When will the Canon EOS 6D or 5D MkII appear?

This is the very good question asked by Bob Atkins on his web site. Admittedly, the EOS 6D or the EOS 5D Mk II (nobody knows for sure the future real name of the successor to the Canon EOS 5D Full Frame sensor digital camera). But Bob makes good assumptions about what is possible.

Essentially, the choice is either before the Las Vegas PMA (in February 2008) or before the Köln Photokina fair (in September 2008). I admit I don’t have more information than that, but January and August appear to be the reasonnable dates for launching such a new product. However, I tend to believe that Canon would probably be tempted by two possible strategies:

  1. Pushing a second-generation FF camera as soon as possible as a pre-emptive strike against the other Full-Frame cameras to appear on the market (I tend to consider the Nikon D3 as priced too high to be really in competition with the Canon EOS 5D or the future 6D or 5D Mark II). If Canon has a really threatening product, they should not wait any longer than strictly necessary.
  2. But this may also mean exposing themselves a little too early to the competition which only has the EOS 5D to compare itself. Why shouldn’t Canon wait a little more to be sure that they understand where Sony (with the Sony Alpha 900), Nikon (with some yet to be shown camera) and others will try to position themselves? This would allow them to apply some less subtle marketing techniques at launch time, like hitting the market just after a previous offer to push it into the dark.

Whatever happens is still left undecided (that’s the beauty of predicting the future), but I’d really bet that 2008 will be considered the year of the Full Frame Digital SLR.