Next year is an Olympics year, that’s usually a trigger for Canon and Nikon to introduce top-end professional-level cameras. Will they be joined by Sony or anyone else this time? Bearing in mind how the mirrorless market is building, will those cameras all be DSLRs or mirrorless?
Let’s take a look at the new cameras that may be announced in the near future. I’ll draw on our experience of camera development over the years to make a few predictions.
This post isn’t just a wishlist of features. I’ve taken camera trends, technological developments and camera rumors into account to come up with my best guess of what we might see announced in 2019.
Camera Rumours Summary
I’ll look at the rumours surrounding all the camera manufacturers, but here’s a quick summary of what we’re expecting/hoping to see in the near future:
Canon followed up its announcement of the Canon EOS R with the Canon EOS RP. That means it now has two full-frame mirrorless cameras. While the R received mixed reviews for its handling, the RP is attractively priced and more on-song. But what does the new lens mount mean for its APS-C format mirrorless cameras? There could be some major developments in store, including a new high-resolution camera. And will we see an EOS-1DX Mark III soon?
Fujifilm has been busy but the X-Pro2 still hasn’t been replaced. Is a new camera in the pipeline or has the popularity of the X-T line seen the rangefinder-style camera shelved?
GoPro has had its issues but the Hero7 Black seems to put it back on track with an amazing stabilisation system. But what would we like to see in the GoPro Hero8 and can GoPro continue in such a competive market?
Nikon has revealed its mirrorless full-frame cameras, the Nikon Z 6 and Nikon Z 7 and they’re great. But what’s next for the company? Will we see an APS-C format model soon? And how about a mirrorless version of the D5? Will we see any more Nikon DSLRs or the D6 in time for the 2020 Olympiuc games?
We’ve been expecting to see the OM-D E-M5 Mark II from Olympus for a while but what we got is the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. What else will Olympus’s 100th year bring?
Panasonic marked its 100-year anniversary by revealing two full-frame cameras, the 24Mp Panasonic Lumix S1 and 47Mp Panasonic Lumix S1R. More recently Panasonic announced the Lumix S1H, a video-centric full-frame mirrorless camera. This has yet to be released, but it shouldn’t be too much longer before we know the full details. What’s next?
Ricoh Pentax rumors
Will Pentax weather the storm it’s currently experiencing? We hope so, but it’s got its work cut out. Many photographers will take some convincing that its cameras are a future-proof investment.
Sony is pushing Nikon and Canon for market position all the time. Could there be a high-resolution version of the A9 in 2019, or perhaps an A9 Mark II for professional sports photographers? What about a replacement for the A6500? And surely it can’t be too much longer before we see a Sony A7S III?
What’s next for DJI? And what can we expect from the Yi Pixie? Did it crash before it even took off?
Canon camera rumors 2019
Canon has got more serious about mirrorless cameras with a full-frame model but what about APS-C format?
Canon APS-C format camera with EOS R Mount
Despite their high image quality, Canon’s EOS M mirrorless system cameras models haven’t really caught the imagination of enthusiast photographers. Sony, Fuji and Olympus fare better with that audience. However, the recent Canon EOS M50 shows that the company’s engineers are on the right track as it’s the best mirrorless camera we’ve seen from them so far.
Now that Canon has introduced the full-frame EOS R and EOS RP, complete with a new lens mount, we’re wondering what will happen to the APS-C line. Will the company continue with the EOS M series and its EF-M lens mount or will it switch to the EOS R mount?
The sensor is a very expensive component in a digital camera, so one way to make them more affordable is to reduce the size of the sensor. Producing an EOS R camera with an APS-C sized sensor could help drive more sales. However, full-frame lenses produce a much bigger image circle than is needed by an APS-C sensor. So perhaps the mount will be the same but the lenses will be smaller with a smaller image circle? That would mean that APS-C format lenses could be mounted on the EOS R full-frame camera. Canon full-frame cameras can’t currently crop to APS-C format, but it’s an attractive feature for photographers migrating from one format to another.
With EF, EF-S, EF-M and R-mount lenses it’s all got a bit complicated for prospective Canon users. The muddy water needs to be cleared.
Canon EOS 7D Mark III
With smartphones decimating the bottom end of the camera market, high-end cameras have become increasingly important. The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is an APS-C format camera that has found favour amongst enthusiast photographers, but it was launched in September 2014. It’s ripe for replacement.
The 7D II’s 20.2Mp sensor seems a bit low-res for a 2019 high-end Canon camera. I think we can expect a jump to at least 24Mp. However, some think that 28Mp is more likely. We might also see its dual Digic 6 processors upgraded to Digic 8 for even faster continuous shooting rates (the Mark II hits 10fps) and maybe, just maybe, proper 4K video.
