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: Image quality
Canon has used the same sensor as in the EOS 6D Mark II, and not surprisingly we see very similar image quality. In terms of detail, it’s in much the same league as competing cameras with 24MP sensors, and its high-ISO image quality is as good as we’d expect for a modern full-frame sensor, giving perfectly usable results up to ISO 12,800.
The biggest drawback of Canon re-using the EOS 6D Mark II’s sensor is its relatively limited low-ISO dynamic range. This means that you can’t dig as much detail out of the shadows from raw files before being confronted by unsightly noise, compared to other full-frame sensors or even modern APS-C sensors.
For many photographers, this won’t be a concern much of the time. But it does limit how far you can push your image files.
Canon EOS RP: Resolution
At low ISO, the EOS RP resolves around 3900 lines per picture height before aliasing artefacts com into play, which is essentially as much as we could realistically expect from its 26MP sensor. Examining raw files processed in Digital Photo Pro reveals that resolution initially drops very gradually as the sensitivity is raised, to around 3600 l/ph at ISO 3200 and a very respectable 3400 l/ph at ISO 12,800. But go any higher and it falls away precipitously, to just 2000 l/ph at ISO 102,400. JPEG files show slightly lower resolution due to more aggressive noise reduction.
From the crops below, multiple the number beneath the line by 200 to calculate the resoluti0n in lines per picture height.
Canon EOS RP: ISO and Noise
Here we’re looking at raw files processed in Canon’s Digital Photo Pro software, using the Fine Detail picture style with minimal luminance noise reduction applied, in order to maximise detail. Image quality is excellent at low ISO, with attractive colours and lots of fine detail; just be aware that the extended ISO 50 setting will clip highlights more readily than ISO 100, so needs to be used with care.
There’s barely any drop in image quality at ISO 1600, which retains plenty of detail and strong colour, and even ISO 6400 gives very good results, although shadow detail is starting to block up. I’d still use ISO 12,800 perfectly happily, and maybe even ISO 25,600 at a pinch, but I’d avoid the higher extended settings.