amazon Canon EOS RP reviews
The Canon EOS RP is the opposite of fun. That is an inexpensive full-frame camera that can recycle old technology and degrade certain features for no practical reason other than justifying the large price gap between it and the EOS R higher level.
At $1,300, it doesn’t matter that the RP uses the same 26-megapixel sensor as 2017’s EOS 6D Mark II (which was a bit behind its time), without a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, lower resolution, smaller battery, and inferior video specs compared to the EOS R.
This camera is exactly two things: Cheap and full-frame. That’s all its buyers need to know.
A bigger sensor doesn’t mean a better camera.
Aside from the cost, the RP’s main selling point is the size. At just over 17 ounces, it’s the lightest full-frame camera on the market. However, if you care about such things, a full frame is not the way to go. The lenses, after all, still need to be large enough to cover that larger sensor.
The kit lens for the RP is the RF 24-70mm f/4L IS. It’s a decent lens with good zoom range and effective image stabilization, but it’s completely out of balance on the RP. I also tried using the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS via the EF-RF adapter. It performs well, with fast autofocus, but feels almost comical on the small body. That isn’t an issue unique to the R system, but I think it’s underlined by the RP’s focus on being light and agile.
The EOS RP offers a perfectly balanced setup that you can take with you wherever you go.
One lens helps the RP come into its own: Macro RF 35mm f/1.8 IS. This compact element makes for a perfectly balanced setup that you can take with you wherever you go. The combination of fast aperture and mild wide-angle is well-suited for street photography or casual indoor settings. Optical image stabilization is welcome (the RP has no in-body stabilization). Sadly, there aren’t many RF lenses like it. You’ll find better options if compact size is what you want.
Take the Fujifilm X-T30. It uses a smaller APS-C sensor, weighs only 13.5 ounces, and there are plenty of compact lenses available for it, making for a smaller and lighter system. That’s not the only thing. The X-T30 has a much better video mode, faster continuous shooting speed, better dynamic range at base ISO, the same number of megapixels, and an even lower cost than the RP, all at just $900 for the body. I can make most of the same about the Sony A6400, another $1,000 APS-C camera.
What does full frame get for you? An advantage in ISO performance. The RP’s sensor may not be great at base ISO, but it’s fine when rotating it. That means cleaner images when shooting in low light. That’s a good reason to choose one full-frame camera over another.
But it’s not that simple. The low-light performance also depends on the lens, and Canon doesn’t have many R-system lenses that are both affordable and fast (meaning they have wide apertures that can let in a lot of light). The RF mentioned above, 35mm f/1.8, at $500, is the only option and the only sub-$1,000 lens currently available for the system. Fujifilm, on the other hand, has no shortage of fast prime lenses under $1,000.
That means it is possible to put together a cheaper APS-C kit and offers better low-light performance than the EOS RP. Sure, Canon has lenses like the RF 50mm f/1.2L and 28-70mm f/2L that will turn the RP into a low-light beast – but at $2,099 and $2,999, respectively, they don’t have a prime price authentication for RP customers.
Canon announced the development of six additional lenses in 2019, including the 24-240mm f/4-6.3 that will likely be most appealing to RP photographers. The remaining four versions are high-end L-series models: 15-35mm f/2.8L IS, 24-70mm f/2.8L IS, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, and two 85mm f/1.2 L versions.
Full frame making at an affordable price
Canon initially launched the EOS R system with a series of expensive, high-end products aimed at professional photographers. The RP changes 180 degrees from there, earning $1,000 less than the EOS R. Similarly, it trails it in most specs. It uses a smaller battery, borrowed from the Rebel series, rated for just 250 exposures. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) offers 2.36 million pixels while the LCD has 1.04 million, down from 3.69 million and 2.1 million, respectively, on Rs. The multi-function touch bar loves or doesn’t hate it’s gone, and the classic mode dial has replaced the R’s top LCD.
