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Gear Reviews

Canon EOS R Official Review | More Than Just A Spec Sheet

By Matthew Saville on October 3rd 2018

Canon’s EOS R mirrorless camera and its new RF lens mount have arrived. Announced hot on the heels of Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless “Z” system cameras and lens mount, and at a time when Sony has racked up NINE (did I count right?) full-frame mirrorless camera bodies, …the question on everybody’s mind is this: did Canon “save the best for last”, or is the EOS R too little, too late?

Official Video Review of the Canon EOS R

Written Review of the Canon EOS R

SLR Lounge was present at the official press release for the Canon EOS R, and we were even sent home with a full production camera, two RF lenses, and an EF-RF adapter for us to review as extensively as we possibly could.  While we aren’t the first to come out with a Canon EOS R review, our goal was to be the most usable and practical review out there for the sake of our community.

I wasted no time and took the EOS R to two weddings here in Southern California, with our photography studio Lin & Jirsa.  What better way to gather useful information for the official Canon EOS R review than to use it for actual paying gigs.

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 | 1/800 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 800

SPOILER ALERT: I’ve been a Nikon shooter for over 15 years, and yet I found this camera (and the RF lenses) to be downright exciting, indeed even “worth the wait”. But of course, there are some rather notable caveats.

In our full review below, I’ll cover the five things which I think Canon truly deserves credit for doing an impressive job with, and the five things which I think Canon may regret doing with (or omitting from) the EOS R. Watch our video review above, and scroll down for additional review notes and sample images!

Who Is the EOS R Made For?

At $2,299, the EOS R is certainly meant for serious photographers. (Even an iPhone XS Max @ 512GB is “only” $1449!) But who, in particular, is it aimed at?

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/3200 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 100

First and foremost, you have to enjoy being an “early adopter”, if you want to get this future-proof system. Some people enjoy the process of getting to know a whole new camera, while others prefer things to be as familiar as possible. The EOS R is definitely aimed at the former, not the latter, type of photographer.

The Canon EOS R for video

Video shooters who want full-frame video quality, and a fully articulated LCD screen, are still hard-pressed even in 2018 to find many options. Most other articulated LCD screens on full-frame cameras do not fully reverse, which makes this camera a fantastic choice for vloggers. Also, the face-detection autofocus is very impressive for video, it’s possibly the best on the market, though it lacks eye AF at this time. Again, a vlogger’s dream camera. If you shoot 1080p, that is. More on that later.

Learn To Photograph the Milky Way HERE!
Canon EOS R, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L III, EF-RF adapter
13 sec @ f/2.8 & ISO 12800

The Canon EOS R as a travel Camera

Travel photographers of any kind, from landscape or cityscape shooters to nightscape or astrophotographers, are always looking for portable cameras that are still durable and dependable. The EOS R is a great blend of portability and durability, with weather sealing and relatively comfortable ergonomics. Also, I don’t know what the CIPA standards people are smoking; the EOS R has been giving me well over 1,000 clicks per battery charge, even when using stabilized lenses and chimping a fair amount. Toss just one extra LPE-6N in your pocket, and you could easily shoot a whole wedding or any other full day of work/adventures.

Canon EOS R, EF-70-200mm f/4 L IS II, EF-RF adapter
1/250 sec @ f/4 & ISO 100

Canon DSLR Shooters

Of course, current Canon shooters who already have an investment in EF lenses will be curious about the EOS R. If you’re very keen on keeping your great “L” series lenses, then the EOS R’s native adapter experience will be flawless if not better, which is something that no third-party adapter and camera system can claim.

By the way, for those existing Canon shooters who are wondering, the EOS R falls squarely between “a mirrorless 5D mk4”, and, “a mirrorless 6D mk2”. It’s got the 30-megapixel sensor of the 5D4, which is great news, and yet it has a fully articulated touchscreen LCD like the 6D mk2. Unfortunately, it also has hints of the control layout simplicity that the 6D2 has, for example, there is no big rear thumbwheel, but instead a new Nikon/Sony style thumb dial up top.

