Canon’s entry-level full-frame mirrorless does a lot to appeal to enthusiast photographers, says Andy Westlake, but some might find it over-simplified
Canon EOS RP: Features
Internally, the EOS RP is based around a 26.2MP sensor that’s borrowed from the EOS 6D Mark II. It’s paired with the latest Digic 8 processor, and offers a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100-40,000 that’s expandable to ISO 50-102,400. Shots can be fired off at 5 frames per second with focus fixed, or 4 fps with AF adjustment between frames, which is pretty pedestrian by current standards.
Autofocus employs on-chip phase detection via Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, with 4779 selectable focus points covering 88% of the sensor’s width and the entirety of its height. Canon claims it will work in light as low as -5 EV when using a f/1.2 lens, which doesn’t quite match the EOS RP’s -6EV, but is still very impressive. As we’ve come to expect, face and eye-detection focusing are also available, with the latter now available in continuous AF mode.
Files are recorded to a single SD card slot that supports the high-speed UHS-II standard. The EOS RP employs Canon’s latest CR3 raw format that allows files to be compressed 40% smaller than before using the CRAW option, so you’ll get rather more shots to a memory card compared to the EOS 6D Mark II. For example a freshly-formatted 32GB card indicates space for 866 CRAW + JPEG compared to 633 using standard raw compression, which stands up favourably to the lower-resolution Sony Alpha 7 III (458 uncompressed raw + JPEG, or 717 using raw compression).
Power is provided by the small LP-E17 battery, which is rated for a disappointing 250 shots per charge. An external charger is supplied, and in principle the battery can also be topped-up in-camera via USB. However this requires a charging device compatible with the USB-C PD standard, which means it probably won’t work with your existing chargers and powerbanks, and therefore fundamentally lacks the go-anywhere convenience that’s the whole point of USB charging. Thankfully inexpensive spares are readily available online, and I’d advise picking one or two up and carrying them at all times.
One difference compared to the EOS R is that the RP doesn’t close its shutter when changing lenses. However, it’s noticeable that Canon activates its anti-dust system every single time you change a lens, either RF- or EF-mount; in a quiet room you can hear the sensor vibrating. This makes a lot of sense, and I’ve had no problem with dust on the sensor during a couple of week’s use with frequent lens changes.
In-camera raw processing allows you to tweak your images after shooting, and for this Canon has added a new results-oriented interface called ‘Creative Assist’ based around a simplified set of options, which should be easier to understand for less-experienced users.
As with the EOS R, 4K video recording is available using a 3980×2160 pixel region in the centre of the sensor, which roughly equates to a 1.6x crop. This has a considerable impact on how lenses behave, although those wishing to shoot sweeping panoramic vistas could use an APS-C format wide zoom such as the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM via the EF-mount adapter.
Canon’s excellent dual-pixel AF is on hand to provide smooth, precise pulling of focus between subjects, but only when shooting in Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution; it doesn’t work in 4K. Microphone and headphone sockets are built-in, positioned low on the body where they don’t impede placing the screen in a comfortable position for recording. The E3-type remote release socket doesn’t interfere with the screen, either.
In terms of connectivity, the EOS RP includes both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and offers a wider range of functions than many other cameras. With the Canon Camera Connect app for Android or iOS, you can use your smartphone as either a simple Bluetooth wireless release, or a comprehensive Wi-Fi remote control complete with a live view feed and the ability to change a wide range of settings.
The Bluetooth connection can even be used to turn on the camera’s Wi-Fi remotely, so you can browse through your images and copy your favourites across to your phone for sharing, even if your camera is packed away in your bag. In addition the EOS RP can send images directly to a Wi-Fi enabled printer, or be controlled remotely from a computer over Wi-Fi using the EOS Utility software.