That is a lower-end camera, but some features feel cut short for no reason (apart from reasons to justify the Rs’ $1,000 premium). The most serious example? The silent electronic shutter is currently only available in scene mode. Like most scene modes, this forces the camera to expose automatically. Using the silent shutter, there are no way to shoot in manual, aperture-priority, or shutter-priority exposure modes. A silent shutter is one of the core advantages of mirrorless cameras, and this is a brand new model that inexplicably locks onto auto-exposure scene mode.
The video features also feel artificially limited. Full HD is available in 60 or 30 frames per second, but not 24, while 4K is only offered in 24 fps. That makes it difficult to mix resolutions, and since 4K also suffers from a severe 1.7x crop, there would be more reasons to do this than on non-crop cameras. For example, if you need to shoot wide-angle, you’re essentially forced into Full HD – but there’s no matching frame between the two resolutions.
You could argue that the camera can’t handle 4K at 30fps (I doubt this is true, as it uses the same Digic 8 processor as the EOS R, which offers 4K / 30), for no technical reason, at least not to include a Full HD / 24 fps option.
4K is also abbreviated from the usual shooting modes, which can only be accessed by turning the mode dial to movie mode. It’s not the only camera to do this, but I’ve always found it a weird approach. The first time I got my hands on the camera during the press event, I didn’t even realize the RP offered 4K resolution until a Canon rep told me about it and showed me how to access it.
Interestingly, the camera offers microphone and headphone jacks and has a fully articulating display that can be switched to selfie mode. So despite the software limitations, these physical features can make the RP a decent vlogging camera.
But you’ll want to stick to the Full HD resolution, even if you don’t care about 4K cropping. That is because Dual Pixel Autofocus (DPAF), due to Canon’s on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, doesn’t work in 4K. It works great in Full HD, but the camera reverts to painfully slow contrast autofocus in 4K. I found that to be all but unusable if you need to refocus while shooting.
Thankfully, DPAF remains one of the best autofocus systems I’ve used when shooting stills, achieving focus in just 0.05 seconds with sensitivity down to an impressive -5 EV (EOS R) fully operational – 6 EV, although only with an f/1.2 lens). It gave me no trouble in the dining room.
Compared to the R, it reduces the total number of focus points but still boasts 143 selectable zones (scaled from over 4,000 individual AF points). Unfortunately, it won’t hold up to fast action, as the RP has a top continuous shooting rate of just three frames per second when using continuous autofocus (or 5 with single-shot AF).
AF also detects faces and eyes and works well for relatively close subjects. If there are multiple faces in a scene, you can cycle between them with the press of a button, but I’ve found the camera often ignores anyone farther than four or five feet away (using a 35mm lens). It also doesn’t work on a person wearing glasses. Hopefully, these issues can be resolved in future firmware updates.
There’s still one feature that RP offers that aren’t found on the more expensive R, and it feels a bit out of place: The autofocus bracket. It can shoot up to 999 exposures at different focal planes, with the ability to control offset between frames. That allows focus alignment to increase the depth of field in macro photography, which often suffers from a very shallow field due to the camera’s proximity to the subject. However, the RP can’t do anything to complete the in-camera focus stack, so you’ll still need Adobe Photoshop, Digital Photo Professional, or other Canon computer software to merge the images.
I’d say the feature is no match against its inclusion. Still, simply because it’s an advanced feature, it seems a better fit for the $2,300 EOS R. In my opinion, RP customers would love to have a silent shutter that they can use in any exposure mode.
where can you get a Canon EOS RP online
Canon EOS RP Full-frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera + RF24-105mm Lens F4-7.1 IS STM Lens Kit– Compact and Lightweight for Traveling and Vlogging, Black (3380C132): Buy it now
Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 3 Lenses + Commlite Adapter Bundle (EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 is STM Lens, EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, 420-800mm Zoom Lens) with Pro Accessory Kit: Buy it now
Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) (Renewed): Buy it now
Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Full Frame Camera RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 is STM Lens Kit – (Renewed): Buy it now
Image quality: good JPEG, so is RAW.
