The Canon EOS-R Camera Review. I Switched to Canon for THIS.

The Canon EOS-R Camera Review. I Switched to Canon for THIS. 

By Steve Huff

Buy the Canon EOS-R at B&H Photo. In stock NOW. 

The new Canon EOS-R has been a polarizing camera in the all mighty internet land of photographers, critics, pixel peepers, Sony shooters and even Canon system owners. Me, I decided to BUY this camera, so I could decide for myself if it would be worthy of what I needed for what I shoot. I will give you a spoiler up front…I AM NOT DISAPPOINTED, and in fact, I am thrilled that I made the choice to buy it as I have now switched over fully to Canon for my concert work, casual photographs as well as my video needs.

As a disclaimer, I personally have no interest in Eye Af (never used it in my Sony cameras), and do not need IBIS or dual card slots. If you do, this camera may not be for you but I am here to tell you that even though these features are missing, it does not hurt the photo taking process in any way for me, in fact, the photos I am taking with the Canon EOS-R are better than ever due to a number of other things that this camera does so well.

Canon finally takes full frame Mirrorless Seriously

The EOS-R is Canons first “real” entry into mirrorless IMO with a 30MP full frame sensor, Digic 8 processor, 4K 30 video capability, C-Log and 10 Bit out. This camera does have a horrible 1.7X crop in 4K video mode, but it also shoots at high bitrates that even the Sony A7III can not touch (100MPBS for the Sony and 480 for the Canon). For wide angle shooters, there are ways around the 4K crop by using EF-S wide angle lenses , and believe me when I say, the IQ this camera produces is beautiful. Both in photo and video. Even so, the crop is a disappointment for 4K shooters. I understand 100% and get it for those who live for shooting 4K video. The Sony A7III offers full frame 4K and it’s beautiful for $300 less money so Canon dropped the ball here though I do understand what they are doing. (more on that later).

This camera also features Canons now famous Dual Pixel auto focus, 5655 AF points that go to the edge of the frame, a 3.69 million dot EVF, a 3.15″ swivel out touch screen, ISO up to 104k and a few more unique features.

Must click the images in this review to see them correctly.

These first two were shot with the new Canon 50 f/1.2 RF lens which is such an amazing lens. Also, much lighter than I imagined. On the body this lens feels well balanced, and the AF is lightning quick. I do feel the older version offers a little more character though.

I have had this camera for 3 weeks or so now and just as with all of my real world reviews here,  I wanted to have time with it, shooting both photo and video with it on more than one occasion, with more than one lens. This is not a review based on a couple of days shooting with it, nor is it a clinical review that will go into pixel peeping or things that in all reality, have nothing to do with real photography. If you want that (and some do) there are 1001 reviews out there to show these things, so have at it!

To me, blowing up an image to 300% tells me absolutely nothing about what this camera will do for me when taking a real photo that will be printed or just shared online. Sorry pixel peepers, but that’s a fact and aways has been. No offense to those who love to see those things but it really doesn’t improve your photography or hurt a print or even online display of your work.

Here is a fact: All cameras made today ay this level will offer fantastic image quality.

But getting to that image is now the part camera companies are working on today with body style, controls, and even lenses. A camera body is the brain, the sensor the heart, the lens the EVF the eyes and the Lens the paint brush the body uses to “paint” the image. Bodies are getting better and this is where it matters in 2018 and beyond. Style, control, design, etc.

A camera is a tool that will allow you to either capture the emotion in the moment, or just worry about the specs and fire away and hope you get a good shot trying to use all of the newest do dads and features, all depending on which model you choose.

I choose to go for and prefer a simpler camera for my use, one that allows me to focus on the task at hand rather than the million and one features a camera may have. Some cameras offer this, and some do not. This Canon is way more complex than something like a Leica M10-D (that I adored for its simplicity) but also not as feature rich as some other cameras out there today that do most of the work for us. For me a Camera needs to get out of the way and offer a feature set that allows a photographer to connect with it. If a camera bores me, I am not inspired to use it and my photography suffers. If a camera excites me, I get out and use it almost every day, and my photography improves. This is something I have noticed over the last 11 years while reviewing cameras. When I come across a new camera that gets my blood pumping I usually buy it, and enjoy it, if I can afford it of course (and normally I can not, like in the case of the M10-D).

A video with showing the photos…

So as always, my review will be focused on usability, results, fun factor and how I would compare this camera to competing models that I have shot with or cameras that are in the same ballpark in price. It will not be scientific and delve into the depths of the innards of the computerized chips as again, this has nothing to do with photography. Using it for what it was designed for does, so that is what I will do. It is what I have always done for close to 11 years now here so not about to change now!

Two with the EOS-R and “Old” 50 1.2 EF wide open at f1.2. 

The EOS-R Launch LIT UP The Internet

This camera was launched to a slew of mostly hate (and a little love) from the internet, some of it from those who never touched one in the flesh, and some from a few of the early reviewers who flew to Hawaii to test the Camera courtesy of Canon. I was not part of that media trip but still had great interest in this camera because not too long ago I bought some Canon lenses and a 1dXII DSLR (to change things in my photographic and video life) and was quite inspired by them and the color and IQ I was getting from them.

Now I admit, I was a bit let down by the EOS-R specs before release myself when specs were released as I was hoping for a miracle (a 1dxII in a small body) and wrote a post that wasn’t the nicest to the EOS-R. My main gripe was the crop with 4K and initially the single card slot. Then I soon realized that THIS IS NOT in any way presented by Canon as a professional level camera. It is a consumer model, priced below the Nikon Z7 (which Nikon calls a pro camera and only has one card slot as well) and priced just above the powerhouse Sony A7III (which is Sony’s “basic” model and yet has two card slots). Yep, it is $300 more than the Sony and for sure on paper, offers less while costing more.

(Video) Twenty Things I like about the EOS-R

Specs mean little to me, usability and quality mean much more. 

My truth? In use, for me, the Canon offers a little more than the Sony A7III so the $300 extra it costs is well worth it for what I do. I will explain in my words, photos and even a video or two on this page why I feel this way.

In fact, I have been shooting the EOS-R for the last few weeks with a couple of new RF lenses, the older EF lenses and even a Leica M mount lens or two  using an adapter (and it works well). I have shot, edited and completed around 10 videos using this camera for various projects. It has performed flawlessly for me in this area, just as good, if not better than the flagship Canon 1dXMKII has done. I ONLY shoot video at 1080P HD though. I am not a 4K shooter as 1080 is plenty for me. If you are a 4K person I would actually suggest the Sony A7III over the Canon. If 1080HD is good and photo quality is your main concern well, read on.

Two with one of the best 50mm lenses I have ever shot with. The Canon 50mm f1.2 RF. I own the old EF but this one is better in micro contrast, color, 3D and sharpness. 

Yes yes yes, the Sony A7III does many things very well and even offers better video specs. But one thing for me that I do not get with the Sony is the Canon color, and yes, it is a real thing. Just as Leica has their own color signature, Sony has theirs, Fuji has theirs,  Canon has theirs and Nikon has a unique Nikon color. No matter what camera brand one buys, it will have that brands color signature and in reality one should choose their system based on their color preferences and lens selection. If you think all cameras have the same color, take a look at this video made by Max Yuryev .

That is a low light test between the current mirrorless bodies but it is easy to see the color differences, especially at the 5:45 mark and up. The Nikon surprised me in his test. But anyway, there are differences in color and some will say “well I can make my Sony raw file look similar Canon”. Well, if Canon color is the goal, why shoot a Sony? Just adds more trouble and time to editing photos. if I want a specific look or color, one should shoot the camera that gives it to them. If I enjoyed Nikon colors I would buy a Nikon. Sony, a Sony. You get the drift.

I happen to LOVE Canon’s color science. I love Leica’s as well. Even though they have improved it since the earlier days, I was never fully sold on Sony’s color signature. To me, when you compare out of camera results Canon always looks much nicer on skin tones and well, anything, IMO. Sony has a bit of a different color style and while we will all have our preferences, I prefer Canon’s color and in reality, always have. I just never enjoyed shooting those bulky DSLR’s so I compromised some on color (for my tastes) and stuck with mirrorless from Sony and Olympus, which has their own color science (that is quite nice actually).

The EOS-R does indeed do a few things better than the Sony A7III and HERE THEY ARE:

Body style and body size, controls and ergonomics, EVF, button placement and easy menus as well as ease of use between video and photo. I prefer the swivel out screen as well for video, no need for an external display when filming yourself and can change settings on the fly while in front of the camera, and again, the focus speed and color are fantastic. The AF is better on the Canon over Sony with photos and video. Dual Pixel is as good as it gets, and Canon offers a smooth, almost cinematic style to the auto focus. For video, it’s amazing. The EOS-R feels so good while using it, and the grip is just right. I also think the overall IQ is better, more pleasing and with more depth but I am picky. : )

I also was a tad excited about the new lens lineup from Canon for the RF system.

The EOS-R System. Those Lenses…

One thing that wowed me initially about the Canon EOS-R system?  The lenses Canon announced with the EOS-R as they were true pro lenses, real pro glass and even though the body was not a “pro” level body (not yet) the lenses showed me that Canon was committed to this new mount. They made a statement and basically  said “We are serious here guys, and this system will only get better”! To me, lenses are the heart of the system, while the body is the brain and the EVF the eye. If a Sony is a heart surgeon, the Canon is more of a plastic surgeon. Clinical details vs Beauty.

