Canon EOS R: First Look

Canon EOS RF Mount Lenses

Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera has been much anticipated and I’m excited to have a chance for a quick first look at the camera and RF-mount lenses with Canon Hong Kong prior to the official release.

I’d like to clarify that I’m first and foremost a photographer, and though I’m moving to shooting more video, I was mainly testing as a stills shooter.

Hefty but sharp

Though I have seen first look videos and reviews about the Canon EOS R camera lately, I was still a little surprised by the size and weight of most of the RF-mount lenses. Take a look at the camera with the new RF 24-105mm f/4L and RF 28-70mm f/2L:

Canon EOS RF Mount Lenses on Mirrorless Full-Frame camera

Those are some hefty lenses!

This was especially a concern with the RF 28-70mm f/2L, which weights nearly as much as the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II, and my arm was sore after a short test session.

Here are some quick test shots taken with the two lenses:

Canon EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera first look preview

Taken with Canon EOS R, RF 24-105mm f/4L at 105mm, 1/60 at f/4 at auto ISO 5000

Shot on Canon EOS R | Hong Kong Canon Images Square

Taken with Canon EOS R, RF28-70mm f/2L at 70mm, 1/100 at f/3.2 at ISO 800

The images look crisp with nice, smooth bokeh. But then with an L lens that’s what one would expect, right?

Hands On with Friends

It was lovely to bump into the dream team couple of zOO Wedding, Cheric and Charo, who specialize in wedding and travel pre-wedding photography.

Let’s see them test out the gear. The RF 28-70mm lens seems huge even in Cheric’s hands.

Testing Canon EOS R camera | Canon Hong Kong

Cheric (left) handling the RF 28-70mm f/2 while Charo (right) was testing out the RF 24-105mm f/4

Totally used to the fixed screen on the 5D Mark IV camera body, I even tried out the flip screen for a quick group selfie. Taken with an EF-mount lens with the basic adapter.

Taking a selfie with Canon EOS R with flip screen

What the flip!? Taken on Canon EOS R with EF16-35mm f/4L at 16mm, 1/125 at f/4, auto ISO at 2500

Quick Comparisons

And last but not least, here are a few test shots taken around the showroom, all SOOC.

First, there was the amazingly fast zoom lens, RF 28-70mm f/2L. I tested it at its 2 extreme focal lengths.

Test shot with Canon RF28-70mm F2 L USM at 28mm wide angle

RF28-70mm f/2L at 28mm, 1/100 at f/4.5, ISO 800

Test shot with Canon RF28-70mm F2 L USM at 70mm

RF28-70mm f/2L at 70mm, 1/125 at f/4.5, ISO 800

I also tested the RF 50mm f/1.2L prime lens. In the EF system this is my absolute favorite lens and most used one. It’s too bad that with the RF system, the 50mm is larger and heavier than its EF equivalent.

At the hands on session I tried out the auto-focus in very low light conditions and compared the high ISO noise performance. These 2 images are also SOOC.

High ISO testing | Canon EOS R and RF50mm F1.2 L USM

RF50mm f/1.2L, 1/50 at f/1.2, ISO 40000

Low light testing | Canon EOS R and RF50mm F1.2 L USM

RF50mm f/1.2L, 1/50 at f/1.2, ISO 20000

A very personal conclusion

I know that there are people who are greatly anticipating the release of Canon’s full-frame mirrorless system. Then I also know people who are annoyed at the limitations in this first version of the EOS R.

To me personally, the 4K video crop factor and lack of in-camera video stabilization do not affect me much. As important they are to Sony lovers, this release confirms these features are not Canon’s priority at the moment.

However, it seems that with this release, Canon’s overall focus is on image quality and pioneering features in customizability. This is evident in their RF-mount lens range and EF adapter filters.

With the new EOS R system, I’m excited about the custom functions on the click dials on the lenses, and the filter insert in the EF adapter. It’s also amazing that the first batch of lenses released with the camera would be such high quality, with a great range to choose from.

I look forward to getting some time to try those out in the field.

See also