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Using the Canon EOS RP

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

Canon EOS RP impressions

Keith Cooper tries out the EOS RP

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Keith’s ‘using the Canon EOS RP’ notes and information page.

In March 2019, Keith added the EOS RP to the Northlight camera collection – how is it to use for a long time DSLR user.

The article is organised by date, and will be updated with info and photos as Keith explores the camera.

Download EOS RP manual [PDF]


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EOS-RP pre ordering | | B&H | Park cameras

EOS-RP usage and testing

A diary style article looking at the EOS RP – For specifications, updates, reviews and info see the main EOS RP page

What does the RF mount mean for EF/EF-S & EF-M?
See Keith’s articles about Canon’s changing lens mounts and When will I switch to EOS R



2019 April

2nd I’ll still be updating this page over time, but I’ve written up a longish review of the EOS RP


22nd I’m liking using wider lenses at wide apertures on the EOS RP(EF50/1.4 and Zuiko 50/1.2). In my day to day work I don’t make a lot of use of small DOF – maybe for inside machines to draw attention, but not often.

What I’m liking is the return of ‘proper DOF’ in the viewfinder. Modern DSLRs don’t give a realistic feel for actual DOF much below f/4 or so. I had special focus screens for the 1Ds/1Ds3 and missed this on the 5Ds. With the obvious increase in quality of an EVF in any Canon ‘Pro’ mirrorless, I’m moving towards liking the idea…

With wide lenses you can just adjust aperture and see the effects.

With manual focus, I’m finding the focus peaking very effective, even on longer lenses such as this Mamiya 210mm f/4

210mm F4 on RP

The tripod is a new small carbon fibre one I was testing [TC2335 review]

This shot (f/5.6) was focussed on the speed hump in the road. The peaking is nicely visible without being intrusive.

street view

Out of camera jpeg – 1/800 ISO400 (auto ISO) Aperture manually set to f/5.6

As someone not doing weddings/social photography, I only tend to do ‘people’ stuff at business networking events, where I’ll perhaps tweet a few images (from home – I rarely have a phone with me and it’s too old to run any Canon software) or send a few pics to the organisers. Last night I was using the EF50/1.4 (and the EF8-15 F4L FE) and was impressed by the speed of the ‘Face AF’ function for quick snaps in fairly low light.

face AF

EF 50mm F1.4 1/60 @f/1.4 ISO1250

No, I’m not going to be adding ‘people pictures’ to what Northlight does, but it’s fun to experiment.

Note – I do photograph people – they just tend to be operating machines or wearing hard hats… ;-)

Oh, and the face AF didn’t lock on in this shot of the statue of King Richard III (of car park fame), that I passed on the way home.

King Richard III

EF50 F1.4  1/60 @f/1.4 ISO2000

21st A quick test with tilt/shift lenses to see whether lens movements mess up metering, the same way they do for my DSLRs.

24mm modest upwards shift

vjp rp24

24mm full upwards shift

stairs 1

17mm slight downwards shift

stairs 2

17mm full downwards shift

stairs 3

So, pretty much no effect – tilt is the same.

Now a (slightly cropped) shot taken with my 1978 MTO1000A 1080mm f/10 mirror lens.  The moon was low, air not clear and I was using a medium size tripod and no cable release…

However, with a bit of contrast enhancement, it’s none too shoddy, and definitely worth having a ‘proper’ go some time.

The focusing with EVF/peaking is so much easier than any DSLR I’ve tried…


17th I’ve upped the max auto ISO setting to 12800 after looking at the results shooting in darker conditions.

I’m finding I’m using the RP more and more with the screen turned inwards, since it just keeps showing stuff I don’t want to see.  I’m at ‘The Photography Show’ tomorrow and will enquire further of some of Canon’s assorted experts…

Our big batch of ‘real work’ has been done, so I’m hoping to get out a bit more this coming week to test the RP. I’ve a new small/light carbon fibre tripod to test as well, so will be making sure I’ve my battery packs in my camera bag ;-)

The movie button is still set to DOF preview.

A cheap ‘L bracket’ from eBay works just fine on the RP (shown with Zuiko 24/2.8 lens)


It fits well, although you might want to increase the gap at the side if you want to fold out the rear screen, or access the ports.


I’ve really got quite comfortable with using focus peaking in the viewfinder with old manual focus lenses. The EVF means that I can quickly stop down as needed without losing visibility. There’s a stronger feeling for lens depth of field that I’ve perhaps not had since I went full frame digital in 2004. This is especially so with wider lenses such as the Zuiko 50/1.2 or even the Canon EF50/1.4 which finally feels like a wide aperture lens through the viewfinder.

The paucity of RAW conversion options for the RP at the moment means I’m actually paying attention to the JPEG files from the camera a bit more.

Down at a local bar, using my 1982 Olympus Zuiko 24/2.8 – 1/40 f/4 ISO (auto) at 12800

No editing, other than reducing size (click to enlarge)

looking glass bar

One benefit of this is that although I don’t do photos in conditions like this commercially (I’d have a tripod and be using my 5Ds) I do sometimes take photos at events where technical quality is secondary to actually taking the photo.
[Do remember that I rarely have a mobile phone with me ;-)]

I now look forward even more to a ‘pro’ level mirrorless – I just hope it offers far more detailed customisation options than the EOS RP

14th A new battery pack solves my USB charging issues with my EOS RP

2nd A few short notes from initially setting up the RP and taking a few photos.

