The first we heard about Canon potentially giving the sports-oriented EOS 1D X Mark II a fresh lick of paint was way back in December 2018. At the time, the rumor mill had Canon announcing the EOS 1D X Mark III some time this year (2019), although no other secrets spilled about the possible specs for the pro-level shooter.
Plans seem to have changed, though, with camera rumors site Canon Rumors confirming "from a very solid source" that the Japanese camera maker will, instead, launch the third-generation EOS 1D X in 2020.
If this is true, it would be four years between the two generations – time enough to hope that Canon is planning on packing the updated version with plenty of features and a specs boost, just like it did for the newly released EOS 90D and the EOS M6 Mark II.
Canon Rumors' source apparently has had some hands-on time with the prototype of the upcoming EOS 1D X Mark III and claims the device has in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This could well be true as Canon has been patenting IBIS modules for both DSLRs and full-frame mirrorless cameras.
According to the report from Canon Rumors, the new shooter will also see a "significant jump in resolution". This, too, rings true as Canon has upped the sensor resolution between the first and second generation 1D X models from 18MP to 20MP. And if the enthusiast-level EOS 90D can come in with a 32.5MP sensor, we're hoping Canon either matches that or takes it a notch further.
Historically Canon hasn't introduced new imaging processors in the 1D series, however that could change, with the source telling Canon Rumors that the 1D X Mark III will debut a new Digic processor.
While the 1D X Mark II was the first stills-oriented DSLR to offer 4K video recording, the successor will apparently be capable of uncropped 6K video. That means the camera will also be able to record 4K at 60fps using the entire width of the sensor. To keep up with the speed required to save high resolution images to a card, the 1D X Mark III will boast dual CFExpress card slots.
Pitting these rumored specs against what little we've heard of the Nikon D6, it seems the upcoming Canon DSLR could well outshine the Nikon counterpart, which will apparently feature a 24MP sensor with IBIS and 4K/60p video.
The source hasn't given any specific timeline as to when we can expect the 1D X Mark III, but we'd expect Canon to announce it in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
However, rumors are rife that Canon is also working on an ultra high-res full-frame mirrorless camera featuring an 83MP sensor. That too, according to the whispers, has been slotted in for a 2020 release.
Would Canon announce both pro-level snappers – DSLR and mirrorless – at the same time next year? It wouldn't surprise us at all, as the camera maker has set the precedent with releasing the 90D and the M6 Mark II on the same day.