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Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Camera Review: Is The Most Affordable Mirrorless Camera Worth Your Time?
Technology brands usually respond to criticism by unveiling Pro models- the powerful iterations of their criticized products. However, Canon took a U-turn and introduced a 'Lite' variant of the company's first-ever full-frame mirrorless camera- EOS R. Launched in February 2019 in India, EOS RP is the least expensive full-frame mirrorless camera in the market.
- Lightweight And Compact
- Crisp Touch-Enabled Screen That Can Be Used To Set Focus
- Capable EVF
- Excellent Macros And Impressive Portraits
- Very Fast And Reliable Autofocus
- Works Well For Street Photography
- Not A Very Good Camera For Videos, Especially 4K
- No In-Body Stabilization
- Battery Life Could Have Been Better
- Limited Dynamic Range
- Expensive Lenses
The mirrorless camera has been launched at a price-point of Rs. 1,10,495 for body only, which seems a bit too high. The price for EOS RP kit, which includes camera body and the RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens is Rs. 1,99,490, not very affordable, right? This brings us to the question- Why one should even consider a mirrorless camera? Technically, it is the price you are paying for the new technology and impressive camera performance in a compact form-factor.
This brings me to the Canon EOS RP, which is not just the most affordable mirrorless camera but also the lightest one around. Backed by DIGIC 8 image processor, the mirrorless camera is built upon Canon's proprietary technology. The EOS RP is touted as the most accessible full-frame mirrorless camera with highlight features- 4K video recording, 0.05s focusing speed, 26.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, an extremely lightweight and compact body.
Canon shared EOS RP review unit along with the kit lens. Here's how the camera performed.
Key Specs Of Canon EOS RP
Dimensions Approx. 132.5 x 85.3 x 70.0mm
Image sensor 26.2 megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor
Imaging processor DIGIC 8
ISO speed 100-40000 expandable to 50-102400
Continuous shooting speed Max 5fps (One Shot AF), 4fps (Servo AF)
AF 4779 available AF point positions; 143 AF area divisions for auto AF mode
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Yes
LCD 7.62cm (approx. 1.04 million dots) Vari-angle touch panel
Battery LP-E17- Lasts for up to 250 shots
Canon Knows How To Design The Perfect Camera Body
Design is very critical if you are always clicking pictures and shooting videos. For a person like me who likes to keep the camera in hand, a good design is utmost important. Having said that, I really enjoyed my time with the EOS RP as it is perfectly designed for my kind of usage. For a full-frame mirrorless shooter, it is unbelievably light than the competitors.
Canon has managed to integrate a full-frame sensor in a body which weighs just 485 grams. Featuring ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF', EOS RP feels extremely lightweight in hand, making it just perfect for street photography. With magnesium allow chassis and a well-defined body, Canon EOS RP is designed to shutterbugs.
Simple To Use Dials And Controls
The buttons, dials and ports are placed at correct spots, something I love about Canon as everything just feels at its place. The front and rear dials come really handy to set the correct shutter speed and aperture size. You can even control the important settings with the help of RF lens on EOS RP as the lens itself gets a customizable dial. I set it up to control the ISO levels while framing shots. Not just the RF lens but everything else is also customizable.
All Required Ports And Connectivity Features
As far as ports are concerned, Canon EOS RP features both headphone and microphones jack. The camera has a mini-HDMI out and even a Type-C port that makes it possible to refuel the battery by any standard phone charger. The grip is not the deepest but with such compact body on EOS RP; you will find a good hold while clicking pictures. You can purchase an optional extension to further enhance the grip. Canon EOS RP supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Plus, you get network-related functions via Canon's Camera Connect app designed for mobile devices. Overall, if you have been a long-time Canon user, you will instantly fall in love with the EOS RP.
