Yet More Problems Discovered in Canon's New Mirrorless EOS R

Yet More Problems Discovered in Canon's New Mirrorless EOS R

Dear oh dear Canon what have you done? On the back of perhaps its most underwhelming release this century, things just go from bad to worse for its new mirrorless camera.

Not content with releasing a camera that's barely more than a 5D Mark IV without a mirror, reports out this week seem to indicate that the build quality and the video recording options are not quite up to standard either. Dave Altizer, part of the popular Kinotika YouTube channel, has provided photographic evidence that the top LCD panel on his new EOS R mirrorless camera has cracked for no apparent reason during routine use, which suggests that the cover doesn't seem properly reinforced or the weather-sealing isn't really up to scratch.  

Add to that the new finding that the EOS R doesn't allow 1080/60p in crop mode for any EF-S lenses - something not mentioned anywhere in the official Canon specs - and you start to get the feeling that this could be a long, slow slide that you watch painfully through fingers parted ever so slightly across your face (or with utter glee if you're the type who enjoys a mild dose of schadenfreude).

Believe me, I so wanted Canon's new mirrorless camera to be a gamechanger. I am a Canon user. I live in Japan. I speak Japanese. My wife is Japanese and I am friends with many in the camera world of Japan, some of whom work for Canon. I was sure they were going to produce something big. Alas, I was disappointed. And never felt stronger in my conviction that I'd stay loyal to my trusty 5D Mark IV and legacy lens range. News like this doesn't exactly fill me with hope.

Optimistically, this is just teething problems for Canon's first full-frame mirrorless iteration and it only gets better from here. After all, every release of a new i-phone has some kind of problems that are unaccounted for yet users remain loyal. Or am I just being naively sanguine? Do you have any hands-on, real-world experience with the new Canon EOS R, either positive or negative? Please share in the comments below and assuage my ever expanding doubts.

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Elan Govan's picture

Not the end of the world is it? No one is injured from this despicable blunder. I lost count the number of computer failure. The good thing about failures is, the next one will be better build.

Iain Stanley's picture

No it isn’t the end of the world, nothing is. But in terms of such a hotly awaited release, it’s been a massive fizzer, which means I have very little confidence in the next release being anywhere near to matching what Sony et al have already got out there

Elan Govan's picture

So go and buy the Sony. I am confidence Canon will fix what ever quality control issues they have with their product.

luc gerber's picture

I don't think that was the point of this article. And that would bring another point why should we always be beta testers? And before you say it yes I waited for the eos R was disappointed and yes after 20 years got a metabones, sold my 5d IV and picked up two Sony. I love the canon but they really haven't been listening to the customer base lately. It is what it is. And no not the end of the world.

Elan Govan's picture

No offence, I was expressing a view to the author of this article. So don't use me to emphasis your views on this matter. Write this directly to Canon. The best form of customer feedback,don't you think and much more appropriate.

Jake Lindsay's picture

It's a forum. You put your opinions and thoughts out there and others interact. That's how it works. If you'd like a more private conversation direct message the individual.

Elan Govan's picture

Thank you for your thoughts. I am a busy person to read or interact with everything people write here. This is how I work..

Ankit Kumar's picture

TBH, the whole idea of the comment thread is to make sure that people can engage in discourse with others. If you feel that you are unable or unwilling to engage with others, then Mr. Lindsay's suggestion seems quite reasonable. It seems that you might have become a bit upset as the way the article has been worded makes it very strongly anti-Canon. Please recognise that we are all here to enjoy the articles that are written, as well as gaining factual information. If you are so busy that you can barely read and respond to comments that are replying to you, maybe you would be better suited with the direct messaging, or maybe not even commenting at all.

Please don't take this as an attack on you as a person, but I've noticed that a large amount of comments on the community have an increasingly discourteous tone. However, if I have misunderstood your intent, I sincerely apologise.

Elan Govan's picture

You giving me advice wearing a Darth Vader helmet, nice??? Sorry, just too busy for space cadets as well. Have fun.

Ankit Kumar's picture

Firstly: I enjoy star wars, I feel that my profile picture accurately portrays my interest in the fandom. That being said, I would prefer if you referred to me as "Young Padawan" instead of "Space Cadet". That being said, my nerdy profile picture has no bearing on the quality of my comment.

Secondly: I'm actually surprised you read through all of my comment! It seems very long for someone who has a lot of important stuff to do, and is *incredibly* busy!

Finally, I will actually have fun having constructive discourse with my peers on this website, as not all of them are actually resorting to personal criticisms instead of sticking to the matter at hand.

