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The last of the DSLR EOS line


It’s been a year since Canon announced the production and availability of their last EOS camera, the EOS-1D X Mark 3.

A number of professionals in the industry feel that this planned obsolescence of the EOS camera will be Canon’s swan song.  I, for one, resent the arrogance of Canon’s Chairman and CEO Fujio Mitarai, believing that professionals and consumers will be willing to shell out tens of thousands for mirrorless camera bodies and new lenses.  Frankly, if I’m going to have to go to a new camera and lenses, it will be a company that isn’t run by malignant narcissists.

In my opinion, there’s a good reason why Canon is struggling economically — aside from the virus scares — and the company has lost many loyal customers.  Permanently.

Chris P. Bacon
F-1; AE-1; EOS 1V, EOS-1D X Mark III, 5D Mk IV, 6D, 6D Mk II, 7D, and 7D Mk II; scads of Canon, Zeiss, and Sigma lenses.


I am sorr you feel that way.

I believe EOS is an acronym for Electronic Optical System, which actually refers to the electronic AF system.  Canon may be withdrawing from the DSLR market, but the EOS system continues with MILC bodies.  I think Canon will be fine.  Sony seems to do well without DSLRs.

"The right mouse button is your friend."


Since Canon just released the EOS R3 your basic premise is faulty.

It is true that the last EF mount camera announced was the EOS 1D X Mark III, and I am suspecting that it will likely be the last.

The move is to mirrorless and the EOS RF mount design.

I have a 1D X Mark III, and much to my surprise, it still works as well as it does now, after the R3 was released, as it did before, so I must have missed the command to buy a new camera.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


Chris, it is distressing to read of your frustration and angst; however, with all due respect, I must take issue with most of the statements you have brought forward.

I can remember the same comments when Canon changed their lens mount to the EF and brought out the EOS line in the last century.  Then the knives came out when Canon (and others) moved to the digital platform. Change is always disruptive and more so for those whose comfort zones have anchored in the last iteration of technology.  

Furthermore, it is not yet determined (to my knowledge) that they will discontinue the design and delivery of lower-end DSLR bodies which has always been a profitable line for them.  The current range of MILCs is obviously centred on the high-end amateur, prosumer and professional where the benefits of the new mount, lenses, sensors and tracking have obviously reaped benefits.  I know several highly competent and successful professional photographers who are quite happy with DSLRs that are not even in the last series of professional bodies - for them, if they can still take photos that sell they they see no reason to change: the camera is a tool and nothing more.  When the time comes that they cannot compete, they will move to the R-series bodies: and some are doing so: many will using their EF lenses via the adapters with no issue, others are clearly keen to get the benefits of the excellent technology inherent in the new lenses offered by Canon's line. So, our experiences differ.

While you suggest that 'a number of professionals in the industry feel that this planned obsolescence of the EOS camera will be Canon’s swan song', Canon's market performance in what is essentially the higher end of the market suggests otherwise.  Their profits have gone up and they are still firmly the leading brand.

Canon are moving with a market within which they compete with other great manufacturers - the major ones of which are Nikon and Sony.  Sony has had a MILC platform for many years, while Nikon last released a DSLR two years ago - not one, as you state -  at exactly the same date as Canon released their 1DXMkIII on Jan 7, 2020.  It is obvious that both of Canon and Nikon are heavily committed to the MILC market as well, and Canon have to move with the times to compete in a globally shrinking market.   

For the consumer, changing systems can get expensive, so doing so should not be done without due considerations as the the implications for loss of investment, and availability of what you seek in the future.  It begs the question as to what competitor you would move to in order to gain access to a reliable and on-going DSLR delivery stream, especially if you want a full-frame body.  If you can't confidently do so, then you are potentially making an expensive and (to any maker) insignificant gesture that could cost you dearly.

Not only is the market shrinking and competition on the move, but the supply of parts is critical - almost all makers are holding back the delivery of new models because they simply cannot get the chips or sensors due to the supply challenges brought on by the pandemic - one which is showing no signs of going away, I might add. Consequently, they have to focus on a smaller number of models, and it doesn't make sense to look backward when sales clearly indicate which way the market is heading.

If you have the latest DSLRs from Canon then you know they still work as well as they ever did: so if you feel you are a competent photographer with what you have now, then you are not losing out because your skill lives on and the cameras perform as they always did.

Since 1980, I have seen the evolution of systems from F-series bodies and lenses to EOS, to Digital and now mirrorless.  I have never depended upon newer technology per se: I have sought improvement through mastering what I have, but I am happy to embrace the benefits that technology offers, and I will continue to take the photos I have always taken, still using very old cameras quite happily.  Technique will always outlive technology.  However the market is changing, as it always has and always will...

cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

One aspect of hardware ownership you don’t mention is the issue of maintenance.  In the end, entropy always wins — lenses leak and parts on cameras break.  As manufacturers decide, like Canon, to no longer support their hardware, the consumer is forced to shelve or discard it: that’s usually a replacement parts issue.  But what about maintaining gear that is still functional?

Imagine for a moment that a Ford dealer tells the owner of a 1966 Mustang that they won’t tune up the vehicle because they no longer carry the spares — though it’s more an issue usually of the vehicle not having a computer that technicians can connect to that tells them what to do to fix a problem: many dealerships don’t have people who know how to tune up a less-sophisticated vehicle.

