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Canon EOS R Review | Best Canon Mirrorless Camera?

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The Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera is Canon’s first camera for the new age. Let’s find out how it fairs in our review.

A front view of the canon eos r mirrorless camera

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What Is a Mirrorless Camera

A DSLR works by using a prism. This pentaprism or pentamirror is a five-sided reflecting prism that deviates a beam of light by a constant 90°. The light comes into the camera via the lens and mirror, hits the prism which sends the light to the viewfinder.

When the shutter release is depressed, the mirror flips up to reveal the photographic film or digital sensor. Camera manufacturers saw that photographers had obstacles with this system, and therefore, worked on new technology.

The mirror flip causes sound noise and camera shake. This is problematic for candid images and preserving the quality of the image.

The mirrorless systems no longer use a pentaprism. They use an electronic shutter and electronic viewfinder. This eliminates the mirror movement.

Instead of viewing the scene of a reflected scene, the mirrorless camera uses an electronic viewfinder.

The scene captured by the lens is projected electronically onto a miniature display. The image on this display is processed and then shown through the viewfinder. Some photographers find it strange to see an electronic image through the eyepiece.

By removing the prism, camera manufacturers were able to make cameras smaller and simpler. A lighter camera is easier to carry.

The distance of the camera flange to the sensor could also be reduced, helping widen the range of possibilities for new lenses.

With less mechanical parts inside the camera, the battery life of the mirrorless camera should be better. The use of the electronic viewfinder system means the battery life of both systems is similar.

Mirrorless cameras are better suited for filming as they use phase detection. Another plus is a faster frame rate, as the mirrorless system isn’t hindered by the mirror movement.

There are many differences, which you can find in our Mirrorless vs. DSLR: Which Camera Type Should You Choose? article. For more information on these systems, check out our 6 Things You Should Know About Mirrorless Cameras article here.

A Little History

Canon released their 2nd (yes, 2nd) mirrorless camera in October 2018. Many Canon users saw that Canon was behind the times.

After all, Fujifilm released the X-T1 in 2014. This groundbreaking camera paved the way for every other camera company to revamp their technology.

Epson was the first company to develop the mirrorless camera in 2004. It was co-built and crafted by Cosina, who is famously known for the Voigtlander lenses and Contax equipment. This was their one and only foray into the mirrorless world.

Leica, not wanting to see their Summicron lenses wasted on the Epson RD-1 created their mirrorless version in 2006. This M8 had a resolution of 10.3 megapixels and a sensor crop of 1.3x. Leica now has the SL (Type 601) range, started in 2015.

Panasonic released their DMC-G1 in 2008. Not only was it the first camera to use the Micro-Four-Thirds system, but it was also the first to use an electronic viewfinder.

This 12 megapixel-beast was outdone by their incredibly popular DMC-G5 in 2012.

Olympus introduced their first mirrorless system in 2009 with the EP-1. This compact micro four-thirds camera with interchangeable lenses came with 12.3 megapixels.

Their OM-D E-M1 released in Autumn 2013 was another micro four-thirds camera with interchangeable lenses and a 16-effective megapixel resolution.

Nikon did release a mirrorless camera in 2011, known as the 1 J1. It had interchangeable lenses with a 1″ sensor size and a 10.1-megapixel resolution.

There were a few revisions to this model, but nothing notable until the Nikon Z6 and Z7 released late 2018.

Pentax announced their K-01 mirrorless camera early 2012. This interchangeable-lens camera came with a 16-megapixel sensor.

Their second and more improved K-1 mirrorless camera released early 2016 with a full-frame sensor and 36 MP resolution.

Canon’s original mirrorless camera was the 2012 EOS M. It had interchangeable lenses, a crop sensor of 1.6x and an 18-megapixel resolution.

It was only in late 2018, along with Nikon, that they decided to announce and release their newest mirrorless system. The Canon EOS R came

Fuji released their first mirrorless camera in 2012, with the X-Pro 1. Two years later, the X-T1 became a very popular camera, partly due to its ease of use. Photographers liked the electronic viewfinder, manual controls, and lens selections.

