A Sony User Tries the Canon EOS R

When you hear about photographers talking about switching brands between Sony and Canon, it's almost exclusively from the latter to the former. However, with Canon finally jumping seriously into mirrorless cameras, it's interesting to see how Sony users feel about the EOS R.

Coming to you from Manny Ortiz, this great video details his experiences using the Canon EOS R mirrorless camera after shooting with Sony for a long time. The EOS R is an intriguing camera for Canon users: though it has its shortcomings, it's Canon's first serious foray into mirrorless territory, and it offers some very intriguing features for photographers, perhaps the most intriguing being both the very high image quality offered by the quickly expanding RF lens lineup and the ability to draw on Canon's vast EF lens library with first-party lens adapters that offers similar (and sometimes better) autofocus performance. You also gain conveniences like Canon's ergonomics and menu system, plus their generally lauded color science. If you're like many Canon users and wondering what life is like on the other side, it's worth checking out to see what a longtime Sony user thinks of the new system. Check out the video above for Ortiz' full thoughts. 

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33 Comments

michaeljin's picture

I thought that was a pretty reasonable perspective.

Dude, it's the shutter that's covering the sensor, haha. you know, the thing that's been in most all cameras, since forever. Please don't take it the wrong way, not trying to be rude.

David Love's picture

So is the point with mirrorless cameras, to be able to hold it away from you and just let the camera focus in live view? Or am I missing the point? Just made me think of people complaining about battery life while everyone is shooting in live mode the whole time. Pretty soon it will just say "Image taken by Sony, photographer was busy."

michaeljin's picture

It was pretty clear that he didn't have a second person to film him and he didn't have an external recorder to take the live feed off the camera to show what he was doing.

David Love's picture

I get that. I used to use an actioncam to film bts so I just mounted it on a cheap light stand to set up as we moved.

Lens focuses direct to sensor, no mirror means no micro focus adjustments needed, as the it's physically not a part in a mirrorless cam. LCD doesn't need to be on, evf does just fine - gives an accurate readout of the capture image.

David Love's picture

Ah, I get some of that from the GH5, just wondered why he was holding the camera out and then complaining of blurry pics and the camera not being able to eye focus 15 feet away. I prefer to put the focus point where I want it.

David Penner's picture

The point of eye auto focus is that the camera knows what an eye is and focuses on it. I believe the Sony eye auto focus will even detect which eye is closer and focus on that one.

Alex Cooke's picture

It’s hard to overstate how incredibly useful the Eye AF on my a7R III has been. Makes my life much easier and vastly increases my keeper rate.

No, holding the camera at arm's length is not the point of mirrorless at all. If you were going to hold the camera at arm's length all the time, you could just use a DSLR in live view. In fact the 5DIV and 6DII have great on-sensor DPAF.

Indeed, one of the biggest advantages of a mirrorless system is the EVF. Getting that live view experience, while the camera is held up to your eye, like most professionals actually shoot.

In fact, the EVF is one of the main advantages of the EOS R, because it's absolutely gorgeous, and way better than any of the other cameras in its price range.

Other advantages of mirrorless include things like IBIS, smaller form factor, (for the body, though not always the lenses) and really, not much else. In fact, even a DSLR could have IBIS, it's just that Canon and Nikon chose to omit it. Pentax didn't! So really, the only true advantages of mirrorless are in fact the shorter flange distance and the EVF. Everything else is just bells and whistles that certain mirrorless systems have included but DSLR systems have not included, even though they COULD, ...or do include in live view, but can't in an OVF.

BTW, regarding battery life- actually, many EVF's are higher resolution and refresh rate than the rear LCD, so using the rear LCD instead of the EVF conserves battery, ironically.

But, thankfully, the latest FF MILC systems all have decent batteries, the EOS R included. Even using an EVF and IBIS, you can get almost the same battery life as you would from a DSLR.

David Love's picture

Thanks for the info. I'd rather buy new glass and light modifiers and stay where I'm at with the 5d mark 4 then.

Also, MILC doesn't require AF microadjustments and is said to be easier to shoot with shallow DOF.

Again, Allan, that's an advantage that is available on-sensor when using a DSLR in live view. The Canon 5DIV already has very impressive DPAF on-sensor, when using the camera at arms' length or from a tripod.