Handy Design Comes At Some Compromises
The lightweight and compact body of EOS RP has its share of shortcomings. For starters, the camera is not fully weather-sealed. The level of weather sealing offered by Canon EOS RP is similar to 6D Mark II and is solely based on the camera's construction which involves tight panel gaps and the use of overlaps. The EOS RP does not come with in-body stabilization, which is a big miss for Canon as the handheld videos shot from EOS RP super shaky. We are going to upload a video on EOS RP very soon on our YouTube channel which will show you a number of camera an video samples.
If you want to record videos with EOS RP, you have to carry a tripod for stable video output. Besides, the compact body of EOS RP offers space for a single UHS-II card slot. The battery cell's size is also smaller and would only last for just 250 shots for one full charge. Make sure you are carrying at least two storage cards and a spare battery if you plan an intensive photo shoot on this mirrorless camera.
Tiltable Touch-enabled LCD That Can Be Used To Set Focus
The high-resolution Vari-Angle touch screen on Canon EOS RP makes it a great camera for vlogging. The camera features a 3.0-inch touch enabled LCD screen with 1,040,000 dots. The display is fairly touch-responsive and can be tilt and twisted (Approx. 170° vertically and horizontally) for some creative shots. The best part, you can also control focus and access all menu functions on the screen with just taps and swipes. This is one very handy and useful feature that not even Sony A7 III fails to offer. An OLED electronic viewfinder of 2.36 million dots sits at the top. The 60Hz screen is sharp and offers a good view of the frame you are trying to capture.
Camera Performance- Sensor, ISO Range, Autofocus
With a familiar 26.2MP sensor (Seen on 6D Mark II DSLR) and a newly designed Digic-8 processor, the EOS RP can shoot up to 5fps in single-shot autofocus mode and 4 fps in the continues mode. The camera has a native ISO range between 100 to 40,000. You can expand it to 50 to 102,400 as claimed by Canon. The camera gets in action quickly so that you don't miss a shot. The well-laid-out buttons and dials combined with the feature-rich touch-enabled display really enhance the photography experience.
Pleasing Colors, Fine Details And Textures
When used with one-of-the newly designed RF 24-105mm USM Lens, the EOS RP ensured crisp shots with impressive details. Canon's color science fans will appreciate the textures, fine details and color displayed in the shots. I think color reproduction is the strongest feature of this mirrorless shooter. JPEG shots show amazing sharpness at lower ISO levels. It is only at higher ISO levels that noise starts kicking in. However, I noticed very good noise control even in non-favourable light situations. EOS RP captures well-lit shots in low-light with good control over noise.
Dynamic Range Could Have Been Better
Dynamic range seems to be quite limited on even while shooting landscape shots. This can disappoint photographers who mostly shoot in RAW to bring out details in post-processing.
With 4779 AF positions, the autofocus on this camera is just brilliant. EOS RP has an excellent Dual Pixel phase-detect and contrast-detect autofocus system. It is generally very fast and accurate. Interestingly, the EOS RP also gets eye-detection system. In fact, it is Canon's first camera to offer eye detection in continuous autofocus mode. The feature works well when the subject is moving slowly and within the frame. For instance, the eye-detect on EOS RP serves well when the subject is closer, his/her face covers most of the frame and he/she moves at a slow defined speed. It's just not very effective when the subject is moving very fast, per se while capturing kids.
Delight For Macro Photography
Canon EOS RP captures excellent macro images when shot in auto mode, and with scene optimizer. You can step up the game for even crisper macros (and even while capturing landscapes) with the help of focus bracketing. When enabled, the camera captures multiple images at set intervals with slight shifts in the focus points.
The camera software allows you to customize the number of shots and focus increment between each shot. Post capturing the multiple images with different focus points, you can use depth composite tool in the Canon's photo professional software to combine them together to create the final image. The final output is an incredibly sharp image which keeps everything in focus.
Perfect For Street And Portrait Photography
The snappy autofocus combined with intelligent scene detection and Canon's color science makes Canon EOS RP a versatile camera for outdoor shots, especially for street photography. The camera also performs really well indoors if you are trying to capture candid shots during a family gathering or a reunion. The shallow depth of field created is a big highlight of EOS RP. Combined with the pupil detection feature, you can capture some stunning portraits if someone is ready to pose for you. The camera offers Auto White Balance with the imaging sensor. You can also set custom white balance; however only one setting can be registered.
