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Review: Using the Canon EOS RP

  |   Articles and reviews, Camera testing, Canon EOS R, EOS RP, Personal views, Review, Rumour camera test   |   5 Comments

Using the Canon EOS RP – a review

Looking at the Canon EOS RP mirrorless camera


Keith Cooper recently acquired the new Canon EOS RP 26MP full frame mirrorless camera, for testing, and as a general purpose backup camera for his work here at Northlight.

This review looks at features and a subset of the camera’s functionality – yes, there are bits left out…

What’s here is written for people with some DSLR experience, it’s very much a ‘How is it to use’ article.

If you’re familiar with the site, you’ll know that we don’t do many ‘basic reviews’ of cameras – it’s just that to do it well requires a consistent and well honed methodology.

That’s the sort of thing they do at DPReview – see their review.

Updates – so far (Aug 2019) only minor firmware fixes.
See the EOS RP news and info page

Click on images in the review to see enlarged versions

The EOS RP

The 2019 Canon EOS RP is Canon’s second mirrorless full frame camera, after the 2018 EOS R (see R vs RP specs at the foot of the article). Ours came from our long time pro Canon dealer Park cameras.

Key features are listed as:

  • 26.2MP Dual Pixel CMOS sensor
  • 4K/24p (from 1.7x crop region)
  • 4 fps continuous shooting with continuous AF (5 without)
  • Pupil detection AF in continuous/Servo AF mode
  • AF rated to -5EV (with f/1.2 lens)
  • Digic 8 processor
  • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Fully-articulated 1.04M dot touchscreen
  • Twin command dials
  • CIPA rated to 250 shots per charge

These features matter to my own photography in varying degrees, but the key features of interest (apart from deciding it’s time to try mirrorless) are the 26MP full frame sensor, and a RF mount that (with the included adapter) lets me use my collection of EF and adapted to EF lenses. My main day to day camera is the excellent Canon 5Ds DSLR, giving me ~50 megapixel and a camera style I’m familiar with. The EOS RP, as a backup camera replaces my 21MP Canon EOS 1Ds mk3, which is kept for more challenging environments (if you’ve used a Canon 1 series body you’ll know why it’s what I choose for quarries, foundries and bad weather…)

Video – sorry, I just don’t do video, so the less than cutting edge video performance of the RP is of marginal concern (YMMV – you need to see somewhere like DPReview for that sort of info).

Since I’m spending my own money on this camera, I don’t yet have any RF lenses (something I’ll come back to in the lens section and conclusions below).

Keith’s RP

I ordered the body only kit for the RP. In the UK this comes with the EF->RF adapter. In other regions it was also bundled with an extension baseplate for the camera. If I was going to add something on the bottom, it would have to be a battery pack.

EOS RP

I didn’t order any RF lenses – why?

Canon’s current RF lenses all tend to be at the high quality end of their range. These ‘L’ category lenses are at the kind of quality level and cost that I’d buy for use for my day to day paying work.

When I have a mirrorless ‘pro’ camera is when I’ll consider buying RF lenses. I’ve no desire to spend a lot of money on a lens I simply can’t use on my ‘No.1’ camera – currently a 5Ds

If I had one complaint about the package I ordered, it was the half tree that went into printing the start up guide in dozens of languages, shipping it half way round the world for me to pop it right in the recycling bin – a better solution please Canon…

getting-started

Setting up

Bad news for some, but it really does help to have a read of the manual for the RP. It’s the sort of thing I do whenever getting a new Canon camera, before getting ‘comfortable’ with using it.

Download EOS RP manual [PDF]

Whilst there is charge in the supplied LP-E17 battery, it should be given a full charge right away. I know this is a consumer level camera Canon, but would it hurt that much for you to put some form of charge indication into your charger?

The first few weeks of using a new camera are when you should be experimenting with features and functionality, even if the camera feels a lot like others you’ve used. Indeed, I’ve learnt things about a camera I’ve been using for years from reading the manual for whatever I replaced it with.

Some functions, such as the various scene modes, are features I simply can’t see myself using. They reflect a significant chunk of the market this camera is aimed at and work well, with additional explanatory material available in the camera.  For some reason, the only way to access a ‘silent’ or electronic shutter mode is via a scene mode – it seems quite useless otherwise.

The camera has two control wheels, quite conveniently located, and with a solid feel to their operation.

RP-mode

Much like all my DSLRs I’ve not yet found any reason to use the rear wheel lock.

There’s quite a lot of customisation options for the controls (I’ve listed some more of my personal choices after the conclusions below)

One example, being able to use the otherwise redundant video record button (the red one) on the top for DOF preview.  Why? Well the EVF is very good for giving a feel for the true DOF of wide aperture lenses and I like seeing the effects of stopping down.

I’m still in two minds about exposure simulation in the viewfinder. You can have it off and get an image that doesn’t change with changes in settings or have it on so that you get a quick feeling as to whether the lighting is OK for your chosen exposure settings. A third option has the simulation on for just when activating DOF preview. Given I tend to use fully manual modes quite a lot for my work, I rather like the exposure simulation, especially if combined with a manual focus lens such as my TS-E tilt shift lenses, and focus peaking.

RP-Power-switch

I can see how some would find focus peaking and variable brightness in the viewfinder off-putting, but I’ve found I can quickly ignore what I’m not looking for – YMMV.  Whilst the EVF is good, I’m under no illusions about it being properly colour managed or trying to use it for accurate exposure setting

The eye sensor is just to the right of the viewfinder, and is just a little too sensitive for my liking – making it a bit too easy to accidentally switch to EVF when using the screen.

