Coming in hot off of rumors of a new Canon R5 Mark II possibly being announced later this year, there are apparently more leaks coming from Canon in regards to some other, more ambitious, plans for the legacy camera brand. From reports via Camera Rumors, Canon is actively looking to partner with a smartphone manufacturer here soon.

Another to file under big if true, of course. But if Canon can find the right partner and the right project to bring their decades of digital camera knowledge to, we might be looking at one of the best smartphone photo and video devices to ever hit the market.

Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding this rumor, including what type of smartphone camera could this actually produce. Who would Canon possibly want to partner with? And, ultimately, is this something that we could see happen anytime soon?

Let’s explore everything we know about this buzz-worthy rumor and see how film and video pros might want to stay up-to-date on this potential game-changing partnership.

Canon_cameraCould you imagine this Canon camera as a smartphone in that pocket?Credit: Canon

A Canon Smartphone Camera?

Now, if Canon were looking to release a smartphone camera a la the RED Hydrogen One (which received quite a bit of buzz when first announced, only to be a huge disappointment when released) it could be the camera tech story of the year. (You know, if AI didn’t already win that award.)

While it appears that these rumors are more centered on Canon partnering up with an existing smartphone manufacturer to add their sensor and lens technology and patents to a preexisting smartphone development, it’s still fun to imagine what type of smartphone camera Canon could dream up on their own.

Unlikely of course, but a Canon smartphone would be a really great product if done right. With the amount of connectivity and usability being jammed into the operating systems of cameras these days, it’s not as far-flung as you’d think to add the ability to call and text to your Canon R5. But that likely isn’t the future here.

Canon_connect_appCameras and smartphones are already becoming more and more similarCredit: Canon

Who Would Partner with Canon?

It comes down to if and when Canon could find the right smartphone manufacturer to partner with. From the Canon Rumors report it’s been suggested that Canon could match up nicely with brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, or even Samsung or Apple. The first few would make the most sense as other manufacturers like Oppo and Vivo have already partnered with DJI and Zeiss for example.

However, the last name there is truly the most fascinating. Could you imagine an Apple and Canon partnership?

It would truly be a convergence of two of the biggest names in tech and video and could open the door to all types of possibilities. Apple has very much doubled down on photos and video with their more recent iPhone releases. Why not go for it all and add in as much Canon tech and expertise as possible for the iPhone 16 or 17?

Canon_r5_1Could a brand like Apple find a way to put the Canon R5 sensor into a future iPhone?Credit: Canon

What Would You Want in a Canon Smartphone Camera?

Only time will tell what will come of this news. However, if the internet is picking up on these rumors, likely, these conversations are indeed happening at Canon HQ. Could we see a Canon smartphone announcement here in 2023?

Probably not, but with the camera arms race still as hot as ever, it wouldn’t be surprising to see any number of off-the-wall announcements coming from many different brands at NAB 2024 or the like.

What would you want to see in a potential Canon smartphone camera though? Is there a particular Canon sensor you’d like to throw into your iPhone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.