Top new camera rumours for 2012

New cameras in 2012: Canon 6D? Nikon D800? Canon G13? Canon 5D Mark III?

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Let's take a closer look at some of the more interesting (and realistic) new camera rumours making the rounds.

What does 2012 hold in the way of new camera releases?

These are our predictions...

Canon eos 5d mark ii

Canon EOS 6D / Canon EOS 5D Mark III release date rumours

Could a Canon EOS 5D Mark III release date be just around the corner? We think so. Launched in 2008, the Canon 5D Mark II is due a refresh. Essentially just the innards of an Canon 5D inside a slightly spruced-up body shell, plus a 21-million-pixel sensor and a very cool (for 2008) video shooting function, the 5D MKII always looked like something of a compromise.

At this point in time, the 5D MK II lacks both the speed and enhanced functionality of the newer APS-C format EOS 7D, and the rugged construction and almost infinite customisation of Canon's professional EOS 1D series.

Expect an updated body shell, greatly improved AF (probably borrowed from the Canon 7D) and a tweaked video shooting capability. We'd also stick our necks out and suggest that whatever replaces the Canon EOS 5D MK2 will have the Canon 60D's (read our Canon 60D review) articulated LCD screen - but possibly with the addition of touch-sensitivity. If this turns out to be true, it would be the first full-frame camera to feature this technology.

2012 Canon EOS 6D / Canon EOS 5D Mark III release date probability: 75% - in fact, we expect a Canon 5D Mark III release date by early 2012.

Update June 2011: The EOS 5D MKII video capability has proved a major draw for professional photographers, especially photo journalists. It's therefore very likely that Canon will enhance the video feature for the EOS 5D MK III or EOS 6D.

A key change is likely to be an extension in the range of frames rates that are available at full resolution. Full 1080p at 60fps seems a safe bet.

Video Snapshot: We'd also like to see the inclusion and enhancement of Canon's Video Snapshot mode. In it's current incarnation in Canon's EOS 600D, Video Snapshot mode allows users to shoot snippets of video at predetermined lengths (2, 4 or 8sec), which are then stitched together automatically.

Canon may allow clips of different lengths to be combined and extend the level of in-camera editing of the clips to enable their order rearranged etc.

UPDATE - January 2011: The photography portfolio head of testing, Angela Nicholson, compiles her list of features she'd like to see on a Canon 6D release.

Canon PowerShot G13 release date rumours

We're not expecting a Canon G13 release date in the immediate future, but if history is any guide, the next update to Canon's PowerShot G-series shouldn't be far off.

The Powershot G11 and recently released Canon G12 (read our Canon G12 review) broke the mould a little by offering a relatively low resolution of 10 megapixels, compared to the 14MP of the Powershot G10 - released in 2008.

The decision to move backwards in resolution was taken (according to Canon) for the sake of image quality. Fewer, larger pixels give better pictures, especially in low light. With the Canon PowerShot G13 release, we'd be surprised if Canon stuck with a 10MP sensor. We suspect the Canon G13 specs will include a 12MP+ sensor and possibly an improved video mode at the very least.

Something that we'd love to see changed in a Canon G13 is the Canon G12's most pointless optical viewfinder. It is small, blurry and inaccurate. We'd like a decent electronic viewfinder - preferably built-in, or as an optional accessory.

Having the finder as an optional extra would also allow the camera itself to be smaller. Right now the G12 stretches the definition of 'compact' - hopefully the Canon PowerShot G13 will see Canon's G-series move closer in size to the excellent (and pocketable) PowerShot S95.

2011 Canon G13 release date probability: 5% chance within the next 6-9 months of a Canon G13 release, but this time next year? Almost 100%.

Canon EOS 1Ds Mark IV release date rumours

2011 Canon EOS 1Ds Mark IV release date probability: 90%. But we probably won't see a Canon 1Ds Mark 4 release date until spring 2011.

UPDATE - January 2011: someone told us they couldn't find a Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III anywhere. So we searched ourselves, and sure enough they were right.

Most camera shops in the US and UK are out of stock in the Canon 1Ds Mark III. But perhaps the strongest signal that Canon 1Ds Mark IV release date is coming soon is that those retailers that do still have the 1Ds Mark III are selling it at heavy discounts. Watch this space.