Quick Review Canon EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera
I’ve got the EOS R for almost a month now. Since then I’ve been so busy with traveling and work but still had chances to grab some images out of that new boy, from different places. I never used any other mirrorless cameras from Sony or Fuji, so I can’t make any comparison and I don’t even like to do that either. So in this article, I would talk about my experience with the EOS R. Let’s get started.
First thing first, I have to say, the camera is not professional, you’re the professional and you make the camera professional. I don’t want to jump brands to brands for the about same results and spend much more money for investment. It’s the same with people keep comparing iOS with Android, Windows and Mac, etc… Nothing is perfect for everyone.
I had the 5D3 for years until more than a year ago I upgraded to the 5D4 while people were jumping to Sony for the Mirrorless cameras. If I think mirrorless camera is better than DSLR camera, I would switch to Sony or Fuji long ago. I only would change my camera if I really needed something that the new ones can do but the old ones. In the unboxing video, I did talk about the reasons why I bought the EOS R. Please check it for more information.
So, Who is this camera for? There is no best camera for everyone. The companies made cameras for different types of photographers and videographers. As for photographers, the EOS R is not enough to be a replacement for the 5D4 or other DSLRs on the same line. But when it comes to videography, it has some advantages that made me decide to use it over my old 5D4. You might say Sony or other cameras can do better videos. Yes, it might be true but in my case, I love to stay with the same brand and be able to use all the lenses that I have as long as the camera can do everything I needed.
When I first got the EOS R, I noticed the focus on the R is faster than the 5D4, especially in the low light conditions. I’ve tested with my to go lens Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II with the EF to EF-R adapter. It was just focus test around my living room. In the low light and high ISO conditions, seems like the EOS R got more details in the shadow than the 5D4, means better dynamic range.
But my very first shot with the EOS R was in the sunset outside Javits Convention Center in NYC during PhotoPlus Expo. I was helping my friend Francisco at his photo walk, and I’ve taken a few shots of the model with an off camera flash. At that point, I had no idea to operate the camera except put it in the Manual mode and set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO the same way I used to do on the 5D4. The focusing was working well since I “lost” the joystick and I was not familiar with the “Touch and Drag” function. Here is the best shot I got from the shoot.
Back to the camera. Let’s talk about its own pros and cons.
Canon made their cameras almost the same way to function but switching from DSLR to Mirrorless takes time to get used to it. I can oparate my 5D4 blindly cause I’ve been shooting with the 5D series for more than 10 years. From the 5D, 5D2, 5D3 and the 5D4. So now with the R, I need a little time to adjust my habits.
The Multi function touch bar is useless, and I accidentally touched it all of time. I’m end up disable it and might keep it that way forever. I’m new to the mirrorless cameras, so the bright and colorful EVF is a mind blowing to me since I moved from the optical viewfinder on the 5D4. It’s even better when shooting in low light conditions.
Touch and drag focusing is a game changer. I did miss the joystick on the 5D4 but after a week played with the EOS R, I totally don’t miss the joystick anymore. I can move the focus point almost fully the screen size. That’s awesome.
I love that Canon put the USB Type C on the EOS R. That’s much faster to transfer data while shooting tethered and easy to connect to my MacBookPro as well as all the new computers without using the USB dongles.
Another nice thing is I can continue use the LP-E6N batteries that I had with the 5D4 on the EOS R. One battery can shoot up to about 800 photos. Well, depend on the way you use your camera.
Let’s go back to the studio for a minute. As you know I am running studio lighting workshop at my studio very often and so I had the chance to test out the EOS R at one of my workshop with model Josephine Adeline. We had some different lighting setups, from glamour to fashion, from light to dark.
As usual, I shot RAW for all of my work. The EOS R offers the new RAW format CR3. While using the same sensor with the 5D4 but the R has the new Digic8 processor so the Raw files come out with better dynamic range. What I can do in post is absolutely amazing without losing the details and quality.
Here are some results…
Now I want to talk more about the video stuff.
The flipping display is one of the key reasons I bought the EOS R. It’s so much easier for me to shoot super low angle or high angle without putting my eye to the viewfinder. And yes, the selfie shoot is so convenient, especially for vlogging. With the 5D4, an external display is a must when you want to shoot yourself and know exactly what’s going on.
I heard people said the EOS R doesn’t work remotely with the Ronin S or some other gimbals but well it just came out so those companies need sometime to update their firmwares to work with the new camera. It’s normal.
People make the IBIS is a big deal but in the last 20 years I haven’t photographed with IS lenses or IBIS cameras most of the time and never had any problem. I have the EF 70-200L IS and the 100L IS but barely use them. The Digital IS on the EOS R works well for photography but for videos I recommend to use the gimbals or glide cams. When the Digital IS is on, the frame will be cropped a little bit but it’s not noticeable so I always leave it on (not the enhance mode)
One of the most complaints about the EOS R is it has only one card slot. Im my experience, I never had a card failed before and I don’t even put two cards in my 5D4. But I do agree with people that Canon should makes two slots instead of one slot. They might do it on the next generation of the EOS R.
Let’s talk about the 4K cropped factor on the EOS R. If you’re a 4K video shooter, this is a big downside. However, the colors, the details of the 4K footages from the EOS R is amazing. Especially with C-Log, I can color grade the video so easy and beautiful with presets. Personally, I don’t shoot 4K often because to me 4K is not necessary for vlogging or regular behind the scenes videos. I’ve been making all of my videos on my channels with iPhones for years and everything looks good enough for viewers since not everyone has 4K monitors or most people watch videos on their phones, tablets nowadays. The 1080p is still popular for at least in the next couple years.
Check out my Review video for some 4K footages.
The 1080p 60fps is great but I wished the EOS R can do 120fps. Anyway, even at the 720p 120fps, the footages still look so clean, nice and smooth but it’s a downside due to the auto focus doesn’t work on that mode.
In this case, if 4K and 120fps are the things you need more often, you should go with Sony A7RIII or Sony A7III. I’ve got a lot of friends who are making amazing 4K videos with Sony cameras.
That’s my short review about the EOS R after a few weeks got it in hands. The 5D4 has came out for years and been tested so hard to prove itself a workhorse camera for everyone. Meanwhile the EOS R just came out for a couple months so it’s too early to say if it is a workhorse or how long does it last.
People have different experiences so I would love to hear from you guys how do you like or don't like the EOS R and why. Please leave your comments down below and we will discuss about it.