A premature pre-order listing of the Canon EOS Ra by US retailer Adorama has all but confirmed that the astrophotography-focused camera will soon be officially announced.
While the original listing has since been taken down, it was picked up by many photography publications who assumed Canon has quietly launched its third full-frame mirrorless snapper without sending out a press release. Instead, what we have is another 'leak', so to speak, providing details on Canon's latest specialist camera, including product images.
The same images were earlier revealed by reliable and prolific Japanese camera leaker Nokishita (opens in new tab), adding to the veracity of the rumors of the EOS Ra being added to Canon's product list.
Starry, starry night
It has been known for a while that the EOS Ra, when announced, would specifically cater to the needs of astrophotographers. That was confirmed by the product description on Adorama (presumably supplied by Canon), letting us know that the snapper uses a modified version of the sensor currently being used in the EOS R.
"Positioned in front of the CMOS imaging sensor, the EOS Ra's infrared-cutting filter is modified to permit approximately 4x as much transmission of hydrogen alpha rays at the 656nm wavelength, vs. standard Canon EOS R cameras. This allows for a higher transmission of deep red infrared rays emitted by nebulae, without requiring any other specialized optics or accessories."
This also means that you will not be able to use the EOS Ra for any other type of photography – other than shooting the night sky – as the modified infrared (IR) filter will ruin any image taken during a regular scenario.
The other change to the forthcoming camera is the 30x magnification available both on the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and the rear LCD display to help users focus on celestial objects.
Everything else about the camera is exactly the same as its EOS R sibling, including the 30.3MP full-frame mirrorless CMOS sensor, the body design, button layout and, of course, the same RF mount.
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Once the EOS Ra becomes official, it will be Canon's first specialist mirrorless camera ever, and the company's first astrophotography snapper since 2012. It takes over from the Canon EOS 20Da (launched way back in 2005) and the EOS 60Da (a spin-off of the EOS 60D announced in 2012), with both older cameras being DSLRs.
According to the now-taken-down pre-order listing, the EOS Ra will be available for $2,499 body only in the US (which translates to about £1,940 / AU$3,627), although the exact date of shipping is yet to be confirmed.
We'll be sure to update this story as soon as we get the official word from Canon on the exact pricing and availability of the new full-frame mirrorless camera.