Master Wedding Photography – Complete Course
Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/8000 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 100
Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/200 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 100

Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera Competition

At the time of the Canon EOS R‘s release, the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 cameras are still not yet on shelves. The Z6 and Z7 are going to be $1996 and $3396, respectively, making the Z6 the closest competition to the EOS R. Sony also has the $1998 A7 mk3, which was announced this past February. (2018)

So, how does the EOS R stack up? If you compare the spec sheets and nothing else, you might notice the Canon is missing a few things. However, the EOS R is more than just a spec sheet. Here’s why…

Do you “Leica” some unique lens flare? |Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L

Five Things Canon Got Right With The EOS R

1.) Great Autofocus

The EOS R’s autofocus system isn’t as full-featured as a 1-series or 5-series pro/semi-pro camera body, however, the Dual-Pixel AF itself is actually better than any previous DPAF we’ve seen. This is thanks to Canon’s complete redesign of the DPAF system; basically, now the EOS R’s sensor is capable of performing AF at almost every single pixel on the sensor. There are 5655 AF points, and if you use the rear touchscreen while your eye is to the electronic viewfinder, moving the selected AF point around the viewfinder is a breeze, not a chore.

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/320 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 1600

The bottom line is this: The AF system doesn’t miss. In One-Shot AF, both face-detection and eye-AF are great. Even at f/1.2 and in abysmal lighting, the EOS R nails sharpness every time. In Servo AF, despite missing eye-AF it works shockingly well at tracking faces, or any subject, especially when using the 5-point configuration. Only when subjects are moving very quickly towards the camera does the AF system start to have a number of missed shots.

 

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/320 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 1600

What all of my fellow wedding photographers want to know is, how does it stack up to the various Canon and Nikon DSLRs which we have learned to trust for even the worst possible lighting; dimly lit churches or reception dance floors are brutal on AF systems. Believe it or not, the EOS R delivers the goods. Especially with the new RF 50mm f/1.2 L, I’ve gotten more in-focus keepers on dark dance floors than I’ve ever gotten from any prime ever before. I don’t know if the Sony or Nikon mirrorless AF will be slightly better or slightly worse, but that doesn’t matter to me as a wedding shooter. All that matters is that it WORKS, and never lets me down. Considering Canon’s claims of -3 EV light levels for AF and -6EV levels for metering, I suspect that time will prove this new Canon DPAF system is a winner.

Canon EOS R, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L III, EF-RF adapter
1/125 sec @ f/11 & ISO 100

2.) Image Quality

Canon put the 5D mkIV sensor into the EOS R, at least as far as things like dynamic range and ISO noise are concerned. Which is a good thing, because this 30-megapixel sensor is enough of a leap forward from Canon’s former days of poor dynamic range (at ISO 100) that I’d consider it to be more than good enough for almost all photographers. Whatever differences might be measured on paper between this sensor and say, the Nikon Z6 or the Sony A7iii, are just that- on paper. In other words, whether you spend all your time at ISO 100 or 6400, you’re much better off just worrying about nailing your exposure to within 1/3 EV of “perfect”, than you are worrying about whether or not you should switch systems for better image quality.

Andromeda Peeking Through Clouds
Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 2 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 25600

3.) New Controls & Customizations

The Command Ring

The most exciting thing about the EOS R, isn’t actually on the R body itself. Get this: each of the RF lenses has a dedicated “command ring”, in addition to focus and zoom, which can be programmed to dial any exposure settings including ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, or EV compensation. Having a third command dial for ISO is something that I’ve been asking for literally since the first day I ever held a DSLR over 15 years ago!

Nikon and Sony have a few neat functionalities in their mirrorless lens communication protocols, but nothing this big thus far. It’s great to be able to adjust my ISO on the fly without moving my fingers from their natural hand-holding positions.

Alternately, if you’re a vlogger you’ll immediately notice how easy it now is to dial in your exposure using this ring, when the camera is facing you. No more reaching around to the back of the camera to try and blindly find a command dial!

Touch Dial

Also, the coolest thing on the EOS R body just might be the new touch-dial. It has even more customizable options, including things related to exposure, autofocus, white balance, and various video functions. As a wedding photographer, I’m constantly dialing my white balance for both “correct” and creative effects, and now I can program the touch-dial to smoothly swipe left or right to cool or warm my images.