There is a nifty feature where the touch screen is active on the right hand side for AF point selection whilst you’re using the viewfinder. This is fine, unless you use your left eye for the viewfinder, where your nose will happily move the AF for you. This adjustment feature is similar to the Hasselblad X1D-50C I tried at the end of 2018.
[Update: I had written it was fixed on the RP However, it can be moved, see p184 of the manual – thanks for the correction!]

You can fill up the EVF display with all kinds of indicators – fortunately it’s possible to declutter this with judicious application of custom settings.

The live histogram is good for showing clipping, BUT Canon still can’t manage a true RGB (Raw) histogram in their cameras –  it’s something many photographers keep asking for (for myself, since I was first asked by Canon about things I’d like to see improved in my 11MP Canon 1Ds back in 2004).

The display is bright, with a dioptre adjustment setting.  The rubber surround feels a bit more solid than my DSLRs and unfortunately, with the built in eye detection unit, is not removable.

A minor irritation since I can’t use my trusty Canon Anglefinder C.  Why is this so, with the excellent fold-out vari-angle screen? Well, I need strong reading glasses to use any screen for live view – not so with the viewfinder or angle finder.

Focus peaking is available at a number of levels/colours for manual focus, in the EVF/screen (not the HDMI output)

The screen is Canon’s standard design, which folds out nicely and lets you turn it inwards for when the rear screen is unwanted.

rear-screen

The shutter button is on a steeper sloping surface than my other Canon cameras, but I had to put them together to really notice.

canon-cameras

Whilst the base tripod socket seems pretty solid (there is a good metal chassis inside of the plastic body) I prefer an Arca style base or a bracket for portrait orientation.

A simple eBay ‘L bracket’ works well, although you might want to move it a bit more to the side to allow for screen opening and movement.

L-bracket-on-RP

Tethering and wireless access

The camera lets you do a number of things wirelessly – sending images to a printer or the ‘Canon iMAGE Gateway’ web service are listed, but I’ve no real use for them. The wireless access did find the Canon office printer on our network, but I seriously doubt I’d ever want to use it for photos… I appreciate it’s aimed at a consumer market, so this is just a no-use feature for me rather than any complaint.

I didn’t try any functions tied to a mobile phone since 1) I rarely ever have one with me, and 2) my old iPhone 3gs is too old to work with any Canon software. So, no go with the various bluetooth enabled services [Remote camera control, WiFi connection control, Geotag images with phone GPS info]. I’ll buy a new phone when I have a pressing need for one ;-)

However I did quickly connect the EOS RP to our wireless network here. After gaining access to the network, running EOS Utility let me connect directly to control and set up the RP.

wireless-connect

EOS utility works as it does when directly connected with all the functionality I’d expect.

This screen shot taken pointing the RP over my shoulder whilst trying to activate screen capture and looking at the computer…

tethered eos-utility

Live view and wireless will definitely run down power – If I was doing much tethered shooting with the RP I’d definitely get dummy battery power adapters such as I use with the 100D and 5Ds.

Through EOS utility you can also register lens info although there is an irksome limit to how many, and some lenses just are obviously not meant for lowly RP users ;-)

DLO data

I can see why TS-E lenses wouldn’t work (no T/S metadata), but the EF8-15?

Batteries

The LP-E17 battery is small. Add to that the greater power consumption of most mirrorless cameras and the estimated number of shots you’ll get is well below what I’d be happy trusting for a day of photography.

Two fully charged batteries would make me happier, whilst three would almost stop my concerns.

Fortunately the camera can be charged via the USB port (only whilst switched off) so various battery packs might be the answer.

Unfortunately there seems to be some confusion over just what sort of USB connection is needed to charge (no Canon, I’m not buying your USB charger)

I tried several options, including a USB power bank I’d got, but no joy. It wasn’t until I got a power bank that supplied USB C (PD] that it all worked.  If you want to know more I’ve written up some notes about EOS R USB battery charging.

eos-rp-battery-charging

Finally, my EOS RP charges via USB (note the green light).

Lenses

The camera uses Canon’s new RF mount. This is mechanically quite similar to the EF mount, but with a lot shorter distance between the mount and the sensor. This reduction comes from not having the moving mirror of the DSLR between lens and sensor. If you’re curious about the EF->RF change and how it fits in with Canon’s lens history, then I’ve written an article about Canon’s changing lens mounts.

The camera comes with a basic EF->RF mount adapter, which feels solid and well built. The adapter lets you use (crop sensor) EF-S lenses, but automatically applies a 1.6x crop to the images, giving you ~10MP images.

I’ve a Canon EF-S10-18mm IS lens [review] for our EOS 100D which is actually quite good for the RP’s limited 4k video support, giving me an 18-29mm (equiv) IS zoom for video – maybe I will have a bit more of a go with video…

There is an optional EF->RF adapter with a control ring and one with internal filter holder – the control ring may well feature once I start using RF lenses with a future EOS R, but as yet is an expensive trinket.

EF 24-70 F2.8L

The 24-70 feels a bit big on the camera, and is wide enough that if you lay the camera down it’s resting on the lens, not the camera base. I’ve seen this as a reason to get the extra base plate, but not for my money…  Anyway this happens all the time with my bigger lenses with some other cameras, and I’ve never felt it an issue.

rp24-70

I’ve quite large hands and find the 24-70 a comfortable lens to hold and use. Its weight and the lightness of the RP moves the centre of gravity forward to give a nice feel. As you’ll be noting, I didn’t get the RP for a simple light travel camera solution.

Tilt shift lenses

The RP works really well with my Canon TS-E tilt shift lenses.

Note: I’ve a lot of articles/reviews all about tilt/shift lenses and their use on the site, listed under the tilt/shift category.