I’d also like to see a vari-angle touchscreen to make the 7D Mark III that little bit more versatile for stills and video.
Canon EOS-1DX Mark III
If we’re going to see a Canon EOS-1DX Mark III, it’s likely to be in the next few months. It needs to arrive in plenty of time for the Olympic games. It doesn’t just need to be in the hands-of professional photographers, they need to 100% familiar and happy with it.
The problem for DSLR engineers is that the camera design limits some of the functionality that we now expect – completely silent shooting when using the viewfinder for example. And can a camera with a mirror achieve a continuous shooting speed of 20fps?
These limitations mean that any update to the Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is like to fairly modest. There could be step-up in resolution and an increase in the native sensitivity range, for example, but you need to use mirrorless technology to get incredible AF functionality that many of us now want.
While Canon will undoubtledly introduce a high-end mirrorless camera, it would be a bold move to do so just before the Olympics and to expect professional photographers to shoot with a new system.
High-Resolution Canon Camera
Canon currently has two 50Mp DSLRs, the Canon EOS 5DS and 5DS R which were launched in February 2015. There are rumours circulating that Canon is working on a 63Mp sensor. Of course, this could be for an industrial application, but it could also be for a camera.
The question that I find more interesting is, will the sensor be for a DSLR or mirrorless camera? My money is on a high-resolution EOS R model, perhaps the EOS RR?
Fujifilm camera rumours 2019
Fujifilm’s X-series has been very successful, and the GFX is a popular medium format introduction, what could 2019 hold for the company?
To be honest, I haven’t a clue what letter Fujifilm will use to denote the successor to its X100F, but X100H seems a reasonable bet. I love the Fujifilm X100 line of APS-C series compact cameras but I think the next camera may bring in a few changes.
I think the traditional exposure controls will stay and the APS-C format 26.1Mp X-Trans CMOS sensor and X Processor 4 are a safe bet, but I reckon the camera will be made smaller than previous incarnations. This may mean that the viewfinder, which until now has been a hybrid design that combines both an electronic and an optical finder, may just retain the electronic element.
While the drop in size would be good, it really needs to have a tilting screen.
- Read More: Fujifilm X100F Review
There’s a pattern to the way Fuji updates its cameras. Once a new sensor and processing engine is introduced, it starts to roll them out to each of its camera lines. The Fuji X-Pro2 is now over 3 years old so it’s overdue an update.
When it comes, you can be pretty sure that the Fujifilm X-Pro3 will have the same 26Mp fourth generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Processor 4 as the Fuji X-T3. That means it’ll be capable of producing the same quality images. However, it will have the rectangular rangefinder-like design as previous X-Pro series cameras.
Those who love the Fujifilm X-Pro cameras are passionate about their hybrid viewfinder system that combines an optical and an electronic viewfinder. It would be a strange move if Fuji moved away from this. Aside from their shape, the viewfinder is the main distinguishing feature between the X-Pro and X-T series cameras.
It will be interesting to see if Fuji gives the X-Pro3 the same range of AF and video capabilities as the X-T3. My hunch is that they will both be pared back a bit.
Will 2019 see GoPro finally steer a way to sustained profitability, or will it find itself under new ownership?
Just when you think GoPro might be out of trouble it has a habit of getting back into it again. Past problems seemed to be forgotten when the Hero5 Black and Karma drone were announced but then the drone had issues. Falling out of the sky issues.
A while back GoPro announced it was leaving the drone market and appeared to be announcing it is for sale. And while the GoPro Fusion is great is some respects, it’s not quite the full package yet – those rendering times are still a concern.
The GoPro Hero7 Black is an excellent action camera, we’re big fans. But what will come next?
And have we seen the last of the Hero Session models? I think so. It’s cheaper to manufactur just one shape camera.
Third Party Licencing
A while back GoPro announced it will be licencing its technology to third parties. According to GoPro, this is an extension of an existing agreement. But given the issues that the company has had, perhaps it will be more significant. Will we see GoPro technology appearing in other manufacturer’s drones for instance? And could Ali’s dream of a live-stream-enabled GoPro become a reality under a different brand name?
GoPro Hero8 Black
GoPro likes to introduce new Hero Black cameras in September, so September 2019 seems a safe bet for the Hero8 Black announcement. Some people seem to think this will feature 8K video, but we reckon that’s very unlikely. GoPro cameras are supposed to be about ease of use, and processing 8K footage will cause many computers to melt. We think that 4K video will remain the focus but the frame rate may get a hike, perhaps hitting 120fps.
