Canon Screwed up Again: The New R Camera Is Just a Mirrorless 5D Mark IV

Canon Screwed up Again: The New R Camera Is Just a Mirrorless 5D Mark IV

The 5D Mark IV didn't really impress when it was released two years ago. In the middle of the ongoing mirrorless war, the leaked brochure of the full-frame Canon R camera shows what seems to be a simple mirrorless 5D Mark IV.

The race to the bottom continues for Canon. After the boring 5D Mark IV, the stagnant 6D Mark II, and an insipid line of EOS M cameras, we are going to be served with what appears to be a derivative of an existing DSLR.

The sensor seems to be recycled from the 5D Mark IV with 30.3mp (30.4mp on the Mark IV), and identical values for the resolution (6720 x 4480), pixel unit, and total number of pixels. While the 5D Mark IV certainly has the best sensor made by Canon, it still lags behind the ones from Sony and Nikon.

IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization) is missing, which makes sense because two of the four RF lenses are fitted with Image Stabilization (Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS STM Macro and the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM). Also missing is the second card slot, but at least Canon sticks to the traditional SD card, unlike Nikon, which picked the expensive XQD format for its Z line.

In the video department, the Canon R can record in 4K UHD/30 and 1080p/60, but the amount of crop is unknown at this time. Unfortunately, based on the poor track record of this company regarding video, I fear the worst. The 5D Mark IV came with a 1.7x crop factor in 4K recording, while the fantastic DPAF (Dual Pixel Auto-Focus) was simply disabled on the Canon M50. At least Canon got rid of the inefficient MJPEG codec and the R camera can now record in h.264 at 120 Mbps.

Talking about auto-focus, the brochure indicates an impressive number of AF points with a maximum of 5,655 points. In terms of lens compatibility, the camera can be fitted with EF and EF-S lenses via the adapter, but the EF-M lenses are not compatible. Considering the poor selection of EF-M lenses, they won't be missed.

The four Canon RF lenses to be announced on September 5. Despite their weight, the RF 50mm f/1.2 and RF 28-70mm f/2 lenses are very appealing.

Here are some of the main specifications of the Canon R camera:

  • Sensor: 30.3 megapixels (6720 x 4480)
  • Image format: JPEG, RAW (14 bit Canon original), C-RAW (Canon original)
  • Card: 1 slot, SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • EVF: OLED color electronic viewfinder, 23mm eyepoint, 0.71x/33.3° magnification
  • Autofocus: Max. 5,655 when selected with cross keys. EV -6 to 18 (f/1.2, at 73°F/23°C, ISO 100, One-Shot AF)
  • Metering range: EV -3–20
  • ISO sensitivity: 100 to 40,000 (extended ISO: 50, 51,200, 102,400)
  • Maximum shutter speed: 1/8000 s
  • High-speed continuous shooting: 8 fps (5 fps at servo AF)
  • Video: 4K/30 and 1080/60, crop and video features unknown
  • Codec and bitrate: MPEG-4 AVC / h.264, 480 Mbps (All-I) or 120mbps (IPB)
  • LCD monitor: 2.15 millions dots, articulated flip screen, 100 percent coverage, 3.15 in./8.01 cm diagonal (2.63 in./6.67 cm width, 1.75 in./4.44 cm height)
  • Battery: LP-E6N, 370 shots CIPA rating (450 with power saving)
  • Weight: 660 g (including battery / memory card), 580 g (body only)
  • Size: 135.8 x 98.3 x 84.4 mm

To be fair, this camera will take nice pictures and sell like hot cakes. Canon products are extremely solid performers. Lovely colors, legendary reliability, good weather sealing, perfect ergonomics, and flawless customer service are part of the equation. Specifications are not everything, but I personally think that Canon missed another opportunity to be competitive. The Canon R system only demonstrates that this brand is not willing to give us anything more than they are forced to. In this case, Sony, Fuji, and the Micro Four Thirds cameras are what forced Canon to release a full-frame mirrorless product. Will it be enough to convince people not to switch to Sony and Panasonic? Personally, I find the Canon response quite pathetic. At this point, I would recommend to anyone to wait and see what other manufacturers are going to announce this month. Panasonic is expected to unveil its own full-frame mirrorless system on September 25, while Sony should introduce a new a7S III soon.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Oliver Kmia is specialized in time-lapse, hyperlapse, and aerial videography. He also works with several drone manufacturers as a marketing and technical consultant. He is the lead brand ambassador of Hello Kitty camera, his favorite piece of equipment. Most people think Oliver is an idiot and they are probably right.

