Canon Repeats Its Successes, Mistakes With EOS-R

Canon makes some pretty great cameras, though none are without their faults, including the company's recently announced entry into the full-frame mirrorless market. Kai Wong's first impressions of the Canon EOS R tell us about everything the camera does well and the mistakes Canon made with its release. 

As Fstoppers' own Oliver Kmia noted a few days ago after reviewing the specs from Canon's leaked brochure, Wong also described the EOS R as essentially a 5D Mark IV without the mirror. Now, that's a good thing in many ways, but it doesn't feel like the leap forward many consumers hoped to see. 

Much like the Nikon Z platform, Canon opted for a single memory card slot, which is sure to enrage the masses. Unfortunately, it also kept the same 1.7x crop factor for 4K video shooting that is present in the 5D Mark IV. Since there's no in-body image stabilization on board, that crop factor can be an issue for vloggers, who may need to shoot wider than the native RF 24-105mm lens will allow. 

Like Nikon, Canon opted for a single memory card slot, much to consumers' chagrin.

At the other end, sports and wildlife shooters may find the slow 5 frames per second continuous rate with continuous autofocus troublesome. While it can shoot 8 fps in AF-S, that may not be practical for someone trying to capture fast-moving animals or athletes. 

All of that said, Wong loved build of the body, as well as the incredible customization options. Users can even customize the function of the focus rings on the new line of RF lenses (RF 50mm f/1.2L USMRF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, RF 28-70mm f/2L USMRF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM) and a ring on the EF-EOS R mount adapter

And vloggers will love that Canon did what Nikon did not, integrating a fully-articulated rear display that can flip out and turn forward, giving users the ability to film themselves better. Wong loved the electronic viewfinder and the camera's fast autofocus as well. 

There are worse cameras to be compared to than the 5D Mark IV, Photographers looking to upgrade older gear may consider jumping into the mirrorless market with the EOS-R. But if you already own a 5D Mark IV, Canon hasn't given you a compelling reason to make the switch. 

Are you considering moving to full-frame mirrorless? With reviews pouring in for all the major brands, which camera excites you the most? Drop a comment below and let us know. 

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27 Comments

David Penner's picture

I'm sorta confused what they are gonna do with the ef-m? If they make that their aps-c mount they have made a mistake. Most people I know with full frame started with aps-c and when they realized they liked photography enough to actually invest money in it started buying full frame lenses. Eventually they move up to full frame and already have a couple lenses for it. Anyone buying into the ef-m will need to buy everything new if they want to move up to full frame but who is to say they stick with Canon? Maybe they like Nikon's offerings or what Sony has to offer. They will have to buy all new lenses anyways so they are dont have any incentive to stick with Canon. If Canon decides to make a crop camera for the new mount what happens with the ef-m?
Did they design the ef-m such a long time ago that they didnt think of future proofing it? Canon's biggest thing they have had is brand loyalty but I can see that going away slowly if they dont make big moves.

EF lens on APSC body is most of the time a bad combination and often is disappointing. A good full frame lens is barely good on crop body due to smaller pixel size vs resolving power (cf: MFT charts). If you apply the same logic to full frame, you should not "invest" on full frame lens because you may switch to medium format... Smaller pixel size require extra resolving power from the lens. That explain why for the same quality , smaller lens with smaller glass have similar price as big lenses, they need extra quality (cf: m43 lens)

I prefer a clear distinction between APSC and full frame lenses line up. EF-M and EF-R will replace EF-S and EF, and it is ok if they are not compatible.
No need to have full frame or medium format to be so called professional as long as you deliver quality images.
Now Canon, please release lightweight L series for EF-M and a M camera with a bigger battery and a bigger grip :) (same remark for Sony, but with a fully articulated screen)

David Penner's picture

The point is that people can't slowly move to a new system. If you are stuck with one mount it means you either gotta invest in the one system and lose a bunch of money when you sell everything to move over to full frame or you can't buy any glass until you have the money to buy the full frame with the new glass. I never said you need full frame to be a pro.

Thomas Adams's picture

I’ve had nothing but stunning photos with my EF lenses on 60d and 760d, including paid work for theatre shows with the 35mm F2 IS and 85mm F1.8. Client was very happy with results. Also got into 10th place in last years Wikimedia Loves Monuments with the 85mm on the 760d. And what a joy to have those lenses to use on my recently acquired 5d Mark IV.

I don't doubt that you can have good(everything is relative) FF lens / APSC boby combination, that's why I said "most of the time".
the Canon 85mm f/1.8 is a good example: it gives 21Mpx resolution on a Canon 5dmkIV, and 10Mpx on Canon 760D (which is the average kit lens quality) [DXO].
So yes, you don't have much choice if you want a 85mm f/1.8, but the Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM A would give you way sharper images (but a bit bigger,...)

All I'm saying is that forcing manufacturer to focus on lenses per sensor size will force them to offer more good quality lenses :)

this is completely false. In addition to locking out user's upgrade path, there are plenty of reasons to use a full frame sensor on a cropped body. You're effectively using the best part of the lens, so any image and falloff issues around the edges aren't a problem. You're also using the area of the lens with the most resolving power: just look at most MTF charts. It is no wonder that some of the most popular lens choices for the 7D and D500 are precisely full frame glass.

Canon is mega screwed here. Sony coming up with a high spec aps-c body with full compatibility without adapters to their FE lenses. Nikon no doubt following using the same Z mount. Canon? well canon has to convince their EF-M users that they are not abandoned or make it work with two incompatible mounts.