Sony announced their α7 late 2013, after the initial development of their E-mount range. It was a full-frame interchangeable-lens camera with 24-megapixels. This was their first, and they continually revamp their system and hardware. Currently, we have the A7 IIIR

NB: For a complete history of the mirrorless camera, read our Brief History of the Mirrorless Camera article. 

Canon: Why Did They Take So Long?

As we can see from the above text, most camera manufacturers took around 4 years to revamp their initial mirrorless system into something workable. Ok, Leica took nine years to move on from the M8, but they are the special kid in the class.

Canon, similarly to Nikon, took six years. they weren’t sitting on their hands, waiting to see if the market was going to adopt this new technology. They revamped their M system many times.

Canon EOS M2 in late 2013; the Canon EOS M3 in February 2015; the Canon EOS M10 in October 2015; and the Canon EOS M6 in August 2017. The last edition, just one year before the R mirrorless version, had 24 MP.

So, I guess when the usual internet complainers were asking for a Canon Mirrorless, they either didn’t do their homework or wanted a more competitive system. In 2018, the options for mirrorless cameras were astounding.

Everyone was talking about Fuji’s X-T range, Sony had their full frame A7RIII that caused photographers to ditch their DSLRs. Olympus had the four-thirds market cornered with the fun, but awkwardly named OM-D E-M1 camera.

Other camera manufacturers saw they couldn’t compete with the cameras that Nikon and Canon release time and time again. If you can’t beat the game, you need to change the rules.

Canon, not too unlike Nikon, is a giant. And it takes a while for giants to move. But once they do, they create a momentum that will carry them on for the long distance.

When it comes to the DSLR market, Canon is number one.

In Europe, North America, and Asia. If you’re doing that well, you don’t need to change much. If it’s not broken, what is there to fix.

Canon didn’t take long to create their mirrorless system because they already had one. Famous or not, it existed.

It didn’t have a viewfinder though, which separated it from its competition. They had to create a new system at some point.

Smart Move

The release of the Canon R came at a great time. Sure it could have come out sooner, but products are scrutinized over intensively. Like movies, they are released at specific dates in accordance with the product’s competition.

There are two ways to go about this; either you wait for a competitor to release their similar product where you know your’s will fare better, and release them at the same time.

If you are unsure, you separate the release dates a little.

With Canon, their main competitor is Nikon. Interestingly, Canon announced their mirrorless R model less than two weeks after Nikon announced theirs. Not a coincidence.

To think these conglomerates don’t speak to each other would be naive.

Think about it. You invest all your time in DSLRs, video cameras and lenses. At the end of the day, you can’t afford to lose sales in other areas of photographic equipment.

Canon knows that they had a superb brand loyalty, and used it to their benefit.

I am one of these photographers. I followed and used Canon since my father gave me the Canon A1. This was a camera he shot with and treasured. When I turned 19 and found myself in university, this is the camera I used. Canon ever since.

If I was to leave Canon, it might be for Sony or Fujifilm. It would not only be a step away from Canon but from DSLRs all together. Never would I go for Nikon. Nikon would have the same following, but I doubt Pentax or Olympus does.

My point is, those moaning about the lack of a competitive mirrorless camera from Canon, came from Canon’s own followers. Interest turned to want, want became aggression and frustration.

These photographers would have waited any length of time. And Canon knew it.

A sid eview of the canon eos r mirrorless camera

Canon R Mirrorless | Review

Specifications

  •  Sensor: 30.3MP full-frame CMOS, 36 x 24mm
  • Image processor: Digic 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, center-weighted
  • Video: 4K UHD at 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p – 1.8x crop
  • Viewfinder: EVF, 3.69m dot OLED, 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)
  • Burst Shooting: 8 fps shooting (5 fps with continuous AF, 3 fps ‘Tracking Priority mode’)
  • Charging: USB (with some chargers)

Canon EOS R: Key Features

The full-frame Canon EOS R isn’t Canon’s first mirrorless, but it’s the first to use their new RF mount. The sensor has the same concept as the 30 Megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS sensor as the EOS 5D Mark IV from 2016. It changed to allow for the smaller RF lenses.

