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
David Pavlich's picture

I don't really care about any FF mirror less camera. I'm an old geezer with big hands that likens the current crop of FF mirror less to holding a product that just came off a shelf at Toys R Us. I really enjoy shooting with my old brick (5DIV w/grip) and I'm sure that this new Canon will NOT have the same feel.

There is a mirror less that I'd love to own, but it has a larger sensor and is made by Fuji....and with a grip, please, but the photo piggy bank says no.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Well at least maybe it will be a good way for me to by a cheap IV haha. My only gripe is about the lenses being different.

Yin Ze's picture

writer is hugh janus. saying the camera sucks based on a "leaked" spec sheet is lame. "The sensor seems to be recycled from the 5D Mark IV with 30.3mp" is more conjecture. at least wait until the camera is announced and some pros have tested it before posting this farticle. btw, i am nikon user and wish nikon and canon keep innovating/competing against sony.

Oliver Kmia's picture

" btw, i am nikon user and wish nikon and canon keep innovating/competing against sony."

I'm a Canon user and I wish the same, it's been a long time now...

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

What has been a long time now ?

Are you starving at getting rid of all your canon stuff and dream of a SONY Alpha 7 or 9 ? If you feel you have to change your system every two or three years, you already have a solution to your problem : get that MILC you dream of !

And as photocamera manufacturers have now to sustain an artificial turnover in order to keep income satisfying for shareholders (hey, the market is shrinking fast, MILC grow is just an illusion, smartphone will finish to trounce the ILC market when computational photography and multi lenses photophone will become mainstream and erase for the masses the need for an optical zoom lens).

Even the actual mood for videos using mirrorless camera will vanish as VR and 360° 3D captures will be more trendy, and you are not dreaming of a dual 28-105 f/2.8 lens sticked onto a that chunky large and heavy dual FX sensor camera, don't you ?

Tony Teofilo's picture

I was a Canon owner. I still am. My 5d Mark iii served me well. But the a7iii was the obvious choice when Canon proved they’re not interested in innovating anymore. I miss the Canon colors. But not much else. I’m so disappointed in them. But...thanks to Sony, I don’t really have to care anymore. I would like to return to Canon someday, if only they would stop dragging their heels.

Diego Kufder's picture

Don't mind me, I'm just here to read Hugh Janus comments. Hugh, please tell me: Are Leica shooters pros? What sort of photos do they take?

Diego Kufder's picture

I'd love to read more from your work. I really think you have a strong grasp of what is going on in the pro photo world. Do you have a blog or YouTube channel?

Oliver Kmia's picture

He is a free spirit, based on his immense knowledge about the industry, all photo-video websites have tried tried to hire this Hugh Janus several times be he always declined.

Diego Kufder's picture

I bet he'd break YouTube with all the positive feedback he'd get at the comments.

Oliver Kmia's picture

Hugh Janus doesn't do Youtube. Only prime time.

Michael L's picture

And yet they're the top selling cameras, even the "insipid" M50

Oliver Kmia's picture

Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber are among the top followed "artists" on IG. Popularity and quality is not necessarily related. But hey, I'll take a M50 any day instead of watching a Bieber or Kardashian show.

Eric Salas's picture

Well at least any Canon user can be happier than a Nikon one.

Those without fanboy status cards that want to go mirrorless can just buy a Sony.

There is ZERO "need" for a mirrorless camera if you have a DSLR that works for you. These cameras are being released as entries into the mirrorless world but unfortunately are being priced at the higher end.

The Nikon's are complete wastes of money because you can adapt your Nikon glass so all other arguments towards buying either one of those bricks is just ridiculous. The Canon mirrorless isn't the first or second entry into mirrorless but at least dual pixel saves the day for autofocus.

If you want a mirrorless FF and you want top of the line, you're going to have to suck it up and buy a Sony. If you don't care about FF and want an amazing mirrorless and have extra cash for lenses, buy a Fuji. At this point buying Nikon or Canon mirrorless is flat out a waste of resources. The market either needs to respond by not buying these half-assed attempts or understand that you're buying "groundbreaking" (Nikon's words not mine) technology hampered by the fact these companies don't care and don't need to go mirrorless.

To wrap this up, if Sony didn't release cameras with features meeting/exceeding those in the DSLR category this conversation wouldn't be happening. Support the ones willing to push the industry forward or get pissy when your company rolls out weak-sauce bricks to slowly rob you of money you earned.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

One word : LOL
Oups, sorry, it was 3, indeed !

L S's picture

I'm pretty sure EOS-M users aren't happy their mount is next to obsolete now and they can't adapt any R lens ;)

Eric Salas's picture

They probably R. See what I did there ?

Not my problem, I’m just a Sony fanboy using a non-professional camera to get shitty photos.

Ernest Joyner's picture

I use Canon, no fanboy's needed....

Eric Salas's picture

If you think Canon aided you getting this image I question your sanity. You could get this with any camera.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

Hmmm, so that wonderfull and unique SONY MILC could not get a more amazing pic ? curious...

Eric Salas's picture

No, I’m saying the camera didn’t aid the photo at all. Never said anything about using another brand to get something better.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

So, what is your plot ? really !

We need to buy a new ILC just to own the latest device released and be a PRO ? WOW ! Amazing how easy it became.

Eric Salas's picture

You’re really bad at this trolling thing.

Ernest Joyner's picture

This is a Canon....with Irix 15 mm

Terry Poe's picture

I can't disagree with you, unfortunately. Canon disappoints, again: EOS R is just a lusterless mirrorless version of 5D Mark IV.

Canon is not capable of leaving crippleware mentality behind, just another exercise in system integration of the old components without really new features. I suspect that on the sensor side Canon just can't deliver in throughput and dynamic range terms.

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

heck, now adapted lenses is crap, even native manufacturer lenses with full compatibility and none tricky tricks to get them working...
Consistency is no more, just lousy and pityfull personnal opinions for lousy unboxers. I don't want a Canon camera, I don't care about mirrorless until the day I'll have to replace my system because it would cost too much for repair or dSLR have vanished.
Until then, all this 'gaming console' like flamewar is really funny to read. It make so many 'pros' look so silly they will be ashamed in 10 years when they will read back what they wrote nowadays...

David Love's picture

Just like the Mark 4. Awesome! I have the Mark 4 and it is awesome at taking images. I use a GH5 for video since the video for the mark was a let down in terms of cropping and file size. So video aside, if you want to use a Canon mirrorless, a copy of a Mark 4 is an awesome deal. If you want to shoot video, get a camera better suited for video. As far as comparing censors, etc with other brands, show me images that prove using another brand will produce better pics.

From looking at your page, you still use a mark 3 and a GH5 so we're in the same boat. Nothing wrong with that setup.

seung lee's picture

Bodies come and go, but lenses stay relevant much longer. I think it's safe to say that release lens line up is very impressive.
Sure their first go at FF mirrorless looks a lot like their recent DSLR. I'm sure they'll come out with something better next, and with an even more native lenses available.

Eric Salas's picture

Direct quote from you on April 13th 2018

“I think that canon comes with an 5dmkiv lookalike, mirrorless, 70MP. And i think the old lenses will just fit on it. Will tear sony down with their much to expensive lenses.“

So since Nikon and Canon released lack luster bodies you no longer want your Sony killer? Hmmm, I see how this works now. Calling people amateurs because they want new technology by now you don’t defend new tech because the brand you support doesn’t make the mark you predicted.

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