Simply put, it's all about the EVF, and the benefits it can offer depending on how you actually shoot. That plus the flange distance, and its advantages. Everything else is not actually directly tied to mirrorless technology, just the systems themselves, and the companies that make the decisions about which features to put in which cameras. It's pedantic to say, I know, but it's still an important distinction to make for those who are actually considering a major gear switch for just one or two reasons, and possibly not the RIGHT reasons.

Given how good mirrorless displays are--both EVF and rear--I cannot imagine ever using a DSLR again. I can see what I am composing as I change settings, what an effect will look like while still shooting raw, live histogram, live compositing, zebra stripes, more focus points, better video autofocus, higher burst rates, facial recognition, the list goes on. Plus mirrorless cameras are smaller, lighter, significantly quieter, and have amazing stabilization. To each his own but for me the only SLR I will touch is a film camera.

Your mention of film SLRs explains the whole reason behind why so many people still want a DSLR: they /WANT/ to see in analog. It's the real world.

For me, when "time is money", and I gotta nail an exposure, color, etc. yeah, an EVF is great. It certainly saves me time in post-production, and on-location, to have all that great info at my fingertips without ever taking my eye away from the viewfinder.

However, for many personal pursuits, and even some professional pursuits, a lot of the advantages of an EVF just don't come up, but the advantage that does come up is that when I'm shooting casually, I can look through my optical viewfinder without even turning my camera on, and I can snap a "casual" photo without barely putting a dent in my battery life.

Plus, we stare at digital screens enough all day long, whether for work or a lot of other reasons, and having to squint at yet another electronic display is just not something that our eyes look forward to sometimes. It's refreshing to be able to raise the camera to your eye and just see a glass/mirror window to the real world.

So yeah, it's great for MANY reasons. But it's still not analog.

Rick Nash's picture

Good review. Canon, dump the slidebar and put in a joystick.

David Love's picture

They have to save something for the $3500 version. I'd rather them just do like Panasonic and release a camera whole and just charge for extra firmware features like vlog.

Pros don't give a shit about brand. They use and switch to what will do what they need it to do, sometimes both

Rob Mitchell's picture

I'd like to give one a go too. Not sure I can bend my index finger to the top of the body to adjust that top dial though. Nikon hand here, different evolutionary process than developing Canon hand.

I’ve been saying the same for years :-)

user-146450's picture

Will reviewers stop going on about their "pinky's".

Ryan Stone's picture

Try being an event ‘tog and holding a camera all day. To me, ergonomics are more important than a stop extra dynamic range and the EOS R is butter in your hand.

David Pavlich's picture

Alex...you mentioned the big pluses for Canon and that's the lens line up, their ergonomics, menu, and for many, their color science. I'm very happy with my 5DIV and wouldn't consider the R as a replacement. However, because of how Canon has decided to move into the mirror less world, the terrific lens line up, I'm making an educated guess that Canon has big plans for their pro body introduction. If it's what many think it will be, there's going to be a lot of 5DIIIs and 5DIVs either becoming backup cameras or put on sale.

David Love's picture

I'm not worried about that. The image still comes out as a raw file to edit so I don't feel the need to move. Though I say that with my mark 3 on a shelf while using my mark 4. Maybe if they changed the stupid large video codec and upped their 4k and added log, zebra, focus assist, etc, to compete I might consider cause I can use it with the gh5.

David Pavlich's picture

I do zero video, so what Canon does with that part of the camera won't influence my choices.

He would have gotten a much more complete RF platform experience if he had shot on the new RF 50 1.2; the old 85 1.2 L is an absolute slug to focus.

Having said that, yeah, as he said it's a delight to hold, and that's something that just can't be quantified in written form...

Kevin Harding's picture

I added a Lennon L rig (there are plenty of others) to my A9 and A7rii. No floating pinkie and I love the feel and extra functions of the rig. So for me no difference whatsoever between Z7, A9 and R, all feel just great in the hand (and a lot lighter than my previous Nikon DSLRs).

Wade Spencer's picture

Yeah...I'm gonna with the images were blurry because you were holding the camera with one hand....

I believe he mentioned in the video why he had to hold with one hand (to record the screen).

He also mentioned that the IBIS on his Sony is so good he's never had problems with blurry pics and one-handing it before. He's been spoiled by it so it wasn't even on his mind that it would affect the shot.

oliver ahrndt's picture

Maybe you should have mentioned Manny Ortiz in the title instead of photographer. would have saved me a click and a dissapointment

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