Gear Hands-On

Canon EOS R Hands-On And Opinion

I tried out Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. It looks like a mirrorless mixture of the 6D mark II and the 5D mark IV. In the linked Youtube video I go over various aspects of the camera with a heavy slant toward ergonomics. I will say that the grip on this camera is my favorite out of all of the mirrorless cameras I’ve tried thus far.

In this video I go over features, build quality, ergonomics, quirks, and my general opinion after handling the camera:

Thanks to Camera Craft in Rockford, Illinois for allowing me to film there.

A few test photos I took with the camera (Flickr).

Get the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera here:
B&H (International/USA):
Amazon (USA):

Every piece of gear I’ve made a hands-on video are on my profile.

Important Specifications:

  • 30 megapixel full-frame sensor.
  • RF mount: a new 54mm diameter mount with a 20mm flange back distance. That gives you a lot of options for adapting lenses.
  • 1.83x crop 4k, 1080p 60 fps, and 120fps 720p with clean HDMI output.
  • Extended ISO 50 to 102400.
  • 5655 focusing pixels that benefits from large aperture lenses.
  • 1/8000th shutter with 1/200th x-sync.

Body & Ergonomics:

  • A very dense and solid feeling camera.
  • I prefer the grip of this camera compared to the Nikon Z7. The Canon is a bit taller and the shutter button doesn’t require as much effort to place my finger over. This is currently my favorite grip of mirrorless cameras I’ve used. The best feature of the camera for me. It’s a good sign.
  • 100% view 0.76x electronic viewfinder. It’s up to current standards.
  • The On/Off switch is a dial. I’m fine with this. I prefer it over the switch on the M50.
  • The M-Fn slider is unusual. I thought there might be some type of click, but it is not a button at all. I like the feature where if you hold your finger over the entire thing for a few seconds it shows the settings screen for the control. Though that appears to conflict with the lock feature.
  • Dedicated video button that will record a video in probably any mode.
  • Fully articulating 3.2″ touch screen. This adds a lot of versatility to the camera.
  • Port covers are basic rubber covers. They get out of the way easily. The same thing as the Z7.
  • LP-E6N battery, used in their previous cameras. You can charge the new N batteries in the camera with a properly spec-ed charger. There will be a battery grip available.
  • WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, I’m a fan of Canon’s Android app. I use it a lot for filming video.
  • The shutter closes down when the camera is off. Though that limits dust on the sensor it is probably just as delicate as the sensor itself. Be VERY careful with it.
  • The mode button, integrated dial, top screen, and info button work in tandem to control what mode you are in. It feels pretty smooth to change from the multitude of photo and video modes, but not quite as fast as dedicated separate dials or buttons would be. The touch screen is a secondary way to change your mode.
  • There is a battery grip data connector on the bottom of the camera. The Z7 doesn’t appear to have one.
  • All of the standard ports: Mic, headphone, mini-hdmi, shutter release, and a USB-C port.

Ergonomic Quirks:

  • One SD card slot with UHS-II support. The barrier to entry is lower than XQD, but you take on more risk with lower quality cards. There are high-end SD card options available.
  • AF On button is in an odd spot. It will depend on how you hold the camera it’s a help or hindrance.
  • There appears to be a speaker port on top of the camera near the On/Off switch. Canon and Nikon must be sharing notes. These cameras are apparently weather resistant but I find the placement odd.
  • Some aspects of the interface feel laggier than they should. This includes the M-Fn slider while scrolling. As well as using touch & drag AF for point selection compared to the M50. Maybe settings adjustments or future firmware updates can improve this. It doesn’t mean AF is slow, it’s just the interface side of things.
  • Diopter is a standard basic design. I prefer the one on the Z7 because it has a lock.

Settings and Features:

  • Full auto ISO adjustment settings. I miss this level of control on the Canon EOS M50 compared to cameras I’ve had in the past.
  • As an alternative to using the top and back dial for point selection you can use the “Touch and drag AF” feature. It is a pretty solid alternative for focus selection.
  • C1, C2, and C3 custom settings save slots.
  • There is a good deal of customization available. You can switch the direction of dials and adjust the function of a large number of buttons.
  • Silent shutter mode exists. You will hear is the aperture being adjusted for the exposure, but it’s no loud. The shutter on the EOS R seems louder than the Z7’s shutter.
  • The peaking features appear to be like my M50, so we are good there. Mirrorless cameras with a short flange distance are great options to adapt old film era lenses to.

Various Quirks:

  • Zero compatibility with the EF-M system. This is really disappointing as a user of that system.
  • I wasn’t able to test the RF 35mm lens, but the EF 50mm f1.8 STM with the adapter was a nice fit for the camera. These new full-frame mirrorless will be a nice match for small primes, though Canon and Nikon seem to be more interested in releasing large high-end glass instead.

Final Thoughts:

  • At the release price I’m not seeing the value it adds over Nikon’s soon to be released Z6 just considering specifications. Of course, the Sony options have a lot of value as well in comparison.
  • There are many hints of Canon’s EF-M system in this camera. If you want something very small, I’d suggest checking it out. Key features like the flip screen, touch & drag AF, and dual pixel AF are there in the M50. I’d expect a revised M5 mark II to be released next year.
  • From a video specification standpoint, Canon can’t yet compete with other brands. Their sensor technology needs a revision before we see full sensor 4K video and higher resolution 120 fps.
  • The camera’s grip and layout around the grip area is my favorite of high-end mirrorless I’ve used thus far. Though, I would have preferred a simple dial over the M-Fn slider control.
  • EF and EF-S lenses still have a lot of value, especially EF glass. This lens is probably one of the most adaptable of the DSLR era. It’s disappointing that EF-M has no compatibility with the RF mount, but both systems can benefit from EF glass.
  • As I mentioned with the Z7 hands-on, I think this camera is suited to slower methodical types of photography. Landscape, studio work, etc… I don’t see much of a reason to consider Canon’s 5D Mark IV unless you want the dual memory card slots or better continuous modes.

I’m expecting a lot from the next RF mount camera in Canon’s lineup! All of these mirrorless full-frame cameras have a mixture of positives and negatives. I think it’s important to find all of the specific features and drawbacks of each camera to base your buying decision on, because every camera in this price range is certainly good enough unless you need to do something very specific (like 120 FPS 1080p video recording that this camera doesn’t have).