- Read More: GoPro Hero8 Black: specs we’d like to see
Nikon camera rumors 2019
Will we see APS-C format Nikon Z cameras in 2019?
Nikon Z60 and Nikon Z600
Nikon may have announced a couple of full-frame mirrorless cameras, but with the more affordable model having a retail price of £2099 body only, there’s room for something more affordable. The easiest way to make a more affordable camera is to make the sensor smaller. Nikon already uses APS-C format sensors in some of its DSLRs, so that’s the most likely format.
I’m just guessing at the names, but Z60 would seem like a sensible name for an enthusiast-level APS-C format mirrorless camera. And Z600 or Z6000 could be good names for more entry-level models.
I think it’s likely that Nikon will want to have an entry-level mirrorless camera as a partner to its D3500 DSLR quite soon. Nikon says it is still committed to DSLR cameras, but mirrorless cameras are gaining in popularity.
The D3XXX line has always been very important to the company. It draws in new photographers to the Nikon system. The D3200, D3300 and D3400 have also been extremely popular, while the D3500 has only been on sale a few months. They’re great first ‘serious’ cameras. It’s natural that the manufacturer will want to have something similar in its mirrorless line.
Nikon Z1: a flagship full-frame mirrorless camera?
The Nikon Z7 is a high-end camera, but it’s not aimed at the pros who use the D5. It’s these photographers who are being enticed over to Sony by the A9. With Nikon using single digit naming for its new full-frame mirrorless cameras, it’s hard to call what the D5’s mirrorless partner might be named. I’m going to plump for Z1 for now.
The reaction to the Z6 and Z7 has been positive, but there’s one aspect that’s been targetted for criticism – the single memory card slot. Whether they save both file types simultaneously to both cards, or separate jpeg and raw files across the two cards, the key message is that many pro photographers like the security of a back-up to a second card. Two slots will be essential to the success of the Z1.
Sony’s Eye AF has also been very popular amongst wedding and event photographers. Could Nikon improve upon that for the Z1?
Will the Nikon Z1 be the camera that Nikon hopes professional photographers will use at the 2020 Olympic games?
Having been announced at Photokina in 2014, the D750 would seem ready for replacement in 2019. This would sit below the Nikon D850, offering a smaller, more affordable full-frame camera.
Nikon Rumors recently spotted that a Slovakian Nikon retailer had accidentally listed the Nikon D760 on its website for a short while. No surprises for guessing that it showed a 24Mp full-frame DLSR with a 51-point AF system, 8fps continuous shooting and a native sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 51,200.
According to the website, the Nikon D760 will also have a 3-inch LCD screen and be 4K-enabled
SnapBridge is a dead-cert inclusion as Nikon has stated that this technology, which makes connecting a camera to a smartphone or tablet easier, will be in all its cameras with the possible exception of top-end models.
Nikon’s D5XXX line of DSLRs is a good ‘entry-level’ model with a few more niceties than the D3XXX series. The vari-angle touchscreen, for instance, helps with creative photography and videography. However, things have moved on a bit since the D5600 was announced in November 2016.
The D5600 relies on contrast detection focusing in live view mode. We’d like to see that upgraded to a hybrid system. Including phase detection focusing would boost its speed and reliability. And maybe the AF system that’s available when the viewfinder is in use could be upgraded to 51-points? That would be nice, giving greater coverage across the frame.
In addition, the video specification could do with boosting from Full HD to 4K.
Of course, there’s always a chance that Nikon will opt for a mirrorless version of the D5700. That would be a smart move. Perhaps the Z600 mentioned above?
With the 2020 Olympic games being less than 12 months away the time is ripe for Nikon to announce a replacement for the D5. However, the company faces all the same issues as Canon, DSLRs have pretty much reached the peak of their development. A new model is likely to just make relatively small increments in the the headline numbers.
Olympus camera rumours 2019
The OM-D E-M5 Mark III looks to be the most likely next camera from Olympus, we’re hoping its autofocus performance will put DSLRs on the back foot
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
While Olympus won’t want to steal the thunder of the fabulous OM-D E-M1 Mark II, it’s likely to want to produce something to tempt existing OM-D E-M5 II users.
Our betting is that it puts a 20Mp sensor in the OM-D E-M5 II’s body, gives it an improved autofocus system and calls it the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III.
I also expect the High Res Shooting Mode to see the improvement that we saw in the E-M1 II. This will enable it to be used when shooting landscapes with moving elements like trees and water.