Furthermore, I programmed a single “tap” of the left and right edges of the touch-dial to jump to 3000K and 5000K, respectively, since those are the WB temperatures I always start at for indoor and outdoor shooting.

4.) The EVF and the Touchscreen

The Viewfinder

One of the things Canon absolutely had to “get right the first time, or else!” was the electronic viewfinder. There was to be no sympathy whatsoever for a laggy, low-resolution EVF. Period.

I’m delighted to report that Canon delivered the goods. The EOS R’s EVF is not only beautiful, with its competition-matching (or beating) 3.6M pixel resolution, but it also has seemingly zero lag time, and there’s no blackout time when clicking a picture. If anything, it is a little unnerving to not know whether or not you’ve captured a picture when you first start shooting! Also, it is a delight to shoot daytime long exposures with, even in bright sun; it’s fantastic to be able to look through the viewfinder and see the image clearly, even with a 10-stop ND filter on!

Canon EOS R, RF24-105mm f/4 L ISPolarPro ND1000 + PolarPro ND8PL
30 sec @ f/9 & ISO 100

Silent Shutter

Also, the 100% silent shutter is an amazingly useful feature for shooting in quiet conditions. Again, not a ground-breaking feature, since other cameras offer electronic shutters too, but still a delight for anyone coming from a Canon DSLR and the optical viewfinder experience.

The Touchscreen is similarly fantastic. It has great resolution and the touchscreen functions are a bit more extensive and capable than the competition. My favorite thing about the touchscreen, though, is that when your eye is to the EVF and the rear LCD is turned off, you can use a finger on the touchscreen to move your AF point around the viewfinder, which is amazing. It makes the omission of the traditional “joystick dot” for AF point control a non-issue, and takes the intimidation away from that crazy 5655 number.

5.) The Impressive New RF Lenses

In addition to having the command ring on them, the RF lenses are just plain awesome. Although the RF 50mm f/1.2 L is going to be $2,299 and the RF28-70mm f/2 L is going to be $2999, they are both ultra-sharp and super reliable at focusing in low light.

The new RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS is a bit less “magic” at focusing in low light, due to its f/4 aperture, but it’s still a very sharp lens and decently compact for lightweight travel.

The fourth RF lens, the only non-L of the bunch, is the 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS. Although it’s not an L lens, it too is sharp. It too may not be as “magic” at nailing focus in low light as the RF 50 L, but it’s still quite good.

I’ll look forward to seeing which RF lenses Canon decides to produce next, both L and non-L classes. I’m secretly hoping that we see not just more “exotic” lenses, but also some truly modest, portable options. More on that later!

Canon Reliability & Support

Before we move on to the cons, I feel that I must mention one last thing which never gets mentioned in spec sheet comparisons- the overall track record for reliability and customer support that a brand has. Simply put, for professional photographers, CPS is the gold standard of the industry, and neither Nikon’s NPS nor Sony’s service can match it. For hobbyists, too, Canon has a track record of delivering camera bodies and lenses that just plain work, and make photography seem effortless and fun. The EOS R inherits not only Canon’s general standards of durability, but also its familiar menu interface, and extensive (though admittedly not unlimited) customization.

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/200 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 800

Five Things Canon Must Do Better, ASAP

1.) No Dual Card Slots

This is one of the two main things stopping the EOS R from attracting many serious professional photographers. Before, Canon used to say, “if you’re a ‘serious pro’ you should consider our ~$3,300 cameras!” However, now that Sony’s mk3 A7-series cameras all have dual SD slots, any camera $2K or higher is going to be expected to offer the same if it wants to be truly competitive. (And yes, I’ll scold Nikon’s Z6/7 for this omission, too! Although Nikon omitted dual cards from the Z-series, they set a 6-year precedent with the D600, D610, and D750 that many serious photographers now take for granted.)

2.) No In-Body Stabilization

Again, with Sony offering this feature for years now, even in their ~$2000 A7 mk2 and mk3, Canon should have known that many now consider IBIS as par for the course.

It’s possible that Canon has developed IBIS already, but is waiting to debut it in a more pro-grade body in the ~$3,500 range. If so, this is a mistake they may regret, as the EOS R will not put as much of a serious dent in A7iii purchases as it could have, were it to include IBIS. And at this stage in the game, it might have been wiser to sacrifice a few short-term sales in exchange for long-term customer retention.

