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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Previous comments
Rob G's picture

To be pedantic, the 7D (original) was APS-C, but certainly did shoot at 1/8000...

Ryan Stone's picture

Fair enough, but it’s the “pro” crop body, much like a D500 or X-T2 which both have 1/8000th. A D750 for example may be a FF camera used by pros but is restricted a stop to 1/4000th like a 6D.

Colin Robertson's picture

26MP vs 30 w/much better dynamic range and ISO performance. Sure, the build isn't quite on par with a 5D, nor does it have dual card slots or a joystick, but I can't think of many other reasons why it isn't closer to a Mk IV than a 6D Mk II. In many ways, it's better than both of those cameras—certainly in the video department. I look forward to a pro R body too, but right now it's closer to the Mk IV than a 6D at a price closer to a 6D.

Jonathan Brady's picture

Only if you've never seen what other companies offer.

David Pavlich's picture

It also doesn't come close the the IV's ability to shoot action. And the three items you listed aren't minor. The R is a nice camera, but it's not a pro body in the least. That is a BIG difference.

Why would I mount an EF-S lens to an R body? I use a crop-frame Canon and have a couple EF-S lenses (as well as a bunch of EF lenses), but it would never occur to me to want to use an EF-S lens, of modest cost and non-L quality, on an R.

Because if you want to record video there's a crop, a huge crop, so huge of a crop that APSC lenses won't vignette. The crop is so huge that if you want to shot wide angle you need a 10-12mm lens. Then your options are basically 2: the efs 10-18 and the 11-24. That second one is huge, so not gimbal friendly and the first one doesn't allow you to shot 1080@60.

Hope it was useful.

PS: the crop is 1,89 if I'm not mistaken

That explains why you'd use an EF-S from a technical standpoint, but the larger question is why use an R for video? I get that some of the Canon DSLRs are good at video, but boy howdy I wouldn't go for an R if I was shooting any fair amount of video.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

I am of the same opinion, but Canon crippled the 4K recording so much that there isn't a choice if you want to do video on the EOS R. Another sad thing about this is that Canon has never made any APS-C L lenses, so you'll end up with no choice but to use their cheap lenses.

Good APS-c lenses are why I use Fuji.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

I owned a Fuji X-T20 with the 35mm f/1.4, the 23mm f/1.4, and the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 for a year. Although it had amazing colors
and good image quality, I just couldn't get past the lack of good AF in video, and the fact that files weren't as great as in my Sony A7II, which is to be expected.

I would reconsider Fuji now that the X-T3 came out, but the Sony A7III is too tempting for $500 more. I think that an X-H2 with the same sensor and AF performance as the X-T3 would be an instant buy.

If you don't need very fast apertures, many of the APS-C STM lenses have great IQ.

Kenneth O. Soto's picture

There aren't any APS-C STM lenses below f/2.8 and wide enough, and the ones below f/2.8 are third party lenses. Not that there's anything wrong with third party lenses, but you're not going to get optimal performance out of them.

John Dawson's picture

I grew up with parents in the car business and near the top of the list of things not to do is to buy the first model year of any car.

Early adoption = early regret

Iain Stanley's picture

I feel much the same way. I don’t even update my phone/computer until I can see all the bugs from the initial release have been fixed

Jan Kruize's picture

Oh nooooo......

Usually what happens if you remove battery before the camera is finished unloading the buffer to the card. On the bright side, the pics are still there to finish writing.

Iain I also live in Japan and blog professionally about photography and my wife is Japanese. I'm in Fukuoka same island as you! The EOS R started shipping Thursday so I'll have mine Monday! One thing we shouldn't forget is Canon is aggressively releasing some incredible lenses. I'll beat the camera up for my review like I did with the Fujifilm X-T3 where I'm discovering all sorts of problems.

Iain Stanley's picture

Hey Alik good to hear from you! Life in Kyushu is wonderful, though I do enjoy some junkets up to the big cities now and then. I’ll be in Osaka/Kyoto and Tokyo for the next few weekend but when I’m free it would be good to meet up.

And I look forward to reading about your experiences with your new camera. I genuinely hope they’re all positive! よろしく!

Yes, I'm loving the EOS R. I was worried at first from all the negative press, but after a lot of time in the hands it's pretty awesome. I found you can even work around the lack of joystick by using the D-pad.

Ryan Stone's picture

Is this even a news piece? Someone cracks their LCD and the writer says it’s due to weather sealing issues?! Weird. Needing 1080/60 with EF-S lenses (slow motion and super wide maybe?) is a very specific requirement.
I’m pretty much in lust with my Rs and have waited a long time for Canon to have a fun camera again, last time I felt this good about a camera was when I went from a rebel to a 5D2.

Iain Stanley's picture

I have a Rebel (which my 2 y.o daughter now controls) a 7DMkII and 5DMkIV. I won’t be switching for the foreseeable future but I’m happy to see positive feedback such as yours.

And yes, it’s definitely newsworthy, especially when the 1080/60 issue was picked up by Kai Wong, whose reach is far and wide.

Colin Robertson's picture

I can't think of a good reason why, from a technical standpoint, 1080/60 in crop mode doesn't work. I really hope they're able to resolve that in firmware... That bothers me more than the 4k crop does.