In fact, after just 3 weeks with this camera I feel Canon should just drop the DSLR line and never make another one ever again. Instead, make a 1dX R mount mirrorless, make a 5D R mount mirrorless, etc. They will be faster, have better AF and be more versatile as well as have a better feel and design.

For starters, the current EF lenses that so many own and love work better on the EOS-R than they do on my 1DXII in many cases! Yes, you need the $99 adapter (which is not included in USA packages of the camera and lens, BOOOO)  but I am here to tell you that these lenses are not hindered in ANY way, at all, when used on the R body like they are when converted to say a Sony camera. In fact, for me the older 50 f/1.2 L focuses faster on the R than it does on the X (and just as fast as the new RF version in low light). So yes, those old EF lenses work amazing with the R. The new 50 f/1.2 has amazing low light AF capabilities as well. Better than I have ever seen from any camera made to date. Shoot in low light? A dream combo is that 50 1.2 RF and the EOSR or even the older 50 1.2 EF with the adapter. Both Af just as fast on the EOS body.

First image with the Canon 50 f/1.2 RF at f1.2. 2nd image with the Voigtlander 50 f/1.2 Leica M mount on the EOS-R via adapter. Third with the 50 1.2 RF. Click them for larger and better!

The new lenses that are coming are all gorgeous in build, style, feel, and even speed. They offer the programmable ring as well, which I have set to EV comp. Seeing that I shoot my lenses wide open almost exclusively, I use that ring to darken up the scenes, to push the blacks at times in low light scenarios, and to get the exposure exactly how I want it. Those rings on the new lenses can be programmed to do many things such as aperture control, ISO control, etc. It’s genius and they feel so good when using them, very natural.

The 28-70 f/2 is LARGE but BEAUTIFUL and UNIQUE. 

Lenses like the new 28-70 F/2 RF, 50 1.2 RF and even the 24-105 Kit lens are all stunners with fantastic quality, and the 24-105 R beats the older 24-105 EF in almost every way. It is an amazing kit lens that has built in image stabilization for those who want that. In fact, some lenses will have image stabilization, some will not. Notably, the newest most expensive lenses do not have IS, and IMO, well, not needed. I saw no difference shooting my normal shows with or without IS. Canon has their reasons for leaving it out and while many were up in arms over it, doesn’t make a difference to me though I do appreciate the IBIS in the new Nikon as it seems to work VERY well. It’s nice to have an effective IBIS for video use especially to eliminate the shakes. That is, when it works well as it does in the Nikon Z7 and Panasonic GH5. Even so, it is not needed by me to get a nice shot. It’s a luxury of sorts, something else the camera does for you. The Canon does have IS, but it is digital and to be honest it works pretty well in the standard mode. Even so, I do not use it.

Just can’t get enough of that 50 1.2 RF! Click them for much nicer versions. 


So lenses for the R, while mostly being of the larger variety, are amazing in quality. In comparison, Nikons “pro” Z7 was released with what seems to be (not saying they are) consumer grade lenses. A 24-70 f/4 that feels much different than the Canon 24-105. Of course this brings benefits of size and weight but also, it’s an F/4 zoom and for the body and lens it will set you back $4k. Yes, $4000 for a Z7 and 24-70 f/4. The Canon offers a 24-105 f/4 with the control ring and IS for $3300.

The Canon is also an f/4, that kit lens, but it is built better, has IS, has the programmable ring, is weather sealed and has 35mm of extra reach. Again, the Nikon is smaller and the Nikon also has IBIS, which the Canon lacks. Sometimes trying to figure out which camera to get is mind numbing but I always just go with my gut and heart (not specs) and it never fails me.

So the lenses for the Canon and Nikon are quite a bit different as are the bodies. I will say that I am looking forward to what Canon has in store for the EOS-R when they release a pro version, which I think will be sooner rather than later.

Click images for larger versions. 1st image with the Voigtlander 50 1.2 Leica M mount, 2nd and 3rd with the Canon 50 1.2 RF mount. 

Why would I buy anything but a Sony A7III in this price range?

By reading some online reviews or watching some YouTube videos you would think the Sony A7III is it, a dream child whose parents were sugar and spice and everything nice. Some will say that no other camera will ever be needed as the popular Sony does it all! So why on earth even bother with the Canon or Nikon? Well, there are reasons actually but I will state why I bought the EOS-R even though I have shot Sony ever since the NEX-5 many many years ago (see my old review for that HERE). In fact I have not been without a Sony camera since then.

Yep, I have officially and fully switched from Sony to Canon for my personal work and video work, and could not be happier. The Sony is FANTASTIC and a POWERHOUSE, but it is not the be all end all some make it out to be, just saying it like it is. No camera is perfect nor will there ever be a perfect camera. It is not in the camera companies best interest to do that.

But why would I do this? Why would I switch to Canon when everyone is saying the EOS-R is a bad camera and Sony is the way to go? (well, not everyone is saying that but some are). 

The color, the user interface, the touch focus, the control layout, the size and feel…the articulating screen, the huge and crisp EVF, the speed and smoothness of the AF, the -6EV focusing when in low light and yes, I can go on and on.

First off, the Canon color for me is nicer than Sony. The look Canon gives is more cinematic IMO, richer and with a more pleasing palette of colors, where Sony appears to put out a more digital looking file. I also prefer the Canon range of lenses, and the look they provide. The original Canon 50 f/1.2 EF is a long time all time fave of mine (see my updated look at the old 50 1.2 EF HERE). It’s gorgeous in every way from size, to color to IQ (meaning it is NOT perfect but rather has an amazing character that is unique and sets your images apart from others)  for my needs though the new version is even better, and very similar to the Leica 50 APO lens that comes in at nearly $8000. With that said, yes, the new version is more “perfect” and the older version has more character. Even so…

The new one has something special about it and everyone who has shot with it has said pretty much the same. I am pretty much a 50mm lens guru and have tested the best 50’s in the world over these past 11 years. This one is up in the very top with a select couple of Leica lenses. I could never sell my EF version though as even looking at images here, I maybe prefer the EF’s character and style.

The Canon RF 50 1.2 is large but not crazy large like the Leica 50 Summilux 1.4 SL lens ; ) Truth be told, this lens seems to give the same quality as the Leica SL 50, but for less than half the cost and less size and weight. BTW, the Leica SL is still one of my all time fave cameras and it doesn’t have IBIS, nor does that 50 Lux have IS. Just like with the Canon, the Leica doesn’t take away from being able to get the shot due to not having IBIS.

All three with the new Canon 50 1.2 RF, out of camera shots. Click them for larger and better versions! 


As for the body. I prefer the Canon menus and control system over Sony as well as the ergonomics and design. I have said for years Sony cameras have a boring design, and yes, design IS important when you plunk down your money on a camera. The Sony is feature packed and does everything one could ever want or need but at the same time, for many, it is overloaded. I actually hear this all the time from photographers. I love Sony and I have been a Sony shooter for years but I can tell you that I enjoy this EOS-R more than the Sony bodies. This is coming from a guy (me) who many here have labeled a Sony fanboy. Lol. Sony is kick ass, and offers an amazing camera for the money but for some of us, there are better choices for the money and all depends on your wants and needs and desires.

To Sum Up why I went to Canon..

I love this Canon, the color, the control, the new lenses, the ease of use, the video function, touch screen controls, and the swivel screen. The Joystick? I am enjoying this camera without it as I enjoy using my thumb to set the focus point while I shoot. It’s intuitive and natural. I do feel Canon could do a firmware update though to make this process a tad smoother. It can be a tad glitchy at times but all in all, I really enjoy this feature as it allows me to easily select my focus point, in a natural way. They probably should have just put in the joystick to please more of the camera buying audience but they didn’t. Either way this works the same way as a joystick, just takes some getting used to.

All three of these with the older 50 1.2 EF on the EOS-R


The Sony Kills the Canon in THIS AREA:

I love shooting in low light and do it often. For that it is tough to beat a Sony A7 or A9. Sony just nails it in low light and high ISO, period. NO way around it. If you want the cleanest at super high ISO, Sony is the way to go. End of story. Nothing from Fuji, Leica, Olympus, Canon, Nikon or others can beat Sony in a low light and high ISO contest.

With that said and knowing how I always use high ISO, I was worried about the Canon in this area. Where the Canon beats the Sony in low light is with Auto Focus but not in image noise. I am telling you guys that the Dual Pixel AF with the Canon is simply amazing in low light when using the 50 f1.2 or even my 24 1.4. It is instantaneous. It is accurate. It is borderline magical. Even for video, using face detect the Canon tracks faces in very low light and the Sony sometimes did not do that. In fact when shooting these shows I often though the EOS-R had a defect with focus as it was so instant, I thought it was not focusing. But it was. It was just so fast it was instant. Simply brilliant.