The OM-D E-M5 II’s IS system is very good, but it can’t offer the 6.5EV extension to hand-held shooting that the E-M1 II’s system does. Perhaps that too will be improved for the Mark III.
Olympus was keen to underline the video potential of the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, I think this will be the case with the Mark III. Could this mean 4K video capability, variable speed focusing, improved subject tracking and perhaps a flat shooting mode?
Panasonic camera rumours 2019
We’ve seen how Panasonic is planning to shake-up the mirrorless market with its two full-frame cameras, but what else is to come?
Panasonic G Series
With the introduction of the GH5S, Panasonic won itself even more devotees. It’s a high-end video-centric camera with better low-light capability than the GH5 and no inbuilt stabilisation. It’s more niche but has proved popular with some professional film-makers. Meanwhile, the GH5 continues to be the go-to camera for many videographers and film lovers.
The Panasonic Lumix G9 sits alongside the GH5 and GH5S as Panasonic’s flagship stills camera. It’s still relatively new as it was announced in November 2017, the GH5S was announced in January 2018 and the GH5 has only relatively recently had its full software released. So the top-end of the Panasonic G-series is reasonably fresh and new.
We’ve also recently seen a replacement for the G80/G85, called the Lumix G90, G95 or G91 depending upon where you live. It’s a DSLR-shaped mirrorless camera that has some impressive video features as well as stills credentials. But what about lower down the line, will we see some teeny-tiny Micro Four Thirds cameras soon?
Panasonic Full-frame cameras
Panasonic opted for high-end models for its first full-frame cameras. Could there be a more budget-friendly Lumix S camera waiting to step into the limelight? It’s possible, but I think it will be a few months yet before we see anything new in this line. For now, we have the Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R, with the S1H coming in the autumn.
It’s worth noting that the L-mount is suitable for use on APS-C as well as full-frame cameras. Panasonic has stated that it is committed to Micro Four Thirds, but if it wanted to, it could introduce an APS-C format camera with the same mount as the S1 and S1R. Just saying.
SEE MORE: Best travel cameras you can depend on
Ricoh Pentax Rumors
Pentax has been very quiet recently, does this mean that there’s about to be a rash of announcements or is it winding down?
Pentax launched the KP in January 2017 and since then it’s been very quiet. Aside from the news that the Pentax K3-II has been discontinued, the only other announcement has been the Pentax K1 Mark II. But even then, the new camera is so similar to the original model that we had trouble identifying the differences and if you have a K-1 it can be sent to Ricoh to be upgraded.
Sadly, the main rumour circulating about Pentax is that the brand is struggling and that Ricoh may kill it off.
It would be a shame to see a once popular brand like Pentax to die, but cameras like the Q-series and the K-01 were ill-conceived and unpopular, suggesting the brand is out of touch.
Sigma is part of the L-Mount Alliance and has plans beyond making L-mount lenses
Sigma recently followed-up on its Photokina promise of an L-mount camera with a few more details. The new camera will be called the Sigma fp and it will be the ‘world’s smallest and lightest’ full-frame mirrorless camera.
Interestingly, it’s set to feature a 24.6Mp BSI-CMOS Bayer sensor. This is a change from Sigma’s usual choice of a Foveon sensor.
We don’t have the full details of the fp yet, but it’s said to measure 112.6 x 69.9 x 45.3mm and weigh just 370g.
It’s also set to have a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 25,600, with expansiion settings taking it to ISO 6o to 102,400. Its AF system uses contrast detection, and is claimed to operate at down to -5EV.
According to Sigma, the fp’s electronic shutter enables images to be shot at up to 18 frames per second.
In addition, it’s capable of shooting 12-bit 4K UHD video at 24fps with CinemaDNG external recording and ALL-I recording.
Sony camera rumours 2019
Its full-frame mirrorless system cameras have caused a major shift in the camera market, but can Sony maintain the momentum?
Sony Alpha a9R
Sony has gained lots of ground on Canon and Nikon with its Alpha 7 series of full-frame mirrorless system cameras. However, the introduction of the pro-level Sony A9 really showed how serious the company is about mirrorless cameras. And then the attractive price of the Sony A7 III really put the cat amongst the pigeons.
The Sony Alpha 7R III, AKA the Sony A7R III, has been one of the most popular and talked about cameras of recent times. This is thanks largely to its small size, excellent 42Mp full-frame sensor and incredible focusing system.
I think there’s scope for Sony to introduce an A9R, a high-resolution version of the A9. It would appeal to landscape or studio photographers who need to capture lots of detail and want the more robust build of the A9.
