Are People Wrong About the Canon EOS R for Video?

There is a lot of talk focused around the Canon EOS R system for photography, but what about its video capabilities? It might be better than we think.

I'll come out and say that I tend to highly value a few things that you cannot see on a stat sheet. Ease of use, ergonomics, color science, real-world battery life, and file accessibility are just a few. For example, I am the type of shooter that can live with a few less megapixels if I can operate the camera for an entire day without changing the battery. People continually get caught up focusing on what a camera doesn't have and never pay attention to the features it might have that others do not. Examples of this recently are the infamous dual card slots, internal stabilization, or cropped 4K recording, which are causing people to completely overlook the possibilities of these new systems.

Caleb Pike sits down and talks about why the Canon EOS R isn't nearly as bad as headlines are exclaiming. The biggest takeaway is to try to look past what the system lacks to see the bigger picture (pun intended). If you compare the 4K recording aspects of the Canon EOS R, it rivals or even exceeds the Panasonic GH5s. Having a fully articulating screen is a big deal, even for people who don't vlog. I used to film concerts on a Canon T3i, and having an adjustable screen was more valuable than nearly any other stat I could desire. Add on the fact that the Canon EOS R is also an entirely capable camera for shooting photosm, and you have a really decent system all in one camera. 

No matter what new camera gets released, there will always be something missing; no perfect camera exists. Remember to take a step back and look at what a camera might do well instead of getting so caught up in what it might be lacking. At the end of the day, it may not be a camera that suits your needs, but at least we have more options than ever, and to me, that's a win for everyone. 

Log in or register to post comments

22 Comments

Anders Madsen's picture

I fail to see the reasoning behind buying a camera system that requires one set of lenses for video (basically a set of APS-C lenses like the one Caleb uses) and one set of lenses for photography.

I think the Canon EOS R is a useable solution for stills if you don’t need dual card slots and already have a lot of stabilized lenses, but I really think that it is a pretty weak hybrid system for combined video and stills photography, and for that I think that the answer is “No. People are not wrong about the EOS R”.

Alex Armitage's picture

Strange, I think the exact opposite in that it's an absolute beast for combined Video/Photos. One issue I have with most cameras that have good video stats tend to suck for photos (think a7s II or GH5). The photos on this are quite good, 5Dm4 quality and the video bit rates, c-log, even 10bit out are all pretty great.

That said, I don't shoot much 4K even professionally. I'm still using a C100 and love it's results.

Anders Madsen's picture

Oh, for sure - if you want the R for video and already have a collection of APS-C lenses I think it will make sense, but you will still need some full frame lenses in order to use it for stills (or shoot with APS-C lenses at a resolution not that far off from e.g. the A7S).

And I think that it’s a bit pricey for a 4K APS-C video camera. :)

Alex Armitage's picture

Why can't you shoot 4K with non APS-C lenses?

Jonathan Brady's picture

You can, of course. As long as you're okay with a roughly 1.8x crop.
Oh, and don't forget the rolling shutter.

Alex Armitage's picture

Like I said previously. I don't really shoot in 4K so it's never been a huge concern!

Jaan Kristjan Utno's picture

In the end its how one decides to look at the camera experience as a whole.

I'm looking as t this new system and believe it can be very useful and am thinking of upgrading. Ive been shooting years on APS-C cameras, starting off with the Canon 450D(rebel xsi I think it was?) and currently own a 60D. Ive since transitioned into life as a professional cinematographer and prioritize my camera needs for a stills system that I can swap into quick video mode for journalism style of run n gun shoots where I need a myriad of material. Yet for motion picture work, i have production rent me a camera anyways, so I'm not too butthurt about it.

Ive recently shot with a 5dm4 and loved the experoence, but coming to it after shooting with a a7r3 for 3 weeks, it was a hard transition back into an OVF. The a7r3 is nearly the perfect camera for me, in terms of video, but the body is too short and slim. Ive got big hands and this is where the eos R plays for me perfectly.

I agree that each new system should be looked at critically, and every new step should be calculated. Canon dropped the ball on innovating the entire system. Sure, the clicky ring is fun and the touch bar are both very useful, I can see myself using them on the fly immediately, but the fact that they didn't innovate more is disappointing. Market share is a problem and the rising press for Nikon pushed out an incomplete product for Canon. It's currently a weak camera in comparison to what other systems offer in terms of coverage. But at least they're finally making steps to get into the prosumer mirrorless market, and people still forget to consider, it is a new system for Canon. Thus is iteration 1. As much as a company can preemptively fix this and that, remember hiw terrible the A7 was when it first came out?