Even so, image noise with the R is there in places I never expected to see it, even ISO 1600 at times (when in low light). Keep in mind I never ever use noise reduction as it always mushes up the file, always. I prefer to keep NR out of my images and go natural, just like we did back in the film days. With Sony I could shoot at ISO 10k and get usable results. With the Canon I can shoot at around ISO 6400 and get usable results. Noise will be present in the Sony and Canon files but the Sony can just go higher on that ISO dial without causing an issue. Canon needs to step up their sensor game to compete with Sony in this area. 

Even with that said, I still prefer using the Canon for its lenses and feel/control. That 50 f/1.2 RF is well worth buying into the system alone, just for this lens! The color and depth is superb in some situations and works well for a low light lens with its f/1.2 aperture and super -6 EV focusing capability.

ISO 6400 on the EOS-R. ZERO Noise Reduction, and the 2nd image..I could not see any details as it was dark in real life. The lens brightened up the scene a bit which is always good. She thought I could not see her so she had no idea I was taking her picture, which was just a darkness AF test for me. Third one is ISO 5000 in a VERY dark scene shot at night. You will see noise in these shots, but also will still see detail as I had noise reduction off. Remember, a true test of high ISO is shooting in low light, not when you have light. With light available you will always get better ISO results. In low light it is a true test of the cameras abilities at higher ISO. 

I did it.

I sold my Sony camera after shooting Sony for YEARS AND YEARS. After using the EOS-R and realizing that this camera is this good in its first generation product, it made me excited for when Canon releases a pro model with this mount. But I have many Sony shots you can see in my full Sony A7III review (see it here) written well before the Canon EOS-R hit the scene. I think you will agree after looking at the images in both reviews, that the Canon images here have a different feel and vibe with the color and the overall presentation. The Sony colors are more poppy as Sony always had been and some love this. The Canon renders a more natural look to me, but also more cinematic feeling if you understand what I mean. About half will prefer the Sony look and half the Canon look. It’s a personal thing.

It’s good we have both to choose from.

Shooting Leica M Mount Lenses on the Canon EOS-R?

Now that we have a mirrorless Canon we can shoot almost any lens we can find on it via adapters. When the Leica M to EOS-R adapters came around on Ebay I bought one and have been testing it with a 35 and 50mm Voigtlander lens in M mount. Makes the system smaller, lighter and is super easy to use as the EVF in the Canon is amazing. I can focus without using any focusing aides at all. No magnify needed (though its there in a button I programmed if need be) and no peaking needed. The EVF in the Canon beats the one in the A7III easily and makes for very easy focusing when using a manual lens.

LENSES: CANON VS VOIGTLANDER, just for fun. 

Just for kicks, I shot a scene with the Canon 50 f/1.2 R and the Voigtlander 50 1.2 VM:

These are full size from camera images (from RAW). The top image is with the Canon 50 1.2 RF. The second is with the Voigtlander 50 1.2 VM. BOTH incredible 50mm lenses. If you view them each full size you will see more detail in the Canon 50 RF image but both look good to me.


The Canon is the better lens without question and in real use, it shows it more. But even so, at half the cost and 1/4 the size, the Voigtlander adapted lens is a wonderful buy for those who want that manual focus experience on the Canon, which is very nice indeed. A real mechanical MF lens on the EOS-R is a treat due to that high res and crystal clear EVF. You can buy the 50 1.2 VM lens HERE where this one came from. 

What SO MANY Complained about with the EOS-R! 

When this camera was announced, many attacked it for having one card slot. How soon do we forget that so many cameras were bought, used professionally and worked very well over the last 10 years with one card slot. Did a film camera have two film slots for two rolls of film? No, they didn’t. I will say that I feel all cameras these days should have two slots, only because it’s a “want” so many feel they need. It’s a feel good kind of feature. It would be smart for a camera company to have this in ALL models that are over $1,000. With that said, does it bother me that this camera has only one? No, not at all. I use good Sandisk cards and while I do know that failures happen, those are VERY rare and normally with older or off brand cards. I understand if you want two slots (I have had them in my Sony but always only used one, same in my 1dXII, only use one) but it is not a necessity to get good images. It offers peace of mind to those who worry about this, but it is not going to make or break a camera for me. Notice I said for ME. Many do want two slots, and rightfully so. It should be here and Canon should have known better.

The in body IS. This is another thing that did not bother me at all. The IBIS in the Sony, for video at least, I found lackluster and often wondered if it was even working. Even when using an 18mm lens it did not do much to smooth the shakes when filming. The video I have handheld with the EOS-R looks fabulous and never once did I say “Damn, I wish I had IBIS”. It does seem many today are spoiled. Many want the cameras to do all of the work for them. I touched on this in my Leica M10-D review (see it here). Some cameras try to do it all, and it seems many love this. For me, the more I have to do, the better. It makes getting the shot worth it, and it makes me feel good as well. Cameras that do it all started to bore me a while ago, and they leave me uninspired. This is my truth, fact and from the heart.

In ten years we may just have a camera that floats in the air, composes the shot for us and edits it to perfection before zapping wirelessly to our devices. We would be taken out of the process but I bet many would love this, which to me is weird. Of course that is an exaggerated and unlikely prediction but my point is again, I’m not a fan of cameras that do all of the work for us. Another reason I do not use Eye Af in any camera that has it, nor did I use it in the EOS-R.

A few from my 1st few days with the EOS-R. Again, the color from these OOC JPEGS is nice. Click them for larger. 

So as you can see the weaknesses for some with this camera are not weaknesses for me, which is why I bought one without regret (and even considered buying a 2nd but decided to wait and see what is next in the R line).

I prefer to look at the Canon for what it does offer me over something else in its price range. 

Better EVF, and this is one of the best in the business.

Huge touch LCD, which makes shooting and review a great experience.

Great battery life, no issues here at all with battery (though Sony wins in battery life)

Best auto focus for video there is. Dual Pixel, nothing beats it for speed or for the way it attains focus (smooth and no hunting).

Fantastic feel, and ergonomics makes it a joy to hold and shoot.

Super build quality.

Amazing colors and skin tones.

Some of the best lenses out there in 35mm mirrorless.

Adapting EF lenses makes them seem to focus even faster. No compromises.

Easy menu system, easy to switch from video to photo, and it remembers all settings from each mode.

Touch focus on LCD is awesome once you get used to it. Took me a couple days but now I love it. Also love that the screen flips out for video use.

BTW, this is my new favorite concert camera for shooting bands.

My Conclusion

The title says I switched to the EOS-R “for this”. Well, what is “this”? THIS is a mirrorless camera that I really enjoy. THIS is color that I prefer over other cameras and THIS is about the lenses as well, that are unique, and beautiful in build and performance. THIS is dual pixel auto focus, which is amazing in photo or video use. THIS is the swivel out screen so when I film a video of myself talking I can see what is going on or even change settings on the fly. THIS is a great grip and feel with superb control and customizable options. THIS is not a revolution as Canon claims but rather a VERY good camera well worth the asking price which is a bit over the wonderful Sony A7III.

Yep, the Sony A7III is a powerhouse and wins in overall specs on paper. It has full frame 4K (though Canon offers better bit rates) and offers IBIS and superb Eye AF along with dual card slots. All for $300 less. But for me the Sony loses in color, joy of use, body feel and control, there is no swivel LCD nor can I control it by using the LCD. The EVF lacks in comparison to the Canon and for me and many others it lags behind in all out color from the camera.

So it’s not as cut and dry as “Eye Af” “IBIS” and “Dual Slots”. Those are nice to have for some (the Canon does have Eye AF but it’s not as effective as the Sony) but if you are about taking the image, getting the shot and the enjoyment of the experience, for me the Canon wins and is worth the extra cost for the extra I get from it.

If you MUST have dual slots, and IBIS then the Canon is not for you.

The EOS-R is an EXCELLENT camera and even with the noise about how it’s lackluster, that is simply not true in any way, shape or form. If you can’t get nice shots with the EOS-R then you need to keep practicing your art. I chose to go all in with the EOS-R and Canon due to all of what I said in this review and am excited for the new 28-70 f/2 lens, of which nothing exists like it. It does inspire me to use it as the results are so nice and it is fun to use. The new lenses are Unique. That’s what I love . #BeUnique. ; )

Where to Buy

You can buy the EOS-R from my recommended dealers below. 

B&H Photo EOS-R Body only

B&H Photo EOS-R Kit

Amazon EOS-R

Buy the new 50 f1/2 RF lens at Amazon or B&H Photo


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123 Comments

  1. Will you be doing a review solely of the Canon eos R with M mount lenses? I specifically want to know how the 35mm cron ASPH handles on it! also very interested on how others stand up.

  2. For myself, I wish they could make a camera only for stills. I never do videos, and I don`t like to pay for all that stuff videografers asking for. And I`m tired of all that complains they all do over New cameras. I`f the DSLR or the mirrorless camera don`t fit, do get a real videocamera and stop complaining!! For me as a still photografer, I don`t need IBIS, 4K, or twin card option. I don`t even need the Is in optics!!

  3. Hello, as a long-time reader of this website I have a few questions:
    1. Why did you choose the Canon over the Nikon Z-series?
    2. Where has your enthusiasm for Olympus gone? I can see why you prefer FF above smaller sensor sizes, but for non-pro’s Olympus may well stay a solid choice, in part because the size/weight advantage is still very much a big “pro” for the system. (smaller lenses!) Canon may have reduced the camera-size by going mirrorless, but FF-lenses stay as large as they always where, especially regarding longer zoom.
    Smaller sensor-systems like M4/3 will stay relevant for large parts of the (enthousiasts) consumer market, or do you disagree?