I hope you have a nice day, and that someone may be able to deal with your somewhat sour mood!

David Mawson's picture

>> That being said, I would prefer if you referred to me as "Young Padawan" instead of "Space Cadet".<<

At least it would have been amusing. (Just as your reply was.)

More relevantly -

- One camera with a cracked screen doesn't mean a damn. Really.

- Sony have a horrible - truly horrible - reputation for build quality problems and poor customer service.

The real story on the cracked screen is "Nothing to see here."

Ankit Kumar's picture

The only reason why this article shocks me is because I used to use Canon's DSLRs and I had hoped that their legendary toughness would have carried on onto the R.

I hope that in the future, they start to beef up the weather sealing to a point where it could almost equal their DSLRs. The general consensus is that there are not enough gaskets and protective measures at the seams, which is exactly the same problem that has plagued Sony's system. These days, Sony is slowly, and begrudgingly, moving to a more weather sealed format, but I would have hoped that Canon had recognized this as very important to their customer base and made sure that the R was the best in its class.

David Mawson's picture

>> The general consensus is that there are not enough gaskets and protective measures at the seams <<

The "general consensus" is meaningless - it's idiot chatter. People don't understand engineering well enough to comment, like when they assume that metal components are necessarily better than plastic. It's a new camera, one particular body had a problem - that's all any reasonable person can say. As the number of gaskets, you really need to look at a design closely - maybe the number of failure points has been reduced?

Ankit Kumar's picture

It's possible. When I say that there aren't enough protective measures, I compare Canon to the rather abysmal sealing on the Sony. If you look closely, the same attention to detail is there, which disappoints me as Canon know's what they're doing. The plastic vs metal doesn't phase me- I'm sure that an industry giant knows better than me, an internet gremlin smashing away at my keyboard, so I'm more than happy to take their word for it. I want to see how Canon addresses this; If they claim it's a fault with the unit, then that's great. However, if they acknowledge some flaw, that leaves them room to improve on it in their Pro model coming out in 2019.

However, I am more than happy- hoping, actually- that this is just a flaw with one camera. It's nice to see Canon finally pursuing this interesting field, and I hope to see the overall mirrorless market develop and innovate with the new competition.

David Mawson's picture

>>It's possible. When I say that there aren't enough protective measures, I compare Canon to the rather abysmal sealing on the Sony. If you look closely, the same attention to detail is there<<

This is complete BS. You can't tell the quality of a seal just by looking it - the type of material used the seal can be critical, and so can eg the stage it's put on at manufacture (eg if it's exposed to solvents.)

michaeljin's picture

At least Canon didn't price this first camera at a professional level (*cough NIKON *cough) so hopefully they'll have these things in order by the time they get around to releasing those. Either way, these companies better get up to speed real quickly because it's not as if the rest of the market is going to wait around for them.

Nikon Fanboy's picture

yeah, but Nikon is launching TWO bodies, the other one being 2000$ and blowing Canon R out of the water in every possible way

michaeljin's picture

I guess we'll see when it comes out, won't we? My big gripe with Nikon is the absolute dumb decision to launch a $3000+ body with f/1.8 primes and f/4 zooms... What kind of person purchases a body like that to attach low end lenses to it?

Teo Lab's picture

You seem very poorly informed about Nikon's S lenses.

michaeljin's picture

I'm sorry... Are we back in the 1950's where we might consider f/1.8 primes and f/4 zooms to be high end—particularly on that gigantic mount that can easily support f/1.2 primes (and probably f/2 zooms, if Canon can do it with their smaller mount)?

Teo Lab's picture

If the 50mm f1.8 S is a low end lens as far as sharpness is concerned, please show me what a high end lens is as I struggle to find another 50 with better computed MTF figures throughout the frame at f1.8 (and if the Nikon 35mm f1.8 is any indication, there's a pretty good translation from computed MTF to real-world performance with Nikon's S lenses). Actually, it's not a great idea to compare published MTF figures across manufacturers but let's do it anyway : nope, not even the Leica 50mm APO can match the Nikon in the corners.

BTW, the 50mm f1.8 S makes full use of the new mount's width and back focus distance : its rear element is at least as large as the Canon 50mm f1.2 RF's one (which BTW has so much mechanical vignetting that it isn't much of an f1.2 lens. More like an f1.2 lens in the very centre of the frame only). A large mount isn't just there to make fast lenses, it can also benefit slower lenses.

