2018 turned out to be a great year for mirrorless cameras, as companies like Nikon, Canon and Panasonic announced their full-frame mirrorless systems. Nikon launched its Z-series, which was followed by Canon’s mirrorless camera, the EOS R. While companies such as Sony, Fujifilm and Leica already have years of expertise in the mirrorless camera technology, Canon was late to embrace it, which means losing the advantage of a head start. Consequently, it also meant that if Canon were to enter the world of mirrorless cameras, it had to begin by improving on the current state of things by developing a reliable, ready-to-go camera system with the capability of mounting existing EF lenses without any limitations. And that’s exactly what the EOS R is!
The EOS R is Canon’s first 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor mirrorless camera that features an electronic viewfinder. The camera is equipped with advanced dual pixel CMOS AF, Digic 8 imaging processor, high-density AF points positions, multi-function slider bar, flexible AE Mode and high-speed data communication RF mount. Let’s take a closer look at the Canon EOS R.
Design and handling
The Canon EOS R uses the same 30.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor that’s also present in the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR. However, what makes the EOS R unique is the 54mm diameter RF mount with a short back-focus of 20mm and 12-pin contact points for enhanced communication between the lens and body, allowing it to achieve a new level of compact, high image quality and the possibility of the development of more advanced lenses in future. The sensor provides 5,655 AF (auto-focus) positions covering approximately 100 per cent (vertically) and 88 per cent (horizontally) when used with compatible lenses, which means better composition opportunities.
Now, ergonomics in recent years has emerged as an important aspect of not only cameras but almost all products in the market that has anything to do with technology. So, naturally, Canon’s first mirrorless camera couldn’t possibly have lacked on this front. The Canon EOS R provides a well-balanced design, improved comfort and offers a firm grip even when shooting in vertical (portrait) orientation. The camera uses a magnesium alloy body and is dust and moisture resistant.
A customisable multi-function bar sits on its back with tap and slide functions and allows silent adjustment and is suitable even for video recording. With the control ring on RF lenses and the sub-electronic trapezoidal dial on top, users would never have to take their eyes off the EVF to adjust settings. The touch and drag AF allow the user to shift the AF point around using the touch screen, even while looking through the EVF. A dot-matrix LCD is located at the top of the camera and provides all crucial information to the user.
The EOS R comes with new RF lens. Since there were just a few RF lenses available at the time of the launch, Canon launched the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R to allow photographers to use existing EF lens kits in their first full-frame mirrorless camera. The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R is a simple adapter that allows you to use all Canon EF, EF-S and TS-E lenses on RF-mount cameras.
Going by the specs sheet, the Canon EOS R seems well-suited for a variety of shooting, and we spent a few weeks with the camera to get a good idea of how well the EOS R's on-paper specs translate into real-world performance. The camera is best suited for travel assignments, video recording, landscape, portraits and candid shots. The size of a camera is always a factor to be considered, especially if you’re into travel photography. And, unfortunately, the EOS R is not a compact one. But that aside, the camera doesn’t offer much room to complain.
With good resolution, accurate auto-focus and a degree of weather sealing, the Canon EOS R is a fine camera for landscape photography. Another highlight of the Canon EOS R is that default sharpening has gone up a notch, thanks to the new sharper RF lens. But that’s not all, Canon has also tweaked their 'Standard' picture profile.
The Canon EOS R's default settings are now 4, 2 and 4, respectively. With RF lenses, lens data can now be sent to the body for correcting any diffraction, aberrations, peripheral illumination or distortion through in-camera digital lens optimiser without affecting the shooting speed.
The camera is powered by the latest DIGIC 8 imaging processor. The Auto Lighting Optimiser feature balances out uneven contrasts, producing well-balanced and detailed images even in backlit situations.
The Canon EOS R is the first camera from the Japanese tech giant that uses dual-pixel autofocus while capturing 4K video, meaning the video quality is just great and the colour output is pleasing. The EOS R is capable of recording ultra-high definition 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) videos.
With a great sensor, a multitude of features and a great colour output, both in photographs and videos, Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera – EOS R – happens to be a worthy contender.
Build quality, 4K video capture with dual pixel AF
Limited customisation options