    • I mentioned this.

      1. I prefer Canon color, and use it for video most of all. 80/20 (video use is 80%). I wanted a flip out LCD as I shoot YouTube videos with the EOS-R (for other channels) 4 times per week. That flip to touch LCD is a lifesaver and no longer do I need a big old external monitor to frame the shot. For video, the Canon gives far superior Auto Focus as well. I also already owned 4 Canon L series lenses. The Nikon would not be as good for me for what I do and use this camera for. I wanted a video/photo hybrid and did not need 4K or IBIS. I own no Nikon glass. I also was underwhelmed with the announced Nikon Z series lenses. Even with them being sharp, to me, sharpness is far from the most important aspect of a lens. Character is, and the Canon lenses, for me, offer more of that with their 50 1.2, up coming 28-70 f/2 ,etc

      2. I still love Olympus and really hope they can come out with something to compete with C and N and S. Today, as of now, N and C and S beat Olympus in almost every area besides the little bit of size advantage. I always said Micro 4/3 beats APS-C for me, but have also always said full frame beats M 4/3. Back when I was energized about M 4/3 all we had was the Sony A7 I and II. They lacked good AF, had horrible battery, had slow focus. The Only EM1 MKII beat them IMO in most areas besides all out IQ and low light. Today Canon, Nikon and Sony beat Olympus in dynamic range, all out IQ, high ISO, speed, EVF experience, usability and more, and the A7III is $1999, not much more than the EM1 MKII. So I could not recommend M 4/3 today for photos when you can get a full frame camera that delivers more for only a little more cost. It’s still a great system with great lenses but for the money, the A7III or even Nikon Z6 or EOS-R beat it IMO in so many ways. I also shoot much more video these days outside of this website. Just vlog style and the Olympus for video is a no go as the AF is pretty bad for video. If Olympus comes out with something that challenges these new full framers for less cost, my enthusiasm will be super high once again as I own their pro primes and love these lenses. It’s getting hard for M 4/3 with Full Frame mirrorless getting so aggressive.

  4. Hello Steve,
    i totally understand your switch to Canon. Sony color and the overall experience shooting these cameras are just not doing it for me. The comparison shot from the Canon 50 1.2 versus the Voigländer makes me wonder if it is really all about Canon being the better lens or if M mount lenses just dont perform that well on the Canon body. If thats the case that woule be deal breaker for me.

    • They perform about as well as they do on the Sony cameras. Meaning, the best performance from any M lens will be on the M and SL. They work well but will work best on Leica bodies.

  5. Hi Steve,
    i m a long time stalker here but dont think i have commented before. I found it interesting that you switched to Canon from Sony even after being so enthusiastic abt Sony all these years.

    I m a Nikon and Oly user myself and this weekend I went to the local store to play with the EOS R and Z 7. At first touch i have to agree with you, the Canon is just nicer to hold and material feel nicer too. That 25-105 lens also look and feels much nicer than the Nikkor 24-70 lens. Didnt take any photos so cannot comment on actual quality.
    I know u have had a lot of grief from some users here for your enthusiastic review, but at first impression basis, I agree with you assessment. I appreciate your honesty.

    Thanks
    Akkers

    • Thanks,

      I was and still am enthusiastic about Sony but at the same time I have always said their design was not great, their menus were average and needed improvement and I wish they have a swivel screen. The EOS-R gives me all of what was missing for my needs. A better body, better controls, IMO better AF for what I do, swivel screen for my video use that I use 3-5 times per week, better EVF, and well, what I said in the review. The color is for me, nicer than what Sony puts out. Sort of like the difference between a CD and a good Vinyl pressing in audio. (The Canon being the Vinyl). Doesn’t take away anything from Sony, they are awesome. I just like the Canon better for me. The Nikon is nice too, but for me lacks the swivel screen and all out video AF of the Canon. I also owned Canon glass so it was a no brainer over the Nikon for me.

      Anyone who says the EOS-R is a bad camera is lying to themselves for some other agenda. It’s fantastic as is every other camera out today in this price range ; ) Thank you.

  6. Hi Steve,

    I could not resist and bought the R coming from the a7rii. The R seems to be quite wonderful and is a nice partner to the Sony!
    Now I have this nice Loxia, I really hope they bring out an emount to rf adapter! Only thinking of adapting the Loxia on the r makes me kind of exited!

  7. Hi Steve , thanks for review. I´m old Canon 50D owner , it was not the best Canon , perhaps the worst …focusing was very imprescize. I would like upgrade ….and…this is my question….. Canon 6D Mark II or Canon EOS R ? Is the image quality of EOS R so better ? Many of my friends say …when you will upgrade, so go in the newest system ……
    Thank you ……

    • EOS-R HANDS DOWN! I sold my 6DII immediately as the EOS-R is a better camera without question. Better IQ, better low light, better focusing and your EF lenses will focus faster and more precisely on the EOS-R, especially fast f/1.2 or f/1.4 glass. No question, no hesitation.

  8. Hi Steve
    What adapter are you using for the M lenses on the EOS R? Over here in the UK the choice (at the moment) seems to be limited to a Pixco which introduces a very nice purple cast to the images!

  9. Top quality review Steve. Over the years as I have read so many blogs and watched a lot of videos yours have passed the test of time as you ground your writing in positivity and don’t try to hide your enthusiasm for the gear or your joy with photography. Many try to mask their bias behind a veil of ‘objectivity’ which is seldom credible. I also appreciate how you clearly outline the user context. This is something many less experienced photographers don’t understand; for some photographers something outrageously slow like a film 4×5 view camera might be the best and most capable camera on the planet. For others it’s the X1D or the EOS R. I also appreciate how you often allude to that the sum of a thing is greater than the parts. So focusing on the perceived shortcomings of a certain spec doesn’t do any good as it doesn’t reflect the user experience or end product.
    It is clear that the EOS R was basically made for you. It’s great for vlogging, it’s for great colours and it has large aperture lenses which we know you love. All of these things you outline well.

    I am attracted to the EOS R too, especially the feel in the hands but for me the Nikon Z6 is where it’s at. Only tried the Z7 as the 6 isn’t out yet. I think Nikon’s and Canons different lens strategies are interesting. I don’t think slower lenses are necessarily more “consumer” (think summicron and Summilux). The “best” 50 ever made is that f2 Leica no? So for example for me low size and weight is more important as well as high quality. The S lenses are the Z systems L lenses. The 1.8 primes aren’t small but supposedly top quality optically, their size supporting that. I looked at the Canon 35mm for the R which is small but not an L lens and not as nice as the Nikkors. The Nikkor 24-70 f4 is a lot lighter and, importantly, a lot more compact than the Canon or Sony 24-105 lenses thanks to the collapsing mechanism which I love. I take the lighter weight and focal length consistency with 2.8 lenses over the extra reach. I don’t vlog and I strongly dislike flip out screens as the put the screen off axis with the camera and take more effort to deploy. I don’t care about IBIS. I do think XQD/CFe is a significant difference. These cards are A LOT more reliable than SD as well as physically tougher. Especially CFe is so fast that buffers won’t be needed in the future. That said I never had problems with SD cards. I shot with a Nikon Df for years which I loved. Talk about great colours! Fast apertures is something I seldom use. I would like it for low light but often don’t find it worth the massive increase in size and weight. I really hope that camera companies start releasing super small but super high quality slow glass. Like f4 primes. I am tempted by owning an f1.2 50mm though. Perhaps the Z Nikkor a few years down the line. I digress. Thanks again for a great review. I’ve already recommended the EOS R to a few friends that I think it would make sense for. The Nikon Z makes sense for a different photographer who wants smaller but top quality glass and slightly different ergonomics. I can’t wait until my pre-ordered Z6 arrives!

    It will be so much fun!

  10. One of the most unpleasant aspects of photography in the digital age is the fanboy aggression towards other brands and the arrogant and aggressive (and sometimes sleazy) YouTube reviewers who shout the loudest for clicks. That is why this webpage is a refreshing change – it’s almost all positive vibes, seeing the best in cameras, seeing that not one size fits all and that a camera is more than just a spec sheet. In an increasingly obnoxious society, it’s good to read a measured and heartfelt review of a new camera.

  11. I’d like to see more example of how the Canon EOS-R performs with a range of Leica M glass. Also waiting to see what the Panasonic S1 / S1R bring to the table in the near future..

    • Me too. I’m interested in rendering and pro weather sealing because I like to walk the south Devon coastal paths with a camera in the winter

  12. Your opinion is very interesting.

    I was pretty surprised that you liked the af touch. I found it very imprecise and with unpleasant latency.

    For the auto focus I had problems on the white surfaces. He has not been able to focus several times.

    Did you have this problem?
    Which firmware did you test with?

    Thank you!

    • Thank you. No, no problems with me. As I said, the touch AF was a little laggy but still worked great. I also mentioned I would hope they improved it with a firmware update. I have had zero issues with focus, zilch.

