Canon EOS R: first look

Autumn 2018 can already be definitely called the moment when the photoworld has become mirrorless. Following Nikon, Canon introduced its mirrorless full-frame system. Our editor Georgy Politsarnov managed to attend the presentation of the camera, and now we can share with you the first impressions of the Canon EOS R camera and compatible lenses.

Download RAW
Get price Canon EOS R Thanks to unprecedented security measures, the intrigue around the new system remained until the last moment. Photos and specifications of the news leaked to the network only shortly before the official announcement.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Settings: ISO 6400, F4, 1/125 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
On the other hand, the technological backlog for the release of Canon EOS R the company had for a long time. And fast phase detection autofocus on the Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor, and touch screens, and many other technologies we saw in Canon mirrors. Most likely, the company was simply afraid of cannibalism between its products and delayed the moment of transition to mirrorless rails to the last. But in 2018, one could no longer wait ...
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 3200, F2, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
I would like to leave out of the scope of this article a listing of specification lines: you will find them in our news . We better focus on one simple question: did the Canon EOS R turn out to be a clone of the EOS 5D Mark IV without a mirror, or is there something fundamentally new in front of us?
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 800, F6.3, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Indeed, formally the cameras are similar. A sensor with a similar resolution (30.3 MP) and support for Dual Pixel RAW, similar rate of fire (up to 8 frames / s), even the video shooting parameters are approximately the same (4K can only be written with crop). But there are far more differences than similarities. Let's start with the bayonet mount.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F2, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
It is the RF mount that is the key to understanding the entire system. At the presentation, references were made more than once to the distant year of 1987, when Canon quite radically switched from the FD mount to the EF that we are familiar with today, without providing backward compatibility. Switching to a Canon RF mount should be much less painful.
Canon EOS R / Canon EF 11-24 f / 4L USM Settings: ISO 1000, F4, 1/160 s, 11.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Firstly, EF optics will work on it through an adapter without restrictions. Secondly, nobody is going to close EF support yet , as well as the mirrorless EF-M mount, which has become the “youngest” one . To prove this, the company announced new lenses simultaneously under all three of its current mounts! How long does the period of life last simultaneously with three mounts? Time will tell. Now this situation looks a little strange, but in this strangeness the guarantee of loyalty of brand fans.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.2, 1/250 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Why did you need to change the lens mount format again? In many respects this is dictated by maximalism in relation to optics. Reducing the working distance according to the statement of representatives of Canon contributes to the creation of better high-aperture optics.
Please note what detail this lens provides at f / 1.2!
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.2, 1/1600 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
A completely redesigned electronic lens control system allows for faster autofocus. We at Prophotos also admit that the new bayonet mount will turn out to be even more burglar-proof, and this will limit manufacturers of third-party optics. However, we will see ...
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 320, F4, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The one and a half kilogram advantage of the new bayonet mount was demonstrated right there in the face of the pre-production model of the Canon RF 28-70mm f / 2L USM lens . We have not yet seen zooms with such parameters for a full frame. Another powerful argument was the Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM , an ultra-fast fixed with the highest sharpness on an open aperture. It literally does not go to any comparison with the previous version. At f / 1.2, you can safely shoot in any conditions.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.2, 1/1250 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The lens focuses very quickly, does not allow empty runs and misses and easily copes with the resolution of a 30-megapixel matrix. A fly in the ointment is only a price. It grew in proportion to quality and reached very solid values: approximately $ 2,300 for the foreign market for a fifty dollars.
The only difficulty with focusing was when working with hard backlight. However, in such conditions, top-end DSLRs do not perform well.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 4000, F1.2, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
But you must admit, if it comes to top-end photo equipment, it cannot be cheap. Canon has demonstrated its power and made a photo system with truly unique capabilities. Now the ball is on the side of photographers - to use all the advantages of high quality to justify the cost of technology.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 125, F1.2, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
However, there is an easier way - to start small. Oddly enough, the camera itself does not cost space money at all ($ 2299 for the foreign market for body). The EF-EOS R adapter also does not ruin the photographer (from $ 100). My experience shooting with EF lenses with an EOS R camera turned out to be very positive. I did not notice any problems with autofocus. Using old optics does not limit the photographer in any way. Representatives of the company report that at first the adapter will be supplied free of charge.
Canon EOS R / Canon EF 11-24 f / 4L USM Settings: ISO 3200, F4, 1/160 s, 11.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Speaking of adapters, there are three of them in the system, and all perform the same function: they allow you to put the optics EF on the RF mount. The fact is that in addition to the “usual” adapter, an adapter with a control ring and an adapter with interchangeable filters are also available.
The most common adapter is the EF-EOS R.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 250, F1.8, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The first one adds another element to the control capabilities - the ring. The same stepped ring is on all RF lenses. Its function is set in the menu. For example, I assigned him aperture control.
Adapter EF-EOS R with control ring.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 200, F1.8, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Control ring on RF lenses.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.4, 1/320 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The second adapter will be of interest to fans of shooting on ultra-wide-angle optics EF, which does not allow installing filters in front of the front lens, for example, the Canon EF 11-24mm f / 4L USM.
EF-EOS R adapter with the ability to install filters behind the rear lens of the EF lens.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F2.5, 1/500 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Now that we’ve figured out the EOS R system, it's time to move on to the camera. Compactness ... Yes, the novelty has become much smaller than the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. But the overall size and weight of the kit due to massive optics has changed not so noticeably. 2018 teaches us: mirrorless does not mean small and light. Mirrorless technology is more like new features, interface solutions, new camera controls. And here lies the main differences from DSLRs.
The camera body is made of magnesium alloy and it is really very light.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.4, 1/320 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
