Canon, the Japanese camera and optical products maker company is here within mirrorless offerings in the Indian market. About two and a half months back, the company launched its latest mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS RP in India. At the launch, the company claimed that it is the “lightest and smallest full-frame mirrorless camera” that the company currently offers in the market. For some context, this is the second full frame mirrorless camera that Canon has launched on the Global stage after launching its Canon EOS R last year.
As part of the launch, the company revealed that it will be selling the body of the Canon EOS RP at Rs 110,495 along with all taxes and the complete kit with the Canon RF lens with a focal range of 24 to 105mm with f/4L aperture will be priced at Rs 199,490. One can get a cheaper price with the help of different offers from dealers.
Canon sent us a review unit for the Canon EOS RP along with the kit lens. However, before we dive in, let’s talk about some key factors, new things that you may need to understand before making this purchase.
Sensor: Mirror vs Mirrorless, sensor size, crop factor, compactness, and more
First off, let’s talk about the big one out there, what is a full-frame mirrorless camera and what is the difference between that and a regular DSLR that we have known since so long. On the basic level, DSLRs have adapted and improved on the same design that the previous 35mm film cameras were based on. Here a mirror, in most cases a prism is used to reflect the light to the viewfinder that is coming to the sensor through the lens. When the user presses the shutter button, the mirror used to reflect the light flips, the shutter opens and then the light hits the sensor to capture the image.
Mirrorless cameras don’t have the mirror to reflect the light hence saving a considerable amount of space in the camera. Instead of the mirror, the light directly passes the lens and hits the image sensor which captures a preview of the image on the back of the camera or in a second screen that is present in the electronic viewfinder. The space-saving provides users with a camera that is more compact, light-weight and portable.
It also drastically improves the video capabilities that didn’t get much attention on most traditional DSLR cameras. Another thing that this ends up doing is more like a double-edged sword where the compact form factor makes the “Camera” less intimidating to subjects but it also makes it look less intimidating and serious for potential clients in the professional world. One thing to note here is that despite this compact size, both Mirrorless, as well as regular DSLR cameras, come with a similar image format, which is a full frame in Canon EOS RP.
Canon EOS RS features
Before we talk about the performance and other aspects of the camera, let’s talk specifications so that you can follow through the review with ease. Another thing to add this section here is because specifications for the Canon EOS RP go on to play a major role in the second half of the review. So, to get things rolling, Canon EOS RP is the cheapest Mirrorless camera in the Indian market from the EOS R lineup with a 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
It is powered by a DIGIC 8 image processor and provides an ISO range between 100 to 40,000 and that can be expanded to 50 to 102,400. All the stabilization happens with the help of the gyroscopic data captured on the camera and the data captured by the sensor. Talking about the speed of the camera in terms of shooting, it provides a maximum of 5 shots per second on One-Shot AF settings and 4 shots per second on Serve AF settings in the autofocus department.
Talking about the autofocus department, the Canon EOS RP provides about 4,779 autofocus points along with 143 autofocus area divisions along with the trademark dual pixel CMOS based autofocus system. Canon has also added eye detection autofocus feature in the camera so that it can also work on the Servo AF mode along with support for peaking in manual focus so that users can get accurate focus without any worry. It also comes with dedicated focus stacking that makes it useful for people who want to use the camera for macro photography or general photos at widest of apertures.
Users can record 4K video at 24 frames per second for all their UDH needs. EOS RP also allows users to change the focus points with the help of its “Touch & Drag” AF. Canon has also added a 7.62cm touch-enabled screen on the back of the camera so that users can see what they are capturing. the camera also comes with an electronic viewfinder with 100 percent coverage. Other features of the camera include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
In terms of the mount, the camera comes with a new RF lens mount for more advanced lens designs. Canon is also giving the RF mount adapter along with the camera kit to ensure that users with existing Canon lenses with EF mounts can use them with the new Mirrorless camera. As part of the kit that we tested, Canon is shipping its new Canon RF24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens with the camera. Now that you have gone through the specifications, let’s dive in the performance and everything else that is important.
Performance: Autofocus, stabilization, lens support, and usability
We will first focus on the technical aspects of the camera that affect the image quality before talking about the actual quality of the photos and videos shot on the EOS RP. First up is the autofocus performance of the Canon EOS RP. As previously mentioned, the EOS RP comes with the almost perfect dual-pixel autofocus technology which works as it should in almost all conditions. The autofocus is on point most of the times with the exception of when you use the touch screen to focus lock on objects in the distance but that is me stretching it to the absolute limits. Casual shooters will not have an issue with it.
The eye detection also works well on the camera and the ability to use it in the Servo AF mode is a welcome addition. It is worth noting that it works along with face detection and the system was able to detect faces will (even if the user left the frame and then entered it back). The ability to use the touch screen to quickly change focus was neat too. It is not as perfect as the Sony, but hey, better have a feature that works well than not have the feature at all. Talking about the focus performance on video, the dual pixel autofocus only works in the 1080p resolution which is okay but surprising at the same time because the autofocus performance in 4K would have made it a much better offering for anyone who wants to shoot in 4K.
