Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digicam: A Arms-On Overview


The Canon EOS R isn’t the latest Canon digicam on the block, however it’s one in every of Canon’s 4 full-frame mirrorless choices.

Which implies that, if you happen to’re a complicated Canon photographer trying to transfer to mirrorless, you don’t have many choices.

However what does the Canon EOS R supply superior {and professional} photographers? And the way does is maintain up within the subject?

That’s what this overview is all about.

I’ve now had the Canon EOS R for 9 months, which has given me loads of time to check it. I’ve labored with the EOS R in rain, in snow, by blowing sand, at night time, within the studio, and rather more. So I do know what this digicam can do; I additionally know its limitations.

Canon EOS R review
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L | 1/160s | f/4 | ISO 400

And I’ve used the EOS R with an EF to EOS R adapter, so I can confidently say whether or not Canon EF/EF-S lenses work properly with the EOS R, or whether or not it’s worthwhile to buy an entire new set of (costly) Canon RF glass.

Are you prepared to find every thing it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the Canon EOS R?

Let’s get began.

Canon EOS R: Overview

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 24-70 f/4L | 5s | f/7.1 | ISO 200

The Canon EOS R debuted again in 2018 as Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless digicam, that includes:

  • A 30.Three MP sensor
  • A local ISO vary of 100-40000
  • Twin Pixel Autofocus with 5655 AF factors
  • 5 fps capturing with steady autofocus; Eight fps capturing with One-Shot AF
  • A completely-articulating rear LCD with contact performance
  • A 3.69M-dot digital viewfinder
  • One SD card slot
  • 4K/30p video (with a 1.7x crop)
  • A 370-shot battery life
  • A model new (RF) lens mount
  • Climate sealing
  • 1.46 lb (660 g)
  • 5.35 x 3.86 x 3.31 in (136 x 98 x 84 mm)
  • Present worth: $1799 USD

Whereas there are many worthy capabilities on that spec record, on the time the EOS R was seen as one thing of a letdown.


For 2 key causes.

First, the EOS R solely provided a single SD card slot. This meant skilled photographers who require redundancy of their work (e.g., wedding photographers, sports photographers) didn’t really feel comfy working with an EOS R.

Second, the EOS R didn’t embrace any revolutionary options, and definitely not any options on the identical stage as Sony’s groundbreaking autofocus, large megapixel counts, blazing-fast steady capturing speeds, and in-body picture stabilization (admittedly, Sony doesn’t supply all these in the identical digicam, however nonetheless!).

That stated, the EOS R did, and does, supply some compelling attributes.

And after testing the EOS R for almost a yr, I can say, no doubt, that it’s a nice digicam…

…for the suitable particular person.

Completely, the EOS R has some drawbacks, and it fails to actually get away in most areas. But it surely’s additionally moderately priced and offers you entry to extra mirrorless capabilities that you just simply can’t get on a DSLR, with no need a model new bag of lenses (to not point out its comparatively quick autofocus and robust picture high quality that we’ve come to anticipate from Canon’s higher-end cameras).

Plus, no two photographers are alike, and one photographer’s trash is one other photographer’s treasure.

Backside line:

Whereas the EOS R simply doesn’t work for some photographers, there are others for whom it’ll be an absolute dream to make use of.

So let’s take a more in-depth take a look at the Canon EOS R!

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L | 1/80s | f/6.3 | ISO 400

Canon EOS R: Construct

The Canon EOS R is medium-level compact, with a comparatively light-weight (however strong) construct. It’s simply smaller than the full-frame Canon 5D Mark IV, which is longer, taller, and round 1.5x heavier; the identical is true of the Canon 6D Mark II.

Canon EOS R review

That stated, the EOS R hardly feels slim, and it doesn’t actually scream travel-ready to me. Personally, I don’t thoughts the load of the EOS R, however if you happen to’re coming from a smaller APS-C mirrorless physique then the distinction might take somewhat getting used to.