The shorter lens mount means that Canon can now design and create better or smaller lenses. They no longer have the restrictions that the older EF mount placed.

With the same sensor, you are getting the image quality of the 5D Mark IV for a more attractive price. With it, you get a new way to capture your scenes, using an electronic viewfinder.

As this is the first model of its line, expect it to fall behind some of the competitors.

Not to say this isn’t a great camera for fast autofocus, image quality, and handling. Just know, they now have a strong base to work from.

RF Mount

The new RF mount sticks to the usual 54 mm diameter that the EF mount before it utilizes. It reduces the flange-back distance over half its original size, from 44 mm to just 20 mm.

This allows Canon to build better and better lenses.

This short and wide lens mount will allow designers to work with faster apertures, which is something we all want. The mount is as durable as previous mounts, able to withstand decades of abuse.

On the mount, you have a 12-pin connection, which allows for much faster data transfer. The Canon 5D Mark IV has an 8-pin connection, making it 50% faster.

Interior view of the canon eos r mirrorless camera

Canon EOS R: Body and Handling

General

The Canon EOS R is the manufacturers’ lightest full-frame camera to date. It still comes with its weather sealed body and camera grip, so it still feels well-built. One feature that we appreciated was the fully customizable M-Fn bar.

Rather than being another button, dial or joystick, the M-Fn bar is an innovative idea when it comes to controlling your settings.

It was a nice idea, but I found it all too easy to accidentally touch. My settings would change, and at first, I didn’t know why.

You can, of course, turn it off, but that means its an unuseful addition. It was also in the way when trying to reach for the front dial.

It’s in the same place but feels harder to work with than previous Canon cameras. This is especially true one-hand camera use.

When you want to hold the camera with your right and access the lens features with your left, it feels a little cumbersome.

I found myself pulling the camera from a capturing position to concentrate on changing settings. I didn’t feel I could shoot and alternate at the same time.

Weather Sealing

I always felt that weather sealing was a gimmick. Ideally, you’d like your camera gear safe if it rains and you don’t have any rain protection. But there’s a big difference between splash resistant and waterproof.

We don’t expect to drop our camera in the ocean and have it work perfectly after. I just want to know I can depend on it being safe in an environment with more-than-usual moisture. You may find the viewfinder fogging up in damp environments.

Be warned. Warranties don’t generally cover moisture damage.

Autofocusing

What I like about Canon autofocusing is it’s pretty simple to use – and it should be. You press one button to pull up the autofocus selection, then use the joystick to select your point.

With the EOS R, you use the front dial to move left/right and the rear dial for up/down.

These actions are customizable if you feel there is a better way for you. The four-way controller can be used to ‘Direct AF point selection’. You may prefer this slower method as it is more precise.

Other than that, you can use the ‘Touch & drag AF settings’. This lets you drag or tap the AF point depending on an ‘absolute’ or ‘relative’ positioning on the LCD screen while your eye is using the viewfinder.

This might seem a little strange, but new features mean new challenges.

A couple embracing indoors - can eos r

M-Fn Bar

One of the areas that really sets this camera apart is its intuitive design and the forward-thinking idea of the M-Fn bar. Love it or hate it, it shows how a huge giant like Canon can still have unique ideas.

Just next to the viewfinder you’ll note a horizontal bar with outward facing arrows. This touch bar can act as two buttons or a swipeable control area, depending on how you customize its action. It might just make flipping through options easier.

By default, it’s on a safety lock. You need to press and hold it longer for two seconds if you want to use it. When I picked up the camera, I noticed it but started using the camera before reading the manual.

I know, I’m a heathen (and will go to that special place in hell). I didn’t realize why my camera settings were changing out of nowhere until I came across this in other reviewer’s comments.

You can turn it off as they suggest, but I recommend giving it ago. Change is good.

You can do this with many different settings and features. I tried to use it when I wanted to magnify to reduce the size of displayed images when reviewing them.