Don't bring up OOF rendering into the equation : the Canon 50mm f1.2 has lots of issues in that area (way too much astigmatism, and an excessively perfect correction of spherical aberration) so even if Nikon screwed up the 50mm S's OOF rendering, it won't be worse than the Canon.

Basically, that Nikon lens is most likely going to be at least as good as the Canon if not better at the equivalent aperture, and costs €1850 less.

The 24-70mm f4 S is sharper across the frame and has less CA than any standard zoom from Nikon before it.

Same goes for the 35mm f1.8 S.

Basically : you will struggle big time to find much better corrected lenses than Nikon's S lenses to put on a Z7.

I like your photos a lot, but trust me : they won't benefit one bit from a 50mm f1.2 or a 28-70mm f2 lens. Mines neither.

michaeljin's picture

You're certainly correct that my photos won't benefit from a 50 f/1.2 for my personal work since I'm mainly shooting at around f/8-f/16 unless it's in low light conditions and even in low light conditions, IBIS now allows me to keep some level of DoF. Even the shallower DoF stuff on my website is shot at f/2 and above since I was mainly using a Helios 44M for those.

For my portrait work or when I go photograph events, f/1.2 would be a helpful option to have and preferable to boosting my already high ISO in the latter case.

Sharpness is not nothing, but it's not everything either. Yes, OOF rendition is a matter of personal taste so I won't bother making that argument, but basic light gathering ability and options with DoF are not—you either have them or you don't. I get that cameras perform at absurdly high ISO's now, but even so, Nikon themselves aren't considering the f/1.8 to be a high end lens. They're releasing an f/1.4 and even an absurdly expensive and impractical f/0.95 because they know that sensor performance isn't a replacement for the physics of gathering more light from the start.

Nikon's current mount allows them to design better f/1.4 and f/1.2 lenses so why would they release their more expensive body with their lower end lenses? It would make more sense to either release the expensive body to coincide with their higher end lenses or release the Z6 first (or even better, a $1000-1500 body) with the f/1.8 lenses. In general, people who are spending $3000+ for a camera body are also not the same market that are looking to buy relatively slow lenses (I say "relatively" because both you and I know that an f/1.8 lens is probably fine in the vast majority of scenarios.).

Regardless of the actual performance of the lens, I stand by my assertion that it's just a nonsensical business decision. BTW, I actually preferred Nikon's 50mm f/1.8G over the 58mm f/1.4G for just about everything, but I still wouldn't consider the 50mm to be higher end than the 58. It's just that the 58 was very good in specific situations and weak everywhere else while the 50 was more of a jack-of-all-trades.

Teo Lab's picture

I think that it's a misconception that the Z7 and Z6 were launched at a different time. It's rather a staggered release, possibly because of how production is managed, but both bodies were announced on the same day and they start to ship only two months appart or so. So a very different picture than the launches of the A7RIII and A7III, or the R and ??? (insert other Canon R camera here).

The launch S lenses make perfect sense for the Z6 and Z7 : their size and weight is dead on well balanced with the bodies, their resolution largely enough to show off what the Z7's 45mp sensor can do, and the price is low enough to make sense with the Z6. If Nikon had, let's say, launched the 50mm f1.2 for €2500, it's as if the system wouldn't have had a 50mm for Z6 owners (and actually I don't even think that that many Z7 owners would have bought it anyway).

Nikon's roadmap corresponds perfectly to what some online stores here in France keep in stock vs. what they have on "special order" :D. Basically, other than the 0.95 50mm, it's a roadmap that strives to be useful to most photographers and not bother too much for the first few years with niche use cases, unlike what Canon is trying to achieve with RF lenses.

michaeljin's picture

So the smart thing for Nikon to do would have been to start shipping the Z6 first and then the Z7 shortly afterward because then they would catch less flames about sending out the $3000+ both with an f/1.8 lens.

If they were concerned about affordability and being useful to MOST photographers, they should have gone a step further and started out with a body in the $1000-$1500 range, which is where MOST photographers who buy a dedicated camera will shop. It's just the optics of it all...

Yes, a f/1.2 lens is a niche product, but I would argue that so is a 45-megapixel camera.

David Mawson's picture

>> So the smart thing for Nikon to do would have been to start shipping the Z6 first and then the Z7 shortly afterward because then they would catch less flames about sending out the $3000+ both with an f/1.8 lens.<<

This assumes that Nikon's main objective is to avoid negative comments from people who don't understand the technical side of photography but insist on commenting on it. More realistically, they probably don't give a damn. The Z7's debut has been astonishing: it's the first time I'd really consider buying buying one of their cameras.

michaeljin's picture

May I ask what exactly you found so "astonishing" about the Z7 that caused you to finally consider Nikon when a better camera like the D850 failed to do so?