The EOS R packs a high LCD, in addition to a capturing mode dial, a video button, an ordinary high command dial, and extra.

Canon EOS R review

Transferring on to the again, you’ve got a 3.2-inch fully-articulating touchscreen, which tilts in just about any course and flips out to the facet. You additionally get a number of buttons which might be virtually utterly programmable, together with an (additionally programmable) multi-selector wheel.

Canon EOS R review

Then there’s the digital viewfinder and, to its proper, a programmable contact bar (which I’ll focus on extra completely in a second).

Now, the Canon EOS R is listed as weather-sealed, and it may well clearly face up to some tough circumstances. I’ve used it (fastidiously) in snow and rain, and I’ve had no issues in anyway. On the identical time, the climate sealing simply isn’t on the identical stage as a few of the true skilled our bodies on the digicam market, which is why I don’t suppose the EOS R is the suitable selection for shooters that often topic their gear to intense beatings.

Canon EOS R: Dealing with

I believe I’m within the minority right here, however I completely love the texture of the EOS R and its in-built capabilities. I’d even go up to now to say that it’s the perfect digicam I’ve ever dealt with, thanks to some key options.

First, I’m an enormous fan of the fully-articulating display, which is implausible for entering into odd angles when capturing macro photos, architectural photos, landscape photos, and even street photos when capturing unobtrusively from the hip. Plus, you get touchscreen-based autofocus, so you’ll be able to simply faucet your required AF level and lock focus in milliseconds.

Second, the electronic viewfinder is evident, vivid, and crisp. Because of its 3.69M-dot decision, I hardly ever miss my optical viewfinder (which was an enormous concern for me after I first added mirrorless know-how to my digicam lineup).

Canon EOS R review

What’s additionally nice in regards to the EVF is how you should utilize it to “see” in black and white. You may actually look at a black and white world, which is ultra-helpful on the subject of composing compelling black and white images utilizing the viewfinder.

Third, the digicam matches completely into my hand and I can simply use it with out checking the place I’m urgent, resulting from a deep entrance grip and well-positioned buttons.

Fourth, the EOS R gives the programmable contact bar. This has been some extent of competition amongst EOS R customers, as a result of some discover it finicky to the purpose of being unusable, however I’m firmly within the reverse camp. I like the touchbar, which I instantly programmed to regulate my ISO and I haven’t modified since. It’s saved me from lacking numerous photos, as a result of as a substitute of twiddling with buttons and dials, I can increase the ISO with a roll of my thumb.

Canon EOS R review

Have I had occasional points with the touchbar?

Sure. It’s very delicate, which implies that I’ve unintentionally boosted the ISO with out that means to. However whereas this was irritating, it was completely definitely worth the trade-off mentioned above.

And fifth:

I like the silent capturing mode. In contrast to silent modes provided on different cameras, the EOS R’s silent capturing is actually silent or, at the least, so quiet you can’t hear the shot except you pay attention very, very carefully. That is a type of options that simply can’t be completed on DSLRs, and when it’s current in mirrorless cameras, it may be inhibited in some annoying approach (e.g., as a separate mode that doesn’t assist you to modify all of your different digicam settings).

However on the EOS R, silent capturing is unrestricted, which is without doubt one of the causes I like utilizing the R for road images. It’s a discrete possibility within the menu that may be toggled on and off at will. And it lets you fireplace off shot after shot with out being heard (which can be helpful for photographing quiet occasions, equivalent to weddings and concerts).

That stated, there are two key usability points with the EOS R.

First, the only SD card slot, which I discussed above, however bears repeating. For me, it’s not an enormous deal, as a result of I’m not an expert marriage ceremony photographer, sports activities photographer, or portrait shooter. However I can completely perceive why sure photographers require the second card slot, and in these conditions I’d merely refuse to make use of the EOS R; having a backup is simply too vital.