After I purchased my eosr I immediately bought a second. The build and ergonomics are something else and the focussing with the mount adapter is insane😊 Also, there’s an option on the camera to sync up to your mobile phone as you shoot- which means after I shoot a wedding I’m backed up before I get home without touching a button. I recommend getting your hands on one. Canon have made shooting fun again📸😎 I’m in love with these cameras!

Iain Stanley's picture

Excellent to hear! This is the kind of real consumer use I was hoping to read - rather than “professional” reviews. Thanks

Colin Robertson's picture

Doesn't using your phone to sync murder your battery, phone and camera? In your experience, how reliable is it? Those are the two things I'd worry about—I have an R, but haven't tried this yet.

Wouter Oud's picture

[....] popular Kinotika YouTube channel [....]
~30k subscribers, define popular please.

Iain Stanley's picture

23,000 subscribers on YT meets my criteria

»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…«

So, some guy on YouTube without any authority posted a picture of a cracked screen.

»…for no apparent reason during routine use…«

We have to take the word of some guy on YouTube without any authority for it and they always tell the truth, don’t they…

»…which suggests that the cover doesn't seem properly reinforced…«

Now how did you come to that?
The screen itself can’t be the cause?
Maybe it wasn’t fitted properly.
Or the delivery guy could have dropped the package which resulted is some non-visible cracks that grew to visible ones due to temperature changes or “normal use”.
How can “no apparent reason“ ever suggest a root cause?

»…or the weather-sealing isn't really up to scratch. «

Screens crack because of bad weather sealing?
Sing with me now:
Raindrops keep falling on my screen
But that doesn't mean my glass will be a cracked-up scene

Dear oh dear and this from a “Associate Professor teaching photography”.

Colin Robertson's picture

Is it really "more problems discovered" when there's exactly ONE problem case regarding a cracked screen? Come on Iain!

To answer your inquiry—I own one. I hated it the first day or two I brought it home and planned to return it for a Mk IV, but as I continued to use it, I came to appreciate certain things about it. The huge EVF (bigger than the 5D's OVF), the flip out screen (although I would have been content with a tilt screen), the higher-res and responsive touch LCD, the myriad of video options, the excellent grip, the significantly lower price point... I'm also very excited about the lens possibilities. I look forward to some nicer wide-angles (hopefully soon). The bottom line is, for what I do (real estate photography), it's more than enough camera for me and works very well. Certain things about it might even make it better than a 5D Mk IV for this genre of photography.

My biggest frustrations about it have to do with the entirely new interface... There's lots of interesting things, lots to like, but it's a lot to get used to when you have the Canon DSLR muscle memory. The MF bar seems like a dud. It might become a lot more useful with a firmware update, but I doubt it. It does have one thing going for it—the ability to change a setting while recording video without causing camera shake (think about when you see Casey Neistat roll the top dial to adjust his exposure while recording—you not only hear the clicks of the dial, but you see the exposure ramp in somewhat jarring steps). That being said, I think a lot of my issues with the physical UI of the camera would be minimized if I were using a native lens with a control dial, but I don't have any RF lenses yet. Also, the mode-dial control (which replaces the back dial on Canon's) is a bit too recessed for me to control as easily as I'd like.

While I earn my money shooting real estate, I do like to shoot some action, such as my wife's rugby club. On paper, this camera seems like it's not going to be great for sports (not that I need the best of the best), but I haven't really field tested this yet.

Comparing it to every other Canon DSLR (save for maybe the 1DX II), the video is a step up in most ways—especially if you sort of think of it as two separate cameras in one rather than a video shooting stills camera... I know that probably doesn't make much sense, but when you flip it into video mode, your mode "dial" suddenly becomes a video camera mode dial with Av, Tv, M, and 3 custom shooting modes for video. While the 4K crop is a sometimes frustrating limitation, by using the center portion of the sensor in 4K, the camera effectively turns into a super 35 camera. A crop makes certain things, like keeping focus because of the shallower DOF, easier. At least, this is how I choose to look at it. Sure, it would be super nice if it *could* record the full width of the sensor. Also, using it like is frustrating given the inability to shoot in 1080/60 in this mode (I remain hopeful they can correct this in firmware). In practical terms for me, using an APS-C lens on the R for video means it'll be light enough for my Zhiyun Crane gimbal. Also, the upcoming EF-RF lens adapter with the drop in ND looks really clever for video shooting especially... Anyways, regarding video, it offers a lot of flexibility.

Yes, I'm aware of what the competition offers, but I wanted to stick with Canon for a few reasons, but primarily because of their tilt-shift lenses and I wanted native performance out of the one I own.

Speaking of competition, unlike what Nikon did with the Z system, Canon used a more blank-slate approach with the R's design. Longer term, DSLR users will realize some of the things they hold dear actually needed to be re-thought to move forward. For example, will a joystick be necessary in the future when face-detect is super reliable and moving the AF point is smoother and faster from the touch screen? Right now it's not bad! But I would be lying if I didn't say I would prefer a joystick to a MF bar. But other things, like a huge EVF that shoes you a histogram, level and your actual exposure before you hit the shutter really are better than the DSLR paradigm already.

But I'm coming from an original 7D. I would not have bought it had I already owned a 5D.

I hope this assuages your ever expanding doubts. Get your hands on one before writing any more declarative articles about it. It takes time to understand this camera and appreciate it for what it is and not what it isn't.

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