I doubt I would use it when my eye is pressed up against the viewfinder.

Battery

One area I am continually annoyed with when new technology rears its head is the need for different cables or batteries. I already have four extra batteries for my Canon 7D and 5D Mark III, so I would prefer to put them to good use.

Thankfully, Canon feels our grievances and helps us out where they can.  The EOS R uses the same LP-E6N batteries that you’ll find their modern DSLR range uses.

Third-party options are available, but they won’t have the same quality and you’ll lose in-camera charging.

To charge the battery in-camera, you’ll need the PD-E1 USB adapter, which comes in just under $200.

Canon EOS R: Lenses

One of the reasons to change from DSLR are the possibilities for new, exciting lenses. Changing between DSLRs within the same camera manufacturer doesn’t give you that option, except moving from crop-sensor to full frame.

The new RF mount brings new lenses. New designs and new advantages. So far, we have four lenses; two zooms and two primes.

The 28-70mm F2 L USM, 24-105mm F4 L IS USM, 50mm F1.2 L USM and 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM are all great performers.

Be warned. Some of these lenses cost more than the camera body. But what is a brain without an eye? They are expensive because they are well thought out, crafted beautifully and will impress you endlessly.

If you are looking for general purpose lenses, go for the 35 mm f/1.8. For professionals, you might prefer the 28-70 mm f/2. I had the pleasure of using both the 50 mm prime and 28-70 mm zoom. I liked them both for sharpness, quality, and versatility.

It would be easy to say that Canon created a mirrorless camera just to be part of the market. It seemed they took a longer time to develop their new system with design and functionality in mind.

Not only do they have a smaller system, but a new focus on optics and performance.

Wasn’t it time for a revamp anyway? After all, the EF mount is three decades old. The speed of communication needed a boost, especially as the sensors and processors become bigger and more powerful.

Ideally, the greater speed in communication would mean a more intelligent image stabilization (nudge, nudge, Canon). The Digic 8 processor theoretically would be able to read and reply more information to the in-lens gyro. We need something more real time.

Along with this, the mount also helped the DLO (Digital Lens Optimiser) engine to combat lens aberrations and diffraction problems.

canon 24-105 lens

Canon EOS R: Quality and Performance

The Canon EOS R comes with the Dual Pixel on-sensor autofocus system. This covers 100% of the frame vertically and 88% of the frame horizontally.

You’ll find this system gives you great performance across many different scenes and scenarios.

Like any other camera, you’ll need to find the settings that work best for each scene and subject. Thankfully, there are many settings to tweak to obtain the best results.

Auto-Focus

From using this camera as a street photography system, I found the autofocus to be very good, even at high burst rates. For low light situations, this camera is the leading system.

The autofocus is fast and accurate, across tracking and non-tracking options.

When using Single autofocus, you’ll find the pupil-detection works very well. The accuracy is great for candid street photography and might work very well for sports. If the subjects are a little further away, the tracking mode is best.

Tracking in either continuous or servo AF mode works well for those subjects further away. just be careful when not using it alongside a telephoto lens.

It might not be the best setting to use for unpredictable scenes.

The autofocus is said to have 5655 AF points. This sounds impressive, and no way to reduce the numbers if you find this number too large.

There are always 87 positions horizontally and 65 vertically. Going through all of these with the joystick is time-consuming.

A slow AF area placement means missed shots. you can use the touchscreen which is more effective in moving your AF point quickly.

Touch and drag also works to move between many faces detected in your scene.

If you are used to Canon, then you will find the AF settings and usages here are similar to the Canon 6D Mark II and the 5D Mark IV.

This is what you’ll enjoy:

  • Face + Tracking (with optional Pupil Detection*)
  • 1-point AF (small)*
  • 1-point AF (normal)
  • Expand AF area
  • Expand AF area (surround)
  • Zone AF
  • Large Zone AF (Vertical)
  • Large Zone AF (Horizontal)

Canon EOS R specs

Pupil Detection

One autofocus area that might be beneficial to you is the pupil detection feature. It ensures a very accurate focus when shooting at wide apertures.

