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.

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Previous comments
Felix Hernandez's picture

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?

Oliver Kmia's picture

"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.

Rachel Rotchikokov's picture

And sold in hihg class camer store! Beatch Camer!

Deleted Account's picture

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.

Christian Rees's picture

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.

Deleted Account's picture

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.

Joshua Baker's picture

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

Oliver Kmia's picture

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.

thomas Palmer's picture

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

Deleted Account's picture

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

thomas Palmer's picture

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

Deleted Account's picture

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! :-)

michaeljin's picture

Digital camera bodies come down to the sensor that is recording the images. As long as Sony is at the forefront of researching, developing, and manufacturing those sensors, they will always have the advantage in regard to in-body technology.

Canon and Nikon can only hope to fight with ergonomics, weathersealing, and optics. Sony knows that they have a disadvantage in optics so they made the clever choice to open up their mount to 3rd parties. Now they just need to get the ergo and sealing right, both of which are improving with each generation.

Igal Pronin's picture

So this article is based on RUMORS.
OK, but according to the same rumors, Canon will have 2 mirrorless FF models, with 'R' being the more basic between them. It should be comparable to Nikon Z6 and Sony A7III, and as such, it is looking great and has more features that appeal to me.
BTW - Nikon Z6 has a 24.5 mp sensor, Sony A7III - 24.2 mp.

thomas Palmer's picture

Put aside the lenses, there is just the intervallometer that sony hasn't.
Also, when nokichita leaks something, it's just true. We maybe don't have the whole picture, but we have enough to compare to A7III and Z6

Igal Pronin's picture

Different strokes for different folks.
I, for one, don't need IBIS or eye tracking (according to rumors, it'll have face tracking, which is more than enough for me) and don't feel the need for dual SD card slot.
But the flip screen is a killer and I can use all my EF-mount arsenal without selling a kidney.

Bjarne Solvik's picture

I was worried I would be tempted to change my Sony gear. But ibis, eye-af and dual slots still only with Sony.
The lens lineup and specially the 28-70 f2 is great. But no stabilization in lens nor camera.
Could get the lens and a sigma adapter - but adapting lenses is not for me.
Maybe Nikon will make a new 43-86 but f2 and add eye-af later. That would tempt me to test out Nikon. Anyways good with mirrorless camera offerings from more manufacturers.

Matthew Saville's picture

"Lovely colors, legendary reliability, good weather sealing, perfect ergonomics, and flawless customer service are THE BIGGEST part of the equation."

There, I fixed it for you.

Stephen Kampff's picture

Maybe I missed it, but those specs look like it'll have a 10-bit video option.

Oliver Kmia's picture

I don't know about 10 bits but I haven't seen any indication in the brochure or the leaks about that.

Deleted Account's picture

So "Hugh Janus" (get it? The wit is blinding) started a troll account just to comment here.

He must be a terrible photographer.

Deleted Account's picture

Troll fail.

Adil Alsuhaim's picture

"The M50: Another Insipid and Overpriced Camera from Canon" ~Oliver Kmia. Yet the M50 was the best selling mirrorless camera in Japan recently. You're being too harsh on Canon for some reason.

If the rumors are true, this has better low light AF than Sony A7sII. The A7Sii focuses in EV-4 at f/2.0 (Sony A7iii does EV-3 at f/2.0), Canon R would focus in EV-6 at f/1.2, so the rumored Canon can do AF at half a stop lower (because f/1.2 is 1.5 stop brighter than f/2.0). So, No!, the rumored EOS R is not just a mirrorless 5D IV.

bert duarte's picture

Basically this article is saying, wahhh!! Wahhh!

Tatsuya Sato's picture

Canon 5D Mk IV in a smaller and lighter body won't be boring and/or disappointing for mountaineers and adventurers. The smaller and lighter L lenses sound great, also. I've been using 5D Mk III for mountaineering and climbing; it's a sold camera that withstand from hash weather and banging into rocks and ice. I've climbed many mountains with it including Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro. The camera body is all scratched up and got some dents on it, but it still works like a brand new. That being said, I was thinking of getting a Fujifilm X-H1 and some Fuji lenses for my Denali (fka. Mt. McKinley) expedition next spring and Vinson Massif in Antarctica later next year as the 5D and its lenses are so heavy and bulky. I want to shave off some weight for those climbs as every ounce counts when you are in high altitude climbing. The X-H1 seems to be built very tough and I heard that it can withstand -20 C (even though the official minimum operational temp is -10 C.) But now that I hear about Canon R, I might get it instead as long as it's built tough as 5D (and if it got 2 memory slots.) As for Sony a7III, I got to test it out on mountains in Sierra Nevada. it's certainly a great camera with many features, but its body didn't seem to withstand from the way I use it on mountains.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Yes, I agree, I beat up my 5D3 all over the world an it still works perfectly. I rented a a7rII for timelapse and the thing is flimsy and doesn't seem to be able to handle much beating. It's just a feeling but I heard Sony people telling me that their Sony camera was not good for serious adventure.

David Garcia's picture

There was another article on FStoppers not long ago which talked about the mistake of going to mirrorless. Opinions. To each his own. Some want it some don’t. I’ll just get what works for what I do, but I do have both.

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