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EOS R - Canon Fanboy Review

Laksha
Apprentice

My local camera store got the camera way earlier than expected and they told me: either you buy it right now or it goes to the guy next in line. So like the Canon fanboy that I am, I took it and I have to say, not regretting it AT ALL. Maybe buyer remorse sets in later, but this feels like a solid camera from start to finish (unlike the M5 or 6D).

The Serial number is really low 😜

Since I never really use any video features in my cameras this topic won't be covered.

Also don't expect any sensor oriented review, there are enough websites that do this. I take pictures of real things, not charts 😜

Ergonomics / Build Quality

Arguably the most important aspect of a camera, if you hate using it, you won't use it.

This camera feels great. The soft touch surfaces are all high quality, especially the grip. The plastic in the grip feels like the M5 but the depth (and it's a really deep grip) makes it comfortable to hold. The grip seems to be even deeper than that of the 1DXII. The rest of the body feels sturdy and much better than that of the M5. This compares to a 5D build quality and less that of the 6D. But the 5D and 1DX use this very coarse surface which makes them feel more rugged. This is more soft and luxury oriented. Also it's not light as a feather which is IMO a good thing most smaller lenses balance perfectly on this, even the 100-400mm seems to work well. I wouldn't take it out into heavy rain though. All the covers are thin and there is barely any room for gaskets. But I'd guess it would survive light rain easily.

The AF-ON button as most reviewers criticised is IMO not even that badly placed, if you press it with the side of your thumb instead of the tip, it's adequately positioned and you can rest the tip on the wheel at the same time. But even with the tip it's OK.

Customisation

This camera is more customizable than my 1DXII, and not just by a bit... Every button (and I mean every, including the display light button for the top display) can have pretty much every function available. I can even set the * button to be the wheel override button, which previously was only possible with the SET button. (This allows the scroll wheel to not adjust Tv or Av but ISO or EV-Comp while it's depressed, I love this feature and use it constantly).

What does this mean? I was able to reassign most of the buttons to do what I want. M-Fn button is now my "eco mode". The backlight button is now sleep (display off). The "AF Selection mode" button is my Eye focus switch etc. Everything is accessible right there without going into the menus. Not that I ever had this problem with my DSLRs given that they neither need a sleep button nor ECO mode, so this isn't meant as a burn against their DSLRs but a "good job, Canon" since they knew, this is a must have feature when there is much more packed into a camera with the same amount of buttons.

Can't talk about the lens wheel, given that I don't have an R lens nor the adapter with it. But the menus reveal, that I can set pretty much any function to it. EV comp, ISO, Av, TV etc.

Function Bar

First things first: It's not that bad. The left/right "buttons" are easy and not difficult at all to use. You even get a visual feedback on screen (I set the left button to show the histogram and the right to show electronic level). The scroll function is average. For long scrolling, a wheel just feels better since there is an active feedback. But I set it to change AF modes and because there are only a few of those I can almost scroll through them all in a single swipe.

Image quality

Same as the 5DIV 😜 JPG processor might be a bit different but the sensor is most likely the same. Images further down below.

AF

It's quick, surprisingly quick. Easily beats the M5, I would even argue it's up there with the 5DSR if not faster. Since this is highly subjective, try it out before buying!

The AF modes are pretty much the same as in DSLRs except the tracking mode which either picks up on faces or tracks whatever you select. Since I'm a DSLR shooter, I mainly use the fixed AF points and move them around with the touch screen. It's different, but after a while you're getting used to it.

As I said before the focus is quick, even with the 85mm f/1.2 II. And anyone who ever used that lens knows, that's an incredibly slow focusing lens. Really astonished how well it works.

Since this is a mirrorless, the AF points go pretty far into the corners, and it seems to be working fine even with lenses that aren't even sharp at the edges. I'm not sure how they managed to do that especially since it doesn't stop down to focus. So either it knows that these lenses aren't sharp or it just tries to find the best possible focusing position. Either way, I'm impressed.

For those who love to shoot with manual focus lenses (only lenses that have electronic connections). You can set the AF point wherever you want and it will simulate a split prism. Basically two arrows on either side of the AF point and the closer you are to perfect focus, the closer they move together until they meet and light up green. Pretty cool! So anyone who has for example the MP-E 65mm (that weird 1-5x macro lens) it will show you if you are in focus. This is awesome!

EF Adapter

Since there are currently no R lenses out, I'm "forced" to use my EF lenses. Nothing to worry though, they focus well. The adapter is solid and the mount itself is pure metal. I even attached the 500mm f/4.0 and I wasn't worried about holding the full weight of the lens through the grip. Tough little mount. Love it. AF works great with all my lenses, the longer ones might have some hunting when it's completely out of focus BUT I'd argue for large birds in flight and a little bit of getting used to it this could be a reasonable body (except of course the FPS ;p)

Connectivity

Bluetooth works fine. Wifi also quite surprisingly nice, you can set it up so it will upload new pictures whenever it's in the same network as the paired computer. Cool feature, but I can't imagine uploading 64GB of pictures through Wifi... Also I couldn't get it to work manually, it seems like you have to restart the camera, also don't connect anything to the USB port otherwise it won't even start the WiFi.

USB cable is a different story. They ONLY supply a USB-C to USB-C cable. Who has a USB-C port on their computer unless they bought one in the last two years? Sucks. Adding to that when you use your own USB-A to USB-C cable, it won't connect properly and starts to **bleep** around. I wasn't able to transfer any pictures... Had to do it all over Wifi... I sure hope this is more a driver issue than anything else.

Most reviewers also said that most USB-C loading cables won't work but surprisingly the Nintendo Switch loading cable is compatible. So no need to buy a $100 + adapter, just get the Switch! But it looks like it only loads when the is camera turned off.

Overall Impression

Given that I bought this camera and I adore Canon bodies/lenses, I'm heavily biased. So it's no surprise that I love this camera. It will replace my M5 and 5DSR. It's truly the first good mirrorless by Canon and even though I'd love to have a scroll wheel around the set button since I'm so used to it, I still like it. Awesome little camera, I wish I already had the EF adapter with the scroll wheel, but this will do for now 😜

I know people are hating Canon for how far behind they are with this camera. But beside the few tech shortcomings, this is a solid camera. It just works as advertised.

3 REPLIES 3

That's a somewhat interesting, if ridiculously verbose, commentary; but so what? Nobody in this forum is going to buy an R at this point. Anybody who wants to go mirrorless in a serious way will wait for the R2 (or R5 or whatever it's going to be called). And given that the R was really just a prototype of sorts, there are bound to be some significant changes.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

rs-eos
Elite

"Since there are currently no R lenses out, I'm "forced" to use my EF lenses."

 

This isn't true.  There are indeed RF mount lenses available.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

John_SD
Whiz
Robert, you have it right.
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