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Canon Announces Long-Awaited Full-Frame Mirrorless | The Canon EOS R Is Here

By Matthew Saville on September 5th 2018

 

It might just be the most highly anticipated camera announcement of the year, and it’s finally here. With the official introduction of the Canon EOS R full frame mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, Canon leaps into a territory that’s been claimed by Sony, and Sony alone, since 2014.

Over the past four years, full-frame mirrorless cameras have pushed every envelope and carved their place in the full-frame game, and Canon and Nikon DSLR users hungrily eyed Sony announcements; a sizable segment grew impatient for their brand to follow suit and “jumped ship”. Might they now regret doing so? With current lens adapter tech, Canon users didn’t even have to give up their beloved glass to switch teams. Now, that glass is even more useful on the EOS R system!

There’s absolutely no denying that the road to full-frame mirrorless as we know it was paved by Sony, and Nikon tried to make some thunder recently with their Z6 and Z7, but now this is a road that will be well-traveled from now on.

[Rewind:] Canon M5 Review | Canon’s First Real Mirrorless Contender

Ever since the rumors began to swirl that Canon was developing a long-awaited full-frame mirrorless camera, speculations, fears, and wishlists for the new addition have run rampant. The bar was set high, with the competition having already released multiple generations and ironed out many of the kinks from their products. Expectations gleaned from online chatter range from hopeful to dismal with a hard skew to the latter. The rumor mill can finally stop churning, though, because we’ve now got our answers:

Key Specs

  • New “RF” Lens Mount
  • 30.3-megapixel sensor, Digic 8 processor (5DIV = Digic 6)
  • Maximum 5,655 AF points (Yes, that wasn’t a joke. 5 thousand AF points!)
  • Dual Pixel Autofocus, -6EV low-light focusing
  • 8 FPS burst, 5 FPS with Servo AF
  • ISO 100 to 40000, LO 50, H1 51200, H2 102400
  • 1 SD card slot
  • 1.6x crop mode for adapting EF-S lenses
  • Fully articulating touchscreen
  • 3.6million dot OLEDEVF
  • Rear touch bar
  • 4K 30p, FullHD 60p, HD 120p video capture, H.264 .mp4 files
  • New LP-E6N battery, also compatible with standard LP-E6
  • LP-E6N batteries can be charged in-camera via USB
  • 370 shots per charge or 450 in Power Saving mode, with added battery grip 740 or 900 in Power Saving
  • Bluetooth, WiFi connectivity
  • Dimensions: Approx. 5.35 x 3.87 x 3.32 in. / 135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4mm
  • Weight: Approx. 1.46 lbs. / 660g including battery & SD memory card

The Canon EOS R will be accompanied by an impressive series of RF lenses, and if the performance of the EF to EOS-M adapter is any indicator, adapting EF glass to the RF mount should be flawless. The new lenses will be the RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM, RF 50mm F1.2L USM, RF 28-70mm F2L USM, and RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM.

Canon EOS R, Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM, 1/1000 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 3200

We are currently in Hawaii at the official international press conference, and we will be getting the EOS R into our hands in literally a few seconds, so we will publish a thorough review very soon!

Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

Follow his personal wilderness adventures: Astro-Landscapes.com

See some of his latest wedding photography featured on: LinandJirsa.com

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Rich Zimmermann

    Doesn’t look as good as the Sony a7R3… Nikon has come up short also.  Maybe their second version will be better.  Remember that Sony makes the sensors for these guys last I heard.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Sony isn’t making Canon sensors, only Nikons, and Nikon is the one giving Sony (semiconductors, totally different corporation from Sony Imaging) a blueprint for a sensor and asking them to make it, NOT asking “hey Sony, got any cool sensors we can use?”

      No, this camera doesn’t look as good as the A7R3, in a few respects. However, they’re absolutely in two different classes. This is a ~$2300 camera, and the A7R3 is a $3300 camera, or it was at its debut. 

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  2. Stan Brody

    I was lucky enough to attend the introduction and meet Matt. I can tell you the excitement was real and look forward to shooting with this camera as soon as it comes out. My only regret was not being able to bring Matt up to Haleakala for some astro shots. It was an incredibly clear night with quite a few shooting stars.

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  3. Kyle Stauffer

    Coming in a day late…. I was really hoping to read commentary from Adam Sanford :)……. Looking forward to Canon’s second release for sure!!

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  4. Chris Bonney

    “It might just be the most highly anticipated camera announcement of the year”

    Well… perhaps not.

    .

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  5. Pye Jirsa

    Matt, to me what’s most interesting is seeing you get all hyped about a Canon camera, lol. But, I know you don’t go crazy for anything, especially since you are a Nikon shooter yourself. 

    Where I see this camera hitting hard are in the intangibles that can’t be described via specs on a piece of paper. Because on paper, Sony does still seem quite ahead of the pack. But, here’s my suspicions and thoughts: 

    This camera to me means that we get mirrorless w/ seamless integration with Canon glass. That’s a big deal since no other brand currently has the same line up of pro lenses, though Sony is catching up. I can also see Canon’s DPAF being superior to Sony (which is already quite good). I’m curious though how the sensor will compare, I know I’ve always preferred Canon sensors in terms of color to that of Sony/Nikon. But, I’m curious about dynamic range. 

