Canon’s big leap forward

Canon’s big leap forward


With Nikon and Fujifilm announcing new mirrorless cameras, it was only a matter of time before Canon got in on the act. Find out how the EOS R, Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, is shaking things up

 

 

AT A GLANCE

  30.3Mp full-frame CMOS sensor
  ISO 100-40,000 (can be extended to ISO 50-102,400)
  New RF lens mount
  8fps continuous shooting
  Single card slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  Four new lenses at launch

 

In case you’re in any doubt, Canon’s new baby is much, much more than just a new camera. This is a whole new system, with a new lens mount and a brand new series of lenses to go with it. It’s a BIG DEAL.

Given the feverish speculation in the run-up to the launch of the EOS R, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the company’s first mirrorless camera – but no, that honour goes to the EOS M series, launched in 2012. What makes the EOS R so special is that it’s a full-frame camera with the high-end enthusiast photographer firmly in its sights.

That new lens mount is the big game-changer. It’s been redesigned with a 54mm internal diameter, and now also benefits from a 12-pin data connection as well. That data connection not only reduces focusing times, it also allows for much more flexibility with the design of the lenses. It means Canon is able to do nifty things like bringing back those retro control rings for aperture and shutter speed. But they can do more than that – use them to set ISO and exposure compensation, or reprogram them to do anything else you want. Making changes is as simple as twisting the programmable control ring one way or the other.

If you’re already a Canon user with a drawer full of Canon lenses, don’t fret. Canon has made the upgrade path as painless as possible by launching the EOS R with an adapter that enables you to use any existing EF or EF-S lens. In fact, there isn’t just one adapter, there are three. Another provides the same lens conversion but adds a programmable control ring; and a third gives you a drop-in filter mount that can take a variable neutral density filter or a circular polarising filter. 

With no in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), stabilisation is left to the lens. At launch, there will be four lenses, two of which include stabilisation – the 24-105mm f/4L and the 35mm f/1.8. Canon hasn’t yet made a specific statement about the lenses that will follow, but its teaser suggests a further 18 are waiting in the wings.

One of the most impressive features is how well this camera performs in low light. At its launch event and in the pre-launch public roadshow, Canon created darkened scenes for photographers to shoot, showing off the camera’s low light capabilities. You can’t fail to be impressed. The camera can focus in light conditions down to -6 EV, which isn’t far off complete darkness.

One of the most impressive features is how well this camera performs in low light. At its launch event and in the pre-launch public roadshow, Canon created darkened scenes for photographers to shoot, showing off the camera’s low light capabilities. You can’t fail to be impressed. The camera can focus in light conditions down to -6 EV, which isn’t far off complete darkness.

 

Pin-sharp focusing

Autofocusing uses the phase detect dual pixel system we saw in the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. This enables the camera to focus quickly and smoothly, without having to zoom in and out until it finds the right spot. This is great for photography but really proves its worth with video, where you can focus on one subject then seamlessly switch the focus point to a second subject.

It comes with 5,655 focus points – that’s several times more than any of its rivals (by comparison, the new Nikon Z7 has 493) and those focus points cover 100 per cent of the sensor. Even bigger news, this camera enjoys the world’s fastest autofocusing. It can find and lock onto a focus point in as little as 0.05 seconds (although it’s not that fast in the dark, obviously).

The other big standout is the new 3.15-inch fully articulating touchscreen electronic viewfinder (EVF). While it’s technically almost identical to other high-end EVFs, this one trumps the rest because you can rotate and tilt it to any angle – perfect for those low portrait shots.

As with all mirrorless cameras, the first thing you’ll notice when you pick it up is how light it feels. In fact, much about this camera will remind you of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, just in a smaller body. It’s only when you start using it that you really appreciate how well it handles, yet how seamless the transition feels from previous Canon DSLRs. If you’ve been thinking about moving over to mirrorless, the time is now.

" Canon's first full-frame mirrorless camera is a BIG DEAL"

Sign up for our latest news and offers

Receive the best offers right to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter

Thank You