Canon EOS R Review: Canon’s First Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
The type of satisfaction we derive from attaining the right photo, perfect angle, and right timing can only be achieved by having the right camera for the job. Is the Canon EOS R the right choice? Find out for yourself as we discuss what this camera has to offer, below.
After six years since Sony launched their first full-frame mirrorless camera, Nikon and Canon decided to join the party. Canon launched the jaw-dropping Canon EOS R, which has helped the company regain a position in the camera industry. Though it is still lagging in some feature categories, as is made evident by comparing the device to Nikon and Canon alternatives, the camera is still fully capable. However, due to lacking in the key areas that we will discuss, the Canon EOS R is still compromised when compared to these other camera options.
Canon EOS R: Specifications
- Sensor: 30.3MP full frame CMOS, 36 x 24mm
- Image processor: Digit 8
- AF points: 5,655 Dual Pixel AF positions
- ISO range: 100 to 40,000 (exp. 50 to 102,400)
- Max image size: 6,720 x 4,480
- Metering modes: Evaluative, partial, spot, centre-weighted
- Video: 4K UHD at 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p
- Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dots, 100% coverage
- Memory card: SD / SDHC / SDXC
- LCD: 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2.1m dots
- Max burst: 8fps
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
- Size: 135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm (body only)
- Weight: 580g (body only; 660g with battery and card)
Canon EOS R: Attributes
Canon made the EOS R square in the middle, thereby crafting a unique physic, having a full-frame 30.3MP CMOS sensor, like the EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR. The camera can be upgraded through additional modifications and customization.
From what was pitched for us by Canon, the autofocus ought to have been splendid. Unfortunately, it has been a huge disappointment. For instance, eye-tracking is only possible in single autofocus mode. Despite the Dual pixel CMOS autofocus, it’s not as fluid as expected. This flaw can be fixed through firmware, although Canon has been more focused on fixing bugs on the EOS R firmware update.
Another issue is the in-body image stabilization (IBIS), as this feature is absent in the Canon EOS R. Nikon and Sony, among other camera manufacturers, have made great strides in this technology over the past few generations of their devices. The fact that Canon is missing this industry-standard feature on the EOS R is a major disappointment.
Another area to consider is the camera’s video capabilities. The EOS R comes with C-Log as standard, and can record internally at 4:2:0 8-bit with Rec. 709 colour space, and externally at 4:2:2 10-bit with Rec. 2020. Although it can only shoot 4K (UHD) up to 30fps and 1080p (HD) up to 60fps, if you want to shoot at 120fps, you have to go all the way down to 720p (HD).
Like Nikon, Canon uses a new lens mount with a full-frame mirrorless system. While the new RF mount has the same 54mm diameter as the existing EF mount, its 20mm back focus distance (from flange to sensor) is less than half the 44mm of other Canon products. This enables Canon to produce optics with larger rear elements and better performance, such as the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM. Another area where Canon has the advantage over Sony and Nikon is in low light performance and ISO. The EOS R has a higher ISO range of 100 to 40,000 (expandable to 50 to 102,400), and has greater strength in signal-to-noise ratio across the board; Plus, it is capable of autofocusing down to -6EV, making it outstanding for shooting in poor light conditions. If you enjoy night photography, or if you shoot frequently in low-light venues, this feature can make a huge difference.
The magnesium alloy is durable and feels fantastic to touch. If it’s too big for your grip, Canon offers the EOS RP. This leads to the unavoidable large lense – the RF 50mm f/1.2L USM, and particularly the RF 28-70mm f/2L USM; they seem unbalanced on the smaller body. However, this can be adjusted by adding the BG-E22 Battery Grips – which, unlike Nikon’s camera lenses, have a shutter and control dial for vertical shooting.
The EOS R had dropped the M-fn Bar and in its place, uses the new feature known as ‘touch and drag’. This allows you to use half of the LCD screen as one big trackpad when you look through the EVF, allowing you to swipe your thumb over the screen of the camera like a smart phone. In addition, it enables you to select your focus point.
You should note that the size and reach of your hand will determine how useful this feature will be for you, but we have not noticed any issues when trying out the device software.
Canon incorporated substantial innovation into the full-frame mirrorless system. The camera offers a comfortable design to the avid photographer, assimilating a sleek aesthetic and premium user experience into the modern device. While the camera has a few feature drawbacks, the overall usability of the Canon EOS R has left us with a good impression. We would recommend the Canon EOS R, and consider the device to be un-compromised.