Works Well As A Travel Camera To Document Memories
I also won't mind taking EOS RP on my travel journeys as it makes up for a versatile shooting device. The compact form-factor makes EOS RP a good travel companion, provided that you are shooting with a lightweight lens. The company has unveiled six new RF lenses in India which are as follows. Most of these lenses are very expensive and takes the price to a whole new level.
RF-15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM- The ultra-wide zoom lens with a large f/2.8 widest aperture. This lens is particularly suitable for extreme wide-angle view in close tight situations, mostly for landscape photography. The lens has a focal length of 15mm to 35mm. It can be paired with Image Stabilizer to enhance results in low-light condition.
RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM- The L-series standard zoom lens comes with f/2.8 widest aperture. RF24-70mm f/2.8L IS USM is expected to be an all-rounder for various shooting situations and genres such as landscape, portraits, and weddings.
RF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM- The telephoto zoom now comes equipped with the maximum aperture of f/2.8 and Image Stabilization, mostly suitable for sports, wedding, wildlife and even landscape.
RF85mm f/1.2L USM- The L-series medium telephoto prime lens, featuring stunning edge-to-edge resolution even at the maximum aperture of f/1.2, which expands shooting possibilities.
RF85mm f/1.2L USM DS- This is Canon's first lens to feature the Defocus Smoothing(DS) effect made possible by new coating technology. The technology is said to produce a softer and smoother bokeh effect.
RF24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM- Last in the list is RF24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM, a compact and lightweight zoom lens with a wide 24mm to a high 240mm (10x zoom).
Moreover, the EOS RP can be coupled with RF mount adapter, allowing users full access to Canon's existing range of more than 70 EF and EF-S lenses.
I am fairly impressed with the video recording abilities of EOS RP; however, some might differ as the specs just don't go in sync with the pricing. For instance, the 4K video recording is limited to 24 fps (1.7x APS-C sensor crop). This affects the shallow depth of field abilities of the camera while recording 4K videos. There's no 4K support at 30fps and the dual-pixel autofocus only kicks in while shooting 1080p videos, which will come as a disappointment for photographers who normally shoot in higher resolution.
Another surprise, you cannot shoot 1080p videos at 24fps. You can either shoot in 30fps or at 60fps. And as there's no in-body stabilization, the hand-held videos come out very shaky. You cannot shoot with EOS RP without a tripod, which makes me say that EOS RP is not the perfect camera for vlogging out there even though it has a fantastic body and a brilliant touch-enabled display.
At a price of Rs. 110,495.00 (inclusive of all taxes) for the body only, the EOS RP is the most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera in the market. The camera delivers stellar still image performance and is a delight to use in day-to-day routine because of its compact and lightweight body. The touch-enabled screen is also best-in-class. The images show incredible details and pleasing colors.
EOS RP is a wonderful camera for shooting portraits and macros. The autofocus is always at point to deliver crisp results. It serves well as a camera for street photography and can also capture some fine landscape shots. Dynamic range could have been better though.
I would have also recommended EOS RP to vloggers and serious YouTubers but EOS RP asks for too many compromises in the video department. There's no in-body stabilization, no 4K recording at 24fps, 1.6x crop at 4K, somewhat limited dynamic range and then the high price of newly launched RF lenses. Thankfully Canon offers the RF mount adapter to pair the existing Canon EF mount lenses with the new Mirrorless camera.
In the end, I believe EOS RP gives a good sneak peek into the future of mirrorless cameras. It's a good start for Canon to showcase its abilities to tap a market which is eventually going to be the future of photography. It can be a very good and versatile camera for young budding photographers who want to start with the new mirrorless technology. Professionals will anyhow keep a high-end DSLR ready for serious jobs, and can tag along EOS RP for a little fun along the way.