The only problem is, it is only available during the Single AF.

This means that your subject needs to stand still when using this move. Perfect for portraits, lifestyle shots, capturing families and couples.

You might have trouble with children or some events, such as weddings.

To set this mode, you need to use the Q menu. This can be confusing. Enable means that it is enabled and switched on, whereas the user may feel they need to click the ‘info’ button to select the setting.

Single AF

The Single AF mode is very impressive. I found it great to work within two areas; street photography and concert photography. These are both my main fields and need a sharp focus across a range of different scenarios.

I found that not only is it fast and accurate, but it also works well in low light. This is an area where most cameras have the most autofocus problems.

But I came out feeling that the images were focused quickly and indeed sharp.

Servo AF

This continuous autofocus mode works best with distant subjects with a telephoto lens. For everyday use, where you may use a wide or standard lens, it is a little difficult to get the desired focusing and therefore, images.

I found the focus hunted for the focus point for a while, even in lighter conditions. It found its way to subjects that were close to the main subject.

This might be a problem for sports photography or other events where you’ll find many people in close proximity.

bright and airy6 portrait of a female model shot with Canon EOS R

Face-Tracking

As the face-tracking feature is always thinking about your scene, it may jump out of nowhere to another point in the frame. This is where you’ll get unfocused shots, even from the quietest of scenes.

This is especially true when you are tracking faces and other subjects. You will see this miss in crucial wide apertures, and with a lens like the EOS RF F/1.2, it’s a big deal.

C-Raw

One of the additions with this new camera system is the use of C-Raw. This was something that the Canon M50 implemented that they found useful enough to place on the Canon EOS R.

These files are 40% smaller than regular Raw files.

This allows you to save space on your memory card and subsequent disk space. You won’t see any degradation in images quality unless you push the files by a few stops in post-production.

Dynamic Range

The camera’s dynamic range is the span of tones that a camera can represent, from dark, usable values to bright, usable values.

The dynamic range will come down to personal preference more than anything else, but there are technical limits.

The Canon EOS R is most similar to its cousin the Canon 5D Mark IV. You may find the EOS R slightly noisier, but unnoticeable unless zoomed in 100%. But, this digital noise places itself behind the Sony A7 RIII and the Nikon Z7.

This is especially true when you move past an increase of +4 EV. You’ll also see an increase in chromatic aberrations and color blotching.

ISO

With the Canon EOS R, you’ll find a similar ISO range with older DSLR cameras. 100 to 40,000 is standard but can be expanded from 50 to 102,400.

The 5D Mark IV has an ISO range of  100 to 32000 with expansion from 50 to 102400.

A higher ISO value will always give you higher quality images compared to pushing the image in post-production. Pushing an image 5 or 6 stops from ISO 100 is going to fare worse than using ISO 6400, for examples.

But reducing the EV is a useful photography tactic. You can underexpose a traditional ISO 6400 exposure by -4 EV by capturing the scene at ISO 400, raising it by +4 EV in post-production. Here, you’ll gain a little noise.

But, by using this process you have saved 4 EV of highlights. These would be lost if you shot at ISO 6400.

Canon EOS R: Video

The Canon EOS R is the first camera in Canon’s line up of using dual-pixel autofocus when filming 4K.

This means in-focus video, and easier to ensure the scene is sharp.

Let’s look at the video possibilities:

  • 4K/30p capture with autofocus
  • Full HD at 60p
  • Crop factor of 1.8x with 4K
  • Flip around screen
  • No in-body stabilization
  • Digital image stabilization crops into the scene further (enhanced crops even more)
  • Rolling shutter found in 4K
  • Good battery life when filming
  • No specific button for filming

Canon EOS R: Video

Crop

One of the things that I notice many users were not happy with was the 1.8x crop when filming with 4K. You don’t have the same crop when using full HD. For those that use the 5D Mark IV, this is nothing new.

But, with the DSLR, you can find EF-S lenses that take this into account, and adapt accordingly. Even here, changing lenses for when you want to film and photograph can get frustrating and old pretty fast.

