With Photokina and CES now a distant memories, the next big event in camera manufacturers diaries is CP+2017 later this month.
Held in Yokohama, Japan, this is where we can expect to see some big announcements from the likes of Canon, Nikon, Sony and much more besides.
With this in mind, it’s time for an all-new camera rumors article, combining the latest industry gossip, emerging trends in the digital photography market and our own tech insights into what each of the major camera makers can do – and what they might do next.
We’ve taken a look at all the main rumors doing the rounds, and while some are fairly predictable upgrades to current cameras, it can be a bit more tricky in other cases, where we’ve had to sift the genuine leaks from the wild speculation.
So let’s take a look at what we think we might see from the major manufacturers in the not-too-distant future…
Canon rumors: Now we’ve seen the EOS-1D X Mark II and EOS 5D Mark IV, are we likely to see a EOS 6D Mark II? Canon’s also recently launched the EOS M5, but will we see a full-frame mirrorless camera from Canon? And what about Canon’s entry-level DSLR line-up – are we going to see a replacement to the EOS T6i / 750D?
Nikon rumors: With the 50MP Canon EOS 5DS and 42.4MP Sony A7R II stealing some of the thunder of the 36.3MP D810, we expect Nikon to fight back with the D820 (or maybe D850). We could also see a replacement to the under-loved retro-inspired Df, but perhaps this time it could be mirrorless, while the Nikon D750 could get an update, too.
Sony rumors: Sony’s A7-series of mirrorless cameras are all relatively new, but there is talk of a new A9 flagship model aimed at professionals, possibly with a 70MP+ sensor.
Fuji rumors: Fuji’s been pretty busy recently – we’ve had the GFX 50S, X-T20 and X100F, while last year saw the fabulous X-T2 and X-Pro2, but we could see the 24MP sensor make its way into replacements for the X70 and X-E2S.
Olympus rumors: It’s a similar story for Olympus too, but as soon as we hear anything, we’ll update you here.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon needs to up its game to maintain the interest of enthusiast photographers
Predicted specs: At least 24MP full-frame sensor | 6fps continuous shooting | Vari-angle touchscreen
We loved the EOS 6D when it first came out, but at almost four years old, it’s looking quite tired now and its specs don’t compare that well with the Nikon D750‘s. As Canon’s ‘entry-level’ full-frame camera it occupies an important position in the EOS lineup, making it a shoe-in for a refresh.
Until the 5DS and 5DS R came along Canon was quite conservative about pixel count. Jumping from 20 to 24MP would be enough for many photographers, but some may expect closer to 36 million, though that’s unlikely now we’ve seen the EOS 5D Mark IV. A relatively high pixel count would make the 6D Mark II much more attractive to existing Mark I owners.
With just 11 points, the 6D’s AF system is rather lacklustre, and we think the new model will see a big jump in this area, perhaps up to 61 to match the 5D Mark III. Low light and continuous shooting performance also needs to improve, and a maximum sensitivity of ISO102,400 seems likely along with 6fps shooting. Wi-Fi, NFC and GPS technology also seem likely, and we’re hoping there will be a vari-angle touchscreen as well, as on the APS-C format EOS 80D, to make the camera more user-friendly.
Canon full-frame mirrorless camera
If the rumors are true, Canon is working on a full-frame mirrorless camera
Predicted specs: The sensor from the 1D X Mark II or 5D Mark IV | Existing lens mount
CanonRumors is reporting that Canon is working on a mirrorless full-frame camera, and the good news is that it’s likely to use an existing lens mount, which is in no doubt causing the engineers at Canon some huge headaches.
Canon EOS T7i / EOS 800D
With Nikon bringing D3400 and D5600 updates, Canon are likely to hit back
Predicted specs: Resolution remains the same at 24MP, but a boost to performance with better AF and burst shooting
The EOS T6i (EOS 750D outside the US) is almost two years old now and with Nikon launching both the D3400 and D5600 recently, we wouldn’t expect Canon to let its closest rival have it all its own way.
We can’t see Canon needing to tinker too much with the sensor, but the 19-point AF system is looking a little dated now – not only against the D5600, but also against a host of mirrorless rivals. So it’s likely we’ll see more AF points featured as well as Canon’s Dual Pixel AF technology for snappier focusing during Live View shooting and video capture.
Speaking of video, we’d hope Canon would upgrade video to 4K over 1080p on the T6i, but with the recent EOS M5 not getting it, we’re not holding out hope.
And what about the EOS T6s (EOS 760D)? Launched at the same time as the T6i, it had slightly more advanced controls, but shared many of the T6i’s features. Will Canon go down that same route again and launch two models?
Will Nikon strike back in the pixel count battle?
Predicted specs: Full-frame 42MP sensor | 4K video recording | 15fps continuous shooting
For a while the Nikon D800 (or D800E), and then the D810, was the small-format camera to buy for detail resolution. That honour has now been passed on – but while the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R may seem the most logical contenders for this title, a significant number of photographers have turned towards Sony and its 42MP Alpha 7R II.
As Nikon uses Sony sensors in its cameras it seems likely that the D820 (also possibly called the D850) will have a 42MP sensor or as a recent rumor on Nikon Rumors suggests, 46MP, although perhaps there will be a new, higher-resolution chip – Samsung is claimed to have developed a full-frame sensor, and if the rumors are true that Nikon has bought Samsung’s camera technology, we could be in for a surprise.
