Sorry for the long break.
First, the most murmured announcement date for the next 5D: February, 28th. That would mean the new 5D will go to sale late March-April. Exciting! There are already hints that Canon is shooting commercials for the new 5D.
Second, it seems that the 5D MkII successor will not be a cam sporting a over 30MP sensor (like Nikon’s new D800, the direct competitor). According to the rumor-mills we review for your reading pleasure, the new 5D will have the following specs: 22MP, 61pt AF, 6.9 fps. These seems to be the most probable specs, unanimously reported allover the Internet. However, the 61pt AF isn’t that sure. There are rumors that the 5DIII/X could come with the AF system of the 1D Mk IV. Finally, the 5DMkIII/X could have the weather sealing first seen on the 7D. A sensor featuring “only” 22MP could come to a surprise for someone, especially since Nikon’s new full-frame camera (again: the direct competitor) features 36MP.
However, what about the supposed split of the 5D line? Should we focus only on a probable 22MP 5DMk3 or is there still some possibility that Canon will release a 5D X with a sensor that can compare with the one featured on the D800? Personally I think Canon will. There are simply too much hints that there could be a high res full-frame cam on Canon’s next-to-be-announced list. Canon’s Chief Executive of Image Communication Products Operations, Mr. Masaya Maeda, gave an interview to some CP+ journalists. The reported comments are (source):
“…Regarding how Canon responds to the competition from Nikon’s D800 and the concern of the successor of 5D Mark II, Maeda indicates that although he cannot leak information about un-announced product, the way Canon develops new product is to satisfy the needs of professional photographers. For instance, the introduction of EOS-1D X is to satisfy professional photographers to photoshoot sports events like the Olympics, in terms of their requirement of high FPS and high image quality under high ISO settings. If Canon thinks the market wants the high resolution models such as the 30+ MP of Nikon’s D800, they can easily develop such products…”
I agree, Canon «can easily develop such products».[NL] spotted two chinese sites that refer to a 5DMkIII (reported to have 26MP, 19pt AF, 4.9 fps) and a 5D X. See them Google-translated here (5DMk3) and here (5D X). While the spec of the 5D MkIII are those reported above, the 5D X could feature a 45MP sensor, 61pt AF and 3.4 fps. [via CR, NL, DPreview Canon forum]