Canon EOS R review

October 12, 2018

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS R

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Price as Reviewed:

£2,349.00 (Body only with EF-EOS R mount adapter)

It has been a long time coming, but Canon finally has a full-frame mirrorless camera to its name. Michael Topham reveals if its been worth the wait

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Canon EOS R: Features

Canon has taken an alternative approach to Nikon’s entry into the full frame mirrorless market by releasing one single versatile all-rounder as opposed to two cameras built around the same body with different sensors and specifications. The EOS R is the first model in the EOS R system to be built around the new RF lens mount that has a 54mm internal diameter, 20mm flange distance and 12-pin data connection. Behind this mount rests a 30.3-million-pixel full-frame CMOS sensor that we’ve been told is a different chip to the one used within the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. The pairing of sensor and latest DIGIC 8 image processor provides a sensitivity range of 100-40,000, which like the EOS 5D Mark IV, is expandable to 50-102,400.

Canon EOS R

The EOS R offers a sizeable handgrip and looks every bit like an EOS camera from the front

The implementation of the DIGIC 8 image processor allows the EOS R to boast what Canon claims is the world’s fastest autofocus speed of 0.05secs and a maximum continuous burst rate of 8fps with fixed focus. This equates to being 1fps faster than the EOS 5D Mark IV and 1.5fps faster than the EOS 6D Mark II. Switching the EOS R to AF tracking sees this speed reduce to 5fps, but at 8fps users can expect the camera’s buffer to tolerate 100 JPEGs, 78 C-Raw images or 47 Raw files being captured continuously.

As we’ve come to expect, the Canon EOS R integrates the manufacturers sensor-based, phase-detection Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system that works by splitting all the effective pixels on the surface of the sensor into two individual photodiodes – one for left and one for right. This system is beneficial to photographers and videographers who’d like to focus quickly without having to put up with clumsy focusing in Live View. Better still, the EOS R has the ability to focus down to an impressive -6EV, which should see it perform extremely well when challenged by low-light scenes. On the subject of focusing, the EOS R offers users no fewer than 5,655 selectable AF positions using the touch-and-drag AF function on its Vari-angle screen, covering 88% and 100% of the frame across horizontal and vertical axes.

Our EOS R sample was supplied with the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (£1,199) for review

To counteract the rapid on/off pulsing you can get with some artificial lights, the EOS R inherits Canon’s anti-flicker technology that first made its debut in the EOS 7D Mark II and provides exposure compensation across +/-3EV, which is neither as extensive as the +/-5EV range as offered by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV or Canon EOS 6D Mark II.

While optical stabilisation is featured on some of the new RF lenses (not on the 28-70mm f/2 or the 50mm f/1.2) and many existing EF lenses, the EOS R lacks in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) like its Nikon and Sony rivals. Unlike Canon DSLRs that you’ve been able to quieten but never totally mute, the electronically controlled focal-plane shutter on the EOS R enables completely silent shooting when you’d like to work inconspicuously. It also finally supports USB charging on the go via its USB Type-C port that sits alongside an HDMI mini out port and 3.5mm microphone and headphone sockets at the side.

Canon EOS R

The USB Type-C port allows the EOS R’s battery to be charged on the move

This leads us nicely onto the EOS R’s video capabilities, but again unlike its Sony and Nikon rivals the EOS R falls behind the competition and is unable to deliver full sensor readout 4K video. Just like the EOS 5D Mark IV, the EOS R’s 4K video has a 1.7x crop factor, with 4:2:2 10-bit video output via the HDMI port. Internal 4:2:2 8-bit recording and Full HD 1080p video using the full width of the sensor at up to 60p is available and there’s a 4K frame grab option for anyone who’d like to extract a 8.3-million-pixel JPEG image from 4K footage.

In a similar move to Nikon, Canon has equipped the EOS R with a single card slot, but rather than deciding to go with XQD, the camera accepts SD UHS-II cards. Wi-Fi is built-in too, offering photographers the flexibility to control the camera wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet running Canon’s Camera Connect app. The EOS R doesn’t feature built in GPS functionality like the EOS 6D Mark II, but it can collect GPS data and automatically add it to images via the same app. Bluetooth connectivity can be used to remotely control the cameras at any time, without having to mess around setting up a Wi-fi connection, plus it can also be setup to instruct the camera to fire up Wi-fi when you want to copy images across to your phone.

  • Sensor: 30.3-million-pixel full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Output size: 6720x4480 pixels
  • Focal length mag: 1x
  • Lens mount: Canon RF mount
  • External mic: Yes, 3.5mm stereo
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec, bulb
  • ISO: 100-40,000 (expandable to 50-102,400)
  • Metering: 384-zone metering system
  • Exposure compensation: +/-3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
  • Drive Mode: 8fps (5fps with AF tracking)
  • Video: 4K/30P 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output
  • Viewfinder: 0.5in, 3.69-million dot EVF
  • Display: 3.15in, 2.1-million dot
  • Memory Card: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II (single slot)
  • Power: LP-E6N rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 135.8x98.3x84.4mm
  • Weight: 660g (body only with card and battery)

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