When a leaflet for a camera called the EOS Ra appeared on Canon UK’s site in September, it piqued the photography world’s interest. According to the leaflet – which has since been taken down – “the EOS Ra is a version of the EOS R designed for astrophotography”.
Since then, though, we’ve barely heard anything about the EOS Ra, but reliable camera rumors site Nokishita has tweeted that the astrophotography-focused camera has been added to Canon’s product list and is “probably the next camera to be announced”.
If this rumor turns out to be true, this will be the first specialized camera from Canon since 2012, and the first full-frame mirrorless model ever specialized for astrophotography.
The older cameras that were designed for astrophotography were DSLR variants of existing Canon snappers – the difference is that they had their infrared-blocking dielectric mirror (also called a ‘hot mirror’) removed to make it more sensitive to hydrogen-alpha light (the wavelength of light emitted by stars and needed to produce high quality astro images).
The EOS 20Da (a variant of the EOS 20D) was announced in 2005, but has since been replaced by the EOS 60a (a spin on the EOS 60D) which was announced in 2012. Since then, Canon hasn’t announced an astro-focused camera, making the EOS Ra a highly possible addition to its ever-expanding stable of snappers.
Not much is known about the EOS Ra’s specs – except that it has “approximately four times the transmittance of hydrogen-alpha light (656nm) as the EOS R” – but if a part of the user manual has been leaked, then it’s likely we could hear an official announcement about it soon.
However, Canon has also teased us about a high-end pro-specced Canon EOS R model currently in development, but nothing official has been announced about what is being dubbed the EOS Rx and we’re unlikely to hear any announcements about it until some time in 2020.