Comparing All Four Canon Mirrorless Cameras for Portraiture: EOS RP, R, R6, and R5

Canon took their merry time about diving into the mirrorless camera space, but now they are fully submerged. Their four mirrorless bodies each come at distinct price points, but how well does the price of these cameras represent their quality?

I was frustrated when Canon hadn't released any mirrorless bodies. After trying a mirrorless Leica some years back, I was sold enough on their benefits that I wanted one, but struggled to justify the price of a Leica. I had been shooting with Canon as my workhorse body for the best part of a decade, and although I had no reason to have brand loyalty, I did have a collection of Canon glass. Nevertheless, I knew Canon would have to bring out a new mount for mirrorless, so in essence, changing brand was going to require an adaptor all the same.

I eventually moved to Sony, which I don't regret for a second, but I still shoot with Canon on occasion and have kept several lenses I refuse to sell. However, the release of the Canon R5 and R6 really pricked my ears up. The EOS RP and R were half measures to my eye, not remotely appealing enough to jump ship, and probably not appealing enough for me to even purchase them had I have stayed in Canon's ecosystem. But the R5 and R6 are different beasts entirely, with impressive spec sheets, boasting cutting edge performance in places.

In this video, Irene Rudnyk, a superb portrait photographer, tests each body for portrait photography. This isn't a technical comparison, but rather a use-case.

Which body would you go for? Is the R5 the standout winner, or do some of the more cost-effective options make more sense?

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9 Comments
Jen Me's picture

I got the RP and was already expensive to me, so was the best choice i was able to pay, also consider the Nikon z5 but Nikon lens are more expensive, and rp smaller, so i got the RP, but end up buying some cheap vintage instead of the cheap 50mm, what's wrong with me?

Richard Kralicek's picture

Nothing. Enough bang for the buck. Vintage lenses also deliver nice images with character, so what?

Noah Stephens's picture

“Character” is another way to say “chromatic aberration”

Richard Rybka's picture

I really enjoy Irene’s videos-easy to follow and very informative. I have both the R5 and the RP. Since I bought these as kit option, I have both RF 24-105 STM and USM lenses, plus an RF 35mm 1.4 STM. I use the RP as my grab and go camera when I want to test settings and autofocus modes. The RP is a great practice camera since the RAW images sizes are considerably less than the R5. I reserve the R5 for serious pro shoots. Other than slightly different control button arrangements, the settings are similar which makes it easy to navigate between the two cameras. I’ve been a Canon user for over 45 years and dearly loved my F1 35mm. All I can say is Canon still rocks!

Richard Kralicek's picture

I guess you've the RF 35mm 1.8 STM macro lens, as the 1.4 version doesn't exist yet. This lens is small and versatile.

Malcolm Wright's picture

So the M series doesn't count as a Canon mirror less camera anymore? Are there really only 4. When was the M series discontinued?

Fritz Asuro's picture

With a little common sense, you can figure it out that it's comparing Canon's full frame line of mirrorless cameras. They didn't say that the M series doesn't exist nor discontinued.

You just want to whine about something where basic understanding could fix.

Malcolm Wright's picture

With a little more commonsense the title of the article wouldn't be at best misleading and at worst snobbish.

William Salopek's picture

Yeah I agree. The title of the article is misleading. Should have been worded a different way.