Canon EOS R Review 2021: Features, Pros and Cons

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The Canon EOS R was initially released in October of 2018. The company has decided to revamp the models and bring out new models in the series in 2021. If you are searching for an unbiased Canon EOS R review, you are the right place.

The Canon EOS R is a full-frame mirrorless camera that comes with the innovative RF mount. This allows you to attach a variety of RF prime lenses onto the camera for capturing better quality, zoomed, and distinctive images.

The EOS R is the first mirrorless camera from Canon and is characterized by its lightweight construction and amateur-friendly features. The camera weighs just 660 grams and consists of a magnesium alloy body that resists any dust or dirt particles from entering the interiors of the camera.

The manufacturers have given immense importance to the durability, reliability, and longevity factors of the camera. So, the lightweight weight construction in no way affects the quality of the images or visuals captured by the camera.

The Canon EOS R lets you capture images and videos discreetly, making it perfect for all sorts of occasions. Whether it is wildlife photography or traditional wedding photography, the discreet and nearly soundless operation allows you to capture the subjects candidly without letting them know that they are being captured.

The Canon EOS R camera is very different from your normal DSLR and lets you view the picture you are going to capture beforehand. This is made possible using the electronic viewfinder, which is missing in any DSLR cameras.

Canon EOS R


Specifications Of The Canon EOS R

The Canon EOS R first came out in the year 2018 and was a sort of miss. However, the company released the revamped version in 2021, and this model is really catching the attention of many amateurs as well as professional photographers.

The latest model is much more compatible and interesting than the previous model and comes at an attractive price range.

The Canon EOS R features a 30.3 MP full-frame CMOS sensor and has the Canon RF lens mount. The product comes with more than 5600 AF sensors that give you a commendable photo clarity even in the dark. The ISO range is between 100 to 40,000, and it features a Digic 8 microprocessor.

The camera can capture videos in 4k UHD at 29.97p, 25p, 24p, and 23.98p. The max burst of the camera is about 8 fps, and it comes with an electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage. There’s an LCD screen at the back that is nearly 3.15 inches in size and is of touch screen type.

Coming to the connectivity of the device, it is Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC compatible.


Features to Look Out For In Canon EOS R

The Canon EOS R comes with some cool features that make it stand out from its competitors. Notable features include:

1) Commendable Full-frame Autofocus

What makes the camera stand out from its competitors, especially the whole of the DSLR range, is the commendable full-frame autofocus function that lets you easily autofocus anywhere in the frame. It is made possible using the 5000 sensors AF sensors employed in the camera and the highly responsive touchpad or rear LCD.

With the help of these features, you can easily autofocus anywhere you want in the frame for regular viewfinder shooting.

In addition to this, the EOR R model has a light Value (LV) of -6 hours for autofocus, which means that the focus works in utmost darkness as well.

The autofocus function might take some time to focus, but the visuals captured will be of commendable quality. The finder captures a brighter view of the actual scene, which isn’t possible in most DSLRs.

The AF sensors are fully prone to any mechanical misalignment, which is missing in many competitor models. Also, the camera doesn’t really require the AF micro-adjustments as its direct on-sensor system is foolproof and doesn’t have any sorts of errors. Even with any old or ultra-speed lenses of f/1, f/1.2, and f/1.4, you get the perfect autofocus.

2) Great Performance Achieved With The Teleconverters

The Canon EOS R works magic when attached with the EF lens adapters and the teleconverters. You get full frame autofocus even with 1X or 2X converters. These commendable results are achieved with the help of the AF sensors and their placement inside the product.

Unlike DSLRs, the AF sensors are not buried deep inside the camera; instead, the AF sensors are placed on the image sensors. So, the AF sensors see what the image sensor sees and gives perfect visuals.

3) Works Amazingly With All Existing EF And EF-S Lenses

The lens mount design of the Canon EOS-R requires special mention. The lens mount of this camera gives more freedom and opportunities to the lens designers, and this really shows in the design of the mount.

No matter whichever EF lens you own, the camera fits and works perfectly with those lenses and gives good image stabilizations and clear autofocus in the full-frame. The autofocus works as fast as any EF lens on a DSLR.


What’s Good About the Canon EOS R

1) The EVF And Exposure

The EVF of the camera requires special mention as it shows you what you are going to get with the camera. There is no more blowing an exposure with this mirrorless camera. The refresh rate of the camera is excellent, and also the resolution of the photos is high.

2) Completely Discreet

Another attractive feature of the Canon EOS R that caught my attention is the complete silent mode operation, which can’t be achieved with any DSLRs. This makes the camera perfect for wildlife photography and other similar occasions where you don’t want to disturb the subject or the surrounding environment.