Sony A9 Mark II
Sony is sure to want to take another slice of the professional camera market in the run up to the Olympics next year. To do that, it will need an update to the Sony A9.
My bet is that the Sony A9 Mark II sticks with the same 24Mp resolution as the original A9 but that it has more advanced autofocusing that makes use of AI. Eye AF is sure to be at the heart of the development, aiming to make it easier for photographers to get athletes pin-sharp when they’re moving at top-speed.
I’m expecting Sony to make some bold statements about the A9 II’s durability and weatherproofing. This is an area of concern for many pros and I think that the company will want to make a strong stance in this area.
Sony A7S III
Sony’s video-centric A7-series camera is due for an update and Sony has confirmed it’s in development. One key aspect that needs to be addressed is the colour depth to bring it in line with the Panasonic GH5 which is 10-bit enabled.
This is likely to be accompanied by faster image processing, possibly helped by memory on the imaging chip itself.
Faster processing will also help to reduce rolling shutter (aka jello) effect that distorts moving objects.
Of the second generation Sony A7-series, the A7S II has the worst autofocusing system – it’s slow and ineffective in low light. I expect the A7S III’s focusing will be much improved. It would be nice if it were possible to adjust its speed to suit the subject and shooting conditions.
I also think touch-control and a mini-joystick control are highly probable.
Follow the link to read more of our thoughts about the likely specification of the Sony A7S III
Sony Alpha A5200 or A7000
Recently Sony has focused its efforts on high-end and enthusiast-level cameras, but I think (hope) a replacement for the Sony Alpha a5100 could be just around the corner. The a5000-line is now Sony’s entry-level series of mirrorless system cameras, so the company will aim to keep the price down for any new models.
This makes it likely to continue without a built-in viewfinder. The pixel count is also likely to stay at 24million. However, the sensitivity range could be pushed higher to match the Sony A6300, A6400 and A6500 (ISO 100-25,600 expandable to 51,200) and improve low-light capability.
Perhaps we will also see an improvement to the autofocus system, but with 204-points the A5100’s AF system isn’t exactly lacking in this area.
And, as suggested below, perhaps we’ll see a change in the camera’s name. Could it be the A7000?
Sony A70, A700 and A7000
Now that Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras have been announced, you can bet your last penny that there’s a strategy ready to help maintain Sony’s impressive growth. Having an up to the minute line of APS-C format cameras will be a part of that plan.
The Sony A6400 and A6500 are excellent cameras, but they look very different from the A7-line which has really forged Sony’s success. I think there’s a strong possibility that Sony will want to underline the links between the cameras. As well as changing the names of its APS-C format cameras to tie-in more closely to their full-frame siblings, we could see a change in design.
So far Sony has opted for a rectangular appearance for its APS-C format mirrorless cameras. I think we’ll see a switch to an SLR-like shape with the electronic viewfinder in the middle of the top-plate. I really hope so.
DJI looks set to build on its success while action cam manufacturer, Yi may enter the drone market
DJI Mavic Pro 2
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro has been announced. And there’s not just one, but two!
Follow this link to read all about the new DJI Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
DJI Phantom Pro 5 Rumors
There have also been rumours circulating that the announcement of the DJI Phantom 5 isn’t too far away. This time @OsitaLV, who has a good track record with DJI specs forecasting, is claiming that the camera will accept interchangeable lenses. He also suggests there will be a new DJI mount and there will 15mm 24mm, 35mm and 50mm equivalent optics available. DJI itself has dismissed that rumor.
Other predictions include six direction obstacle detection. Including a sensor on the top of the Phantom Pro 5 to help prevent rising into overhead branches or ceilings. It’s also claimed to have a waterproof construction.
Yi Pixie Rumors
Following the leak of a manual online, it seemed that respected action camera manufacturer, Yi was going to announce a drone called the Pixie at some point. The document indicated that the new device will be capable of recording 13Mp still images and 4K video. However, it’s all gone a bit quiet and we’re wondering if they’ve thought better of it. DJI really dominates that market right now.
Follow the link to read more about the Yi Pixie.
Recently it was announced that GoPro is to license its technology to third parties and it set us thinking about a GoPro Fusion in a drone.
Naturally, mounting a 360 camera in a drone would mean that there’s lots of propeller action recorded. But it would also save any tilting or panning with the camera. It leaves pilots to concentrate on the flying so they can focus on finding interesting vantage points.
There’s then the option to output the footage in 360 format. This would allow the viewer to pan around the video. Alternatively, the footage is edited into a linear format and the videographer decides the angle of view for each clip.