One thing to be wary of whether using tilt or shift with a DSLR is that the metering system is designed for normal lenses and produces unpredictable results once you add tilt and/or shift. No such problem with the RP, where normal metering seems to work just the same as with any other lens.

The examples here are from in-camera JPEG images.

vjp rp24

TS-E 24mm F3.5 L II  modest upwards shift.

stairs 1

TS-E24mm full upwards shift.

stairs 2

17mm slight downwards shift

The next shot uses full downward shift to reduce (but not eliminate) the convergence of verticals.

stairs 3

17mm full downwards shift

Those four examples are all hand-held, using focus peaking in the EVF to check where the plane of focus runs.

EF 50mm F1.4

A lens I tended to forget that I owned, on my DSLRs. The viewfinders, without specialist focus screens, simply don’t give you the true feeling of working at f/1.4 (which is not much different to f/1.2)

camera-on-tripod

The focus never seemed quite as good as I’d like and using it wider open open than say f/4 didn’t give a feel in the viewfinder for what I’d get from a DOF point of view.

Suddenly, focus is fast and accurate, with features such as face detect AF giving rapid lock and accuracy.

This shot, in a darkish bar (1/80, f5, ISO 12800 ) was taken in a fraction of a second after I’d been asked about the new camera I’d got…

face-detect

The dim warm yellow LED lighting has definitely pushed the white balance to its limits, but focus was pretty good for a ‘quick snap’.

The 4 fps burst rate tracked Karen standing up from a sofa and wondering what the noise was, quite well. Enough to satisfy me that the servo AF works reasonably well, and to suggest that if moving subject AF is important, you should search out a review that’s had a thorough look at this feature in a meaningful way.

At f/1.4, 1/1000 at ISO 100 below, the face detect AF has worked with even the severe over exposure of the sky.

rooftop

This is an out of camera JPEG – lens correction in-camera has been set to on, with the lens data set for the EF50/1.4

Adapted lenses

In a way, all my lenses are adapted lenses, since I’m using the EF->RF adapter all the time.

What I’m looking at is old lenses (M42 and Olympus OM) that I’ve collected over the years and keep for various features/characteristics.

I’d note that all my lens adapters with AF confirm chips locked up the RP – I’ve heard that some new adapters work (and give more access to sensor AF features), but I don’t have any.

adapter rings

The adapter shown are Olympus OM to EF. I had to lever off the chip unit on the right one, so as not to lock up the camera.

One of the lenses I was keen to try was my 1983 Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2

rp-with-olympus-50

Using focus peaking makes the lens very easy to use – auto ISO helps, since the aperture is recorded as 0.

It’s possible to zoom the EVF view (x5 and x10) which isn’t too clunky, but the zoomed view no longer has any focus peaking option.

You’ll need to enable ‘shooting without lens’ in the settings to be able to use lenses with dumb adapters.

A quick test shot, of Karen, using the 50mm at f/1.2

karen

The Olympus Zuiko 24/2.8, with original lens hood.

zuiko 24 F2.8

The 24/2.8 has a bit of vignetting here at f/5.6, but works well.

seating

or outdoors at 12800 ISO (f/5.6)

evening walk

Of course, I’ve the excellent TS-E24 (also manual focus) but that’s a lot bigger than the Zuiko.

Not one I’m seeing as replacing my EF 70-200, but this Mamiya 210/4 medium format lens is actually quite easy to use with the EVF and focus peaking.

210mm F4 on RP

I’ve also got a shift adapter for my Mamiya 645 medium format lenses [see my review for more] – once again, easier to focus than with a DSLR viewfinder screen.

Photography

The best thing I can say from a personal POV about the RP was that it is just like using any of my other Canon cameras. The EVF didn’t get in the way, and a bit of customisation quickly got the camera feeling more comfortable.

Having no quick and easy RAW processing worked to my benefit, in that I started looking at the JPEG files coming out of the camera, and realising that with good exposure, they were pretty good.

With my other cameras I mostly shoot with manual settings – I don’t need any speed of responding to variable lighting and have the experience to guess my exposures pretty accurately.

Using the JPEGs I decided to see how auto ISO would be of use on a quick trip out at night, with the top ISO set for 3200

EF 50 1/60 f/4 ISO3200

diner at night

A 100% crop shows the fairly heavy noise reduction being applied.

diner-100

That said, for some purposes, such an  image is fine – it also reminded me that the EF50/1.4 isn’t bad at f/4, but is crisper at f/5.6

Using the fine detail picture setting would give a better look to many images, I also don’t mind a bit of noise in images like this.

After 15 years of using Canon DSLRs, this is actually the first time I’ve seriously looked at things such as picture styles or not thought of the jpegs as backups to the raw files…

A processed RAW file will show a crisper file with a bit of noise, but if you want lots of comparison shots at different settings, you’ll need to go to somewhere like DPReview, where they have the patience to do all those shots ;-)

From my own POV, the immediate result of these test shots was to put the Auto ISO limit up to 12800

At 2000 ISO (f/1.4, 1/60 EF 50/1.4) I’m getting images at the limit of the lens and very little noise to concern me – this shot of the statue of King Richard III outside Leicester Cathedral (where he’s now interred, after spending time in a nearby car park).

King-Richard-III

Whilst I’m pleased with the performance of face detect AF, I’m not surprised at it failing to detect a harshly lit bronze face of a statue…

This seaside view was deliberately taken a bit longer after the sun came out from behind the cloud, than I might normally do, just to guarantee the clipped highlights.

backlighting

TS-E17 [shift up] 1/800 F7.1 ISO 100

A look at the histograms in DPP shows the clipped highlights (as I’d expect from any camera).

dpp clip

A bit of lifting of shadows and the overall tonality of the image matches the scene quite well.

backlight-col-efex

But what about the shadows – that dynamic range problem so popular in some forums?