Second, battery life is mediocre for a mirrorless digicam, which is to say very poor in comparison with DSLRs. Canon charges the EOS R at 370 photographs, and I’ve been in a position to get excess of that out of it (perhaps 600 photographs or so), however you’re positively going to wish at the least two batteries in the perfect of conditions, and if you happen to’re doing lengthy photoshoots then three might be higher.

It’s additionally price mentioning the dearth of in-body picture stabilization within the EOS R. That is disappointing, and if you happen to’ve ever used cameras just like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, you’ll understand how highly effective good IBIS may be for low-light capturing. However Canon does supply loads of image-stabilized lenses, so it’s definitely not a dealbreaker.

Canon EOS R: Autofocus and velocity

The EOS R makes use of Canon’s much-loved Twin Pixel AF know-how, which was confined to Stay View modes on Canon DSLRs. In follow, the autofocus feels quick, however doesn’t actually give Sony a run for its cash. I spent a couple of hours capturing ducklings in a river, and my hit fee wasn’t as excessive as I’d like, particularly when the geese have been backlit.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L | 1/2000s| f/7.1 | ISO 500

AF protection is excellent, although, and spans just about all the sensor (due to the mindblowing 5600+ AF factors).

One other bonus right here is that autofocusing works all the way in which right down to -6 EV. I’ve used the EOS R in virtually full darkness, and I’ve discovered that autofocus does certainly work, although it hunts as you method that -6 EV territory.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Irix 11mm f/4 | 2s | f/13 | ISO 200

That stated, the EOS R does supply Eye AF, which lets you nail focus in your topic’s eyes when capturing portraits. Be aware that that is typically used as a substitute of Face Detection AF, although the 2 are designed to work collectively to get you the perfect focus relying on whether or not the eyes or solely the face are in view.

You will have two choices on the EOS R concerning autofocus choice:

You may choose AF factors utilizing the touchscreen, or you’ll be able to choose AF factors utilizing the multi-selector wheel on the rear of the digicam. I take advantage of the touchscreen virtually completely, and there’s a pleasant implementation that lets you make solely a nook of the display touch-sensitive for AF use, so that you don’t have to fret about repeatedly deciding on AF factors together with your nostril.

When it comes to capturing speeds, I do want the EOS R have been sooner.

You may work at Eight fps if you happen to’re utilizing One-Shot AF, however this drops to five fps when autofocusing constantly. I contemplate that 7-Eight fps a minimal for action photography, and 5 fps simply can’t compete in sports activities or wildlife or different motion eventualities.

The upshot of that is that the buffer is comparatively deep; you’ll be able to seize 65 RAW photos with out pause, or 126 high-quality JPEGs, which is at all times good for conditions the place it’s worthwhile to carry on capturing throughout once-in-a-lifetime moments.

So whereas the EOS R clearly isn’t well-equipped for devoted motion images, it gained’t utterly fail you in fast-paced conditions.

Canon EOS R: Picture high quality

The EOS R gives dependable picture high quality with out being significantly groundbreaking.

First, when it comes to decision, you get 30.Three MP, which gives a center floor between the 45+ megapixel sensors provided by Sony’s A7R series and the Nikon Z7 (in addition to the Canon 5DS/5DS R), and the usual 24 MP sensor. Personally, I believe it is a good place to be, since you get good element and important cropping capabilities with out producing large file sizes or loads of high-ISO noise.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon 24-70mm f/4L | 1/1600s | f/8 | ISO 200

Canon cameras aren’t often identified for his or her excessive ISO efficiency, and right here the EOS R is an effective performer with out being nice.

The Canon EOS R gives an ISO vary of 100-40,000, with the power to broaden to ISO 50 on the low finish and ISO 102,400 on the excessive finish. I really feel comfy pushing the ISO to 800 or 1600 when aiming for a clear picture, and I’ll typically go to ISO 6400 when capturing road photos at night time, however it is a step down from the really spectacular low-light capabilities of the Nikon Z6 or the Sony a7 III.