We expect to see 4K video recording capability in the D820 (it’s pretty much taken as read that this will be a feature of all new cameras), and an improved AF system, possibly the same one as in the D5 – meaning a step up to 173 points.
A gentle upgrade over the ageing D750 would strengthen Nikon’s FX offerings
Predicted specs: Full-frame36.3MP sensor | 4K video recording | Tilting touchscreen
The D750 may be a well-loved and affordable full-frame option in Nikon’s stable, but it’s over two years old now and could do with a boost to compete against a handful of more recent full-frame arrivals. Nikon Rumours has reported that a Honduran newspaper – of all sources – has stated that a D760 is imminent, so what could this offer? If the D820 appears with even more pixels, could we see the D760 take advantage of the 36.3MP sensor to replace the current 24MP chip? A top shutter speed of 1/8000sec could be on the cards, which makes sense as the D750’s maximum 1/4000sec shutter speed is a understandable compromise to help it be attractively priced, but a compromise nonetheless.
It would be surprising to find such a camera arrive without 4K video recording, particularly after the 4K-enabled D500 and D5. It’s also likely to have a tilting screen like the D750, although Nikon would no doubt want this to match its D500 sibling in offering touch sensitivity too.
Nikon Df II
Perhaps Nikon will turn its retro-styled FX SLR into a retro-styled FX CSC?
Predicted specs: Mirrorless design | Class-leading electronic viewfinder | Nikon F-mount
Everyone got very excited about the Df when it was announced, but its high price and relatively low pixel count in comparison with the D810 made it something of a luxury purchase. The traditional-style controls also aren’t as well implemented as on Fuji’s X-T1, which was launched around the same time.
It’s possible that the Df II will ‘just’ correct the handling issues of the Df and have a higher resolution sensor – maybe even using the D5’s 20MP sensor. However, it’s no secret that Nikon has lost market share to Sony and its Alpha 7-series of full-frame retro-styled compact system cameras, and the company needs to stage a comeback.
Rumors have been circulating for a while that Nikon has a full-frame mirrorless model on the way, and the Df design could provide an ideal starting point – albeit with a few significant modifications, like the removal of the mirror and the introduction of an electronic viewfinder.
Whether we’ll see it break cover in 2016 is less likely. With 2017 Nikon’s centenary year, we could see Nikon hold off until then.
Nikon 1 system
Will we ever see another Nikon 1 mirrorless camera again?
The last Nikon 1 system camera was the 1 J5, announced back at the beginning of April 2015, and we haven’t seen sight or sound of a new model since.
The arrival of Nikon’s new range of DL compact cameras at the beginning of last year, all featuring 1.0-inch, 21MP sensors, with specifications that seemed to cast a shadow of the current 1 system offerings, with many people questioning the need for Nikon’s current mirrorless offering now these compacts had arrived.
These models have been hit by delays (due to the earthquake in Japan that’s had a huge impact on sensor supply) and we still haven’t seen final production samples some 12 months on, but there hasn’t been a whiff of a 1 system rumor in ages. Could Nikon be quietly admitting defeat?
Sony AlphaSony Alpha 9
Could Sony launch a high-end pro-spec mirrorless flagship camera?
Predicted specs: Full-frame 70-80MP sensor | unlimited raw buffer | Dual XQD card slots
While the full-frame 42MP Alpha 7R II is clearly the flagship mirrorless camera in Sony line-up at the moment, there are rumors that point to an even higher spec camera on the horizon, likely to be called the Alpha 9.
Perhaps more DSLR-like in its design with a build to rival Canon’s EOS-1D X Mark II and the Nikon D5, the A9 is rumored to feature a full-frame sensor that’s crammed with upwards 80 million pixels, potentially almost doubling the resolution offered by the A7R II and pitting it against medium format cameras. Game-changer is not the word.
Combined with the rumors of the ability to shoot an unlimited burst of raw images thanks to the dual XQD card slots (the only other camera at the moment to feature XQD technology is the Nikon D5).
Other than that though, details are sketchy, but we’ll be updating them as soon as we hear more.
A new sensor and processing engine, plus an improved AF system look on the cards for Fuji’s pocket premium compact camera
Predicted specs: 24MP APS-C format sensor | 28mm equivalent lens | Improved AF system
We’ve just had the X100F announced with a number of new improvements, so we can expect Fuji to turn its attention to the X70 update next.
We’d be incredibly surprised if it doesn’t get a resolution upgrade, increasing the pixel count from 16 million to 24 million as we’ve seen with Fuji’s other recent announcements.
We reckon Fuji will stick with the 28mm equivalent prime lens, but it might be tempted to up the ante a little by increasing the maximum aperture from f/2.8 to f/2 for even better low light performance and depth of field control, but it may ‘just’ use a new optical design or coatings to boost performance.
Or perhaps we’ll see multiple versions – maybe one with a fast 50mm f/1.8 equivalent optic.
Fuji has been working hard on improving the autofocus systems in its cameras, and this seems likely to continue, so we can expect the X70F to focus more quickly than the X70, with better low-light responses.
A moderate update to Fuji affordable rangefinder-style mirrorless camera
Predicted specs: 24MP APS-C format sensor | Touchscreen | 4K video capture
The current rangefinder-styled X-E2S sits alongside the popular X-T10 in the Fuji mirrorless range. While one of the newer models, it’s the odd-one-out when it comes to its sensor, utilising the ageing 16MP chip, so we’d expect a X-E3 with a 24MP sensor to fall into line with the rest of the range.
AF is likely to be tweaked for snappier performance, while awe could see a touchscreen and 4K video capture.