Looking at the camera as a selfstanding system, sure - I think I'm upgrading. But I'm also terribly interested and excited in the flagship model that they're currently working on and holding on the jump until more info is out. Just one more year with my 60D and then I'll see if its gonna be Sony or Canon, or perhaps finally a plunge into Fuji to give my x100T a companion.

Jonathan Brady's picture

"remember hiw terrible the A7 was when it first came out?"
A fair amount of that was a byproduct of the lack of technology at that time (5 years is a loooooong time in mirrorless tech). Some stuff just didn't exist. Other stuff was still too costly to implement.
For many specs, there's no excuse, today. It's available, it's proven, and it's cheap (relatively speaking).

Jaan Kristjan Utno's picture

Honestly its also a factor of the camera not being market ready and the designers being safe about the camera. Mind yku, its not the flagship model as Canon has been repeating to you over and over again.

They pushed the camera out due to worries of losing the mirrorless market, and they sacrificed fratures to do so to attempt to he on par with Nikon, who is also playing catch up in its own way.

Its a mirrorless 5dm4. But its a step into a new ecosystem and for a starter, its pretty good in attempting innovation. Im excited to start adapting retro glass to this cam.

Alex Armitage's picture

As I said originally, I'm probably in the minority where I'd favor comfort in my hand over stats on a sheet. Obviously I'd still like something that is fully capable but sometimes ease of use and features that aren't listed make me lean one way or another.

For example I bought into a camera system for my first camera based solely on holding all the cameras and picking the one that felt the best to me.

Jaan Kristjan Utno's picture

As did I! My 450D was perfect for my hands and was silver, I fell in love with it because it was cheap at the time and felt comfortable without needing a strap on it.

I moved from the 60D to the Sony a6500. I use a cage to add a bit more to hold onto. I would really like to jump to the A7III, but waiting to see what the A7SIII brings. I think the biggest issues for people who want to shoot video with the EOS-R is the crop factor and lack of IBIS.

Alex Armitage's picture

People consistently talk about IBIS but I've shot on cameras for years without IBIS without any issues. The majority of the time I'm not ever hand holding unless I'm shooting higher frame rates which negates the stabilization needed.

Once again this is all personal experience and preference.

Jaan Kristjan Utno's picture

I shoot almost entirely without it - i have a steady hand and know how to compensate for it with other tools in my kit or my body. The crop factor is what sucks the most for me, i want to use the full sensor because why the hell can't i? Damned be Canon

revo nevo's picture

So for video this is smaller than aps-c with terrible rolling shutter and bad low light for 2300$ or more since you need adapter if you want wide angle.
4k video is not really sharp since it's not oversampled like on many other cameras.
+ bad in low light

DPAF is a plus but others like Fuji and Sony are really close.

In 2018 this is not a really good deal.

Alex Armitage's picture

Can you link me to something showing this is bad in low light?

revo nevo's picture

Search for 5dmk4 comparisons
Max on youtube has a good one.

revo nevo's picture

Here you go

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n7Qvu1KMt8

This could be wrong since it's 5Dmk4 and not EOS R but I don't think there is any improvement since there is no improvement to rolling shutter and it has same sensor and crop.

5Dmk4 video was not very good in 2016 and now 2 years later how can you think that people have change their minds when even Nikon and Fuji have better video.

Alex Armitage's picture

I shoot video on the 5Dm4 all the time and it's perfectly fine in low light. Maybe it's not a7s II levels of low light but it's versatile enough for me.

revo nevo's picture

That is fine but as you can see competition does it better. If it's good for you that does not mean it will be for others. You have to look at the facts.Alex you are making it personal.

Jaan Kristjan Utno's picture

People forget, a7s1 was better in lowlight

Paul Celeste's picture

I've enjoyed and learned a lot from Caleb over the years. But, he's lost me on this one. I was expecting so much more from Canon. When you start out the review by defending Canon saying they built this not for you and me, but built it for themselves. And, this camera is "just" good enough to keep people from leaving. Not a ringing endorsement, my only regret is holding off on that Sony purchase for so long to see what Canon would deliver.