Switch onto the complete silent mode when you want to be discreet and shoot in regular mode. No other DSLRs or cameras are as quiet as this one.

What Can Be Improved

1) Choice Of selectable AF Points

One of the attractive features of the Canon EOS R is its 5600 AF points. The figures might sound exciting, but the user experience isn’t that exciting or better.

The reason is, because of the presence of these many points, it becomes way harder and slower to use the four-way controller to navigate the AF point around the frame. Compared to the models from Fujifilm and Nikon, the camera allows the users to choose the amount of AF points you want. This facilitates the easy movement of the AF area in the frame even though you might have to sacrifice some precision.

In the Canon EOS R, the manufacturer has provided two ways to adjust the AF area. One’s through the touchpad and the other’s using the two control dials (one for vertical and the other for horizontal). 

The control dials are very hard to operate, and if you are wearing some sort of gloves or protection on your hand, the touchpad isn’t an option at all.

Thus, Canon could improve the control over the four-way controller and allow the user to interact with the AF area a bit more.

2) Limited Customizable Controls

The Canon EOS R claims to have customizable buttons, but this feature doesn’t apply to all the buttons on the product.

For example, the drive mode can be assigned to one portion of the dial function, but the dial function itself can’t be set for a button press. Another example is the exposure compensation option can be allocated to the AF selection control button, but can’t be assigned to the AE lock button.

If the manufacturer claims that the camera comes with customizable control buttons, the same should apply to all of the buttons and control features. If not, there is no point in paying a hefty price simply because the camera claims to be customizable.

3) Customization Of The Proximity Sensor Controls

Like many other models in the field, this camera, too, has a proximity sensor that can be found near its EVF. This sensor allows the camera to automatically change from the viewfinder display to the rear screen, according to the camera’s position from the eye.

The problem is that you aren’t allowed to customize or change the sensitivity of the proximity sensor. Also, the sensor doesn’t pick up anything if the screen is in a folded position.

So, in between the shoot, if the screen is flipped out for shooting from the hip, the eye sensor will be accidentally triggered if the camera is too close to your body. Thus, you might miss a brilliant shot because of the screen going blank at the crucial point.

4) Focus Ring

The focus ring is provided to make up for some of the unusual button placements on the camera. You can set it to adjust anything on the camera. For instance, try adjusting the ISO and aperture by going back and forth with the focus ring.

Once you get the hang of it, your hand will reach out to the focus ring automatically. But what could have been improved is the size and placement. It could have been more standardized across all the lenses.

5) Addition Of The Register/Recall Shooting Function

Most of the Canon models have the Register/Recall shooting function, which users seem to like quite a lot. This is missing in the Canon EOS R model, and it would be great if the manufacturers decide to include it in this model as well.

What makes the function quite attractive is that it allows the user to instantly change the settings related to exposure, metering, and white balance. The feature also comes in handy for adjusting the autofocus variables and the activation of autofocus with just a press of a button.

This function is present in almost all of Canon’s high-end DSLR and helps in swapping a zone of AF points and servo focus to just a single focus and pinpoint the AF focus.

What’s Not Good About The Canon EOS R

1) Flip-out Screen

Even when the competitors have decided to go with the tilt screen, Canon stuck to its previous design and decided to go with the flip-out screen, which is a great miss for many users. The operation of the LCD screen is quite hard, and if you wish to tilt it, then first, you have to flip out the LCD and then rotate it nearly for 180 degrees.

What’s more irritating and a great miss is that the LCD screen would hang out to the left of the camera.

2) Single Memory Card Slot

Sometimes you might get a message on your screen that says recording error. This can be the worst nightmare for photographers, and in many cases, to recover from the error, photographers will have to reboot the device. This can, at times, lead to loss of the visuals you just captured. 

Thus, photographers usually carry two cameras or two sets of memory cards to avoid card failure, but the problem can be solved if the camera comes with a dual memory card slot.

Many models have started accepting the dual memory card option, while the relatively new Canon EOS R fails to accept it. Instead, it stuck onto the single slot memory card option, and the fans do not entirely welcome this.

3) Design And Ergonomics

The design of the camera and the placement of the buttons are not in the most user-friendly way possible. The camera replaced the scroll wheel with the touchpad (forward and backward control at the touchpad). When compared to the scroll wheel, the touchpad isn’t reliable and also not so quick.

Another miss is the back-button. While using the back button, the thumb might accidentally activate the forward button, which can happen quite often.

The manufacturer should place the button a bit far from each other, or provide an actual press ON button.

Here’s How To Set Up Your Canon EOS R For Live Streaming

With the right instruments and devices in hand, you need to adjust some settings on your Canon EOS R in order to ensure a smooth live streaming process.