During my first outing with the EOS RP, I mistakenly set it to JPEG. However, since I could shoot it in RAW, I realized I missed a lot. There’s nothing bad I can say about JPEGs; side by side with the guys from the Panasonic Lumix S1 ($2,500 camera), they’re better off for post-production exposure adjustments. The RP’s JPEG is almost as good as its RAW. Unfortunately, that’s not a difference in its lackluster RAW quality, as it is a testament to the power of JPEG.
At base ISO, the RP’s RAW files aren’t in the same group as those of the Sony A7 III, Nikon Z 6, and Panasonic Lumix S1 (all more expensive, but shoot at similar resolutions). If you shoot to keep detail in highlights in a high-contrast scene and then try to increase the shadows in the post, you won’t be able to push more than two stops without making noise. Go too far, and the creepy stripe pattern tore off its ugly head. The RP’s RAW files lack the flexibility and malleability we expect from full-frame cameras. Even APS-C cameras like the Fujifilm X-T30 perform better.
During my outing, I just mistakenly set it to JPEG. But after having a chance to shoot it in RAW, I realized I was missing out on a lot.
As far as out-of-camera image quality is concerned, however, the RP isn’t bad. If what keeps you full-frame is the promise of the paper-thin depth of field for Instagram-worthy portraits. You don’t want to spend a lot of time in post-production anyway; you’ll love the results you get from it (assuming you can buy a fast RF lens or have a Canon EF lens that you can adapt it to). You can still get the subjective benefits of full-frame, if not all of the objective ones.
One positive note I might add is that the RP’s metering is the spot. In difficult lighting situations, with a bright subject and a near-black background, it doesn’t overreact the subject. That makes it easier to get good results in-camera, which is more important when you have limited flexibility in post.
Low-light performance is also admirable, if still a smonon behind other full-frame cameras with similar pixel counts. ISO 12,800 is perfectly usable. Also, there is a definite jump in noise, but even 25,600 is fine. Combined with the autofocus in the dark, -5EV, I think people will be very happy with the RP as a low-light camera, and this could be the main reason for someone to consider upgrading from this format. Again, it comes down to lenses, and Canon doesn’t have many affordable, fast lenses at the moment.
A rocky start
Canon doesn’t make version 1.0 products; the first version it produced incorporated tweaks that are usually specific to version 2.0, that is, any other brand. That often means that the company may be slower to market with a product or feature type. Still, it does deliver with a notable benefit over the competition when it does deliver. The Cinema EOS (Canon’s line of professional film cameras and lenses) is a good example of this.
On the other hand, the EOS R is not. It is still very rough around the edges. It was launched with a single camera and a group of lenses that seemed to lean towards the high-quality, high-cost segment. Now, its second camera is a full-frame mirrorless camera, the cheapest model you can buy right now.
The advantages of a full-frame are not fully realized due to limited lens and sensor selection.
Canon will certainly expand its lens, offering both up and down the price scale, but for now, the RP is in an awkward position. If you already own a Canon EF lens and it works well with an adapter, it provides an easy and affordable way to switch to mirrorless. If not, it might be better to wait your time and see how the lens roadmap plays out. I’d love to see a few more compact primes that fit the 35mm f/1.8, but Canon seems to be focusing on zoom (and some very high-end primes) for 2019.
However, I believe Canon’s strategy will go after a higher-end customer is sound in the long run. That is an area that Nikon and Panasonic (and, depending on how you look at it, Sony) have so far ignored with their full-frame mirrorless options. It may not be the most exciting move, but it can be a very smart move. The technology we use mostly doesn’t necessarily inspire love letters – the best-selling model in the US is the Toyota Corolla, after all – and the RP will likely find plenty of satisfied customers thanks to its ease of use and low price.
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