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Decisions on mirrorless

rockhound_ZR2
Apprentice

Hello- First post, long time lurker.

 

I am looking for advice and insight from those that use these types of cameras. I want to move into the full frame world and have decided to go mirorless since that seems to be the future of photography. What I can't decide on is which one, the RP, R, R6, or R5. I'd like to stay with Canon, not because of brand loyalty but for comfort and familiarity, although I am open to other brands. Budget is not really an issue.

 

I have read both positive and negative reviews on the Canon R series, everyrting from people would not purchase anything from the R series becaue it's still too new (at least for Canon) and others that have multiple models from the series and love every single one. I have read that they aren't that great for night/low light and others say they are great. Not fast enough to focus to no issues at all in that department. Some say the color is not great and others say the color is the best. You see where I'm going with this. In all my research I have not found any "middle of the road" type reviews; love it or hate it seem to be the two camps.

 

I currently shoot with a T6i. I have been shooting with it for the last 4 1/2 years; prior to the T6i I was still shooting film with a Minolta 700si that I bought new in 1994. Prior to that I had a Minolta something or another that I received as a birthday present in 1982. I have an assortment of lens options for the T6i both EF-S and EF, prime and zoom lenses, which is another reason I am looking at the R series, I can stil use these lenses with a mount adapter. 

 

95% of my shooting is outdoor things like landscapes, sun rise/set, wildlife, night sky, camping/hiking, overlanding, urban/street, etc., in all sorts of conditions, rain, snow, heat, humid, sunny, cloudy, and whatever else nature can come up with. The remaining 5% I spend shooting candid weddings or parties, my dog, various modes of transportation. I don't do video, have a GoPro for that and no sports or portriats.

 

I like the T6i for wildlife and landscape but not so much for the night sky, although this is a newer skill for me as I only started with the night sky about a year ago. I'd like to expand into more active wildlife like birds and possibly get into some macro for snow flakes and flowers. I have only recently started printing my photos at the request of friends and family, so far the largest I have printed is 18x20, and while I thought it looked good, I didn't think it looked great (they love it and prominetly display it behind their desk in their home office). I am not a social media butterfly and rarely post on those platforms.

 

I have compared the R series against each other for quite some time and there are advantages and disadvntages across all of them; there are bits of each that I would like to see in one unit but alas that is not a possibility.

 

I keep going back to the R5, but then I say to myself, do I really need 45mp knowing that will give off more noise when I shoot the night sky, but if I want to print larger this may be the way to go; then I remember the RAW files will be much larger than what I am currently used to.

 

So, I look at the R5 and say, you already have a 24mp camera, why go to something that only has 20, main advantage is less noise at night, right? Yes, the sensor and image processor is newer than what I currenlty have, but the pixel count is lower and probably less then ideal for large print; bonus the RAW file size is smaller or at least similar to what I am used to because of the newer image processor.

 

Leaving me to look at the R and RP. Both have a better sensor and image processor (DIGIC 8 vs 6) than my T6i and more megapixles too (30 & 27 vs 24), but they are both older than the newest ones in the series, not that there is anything wrong with that considering I am upgrading way before my previous 13+ year spans.

 

I know that a lot of what I have said in terms of noise could be worked out in post processing, this however is also new to me... remember I shot on film up until 4 1/2 years ago. I have only just started trying my hand at post processing and currenlty use Lightroom, and to be honest I'm on the struggle bus with it.

 

Thank you for taking the time to wade through this very wordy post, I figured the more you all know the better the advice and insight I will receive in return.

 

rockhound_ZR2

5 REPLIES 5

Bazsl
Rising Star

My first question when someone asks for advice about a new camera is, what do you want to do that you can't do with your current equipment? The one thing you mentioned is lower noise for night sky photography. I moved from a 5D Mark IV to a R5 and my experience is that the noise is better on the R5 in spite of having 50% more pixels and a corresponding reduction in photo site size. I have not looked for a noise comparison between the R5 and R6 but I assume the R6 would be better based on the larger photo site area. An authoritative comparison should be easy to find on the Internet.

 

I would drop the RP and R from consideration. The R5 and R6 are better in more ways than I can enumerate. The R5 and R6 are a generation newer and this is probably one of the biggest improvements in technology in a single generation in Canon's history.

 

The R5 and R6 autofocus system is arguably the best in the industry at this moment. I regularly shoot a 100-400mm Mark II with a 2.0x extender which gives a maximum aperture of f11 and the autofocus performance is excellent when shooting birds and airplanes in flight as well as rodeos. Canon claims that the R5 and R6 will measure distance at f22. I know of no camera that has ever come close to that.

 

My experience is that Canon's color fidelity is excellent. That said, no camera is perfect. If you are going to photograph paintings where color reproduction must be perfect you will have to shoot a color checker and correct in post no matter whose camera you use.