Here’s a crop from the image with a (very) steep curve applied to the selection (the box) in Photoshop.

shadow boost

Looks fine to me.

I was asked about what happens if you boost in RAW processing – this is a hefty shadow push in DPP

boosting shadows

Now it does show that my hand held shot with the TS-E17 may not have been optimally focussed and that if I were using DPP regularly I need to pay a lot more attention to how it sharpens output files, but it doesn’t cause me any undue concern about ‘DR’.

Other cameras may be ‘better’ but for my day to day paying work I simply don’t care. It’s the range of lenses, the cameras and what I can do with them that matters. If you want to use ‘dynamic rage’ as an excuse for poor photos then do so, it’s not us you’re fooling ;-)

Another view, this time of the docks at Ipswich. I grew up nearby, when this was a busy active work environment – a somewhat more ‘challenging’  place than it is now, with its yachts and bistros ;-)

docks at Ipswich

TS-E17 1/1000 f/5.6 ISO 100

AF speed

I’ve mentioned the speed of the face detect AF, which impressed me with its control and tracking. However do remember that I don’t use a phone and none of my DSLRs have anything like this, so the fact that it works is enough to impress me ;-)

Not photographing sports/kids/birds my appreciation of high performance AF is limited, once again look for comparisons from people who actually do such stuff, not just reviewers ticking of their checklists.

For ‘normal’ shots remember that I’m not using RF lenses, so I’d expect native AF to perform slightly better with RF lenses designed for the DPAF system of the RP.  Good AF also depends on the rate of communication between camera and lens – this is a lot higher in RF lenses.

Focus worked well in low light levels – of course a lens like the 50/1.4 helped, but even the EF-S10-18 F4.5-5.6 worked well, although the auto APS-C drop meant I was going to have limited requirements for the resulting 10MP images.

Image processing

At the moment, the RP isn’t supported for RAW processing in Adobe ACR or my other regular choice DxO PhotoLab, so I’m slightly limited in using the relatively unfamiliar Canon DPP software.

DPP does a good job in RAW processing, but is simply unfamiliar, and that means I’m not so sure about making adjustments that I’d whiz through using Adobe Bridge/ACR/Photoshop (my preferred workflow – I’ve never liked Lightroom)

Conclusions

Comments – questions – please feel free to email me or use the comments section at the foot of the page.

Canon’s EOS RP is an interesting mix of the advanced and the simple, with a definite nod to making it easy to use for people looking to move to a full frame camera.

It’s light and compact, weighing less than many entry level DSLRs. It handles well with adapted Canon EF and other lenses, although at the time of writing, the selection of native RF lenses are mostly at the higher end, and definitely not at what most would call ‘consumer level’.

As a long time Canon DSLR user, I found the camera really easy to get the hang of. There are more than enough controls and buttons for any use of the camera I’d likely make, and the range of customisation options are useful.

RP-mode

Sure, I’d like a small joystick above that info button, but I remind myself that this is the ‘basic’ model. In some ways I should compare it to Karen’s EOS 100D where it’s a distinct step up in capabilities.

Karen has smaller hands than I do, and likes the handling and feel of the RP – I guess it’s safe as long as she doesn’t find an alternative RF full frame lens that matches the EF-S10-18 she uses a lot on the 100D…

Changing cameras

Changing a camera always brings a clash between what you are used to doing and how things work on the new camera. I’ll look at some of the things I think need changing for Canon mirrorless cameras. However, it’s always worth considering that some changes might represent a better or more efficient way of doing things if you give them a go.

Normally I’ll use my DSLRs in fully manual mode, sometimes with added auto ISO. Sometimes I’ve used Av (aperture priority) but not often.

I started off using the RP in ‘M’ and ‘M’+autoISO.  Fine – it’s comfortable and I know what I’m doing. Then I started customising buttons and looking at how to get the EVF/screen working as I wanted.

After this I went back to the manual – partly to check the wireless setup, but also to have another scan through all the stuff I’d skipped over. Video – sorry, still no interest, but what’s the Fv mode on the dial?

After a bit of ‘this is different’ resistance I decided that I rather liked the way of using the two control wheels to set  aperture/exposure/exposure comp/ISO. I’ll need rather more use to see whether this is really what I want, but the point is not to let your experience of ‘how you’ve always done it’ blind you to possible new better ways.

The EVF

This wasn’t my first serious use of an EVF equipped camera – that was the Hasselblad X1D-50C at the end of 2018 [X1D-50C review notes]. It turns out that the EVF display in the X1D is a very similar unit to the EOS RP version. The EVF in the RP is less advanced that the EOS R (2.36 vs 3.69 million dots). Even so, I only noticed a bit of lag or flicker on a few occasions – I don’t shoot quickly moving subjects though.

The display is clear and very rarely did its lower resolution impinge on its usability. That said, getting the 1Ds mk3 out reminded me just how good the Canon 1 series viewfinders are. Note to Canon, I’ll be expecting this level in any ‘pro’ model

Going back to the main target market though, I found the viewfinder considerably better than the 100D. If you’ve a Canon APS-C DSLR more than a few years old then expect quite an improvement.

Dust

The RP lacks the weather sealing found on my more expensive bodies, which is why even my 5Ds gets swapped out for the 1Ds3 for some jobs (dampness and dust spring to mind).  What concerns me a bit more is that the shutter is open when you change lenses.

The anti dust shake is quite aggressive and I’ve also enabled it to work at switch-on. I’ll just have to keep an eye on the sensor and be doubly careful when changing lenses. I noted that the cleaning activates even when you change lenses with the camera switched off.

