Canon EOS R Review: our opinion

The device caused a sensation when it was announced last September. Canon's first hybrid 24×36 sensor, theEOS R inaugurates a new range of devices with a new optical mount. And unlike Nikon, which has abandoned its Nikon 1 range in favor of Z6 and Z7 Announced at the same time as the EOS R, Canon does not give up its other range hybrid M sensor APS-C whose M50 is now the main representative. It is therefore with great ambition that Canon has indicated that it is continuing to jointly develop three ranges of interchangeable lens cameras with its EOS SLRs in EF and EF-S mount, its EOS M hybrids and its new EOS R whose compatible lenses bear the name RF.

High-end optics

Once again, we will start by talking about the new optical range that comes with EOS R. Unlike Nikon, which has focused on the almost joint output of two cameras, Canon has focused on optical range unveiling the announcement of the EOS R four objectives, all today available on the market and all equipped with a customizable adjustment ring from the EOS R.

An adapter ring can of course also mount the EF mount lenses, and this is a first at Canon, EF-S on the EOS R. The first of the RF lenses is a transtandard zoom proposed in kit with the camera . This is a 24-105mm f / 4L IS USM which we particularly appreciated the versatility, optical performance and fast autofocus and quiet. This is in our opinion a very good choice to start with the device.

In addition, we recommend the RF 35mm f / 1.8 IS STM macro whose lightness is the main asset, but which allows above all to enjoy a great opening for nice bokeh and achieve close-ups while offering a beautiful image quality. It is also the cheapest goal of the range. The last two models are more original and will suit a smaller target but are not without interest. Indeed, they both offer a very high brightness, at f / 1.2, for the RF 50mm f / 1.2L USM and f / 2 constant for the RF 28-70mm f / 2L USM. Both are of a very high quality but have a large size and a high weight of 950 g for the 50 mm and 1.43 kg for the 28-70 mm! Despite this, they have no stabilization systems while the device does not have either, it is a shame. These two exceptional models by their technical characteristics are rather intended for a professional target which is not really that of the EOS R. Car if Canon has today unveiled only one hybrid 24×36 case, the brand has clearly indicated that he would not remain alone and would one day be accompanied by a more ambitious model.

A target of expert amateurs

By choosing to equip its EOS R with a 30.3 Mpx Cmos sensor, Canon did not want to position itself on the very high definition sector, as it did with its EOS 5Ds and 5Ds range. A. The EOS R places itself on an intermediate slot between an EOS 6D II and a 5D Mark IV. The EOS R being a hybrid device, however, it differs from its predecessors by many points. First of all by his aim. The absence of a mirror imposes an electronic aim which is here ensured by an excellent Oled panel of 3.69 Mpts whose magnification reaches 0.76x and whose display frequency is 60 fps. We appreciated the possibility of switching the information in portrait mode for better comfort when shooting vertically. An eye detection system automatically switches between the display on the swivel and touch screen and the electronic viewfinder.

Too bad the device does not have a system to disable
automatically switches to the viewfinder when the screen is set to
 the horizontal as the Fujifilm X-T3 because this detection is a little too sensitive to our taste. But let's still recognize that the screen is adjustable in all directions is very pleasant to use and that its touch screen is perfectly responsive. The latter greatly facilitates the navigation in the menus which we praise here the ergonomics and the clarity of the appellations.

Canon EOS R – RF 24-105mm f / 4L IS USM – 320 Iso – 63mm – f / 8 – 1 / 80s.

Destabilizing ergonomics

If you are familiar with Canon SLRs, you will need to review your habits. Breaking with existing uses since the beginning of the EOS range, the brand has notably removed the adjustment wheel on the top of the device in favor of a Mode button and a manipulation of turning the wheel with the index and press the Info button to switch between Photo and Video modes. This is not the most practical but it gives access to more modes, including video.

The joystick so convenient to move the AF point has also been removed, much to our regret. To quickly choose the focus area, use the touch screen that can be scanned with the thumb while keeping an eye on the viewfinder. With the usual, it is done, but it requires to photograph with the screen returned! A choice that will probably not please everyone. The autofocus was pretty fast. It is very sensitive even in low light and has almost never failed us. Above all, it is nice to be able to scan almost the entire surface of the sensor (88%) and enjoy 5655 points of analysis by phase correlation.