 

The one thing that concerns me is your lack of post processing experience. In the digital world at least half of your creative freedom is in post processing. This is not as important if you shoot only for documentation but if you view photography as a creative art leaning post processing will pay enormous dividends. Don't hesitate to ask more specific questions.

 
 

Search for: CANON R6 vs R5 ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: Which Is Better at High ISOs? on YouTube. There is a difference but it is remarkably small.

 

shadowsports
Elite

@Bazsl,

I liked many of your points regarding Canon mirrorless.

 

@rockhoud_ZR2,

A dilemma for sure.  I'm stil undecided and am utterly disappointed in Canon's mirrorless options currently (all 3 generations).  I wholeheartedly believed I would buy an R5.  Body, storage, batteries and 3 lenses was my plan,  Price of admission is roughly 11K. 

 

The new storage and battery requirements comes with the territory.  The EVF is power hungry and the storage standards have changed.

 

1st

The R was groundbreaking for Canon and inevitable.  As close to a 5D4, but better, as long as you can live with the touchbar, 4K crop in video, a single memory slot and carrying some batteries. Buying first gen of anything is always a little risky.

 

2nd

The RP.  No again.  Its a budget camera, but great for some I'm sure.

 

3rd

R5, R6.  Again groundbreaking.  8K whoa, but the potential for your inability to use the camera when you really might need it, and a $4300 pricetag.  My response to that.  (You first) Go for it.  Now 3 FW versions later and things have improved, a bit..  but I'm not up for that disappointment (any) after dropping that amount of money.  Like you, I'm looking at the storage requirements for 45MP images too.  So the R5 looks like a great studio camera, and as long as I don't use 8K or even 4K  freely under what I might consider normal shooting conditions, outside above 73* I'm good.  If the camera does video..  no crop, and recording time which is only limited to 29:59 or the amount of storage I have, not oopsy it got hot, shuft off.  I don't expect the camera to be happy in 95* weather...  but in the 80*'s yes.  Maybe it will work 99% of the time.  Its that warm summer day I'd hate to be caught in.

 

Are the pictures great, oh they are fantastic,  The proof is all over the internet. 

 

Now the R6 and its 20.1MP sensor.  Considered the sweet spot.  Its 4MP less than what you have now, and 6 less for me.  But is so much better?.  In low light probably.  You can print up to 13x19, but its not going to have the detail, or same cropping ability and it was mentioned earlier how much artistic capability (creative freedom) was available in post.  If I purchased an R6, I'd be stepping up for my 6D2 in many ways, but in some instances also backsliding a bit and while money isn't the issue, I'm not going to plop it down on something which I truly believe has a above average limited life span.  Within 2 yrs, I'd want more.  Sure, I'd have glass to take with me, but an R6 would leave me wanting more.

 

So I'm still waiting...  

 

Canon has made a great effort (in many ways) and their 3rd gen mirrorless is good, but not good enough (for me).  I think we are suppose to see some new body's this year.  I could care less about the R1. Global shutter or Quad pixel AF.  Hopefully we'll see replacements for the R and RP.  I'm willing to take another look then.  I still think 8K should be reserved for camcorders, but thats just me.    

 

You have much less to loose.  Coming from a T6i, the R6 would be a awesome upgrade for you.  While its Digic X sensor is "good", you're new RF glass is still more important than what it can do.  The R6 will also give you another upgrade option in a shorter than (13yr) period of time, and you won't have to feel guilty about the spend since once again, you'll have the glass to move forward with.  Buy the R5 and 2 yrs from now, you're going to be like, "wow" I spent alot of money on this and now I'm doing it again.

 

You can try both R5 and R6 from lens rentals for a week under under $200 each.  That should tell you if the upgrade is right for you.

~Rick
Bay Area - CA
~6D2(v1.1.1) ~Many Lenses ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~Windows10 Pro ~EVGA RTX 3080Ti FTW3 Ultra ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~R5C On Order


@shadowsports wrote:

@Bazsl,

I liked many of your points regarding Canon mirrorless.

 

@rockhoud_ZR2,

A dilemma for sure.  I'm stil undecided and am utterly disappointed in Canon's mirrorless options currently (all 3 generations).  I wholeheartedly believed I would buy an R5.  Body, storage, batteries and 3 lenses was my plan,  Price of admission is roughly 11K. 

 

The new storage and battery requirements comes with the territory.  The EVF is power hungry and the storage standards have changed.

 

1st

The R was groundbreaking for Canon and inevitable.  As close to a 5D4, but better, as long as you can live with the touchbar, 4K crop in video, a single memory slot and carrying some batteries. Buying first gen of anything is always a little risky.

 

2nd

The RP.  No again.  Its a budget camera, but great for some I'm sure.

