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Canon EOS Ra: could third EOS R-series model be aimed at astrophotographers?

Canon EOS R
Canon EOS R
(Image credit: Future)

Astrophotographer? Canon user? Looks like there's some good news in the stars, as Canon's UK website appears to have leaked details of a new EOS Ra model.

Canon Rumors spotted a leaflet from an instruction manual that appears similar to those bundled with Canon's products, which appears to confirm the existence of an EOS Ra. The leaflet, which can be viewed here, can still be downloaded from Canon's official UK website.

The leaflet mentions that "the EOS Ra is a version of the EOS R designed for astrophotography", and that it has "approximately four times the transmittance of hydrogen-alpha light (656nm) as the EOS R".

Other specs include a maximum 30x screen magnification option, which is higher than the 10x of the EOS R, and would be particularly useful when checking the focus of stars and other celestial bodies.

First astro-focused EOS model since 2012

The company has previously launched astrophotography-focused variants of existing cameras, which have their infrared-blocking hot mirror removed, and has used the same nomenclature as we see here. 

In 2005 it announced an EOS 20Da spin on its EOS 20D DSLR, which was followed in 2012 by an EOS 60Da model based on the then-current EOS 60D DSLR. The 60Da remains the most recent astro-focused addition to its EOS range, and can still be bought brand-new.

The EOS 60Da, a variant on the EOS 60D, was released in 2012

The EOS 60Da, a variant on the EOS 60D, was released in 2012 (Image credit: Canon)

It's been a year since Canon launched its EOS R mirrorless line, and in that time the company has only released two bodies, the initial EOS R (pictured top) and the more affordable EOS RP

While it's followed these up with a handful of lens releases, including the most recent RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM and RF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM, it confirmed earlier in the year that a pro-level body was in the works. 

Such a model would make a lot of sense; while its most senior EOS R camera has a 30MP full-frame sensor, there were rumblings of a future model with an 83MP alternative, which many Canon users would no doubt welcome given the recent arrivals of the 61MP Sony A7R IV and 47MP Panasonic S1R.

Rumors of an EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR have also been circulating in recent months, a model that would be expected ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.