"You're also using the area of the lens with the most resolving power", yes but still not enough for the pixel size of APSC sensors. It doesn't mean you'll have a bad pictures, but you could get better result with a lens mad for APSC.

Yes, many photographers use FullFrame lenses on crop sensors, for two reasons: longer focal lenses and better lenses quality build. The APSC lenses selection is limited, and deserve better.

So again, yes it nice that you can use full frame lenses on crop bodies, but at the end everyone wins if Canon focus on good quality lenses for APSC EF-M (smaller but more resolving power), and good quality lenses for their new full frame mount RF (bigger glass, with less resolving power).

Jonathan Brady's picture

I see it more like a 6D Mark II with a 5D Mark IV sensor, but mirrorless.

Alex Dylikowski's picture

What is funny for me is that camera reviews and final judgement is done by people who are not the most successful photographers. Just a random guy can have a youtube channel, dressed with a tshirt and using jargon to evaluate a camera. Not talking this specific reviewer, but overall. So many shockingly beautifil images are taken with Canon cameras. Some people will always talk while others produce stunning images.

Stop crying fanboy and accept that this is a big dissapointment

Alex Dylikowski's picture

I will not accept because I cannot be objective. I am not in the target audience for this camera. Second...you need to understand the whole idea around the word dosappointnent. Canon did not promise you anything and then broke the promise. They did what they believe is right as their first step in the FF mirrorless journey and I am sure they have a plan for several years on how they want to develop the roadmap. There are many other cameras today that we can chose and every each of them is a compromise. So we need to pick the one that works best for what we do. For some it will be new Sony, for some it will be Nikon D850, for some it will be the next iteration of 5Ds, for some it is Fuji X-T3. We can look at the situation differently and be dossapointed that despite the fact that the cameras today are stunning, most of people are using them to produce average images:-) That is a true disappointment:-)

Jan Kruize's picture

Well anyway Mark Harris.... Alex is showing some pictures here, i see nothing from you.

Tino C's picture

I think it is fair to say that not having in body stabilization is a major disappointment for a new platform starting on a blank sheet of paper.

It is clear they are not going to have future bodies in RF mount with ibis. IS will remain in some lenses only.

Saw a photog I know test driving the R at the US open on a 200mm-400mm f4. Said the focus speed and accuracy was great and he was happy with the 8 fps.

Brian Pernicone's picture

Alex, I think there's an argument to be made that one doesn't need to be a great artist to effectively review new equipment. In fact, a review by professional reviewer may actually have some advantages over that of a professional photographer. For instance, a professional reviewer isn't as likely to be brand-loyal and is likely to be more objective than a professional photographer, who might be predisposed to give a favorable review of the brands they have already invested thousands of dollars into. Understanding the equipment - and how it compares to its competition - is more important to an informed review than the ability to make the best photographs.

Similarly, one doesn't need to be a great race car driver to be a strong reviewer of cars for a magazine.

Alex Dylikowski's picture

Maybe, but I would still prefer to know the opinion of a successfull businessman on how to succeed in business rather than a professor in the university:-)

Elan Govan's picture

Who cares what Kai Wong thinks. It's not like he can build his own camera and correct other people's mistakes in his own brand.

Big failure by Canon just like Nikon before. Now let the fanboy excuses begin

No excuses. I just disagree with you.

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Can't wait to use the Canon 28-70mm f/2 on my A7R3!!!

Probably impossible Sony 18mm flange distance Canon 20mm you need 2mm adapter :D

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Indeed, but one can design a Speedbooster type where an additional correction lens is included to compensate for the adapter thickness.

Tamas Nemeth's picture

how about the peephole called e mount?

Tino C's picture

I shoot professionally with a 5D Mk4. There isn’t a single item in this camera to compel me to move to full frame mirrorless... as much as I was waiting for it.

Shorter battery life, viewfinder never as good as an optical one. No IBIS is a major mistake no matter what excuse they come up with.

A new lens mount is going to be a headache as I won’t be able to use RF lenses on EF bodies and I’m looking to replace my 16-35mmL.

Yes it is lighter than the 5D but to be honest weight was never my biggest concern. It’s the lenses that have most weight when I travel.

I’ve been a canon user for over 30 years now and never complained but this is a missed opportunity. If I have to replace everything I might as well look at other brands.

Jan Kruize's picture

Well... to be honest... i think the same. I hear no one talking about a slightly lagging telephone screen where you look at. I hear no one about the clear screen with your subject in it. A dslr has the clearest and most detailed screen you can think of.

Darren Loveland's picture

While Canon missed the boat on a few specs, it's still a very nice camera for anyone looking to move up from intermediate level DSLR bodies. It's also pretty clear that Canon (like most flagship companies in their respective tech, e.g. Apple iPhones) almost always hold back some of the specs for refinement and integration on the next model release. I don't blame Canon for this, it's business, Sony did it too. Legendary reliability, professional quality images, and great lenses; it's hard to complain with that from Canon. Give Canon and Nikon both a few years to integrate and improve specs. Anyone expecting the world's perfect camera with Canon's very first full frame mirror-less body was sure to be disappointed either way. I do not think this camera was designed for professionals looking to switch from top of the line DSLRs to mirror-less, it was intended for intermediate photographers looking to upgrade from mid-level bodies.

If I am getting the M camera it's not to grow into the R or the EF system. It's a small compliment to them so I can have a small camera AND small dedicated lenses like the days of the Pen F.
It's all small and does not need to be adaptable to big lenses .
Canon will make a R APSC camera like the 80D or 7D some day perhaps but I like the small light weight M system.