Canon EOS R

Canon EOS R review

This review has been updated to reflect the behaviour and performance of firmware v1.6, released in late 2019.

The Canon EOS R is the first full-frame mirrorless camera to use the new RF mount. It's built around the same 30 megapixel Dual Pixel CMOS sensor as 2016's EOS 5D Mark IV but is designed for a new series of RF lenses. Canon says the shorter RF lens mount will allow them to design better or smaller lenses than they can for the existing EF mount.

With the EOS R, you are, in essence, getting image and video quality from the 5D Mark IV at around the price point of the 6D Mark II with a healthy dose of control philosophy from both of those cameras as well as the EOS M series. Unfortunately, while it's capable of great image quality, handling and ergonomics are a mixed bag and the EOS R's video capabilities lag behind the competition considerably.

Key Specifications:

  • 30MP full-frame sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus
  • 3.69M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Fully articulated rear LCD
  • Autofocus rated down to -6EV (with F1.2 lens)
  • Up to 8 fps shooting (5 fps with continuous AF, 3 fps 'Tracking Priority mode')
  • UHD 4K 30p video from a 1.8x crop of the sensor
  • Canon Log (10-bit 4:2:2 over HDMI or 8-bit 4:2:0 internal)
  • USB charging (with some chargers)


What we like

What we don't

  • 30MP sensor offers good dynamic range and low light performance
  • Pleasing JPEG and video color
  • Comfortable grip
  • High quality viewfinder
  • Near-seamless compatibility with EF and EF-S lenses using EF-EOS R adapters
  • Dual Pixel Autofocus allows for precise focus off the image sensor: no more calibrating lenses
  • Best-performing mirrorless in Single AF that we've yet tested
  • Touchscreen interface is generally polished
  • Latest Digic 8 processor allows for C-RAW compressed Raw format
  • Silent shutter option, though rolling shutter limits its usefulness
  • Reliable Bluetooth + Wi-Fi connectivity, good app experience
  • New flexible-priority exposure mode works well
  • 4K video capture with Dual Pixel AF
  • 10-bit color and Log when using external HDMI video recorder
  • Dynamic range and noise performance lag behind the competition
  • Quirky, questionable ergonomics may turn off some users
  • Inconsistent and arbitrarily limited customization options
  • 4K video comes with substantial 1.8x crop
  • Significant rolling shutter in 4K mode
  • Unimpressive burst shooting speeds
  • Very difficult to follow moving subjects while shooting bursts
  • Video output is generally soft
  • Dual Pixel AF is surprisingly unreliable in video shooting
  • Evaluative metering may vary greatly from one shot to the next of the same scene
  • AF struggles in back-lit scenarios
  • No in-body stabilization further limits usefulness as a video camera
  • Silent shutter is of limited use due to significant rolling shutter
  • No interval timer
  • Flipping out the articulating screen does not disable the eye sensor for the viewfinder
  • Auto ISO can't be engaged using dials or M.Fn bar while the meter is active
  • Battery life is below average for the class
  • USB charging is choosy about chargers

Overall conclusion

The EOS R is Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera, and with a proven sensor and great color output, it's capable of producing really great photographs. But then again, there are many full-frame cameras on the market today that are capable of producing really great photographs, so it's the process of getting to those photographs that is becoming increasingly important to consider. In that sense, the EOS R comes up short.



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