Flagship Canon EOS R1 sounds like a sports photographer’s dream

Canon EOS R1 announcement
Image: Canon.

Set to make a big impact on the professional photography world, the Canon EOS R1 promises big improvements to auto-focus tracking in complex situations.

As it stands, the EOS R3 sits atop Canon’s mirrorless camera range. The R1, currently in development, will soon become the company’s flagship model in the full frame mirrorless range. Talk from Canon suggests it will “dramatically improve” both still photography and video performance.

A new image processor is said to be the biggest driver of these improvements. Dubbed “DIGIC Accelerator”, it sits alongside the existing DIGIC X technology and a new CMOS sensor designed to better handle large amounts of data at high speeds.

For most users, the enhanced auto-focus performance promises to be the biggest difference. Using the latest processors and deep learning technology, the Canon EOS R1 carries claims of better subject recognition.

Benefitting sports photographers, the auto-focus system keeps tracking the target subject, even when others get in the way. Another layer to this technology is Canon’s “Action Priority” auto-focus setting which continually analyses a subject and adjusts accordingly.

In an example provided by Canon, this setting shifts focus quickly during sports to snap clear photos of decisive moments. If the camera identifies someone shooting a ball, it will recognise them as the main subject and ensure they’re in focus.

Noise reduction features, previously used as part of Canon’s PC software, also make their way to the EOS R1 as an on-camera function. In other words, snaps should look less grainy, even when the ISO is cranked up to capture enough light in tricky conditions.

Canon EOS R1 release date and price

Canon is currently testing its upcoming camera, including at “international sporting events”, so you might see it in action at the Paris Olympics.

It’s due out later this year, but there’s no word on pricing yet. To give you an indication, the EOS R3 costs $8,199 on the Canon website, while the more budget-friendly EOS R8 costs a bit over $2,000.

For now, more info is on Canon’s website. You can also register your interest to be the first to know when it officially launches.

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