Ankit Kumar's picture

Mr. Jin,

I wanted to ask you about the new R mount 28-70 f/2. I hear people raving about it all the time, but I'm not sure why. I am not downplaying the performance of the lens- I simply don't understand why this is such a large technological innovation over current lenses on the market, such as Canon's own 24-70 f/2.8 L.

I find it to be a "niche product" to quote your own words, but that may simply be because I am not informed enough to understand the practical application of the lens. I feel that Canon's time may have been better spent creating more equivalent to their common lenses (such as the 16-35 f/2.8, or the wonderful 70-200 f/4) on their mirrorless systems.

I would greatly appreciate your reply!

michaeljin's picture

I think the big excitement comes from the fact that traditionally speaking (and still to a degree), buying a zoom lens meant compromising your image quality and light gathering ability for versatility. While the gap in image quality has decreased significantly over time, light gathering ability had hit a wall.

For someone shooting events, for instance, the versatility of a zoom lens is generally preferable to a prime lens. That having been said, lots of events take place in dimly lit spaces where light gathering ability of high end prime lenses shine. Many events also don't allow flash photography, which forces photographers to bump up their ISO's quite high even with wide open apertures.

While an f/2 zoom lens will still not match a prime lens, it's an entire stop of light that you're gaining over the previous professional zoom lenses, which were f/2.8. This brings you a lot closer toward bridging that performance gap, whether it be in the area of light gathering or subject separation. Whereas before you were 2 full stops away from an f/1.4 prime, now you're only 1 stop away. In addition to the benefit to the final image, using a brighter lens will generally also help your focusing performance in low light situations since your camera will have more light to work with.

I'm not going to go so far to say that it's a technological innovation since it's just leveraging our current optical technology to take advantage of a new mount and registration distance, but it's still progress and seeing products that were not available before is always exciting.

The limit at 28mm is a bit rough for those that like to shoot wider, but I'm guessing that it was a necessary compromise to maintain the constant f/2 while keeping the lens to a reasonable size and weight. Personally, I would be fine with it since I'm pretty rarely in a situation where I'm shooting below 28mm, but also need to quickly switch to a normal focal length. I guess this is a personal use thing, though. I won't pretend that a 24-70mm f/2, if possible, would have been more useful for more people.

As for your view that Canon should essentially be re-creating their existing lenses, that's what adapters are for and re-creating existing lenses would not be taking full advantage of the new mount. They're creating an f/2 zoom because they can now do better than an f/2.8 zoom. Without leveraging the full abilities of their new system, there's less differentiation between their MILC line and DSLR line. If you're going to go and devalue several decades worth of lenses by switching up your mount, you'd better at least give a damned good reason for doing so.

Jacques Cornell's picture

A person who wants a relatively compact and lightweight kit. On seeing Canon's R lens roadmap, I asked myself, "What kind of person purchases a compact mirrorless body like that to attach ginormous f1.2 primes and f2 zooms to it?"

michaeljin's picture

All of the people who are left over who haven't jumped ship to Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, or Olympus (all systems which already have compact bodies with excellent optics)?

Canon's mirrorless camera isn't exactly "compact"... at least not by MILC standards. Most of the holdouts are people who have been complaining about how compact MILC cameras are and how the ergonomics of them suck. I think the vast majority of them would have been even happier with a full DSLR sized body sans mirror.

So yeah... I don't think either Canon or Nikon are playing to the "compact" crowd. If small and light were important to you, you'd probably have switched well before Canon or Nikon's debut in the MILC realm.

For full disclosure, I happen to be one of those people who was waiting for a larger MILC body. At this point, I've begrudgingly traded in my D850 for a Sony even despite the inferior ergonomics and some other gripes simply because I thought the Z7 and Nikon's announced lens roadmap was complete garbage, At the same time, however, I did like the idea of being able to adapt my older manual focus glass to a full frame mirrorless camera and take advantage of IBIS and focus peaking as opposed to looking off frame for a green confirmation dot... I'll be the first to admit that I'm not entirely satisfied with the A7RIII, but I'll revisit the issue once Canon and Nikon's product line have matured somewhat. Or maybe by then, Sony will go ahead and address some of the gripes that I have in the course of their own product development.

Seriously, though. All Nikon needed to do was release a D850 without a mirror and they would have had me. How they managed to screw it all up is beyond my understanding.

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