We are starting to get indications (because we’re asking people) about what to expect in terms of actual deliveries of Canon EOS R3 pre-ordered cameras. The supply got a bit more limited recently as Canon has struck a deal with Getty Images to supply their photographers with the earliest release units – a development that does not yet appear to have been publicly reported.
Early R5 Shipping Ratios in July 2020
Canon traditionally has allocated cameras to regions, and those regions may further allocate those cameras to Canon sales organizations based in a country, where the country’s market is large enough to justify it. Those, in turn, allocated cameras to specific retailers. This diffusion of authority means that there is not a common plan for allocating cameras to your camera store. It depends on where you live; how many cameras that store has sold pre-release previously; that store’s relationship with their Canon rep; and – importantly – how many other people order from the same store.
Flagship stores in capital cities have reported that they expect perhaps half of their pre-orders to be filled out sometime in early- to mid-November. The consistency of this message – which appears to be new relative to earlier sought-after releases, like that of the R5 – indicates that this could be an expectation Canon reps are deliberately setting.
Here in the US, supply-limited releases have been served earlier on Adorama versus other major online retailers. This may be due in part to those allocation vagaries, but it also may have a lot to do with Adorama’s main competitor, B&H Photo being very popular among early purchasers, and also the recent twin developments of B&H refunding sales taxes via a credit card promotion and the US now forcing retailers to enforce out-of-state sales tax requirements. An analysis of the “shippiest” retail outlets for the R5 was published here.
Increasingly, Canon has favored its own online store for allocation, especially with ad hoc, post-release bursts of inventory. If you didn’t pre-order a camera a couple months before release, Canon’s US online store will likely be seeing the most new supply. It requires frequent checking, and the inventory control system they employ is, well, baroque if not broke. Ordering an “in stock” item doesn’t mean it will be sent to you if you live in a region outside the warehouse that has stock. The upshot: order and then call to make sure the warehouse that actually has the camera knows it needs to send it to you.
Keeping an eye on CanonPriceWatch is advised, as it is easily the best real-time resource keeping track of things.