At any focal length, IBIS is dearly missed when shooting in shaky conditions
Canon EOS R, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L III @ 35mm, EF-RF adapter
1/60 sec @ f/6.3 & ISO 100

3.) Cropped 4K Video

The EOS R’s 4K video is cropped b 1.83X, which is a real show-stopper for anyone looking to shoot 4K on their full-frame, wide-angle lenses. Your 16-35mm lens is now a 29-65mm lens. Heck, the ground-breaking 11-24mm f/4 is reduced to a downright embarrassing ~20mm on the wide end.

Simply put, if you’re not specifically looking for the “added reach” for something like wildlife or sports, this is likely a deal-breaker for any serious cinematographer.

Canon EOS R, EF-70-200mm f/4 L IS II, EF-RF adapter
1/500 sec @ f/13 & ISO 100

I hope Canon is working on this. As someone who shoots both Nikon and Sony regularly, it’s a fantastic feature to be able to shoot video with BOTH full-sensor (un-cropped) as well as 1.5x (DX or super-35) crop mode.

4.) That First-Gen Feel

Despite the handful of awesome new functions that the EOS R and the RF lenses offer, the camera still has a faint “first gen” feel to it.

It’s definitely a far more polished and easy-to-use first-gen camera, mind you, compared to Sony’s original 1st-gen A7-series, heck even their mk2 A7-series.

Any Canon user who is used to Canon’s ergonomics and menus will be both delighted at the abundance of familiarity, yet also slightly frustrated by a few omissions and design flaws.

Command Dial

First, I wis the new upper-right rear command dial was easier to reach with my thumb. Canon put it a little bit out of the way for my hands’ normal shooting position, compared to Nikon. (Sony struggles with this too, though.)

Switching Between Photo and Video

Secondly, the button that now lies within this new rear command dial is even harder to reach, with either my right thumb or index finger. And, unfortunately, it’s the main way to switch between video and still mode. The EOS R has no photo/video switch like we’ve come to love on almost all mid-range Canon DSLRs from the 80D to the 5D4. For anyone who frequently switches between full-blown video mode and photo mode, this is a problem. (You can, of course, record video by hitting the REC button in “photo mode”, if you customize the camera that way. Unfortunately, you’re locked out of all the video shooting settings and menus.)

Lastly, there are a few things that I wish mirrorless cameras would do to make them function slightly more like a DSLR. For example, some people are accustomed to having images playback in the electronic viewfinder, but any DSLR shooter will be totally accustomed to only ever using the viewfinder to shoot, and only ever using the rear LCD to review images. It would be awesome if Canon would offer more extensive customization about which function happens on which screen so that I could, for example, only ever use the EVF to shoot, and only ever use the LCD to play back images or access menus.

Image Scrolling During Immediate Playback

Last but not least, for crying out loud, why can’t we scroll from image to image during immediate image playback? It feels silly and inconvenient to have to hit the “Play” button when an image is already displayed on the LCD, just so that I can scroll from shot to shot. On Nikon/Sony, I can even zoom to 100% on a just-captured shot, and scroll between shots to quickly ensure sharpness for a set of images.  Oh, and while I’m ranting about things that may never change, I gotta say it: the best place for the on/off switch is around the shutter release. I wish Canon would finally see the light in that regard. Okay, rant over!

Canon EOS R, RF 28-70mm f/2 L | 3.2 sec @ f/2 & ISO 800
(From a pre-production Lens. But, trust me, WOW is it sharp!)

5.) More Affordable & Lightweight Lenses

As much as I have to praise the RF lenses for being awesome, the fact is that as the last entrant into the full-frame mirrorless market, Canon’s RF mount lacks lenses. The EF-RF adapter and its superior user experience is definitely a bonus, but for those who are looking to either buy their first full-frame camera or switch to mirrorless for the sole purpose of fully embracing the new mount, more lenses are needed.

The shorter flange distance of the RF mount is extremely useful; Canon engineers have almost zero restraint as to what they can now design. The 28-70mm f/2 certainly proves that. Also, the 24-105 and 35mm are both more compact, offering a shorter, almost reversed-looking overall optical design that balances very well in the hand. The RF 35mm f/1.8 in particular looks like it literally has the rear element in the front!