Canon EOS R – RF 28-70mm f / 2L USM – ISO 5000 – 70mm – f / 2.8 – 1 / 100s

However, do not think that the EOS R is a sports case. Its burst is limited to 5 fps which is in our eyes a limit for a use on very fast subjects. We could extend a long time on the ergonomics of the apparatus as it differs from the habits taken by most manufacturers. Moreover, the EOS R offers our sense a general ergonomics worse than the Nikon Z7 and Z6 and the Sony A7 III and A7R III (except in the menus). Also, we will retain the presence at the back of the device of a new customizable touch bar that has not convinced us to use and a ring setting on each of the objectives that we have however much appreciated especially on the three most voluminous objectives because it falls perfectly under the left hand.

Many features

With no built-in flash but with flawless workmanship and weather protection, the EOS R features several interesting modes such as the ability to shoot directly in different aspect ratios, multiple exposures, three-dimensional HDR views with different types of rendering or a Time-Lapse function with 4K output. We also appreciated the presence of a completely silent electronic shutter system. Its maximum speed is unfortunately limited to 1 / 8000s when that of a Sony A7 III can go up to 1/32 000s. It also has a mode Pixel Raw inaugurated on the EOS 5D Mark IV.

If the camera can shoot in 4K at 30 or 25p or in Full HD up to 60p, we were a little disappointed by its performance in video. It is mandatory to lower the definition to 720p to find a fast mode to 120 fps and 4K mode causes a strong cropping in the image. The device also does not have an exposure alert function with zebras.

Finally, note all the same its complete connectivity consisting of a USB-C port and an HDMI and headphone connections, microphone and remote control. Unfortunately, only one SD memory card slot is present while the device uses the same LP-E6N batteries as the EOS 5D Mark II, III or IV, 6D and 6D II or 7D and 7D II with an announced battery life of 370 views that we have largely exceeded. A grip that can accommodate two batteries is available as an option.

Finally, the device has WiFi and Bluetooth connections that we have experienced the ease of use and comfort to quickly download images on our smartphone via the Camera Connect application. The connection was reliable, easy to set up and very fast with each use.

Beautiful image quality

Canon EOS R – RF 24-105mm f / 4L IS USM – 70mm – 12,800 Iso – 1 / 80s.

We could not close this test of the EOS R without dwelling on the quality of the images produced. The 24×36 30.3 Mpx sensor associated with the Digic8 processor produces richly detailed images, served by a quality optical range. The nominal sensitivity of the device ranges from 100 to 40,000 Iso but can be pushed up to 102,400 Iso via the H1 and H2 settings.

In practice, we have seen a constant quality up to 800 Iso and quite acceptable up to 6400 or even 12 800 Iso depending on your requirements, which puts the camera on a level playing field with the Nikon Z7 or Sony A7 III (the Nikon Z7 is even a little below).

Canon EOS R – RF 28-70mm f / 2L USM – 63mm – 1250 Iso – f / 2 – 1 / 80s.

Exposure measurement has been very accurate even under difficult exposure conditions. As for the white balance, it is also relatively fair although sometimes in default under the domestic artificial lighting (tendency to whiten the yellow lights). Under these conditions, it is usually the white priority setting of the automatic mode that we preferred.

Canon EOS R – RF 35mm f / 1.8 macro IS STM – 250 Iso – f / 1.8 – 1 / 60s.


It is a pretty good achievement that Canon signs with its EOS R, the first representative of the 24×36 hybrid range. If the regulars of the brand that we are will certainly need a little time to adapt to the new ergonomics offered by the brand, the many customization options can quickly make the device to his image. Photo quality is at the rendezvous and the behavior of the device virtually flawless.

But some are missing still spoil the table as the lack of second slot for memory card, the video mode below the options offered by the competition or a burst at 5 fps with monitoring the subject a little slow. We also regret that unlike all competitors, Canon has not made the choice of a stabilization by the sensor to lighten the optics. Specifically, we prefer in many respects the Nikon Z7 or Z6, impeccable in terms of ergonomics, stabilization and also good quality image quality. There is still time to surprise us with the future flagship model of the range!

Canon EOS R – RF 28-70mm f / 2L USM – 70mm – 800 Iso – f / 2 – 1 / 80s.