Take time to adjust the diopter setting beside the viewfinder – mine was distinctly off when I first looked in it.

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

  • I’ve turned off WiFi/bluetooth, since I’ve currently 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
  • I’ve initially set auto ISO for a maximum of 3200
  • I’ve changed the movie record button on the top to DOF preview

The image quality is very good – a bit better than my Canon 1Ds mk3 (~2007 21MP) and similar (albeit with half the MP) to my 5Ds.

This 100% crop is from a shot with the EF50/1.4 (1/60 f/7.1 at 3200 ISO) [click to enlarge]

noodle shop

From a quick trip out last night.

At the moment I’m somewhat limited (just Canon’s DPP) in processing the RP’s .cr3 files, which has actually made me appreciate the quality of in-camera JPEG files a bit more ;-)

Meanwhile, a panning shot of a police car zooming past at 50mph, reminds me that 1/10 second exposure is 1/10 second on any camera (50/1.4 f/7.1 ISO 3200)

police car

Initial gripes with the EOS RP

  • IS lenses have the IS activated all the time the viewfinder is active.  There is no option to only have IS come on with a half press of the shutter release (as it does with all my other Canon DSLRs)
    Not only does this add wear and tear to your IS unit, but it’s eating up battery power – especially with big white lenses.
    I’m told this is ‘a mirrorless thing’ – sorry not good enough.  Add the option to limit IS use to a C.Fn setting please Canon. [Note – ‘continuous AF’ is turned off]
  • I’d like to only have the rear screen only come on when I want it. Looking in the viewfinder and taking the camera away from my eye causes live-view to appear on the back screen. It’s simply annoying, especially when I don’t have reading glasses with me and can’t see much other than an out of focus view of wherever the camera happens to be pointing.
    If I’m using the camera at night, this is doubly annoying.
    Can we have an option for not displaying live-view on the rear screen unless it’s specifically wanted?
    Can we also have a ‘default off’ option for the screen, since I’m aware that pressing ‘Info’ a few times will get me an info screen – pressing it once more should turn the screen off.
    At the moment, the most usable option is to physically turn the screen to blank it – more thought about this please Canon?

1st A brief note about lens adapters. Any of my simple EF ones with an AF confirm chip lock up the RP when you press the shutter.

Using a simple OM->EF adapter and the EF->RF adapter I get to see, in the viewfinder, the wafer thin DOF of my Zuiko 50/1.2, whilst focus peaking makes it easy to use with the RP.

rp and Zuiko 50mm f/1.2

Northlight’s marketing director Karen, before I gave her my expenses claim for the RP (Zuiko 50/1.2 1/60 f/1.2 1250 ISO)


Using focus peaking at f/1.2, and I’m pleased with the focus…

Our EOS RP has just turned up, and the battery is charging.


First impressions

  • The EF->RF adapter is heavier and more solid than I’d thought (good actually)
  • The body feels very much like my 100D to pick up (the baseplate isn’t free here in the UK, so I didn’t get one)
  • The body feels a mix of light and plastic and solidly built (remember my day to day cameras have been 1Ds, 1Ds3 and 5Ds)

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  • Keith | Oct 14, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Interesting idea – however the focus on the RP is also only initiated by a shutter press (or AF-ON)
    It seems odd that the same interface on an EF body manages control of IS
    Personally I think it’s just lazyness in design ;-)
    Whatever it is, it’s irksome – I’ve got much better at using the IS on/off switch on my 70-200 2.8L IS…

  • Peter Zijlstra | Oct 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    I suspect that focus and IS are coupled. Remember, your DSLR will also only focus when you half press the shutter. When looking at the EF lens pin spec there are only 2 power lines, a low power digital line, and a motor drive power line.

    The only remaining option is that the SPI connection would have a IS on/off command, but I’ve not found anything like that yet.

  • Otis | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Ah, a Canon with viewfinder live view ;) … when I reviewed the Samyang 35mm f1.4 on a 5D II, though it was a very good lens I didn’t overly regret giving it back, focusing on the normal SLR viewfinder was such an uncertain business that it was impractical on the regular focusing screen. I got a Speed Booster to use manual focus lenses on m4/3 but still have to test. The E-M1 has a viewfinder toggle button right next to the viewfinder, where it should be.

    Not providing a button to control viewfinder/screen switching seems vastly cynical, or just idiotic. I am guessing Canon has shed users to Sony in the last few years by their policy of holding key features back for the sake of price tiering, as if they only have themselves to compete with.

  • Andy Thomas | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Can you give a bit more info on the L-bracket? What make is it? Is it a universal one or built specifically for the RP? (I see that Really Right Stuff has brought one out and SmallRig has a cage available on pre-order).

  • Stéphane Jean | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Hello, I have an issue with my Canon EOS RP when I put a manual focus lenses on it. I see the image on the screen, everything looks great, but when I pull the trigger, it doesn’t work. I can’t take a picture.
    Lenses are not the problem, they works fine on other camera.
    What can i change in the settings for it’s works?

    Nice article by the way!

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