However, even the 35mm could be lighter and smaller; I can only imagine how small and light a “pancake” style lens could be on the RF mount. I’d love to see such “modest” lenses from Canon, not just the “exotic” beasts. How about a set of f/2.8 primes, maybe even with slight compromises in wide-open extreme-corner sharpness, for casual shooters to turn to when they want a truly portable travel kit, or even a daily setup?

I just hope that Canon doesn’t focus all of their energy on developing flagship pro lenses, or even non-L lenses that are still a bit hefty, because competitors like Sony and Rokinon/Samyang are now starting to cover this base, and they’re doing it decently well.

Conclusion: The EOS R Is More Than Just A Spec Sheet

The Canon EOS R is, quite simply, a window into the future of Canon’s new system, with its impressive lenses and new possibilities in camera functions. It’s a glimpse at their amazing level of dedication to photographers who just want a camera that makes photography seem downright effortless.

It’s also a reminder that Canon has been making cameras for over 80 years, and that experience still counts for something when it comes to ergonomics, functionality, and optical design.

Overall, my experience is very positive. As with all technology, it takes some getting used to, and can be a challenge to dial in just the way you like.

 

Canon EOS R, RF 28-70mm f/2 L | 1/400 sec @ f/2 & ISO 6400
(From a pre-production Lens. But, trust me, WOW is it sharp!)

 

Canon EOS R, RF 50mm f/1.2 L | 1/400 sec @ f/1.2 & ISO 3200

 

Yes, the internet has a way of boiling things down to a “battle of spec sheets” and nothing else. But if Canon can step up their game at this particular price point and offer more features, the system as a whole will be very attractive.
The hard truth is that these days, serious pros are looking to cameras in the $2,000 price range, and expecting them to be packed with everything they can’t live without. Even amateurs who are considering a full-frame camera are definitely taking photography as serious as the pros.

And, at this point, Canon could have really used a camera that stopped “ship-jumping” dead in its tracks. The EOS R may not be enough for the impatient folks who (understandably) miss the bigger picture. However, I strongly believe that anyone who actually handles the EOS R, and dare I say is a little forward-thinking, will see the great promise the EOS R offers, with both RF and EF lenses. Simply put: get an EOS R in your hands, shoot with it and get to know its new functions. You’ll be glad you did, and you might at least give Canon “a minute” to make even more RF bodies and lenses. You may even buy one.

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. Nic Mainferme

    [Nic Mainferme has deleted this comment]

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  2. Leo Jimenez

    Would you use this camera as your prime shooter for weddings replacing my 6d or 6d mk2?  or work on the 5d mk4

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Leo,

      That’s a hard question to answer, because on the one hand, you’re currently shooting weddings on 6-series bodies, which don’t have dual card slots, but on the other hand, you’re considering getting the 5D4 as well.

      Here’s the bottom line, for me: The EOS R is the future. The RF lens mount is the future. The new AF system and lenses are going to revolutionize the way we shoot as wedding & portrait photographers, they’re going to significantly increase the amount if in-focus, sharp keepers that we get, while almost completely eliminating the “dud” exposures we take, all thanks to the EVF and the on-sensor AF.

      Having said that, the lack of dual card slots is a huge, huge elephant in the room, when your job is to document one of the most important days in a couple’s lives, a job with “there are no do-overs” written all over it.

      So, firstly, I hope you’re already using some sort of backup device in the field to make sure that your 6D-series images are safe and sound, preferably all throughout the wedding day, but at least at the end of the night before you even go out to your car. Whether you have a dedicated backup device or just a notebook laptop, your professional workflow should involve backing up your photos, period.

      If you’re OK with doing this, then the EOS R is a fine investment, compared to a 6D2.

      However, the 5D4 does offer the simplicity of dual card slots, and quite a few other pro features that many wedding photographers value.

      So, quite honestly, it’s a toss-up, as long as you’re backing up your photos in the field. Just keep in mind that more RF mount bodies are coming soon, and there will undoubtedly be one with dual card slots (and maybe even IBIS) within 6-12 months, I bet.