Setting Up The Camera For The Live Streaming

Before starting with the live streaming, make sure your camera is not on the power-saving mode. Switch off the automatic shut off function as you don’t want your camera to shut off and interrupt your live streaming.

Once the power saving is off, it is now time to set the clean HDMI output option. On the Canon EOS R, you can either set the camera output as camera overlays or go with a clean feed. As you surely don’t want the overlays to be displayed, select the clean HDMI output feed.

You always want your face to be in focus while live streaming, right? Thus, enable the autofocus option and the face tracking option as well.

If you are planning to stream for a longer period, then the battery charge won’t be enough. Thus, you need to plug your device into a direct power outlet. As the camera doesn’t charge via the USB C when in use, you need a power kit to do the work.

Connect The HDMI Capture Device Onto The Camera

The second most important device after the camera in this whole live stream set up is the HDMI capture device. This device is what allows your laptop or desktop to use the camera instead of the webcam.

Plugin the HDMI capture device using the HDMI cable and install the recommended driver of the HDMI device you are using.

If the connections are right and if you have set your camera on, then on the screen of your PC, you can see the Canon EOS R listed as one of the camera options.

 Sometimes, instead of the device name, you might find the name of the HDMI capture device. Select the device and open your favorite live streaming software. You would now be able to see the feed from your EOS R on your screen.

You can change the settings on the camera even when the live streaming is going on. To change the settings, press any button on the camera, and it turns on. Make the necessary changes and continue with live streaming.

Sometimes you might need an extra microphone. This is because not all HDMI devices capture the audio from the camera to your computer. Also, in some cases, the audio might be very feeble and not be worthy of live streaming. In this case, it is highly recommended that you get an extra microphone.

FAQs on Canon EOS R

Q1. Is Canon EOS R Any Good?

In many aspects, the Canon EOS R outshines its competitors. Be it in the clarity of the autofocus sensors or the discreet operation of the device, the product is in par with many of the high-end DSLRs and yet comes at a lower price tag. 

However, the performance can be a bit questionable at times, and also some features were just included for the press release. For example, the camera’s usability could have been a thousand times better if the company included the option to select the AF points. 

The 5600 AF points together can cause a lag in the movement of the four-way controller in the frame.

Q2. Is Canon EOS R Waterproof?

Yes, the Canon EOS R features a highly durable and waterproof housing. The product is suitable for capturing visuals in and around water. You can even carry the camera when going for deep-sea diving or snorkeling. The device is completely water-resistant, drip-resistant, and waterproof as well.

Q3. What Does R Stand For In Canon EOS R?

The R in the Canon EOS R was speculated to stand for Revamp, Re-issue, Redesign, Reborn, Revert, etc. But towards the beginning of the release event, the company revealed that the R stands for Re-imagine and actually stands for the revamped and newly developed version that Canon had in mind.

Q4. Is Canon EOS R A Professional Camera?

The camera is designed to satisfy every need of a photography enthusiast but isn’t that well-equipped to replace a professional camera. Some features or control options included in the device can’t be matched with that offered by a professional camera. 

Thus, the Canon EOS R is great for amateurs who are stepping into the professional world of photography. But this camera won’t satisfy a highly experienced professional and their photography needs.

Q5. Is Canon EOS R Good For Wildlife Photography?

The camera may not be the perfect wildlife camera, but it surely is fit for wildlife photography. The camera’s silent mode operation makes it ideal for wildlife photography, and also, the clear, precise, and quality autofocus function helps you capture some splendid visuals. 

If you are planning to go a ride in the wild and require a camera to capture some amazing videos and pictures, this would be a perfect fit.

Q6. Can You Live Stream With Canon EOS R?

Yes, you can live stream with the Canon EOS R. The camera gives a clear output of the HDMI feed, so you can use this HDMI feed to live stream with the Canon EOS R. 

For live streaming with the Canon EOS R, you will need an HDMI capture device, an HDMI mini to HDMI cable, a tripod or a tabletop, the Canon AC power kit, and a USB microphone (not mandatory, but recommended).

Canon EOS R review – Conclusion

When the Canon EOS R came out, most of the photography fans from all over the world were excited about the camera’s customization features. But it was compromised, and the attribute didn’t apply to all of the control buttons on the device.

Even after revamping the model, the company didn’t make some notable improvements with the performance, but they managed to make it even more worthy of the money you spent. The Camera still captures cropped 4K videos with its 30.3 MP sensor.

In addition to this, the single memory card slot, along with the unpredictable lag, makes it a less worthy choice when you have a client depending on you for some stunning pictures.  Also, the inability to select the AF points even when it comes with 5600 AF points is actually a major concern.

However, if you are ready to sacrifice some of the resolutions, you can go for the Canon EOS R. It comes with a lower price tag when compared to the competitors in the same range.

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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