Six Months With the EOS R: How Good Is Canon's Mirrorless Camera?

While Canon's RF mirrorless lenses have generally been receiving stellar reviews, the response to their camera bodies has been decidedly more mixed. However, their cameras are sometimes known for certain usability perks and other intangibles that the spec sheets can't capture, and this great video review focuses on how those come together to make or break the EOS R over the course of six months with it.

Coming to you from our friends over at SLR Lounge, this helpful video review takes a long-term look at the Canon EOS R and how it holds up to professional use. The EOS R was met with a relatively disappointed response based on its spec sheet upon its announcement, but Canon loyalists will often point to things like color science and the company's menu system when justifying why they stick with the brand over others. Of course, there's also the RF mount's stellar glass and the ability to adapt EF lenses, often with better autofocus performance than if they were on an EF body. All of this means that while the EOS R is certainly not the perfect camera, it is the right camera for a lot of photographers. Check out the video above to find out if it's the right one for you. 

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17 Comments

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

The EOS R is one of the currently most underrated cameras.

And mostly the bad reviews come from comparing tech-specs against Sony A7III with emphasis on Sony's slightly higher dynamic range and image stabilisation. However if you compare things photographers need constantly like usability, ergonomics, color reproduction and lenses, the R is actually the better alternative. Also, especially for studio work where a super high dynamic range isn't important, the R offers more resolution than its peers giving you more versatility for cropping.

IMO its just now that people realize how easy it is to work with the EOS R. For instance people complaining about the missing joystick realized working with the touchscreen's drag function is much easier than a joystick. Or people complaining about the touch bar realized you can just put non-critical options on it like changing autofocus mode.

And last but not least if you compare the R to Canons current lineup, its easily one of the best cameras they offer. I know a lot of wedding photogs who are ditching their EOS 5D4 for the EOS R, cause it's lighter, it's got more accurate AF and eye detection.

I constantly need Eye AF and dynamic range. Oh, and I shoot in the studio :)

I just think color science on A7m3 is better then what Canon offer. Lack of good eye detection and no IBIS and single card slot makes it less attractive. A good selection of native lenses of high quality adds to the picture. Using it is a habit, I much prefer my Sony to Fujifilm, and For that matter Canon. I wanted to test both Canon and Nikon's offerings, but it's getting clear to me neither adds anything at all.

Eric Salas's picture

You also can forget the eye autofocus from Canon as it is atrocious. You will also want that second card slot you don’t have unless you tether all the time.

There are only minus’ to not getting an A7iii when you compare with an EOSR. Keep in mind that common comparison everyone makes is also being made to a camera that was released over a year before the EOSR... that’s lagging behind despite Canon’s best attempt to “revolutionize mirrorless cameras”.

Matthew Saville's picture

I suppose you didn't watch the video itself before commenting.

The whole reason to buy into the EOS R system, for now, is not the body, it's the lenses. Canon is already offering lenses (the 28-70 f/2 and 50 1.2) that Sony may never be able to match (at least not with the same corner image quality) due to the difference in mount diameter.

So yeah, if you don't need an f/1.2 prime with amazing corners, or an f/2 zoom with insane sharpness, then getting the A7iii does make a lot of sense.

Having said that, the A7iii is no holy grail, either. Most people who have never held an A9 don't realize it, but the A7iii is quite a compromise in a few ways, ways that some pros might not be willing to accept. The viewfinder is not as good as the A9, heck the EOS R has a more beautiful viewfinder than all Sonys, though I don't know how the lag and framerate stacks up. All I know is that Canon's system shows a ton of promise, so while the EOS R might not be a very smart professional solution compared to a Canon 5D4 or a Sony A9, or even a Sony A7iii, the RF system itself is worth getting familiar with.

Eric Salas's picture

I commented on my own experience with it and Canon’s blatant lies to the market as to what they were releasing to the public.

It’s a failure of a release and an all around compromise unless you have an extra 5k to spend on two lenses and even then you’re still compromising on easy features they could have added but didn’t just so they could sell you another body later. The A7iii is also older, cheaper, and more reliable than the EOSR... comparing it to the A9 is also odd because that camera is even older and aimed towards a completely different market. There is ZERO reason to buy an EOSR over just buying a 5Dm4, a great camera with amazing lenses already.