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Previous comments

Well, reliability is very big factor. Its actually probably the most important one.
Its nice to hear praise about canon servicing outside japan.

Canon's servicing is absolutely amazing. The only reason I chose Nikon over Canon when I made the switch to DSLR's is because I just didn't get along with their bodies ergonomically,

Michael, could you define exactly what is the "best bang for the buck" for a photocamera ?

Based on Canon history. The 6D were tagged at $2k on initially release. This one seems to be above the 6D in the line up so it MIGHT be $3k. We'll know soon enough.

Well, the same source of leak says it will be around 2k. So far so good.

Well, I admit, I think I was wrong. Canon is out of their minds :)
The prices on those lenses... jeezus! I dont care about the weight... the size, well, if the picture is that good... maybe you can forgive the size of them. but the price is... omg :) they cost like lenses for hassels x1d :)

The lenses are *very* interesting! I know because I shoot Nikon with a mirror. LOL

Also getting tired of clickbaity rants like this. Signal to noise is dropping.

Seems like the new crop of Nikon & Canon mirrorless cameras are getting some rough reviews. I'm wondering what the specs needed to be to get positive reviews. I'll stick with my Fuji for now...

Well the Canon has not even been "reviewed". Canon still hasn't actually released the camera yet. LOL

" I'll stick with my Fuji for now"
Wise decision, Fuji cameras and lenses are great.

Canon and Nikon are just warming up their engines I think. Give 'em a year, and if they're not off their asses and gang busting by then, all criticisms will be more valid.

They're obviously protecting their high end DSLR market. Slowly it will evolve.

So they're gonna need one year experience to understand many want a dual cards? Just dumb! A pass!

These are consumer/prosumer models. It will probably take them two years to make bodies along the likes of a D5/1Dx. Expect to see heavy machinery prototypes from both camps at the Olympics. Remember both these companies have decades of experience building heavy duty pro gear.

Canon and Nikon should make Alpha 7rIII or A7 III or A9.
Everything else is crap and could only get bad review. It is now worlwide well known that SONY is the only camera make able to build bodies that do not deceive "REAL" photographers.
Everyone wants infos and review from Canikon even before release, and expecting über giant leaps in dreamed technology, so Canikon are doomed as they are all saying it for years.

So all guys, if you still own Nikon gear, just send me them all, I'll be glad to remove all that bad stuff from your photobags. So you'll be pleased and satisfied to get the only ONE.

Clickbait driven article containing only speculations based on leaks before official presentation ... no further comment needed.

The 5D3 was nothing special, the 6D2 was in some ways worst than the Mark I, the 7Dmk3 is already forgotten while the 5DsR resolution starts to crap out past 800 ISO.
The leaks coming from Nokishita camera are spot on most of the time, especially 3 days before the release date. I saw enough in this brochure to convince me that Canon is going to release another boring (I didn't say bad) camera that doesn't bring much compared to the previous generation or the one before. I love my 6D and 5D3. Therefore, I'm not convinced to upgrade. If I do, it will probably be with another brand since Canon refuses to innovate. This is just frustrating.

I’m curious what your opinion on the 6D Mk II is based on. I am currently using it for documentary style video and anything photo related. The AF is fantastic (although AF for a lot of video projects should not be used), ISO performance is fantastic, it fits my existing Canon lenses, fast FPS, the ergonomics of the body work for me better than any of the Sony cameras. My opinions and what works best for me is very different than what camera is "better" or "worse". Many reviewers said the 6D Mk II was terrible on paper and then changed what they thought after using the camera. I got the camera for around $1300. In that range it’s one of the best bang for your buck cameras on the market.

Glad you like your 6DII. At $1300 this is a great camera. The initial $2000 price was just too much.

Wow, I though bashing the Z release was bad enough, based on pre-release "first impressions" and specs but this really takes the cake. Crapping all over a camera and company based on a camera that has not even been released yet because of specs that may or may not be 100% accurate. A mirrorless 5d iv would by no means be a shitty camera. But hey, Fstoppers got their click but surely they can raise their standards just a bit.

People will still buy it in droves.

Canon could put poop on a stick and people would buy it in droves...

It won't be a shitty camera, it will just be disappointing compared to the competition. People will take nice images with it but you can also take nice pictures with a 5D3 or a 6D.

Hmm these specs are just 3-4 years behind, with a 2018 pricing, that's the thing with the latest tries from canon and Nikon. It will do the job, but it's still overpriced and both fall short compared to sony.

