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Outdoor Canon EOS R sample image

It’s been months now since Canon launched its first major mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera (EOSR Camera) 3075C002.  Since the launch I’ve mostly been shooting outdoors in a typical wildlife photography [link to services page] setting.  In this long term review I’ll cover some of the basic questions I had and you may be having now.  Simply is this camera worth it or not?

Being the first serious full frame camera for Canon the EOS R is surely going to go through some firmware refinements. As I’m writing this there is rumour of a major update to the firmware coming within weeks or months. As this camera evolves I’m sure I’ll write more about my longer long term review.  Here is what you may find in this update.

According to the Canon Rumours site this is what’s coming in the firmware update?

  • Eye detect AF in continuous shooting. The EOS R launches with the ability to do this in one shot.
  • Additional touch bar functionality added.
  • Continuous shooting in silent shutter mode. The EOS R only allows this feature in single shot at launch.
  • A “few tweaks” to video functionality. The 4K crop will not be changed, nor will the maximum frame rate in 4K.
  • Bug fixes

Original article here

What is EOS R

The Canon EOS R is Canon’s answer to the Nikon Z series and Sony A7 series. It represents a shift in design for Canon primarily around the new RF lens mount. This change will allow for new RF lenses that are faster than previously possible with f-stops 1.2 or faster.

Who should buy the Canon Full Frame EOS R?

If you’re considering a Sony A7 III or Sony A7R II purchase stop! The Canon EOS R is a real full frame camera that in my opinion holds its own with the Sony A7 Series. I won’t get in to the spec’s in the post. If you’re wanting to know all the tech details you can read about the comparisons at a number of sites online like DP Review.

What I’d like to do is share with you my real world review of the Canon EOS R and some sample photos I’ve taken. You’ll see in my wildlife Instagram account that I include basic camera specs with all my photos. This includes the shutter speed, f-stop, ISO and anything else meaningful to the shot. You’ll also see that I shoot with the Sony A7R II as well as a number of other Canon cameras (Canon 1D X, Canon 7D Mark II). This is important for reference as I will be comparing how the Canon EOS R functions in an actual shooting environment when compared to those cameras.

Is the Canon EOS R a Full Frame Camera

Yes, the new Canon EOS R camera is a full frame camera targeted at the well established Sony A7 series of cameras. It now places Canon in the sightline of photographers considering a move to Sony.

Low light photography with the Canon EOS R (Crystal ball handheld)
Still life and product photography with the Canon EOS R
Outdoor portrait photography with the Canon EOS R
Street photography with the Canon EOS R at night
Wildlife photography with the Canon EOS R (extreme cold -25)

What is the ring for on the Canon RF Lens?

This is one of Canon’s revolutionary changes to the whole EOSR ecosystem. Since this camera launched in the colder months in Canada it’s really hard to say if this feature is worth it or not. You have to keep in mind that i’m now shooting with full winter gloves and the last thing I want to do is fiddle with a ring to change ISO or something else. The idea of having a programmable adjustment where your hand is, on the lens, sounds great but not so great when it’s cold out. Take for example the photo below. It was taken on a bush walk I went on in mid-January while it was -30C (-22F) outside. Imagine standing outside for 30 minutes in that temperature with your camera to your face finger on the trigger just waiting. My hands were numb so cold that it wasn’t until a few hours later back at home did I start to feel the tips of my fingers. So, would I use the lens control ring to adjust ISO or any other setting? NO! It’s that simple. Now I’ll give you that I was in an extreme setting but it isn’t too far off reality in cold climates. For now this feature isn’t proofing out to be of much use.

Canon EOS R Cold weather testing

Wildlife photography with Canon EOS R

Image quality Canon EOS R vs. Sony A7 RII

The first thing people are going to compare between the EOSR and the A7RII or A7III is the image sensor. Canon has a 30.3 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image Processor in the Canon EOS R body while Sony has a 42.4 Megapixel sensor in the A7RII. Right off the top it’s an unfair comparison but lets see how they fair. All the reviews I’ve heard about the EOSR sensor have been anything but glowing. I have to say when I am taking photos with these 2 cameras the Sony has a slight advantage. But wait a minute. I have a whole bunch of Canon lenses that I have to use an adapter with if I want to use either camera. This is where the test starts to take on a new wrinkle. The Canon EOS R in my mind performs a lot better with all of my glass and in the end this is what matters. It’s the real world and not a lab after all.

In body image stabilization (IBIS)

What’s the deal with in body image stabilization and the Canon EOS R not having one? Ok I’m no expert when it comes to all this I’m more a test and see kind of guy. I have yet to do a direct low light comparison between the Canon EOS R and the SONY A7R II (maybe that’s next) but when I look at the shots I get WOW the Canon is amazing. Yes, I said that out loud for everyone to hear. I’m seriously impressed with the low light capabilities this camera has. Now since most of my shooting is outdoors right now I can see how this 6 stop advantage might help my modelling photography business. Time will tell how this works for night shoots.

Summary

The Canon EOS R is an amazing camera for what you’d want it to do. Now if you’re looking for it to replace the Canon 1D X or other high end DSLR’s then think again.  This camera is a worthy mirrorless camera but not yet ready to replace any of the mid to high end Canon EOS DSLR’s.  Then again non of the mirrorless cameras (Sony A7’s included) are ready to do that.  Is this camera better than the new Sony A7 III Or A7S and A7R range of cameras?  I think so if you’re a Canon shooter.  It’s worth a serious look.

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