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 Review: Performance

Existing Canon users who own EF and EF-S lenses will be intrigued to know how they work with the EOS R via Canon’s new EF-EOS R mount adapters. Our review sample was supplied with the most basic of the three EF-EOS R mount adapters, which was used to couple EF and EF-S lenses as well as a variety of third-party EF-mount lenses kindly supplied by Sigma.

Canon EOS R, Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, 30secs at f/11, ISO 50 (With thanks to Timeline Events)

Tests confirmed that all lenses performed and focused no differently than if they were couple to a Canon EOS DSLR, with the EOS R automatically going about its business of producing cropped 11.6-megapixel images that match the smaller image circle of EF-S optics. It’s also worth pointing out that Canon’s EOS R adapters are built to withstand professional use and are weather sealed against dust and moisture much like the EOS R body.

Canon EOS R, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM with EF-EOS R adapter, 1/1000sec at f/2.8, ISO 400

Mirrorless cameras are known for being thirstier than DSLRs when it comes to battery consumption and it’s noticeable that the EOS R gets through its power a lot faster. In autumn temperatures, I managed to shoot around 400 shots on a single charge, whereas with cameras like the EOS 6D Mark II we’re used to shooting closer to 1200. There’s the option to check remaining power as a percentage from the main menu and you get some good power saving modes to preserve battery life, but users shouldn’t expect a single battery to be enough for a full days shooting. With this in mind, EOS R users will either want to carry spares, look to invest in the BG-E22 battery grip or top up as they go by taking advantage of in-camera charging via the USB-C port.

Canon EOS R, Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary with EF-EOS R adapter, 1/1250sec at f/6.3, ISO 1600

With evaluative metering being linked to all autofocus points, the EOS R can be trusted to analyse scenes and expose for them correctly. Users will feel confident using the camera in its evaluative metering mode, but for scenes that are harder to expose there’s always spot, partial and centre weighted average modes to choose from.

Another interesting addition is the introduction of an Flexible-priority AE mode, or Fv mode for short. This is similar to Program AE or ‘P’ mode, with the added benefit that it allows you to nip in and adjust ISO, shutter speed, aperture or exposure compensation without having to switch to a different shooting mode. The EOS R’s rear dial is used to toggle between the above variables and the top dial adjusts the particular setting. Settings that are underlined indicate that they’re being controlled automatically by the camera whereas those that are not reveal that the user is in control of manually adjusting the setting in question.

Canon EOS R, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM with EF-EOS R adapter, 1/400sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Like we’re used to seeing from Canon, the EOS R proved to be a reliable performer during the time we used it and the way it delivers punchy images, faithful colour and strong results at high sensitivity settings makes it versatile for those who like to shoot a variety of different subjects.

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm F1.2 L USM, 1/200sec at f/2, ISO 200

Although it performs very much like a Canon camera, it must be stressed that the operation and control is very different to Canon’s traditional DSLRs, so much so, it’s not a camera Canon DSLR users will pick up and feel at ease with straight away. The EOS R’s idiosyncrasies take time to learn and although having an improved level of customisation is a good thing, not having dedicated buttons for things such as ISO, drive mode and AF mode does make it feel somewhat peculiar the first few times you use it. I can imagine many Canon users feeling lost when they pick up the EOS R, just as I did at the start. You do gradually get used to working with it, but my lasting impression of the EOS R’s usability is that it could be made to feel more intuitive.

  • 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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