Annoyances

Very few things annoyed me about using the RP – most were just the ‘this is different’ type of irritations that any new kit will elicit. Then again, I don’t have to build up a collection of pro vs. con review points to create some spurious score or rating (why I never give ratings)

However two issues didn’t go away, and are to me things that Canon need to address.

Lens image stabilisation never turns off

On all my other cameras the IS comes on when I half press the shutter, stays on a bit and turns off. It’s quite apparent when IS is on for the bigger lenses, less so for ones like the EF-S10-18.

Why is this an issue? The battery life is already relatively  poor on the RP – I don’t need IS permanently on sucking juice out of the LP-E17 inside.  Sure, I could set the EVF to only stay on a while, so the IS isn’t always on, but I feel there should be a C.Fn setting to have IS behave the same way it does on DSLRs (I’m told this is an annoyance for EOS-M users too). Simply saying ‘this is how it works on mirrorless’ is a cop-out IMHO.

EVF when I want it and rear screen when I want it

I’ve tried numerous settings but having the EVF just as a viewfinder and the rear screen just active when I want it isn’t an option.

  • I’d like the EVF just working as an EVF (no preview of the shot just taken) so no menus or settings, unless I want them. It is possible to turn off image preview, but it does this for the screen too.
  • I’d like the rear screen blank unless I choose to activate it for something, so no live view unless I ask for it. Last shot preview, if I want it

At the moment I tend to use the rear screen turned in to the body, just to shut it up (especially at night) and even then stuff I don’t want keeps intruding into the EVF

This one is not a problem myself, but :

  • The screen focus point adjustment needs to be configurable for either side of the screen, to avoid ‘nose activation’ issues for people who look through the EVF with their left eye.
    CORRECTION – you can set the AF control points see p184 of the manual – thanks to LM in the comments

**BTW, if any of my gripes are due to user ineptitude, then please do let me know. I’ll appreciate the info and post solutions here!

For EOS R pro cameras…

Canon will make pro models of EOS cameras, and when they do I’m sure that a lot of long time DSLR users will want a lot more customisation of camera functionality than we currently have. The two features I’ve mentioned are the only ones that still grate for me, an both could easily be addressed in a firmware update.

I’m being picky here but if I choose one of Canon’s cameras to make a living I feel I’m entitled to a bit ;-)

A few more:

  • Focus peaking is available at a number of levels/colours for manual focus, in the EVF, but not the HDMI output*
  • Focus peaking option please for when I zoom the viewfinder – the whole zoom VF thing needs a bit better thinking out in terms of buttons and operation.
  • Focus peaking – it would be nice to be able to turn this on or off via an assigned button
  • Yes, dual cards. On important jobs I record to both for reliability
  • The return of a joystick
  • Buttons by the lens mount, where I expect to find DOF preview for example

*Correction: I was originally mistaken in thinking it didn’t work on the rear screen it does

Who’s the camera for

Whilst much of the marketing and the automation features pitch this at the consumer end of the  market, I’m finding it a perfectly usable full frame camera that makes a good backup for my professional work, and for occasional parts of jobs, even easier to use.

Now I know some will want double cards and a heftier battery before risking using a ‘consumer grade’ camera for assignments, but I’m happy to use it for some more general photography.

With it’s excellent support for old adapted lenses it really is capable of some good results.

Keith’s customisation of the RP

I’ve set the C1,2,3 modes to start up at:

  • Fully manual, single point AF and ISO 100
  • Manual, but with Auto ISO, Face AF
  • Fv mode – mainly because I’m still experimenting with this

Mostly, the camera is very similar to any other Canon camera I’ve used.

  • I’ve turned off WiFi/bluetooth, since I’ve usually no need for them.
  • I’ve turned off the beep and reduced the default on times of the screen and viewfinder.
  • I’ve enabled shutter release without lens so that I can use adapted lenses.
  • The 3×3 viewfinder grid is turned on – useful for when I’m using TS-E lenses hand held.
  • I initially set auto ISO for a maximum of 3200 and then raised this to 12800 after seeing JPEGs from the camera
  • I’ve changed the red movie record button on the top to DOF preview
  • I’ve turned off the focus assist light – it kept lighting up whilst I was out at night and annoyed me ;-)
  • I’m not using power save mode, but have reduced times until turn-off

Please do let me know if you’ve any questions – also if you found the review useful, please consider sharing it on forums and the like, since I’m very keen to get more feedback and other people’s opinions of the RP.

Buying…

If you’re buying new kit, then buying absolutely anything via our links will help support the site.

EOS-RP  Amazon.com | Amazon.co.ukAdorama | B&H | Park cameras

Canon_EOS_RP_in_stock

Technical specifications

Compared to the 6D Mk2 the RP has pretty much the same sensor

Frame rate is 4fps vs. 6.5fps for the 6D2

Viewfinder coverage (0.7x) is 100% with a 2.36M dot EVF vs a 98% coverage optical (0.71x) finder.

The 6D mk2 is bigger and heavier – its batteries last a lot longer.