That’s exactly what Canon is doing: they refuse to clean an AE-1, for example, even though it still functions.  Why?  CPS technicians are capable of cleaning a camera of lower technology and no doubt their labor is just as profitable cleaning an AE-1 as it is to work on a mirrorless model, particular the first models that were rushed into production and have a number of significant problems.

The issue, one we’ll never agree upon, is a matter of integrity and ethics: Canon no doubt makes their decisions purely on the basis of profitability.  This means that there will be no new EF lenses, and, in time, our DSLRs one-by-one will no longer be maintained, and companies such as Sigma and Zeiss will no longer make Canon EF-compatible lenses.

I understand your points all too well.  Allow me to point out one fly-in-the-ointment. These new mirrorless cameras have a significant Achilles heel. Do you know what it is?


Chris P. Bacon
F-1; AE-1; EOS 1V, EOS-1D X Mark III, 5D Mk IV, 6D, 6D Mk II, 7D, and 7D Mk II; scads of Canon, Zeiss, and Sigma lenses.

Like any manufacturer, Canon has limits on what it services and for which it keeps parts.  The electronic componentry is a critical issue: one can still get very old, purely mechanical cameras to work and be serviced today, because one can fabricate or mend the materials - just like vintage cars.  Circuit boards in electronic cameras, especially solid state ones, are another matter.  Their boards are replaceable items. The Canon AE-1 is a pretty good example, (it was released in 1976, so that 46 years ago!) and since you brought it up, the electronics in it are ancient and it is unreasonable to ask any manufacturers to maintain and support an electronic technology that is so old. There are 3rd party service centres that specialize in those older brands, many using cannibalized parts from other cameras.

As far as service life of modern cameras goes: Canon have extended their warranty to now offer a five-year warranty on their cameras and lenses - which is pretty reasonable and shows their confidence in the quality of their product, and they apparently will service them for some years after that. Given that the electronics tech changes so quickly, cameras will continue to improve (just as computers do, because essentially that is what they are now) and most people will want to upgrade within that service lifespan.  The same thing can be seen in cars.  One can see purely mechanical cars that are almost a century old being maintained today, because one can approach them with a wrench and a screwdriver, and create new parts.  Not that many of the cars with electronic systems in them are living on when the electronics are no longer available.

So, I have a question for you!   Where will you take your business if you are so frustrated, or is this just a venting exercise of angst?  Whatever, you should be sure to be able to back up your information or you undermine your credibility, as you have already done.

cheers, TREVOR

Professional photographer, engineer and educator since 1980

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"A good swordsman is more important than a good sword" Amit Kalantri
Technique will always Outlast Tech - Me

FWIW, it is my understanding that Canon will not accept a product for service once they no longer have parts available in case they inadvertently damage something. 

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


Check to see the last few LensRentals blog entries about what get rented this year. Canon is number one. 


Spoiler alert:  Canon faithful here. 

Canon will continue kicking @$$.  The only swans are going to be hanging out with the swallows in Capistrano. 

I may not be a huge fan of Canon's 1st through 3rd gen mirrorless, but they are truly marvelous from a technology perspective.  Now mirrorless is well out of its infancy.  No doubt I'll buy a new body and control ring, then enjoy the (you know what) out of pairing great EF glass on a new mirrorless body. 

You're getting video with your still whether you want it or not now.  Not much of a compromise.  The R5c is going to be like a rail gun in predator.  If this is obsolescence, I'll see you on the other side.  So it doesn't have ibis...  put a good IS lens on it to keep the "jello" to a minimum. If you need a full size HDMI port for your NinjaV...  buy a cinema EOS.

Then right before sony, fuji and nikon recover, they'll give everyone a sub $1k FF replacement for the RP and a couple of APS-C bodys to deliver another knock out punch...  And then...  the R1.  

If someone can't get excited about even one of these, or feel like they won't deliver in value, then switch.  I'm a hard sell, I've been disappointed with every Canon mirrorless camera until (possibly) now.  I think the R5 would have been perfect for me, but the simple overheating thing made it impossible to commit to.  Its still a great camera ( I admit).  Enter the "c'..  would I choose a deeper body and fan (active cooling) given a choice not sure, but at least when I did shoot video (3 times a year) my only limitations will be power and memory.  

I love my 6D2, DSLRs and past SLRs.  They will always have a place in my heart, but I have zero problems embracing new tech.  Trevor and the guys have said it all.  Canon isn't turning their back on anyone.  Its called progression.  We are going to get some killer "stuff".  No, its never perfect.  they always leave something cool out, but we are going in the right direction.  If someone wants to stick with DSLR (EOS) go for it.        



Bay Area - CA
~R5C ( ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra
~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 
~6D2 (v1.1.1) retiring


I have used Canon gear since the 1980s but I am not impressed with the glitches in their first few generations of mirrorless.  At some point I will look seriously into mirrorless but since that will involve also changing to new glass to take full advantage, it would be foolish not to see how the competition sticks up so some of us who have been brand loyal largely through convenience and legacy will be taking a harder look at how the field stacks up.  I may very well stay with Canon but it depends upon how they compare overall with what I do with cameras.

Nikon's new 400 f2.8 with built in "hot switchable" 1.4X looks very tempting, something I hoped that Canon would have carried over from their 200-400 plus 1.4X into their 400 f2.8 which would have made a great and versatile lens for field sports.  I have been spending some time learning a new astronomy camera that uses Sony's 62MP back illuminated full frame sensor and I am impressed with what Sony is doing with sensor technology and providing to their other sensor customers.  So for me what was an easy choice 10 years ago won't be as easy of a choice in the next few years.


EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

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