Canon Announces Full Frame Mirrorless EOS R
Last week I posted about the recent Canon announcement that I was the most excited about, the new 400mm f/2.8.
I am almost as excited about the announcement of the full frame mirrorless, EOS R. I am excited to try this out in comparison to the Sony a7iii that I recently purchased.
Priced at $2,999 CAD, Canon’s first step into the full-frame mirrorless comes with a 30.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. An interesting feature of the EOS R is that when the camera is turned off the curtain is closed to protect the sensor against getting dust and dirt on it. Dust on the sensor has been something that I have noticed quite often with the Sony a7iii, so I am interested to see how the “closing” of the sensor works, and whether it does keep dust off the sensor.
When it comes to autofocus, Canon is using a phase-detect system with 5,655 selectable points…no that is not a typo they are actually advertising over five thousand AF Points. With this many AF points, 100% of the vertical and 88% of the horizontal sensor is covered by autofocus points. This is pretty impressive, and hopefully this is something that can be carried over to the DSLR, because this is one of my biggest frustrations with the 1DX Mark II, sometimes the points are not where I need them, especially in the low end.
Another feature of the EOS R that Canon has added is making the AF available for “nearly the entire image” when shooting at f/8 or f/11. So this means that you could attach a 2x extender to an f/5.6 lens (turning it to f/11) and still have AF, something that cannot even be done with my 1dx Mark II. I am interested to test this and see how it actually performs, and whether it is an available feature that isn’t really all that useful in practice. I have used the 1.4x extender on the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II to see how it performed, and I found the autofocus to be incredibly slow.
The frame-rate is advertised as 8 frames per second. However, with closer reading that 8 frames per second is only when not using continuous AF. When switched to continuous autofocus the frame rate decreases to 5 frames per second, and will drop to 3 frames per second if you have selected focus priority in your settings. I do not even remember what it is like to shoot wildlife with a camera at 3 frames per second. The buffer is advertised to be 47 Raw files.
Low-light focusing should not be an issue with the EOS R, it has the ability to focus at EV -6, and has ISO range of 100-40000.
Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointing, is that the camera does not come with any in body image stabilization, a feature available in both of the competitors (Nikon z6 and Sony a7III). I am not sure what drove the decision by Canon to skip it, maybe they are trying to drive the sale of the IS lenses, and intend for all the RF lenses to be image stabilized and thought it was unnecessary.
For this camera Canon has created a new mount, the “RF” mount, but also has three different adapters available to use existing EF lenses with the camera. This is a benefit over my Sony mirrorless which has a Metabones adapter that allows me to use my Canon lenses, however the autofocus is so slow that I find it is not even worth trying to use it.
The battery life of the EOS R has room for improvement, with life of 350 shots per charge, however that’s consistent with other full frame mirrorless cameras. The benefit for anyone that owns another Canon camera, like the 5D Mark IV, the battery is the same, at least you do not need to bring an additional charger. The camera only has one memory card slot, which holds an SD card, so there is no ability to record backup, or have image overflow.
I am really looking forward to getting my hands no my camera, which is expected to be here mid-October (of course, right after I get back from the Great Bear Rainforest). I plan to keep my Sony a7iii in order to compare the two.
More about the EOS R can be found on Canon’s website. If you have questions, feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.