Dimensions 133 x 85 x 70mm
(5.2 x 3.4 x 2.8″)
144 x 111 x 75mm
(5.7 x 4.4 x 2.9″)
Weight 485g (17.1 oz) 765g (27.0 oz)
Compared with the EOS R
Canon EOS RP Canon EOS R
26mp FF 30mp FF
2.36m dot EVF (0.7x) 3.69m dot EVF (0.76x)
3″, 1040K dot touch-screen 3.15″, 2.1m dot, touch-screen
No secondary display Top LCD
ISO50 – ISO102400 ISO50 – ISO102400
1/4000s 1/8000s
4.5fps 8fps
AF to -5EV AF to -6EV
250 shot battery life 370 shot battery life
132.5 x 85 x 70mm 135.8 x 98.3 x 67.7mm
485g with battery/card 660g with battery/card
Full EOS RP specs:
IMAGE SENSOR
Type 35.9 x 24 mm CMOS
Effective Pixels Approx. 26.2 Megapixels
Total Pixels Approx. 27.1 Megapixels
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Low-Pass Filter Built-in/Fixed
Sensor Cleaning EOS integrated cleaning system
Colour Filter Type Primary Colour
IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type DIGIC 8
LENS
Lens Mount RF (EF and EF-S lenses can be attached using Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, or Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. EF-M lenses are not compatible)
Focal Length Equivalent to 1.0x the focal length of the lens with RF and EF lenses 1.6x with EF-S
FOCUSING
Type Phase-difference detection system with image sensor (Dual Pixel CMOS AF)
Coverage 88% horizontal and 100% vertical coverage [10]
AF working range EV -5 to 18 (at 23°C & ISO100)
AF Modes One Shot

Servo AF

AF Point Selection Automatic selection: Face+tracking + Eye AF

Manual selection: 1-point AF (AF frame size can be changed) 4779 AF positions available

Spot AF

Manual selection: AF point Expansion 4 points (up, down, left, right) Manual selection: AF point Expansion surrounding

Manual selection: Zone AF (all AF points divided into 9 focusing zones)

AF Lock Locked when shutter button is pressed halfway or AF ON is pressed in One Shot AF mode. Using customised button set to AF stop in AI servo
AF Assist Beam Emitted by built-in LED
Manual Focus Selected on lens

Focus peaking provided

EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes Real-time with image sensor, 384-zone metering (24×16)

  1. Evaluative metering (linked to all AF points)
  2. Partial metering (approx. 5.5% of viewfinder at centre)
  3. Spot metering: Centre spot metering (approx. 2.7% viewfinder at centre)

AF point-linked spot metering not provided

  1. centre-weighted average metering
Metering Brightness Range EV -3 to 20 (at 23°C, ISO100, with evaluative metering)
AE Lock Auto: AE lock takes effect when focus is achieved

Manual: By AE lock button in P, Av, Fv, Tv and M modes

Exposure Compensation +/-3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments (can be combined with AEB).
AEB +/-3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 stop increments
Anti-flicker shooting Yes. Flicker detected at a frequency of 100 Hz or 120 Hz. Maximum continuous shooting speed may decrease
ISO Sensitivity [8] Auto 100-40000 (in 1/3-stop or whole stop increments)
ISO can be expanded to L:50, H1: 51200, H2: 102400,
Type Electronically-controlled focal-plane shutter
Speed 30-1/4000 sec (1/2 or 1/3 stop increments), Bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode)
Shutter Release Soft touch electromagnetic release
WHITE BALANCE
Type Auto white balance with the imaging sensor
Settings AWB (Ambience priority/White priority), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, White Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom, Colour Temperature Setting
White balance compensation:
1. Blue/Amber +/-9
2. Magenta/Green +/-9
Custom White Balance Yes, 1 setting can be registered
WB Bracketing +/-3 levels in single level increments

Selectable Blue/Amber bias or Magenta/Green bias

VIEWFINDER
Type 0.39-inch OLED colour EVF
Dot count 2.36 Million dots
Coverage (Vertical/Horizontal) Approx. 100%
Magnification Approx. 0.70x [1]
Eyepoint Approx. 22 mm (from eyepiece lens centre)
-4 to +1 m-1 (dioptre)
Viewfinder Information AF point information, Exposure level indicator, Number of remaining multiple exposures, Exposure compensation, HDR shooting, Highlight tone priority, Multiple-exposure shooting, ISO speed, Possible shots, Multi Shot Noise Reduction, Number of self-timer shooting, Digital Lens Optimizer, Maximum burst, AF method, Battery level, AF operation, Exposure simulation, Drive mode, AEB, Metering mode, FEB, Anti-flicker shooting, Still photo cropping, Shooting mode, Aspect ratio, Scene icons Auto Lighting Optimizer, AE lock Picture Style, Flash-ready, White balance, Flash off White balance correction, FE lock, Image Quality, High-speed sync, Bluetooth function, Shutter speed, Wi-Fi function, Multi-function lock warning, Histogram, Aperture Electronic level, Lens information
Depth of field preview Yes, via customised button
Eyepiece shutter N/A
LCD MONITOR
Type 7.5 cm (3.0″) Clear View LCD II, approx. 1.04 Million dots
Coverage Approx. 100%
Viewing Angle (horizontally/vertically) Approx. 170° vertically and horizontally
Brightness / Colour Adjustment Manual: Adjustable to one of seven levels
Touch-screen operations Capacitive method with menu functions, Quick Control settings, playback operations, and magnified display. AF point selection in Stills and Movies, touch shutter is possible in still photo shooting.
Display Options (1) Basic Camera settings
(2) Advanced Camera settings
(3) Camera settings plus histogram and dual level display
(4) No info
(5) Quick Control Screen
FLASH
Modes E-TTL II Auto Flash, Metered Manual
X-sync 1/180 sec
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 3 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 increments with EX series Speedlite flashes
Flash Exposure Bracketing Yes, with compatible External Flash
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Second Curtain Synchronisation Yes via Speedlite
Hot Shoe/PC terminal Yes/No
External Flash Compatibility E-TTL II with EX series Speedlite, wireless multi-flash support
External Flash Control via camera menu screen
SHOOTING
Modes Stills: Scene Intelligent Auto, Special Scene (Portrait, Group Photo, Landscape, Sports, Kids, Panning , Close-up, Food, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control, Silent Mode), Flexible priority AE, Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Bulb and Custom (C1/C2/C3)
Movie: Auto exposure, Manual, HDR
Picture Styles Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined (x3)
Colour Space sRGB and Adobe RGB
Image Processing Highlight Tone Priority
Auto Lighting Optimizer (4 settings)
Long exposure noise reduction
High ISO speed noise reduction (4 settings) (stills and video)
Lens optical correction (3):
Peripheral illumination correction Chromatic aberration correction