  13. Do you use the Touch Bar on the `EOS R or is at badly thought-through as I thought it was when I first tried it?

    I love, love , love the control ring on the lens but I think the Touch Bar needs a rethink for future models.

    Thoughts?

  14. Thank you for the thorough review! I must say I am disappointed that you love the camera so much as you had said in past post that if you didn’t like it, you’d sell it at a discounted price to one of us and I was hoping for that. I’m a college student and have been waiting for years before this model was ever announced for this type of camera. It’s perfect and all I’ve been waiting for! Would you happen to know of other opportunities for students to be able to find a discounted version or show model of this camera to fit a much smaller budget? I search every day for someone selling one, but I’ve had no luck so far. Thank’s again and keep up the great work!

  15. I get it that you are using the Canon over the Sony and you spend a lot of time comparing the two – but you are also a Leica SL user.

    I think you’ve only really used the SL as a tool for M lenses , but I’m curious how the SL stacks up against the Canon. Let’s also consider that Leica and Panasonic are combining and the future Panny FF will use the SL mount and there will be many Panny lenses.

    The cost of SL AF lenses is an issue for sure but I can’t help but wonder if the EOS R is doing things the SL may already be doing better ?

    • The SL for me, is an M lens camera. It gets rid of the issues of using an RF, which there are a few. It’s also the best made camera I have ever owned, in build, design and simplicity. It’s fantastic with M lenses. With SL lenses, it’s a no go for me as they are just way too large. It’s also only contrast detect AF, and can’t focus for video very well at all. Doesn’t have any kind of articulating screen, and I need a swivel out. Once I have had one, can’t be without for making YouTube videos (I do 4-5 par week). For me, the SL is only worth it for M lens use. It’s similar in low light/High ISO and has a different color profile over the Canon. Love both. The only thing the SL does better is it is a better made (and by a huge margin) and simpler to use camera. It also has a higher res EVF (3.6 vs 4.4 MP)

  16. Hey Steve, thanks for the helpful overview. Wondering if the Focus Guide feature (the box / arrows manual focus aid) works with adapted M lenses. Could be very useful on fast glass. Cheers!

  17. Hey Steve great review as always. Funny I come to this website for camera reviews and I thought everyone else did so I do not get all the hate because you now like Canon and you never told anyone else to sell their Sony gear. It is fun to see how passionate people are about particular brands. I have adopted your mantra and always get what works for me and now have a mixed bag of lenses and cameras and each is perfect for what I need it for. Nothing sits for very long on the shelf. It seems I love lenses more than cameras like the Pana/Leica 42.5, Fuji 56 1.2 so I tend to buy bodies that match the lenses I like shooting with. A little odd but it works for me. Anyway not sure if you were planning on reviewing the new Nikon cameras…specifically the Z7. I put one on order after seeing the article on your website of the 58 1.2 on the Z7 and the Canon EOS-R. For some reason the Nikon colors resonated more with me than the Canon so I put one on order, the Z7 that is. Would love to hear your honest and real world thoughts. Anyway keep up the great work and thanks for inspiring us to try different cameras and not get so attached to one brand that you lose the essence of photography, which is great pictures.

    • Hey David, thank you. As I said, there are no bad cameras today. I also stated how wonderful Sony is yet there is a certain demographic of photographers (all brands) who have this odd thing about defending their brand to the death. Some think if they own something then nothing can ever best it, and if someone says they like a competitor better, well, they actually get angry. It’s an odd thing happening over the last 4 years or so and getting worse. This world is so full of anger, hostility and hate, more than I have ever seen in my lifetime. The internet is to blame for most of it as we are hitting a generation that has been raised on being able to say whatever they want, to anyone, while remaining anonymous. The power of the keyboard is a funny thing. I simply share my experience and am honest. I do not talk down Brand A if I own Brand B. If Brand A is better I say it, and I will start using A if it works better for me than B. Always have lived my life like this.

      We live once on this earth (at least one time we will remember anyway) and while we are here we should enjoy life as much as possible, as that is what it is all about. Experiencing new things, enjoying all it has to offer, learning, helping and well, LIVING! Pushing hate, anger and negativity into life is not the way anyone should live, yet many do. Love is the key. It really is.

      BTW, The Nikon looks fantastic as well, just a different flavor as they all are. The Nikon Body, to me, appears to be the best feeling of them all.

      This Canon is a great camera, period. If I had Nikon glass I would have gave the Nikon a shot but sadly I do not, and I am not excited about the launch glass for the Z series. I also needed a swivel LCD as it makes doing YouTube videos so much easier.

      Also, that post with the Z7 and 58 1.2 did indeed have amazing colors and that Nikon look. If I owned the 58 1.2 Noct I would have without question bought a Z7! I almost did but man that lens is priced pretty high on ebay these days. Maybe one day I will give it a go. Thank you.

  18. Haven’t read all the comments yet but i will. This to me is one of the most interesting reviews you have ever written, Steve. In my eight years of digital, I’ve always steered vlear of Canon (and Nikon) in favour of Leica and Sony – currently especially X-vario and a6000 with constant f4 Zeiss zoom, my two go-to cameras. I’m slimming down on the rest of my compact and not so compact gear, and you make me consider putting the proceeds to the EOS-R. I warm to all you say about IQ and colour rendition and high quality lenses. (And the graffiti image is superb!) So perhaps I can let the GAS burn again…………….

  19. Am i crazy to get rid of the A7RIII and the 24-70 GM? I like the camera but the ergonomics suck, and i also dont like the colors… Its better with the 3th generation but like you said, its more “digital” then the canon, which i like more…
    I tried the eos R in the store and the ergonomics are really good…

  20. Hi Steve,
    Your Brillant photos speak volumes! I am sure sure those with ‘better’ cameras might not even be up to i had my story from FD lens days to eos 5d2, I bandon and went to m mirrorless ferris wheel trip from Nikon, Lumix, Fuji and Oly and back to Canon. Like you said, any modern camera is more than capable…
    I shoot some paid fashion shoots, although Fuji and Oly are known for their colors, they are not accurate. the fabrics rematch was a nightmare. Even my client commented she prefers the output of Canon. Personally the ergonmics and color are enough reasons for me to come back. and of course the lenses. affordable and boundtiful in the used market.Stay rue t yourself 🙂

  21. Cracker of a review and it made me go and check out the specs page on the Canon UK website and has created a question that hopefully yourself or someone else who has one wouldn’t mind checking and replying back if its not too much trouble. Basically I’ve a Olympus/Panasonic set up as the 4/3rds sensor ratio suits my needs brilliantly for my shooting style and for the print sizes I sell. In the specs for the EOS R it shows the sensor ratios that the camera can be set to and it lists 4/3 as an option, would you be able to confirm back if that is correct and also does it then change the EVF to be showing at the 4/3 view as well ? If it does do that it really does open up a great opportunity for me to be moving up to a larger sensor, the only other way being the big money on either the Hasselblad or Fuji GFX. Thanks in advance if you can check this out. Cheers, Steve

  22. Given the profound implications of this camera and the Nikon Z on the Full Frame Mirrorless space, it would have been nice to see a series of “crazy comparisons” vs the A7 III especially with some Zeiss glass. Soon Panasonic will join the fray with their versions and who know what Olympus may do after that. Many believe m43 will fade into the sunset. Regardless, reviews like this are interesting but have a brief life whereas comparisons of the emerging technologies can go on almost indefinitely. That said, I’m sure Sony will answer back the new Canikon’s with yet another Alpha juggernaut which will no doubt have improved color science and “off the charts” video specs causing this sites gracious Host to consider yet another switch 😉 All in good fun that’s for sure 😉

    • Thanks and great suggestions. I kind of have a feeling about M 4/3 as I do not see how it can survive for too much longer. Yet there are rumors of a new Pro level Olympus M 4/3 soon. I just do not see it with all of these full frame models, and even great APS-C models doing amazing things. But Im up for some crazy comparisons. Will plan some out ASAP.

      • “I just do not see it”. The Pro Level Oly will be all about video now confirmed to have a built in grip like the 1DX and D5. Since it is rumored to be very expensive, I’m guessing they’ve found another gear with respect to IBIS and auto focus as well. It is my belief that Olympus intends to take top video honors with the E-M1X in 2019 but who knows, we may finally get to experience hand-held hi-rez shot mode for stills 😉 IMO pursuing extraordinary video capabilities is the only way m43 can remain relevant in a world where 2 grand buys you one hell of a full frame camera. It should also have “off the charts” battery life with a built in grip. If I’m right KUDOS Olympus! 😉

      • “I just do not see it” This ought to help bring it into focus: Handheld Hi-Rez shot mode rumor CONFIRMED! This would also mean that the E-M1X IBIS is “Other Worldly” 😉

          • Yeah ok and your EOS R is a tech-free camera – gimme a break! 😉 The new Oly X Pro will be a click MONSTER, you’ll come around 😉

          • Not saying it isn’t (about the EOS-R) but remember, I am even a bigger fan of a Leica M-D which has NO LCD or menu. Just set your exposure and click. The experience is much more satisfying and the IQ among the best you can get. The Canon doesn’t have all of this super res this or that, IBIS, or things that are not even necessary to take a great image. Today, again, so many THINK they need these features in order to take decent images, and most who buy these new cameras take shots for social media and online posting or just for family photos! Even if you were a hardcore pro none of this is needed. It’s marketing fluff to sell cameras, and has been for a few years now which has been slowly turning me off. It’s why I still own a Leica SL (that I appreciate more today than ever) that I only shoot with M lenses in manual mode. Why I use an X1D which is as simple as it gets. The Canon works very well for me for video use (3-4X per week I use it for this) and photo when I go out and need AF or shoot shows, which I do for fun every weekend. I will have no interest in some new feature filled camera with some hand held super high res shot as it is purely a Gimmick. Any camera made in the last three years will be great and more than enough for 99% of those who want a camera for photos. Because so many these days get convinced otherwise by marketing, they feel they need all of these new things just to be current which is just a way to sell cameras. Tons of buttons, dials, features and gimmicks turn me off of a camera these days which is why I have been getting bored with Sony over the past couple of years. Doesn’t feel like shooting a camera but more like a machine that tries to do everything for me.

