Development of a New Camera SystemDevelopment of a New Camera System

Development of a New Camera System

The new EOS R System with a new lens mount to extend boundaries of photographic expression.
With high-resolution imaging that meets modern standards, the system opens up new possibilities for visual expression.

July 11, 2019Featured Technology

SLR Cameras: Thirty Years of Change

In 1987, Canon introduced the first EOS series single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, with a fully electronic mount. Over the next three decades, the world of SLR cameras has been swept by successive waves of change. Perhaps the biggest paradigm shift has been the transition from film to digital photography. Now, in addition to prints, it is commonplace for people to view photos on electronic displays and to share and publish photos online.
The boundary between still photography and videography is also becoming blurred, and users’ needs, priorities and the environment in which they pursue visual expression are continuously diversifying and evolving. Amidst these changing times, Canon announced in 2018 a new camera system—the EOS R System—developed to encourage the next revolution. The “R” represents the development concept of “Reimagine optical excellence,” signifying Canon’s strong commitment to redefining the world of imaging.

The RF Mount—Realizing Optical Ideals

The project to develop the EOS R System was a cross-department effort involving optical, mechanical and electrical engineers working with specialists in cinema production and network cameras. The team began by reevaluating the strengths of the EOS System. Canon’s existing EOS SLR cameras are loved by photographers all over the world, from beginners to professionals. The team decided to reexamine why. The answer that emerged was the high-performance lens mount that enables sophisticated communication between the camera and lens.
Instead of the existing EF mount, the EOS R System employs the newly developed RF mount. In order to realize the ideal lens, Canon adopted the same large diameter as the EF mount (54 mm) but with a shorter back focus distance. This allows the rear of the lens to be positioned closer to the CMOS sensor.
The new mount offers a much greater degree of freedom in lens design, and accordingly, significant advantages including higher spec image quality, higher performance and compact, lightweight designs.


A large-diameter mount and short back focus helps expand photographic expression


The EOS R body is both lightweight and durable.

Canon’s Bold Spirit of Endeavor Leads to Innovative Technologies

The RF mount also offers improved communication between the lens and the camera body. The fully electronic mount controls autofocus and aperture with high precision, continuing the EOS System philosophy of speed, comfort and high image quality.
The RF mount incorporates a 12-pin electronic contact system—an increase over the 8-pin configuration of the EF mount—to improve communication speed and enable storage of all optical information and optical correction data in the RF lens. The data is communicated in real time to help realize high image quality.
This high-speed transmission of data is useful for such operations as assigning control of settings including aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed or exposure compensation to the control ring of RF lenses. Additionally, it has enabled Canon to include Digital Lens Optimizer function that maximizes image quality.
Such new features are made possible by the new mount system. Throughout the development of the new mount, major themes included the ability to respond to changing needs and laying the groundwork for further advancements in anticipation of new technologies.
The engineers who led the development of the EOS R System spent countless hours discussing the form it would take. Their wish—to offer new value in visual expression to customers by extending their creative possibilities.
However, the journey has only just begun. Canon engineers will continue to study the needs of users and the marketplace, and strive to create products that surpass expectations.
Ultimately, the source of their motivation is the smile on users’ faces when they pick up a camera emblazoned with the Canon logo.

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