Hot on the heels of the release of the Nikon Z6 and Z7 last week, Canon has officially released their contender for the full frame mirrorless camera market.
The new EOS R sports a 30.3-megapixel full frame sensor, powered by the Digic 8 image processor, which is also seen in the recently released EOS M50. The sensor features Canon’s Dual Pixel AF system, with a total of 5,655 selectable AF points covering 88% of the frame. It boasts the world’s fastest autofocus time of 0.05 seconds, and the ability to nail focus in low light situations as dim as -6 EV (literally in the dark). How those specifications translate to real-world performance remains to be seen.
Shooting speeds and battery life look to be similar to the 5D Mark IV, with the EOS R still using the LP-E6N battery.
Video functions include 4K video recording at 30fps, with 1080p up to 60fps and 720p up to 120fps. There is not much improvement in frame rate options here over the 5D Mark IV, but there are more options in recording quality. C-log recording apparently available, with 4:2:2 10-bit recording via an external HDMI output.
It seems like Canon is still holding back on the video department, probably due to fears of cannibalising its own cinema camera lines. There is also a blatant lack of IBIS in the new camera, something which Canon users have been wishing for, and should have been implemented to compete with Sony and Nikon.
Canon has put their design chops into a designing a camera that is aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing for its user. Instead of the more angular design seen in the Sony Alpha and Nikon Z series, the EOS R is more reminiscent of Canon’s professional DSLRs; smoother curves, nicely recessed buttons and a large handgrip for a secure hold. It also has a rotating and flippable touch-screen display, as seen in the 6D Mark II, which vloggers and selfie-takers will definitely be a fan of.
The new camera also debuts with a new mount system: the RF mount. To help current Canon users bridge the gap to a new mount, there are 3 different mount adapters available to adapt EF and EF-S lenses to the RF mount.
4 new RF lenses have also been announced:
- RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM
- RF50mm F1.2 L USM
- RF28-70mm F2 L USM
- RF35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM
With 3 new L lenses available right away for the RF mount, it is a sign that Canon is taking this whole mirrorless business very seriously this time, as compared to their current M series with the EF-M lenses. The new and extremely fast RF50 F1.2 and RF28-70 F2 demonstrate the potential that comes with the new mount, and we can hope for more interesting lens designs in the future.
The EOS R is a great first entry into the full frame mirrorless market, but Canon, as well as Nikon, have some catching up to do with Sony, who is already on their third generation of mirrorless cameras.
The new EOS R retails for US$2,299 starting in October 2018. Local (Singapore) pricing and availability are currently unavailable.
Timothy is a freelance photographer and fellow geek. His professional work spans many genres and he shoots on film for leisure.