Distortion correction

Diffraction correction

Digital Lens Optimizer (during/after still photo shooting)

Resize to M, S1, S2 [2]
Cropping: JPEG images can be cropped (Aspect ratios 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1)
– 43 cropping sizes selectable, from 11% to 95% (diagonal)
– Switch between vertical and horizontal cropping orientation
– Image straightening, tilt correction
– Cropping frame can be moved using touch screen operation
RAW image processing [3]
Multiple exposure
HDR
Drive modes Single, Continuous High, Continuous Low, Self timer (2 s + remote, 10 s + remote, continuous)
Continuous Shooting Max. approx. 5 fps speed maintained until card full (JPEG) or 50 RAW images [4][5][6]
Max. 4 fps with AF Tracking
Interval timer Yes
LIVE VIEW MODE
Type Electronic viewfinder with image sensor
Coverage Approx. 100% (horizontally and vertically)
Frame Rate 59.97 fps (smooth) / 29.97 fps (power saving)
Focusing Manual Focus (Magnify the image 5x or 10x at any point on screen)
Autofocus: Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Face Detection and Tracking AF, 1 point AF, Expand AF, Zone AF, and Touch shutter
Metering Real-time evaluative metering with image sensor (384-zone)
Partial metering (approx. 5.5% of the centre of the screen)
Spot metering (approx. 2.7% of the centre of the screen)
Centre-weighted average metering
Display Options 3 levels available Basic shooting information, Advanced shooting information and Advanced shooting information with Histogram
FILE TYPE – Stills
Still Image Type JPEG
RAW: RAW, C-RAW (14-bit, Canon original RAW 3rd edition)
Complies with Exif 2.31 and Design rule for Camera File system 2.0
Complies with Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1
RAW+JPEG simultaneous recording Yes, any combination of RAW + JPEG possible
Image Size JPEG:
3:2 ratio (L, RAW, C-RAW) 6240×4160, (M1) 4160×2768, (S1) 3120×2080, (S2) 2400×1600
1.6x (crop) (L) 3888×2592, (S2) 2400×1600
4:3 ratio (L) 5536×4160, (M1) 3680×2768, (S1) 2768×2080, (S2) 2112×1600
16:9 ratio (L) 6240×3504, (M1) 4160×2336, (S1) 3120×1752, (S2) 2400×1344
1:1 ratio (L) 4160×4160, (M1) 2768×2768, (S1) 2080×2080, (S2) 1600×1600
Folders New folders can be manually created and selected
File Numbering (1) Consecutive numbering
(2) Auto reset
(3) Manual reset
EOS Movie
Movie Type RF/EF lenses: 4K, Full HD, HD.

EF-S lenses: 4K or HD

MPEG4 AVC/H.264 variable (average) bit rate, Audio: Linear PCM, AAC
Movie Size 4K (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (25, 23.98 fps) intra frame [7]
4K Time-lapse (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (29.97, 25 fps) All-I
Full HD (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 fps) intra frame, intra frame lite (29.97, 25 fps)
Full HD HDR (16:9) 1920 x 1080 (29.97, 25 fps) intra frame
HD (16:9) 1280 x 720 (59.94, 29.97, 50, 25 fps) intra frame
HD HDR(16:9) 1280 x 720 (29.97, 25 fps) intra frame
Colour Sampling (Internal recording) 4K / Full HD / HD – YCbCr4:2:0 (8-bit)
Canon Log No
Movie Length 4K and Full HD – Max duration 29min 59sec. (excluding High Frame Rate movies). No 4GB file limit with exFAT SDXC card.
High Frame Rate Movie Not supported
4K Frame Grab 8.3-megapixel JPEG still image frame grab from 4K movie possible
Bitrate/Mbps MP4: 4K (16:9) 3840 x 2160 (25, 23.98 fps) IPB 120Mbps / 869 MB/min

Full HD (59.94p/50.00p)/IPB Approx. 60 Mbps / 440MB/min Full HD (29.97p/25.00p)/IPB: Approx. 30 Mbps / 225MB/min Full HD (29.97p/25.00p)/IPB Lite: Approx. 12 Mbps / 87MB/min HD (59.94p/50.00p)/IPB Approx. 26 Mbps / 196MB/min

