Canon has officially announced its first full-frame mirrorless camera, alongside four RF-mount lenses. Meet the Canon EOS R
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Canon has gatecrashed Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless party with the release of the EOS R. The Japanese imaging giant’s first foray into the world of full-frame CSCs sports a 30.3MP CMOS sensor, a new lens mount (more on that later) and a truly staggering maximum 5,655 AF points. The question is, can it rival the coveted Sony A7 Mark III, the Nikon Z6 or the Nikon Z7? Let’s take a closer look and find out…
Sensor and image quality
The Canon EOS R boasts a completely re-engineered design, and the star of the show is a 35mm full-frame 30.3MP CMOS sensor. Inside, you’ll find a phase detection autofocus system that’s compatible with Dual Pixel AF. Additionally, the presence of a new DIGIC 8 processor enables the highest quality possible from images and runs the new in-camera Digital Lens Optimiser. This feature helps to reduce any aberrations seen in Canon’s new RF-mount lenses, while also promoting data transfer speed for longer, uninterrupted continuous shooting.
Autofocus and speed
We know that the autofocus technology in Canon’s current models is incredibly precise, but the EOS R is set to blow anything we’ve seen before out of the water. This should be a real winner for those looking to this new mirrorless camera for both stills and video. In fact, the amount of autofocus points has gone completely off the charts! Canon has stated that the EOS R features a maximum of 5,655 AF points, a number that’s far beyond what we’ve seen before. Pair this with Dual Pixel AF and the EOS R’s tracking is sure to be immensely accurate.
At the time of writing, Canon has stated that the EOS R will have the fastest autofocus across the market, in the world. Its AF points will be covering 100% of the frame vertically and approximately 88% of the frame horizontally, making for a huge, trackable AF area. With such impressive autofocus abilities, the EOS R can shoot up to 8fps in continuous shooting mode and up to 5fps with Servo AF (continuous focus). Even shooting in difficult low lighting shouldn’t be a problem — the body has the ability to focus down to -6 EV and is the world’s first camera to do so.
For those looking to the EOS R for video, you will be able to shoot 4K at 30fps, full HD 1080p at 60fps and HD at 120fps. With the inclusion of Canon’s log profile (C-Log), shooting at ISO 400 will offer up to 12 stops of dynamic range with neutral contrast for when you are shooting in really difficult lighting. For slightly larger productions or anybody who uses an external recorder, the EOS R can output clean 4K in 10-bit, with an embedded timecode over HDMI. Dual Pixel CMOS AF will be one of the biggest draws for anyone shooting video, with its clean, push-pull style. And, with the EOS R’s incredible amount of focus points, we’re expecting it to perform impressively.
Body and form factor
The body itself is designed to be intuitive for current Canon and new Canon users alike. On the top of the body sits a dot matrix LCD screen, so you can view live updates of all your settings. A deep grip at the front of the body should allow for easy handling, and a newly designed mode dial makes for faster operation in demanding situations. The EOS R even includes a mysterious multi-function bar. Canon tells us that this new control interface is touch operated and customisable. The body itself is constructed from tough magnesium alloy and is weather sealed for outdoor adventures.
New RF mount
A new mirrorless full-frame camera means a new mount – Canon has designed its RF mount to provide the best possible base for a new range of high-resolution lenses. The mount’s 54mm diameter and 20mm flange distance provides lens designers with the ability to create incredible optics. Initially, Canon has announced four lenses for its new system, allowing you to start capturing imagery as soon as possible. For photographers who already have an impressive collection of Canon glass, an EF/EF-S adaptor is set for release too, so no worries there.
RF 24-105MM F/4L IS USM
Get started right away with the Canon EOS R’s kit lens. The RF 24-105MM F/4L IS USM is built to accommodate a variety of photographic situations, boasting wide angle, standard and telephoto focal lengths. The lens features a fixed maximum aperture of f/4, and a five-stop image stabiliser serves to further enhance the optics’ low-light performance. Canon has included aspherical and UD lens elements for sharp imagery, and its Nano USM technology is set to ensure accurate and nearly silent autofocusing.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM
This versatile lens will enable the user to shoot portrait, macro, travel, street and a whole host of other styles with its fast aperture. Built-in IS provides five stops of image stabilisation, making this an ideal lens for low-light shooting or video. Quiet stepper motor [STM] autofocus further bolsters this lens’ video capabilities as well as stills. Pair all of the above with the EOS R’s Digital Lens Optimiser and smaller flange distance to the sensor, and the quality is sure to be fantastic.
RF 50mm f/1.2L USM
The new RF 50mm f/1.2L USM is designed for pure optical quality and performance in low-light situations. Its super-fast f/1.2 aperture is sure to deliver beautiful, shallow depths of field and with its 10-blade diaphragm, we’re expecting to see some stunning bokeh. The wide aperture should allow you to make the most of the available light anyway, but pair this lens with the EOS R’s ability to shoot in -6 EV and you’ve a bona fide low-light shooting powerhouse.
RF 28-70MM f/2L USM
No kit bag should be without a reliable standard zoom lens and Canon is set to fill that gap in the RF-mount range almost immediately. Whether you’re an avid street or travel photographer, or work as a wedding photographer or photojournalist, discretion is vital. Thankfully, the lens’ advanced ring-type USM AF motor is said to create virtually silent focusing. The fast f/2 aperture should perform well in low light and a customisable Lens Control Ring can be assigned to perform a variety of functions to help your chances of capturing every moment.
Canon RF 28-70mm f2L USM Lens
Also available will be the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, which will allow Canon EOS R users the ability to pair the full-frame mirrorless CSC with EF and EF-S lenses. In addition, two other adapters are set for release, the Canon Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.