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  3. Boudewijn J.M. Kegels

    Already since I’ve got the 30D I wondered why scrolling back and forth in immediate playback/image review after shooting is not possible without pressing the play button in between. It frustrates, because it is illogical!

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  4. Michael Rung

    Nice write up. While I’m definitely intrigued by this camera as an upgrade from my 80D I also have a collection of Tamron SP lenses that I love (and bought within the past 12 months). Does the nifty Canon EF adapter work with third party lenses? If not, or of I’ll have to use a Tamron adapter with loss of focus speed, etc., I may as well consider making the switch to Sony. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      There have been mixed reports so far. The only 100% certain issue that I know of at this point is Sigma lenses on Nikon’s Z mirrorless cameras. I haven’t heard any official announcements regarding incompatibility issues on the EOS R. That might not happen until units actually start hitting shelves, unfortunately. Other testers who were at the press release and had the EOS R in their hands did make comments here and there about Tamron and Sigma lenses, but the reports were mixed IIRC.

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  5. Mary Hurlbut

    THANKS to your great coaching over the years I actually understood about 3/4’s of this review and now would love to “play” with one of these cameras. I’m curious about the weight of the body with the 70-200mm on it, how was the balance for hand holding and was it significantly lighter for holding while shooting events?

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    • Matthew Saville

      The body does feel a touch lighter, if you’re using it with a 70-200 2.8 and especially if you’re used to a 5D series. But, it’s a welcomed level of weight savings, not an “off-balance” level of weight savings, IMO.

      All in all, I’d love it for shooting events, partly because I’d probably try and stick to primes as much as possible, to take advantage of the fact that the camera can nail focus in almost any light with a fast prime, and partly because my shoulder is so messed up at this point, I avoid the 70-200 whenever possible.

      Having said that, anyone who shoots paid weddings should wait for the higher-end version of this body, because of the lack of dual card slots. Always, always, always shoot full-res to both cards at the same time, if you’re accepting $$$ for a “no do-overs” type of event.

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  6. Jonathan Brady

    “you might at least give Canon “a minute” to make even more RF bodies and lenses”

    Honestly, this is Canon’s goal, presently. I truly believe that they couldn’t possibly care less how many or few R cameras and lenses they sell at this point. Their goal is to stop the bleed by demonstrating that they will have a FF mirrorless system for everyone… Eventually. And for most Canon owners, that’s sufficient. Because most Canon owners give a whole new meaning to “brand loyal”. As long as they have something to point to and say “see! It’s right there!”, they’re happy.

    IMO, those who wanted Canon to adopt FF mirrorless long ago have already bailed. And there are some that wanted Canon to drop the proverbial hammer and release a body and lens line that puts every other attempt to shame – and those folks could still defect due to dissatisfaction with Canon’s “do as little as possible while charging a price premium” ethos. But the vast majority will stay, just as the article suggests they should, likely buying each new generation of R cameras because Canon offered just enough of a difference to get them to open their wallets  (again) while also holding back just enough to keep users looking at how much more other brands are offering, for less money, and keeping the fire of desire stoked. And that, IMO, is Canon’s most significant (and sustained) achievement in their 100+ year history.

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    • Matthew Saville

      While that’s true, I think the sheer magnitude of Canon shooters who “already bailed” should not be understated. almost EVERY landscape photographer I know, many who were die-hard Canon shooters going all the way back to  the Canon 5D2 ~10 years ago, …have switched to Nikon or Sony, and they did it 3-5 years ago, not just in the last ~1 year.

      I personally think there’s a lot to be said for the decades of experience Canon has at designing cameras, and for those who are comfortable with the user interface and overall user experience, it’s still a preferable system, despite the shortcomings of this particular model.

      I don’t think it’s an ethos of “do as little as possible while charging a price premium”. I think it’s more of a tactical decision to withold a few key features that they think will entice people to upgrade. However, the competition is pushing the price points down on certain features, and Canon needs to be careful so that they don’t get caught in a situation where too many people have already switched, and won’t be coming back no matter how good the future RF bodies and lenses get.

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  7. J Doe

    Interesting review and great images (and great processing skills ;)

    Specs wars are getting ridiculous, but people behind them sometimes don’t even own a decent camera. I used to shoot with the Sony A99 and later got the A7r (and in 2 years – the A7r2). Sony didn’t have much lenses to offer back then, so I started buying Canon & Zeiss lenses and shoot them via an adapter. I ended up buying a Canon camera. Not a specs monster, but it was an eye opening experience. Sold the A7r2 in a month, and never looked back.

