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Review: The Canon EOS R is not what we expected

By Alvin Soon - 14 Oct 2018
Launch SRP:

The camera is half the story

The camera is half the story

The EOS R introduces Canon’s new RF mount, which has a large 54mm internal diameter mount, short back-focus (otherwise known as flange-back distance), and new high-speed communications system. 

Canon says those specs enable better lenses, and it’s likely why they’ve released a powerhouse selection of lenses to show their mettle. There’s a 50mm f/1.2, a 28-70mm f/2, a 24-105mm f/4, and a 35mm f/1.8 macro lens.

f/2 at 28mm, 1/60 sec, ISO 200.

The first three gain Canon’s coveted ‘L’ designation, reserved for their best lenses. Canon’s executives stressed that fast lenses like the 50mm f/1.2 and 28-70mm f/2 would not have been possible with the older EF mount.

But it should be noted that only two of these lenses, the 24-105mm f/4, and the 35mm f/1.8, come with image stabilization. These are also the two RF lenses that fit most comfortably with the EOS R. The 50mm f/1.2 is large, and tired my wrist after a night out shooting with it.

f/1.2 at 50mm, 1/60 sec, ISO 640.

I couldn’t use the massive 28-70mm f/2 without the help of the EOS R’s optional battery grip. Put those two together and the EOS R edges close to DSLR size. The fact that neither the 28-70mm f/2 nor the EOS R come with IS means you have to be extra careful with the extra weight.

The fast lenses are exciting but also present a mismatch. As best as I can tell, Canon has released an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera. But half of the native lenses are clearly for professionals, who would be willing to deal with their large heft.

f/2 at 28mm, 1/60 sec, ISO 3200.

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  • Performance 8
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 7
  • User-Friendliness 7.5
  • Value 7
The Good
Brilliant OLED viewfinder
Excellent image quality with vibrant colors
Trustworthy Dual Pixel AF
The Bad
Works more like a consumer body
Slow frames per second with AF-C
Lacks in-body image stabilization
4K video shoots with a 1.8x crop
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