A7iii may not be the holy grail (I don’t own one and only rent it for weddings as a second body) but it’s about as close as you can get currently.

Matthew Saville's picture

I've been shooting weddings with the EOS R, A9, and A7iii for almost a year now, plus a little bit of the Nikon Z cameras as well. Simply put, I do love the A7iii, and would absolutely recommend it as a great wedding setup. However, looking into the future, I feel that Canon and Nikon's lens mounts will prove to be capable of enough impressive exotic glass that I foresee quite a few serious photographers opting for one of those other systems instead of Sony. Having said that, Sony has the bases covered for even most of the serious pros, already. You don't really need f/1.2 primes, or f/2 zooms, to get a job done. Let alone f/0.95 primes or f/1.4 zooms. I could work my entire career with an A9 and GM lenses and be happy. Maybe if they make an A9 mk2 with a bigger, more comfortable grip, I'd get that.

Either way, I stand my by statement: It's not fair to say, "there are ONLY minus' to not getting an A7iii"... Because, the lens systems are a huge plus, for those who need them. And the "failure of a release" is a huge exaggeration, in my experience as a stills (not video) photographer, because the camera simply works great and gets the job done very nicely...

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

@Eric: I think you haven't even tried the R for 10 minutes or you would know the eye AF is not atrocious at all. The fro actually did a test and while the Sony does have the lead, the R also doesn't do super bad in it. Perfectly usable for model shoots.

Eric Salas's picture

“Perfectly useable” - that expression is like putting icing on a turd.

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

Yeah and you have no idea what you're talking about. I constantly do model shoots and use the eye AF every time. You guys act like its a limiting feature which it isn't at all. Its a real game changer if you come from DSLRs.

Eric Salas's picture

Your collection of work and fake name really shows your experience with models...

Rk K's picture

That's good, because the Sony has better usability (af, speed, features, dual sd), better colour reproduction, better ergonomics (joystick, more buttons, more customisation) and, unlike the Canon, a complete, high quality lens lineup.

Uneternal Van de Dood's picture

Better usability? I've tried the A7III from my friend - if he didn't help me I wouldn't even have known how to change the freakin focus point or anything. And even he got stuck with some stuff.
Touchscreen but you can't change ANYTHING but the focus point. What kinda joke is that, did somebody forget to implement a touch UI and thought oh let's just keep the same ol joystick UI we've been using since the freakin 80s?

Better ergonomics? LOL yeah pinky dangeling good. And with some lenses you can't even reach your hand around the grip. Wow, you must have worked with a wooden box before, if you call Sony ergonomics good.

High quality lens lineup? Half of the Sony lineup sucks, the other half is not available (tilt shift anyone?) and every budget lens costs double as much as you pay for the same Canon lenses. But yeah they're totally low quality, thats why a ton of adapters exist to adapt your totally lame Canon lens to your Sony body, cause Sony lenses are so much better bwahaha. Especially the FE 50mm 1.8 which focusses about as quickly as Michael J Fox threads a needle, in a bus, with a honeybadger in his pants.

Rk K's picture

It's a professional tool. If you're too stupid to use it, then it's not for you.

And yeah, the ergonomics are better. If you have fat fingers there are dozens of accessories that make the grip bigger. There's way more to ergonomics than that though. Controls and button layout, customisation and one handed usage are far more important.

The RF mount has a complete lens lineup of 5... Most of which are weird, oversized and overpriced specialty lenses that almost noone needs. And no, old, adapted dslr glass does not make a mirrorless lens lineup. The only reason they seem fine on the eos r is that the camera is too slow (af and framerate) in the first place for it to matter.

Sony on the other hand has a complete lineup of some of the sharpest lenses ever made. It's obvious you don't actually know what's available, never tried them and have no idea what you're talking about.

You only call it underrated because it has a Canon label thus blind fanboyism. The fact is not the worst camera ever But is just stupid to buy a clearly inferior product when much better options are available on the market. That is the point

Tom Jacobs's picture

I love mirrorless. However the main reason I bought the R is for it's capability to shoot up to nine multiple exposures with various blend modes in camera.(mark 3 and 4 also do this). I much prefer my Fuji XT2 but it does not have that capability. For great examples of multiple exposure and blend modes in camera, check out the art of valdabailey.com

Pretty interesting video. But I bet this function is for very specific purpose only.