Canon EOS R Review

I was fortunate to see, touch and play with a sample at Canon South Africa head office in October. Indeed I was very intrigued by the system after just a few seconds. The reason you are only getting my feedback and opinion now, is due to the fact that I wanted to do a complete field test before sharing my thoughts. So this is what I found over the last 6 weeks of testing.

Canon EOS R Review

I have decided to test the camera in more general applications and genre so that it can be a more useful overview. Yes, I do shoot more than wildlife 🙂

So let’s start with my first impression when I picked up the camera and RF 24-105 mm F4.

  • An ergonomic and feel was not what I was expecting compared to other brands. It was solid and very comfortable in my biggish paws.
  • Its build felt tough and the weather sealing was a big plus for me.
  • The layout was indeed different to my DSLR with regards the buttons and it lacked my favourite feature of a small joystick. That later was not an issue as the unit’s buttons are completely customisable.
  • When removing the lens it was great to see a small curtain protecting the sensor from objects etc
  • A quick flip through the menu and it felt great to see it was in line with the Canon camera menu system with most DSLR cameras.
  • The battery was a match to my 5D MK IV, 7D II and 70D. the LP-E6 which means I can interchange them as and if I need to. I also have to pack fewer chargers when travelling as they all use the same one.
Canon EOR R Review

Canon EOR R – Specification Highlights

  • RF Mount Compatible with RF Lenses and EF/EF-S Lenses (with optional Adapter)
  • 30.3 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image Processor.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 5,655 Manually Selectable AF Points
  • 4K 30p with Canon Log and 10 bit 4:2:2 HDMI Output
  • Autofocus rated down to -6EV (with F1.2 lens)
  • Up to 8 fps shooting (5 fps with continuous AF, 3 fps ‘Tracking Priority mode’)
  • Built-in EVF with 3.69 Million Dots, Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD and Dot-matrix swivel LCD Panel
  • USB Charge Compatible.
  • Silent Shutter
  • WIFI

These are the three lenses I used during this field test of the Canon EOS R

Canon EOR R Review

Canon EOS R Field Test – Impressions

  • Before shooting, I had to sit and customise the camera to suit my needs and shooting styleThe manual I downloaded was easy to read and made the understanding to the new options of customising the camera a lot simpler. It did take about 3 hours of sitting and playing to get it to a point where I was able to shoot with ease.
  • When I put my eye to the viewfinder, the EVF (Electronic viewfinder) would activate pretty much as soon as my eye was seated on the rubber cup. Conversely, when I took my eye away and looked at the screen and the live view, it was just as fast switching to full live view.
  • The autofocus system is not as complex as the current Pro DSLR camera but it is very good and you can track, use single point and the touch screen focus/shoot was really great with the 5000 plus focus points.
  • Using the EF adapter had no impact on the speed and quality of the images that I got from using various of my L series lenses. It was easy to fit and had no impact on ergonomics of the system at all.
  • For me, the camera was comfortable to carry while working through the town and along the coastline in Knysna where I live. This with any one of the 3 lenses attached.
  • Its frames per second were not great for lots of action frames but I could quite easily capture what I needed with a little concentration and effort when tripping the shutter.

Canon EOS R – Image samples

Canon EOS R Review

Canon EOS R + RF 24-105 F4 | F8 | ISO 400 | 1/640 th |+2/3 EV | AV Mode Screw in CPL on lens with single point AF

Canon EOS R review

Canon EOS R + EF 16-35 F2.8 | F5.6 | ISO 800 | 1/400 th | 0 EV | AV mode Screw in CPL on lens with single point AF

Canon EOS R Review

Canon EOS R + RF 28 – 70 F2 | F4 | ISO 400 | 1/1000 th | Manual Mode Screw in CPL with Auto AF and backlighting

Canon EOS R Review

Canon EOS R + RF 24-104 F4 | F11 | ISO 800 | 1/400 th |+2/3 EV | AV mode Screw in CPL on the lens with high-speed shooting mode & auto AF points

Canon EOS R + EF 70-200 F2.8 L | F2.8 | ISO 640 | 1/400 th | 0 EV | AV mode with single point AF

Canon EOS R + EF 70-200 F2.8 L | F13 | ISO 400 | 1/15 th | 0 EV | TV mode with auto AF point seloection

Canon EOS R Review

Canon EOS R + RF 24-105 F4 | F8 | ISO 100 | 1,3 sec |+2/3 EV | AV Mode Nisi Pro 5 Filter system with CPL and 0.9 Soft grad with single point AF

Canon EOS R Review

Canon EOS R + RF 50 F1.2 | F1.2 | ISO 100 | 1/250 th |+1/3 EV | AV Mode Screw in CPL on lens with single point AF touch screen shutter

Canon EOS R – Video Capability Review

  • The video feature on the camera is really great and is easy to use or as complex as you would like to make it.
  • Touch focus made the change in focus very soft and smooth when shooting video.
  • I don’t need huge 4k files and use full HD. The stabiliser when shooting handheld is pretty dam good. (See below a sample of video production shot on Canon EOS R)
  • Lets leave the arguments and fights over the codec and 4K to the professionals

This video production was shot with the Canon EOS R in full HD with custom picture style used as grading colour.

Canon Colour Science

  • The Canon raw files on the Canon EOS R are some of the best I have worked with in recent times.
  • For me, Canon colour science has been improved in some way to give these files a little edge over other DSLR cameras.
  • Canon DPP (Digital Photo Professional) has been updated to work with these great files – Version 4.9.20

Final thoughts

This camera is the start of a new phase in the development of digital cameras and Canon has made a big statement. No, I don’t think DSLR will become obsolete 🙂

The camera will be a great asset to someone looking to upgrade to a new professional in many of the normal genres. I don’t think it would be a good selection for someone who needs a high frame rate or detailed focusing like wildlife or action sports.

It will be an incredible travel camera for the serious photographer who is limited to a small bag on a trip that may not be specifically for photography but will ensure he can capture high-quality files. Likewise, a mode /wedding photographer will find this a great solution. Landscapers who have to consider weight when hiking in the wilds will also get good result with it.

So let us see it for what it is and if you think it would work for you, try and test one before you buy. Make sure it is set up by the professional you get it from or you will just pull your hair out (this is if you are testing once off).

Feel free to ask me any questions and I will give you honest and non biased opinions and infomation.

Peace and Light Always