Full HD (29.97p/25.00p)/IPB: Approx. 13 Mbps / 103MB/min

Microphone Built-in stereo microphones (48 kHz, 16-bit x 2 channels)
HDMI Display Output to external Monitor only with or without information display
HDMI Output 4K (UHD) and Full HD or HD recording, uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2, 8-bit. Sound output via HDMI is also possible. When outputting to external monitor no images are recorded to the card and Wi-Fi communication is disabled
Focusing Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Face Detection and Tracking AF, Movie Servo AF, Continuous Eye AF, Manual Focus with focus peaking
ISO 4K – Auto: 100-12800, H2: 102400
Full HD/HD – Auto: 100-25600, H2:102400
OTHER FEATURES
Custom Functions 23 Custom Functions
Metadata Tag User copyright information (can be set in camera) Image rating (0-5 stars)
Water/Dust resistance Yes
Voice Memo No
Intelligent Orientation Sensor Yes
Playback zoom 1.5x – 10x in 15 steps
Display Formats (1) Single image
(2) Single image with information (2 levels)
Basic – Shooting information (shutter speed, aperture, ISO and Image quality)
Detailed – Shooting information (shutter speed, aperture, ISO, metering Image, quality and file size), Lens information, Brightness and RGB histogram, White balance, Picture Style, Color space and noise reduction, Lens optical correction, Record of sent images, GPS information
(3) 4-image index
(4) 9-image index
(5) 36-image index
(6) 100-image index
(7) Jump Display (1, 10 or 100 images, Date, Folder, Movies, Stills, Protected images, Rating)
(8) Movie edit
(9) RAW processing
(10) Rating
Slide Show Image selection: All images, by Date, by Folder, Movies, Stills, Protected images or Rating
Playback time: 1/2/3/5/10 or 20 seconds
Repeat: On/Off
Histogram Brightness: Yes
RGB: Yes
Highlight Alert Yes
Image Erase Single image, select range, Selected images, Folder, Card
Image Erase Protection Erase protection of Single image, Folder or Card all found images (only during image search)
Self Timer 2 or 10 sec. continuous
Menu Categories (1) Shooting menu
(2) Playback menu
(3) Setup menu
(4) Custom Functions menu
(5) My Menu
Menu Languages 29 Languages
English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Portuguese, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Greek, Russian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Vietnamese, Hindi, Romanian, Ukrainian, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Malay, Indonesia and Japanese
Firmware Update Update possible by the user (Camera, Lens, External Speedlite, BLE remote control, Lens adapter)
INTERFACE
Computer Equivalent to Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0) Type-C connector
Wi-Fi Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) (2.4 GHz only), with Bluetooth support [8] Features supported: EOS Utility, Smartphone, Upload to Web, Auto transfer, Wireless printing
Other HDMI mini out (Type C, HDMI-CEC compatible), External Microphone In/Line In (Stereo mini jack), Headphone socket (Stereo mini jack), E3-type terminal (remote control terminal)
DIRECT PRINT
PictBridge Yes (Via Wireless LAN only)
STORAGE
Type 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-II
SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC & Macintosh Windows 7 (excl. Starter Edition) Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 (tablet mode not supported)
OS X v10.11, 10.12, 10.13 and 10.14
SOFTWARE
Image Processing Digital Photo Professional 4.9 or later (RAW Image Processing)
Other EOS Utility 3.9 or later (incl. Remote Capture), Picture Style Editor, Map Utility, EOS Lens Registration Tool, EOS Web Service Registration Tool, Canon Camera connect app (iOS/Android)
POWER SOURCE
Batteries Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LP-E17 (supplied)
Battery life Approx. 250 shots (at 23°C) [9]
Approx. 240 shots (at 0°C)
Battery Indicator 4 levels + percentage
Power saving Power turns off after 30 seconds, 1, 3, 5, 10 or 30 mins
Power Supply & Battery Chargers Battery charger LC-E17E (supplied), AC adapter AC-E6N and DC coupler DR-E18, AC adapter kit ACK-E18, USB Power Adapter PD-E1
ACCESSORIES
Wireless File Transmitter Not supported
Lenses All RF lenses (EF & EF-S via Lens adapters)
Lens adapters Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with Drop-In Circular Polarizing Filter A Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with Drop-In Variable ND Filter A

Flash Canon Speedlite (EL-100, 90EX, 220EX, 270EX, 270EX II, 320EX, 380EX, 420EX, 430EX, 430EX II, 430EX III, 470EX-AI, 550EX, 580EX, 580EX II, 600EX, 600EX-RT, 600EX-II-RT, Macro-Ring-Lite MR-14EX, Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX II, Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX, Macro Twin Lite MT-26EX Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2, Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT)
Remote Controller/Switch Remote control with E3 type socket and Speedlite 600EX-II-RT
Other GPS receiver GP-E2
PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Body Materials Magnesium alloy, with some parts of aluminium and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 85% or less humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 132.5 × 85.0 × 70.0 mm
Weight (body only) Approx. 440 g (485 g with card and battery)
All data is based on Canon standard testing methods except where indicated.
Subject to change without notice.
1. with 50mm lens at infinity, -1m-1 dpt
2. Frame grab images from 4K movies and images shot in S2 quality cannot be resized
3. RAW image processing during image Playback only with RAW
4. Large/Fine resolution
5. Based on Canon’s testing conditions, JPEG, ISO 100, Standard Picture Style. Maximum fps and buffer capacity may be reduced depending on the cameras settings, light level, subject, m
6. Figures quoted are when used with UHS-II SD memory card
7. Recording 4K movies requires a memory card with a UHS-I/UHS speed class of 3 or higher
8. Wi-Fi use may be restricted in certain countries or regions
9. Based on the CIPA Standards and using the battery supplied with the camera, except where indicated
10 Coverage vary depending on the lens used, for full specifications see the list of supported lenses on the Canon support site

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5 Comments
  • Shaun Gibbs | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    I use the lock lever on my DSLRs when doing studio work with metered lighting. The exposure settings can’t be accidentally changed by turning one of the dials.

    • Keith Cooper | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks – I knew there had to be some uses for Canon to keep including it ;-)

  • Liz W | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Practical and useful review. I just bought the Canon RP and am amazed at its low light performance. My main question: we photograph schools and dance studio students and shoot tethered with a usb cable. We can’t use the client’s wireless on location, so we have always used cables. Any ideas on cable tethering? Thanks in advance.

  • entoman | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Easily the most useful review I’ve read for this camera. I’m hoping for a mirrorless “5DS” with IBIS, better high ISO noise performance, and a faster fps rate, but it looks to be at least another year to wait.

  • Lance_Magillicuddy | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Excellent real world review! One thing about custom configuration. I’m left-eye dominant, and I set it up to have the “drag focus point” area on the left side of the rear screen. From your review, I got the impression that you were saying the selection area was not customizable; did I misread your comments?

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