            For enjoyment of taking photos, for me, the Leica SL or M will still be king, which is what this site started with 11 years ago ; )

  23. Hi Steve
    Firstly, let me say how much I love your site. Been reading it for quite a while now and it’s been a great guide through the tangled path of cameras and lenses. I love your infectious enthusiasm but it has cost me dearly at times. Anyhow, I got my EOS R about three weeks ago along with the 24-105 kit lens. You klnow how sometimes a camera just feels right? That balance in the hand, the grip, well that’s how i am with the Canon. For the first time in ages this camera just feels right to me. The lens is superb, the images are nice and sharp and the colour is outstanding. I’ve done the Sony’s and alway felt a little bit unsatisfied with the colours – they haven’t touched me emotionally. Not so with the Canon.
    Big question now is do I keep my SL or………
    Keep up the good work,

  24. A really good review and great photos as always Steve. I have to admit though, the concert shots you took on the M10-D, for me, have an extra spark and life to them lacking from the Canon. Even though that lens and the color from the Canon is very good, the Leica images, much like the beautiful SL images you’ve posted in the past, sit on another level well above the Canon and just seem to speak to me more. I’d buy the M10-D, or keep using that awesome SL!

  25. Agree with you on Canon colors. Although from the brief amount of time I used a Leica M10 over the summer, that to me has the best colors of any digital camera I’ve ever used (but I can’t afford one of those). Also, I rented an EOS R for a weekend, and while I have my complaints, on thing I notices is, conversion to B&W looks unusually good. Same with yours here. No idea why that is, but it’s an added bonus.

    • I love the M10 files. For me it comes down to money. $8k for an M10-P or D, $7300 for an M10. Then a good lens. Then if something happens, service takes forever with the typical turnaround being 8 weeks, sometime more. So yes, I love love love the Leica files and look but I have to be more responsible these days with $$$ ; )

  26. hi Steve , nearly went for a sl , yes love the colour of canon , thinking about buying if it can use some leica M glass that would be great , great testing in the music club low lighting looks NOCTy 🙂 with out the price tag win win !

  27. I think that the camera is aimed at people who work with the camera tethered. I suspect that is the feedback Canon have received from the target audience.

    As far as noise is concerned; I really dislike clean high ISO images. It is as if the life has been sucked out of them.

    BTW. I use the Canon software to process my images. As far as I’m concerned, that works very well.

  28. I am a (very) long term Canon user and was about to buy the 5DM4 when the EOS R came out. And for last month or so, I have been trying to find honest, non vitriolic reviews that actually considers the camera as the tool and not the essence of the art of photography. Thank you for your well thought out and helpful review. And besides, anyone who actually knows and appreciates Klipsch and Macintosh is OK by me. Keep up the great work. ~db

  29. To put the ON/OFF switch on the left side where I need a second hand to turn the camera on is simply idiotic…..for me as passionate street photographer simply a no go! Sorry for that….

    • Funny as I was just talking with a photo buddy and we both loved the on off switch on this camera. How it works and its location. Keeps it out of the way of my hand and thumb up top on the right where I expect to control the camera, not the power.

    • Just curious, why would you need to turn your camera off when shooting street? Wouldn’t you just leave it on and tap the shutter button to wake it up if needed?

  30. Nice review Steve. Currently deciding on the EOS R or A7 III and can’t make up my mind!

    In well over 100h if research, I did read that Sony’s sensors actually display more of the color gammut, perhaps doing colors more accurately, while Canon warms colors up and seem to have weighting towards the greens, hence more pleasing , albeit perhaps not as accurate color. All subjective, as you said, although I agree, Canon’s “color” seems subtly more pleasing.

    I’m surprised you said you never used the eye AF on Sony, especially as a concert shooter. Seems like an amazing feature to me, that actually works, accurately. If you feel it takes you out of the photographic equation, wouldn’t using autofocus in general make you feel the same? I’m asking because, is there another reason not mentioned? Just curious, that’s all.

    As well, since using VR on Nikon decades ago, and doing a non scientific comparison without it, I’m completely, utterly sold on IBIS, or any stabilization. I was also very, very surprised and a little confused you never used IBIS. The ability to use lower shutter speeds or ISO (amongst others), especially in dark concert settings could be priceless. If nothing else, sharper images (I i don’t mean pixel peeping, ultra zoomed in, but noticeable differences).

    At any rate, thanks for taking the time to write this!

    • Thanks Eric. Nope, never used EYE AF besides when I had to test it for review purposes. For me it takes away the fun of shooting, as if I can not nail focus with skill, then I should be taking photos. I do not want cameras to do the work for me. It makes photography boring for me, and also makes me feel like I am shooting a computer and not a camera. So no eye AF for me, ever. I never in life had an issue taking a serious portrait and not getting eyes in focus. Camera companies today add these automated features so they can market it as amazing new tech but at the same time, for some of us, like me, it takes away from the experience. Not a fan. IBIS, if it works well I have nothing against it, at all. It’s not equal in all cameras though, and again, I never notice it when I do not have it. I am used to shooting Leica which has no IBIS, and no fancy features and never ever had a problem. Again, I am not one who wants the camera to do the work for me. Simply not needed to get a good photo even in the lowest of light. That’s what lens choice is for. The Sony has IBIS yet I get better results in low light shows with Leica and Canon and they have no IBIS ; ) Camera companies feel like they have to keep adding these modernized automated features to keep selling cameras, and they are very good at marketing these features. This in turn makes many feel like they MUST have them in order to get good imagery. To be honest, it saddens me a little. I used to be like “yea ,this is cool” but as time went on I realized it was sucking the life out of my photographic interests. It became boring to shoot. Of course, thats my experience, Thank you

  31. Sony users are always looking for validation for purchasing the right gear because every time they shoot with it, they can see that something is not right but don’t have the acuity to pinpoint it. That is why they always camp out in the comments section whenever someone mentions something that Canon is doing better than Sony.

  32. If we’re going to make color the basis switching systems, then the Fujifilm X-T3 is way more exciting a camera than the EOS R. The X-T3 is a mature body that doesn’t omit many mirrorless goodies, IBIS notwithstanding 😉 …and it has gorgeous curb appeal. Canon’s first stab a FF mirrorless is clumsy, if not ugly IMO. What was the motivation behind omitting pro specs like dual cards slots, a joystick and stellar battery life? What’s with the hokey and useless multi-function bar gizmo? Don’t get me wrong, I was ready to place my order during the buildup hype phase of the EOS R roll out until I saw it. I’ll admit Canon’s color has always satisfied but in this case, it doesn’t make up for all that the EOS R lacks … it looks and feels like a 5 year camera. They did get a few things right though, the EVF, low light AF and the 50mm f1.2 gives me hope that the next generation of RF will be much more appealing 😉

    • I reviewed the X-T3 and had one here for 4-5 weeks. Great camera, best APS-C I have shot with but it’s not up there with the Canon or Sony or other full frame models when it comes to image quality. It also doesn’t have a swivel screen, which I truly love having and use every time I power up the camera, so it would not have worked for me in that regard. It also doesn’t feel as well made. Doesn’t mean it isn’t but it does feel a tad cheaper in the hand, and not as comfy to hold. The ergonomics of the Canon for me are superior, as is the IQ and everything I have pointed out, To me it feels like a modern day camera, and it truly is a fantastic photographic tool that makes me want to shoot it more so than the Fuji or Sony did. My Leica do that too which his why I have owned the SL for 3 1/2 years. To me it is about the experience and the output. The EOS-R excels in that for my needs in both video and photo. Thank you for reading and your thoughts.

  33. Thank you for your review, your photo’s are beautiful. I am considering the EOSR but I’m wondering if I should wait until the Panasonic S1 release and compare rendering between them.

  34. Thank steve for very informative review,
    Just wondering about camera’s peaking performance.
    How would the R compare to Leica SL when use with
    Leica M lenses?

    • I am not a fan of using peaking in any camera, as it is usually inaccurate. I prefer focus magnify which I use on the SL. The R is a bit lower res with the EVF but it is more fluid than the SL. I was able to focus without any aid at all using M glass.

  35. sony took the bad decision to keep the APSC mount for their full frame line … and so their optical range is doomed !!!
    and you NEVER choose a system for a body but only for the lens line ?

