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Canon EOS R: The Sleeping Giant


Canon EOS R: The Sleeping Giant

December 02, 2019  |  by Alex Schult
Featured Photo Credit: krblokhin via iStock I've been a Nikon shooter for the longest time. Only recently have I branched out to other brands. I've had several Sony camera over the years - the a6400 among them. I also have a Panasonic GH5. But the newest camera in my collection is the Canon EOS R. And so far, and as I explain in the video above, it has certainly impressed! In fact, I think this camera is a bit of a sleeping giant. It's a bit unassuming, but it's packed with excellent features. Let's dive into this camera so I can detail some of my favorite features.

The Canon EOS R Specs Aren't Too Shabby

 image First things first, let's review the essential specs of this camera:
  • 30.4-megapixel full frame sensor
  • DIGIC 8 image processor
  • Phase-difference detection autofocus system with Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 5,655 autofocus points with 100-percent vertical coverage and 88-percent horizontal coverage
  • -6 to +18 EV Range
  • +/-3 stops of exposure compensation in 1/3 and 1/2-stop increments
  • Shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/8000 seconds
  • .5-inch OLED color electronic viewfinder with 3.69 million dots and 100-percent coverage
  • 4K and full HD video shooting
 image Now, people poo-pooed the megapixel count on this camera when it came out, but honestly, 30.4 megapixels is plenty for what most of us need to do. As a Nikon shooter, I was skeptical of Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, but I have to say that it has performed very well for me. It's hard to go wrong with 5,655 autofocus points anyway! Aside from the obvious, there are some "hidden" features that I really appreciate about this camera. One such feature is the fact that this thing records in true 24p. Most cameras record at 23.98p. Will anyone be able to tell the difference between the two? No... However, it's impressive that Canon thought to include this detail when that's something usually reserved for high-end cinema cameras. Something else I appreciate about the EOS R is that is has focus peaking, which works by recognizing the edges of contrast in the shot. Those edges are then highlighted by the camera so you can more easily distinguish what's in focus and what isn't. Though focus peaking has been around for a long time, it's a new thing for Canon's non-cinema cameras. Granted, focus peaking doesn't work in all situations, but it's still a great feature to have that you might not see on initial spec sheets of the EOS R. These are just two features that this camera has that make it a sleeping giant in my mind! Get more details about the autofocus system of the EOS R in the video above by CanonUSA.

Canon EOS R Build & Handling

 image Coming from a Nikon perspective, I was concerned that the layout of the buttons and dials on the EOS R would bother me, but I've found it to be a great camera to learn to use. It handles well, has a nice grip, and the buttons and dials are laid out in a manner that's extremely intuitive. I know some folks aren't too keen on the menu system of this camera, but I don't have a problem with it at all.  image The touchscreen LCD is fully articulating, which is a very nice touch for tackling photos at odd angles and for recording video. The OLED viewfinder shows a nice attention to detail - it's bright, contrasty, and offers 100 percent coverage. Honestly, the design of this camera reminds me a lot of a slimmed-down version of the 5D Mark IV, and that's a good thing!

Canon EOS R Video Capabilities

The video capabilities of this camera have given a lot of people heartburn... Though 4K video at 30fps is available, it's at a massive 1.8x crop. That's not appealing to a lot of videographers. For me, though, it hasn't been that big of a deal. There's full HD recording, too, in either cropped or uncropped versions at up to 60fps. Whether you're shooting in HD or 4K, there is no in-body stabilization. There are several EOS R lenses with stabilization, however. All that said, this isn't a video-first camera, but it isn't exactly a lump of coal, either! It offers C-Log and internal capture of 4:2:0 8-bit. It'll even do 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI out. Besides, this camera is beautifully small and lightweight, so if it's run-and-gun video you're after, it will do the job just fine. Check out other thoughts about the EOS R in the video above by Caleb Wojcik.

Canon EOS R: Final Thoughts

 image Like I said earlier, this is my first foray into the world of Canon, and I have been impressed. Above is just a few things I really appreciate about the camera, and as you can see, the positives have thus far outweighed the negatives. Is this the perfect camera? No. But what camera is? What the EOS R is, though, is a peek into Canon's future. They have obviously thought a lot about what they want the EOS R line to become, and this camera is a huge first step in creating a set of mirrorless cameras that truly have incredible potential. This won't be my last discussion of the EOS R, so be sure to stay tuned for more details as I continue to test and play with this awesome little camera! If you're already convinced that this is the camera for you, head to Samy's and score one for $500 off (at the time of writing). That puts it at just $1,800, and that's a steal for this camera!
December 02, 2019

About the Author

Alex Schult

Alex Schult

Alex Schult is the Founder and CEO of PhotographyTalk - a website that spreads the love of photography through bustling forums, world-class guides, in-depth video lessons you’ll love to use - and success interviews with the best photographers around.

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