If this is your first venture into Canon cameras, you might be surprised. Especially when you find out that there is a further crop when it comes to using digital image stabilization. Using the enhancement, it drops even further.

It quickly turns from a full-frame camera to an APS-C video camera. In the end, you are left with only 28% of the sensor being used, 72& of the light is being disregarded.

If vblogging is your thing, you might find the flip out screen is a great addition to your workflow. But, the 1.8x crop might negate its use. You could use the HD mode, but that’s like buying a Lamborgini to sit in traffic.

With the crop, it becomes somewhat a better version of the Lumix GH5 in terms of what you can see. The GH5 from Lumix has other advantages that surpass the Canon EOS R.

Autofocus

The reason many filmmakers might choose this camera is its autofocus during filming. It houses a Dual-Pixel AF which is a great asset for 4k filming. But, there are times when the tracking will hunt for a fixed focal point more than you’d expect or like.

There are flaws with any system, so while the quality of the images is very good, the crop factor and touchy autofocus might be enough to sway you.

Like any other hybrid system, you won’t find perfect features across the board. This camera means you don’t need two separate systems.

Of course, there are better mirrorless cameras for photography, and others for filming. Here, you get a great all-around system.

I would have liked a focus system that the Lumix GH5 uses. A red outline of what falls in focus. This would be an advantage for those one-man-crews where the filmmaker needs to think about filming, sound, focusing and interacting with the subject.

Performance & Quality

The best thing about Canon video is the color output. Here, you’ll see a great color range. The problem is, there is no in-built stabilization. If you can’t gain smooth footage, the color output range falls flat on its face.

Even if you use a stabilized lens, the footage may produce problems through its rolling shutter. With the digital stabilizer, you’ll notice a softer focus and may even create artifacts in the corners of your footage.

The biggest problem is that once you start recording, the histogram disappears. Many filmmakers would like to see their dynamic range as they film. There are no zebra warnings of areas with too much or not enough light.

Battery life holds up and changing your settings while rolling works well as it does so smoothly. Auto ISO alongside exposure compensation works well for scenes where the light changes.

You get 10-bit log footage, so the quality and resolution are there. This will help when it comes to the editing stage.

Although the Canon EOS R is good, it just can’t keep up with the Sony a7 RIII or Fujifilm X-T3. One of the reasons is that these camera manufacturers have already ironed out some of the problems they faced.

Canon is starting fresh. But expect it to pick up soon.

side view of the canon eos r mirrorless camera

Canon EOS R: Rivals

Currently, there are mirrorless competitors across the board.

Every camera manufacturer has something that Canon needs to beat for the number one spot.

Sony a7 RIII

The Canon has a much higher resolution screen, around 2.5x better than the Sony A7. There are an insane increase of focal points (5,655 Vs. 693) and the ISO sensitivity almost doubles the Sony at it’s maximum (102,400 vs 51,200)

Sony loses out in terms of resolution too, where can has 30.1 MP to Sony’s 24 MP. However, the a7 RIII almost doubles the number of images with a single battery. The Sony has a wider range of lenses due to being released much earlier than it’s rival.

The a7 RIII is smaller and thinner (20% smaller and 10% thinner) and shoots more images while in continuous burst mode.

Sony’s mirrorless is slightly more expensive, but you still get the <80% crop from a full frame sensor.

Sony a7 RIII

Nikon Z7

Starting with the focal points, Canon has over 11 times more than the Nikon cousin (5,655 Vs. 493). You’ll get longer battery life and enjoy a 30% decrease in price when compared to the Z7.

However, the Z7 promises a huge increase in resolution (45.4 MP Vs. 30.1 MP). It’s 20% physically smaller, 20% thinner and even then, can shoot around 10% faster (8 fps Vs. 9 fps).

For me, the Canon still wins, but if you need a higher resolution without going to medium format, the Nikon has advantages.

Nikon Z7

Fujifilm X-T3

Compared to the Fujifilm X-T3, the Canon has some advantages.