The identical is true of dynamic range, the place photos are good with out being breathtaking. You don’t get the 15 stops of a Sony a7R IV, however the outcomes are completely usable for, say, critical landscape photographers.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 24-70 f/4L | 1/200s | f/10 | ISO 200

All in all, I’m happy by the Canon EOS R’s picture high quality with out being floored. Should you’re coming from an APS-C digicam or an older full-frame DSLR, you’ll discover an enormous distinction, however the EOS R doesn’t supply a lot of a picture high quality increase in comparison with a digicam such because the Canon 6D Mark II and is fairly on par with the 5D Mark IV.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro | 1/3200s | f/2.8 | ISO 250

Canon EOS R: Utilizing the adapter

There are three Canon EF to RF adapters available on the market:

The essential EF-EOS R adapter, which merely lets you join your EF/EF-S lenses to an EOS R physique.

The midrange EF-EOS R adapter, which supplies you a devoted aperture ring when utilizing EF/EF-S lenses.

And the high-end EF-EOS R adapter, which lets you drop in filters (equivalent to a round polarizer or an ND filter).

I’ve solely used the primary of those, which you’ll be able to seize for $99 USD. I’ve examined it on the EOS R with a handful of lenses in fairly a couple of conditions, and it really works flawlessly. I’ve seen zero autofocus lag, which suggests you can comfortably use your EF and EF-S lenses with out fear.

Nevertheless, the adapter comes with two minor drawbacks:

First, it does take up area, both in your bag or in your digicam. Should you’re aiming for the smallest, lightest equipment potential, then it’s most likely not the best choice.

And second:

It’s inconvenient to work with a bunch of lenses, a few of that are EF-mount and a few of that are RF-mount, as a result of you need to hold transferring the adapter on and off the digicam.

To me, these drawbacks aren’t an enormous deal, and I plan to maintain my EF lenses for a very long time. But it surely’s definitely price desirous about.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L | 1/100s | f/9 | ISO 100

Who can purchase the Canon EOS R?

Should you’re in search of a complicated or pro-level digicam that’s simple to make use of, comparatively cheap, and may do loads of issues properly with out actually specializing in a single space, then the EOS R is a superb possibility. It’s particularly compelling if you happen to’re already a Canon shooter and have a slew of Canon lenses that may be connected by way of the EF-EOS R adapter.

Canon EOS R review sample image
Canon EOS R | Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L | 1/320s| f/9 | ISO 200

You should utilize the EOS R for nice outcomes if you happen to’re a:

  • Portrait photographer
  • Road photographer
  • Panorama photographer
  • Journey photographer
  • Macro photographer
  • Architectural photographer

But it surely’s not an motion digicam, which implies that you shouldn’t seize the EOS R if you happen to’re trying to shoot sports activities or wildlife completely. As a substitute, I’d suggest the newly launched EOS R5 or the EOS R6, which each supply a whopping 20 fps capturing by way of the digital shutter. The identical is true on the subject of marriage ceremony images: Each the EOS R5 and the EOS R6 supply twin card slots, which make them a lot better decisions for the redundancy-conscious photographer.

The truth is, given the discharge of the EOS R5 and EOS R6, that are just about all-around powerhouses, it’s price asking:

Is the Canon EOS R out of date?

In most methods, the EOS R5 and the EOS R6 are objectively higher than the EOS R.

However in the long run, it comes down to cost; the EOS R5 prices over twice that of the EOS R, and the “cheaper” EOS R6 can be comparatively costly ($2500 USD) whereas solely providing a 20 MP sensor.

So if you happen to’re in search of a high-quality digicam however you’ll be able to’t afford the EOS R5 or R6, then the EOS R is a superb selection.

Score: 3.5 out of 5.

Canon EOS R review


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here