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83MP Canon EOS R mirrorless camera rumored to be edging closer to launch

Canon EOS R 83MP
(Image credit: Canon)

Excitement may be building around the Canon EOS R5, but that isn't the only premium mirrorless camera the company has in the works – according to rumors, a new high-resolution model is now being tested by a lucky group of photographers.

Canon Rumors reports that "a high-megapixel EOS R camera system camera is in the early stages of testing with a very select group of photographers". Further details are scarce, but the source says the megapixel count is "significantly lower" than the 150MP rumors that were flying last week.

In fact, the claim is that the mystery EOS R "just about doubles" the resolution of the upcoming EOS R5 – and while we don't yet know what sensor the latter will have, we can do some informed guesswork.

The EOS R5 shoots 8K video, which requires a minimum resolution of 33MP, but given it will likely need to crop this video in a similar vein to the Canon 1DX Mark III to achieve a 16:9 format, the resolution is likely to be somewhere between 33MP and 45MP. 

This means the rumored high-resolution EOS R that's currently being tested will, if we roughly double the EOS R5 resolution, neatly match a rumor from last year that an 83MP Canon EOS R would be launching in early 2020 – that was based on a patent for an 83MP sensor, which was uncovered by Canon News , and it makes sense within the EOS R lineup too.

Canon EOS R 83MP

(Image credit: Canon)

Testing, testing

Cameras being in the 'testing' stage doesn't necessarily mean a launch is imminent – similar rumors around the Canon 1DX Mark III arose almost a full year before the camera was announced in January 2020. There are also obviously many camera delays from the knock-on effects of the coronavirus, and this new EOS R model will likely be affected.

But with the EOS R5 coming soon, Canon's mirrorless camera lineup is really gaining momentum, and the company will likely want to capitalize with new models that take advantage of professional lenses like the incoming Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM.

Further supporting the rumors around an 83MP EOS R is the fact that very few stills photographers need a camera with 150MP resolution – and if they do, they'll likely be considering medium format models like the Fujifilm GFX 100

An 83MP Canon full-frame mirrorless camera – perhaps called the Canon EOS R3, as some have suggested – would neatly complement the EOS R5's all-rounder skills, offering a tempting option for stills photographers who mainly shoot landscapes or wildlife. We'll bring you any official news as soon as we get it from Canon.