Let's just bash them all. We even get a new Pany to bash in a few weeks. Then let's bash Fuji and Oly for not making new FF mirrorless cameras that we can bash. None of these cameras are available yet. What's the big deal?

I'm confused. You, and others, are hard on Canon and/or Nikon for not including the best, most recent features but you then write, "at least Canon sticks to the traditional [old, slow, fragile] SD card." Kinda ironic.

DOPE? That's not very PC. Maybe you mean mentally challenged. ;-)
Kidding aside, XQD is faster, easier to hold (SD cards are a little small for me) and more robust. The interface, in the Z cameras, is upgradable to CFexpress. What's not to love?

Makes sense.

Buffer clearing speed depends on the card write speed, which is about twice as fast with XQD.

Ignoring the robust nature of XQD, there's the capacity exceeding 2TB.

Ultimately everyone will change to the standard.

Re SD, no doubt you saw that Sony has produced a robust version.

Re CF, I'm happy to keep using it, but I'm super careful with it. Bending a pin would suck.

What not to love? It is not Vivitar. All of you are jealous of my Vivitar. Idiots.

Old is not necessary bad, what is bad it to rebranded old tech with an "innovation" tag and premium price (e.g. 6D2). SD cards have been working fine for more than a decade. I don't find them fragile and they are cheap. The UHS bus is more than able to handle the burst rate of this camera or the 480mbps. I think Canon did the right choice (but feel free to disagree).

Either route would have been okay. I just thought it was ironic but then, everyone has their own priorities, reflected in their opinions.

True but at least SD card a cheap. And you are right, this an opinion article.

It doesn't matter what you have anecdotally observed, what matters is the mean time/cycles to failure.

This is an awful article. Nothing is official, the camera system is the sum of its parts not just about the camera body, the lens selection seems to be a strong start which is significant (see nikon’s release lineup) abd for some reason “legendary reliability” is talked about as insignificant. Isn’t producing a robust workhorse that will just work day after day also valuable not just checking off as many boxes as possible?

"Isn’t producing a robust workhorse that will just work day after day also valuable not just checking off as many boxes as possible?"
I totally agree, I love my 6D and 5D3 and they serve me well. Based on the info in this brochure, this new camera won't justify an upgrade. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Vivitar is fashion accessory too. Look professional.

And sold in hihg class camer store! Beatch Camer!

It make you all jealous.

Camera is not even announced and so many people complain already:-) In my opinion, it is pointless to complain, this article has zero added value. People have choices: Nikon, Canon, Sony both DSLRs and Mirrorless. Canon is selling more cameras than any other company, they see no need to offer more than people need at this moment in time. Competition is not exactly ahead.

Sony/Mirrorless sales went up 40% last year and DSLR sales went down. It's been that way year over year recently. You better believe Canon/Nikon needs to step it up. In my opinion, they didn't take this seriously when they should have and now they will have to pay a price.

I guess we'll see if they have to pay a price. A lot of people on these blogs forget, the majority of photographers don't read, or care about internet pundits. Real photographers (well, except you and me of course ;-) ) just shoot.

Terrible article, no mention of the 28-70 f2? That sounds pretty amazing. And in lens isis more beneficial to the shooter. Try again

I agree but this is an article about the camera not the lenses which are good. I already said that in my previous article.
"Personally, I find the Canon lens selection very attractive in comparison to the Nikon Z"

And if you look below the image of this article, I also said:
"Despite their weight, the RF 50mm f/1.2 and RF 28-70mm f/2 lenses are very appealing."

Canon lenses are great, I just wish they had more ambition for the body to pair them with.

For the last year, we've been told "wait for canon and nikon, they have 100 years experience and they will beat the market up".

They just didn't, they released 3-4 years old tech and hope to sell it to pros thanks to brand and lens loyalty. That's the fail, they are way behind Sony in a way no one imagined.

At least they can hide that behind better ergo, but at what cost ? No joysticks, expert dials, one card slot and bad battery life.

pros deserve better in 2018, mirorless was never meant to be a regression

"Way behind"? I guess that depends on your priorities but then, I don't like mirrorless cameras anyway. :-)

Gen 2 or 3 from Canon and Nikon may be cool enough for you to transition.
To me it's tje other way, I never shot with a DSLR

I can't imagine it would make a difference as I care very little about the gear. The only reason I read and comment on these kinds of articles is out of boredom. BTW, really nice photos! :-)

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