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Which Canon- So confusing to decide!


I want to buy a professional camera.  I want full frame and mirrorless.  There are so many choices.  Canon does not have a descending list of best to lest best.   This is more confusing.    What I need my camera for:  I want to photograph collectible posters, full size art works, Newspaper pages (full size) pamphlets, all to reproduce at a later date at full size.    I would appreciate a specific selection of gear.  Many thanks in advance.




The information you provided is helpful, but ultimately a budget would need to be established.

Have a look at the R6, R6 mkII and the R5.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It


The budget is available for the correct camera.


Actually, there are relatively few "professional" cameras. Just look at the 2 or 3 most expensive bodies in any particular lineup.

Not applicable

"Canon does not have a descending list of best to lest best."

The way to tell the Canon camera hierarchy is the lower the number following the letter (R in this case) the better the camera.


If I understand what you are wanting to do... to make high quality, life-size copies of artwork and other flat work like newspapers, etc... and that you prefer to do so digitally with a full frame mirrorless camera...

You need a camera with as many megapixels as possible, to capture the maximum possible detail. Currently the 45MP Canon EOS R5 is their full frame mirrorless with the highest resolution sensor. There are rumors of another camera in the future with even more, but those are JUST rumors that have been floating around for a year or two and the R5 is it for now.

There also is a Canon EOS R3. However that's actually a lower resolution, high speed "sports" camera. It's fine for that purpose, but 24MP instead of 45MP. The R3 is also the most professionally oriented and expensive of the Canon R-series mirrorless cameras. So you can't just go by "lowest number/highest price", for your particular purposes.

You will also want to invest in high resolution lenses for the camera. Look for lenses with minimal distortion, too, since much of what you'll be shooting is flat work. The RF 35mm f/1.8 IS STM Macro or RF 85mm f/2 IS STM Macro may be good choices, depending upon the amount of working space you have available. If you have plenty of space to stand back from your subject, the RF100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro might be best of all.All these lenses are designed for close-up work (the 100mm especially).

Another option would be the Canon TS-E lenses... especially the 50mm f/.2.8L and 90mm f/2.8L. These are "tilt/shift" lenses which have movements that can be used for certain purposes. I mention them because I have used some of these lenses for small product photography in studio. They ARE NOT available in the RF mount (used by the R5)... However, they CAN easily be adapted for use on the mirrorless camera. Canon and others make EF-to-RF-mount adapters. Please note that these TS-E lenses are MANUAL FOCUS ONLY. But if you are setting up a tripod and lighting and such to make these photographs, that shouldn't be a problem.

A third option would be to adapt some "copy lens" to fit the R5 camera. When I worked in the newspaper industry we had huge cameras and lenses to photography the entire two pages of broadsheet (roughly 24" tall by 36" wide) in high detail. "Repro" or "reproduction" cameras and lenses come in various sizes and mounts. What makes these lenses special is their "flat field" design... where they focus evenly across a flat object that's fairly close. (I don't know for certain, but would suspect that the Macro lenses mentioned above are also flat field designs, or nearly so.) To use one of these lenses, it would be necessary to find an adapter that allows the lens to properly mount onto the R5. These lenses are FULLY MANUAL operation... both focus and lens aperture are manually operated (and the camera needs to be set to "shoot without lens", because there is no electronic communication with the lens, so the camera doesn't "know" it's installed).

I would be concerned about any wider (shorter focal length) lens causing distortions... and any longer focal length would probably make for too much working distance. You should do further investigation whether these particular lenses would meet your needs well. Google for The Digital Picture website by Bryan Carnathan. He has extensive reviews and testing of all the lenses I've mentioned. There are also many other websites that test and evaluate gear.

I hope this helps!


Alan Myers
San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7DII (x2), 7D(x2), EOS M5, some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


Agree with Alan regarding tilt-shift lenses.  Ultimately, I don't think the camera will matter much with what you're planning to do.  Especially if using tilt-shift for other workflows that would lead to having multiple images that can be stiched together.  Still, a 45 MP single image will be better than 30 MP single images, but if stiching together nine 30 MP images, you get around 115 MP (enough for a 30 in x 44 in print at 300 dpi).

You'll also want to invest in proper lighting.  And may need to explore polarizing filters to cut surface glare.

Finally, are you planning on creating prints yourself?  I'm assuming you have the rights to do so (reproduce the original artwork).


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


Pixelshift (although limited to .JPG) should also be discussed.   

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10, 430EX III-RT ~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw/MF656Cdw ~Pixel 8
~CarePaks Are Worth It


" Ultimately, I don't think the camera will matter much with what you're planning to do."


I agree with this too. The lens will be the biggest impact tool in this endeavor. I would also avoid a TS lens if you can. It brings a whole list of issues you will need to address. After the lens as most important is a post editor like Photoshop. If you don't post edit your shots the rest is irrelevant.

Sensor pixel count is not the single spec for top IQ cameras. Although others will have you believe that it is. In your shoes and buying today I would buy the R3. As for the lens, what you stated you may need more than one lens for top results.

But if you don't up close and personal with Photoshop your efforts will fall short. No matter what camera/lens combo you select.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


What is your experience in digital photography?   I ask because to shoot documents as faithfully as possible, at high resolution, requires a lot more than just a 'professional  camera'.  For example, have you considered the lens type? As my colleagues have alluded to, things like the lens are arguably more important, as the focal length of the lens and its quality will establish levels of distortion. 

Other significant elements, dynamic range, and being able to get the lowest possible ISO value are very significant, include the lighting, and placement of the objects. Where possible, the documents should be placed completely flat on a horizontal surface, lit at between 40 and 45deg to the horizontal on each side by a flat light source.

I would suggest contacting your local museum or art gallery and see if they can assist you with the overall setup.  They do this a part of their normal work and will give you the best advice.


cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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