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: Verdict
With the EOS RP, Canon has revealed its vision for how entry-level full-frame mirrorless should look. It’s got a lot right too, with a body design that handles much better than its odd-looking profile might suggest. Rather than simply porting across the existing EOS DSLR interface, it’s employed some clever new ideas, such as the Dial Function setting and Fv exposure mode. The JPEG output is excellent, giving images that are perfectly usable at sensitivities up to ISO 12,800, and while the limited low-ISO dynamic range is disappointing, it’s not a problem for the majority of images. So there’s plenty to like here.
Crucially the EOS RP works seamlessly with EF-mount lenses, which means Canon DSLR users with an existing lens collection can get started right away. This goes some way towards making up for the fact that the native RF lens range is still very small, and Canon hasn’t yet made a low-priced kit zoom, with the least expensive being the £1120 RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. However I’m not sure I’d buy EF lenses specifically to use with the RP.
The problem, though, is that Canon has treated the EOS RP as if it really is an entry-level model. But at £1400, it’s the same price as some incredibly capable crop-sensor models, such as the superb Fujifilm X-T3. Of course something has to give to get full-frame to this price point, but I think the RP has cut too many corners, and I continually found myself frustrated by its operational limitations.
If Canon is really serious about nailing the full-frame mirrorless market, it needs to start providing such essentials as an AF joystick, functional depth-of-field preview and better-implemented manual focus, all of which you’ll get from other similarly-priced cameras. Hopefully it’ll rectify these flaws in second-generation models.
However, those who are prepared to tolerate the EOS RP’s failings can expect to get full-frame image quality in a small, lightweight package that’s generally very pleasant to shoot with. I’m sure that many Canon users will be delighted with the EOS RP, but I can’t help but feel that it should have been rather better.