EOS R: First Impression by Ravi Dhingra

Category: Product Reviews | 17 December 2018

It is almost 2 years since I am using Canon EOS M5, a crop sensor mirrorless camera. This I generally use for street and travel photography but for professional photo shoots my gear consists of two full frame DSLR camera bodies including EOS 5D Mark IV and a variety of lenses. Having extensively used both the versions, mirrorless and DSLR, EOS R did not bring up any element of surprise in terms of usage. Even without going through the camera manual, the camera was ready to use with my individual preferred settings in no time.

In terms of battery and memory cards, the existing ones in the camera gear are all compatible. Canon EOS R uses the same battery LP-E6N which powers EOS 6D and EOS 5D Mark IV DSLRs which means no extra spending on additional battery. In terms of lenses, all EF and EFS lenses can be used with an adapter, so no more worrying about full frame body lenses or crop sensor body lenses.

Since the launch of EOS R around two months back, the camera has received both bouquets and brickbats. Here is my first impression of the camera in terms of handling and quality of still photographs.

Size

Size wise the camera is smaller than EOS 5D Mark IV and obviously bigger than M5 but despite smaller than 5DIV, the grip is able to accommodate four fingers resulting in better feel and stability which other mirrorless cameras do not offer.

Auto Focus

Almost the whole screen, 88% horizontally and 100% vertically, is usable in terms of auto focus positions, a simple touch while using the LCD screen for shooting enables auto focus and “Touch & Drag” option while looking through the EVF performs the same action. In terms of number, the camera has 5655 AF positions to pick from. The “Touch & Drag” preferences can be changed depending on whether right hand or left hand is being used for selection of AF positions.

Digital Lens Optimizer(DLO) System

The Digital Lens Optimizer system built into the EOS R camera performs real- time corrections for a number of optical aberrations and distortions encountered over a wide range of shooting conditions which means SOOC (Straight-Out-Of-Camera) photographs can be used without going through the process of editing on computer.

A point light source that travels through a lens system encounters numerous aberrations — both monochromatic and chromatic — that tends to spread that light

When Digital Lens Optimizer is used, high image sharpness with minimal aberrations can be achieved even with maximum aperture which otherwise may result in degradation of resolution in the focal area. The small aperture results in softening of the image caused by diffraction effect, DLO takes care of this too.

With the Digital Lens Optimizer, the entire range, from fully open to minimum aperture, can be used without worrying about the aberrations and distortions. All the photographs appearing in the article are SOOC except for reduction in file size for web upload.

Processor

The camera is equipped with the latest DIGIC 8 image processor which enhances the shooting experience with minimal shutter lag because of extremely fast processing of data. This is more noticeable in continuous drive mode, where there are almost no black-outs while shooting.

Image Stabilisation

The camera produced sharp images even at slow shutter speeds when hand held. The IS system in the camera works extremely well with the RF lenses which are connected to the body through 12 points in the RF Mount. Due to interactive data communication between the lens and camera system and fast DIGIC 8 processor, the camera shake information is processed at high speed and compensation control signal is generated to counteract the shake.

Focal Length : 61mm, 1/8 sec,  f 9, ISO 100

Focal Length : 105 mm, 1/20 sec,  f 9, ISO 100

Control Ring

The control ring on the lens before the focus control ring is really helpful as it enables the change in exposure by adjustment of  either Aperture, Shutter, ISO or Exposure Compensation which comes quite handy  while shooting the scene through EVF. This can be programmed in the set up menu as per personal preference. I have set the same for ISO, the other two dials are used for Aperture and Shutter Speed.

Low Light

The low light performance is quite good where noise levels are acceptable at higher ISO even at 100% size.

Focal Length : 96 mm, 1/125 sec,  f 7.1, ISO 5000

Focal Length : 65 mm, 1/80 sec,  f 4.0, ISO 2000

Focal Length : 65 mm, 1/80 sec,  f 4.5, ISO 1600

All the photographs are takin with Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens which is great general purpose and extremely versatile lens, a perfect choice for Canon EOS R.

Having used the Optical Viewfinder (OVF) in SLR cameras for many years now, there was an initial mental block for switching to Electronic ViewFinder(EVF)  but the wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) feature really changed the viewpoint. The battery performed better than expected, even after 270 still photographs and approximately 75 minutes of video, there was still some juice left.

Overall it has been a great experience shooting with the camera, produces similar quality of photographs as in EOS 5D Mark IV but with a smaller size and lighter weight camera body.

Click here for more details & technical specifications of Canon EOS R

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