lenses.
Still, with each new mirrorless camera release we see more comments asking for a stills-only full-frame camera that doesn’t bother with the expense or technology required to integrate high-quality video. Maybe that’s what Canon has in store for this ultra-affordable entry-level camera. Or maybe they’ll cut some other corner like leaving out the EVF. Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.