The focal points on the EOS R are in higher volume (5,655 Vs. 425) and the screen’s resolution is twice the size. It is also 10% larger.

The light sensitivity of the Canon EOS R is 2 f-stops better than the X-T3, coming in at 102,400 ISO over 51,200. The resolution gives you 20% more detail in your images (30.1 MP Vs. 26 MP).

But, Fujifilm outperforms the Canon R in many important ways. It shoots 2.5x faster (20 Vs. 8 fps), its 30% smaller, 30% thinner and 20% lighter (539 g Vs. 660 g).

The battery life is longer and around 40% cheaper.

As the Fujifilm has also been around longer, it can provide more than four lenses.

Fujifilm X-T3

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III wins the title for the longest name. But, The Canon EOS R beats it in focal points (5,655 Vs. 121), screen resolution (2,100k dots Vs. 1,040k dots) and faster autofocus system (Phase detection Vs. Contrast detection).

Sure, the Olympus is 2.2x smaller, 40% thinner and 40% lighter. But it can’t really compete against a faster max shutter speed (1/8000s Vs. 1/4000s), battery life (370 shots Vs. 330 shots) or true resolution of images (30.1 MP Vs. 15.9 MP).

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9

While the DC-G9 shoots significantly faster than the Canon EOS R (20 fps vs 8 fps), has a slightly longer battery life and has a larger viewfinder, the Canon outperforms overall.

The Canon EOS R has many more focus points (5,655 Vs. 121), it has a much higher screen resolution (2,100k dots Vs. 1,040k dots) too.

It uses Phase detection over Contrast detection, giving it a much faster autofocus system.

On top of these plus points, it has a four f-stop better light sensitivity, a higher true resolution (30.1 MP Vs. 20.2 MP) and a larger screen. Surprisingly, the Canon is smaller and thinner too.

Panasonic Lumix DC-G9

Canon EOS R: First Impressions

What I Like

  • M-Fn bar ingenuity
  • Image quality
  • Fast and accurate autofocus modes
  • C-Raw
  • Uses batteries from previous models
  • Can purchase a USB charging adapter
  • No built-in flash
  • Matte display

What I Don’t Like

  • Evaluative Metering is exaggerated toward the brightness of the subject/object, giving drastically different images
  • Face detect setting can jump when paired with tracking
  • No in-body slab stabilization
  • No comments on why certain settings or features are grayed out

bright and airy shot of the exterior of a building - canon eos r review

Conclusion

As Canon came late to the party, it feels like they are testing the water. They already suspect that the digital camera market will shrink 50% over the next two years. But, if photographers are buying anything, their attention in mirrorless systems is growing.

Nikon released their Z6 and 7 around a similar time, so Canon couldn’t be left out. This camera is there first entry into a line that will have to grow. Both in-camera features and lenses.

The sensor is already there, as this full-frame is larger than the competitors.

Cut out the crop, offer image stabilization in camera and work on low light. Then you have a camera that can really compete. Otherwise, Sony and Fuji will continue to pick up the slack.

I like the camera for what I would use it for – street and concert photography. For travel photography, the mirrorless camera is a huge benefit. Small package, big punch.

The quality of the images is great and I found the autofocus to be a dream.

But, the biggest problem I had came in the burst shooting. It would be as slow as my Ricoh GR II when recording images. After tinkering around with some settings, the images were faster with less buffering.

This leads me to another problem. with some settings, other features are not possible. They are grayed out. It would be nice to have a note telling you why a certain feature wasn’t available.

The lenses were well built and nice to work with. Everything was smooth and recorded beautifully. I was happy with them having the extra feature that could be programmed.

This allowed me to keep my hands where they were; one on the camera, one on the lens.

I look forward to seeing what else they do with this line. The M-Fn bar wasn’t for me but I appreciated what they were trying. In the end, they are implementing new technology, along the same vein as the dual-pixel autofocus.

Currently, I’m not switching to mirrorless until they sort out the huge issues that linger. The filming crop is a problem, as is the stabilization. Now they have a base, they can only build up.

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