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  8. Steve O’ Leary

    This seems a fair and balanced review. As slrlounge has strong links to Canon I didn’t expect to see a list of negatives so it’s good that you are being honest. The 50mm f1.2 looks pretty great wide open, it would have been nice to see more shots from the F2 zoom though. I can’t buy this because of the single card slot and the lack of eye detect in servo mode so for now I’m staying with my A9’s. But… Canon colours/ skin tones and build quality are still  very appealing so maybe the next generation will be the one that tempts me. The 50mm f1.2 will have dropped quite a bit in price by then too I’d imagine. 

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    • Matthew Saville

      I hope the next camera is the one that finally puts all the “nay-sayers” in their place. It would be truly easy to do, even though it will cost a bit more than the competition.

      I should write an article on what I feel would be the “perfect” mirrorless camera, and then see which actual camera offers the most of these features…

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    • Dave Lyons

      matthew.. last I was here you were a “nay-sayer” as well ;-)

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  9. Tim Driman

    I know that you are really trying to be pragmatic and kind, but lets be honest…. Canon have tried to come in at US$ 2,000.00 to match the price of the SONY A7iii, but they came up short!  10% more and not even half the features of the SONY A7iii…..

    I shot Canon for 19 years, and I am NOT against Canon..But they have been late to the mirrorless market, and haven’t even brought their “A” game with this…!

    Canon “Influencers” have been doing their very best to rave about some of the features in this new Canon mirrorless body and lens, but really guys, they aren’t even in the same ball park as the SONY equipment…

    Canon are talking about adaptors ( Which add even more to the price tag!) in the hopes that they may placate some of their old loyal users, but the sad fact is that SONY are an electronics company who have beaten CANIKON  to the front with new bodies AND a new range of  “mirrorless” lenses to match their bodies, and by the time CANIKON eventually get to match what the SONY FF Alpha bodies and lenses are doing now, SONY will have raced further into the lead.

    I switched over because SONY gave me equipment which Canon could NOT match, for so many good reasons… I am just one of a rapidly growing hoard of photographers who are buying what makes their lives easier., cheaper, lighter, easier to use etc….

    I really wish that CANIKON would come to the market with matching / better equipment because we all need competition… But I fear that CANIKON have missed this very important bus!

    http://www.timdrimanphotography.co.za

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Tim, I think that while you have some good points about the speed of the market versus the pace of “CaNikon”, I think you’re missing one thing- Canon “influencers” actually like this camera, because it’s actually GREAT for what they do. This camera is being raved about as one of the best “vlogging” cameras around, thanks to its fully articulated LCD among other things.

      And, to be quite frank, there are still many ways in which Sony equipment “isn’t even in the ballpark” compared to what Canon/Nikon are doing. The teardown of the Nikon Z7 shows just how serious Nikon is about building a rock-solid, reliable camera, for example.

      And I have a strong suspicion that if Canon had been able to do like Nikon did, and bring both a ~$2K and $3K body to market at once, …their $3K version of this camera would also “put to shame” the Sony ~$3K body in some ways.

      And, for every person who can switch to Sony and call it “easier to use” like you do, …there are many more who try Sony, and yet go back to Canon/Nikon because SOny was just too frustrating to use.
      Really, it all comes down to this: Sony is doing a fantastic job of listening to users and deciding which features to put into their cameras to tempt the broadest range of buyers. I’ve seen Nikon do the same thing over the years, compared to Canon. The underdog always tries harder, but that’s because they’re still the underdog, and they have a lot of other kinks left to work out before they could truly “steal the crown” and take a top market position.

      I think the clock is ticking, however, and Canon and Nikon really need to kick it into high gear with both bodies and lenses. Because I’ve definitley lost count of how many Canon shooters I’ve encountered who recently switched to an A7III or A7RIII.  But I also know that the people who are doing so are not always finding it to be an easy road, and many of them would still jump back “across the fence” if they could, for the ergonomics and menus etc. of the brand they still feel more comfortable with.

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