The EOS R’s arrival has been greeted with a great amount of interest from Canon users. Those hoping for a miniaturised version of the company’s EOS 5D series haven’t had their wish come true and instead of targeting the high- end enthusiast and semi-pro user, the EOS R is more like an EOS 6D Mark II in the way it feels like an entry point into full-frame photography. The EOS R goes up against Sony’s A7 III (£1,999) and Nikon’s Z 6 (£2,099), but priced at £2,349 (body only), it’s the most expensive and has its work cut out justifying this extra expense.
Touching on the positives, the EOS R delivers stunning images that are on par with those you’ll get out of the EOS 5D Mark IV. It focuses responsively in challenging low-light scenarios, offers the best EVF we’ve used on a Canon camera and is built around a strong body that feels good in the hand over long spells of shooting – something that’s needed for the sizeable lenses Canon has created so far for the EOS R system. We’re a big fan of the customisable ring on the new lenses too, and it’s encouraging that EF/EF-S optics and third-party lenses perform so well with the EF- EOS R mount adapters. These points are sadly undone by its lack of IBIS, mode dial, AF joystick and unconventional arrangement of buttons and controls. Add the single card slot, questionable M- Fn bar and 4K video limitations to this and you walk away feeling like it has room for improvement.
Canon had an opportunity to make the EOS R one of the best cameras it has ever made and shake up the full-frame mirrorless market with something truly special. Though this first iteration in the new series might not be perfect or as compelling as its Nikon and Sony competition, it represents a start in full-frame mirrorless for Canon. It’s going to be very interesting to watch the new EOS R system evolve over future years, and I’m very intrigued to find out how the second model might differ to the first one reviewed here.