A new Fv shooting mode has appeared, which by default is the usual program mode, but allows you to instantly get direct access to shutter speed, aperture, or sensitivity, actually turning into Av or Tv modes. Of course, you need to get used to it, but after a day of shooting, you may not want to work in any other modes. In general, Canon EOS R will force you to change your mind about the principles of management, you need to be prepared for this.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1600, F5.6, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The number of controls has increased. We already wrote about the control ring on the lens. And there is also a traditional disk under the index finger and a control disk under the big one. To them was added a multifunctional touch panel on the rear panel. Each of these controls is customizable. Almost all buttons are reprogrammed, and separately for photo and video modes.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 640, F1.6, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The followers of the good old Canon were bewildered by the lack of a joystick to select the autofocus point. There are three answers to this question, choose any. First, you can set up on-screen navigation to select an autofocus zone. Not so convenient, but acceptable for everyday shooting.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 160, F2.8, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Secondly, you can change the autofocus zone by touching the display (Touch and Drag AF system). Even if you look into the viewfinder, the display remains sensitive to touch and allows you to quickly and conveniently move the autofocus area.
Even in difficult shooting conditions, autofocus on faces helps out.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 400, F1.2, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Thirdly, in some cases the need for manual autofocus control is completely absent. Automation itself selects the main object in the frame pretty well. In addition, the face recognition function works quite effectively, enhanced by the eye focusing function.
One of the few cases where focusing on faces and eyes failed, we had to focus manually using focus picking.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F1.2, 1/500 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Here we need to add a clarification: autofocus on the eyes in the cameras issued to us worked only with frame-by-frame autofocus, which somewhat reduced its effectiveness. It is also impossible to use autofocus in the eyes without face recognition, and this is partly correct: the camera does not always recognize the eye in the frame, and more often autofocus is triggered by the faces. Automation can be capricious if the face is located half a turn, if the person portrayed has any unusual glasses or part of the face is closed. In these situations, the effectiveness of the system seemed to me lower than that of competitors.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 200, F1.2, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Still, for most scenes, autofocus on faces and eyes works well, especially if you use super-fast optics. In this case, he is more efficient than the photographer can track where to focus in the frame. And if several faces are recognized in the picture, it is easy to indicate the automation you need using the Navipad.
Canon EOS R / Canon EF 11-24 f / 4L USM Settings: ISO 12800, F4, 1/100 s, 11.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
In general, autofocus performance is really impressive, especially in low light conditions. Declared sensitivity up to ?6 EV. In fact, in all conditions where handheld shooting with aperture of f / 1.2 and sensitivity up to ISO 12800 is possible, autofocus accurately found the target. It is claimed that focusing occurs at 5655 points.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1600, F2, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
As for photosensitivity, according to our preliminary assessment, up to ISO 6400, the values ??are absolutely working. For scenes containing few small details, you can use both ISO 12800 and ISO 25600. But large-format printing at such high values ??is already undesirable. The DIGIC 8 processor fights noise very well in JPEG. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, RAW files were not yet supported by Adobe products. We will conduct a more detailed analysis in our large test a little later.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 100, F5.6, 1 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 200, F5.6, 1/3 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 400, F5.6, 1/5 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 800, F5.6, 1/10 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1600, F5.6, 1/20 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 3200, F5.6, 1/40 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 6400, F5.6, 1/80 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 12800, F5.6, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 25600, F5.6, 1/320 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 40000, F5.6, 1/500 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The viewfinder with a resolution of 3.69 million points is made using OLED technology. We have already seen similar viewfinders among competitors. This is not to say that the Canon EOS R is very different in their ease of sighting - the technology is refined and works great, as in competing cameras. The image in the viewfinder is lively, without noise, does not strob and does not slow down. The delay in displaying the picture is not felt, which can be attributed to the indisputable advantages of the model. At some point, you even catch yourself thinking that you don’t understand: the optical or digital viewfinder is in front of you. And only pleasant trifles in the form of an abundance of additional information in the viewfinder remind: it seems that the age of pentaprism is moving to its final.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 160, F1.6, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
To save pictures and videos, one SD slot with UHS-II support is used here. For better or worse, everyone will decide for himself. On the one hand, there is no strict need to buy memory cards of new formats, although the transition to fast UHS-II is extremely desirable. On the other hand, among our readers there are many adherents of parallel recording on two cards at the same time, but here it is impossible.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 2000, F6.3, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Of the interesting features of the new items, I also want to note that this is almost the first mirrorless camera, in which the mechanical shutter is closed when it is off. This prevents dust from entering the matrix, but increases the risk of damage to the shutter lamellas if accidentally touched - the working distance is very small.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 640, F3.5, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Concluding the brief overview of the Canon EOS R, I would like to dwell on the issues of energy consumption. Like it or not, a mirrorless mirror is much more gluttonous than a mirror. If the good old Canon EOS 6D could be removed at least a few days in a row without turning off, then the Canon EOS R will eat the battery for half the active shooting day. Taking the camera in my hands at 11 o’clock, at 15 I was forced to replace the battery, because the indicator showed one division.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1250, F1.2, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
I admit that on this remainder the camera would work for about an hour, but I could not risk it. In four and a half hours, I managed to make 320 frames, record a few minutes of 4K video, view the captured photos and send a dozen to a smartphone via Wi-Fi.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Settings: ISO 400, F6.3, 1/250 s, 105.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
The camera was turned on most of the time, and since it hung on the neck, the electronic viewfinder worked mainly. So, for lovers of long shoots, we can recommend the BG-E22 battery pack, which not only holds two batteries, but also allows you to charge them via USB.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1600, F5.6, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.