  36. Hi Steve, shocking that you have left Sony ! 🙂
    Would you be able to try any wider m mount such as biogon 28 or 35 lux? I suppose they will have smearing as with Sony?
    I must say canon is a more handsome camera than the new Nikon z. I better check eos r with my sonnar 50 now. I sold my A7RIII and romancing with an XT3 now but don’t really like Fuji lenses in 23 to 35 apsc range. They lack personality or crazy goodness ( to me).

  37. Steve how do you compare it with the Leica SL that you like so much? Is the 24-105 significantly lighter than the Leica 24-90 lens?

    • The SL 24-90 is 2.5lbs, the Canon 24-105 is 1.5lbs. So it’s a lb lighter and smaller. The SL AF lenses are beasts, and all some of the best zooms you can buy, but they are BEASTS! I shoot the SL only with M lenses and enjoy the experience. The SL is built to another level over almost any other mirrorless camera. It’s as solid as they come. It still has the highest res EVF there is today, and has a simple menu and control system. It’s $6k though, and has a 3 1/2 year old sensor. I guess the Canon also has an older sensor but it is $2200 and offers more for the money. I love the SL buy these days it has become more of an emotional thing. I bonded with that camera, and have an emotional connection with it .Technically there are better cameras in performance and speed and features but the SL still has a charm for some, including me. The problem is that the SL can not do what I need to do video wise, but most certainly can for photos. The Canon does both perfectly for my needs.

  38. It’s interesting, everything that you praise about the camera has been done better on the Fuji’s, particularly the XT3.you sound like you would fall instantly in love with Fujifilm Cameras. I’m not sure if you believe the myth of the 35mm frame but if you don’t I suggest you check out the xt3. It wins for colours, erganomics, but most importantly it wins because it gets out of the way to let you capture moments.

    • I reviewed the X-T3 here, you can see it on this site. I praised it as the best APS-C camera I have used but the EOS-R for me is quite a bit better in a few ways. First, I prefer the IQ of the full frame and this EOS-R, as well as the colors of the Canon over Fuji. I prefer the swivel out LCD as I use it often, and it is an actual need of mine. The dual pixel AF is better than the Fuji’s AF, though the Fuji is fantastic and has come a long way. The canon feels better in the hand, and I prefer the ergonomics of it. I prefer the Canon lenses, and I get better IQ overall with the Canon. The Fuji, for me, is the best APS-C I have ever tested or shot with, and I enjoyed it and was close to buying but at the end of the day I know what I need and prefer and this camera here gives me all that I need, in one body. Could not be happier with it for video or photo work I do. You can see the difference in the photos in the Fuji review (APS-C vs Full Frame) as they are different.

      Bottom line again is NO CAMERA MADE TODAY is bad. They are all good. We should buy based on what works for us, individually. There is no perfect camera for everyone’s needs and never will be as we all like different things. For 10 1/2 years I have written “experience” reviews sharing my thoughts on using a camera. Mirrorless has come a long way and I was one of the 1st three websites writing mirrorless reviews back many years ago. I stuck with it, and today we have amazing choices.

      Thank you.

  39. Top Review. Wonderful wonderful images …
    The lenses are great too …
    I do not shoot CANON and do not have CANON gears. Neither I am going to buy the EOS R. I simply can not afford …
    Not because its not a good camera … no doubt it is one of the best Mirrorless out there right now and your photographs proves that without a doubt …
    You take your time before your detailed review unlike so many others who start bashing a product just because Product A does not have features 1, 2 ,3 etc. that product B has …
    Thank you.

  40. I did the opposite. I was a 15 year Canon user who switched to Sony after seeing all the reviews on the R. I considered waiting to test it for myself but after seeing how poorly face tracking and especially eye AF worked on it, I bought the a7iii instead. If this camera had been $1500, would have been a lot more tempting but at $300 more than the a7iii and missing IBIS, full 4k video, two card slots, an awful 3fps…why would I pay that? Don’t even get me started on how insanely overpriced the RF lenses are either.

    Saying something like there have been so many amazing shots taken with cameras with only one card slot over th past 10 years is definitely an apologist remark. Thousands of brilliant photos were taken decades ago before auto focus existed too, should we go back to manual focus then? Its 2018 and the R has the specs of a 2013 camera but priced at the top of its class which is absurd, sorry but its true. As a portrait shooter, Sony’s eye AF is a game changer and worth the switch alone. Canon cannot touch it with their poor implementation. Maybe they can improve it in the years to come.

    By the way, why did you have to sell your Sony gear? Is it against the law to have both a Canon and a Sony system where you live?

    • I use manual focus all of the time, why not? It’s refreshing and do that with my Leica all the time. I sold my Sony as I would not be using it for all the reasons I stated here. Is that a crime to sell a camera when you find something you like better? The general IQ from the Canon is better, less digital. I enjoy the Canon more, using it. I enjoy the focus much more, and the other 17 reasons I gave here. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa but having to keep a camera I will not use any longer? That’s a bit absurd. I stated the case for ME, my needs and what I like, as I have done here for 10 years. Doesn’t mean you have to like it but this camera is well worth the asking price. So many today want the cameras to give them everything and do most of the work for them which is the opposite of my likes and desires in a camera (why I love the Leica M10-D I just reviewed). But yes, my Sony is sold without regrets as this camera does more for my needs than the Sony did. Thanks for reading.

    • It is interesting that you justify your preference with a spec sheet argument. I have no doubt that the XT3 is a great camera (I have and love the X100F), but there is more to bonding with a camera than simple specifications. As Steve has repeatedly said in this long post, he needed a perticular swivel screen that the XT3 doesn’t have. He has also argued for the smooth and accurate focus in video that in his experience using both cameras is better in the Canon. The same for colour and FF IQ (which I also agree with). He also said he preferred the ergonomics and menus of the Canon, and I would also agree that they are far superior to the Fuji. If I were a wedding photographer, I would want 2 card slots, but I’m not, and I have never, 10s of thousands of shots ever had a card fail on me, to the extent that it is not interesting to me.

      I have very different needs to Steve here, so will probably go for the Nikon Z7 for its better compatibility with Leica M lenses, its top flight viewfinder, its better weather sealing, its smaller, but excellent quality zoom lens (Ming Thien claims it is one of the best lenses he has ever used and he was a Hasselblad XT 1 developer) and the IBIS which I do like. Horses for courses.

  41. I’ve been using my EOS R professionally since I got it, so it may lack in some “pro” features but I wouldn’t dismiss it and say it’s not a pro camera. I picked up the O.G. EF 50mm 1.2 after you started posting picks with it a few weeks ago and the hit rate at 1.2 is pretty great. I had a shoot with that combo last night in a very dark bar and I am super impressed with how accurate those photos came out. Anyways, thanks for the positive review on this camera. It really is a amazing camera and a real pleasure to use.

  42. Thank you for your full EOS R review. I agree with you about the Sony/Canon color. I have a Sony A7III and I really enjoy shooting with it, but I don’t like the color (especially skin tone) from it. Maybe I will buy an EOS R soon 🙂

  43. Thank you for this interesting and accurate review. A couple of weeks ago, i was still planning to get a new FF dslr. Now i am amazed by the level IQ has reached on these new FF mirrorless system. And how capable you are in showing this progress. So i think its absolutely worth it to go into this new system. As IQ is absolutely convincing and leads to new creativity and helps to achieve a new style, both in picture and story telling. Thanks again. Happy weekend. Looking forward to reading more of your worthy reviews.

  44. I like your reviews, but this whole Canon Color vs Sony Color has got to end. People ramble on about it, yet I’ve *never* seen an objective comparison done that shows any differences.

  45. Steve, I think that the comparison with the Z7 is a little unfair because it belongs to another category, the very hi-res cameras, with its 45 MP. Also, in spite having one slot only, it is a XQD card, much more reliable and faster than the SD cards currently on the market. So, in my opinion, the comparison with the yet to be commercially available Z6 would be more suitable.
    My regards,
    Antonio

    • I did not compare it to the Z7, in any way. But the speed of the one card slot has nothing to do with what everyone complains about, which is having a 2nd for backup. Speed has nothing to do with that. The Z7 is a pro camera yet has one card slot, not two.

  46. Sounds to me you really have to convince yourself that the Canon is “good enough”. ( no offense intended here). Other than your preference on color and your opinion of ergonomics, it doesn’t seem to me that it offers enough to even consider it. What it does provide a professional reviewer like yourself is a wide open (and well defined) opportunity to be a Canon ambassador while everyone else is on the Sony train. Smart I must admit. No doubt it’s a good camera, just not great. Maybe next version….. not this one.

    • Let’s see. What convinced me was using it, and if you read the review you would know why I bought one and sold my Sony. I could buy any camera I want and normally do. I can shoot with any camera I want and do. The only thing that convinces me is using a camera and if it works for me, then that is it. The Canon, as I clearly stated offers much better color than the competition. The best auto focus performance over any other brand. Has a swivel screen which no other full frame mirrorless has. Has a fantastic battery life, 2nd only to Sony. Has the 2nd best EVF in a mirrorless camera above any Sony model. It shoots wonderful 1080 video, which is all I shoot. Has some of the best lenses available in 35mm full frame. Hmmm, if that doesn’t convince me alone then using it did as it is a JOY to shoot. Works like a camera should. Sounds like you are trying to convince yourself it is a bad camera, without shooting one ; ) Thank you.

