The flagship Canon EOS R1 has been spotted in the wild for the first time

Canon EOS R1 camera body no lens attached on a dark background
(Image credit: Canon)

We knew it was coming following last week's official announcement, but it didn't take long for the Canon EOS R1 to make an appearance in the field ahead of its full reveal and on-sale date, which is still to be confirmed. 

The flagship mirrorless camera for professional sports and wildlife photography was seen in action in the build up to 2024's Monaco GP, and the pictures shared on Canon Rumors come courtesy of pro photographer Federico Basile (see below). 

The closeups are partially obscured by the photographer but reveal the top and underside and side of the camera, which haven't been previously seen. Still, it shows us a bit more than Canon's official announcement about the highly anticipated pro camera, which revealed so little.

We now have a more complete picture of the EOS R1's body, and eagle-eyed Canon fans are sharing their observations – including some design touches to help photographers quickly switch between portrait and landscape.

As some have spotted, the EOS R1 follows the flagship EOS 1-series way by including a bar on the underside to fasten a camera strap to. Doing so makes a lot of practical sense for photographers who regularly switching between vertical and horizontal shooting, and also helps large gear sit flush against your body when moving about.

There are also locking mechanisms on the hotshoe and the memory card door, while the top LCD handily displays battery life precisely by way of percentage rather than bars.

Still plenty of mysteries

As we'd expect from a flagship model there are plenty of external controls, including dedicated buttons for white balance and drive mode. The textured body and overall shape look and feel pretty similar to the Canon EOS R3, although the EOS R1 is potentially a little larger.

What remains a mystery is what's happening inside the camera. We still don't know what sensor the EOS R1 has, although previous Canon EOS R1 rumors point to a full-frame 30MP stacked sensor, fully electronic shutter, and rapid 1/1250sec max flash sync speed.

It's only a matter of time before those details will become known in full for what is sure to become one of the best professional cameras available. 

The EOS R1 needs to up the game from the already superb EOS R3 and compete with the innovative Sony A9 III, and that's no mean task – which is likely why it's not in our hands already. Canon fans can only hope it's worth the wait.

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.