CANON ENTERS THE FULL-FRAME MIRRORLESS CAMERA WAR
Two months ago Sony had the full-frame mirrorless market to themselves. Last week Nikon's new Z series arrived, the new Canon EOS R system landed yesterday, and in a few weeks, Panasonic will enter the fray.
Following hot on the heels on the heels of Nikon’s announcement of the Z Series range of mirrorless cameras, Canon has announced its offering in this rapidly growing sector of the professional camera market. The EOS R is a full-frame mirrorless DSLR camera that will go head to head in the market with Sony, a brand that’s been making huge inroads into the full-frame mirrorless market.
The Canon EOS R features a brand new RF lens mount that has the same diameter as Canon’s existing EF mount but uses a shorter back focus distance. This means lenses can sit closer to the sensor and enables Canon’s optical engineers to design lenses with larger and bright rear elements. The Canon RF mount also has a high-speed 12-pin communication system for more in-depth communication between the camera and lens over existing Canon mount systems.
The EOS-R has a full frame 30.3-megapixel CMOS sensor powered by Canon’s latest DIGIC 8 image processor, giving shooting speeds of up to eight frames per second, although that figure drops to 5 frames per second in autofocus mode, which is slightly slower than Nikon’s Z-series. The CMOS sensor can also deliver 4K UHD video at up to 30fps and record in 10-bit 4:2:2 with an external recorder.
Canon users who already own EF or EF-S lenses will be able to use any of their glassware on the EOS R with an RF adapter. Photographers and videographers can choose between using one of three new adapter designs, including one with a drop-in filter and another that features an electronic control ring. These adapters are much smaller and neater than the clunky Nikon Z equivalent and cheaper too.
The new Canon EOS R has Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus with a staggering 5,655 manually selectable AF points, supporting AF at up to f/11 with a 384 zone (24x16) real-time metering system. With f/1.2 lenses, the camera can autofocus in light a low as EV-6 while the sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 – 40,000 and that can be further expanded to ISO 50 – 102,000.
When using the new RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM kit lens, the EOS R can focus in as little as 0.05 seconds using its Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which Canon claims make it the fastest autofocus speed in the world. The EOS R also features a silent shutter setting when shooting in single-shot mode; an essential feature for those who need to capture images discreetly. An upcoming free firmware update will enable the silent shutter feature in continuous shooting mode as well.
As with all mirrorless cameras, the EOS R uses an EVF or electronic viewfinder. The one on the EOS R is an OLED type and is made up of 3.69 million dots. It has 100% coverage and a magnification factor of 0.76. At the rear of the camera there’s a flip-out and fully rotating 3.15-inch LED touch-panel display made up of 2.1 million dots.
The body of the EOS R is made from magnesium and is drip proof and dust proof for working in hostile environments. Images record to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, but there is only one slot. The Nikon Z Series cameras also have one memory card slot, and that uses the more expensive XQD cards. We prefer two slots on any camera a 'Pro' might use
The EOS R weighs in at 1.46lbs (660g), and there’s a chunky battery grip available too that takes the same LP-E6N battery used in Canon’s EOS 5D Mark IV.
Alongside the EOS R body, Canon is launching four RF Mount lenses. The first is the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM which will cost US$1,099 and ships in December. Canon also has two prime lenses on offer: a 32mm f/1.4 STM macro at USD $500, and a 50mm f/1.2 L for USD $2,299, both shipping in October. Finally, at the end of the year, Canon will release the RF 28-70mm f/2 zoom lens at USD $2,999.
And finally, the all-important lens mount adapters that enable owners of Canon EF and EF-S lenses to use their lenses on the new EOS R body. The simple adapter costs USD $100 and an adapter with an electronic control ring USD $200. Both will ship in October.
Pricing and availability
The EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera costs USD $2,299 for the body only or USD $3,399 when bundled with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM kit lens. Both body and lens will begin shipping in October 2018.
Australian pricing and availability are expected to be announced later this month.
GadgetNET Says: Another stunner from Canon, but with mirrorless competition from Nikon and Sony, not to mention Fuji and more, we have to ask how large the market is for so many expensive new cameras?
For more information visit Canon.
Posted in: Photography & Art
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.
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