    But, your excitement more than anything makes we want to play with this camera and see what if anything I’m missing. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      Indeed, I’ve never been a Canon fanboy, and if anything I’ve been more critical of them than any other brand out there.

      What has always gotten me excited though is functionality and control, customization that allows me to do everything I need to do in significantly easier ways. And that’s what this camera gives us at least a taste of, even if the body itself is not yet the class of camera that we as full-time wedding shooters truly want….

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  6. Michael Yuen

    Same battery as the Canon 5D! Nice! Bummer about the single slot memory card and no GPS, but no biggie :)

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  7. Marlon Richardson

    You have the most unique take on this camera I’ve seen so far.

    I see nothing ground breaking here. Everything good about it is followed by a list of crushing caveats. Tech-wise it’s many leagues behind the likes of Sony.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      On paper, I’d agree. It’s hard to tell though without putting it in your hands, and playing with the raw files from each. But, definitely agree that this announcement along with Nikon’s feels a little “late” and underwhelming. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      Marlon, the system itself, the MOUNT, is what proves Canon still knows how to make an innovative camera system. To be quite honest, both the new Canon and Nikon mounts prove that Sony jumped the gun with the design parameters of their own mount. At this point, they’ll be the one with the least capable mount in the long run.

      So yeah, the “underdog” always has to cram in a little bit more tech at a little bit lower price point. If you ant the most tech at the cheapest price, Sony is a great choice. I learned that as a Nikon shooter for ~15+ years, LOL.

      But there’s also plenty of reasons to skip the underdog, and go with the top brand. We’ll get deeper into this in our full review.

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    • Marlon Richardson

      Matthew Saville Ask yourself what lens Sony or a 3rd party  hasn’t been able to make because of it’s mount? Don’t let Canon and Nikon sucker you into buying into their exotic lens potential promise. It’s all about value and customer needs. And the E-Mount isn’t small it’s large enough and so far hasn’t been a limitation the slightest for Sony lens makers.

      How big of a market do you think a huge 6k manual focus 50/.95 lens has? Hell you can get a lens this speed already for E-Mount or buy a Leica M variant. You know the other supposedly small mount…

      Or what kind of market will the gigantic 3k 28-70/2.8  have?

      I am not impressed with these early overly expensive exotics lenses so far.  These lenses don’t seem easier to make because their mounts by all their drawbacks.

      Sony to me was smart to pick a mount size that allows them to make compact variants along with powerful exotic lenses. Let Canon and Nikon prove the choices they’ve made will end in discernible value for their customers. No need to give them unearned praise this early. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      Marlon, you have a very good point- If Sony wanted to, they could easily make an ultra-sharp 50 1.2, or a 28-70 f/2, etc. The bottom line is, they haven’t done so, and I don’t know if they ever will. The lenses they do release, however, betray their overall goals- their ultra-sharp lenses are just as expensive as Canon/Nikon, and their affordable lenses are pretty bad in the corners. You have a very good point- If sheer value is your main priority, Sony is a tempting option. They have to be, because they’re the new “under dog” in this equation, and that’s what under dogs do- they cram more features in, at a better price, and they appeal to the masses. I know this business tactic all too well, because I’ve been a Nikon shooter since the “dark ages” when Nikon didn’t even have a full-frame DSLR system, period.

      I’ll definitely recommend considering Sony’s A7iii or A7Riii to folks who are new to a system, but based on the lenses I’ve seen so far, and the other ergonomic / menu related things the EOS R offers, I think that Canon shooters may be pleased that they “waited this long”…

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  8. Josh Leavitt

    I’d be interested to know what the AF acquisition speed is like. Canon’s DPAF is the best in the business when it comes to tracking and transition, but the dedicated phase-detect AF modules on the DSLRs always outpaced DPAF’s speed in locking on to subjects. If Canon has matched DSLR focus speed, either by a revision to the DPAF sensor architecture, or a new focusing method with the RF lens protocol, then I think they’ve got a winner on their hands.

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  9. Mircea Blanaru

    What I really like at these new cameras from Nikon and Canon is the price which is so cool. I am not in love also with Sony, but for a 1000 $ you can buy, here, in my country a new Sony A7 Mark I if you really want a “professional” camera… Very nice badziewia…

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  10. Ray Sawyer

    Hi Matt. From what i can see it looks a great camera spec wise. early days but looks like canon has done a better job than the Nikon Z series so far. Exciting to see what they put out in the next few years now they have entered the mirrorless market. That 1 SD slot isn’t a deal breaker but i cant believe canon/nikon both went that route instead of two. 5 years of watching sony make mistakes and they went and did the same thing. #stupidity. I would bet my house the next version they release has 2 slots. Look forward to hearing your review on the camera once you have had a play with it.

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    • Karl Austin

      There was rumoured to be two FF mirrorless coming, so I can only assume this is the prosumer version and the proper version with dual card slots etc. will be along in a few months. Especially as they are holding out on AF point spot metering on this model as well.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Since this camera is “only” $2300, and historically that has been the realm of “beginner full-frame” (or “prosumer” at best) …I’d say yes, the likelihood is extremely high that we’ll quickly see additional bodies, maybe both above and below this price point, who knows.

      All I know is, it’s SO  feature-packed, it’s NUTS. I’ve shot with it a little bit already and my mind is blown. And I’m a Nikon shooter lol.

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    • Pye Jirsa

      Like Karl, that’s what I’m holding out for as well. The second announcement. 

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