Although Canon’s flagship 1DX Mark III DSLR is still on the horizon, it seems as though Canon has stopped research and development efforts for new EF lenses.
In an interview with Digital Camera World, Canon Europe pro product marketing senior manager, Richard Shepherd, said that while Canon will continue to support EF lenses, the plan is to focus on RF lenses, unless the ‘market demand[s] it.’ Below is the full quote, shared by Digital Camera World:
‘As you know, last year we launched the RF mount and EOS R system […] To date we’ve launched ten critically acclaimed lenses, and as it’s a new system we plan to continue this, launching more RF lenses while still fully supporting the EF lens system. And of course, should the market demand it, we are ready to create new EF lenses. But for now, our focus is on RF.’
While this is the first time we’ve seen detailed confirmation about Canon ceasing development of new EF lenses, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. Canon’s EF mount was released 33 years ago when it replaced the FD mount in 1987. Since then, we’ve seen the rise of digital cameras, the fall of point-and-shoot cameras and now the rise of mirrorless cameras. Canon’s RF system is clearly the future for the company and as such it makes sense Canon would be more interested in investing its capital looking forward rather than behind.
As of October 12, 2017, Canon said it had surpassed production of more than 130 million EF-series interchangeable lenses—just shy of four million per year since the mount’s inception. The number has inevitably gone up by millions since and you can count on sales continuing for many years to come, even long after production has stopped.