      • Do you mean jpg color? …because color is easily adjusted to taste in post. I can make my Sony color look like Canon color easily and quickly so I don’t see what the big deal is. One card slot, mediocre battery life and lack of joy stick killed it for me. Sorry.

        • Sounds like you are a Sony guy, which is cool. I never understand the anger that brand loyalists show when someone speaks positively of a camera of a different brand. The fact is written in my review, and no, you can not make Sony look like Canon color. Ive seen some claim this, but never show it to be fact. It is more than color, but anyway why would I want to buy a Sony only to have to mess with color of each image and try to make it how I want when I can get a camera that does it automatically? ; ) As stated, this Canon offers some things that are much better than the Sony, and some that are not. It just so happens the features that beat the Sony are the features I use and like, and the ones that do not are teh ones I never used on the Sony or were not needed. for me, The Canon feels better, gives a better experience, has a nicer IQ, has better controls, much better EVF and LCD experience, and killer glass that is unique. It is what it is, and I have shot Sony forever and know them inside and out, and have friends within Sony. Im not a brand loyalist though and always go to what works for me the best. To those who own one and use it, the reviews are stellar. See the B&H photo reviews from those who own one. The only ones giving it a trash talking are Sony shooters, which is odd to me but just how todays works is sadly. All cameras are good today, all offer things some of us want but none offer us everything, and never will. Always go with what works for YOU, which is what I just did and what you do. Be happy my friend, smile, relax and go shoot! Thanks for reading.

          • So because I disagree with you, you feel it necessary to label me a trash-talking fan boy. That’s ridiculous. I was very much hoping that Canon would produce a full frame mirrorless camera that would tick all of my boxes, unfortunately, they did not. The colors are very pleasing and the lenses fantastic but that’s where it ends FOR ME 😉 …and yes, it is very much possible to replicate ANY color in post and if you know what your doing, it can be accomplished quickly and easily 😉 I am very happy, grinning ear to ear 🙂 and shoot almost every day my friend. Thank you.

          • Why the anger? First I never ever labeled you a fanboy, I HATE that term and what it stands for. I said this: “Sounds like you are a Sony guy, which is cool”. As I said here, Sony is great, but Sony users are trashing this camera for no good real reason. The EOS-R is fantastic and well worth the asking price. Period. Ive used Sony extensively and used this every day since release day. I just speak from truth, and the heart and show samples instead of just talking going by paper specs. I love Sony, I love Leica, I love Olympus, I love Canon. Nikon, Fuji and others are doing great things. Use and enjoy what works for you. But do not come here and lie saying I called you a fanboy, that is not true. Also do not distort facts. Thank you.

    • Why is it that if anyone prefers and switches to Sony they are considered to be moving to a superior system, but if anyone switches Sony to Canon it is because they must have been paid (or be made a Canon ambassador as a reward) to use an ‘inferior’system.
      I do not own a EOS-R but after using cameras for 40 years, Steve’s comments match mine in that sometimes you just prefer to handle one particular camera over others irrespective of what gizmos it comes with – it is indefinable but you just prefer it. It is no different to hifi or cars.

      The Sony is an awesome machine but if my main functions are Av, manual focus and single point AF do I care what else a camera does? The differences between cameras are becoming less and less important: 10MP compared to 8MP was significant but 50MP compared to 40MP less so. 14 stops DR compared to 12 stops is not important (to me). A 6-stop push vs 5 stops push? I really don’t care.etc etc and to be honest I think that in this I am not different to a vast majority of photographers.

      Now, the question Canon need to address is that even though these differences are not as vital as they used to be to the art of photography, what role is played in the success of a camera by internet spec-sheet hype, and the chatter of people who spend more time on forums than actually using their camera to take photos.
      This is where I admire Steve and other who dare to put their head above the parapet and make it clear that sometimes the spec sheet is secondary to taking photos.If you enjoy using a camera (no matter how ‘flawed’) you are more likely to use it than the best feature-laden model (again, same with hifi and cars).

  47. The photo of your son on the stairs is what sells this camera. The colors look perfect and accurately exposed. Other cameras would of under exposed the stairs. Thanks for the detailed review looking forward to the pocket rocket GRIII.

  48. I agree for the most part. For me, the canon wins in ergonomics, color accuracy/vibrancy over Sony. For many this is enough to go with.

    As an overall package though, the Sony easily come on top, at least for now. Canon made a move to a new direction and while it is promising it still has a lot of catching up to do in many areas.

    Every new iteration of Sony mirrorless cameras have been giant leaps from its previous. It’s like when Sony announces a new camera, only silence came from other competitors. I am very skeptical if Canon will at least try to be this ballsy. If so maybe i’ll return to Canon before long.
    Or Canon likely just play its usual game—tiny improvements every three years.

  49. Hi Steve , superb review as usual , one question , how good EOS R autofocus is compared to canon 6d mark ii considering both use dual pixel ?( Autofocus points and their concentration kept aside) the -6 EV AF works only with F 1.2 lenses which are damn constly. Would both the cameras focus instantaneously with say 50 F1.8 ( which is affordable yet a superb glass ,maybe only -3 EV possible here ?)

    • The EOS-R is indeed faster with AF in real world use for video and photo over the 6DII. The 6DII and old 50 1.2 would hunt some, the EOS-R, it is instant. Af is superb. Haven’t used the 50 1.8 so not sure how that would do. But with the 24L, 24-105, 16-35 and others it is very fast. Thank you .

  50. Steve- thanks for taking the time to write a real world review of this camera. I really think Canon has taken a very smart approach to mirrorless. If they continue to release new lenses as good as the first few for the system, they will maintain their dominate position. Great to hear their new camera really hits all the right buttons in real world use for you. I am really tempted to jump in, but am trying to hold off until the “pro” version is released… but I WANT THE 50 1.2 SO MUCH…

  51. Awesome reading!
    You make a SO good job writing about your passion.
    I received my Eos R yesterday. I love it! The colours reminds me the 5D mark III output.
    I’m just having a lot of issues with the EOS R files on my IPhone X in the Lightroom mobile app ( latest version) no image preview when import images to edit, the app often crashes and I have serious doubts about how the app renders the files.
    Anyways a can’t wait to mount my 35 and 50 sumicrons on the EOS R ( I’m a Leica user too and I love my M10)
    Again, awesome job Steve!
    LUIS

  52. I like the Canon colours and have to think it will match their printers well, (which I have). I like that its made in Japan along with the lenses, (I know people always quote Apple Made in China and I agree, plus the new Nikon beens declared to best made camera ever by one of those strip down folks), but I’ve got a lot of stuff that’s made in China, from cheap toys to cookware, but I’ve got very little Made in Japan stuff, and what I have is high end Cycle parts, musical things there is no cheap Made in Japan stuff. So if I’m spending a considerable amount of money may as well get prestige and history out of the product. I do wish it had duel card slots, I’ve had a card corrupt once and it stings. It can’t be coincidence they both went one slot a bit of spying maybe, all the bad press for Nikon took their polish off. I bet Canon were expecting worse, but R not as pitched as the 7, but none the less I bet a Duel card slot makes it onto R2. (actually R2 has a number of slots!).

  53. Good non-technical write up. Solid reasons.

    Will you keep the X1D? The SL? Or have you reached the mountain top and found that one camera that hits all your buttons? That has always been my dream… one camera making me happy all the time.

    I ordered an Z6. 24MP is all I seem to need. I don’t need IBIS but who knows, it might be handy one day. I don’t care about the extra card slot. I did want a camera body that has great weather resistance. From what I read the Z6 will have better weather sealing than the EOS-R. Both are probably very capable cameras. Maybe the nod to the Canon for the vast catalog of lenses. Either one will (would) make a great companion to my M10.

    I hope you’ll provide periodic updates over time regarding how the EOS-R continues (or not) meeting your needs. Thanks!

  54. I have to agree with you about the colour. Pics with concert lighting not-withstanding, there’s something warmer, more organic going on here, than with most digital cameras. I’m reckless to throw around the incendiary term ‘film-like’, but imho this gets closer to it than Sony. I also like the way it maps tonal values – especially noticeable to me in the b&w shots.

    • Again, some of your images shown here are really beautiful, Steve, respect. I am pretty sure that the EOS R is a good tool that makes shooting easy and enjoyable with nice out-of-the box colors, like most Canon gear (in REAL life).

      That said, I personally do hope that Canon and Nikon still will keep some more pro graded DSLR lines alive for a while, besides a hopefully fast growing selection of ML bodies. My reason: I do a lot of wildlife photography. For this I still prefer a camera with an OVF, because it doesn’t drain the battery every time I peer at a potential motif through a tele lens, hoping for a special moment. This can happen frequently for hours, and I do not like the idea of carrying even more replacement batteries with me as I already do. But that’s of course a special application…

        • Btw, dear Steve, I took the plunge and got today the EF 50mm f/1.2. Your images and your very kind help convinced me to go for the old version. Makes more sense for me since I still will shoot with some (D)SLRs for a while, besides ML, including old film EOS cameras. Now I look forward to my first results with this superfast fifty.

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