Preliminary findings

The Canon EOS R system was a logical and long-awaited step by the company into the future. As the main advantages of the system, first of all, it should be noted the rich potential in the production of ultra-high-quality optics, striking in its optical characteristics, as well as full compatibility with EF lenses.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 320, F1.8, 1/160 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
It's nice that Canon engineers did not make a new camera from the old SLR, just throwing the pentaprism block. Canon EOS R has seen serious work to improve the autofocus system and redesign the control interface. Behind this humble phrase is a brand new camera that works and shoots differently. He will make the photographer retrain for several days, carefully read the instructions, but in return will give more options for customization and faster control, greater opportunities for working with autofocus. The camera can solve the same problems as the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, and here intra-brand cannibalism cannot be avoided. The question remains open how much power the company has to support three mounts simultaneously: EF, EF-M and RF. Probably have to sacrifice something.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Settings: ISO 100, F5.6, 1/320 s, 37.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
And here we recall once again: all EF and EF-S optics are compatible through an RF adapter, which guarantees a certain period of calm for owners of a solid fleet of such lenses. EF-M optics are not compatible. But you should not relax: even one day of shooting with RF lenses is enough to understand their advantages and, perhaps, to be disappointed in your old lens.
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM Settings: ISO 1000, F4, 1/8 s, 24.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
We also hasten to note that in terms of video capabilities the Canon EOS R did not go far ahead of the same Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. 4K-video shooting occurs with a crop factor, and the maximum frequency for Full HD video is modest by modern standards - up to 50/60 frames / s. Obviously, giving the mirrorless camera market for Canon camcorders is in no hurry. Now Canon EOS R is primarily a camera for photographers: thoughtful and interesting. However, how long will it be the only one in the system? ..
Canon EOS R / Canon RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM Settings: ISO 1000, F1.2, 1/125 s, 50.0 mm equiv.Download RAW
Get price Canon EOS R

Leave a Reply