Review of the Canon EOS R

I had the chance to test out the Canon EOS R on a film I produced about it a few weeks back. The test required some funky maneuvering in some very cold conditions, which made it very fun! Here’s my thoughts broken down by feature:

Sensor

This is where I felt the system needed a little maturing to do. The conditions I was shooting in required a robust dynamic range as I was dealing with bright highlights and dark shadows. When I was editing the photos (RAW), I felt like the dynamic range just wasn’t there, I was clipping on one end or the other. Additionally the color representation felt very ‘flat’. I was surprised at the amount of visible noise that showed up at ISO’s as low as 400. This really had an effect on edge sharpness. I think future editions will approve upon this, but for now the dynamic range and low-light capability just didn’t hold up for the shooting environment I was in, especially in comparison to other systems I have used.

  • Rating: 6/10

Multi-function bar

This is an additional way to control bunch of things while shooting. It can be customized to control audio levels, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, playback, and several other settings. It’s positioned perfectly on the back for easy control with your thumb. The slide function, R to L, or L to R to adjust settings was key. It made a lot of sense mentally, which translated to quicker shooting.

  • Rating: 10/10

Control Ring

The Control ring was super rad addition. This single feature made the EOS R feel like a completely new system, rather than an adaptation of an analog SLR. I got used to it very quickly, and love the additional option to control exposure, especially where it is (at the end of the lens). It definitely changed they way I shot (in a good way). The mount adapter (with control ring) is also a great option, but it puts the dial next to the body and is not as ergonomically, but is a good option if you don’t want to buy new lenses.

Rating: 10/10

Ergonomics

The grip is deep and feels great, even when wearing gloves. I never felt like it could slip out of my hands. All the buttons feel like they’re in the right place as well. I never had to pull away from the viewfinder to find buttons on the back or anything like that.

  • Rating: 10/10

Video

The EOS R is not capable of compressing video from the entire sensor (30 MP) down to 4K. The result is an obnoxious 1.8x crop factor. This basically destroyed my ability to use any wide angle lens and get the composition I wanted while shooting video.

  • Rating: 4/10

All in all, I fell in love with the ergonomic and the new M-bar and Control Ring. This was the first camera that I've used where I felt the engineering took advantage of what a fully electronic system is capable of. It didn't feel like an SLR adaptation, but rather a completely new system. I was disappointed however in the video specifications and the sensor quality. These things will obviously improve with the next generation though. If you’re thinking about picking one up, I would wait for version 2.

Overall rating: 7/10