 

3rd

R5, R6.  Again groundbreaking.  8K whoa, but the potential for your inability to use the camera when you really might need it, and a $4300 pricetag.  My response to that.  (You first) Go for it.  Now 3 FW versions later and things have improved, a bit..  but I'm not up for that disappointment (any) after dropping that amount of money.  Like you, I'm looking at the storage requirements for 45MP images too.  So the R5 looks like a great studio camera, and as long as I don't use 8K or even 4K  freely under what I might consider normal shooting conditions, outside above 73* I'm good.  If the camera does video..  no crop, and recording time which is only limited to 29:59 or the amount of storage I have, not oopsy it got hot, shuft off.  I don't expect the camera to be happy in 95* weather...  but in the 80*'s yes.  Maybe it will work 99% of the time.  Its that warm summer day I'd hate to be caught in.

 

Are the pictures great, oh they are fantastic,  The proof is all over the internet. 

 

Now the R6 and its 20.1MP sensor.  Considered the sweet spot.  Its 4MP less than what you have now, and 6 less for me.  But is so much better?.  In low light probably.  You can print up to 13x19, but its not going to have the detail, or same cropping ability and it was mentioned earlier how much artistic capability (creative freedom) was available in post.  If I purchased an R6, I'd be stepping up for my 6D2 in many ways, but in some instances also backsliding a bit and while money isn't the issue, I'm not going to plop it down on something which I truly believe has a above average limited life span.  Within 2 yrs, I'd want more.  Sure, I'd have glass to take with me, but an R6 would leave me wanting more.

 

So I'm still waiting...  

 


I do not understand the widespread condemnation of the R5 when it comes to 8K video.  RED didn't even have an 8K cinema camera on the table.  Maybe you should take a look at the price of one of the 6K RED cinema cameras.

 

BTW, the 30 minute time limit only comes into play when you are recording internally.  Overheating is an issue when you are recording internally at 8K because the memory slot gets HOT.  If you send clean HDMI to an external recorder, then all of those issues go away.

 

Besides, no one [outside of Hollywood] is going to be shooting much in the way of 8K video, anyway.  Not only are the files huge, but you practically need a super computer to process significant amounts of footage.  Not to mention the dozens and dozens of TB of storage that you will need.  

 

My advice, don't wait too long....and don't wait for the wrong reasons.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

wq9nsc
Authority

Since the OP is planning to make a change to mirrorless which means moving to a different mount to get the most out of the change, it is a logical time to look at the offerings from all of the major camera producers to see which best fits his shooting requirements.  One thing that jumped out at me was shooting in all weather conditions so robustness against bad weather needs to be high on the list when considering a long term new body and lens setup.  Many bodies will be better in this respect than what he is currently shooting with but with weather conditions clearly being a consideration, that is one thing I would look closely at in specs and reviews both for the body and lens.

 

The majority of my shooting is with Canon 1DX series bodies with 20 MP sensors and that is perfect for sports in terms of low light performance and file size.  I also have Canon 5DS and 5DS-R bodies with 50 MP sensors and the file size difference is noticeable in both good and bad ways.  Even with a fast PC (I use a HP Z840 with dual very fast 6 core Xeon processors each of which has 256 GB of memory, dual workstation Nvidia graphics cards, and an array of solid state drives), working with the more involved RAW files from the 1DX III along with the files from the 50 MP 5DS bodies is noticeably different. 

 

I use 8 TB external drives for long term archiving and you can use up a lot of space in a hurry.  My XF-400 Canon Camcorder provides a number of video formats including 4K and I will often shoot in 4K but generally render down to HD during editing and this also gives the workstation a workout.  The HP Z-8xx series workstations are far faster than most PCs at handling and processing large data files but huge video files are a load even for them so don't underestimate the processing overhead when moving to larger data files if video is in your future. 

 

I am not ready for the transition to mirrorless yet because of what I shoot.  The EVF still can't compare with the OVF for night sports shooting and although the lag is less in the R5 compared to earlier bodies, it is still there and since I often shoot based upon timing it just doesn't work for me and I would have to change my entire shooting style to deal with mirrorless. I tried a R5 for fun at a secondary sports event and although it produced some nice images, for me it isn't close to being ready for prime time.  But for those who don't shoot sports, it could be the perfect body.

 

I also am not ready to deal with its power hungry/short battery life problems yet.  After two soccer matches and Friday night football, my 1DX series bodies showed full batteries for two bodies and 3/4 full for the third.  I watched an R shooter change batteries twice just during casual shooting of a football game, no thanks.  I am sure mirrorless will overcome these shortcomings at some point but it isn't there yet.  For landscape and studio, it would be fine.  For weddings, just change batteries well before they are drained to avoid an unfortunate occurrence.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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