The camera does not come with in-body stabilization and instead relies on the data from the gyroscope inside its new RF lenses to make corrections on the image captured in the sensor. In auto mode, the data is paired with software to ensure that the camera automatically makes changes to its settings. However, the same is not present for older EF mount lenses that are adapted using the adapter. I reached out to Canon about their decision and understand their take, but it is difficult to see that make sense as almost every other camera maker has added this in their mirrorless cameras.
Talking about lens support is recursive as I have mentioned that above but to recap, EOS RP will support both the new RF mount lenses that the company has launched and will launch in the future as well as the old EF mount lenses with the help of the included adapter. The difference between the new RF mount lenses is the addition of sensors to provide lens-based stabilization data along with apertures that were previously thought impossible in the future because of the larger size of the mount and decreased flange distance.
The Canon EOS RP is a well-built camera with a layout that will be familiar to anyone who has seen past Canon DSLRs. In fact, this is on purpose so that users are comfortable with the camera in case they have some experience with Canon cameras in the past. I liked the deeper grip that the camera provided for my somewhat large hands making the overall experience a breeze. Quickly going over the layout, the top of the camera comes with the mode dial, the shutter dial, aperture dial, M-Fn (multi-function) button, the video and the video recording button with that red dot on the right side, the external flash or accessory hot-shoe in the middle and the power on and off dial on the left side.
The focus and shutter button is located on the right side towards the front. On the front users will get the lens release button on the right and the AF assistant light along with the microphone towards the top left. The back comes with a menu button on the top left corner, a touch-enabled display aligned to the left, electronic viewfinder along with proximity sensor and the dioptric knob on the top, AF On, Star (*) button for AE (Auto Exposure) lock, AF point button, the usual dial toggle, ‘Info’ button, access LED indicator, Playback and the delete button aligned on the right side.
The left side of the Canon EOS RP has remote control terminal, HDMI mini port, 3.5mm audio socket for external mics, a USB Type-C port and another 3.5mm audio socket to monitor the audio. The bottom right side will include the door to the battery and SD card slot along with a quarter-inch thread for tripods.
Color Science and battery life
Talking about the color science is not really practical as almost every camera make seems to have a different take on how the colors should appear. Color science is a deep technical rabbit hole that camera makers use to process how the sensor on their camera captures and then displays those colors. The interesting part about this is that there is no scientific way to determine what colors are the best. However, given that Canon is one of the most popular brands, many people seem to prefer the colors that Canon cameras produce in their photos.
So, yeah, you get the popular color-look with the Canon EOS RP. The battery part here will be brief as it is simply bad. I was only able to get an average of about 220-240 images per charge which went further down depending on the number of videos that I shot from the tiny battery in the EOS RP.
Photo and Video Quality
The photos captured by the Canon EOS RP are crisp and sharp with good details, texture and pleasant colors. However, everything is not really perfect as the high-end cameras. The dynamic range of the camera seems to be limited especially at low ISO range as processing RAW photos resulted in a fair amount of noise that is somewhat surprising. The camera performs well in low-light conditions which are normal for most mirrorless cameras in the market. I was able to push the camera to over 10,000 ISO and still get good photos, a feat that was almost impossible just a couple of years back. Again, it is not market leading but this camera is not meant for that audience, more on this at the end. You can check the images and video that we captured in the gallery embedded below.
Moving to the quality of the video section, yes the camera comes with 4K 24fps but there are things that we need to talk about here. Beyond the obvious lack of dual pixel autofocus in 4K, 4K can only be captured in 24fps, and FHD or 1080p can only be captured in 30fps, 30fps light or 30pi or 60fps. There is no slow-motion video option available (yes, even 720 only captures video at 30fps or 60fps).
Another significant issue that I observed in the camera is the 1.6x crop factor that users get while recording 4K video. This means that even at 24mm, I was not able to get myself properly in the frame while trying to record myself in the Vlog or selfie style with the help of the flip out screen. To note, there is no crop in the 1080p or FHD videos. The quality of the videos is sharp and good but the video at 1080p is needs improvement. Another that that needs improvement is the rolling shutter effect (noticeable in 4K videos) which means that things capture in the frame are bent if you want to pan around and track something even at slow speed.
So, I guess now is the conclusion time. I will try to be as brief as possible here by stating that Canon EOS RP is a decent Mirrorless camera from Canon. It manages the basics in a decent manner but also comes with its flaws and limitations. Most of which, including lack of in-body stabilization, 1.6x crop at 4K, limited 4K and 1080p video recording modes, limited dynamic range and noise in the shadows because of that, are really calculated on part of Canon. This is not meant for serious photographers.
The Canon EOS RP is made for beginners, people who will purchase their first camera or jump from the absolute low-end crop-frame DSLR to their new Mirrorless cameras. In fact, even if professionals with Canon lenses get it, it will be only to get used to the Mirrorless way of things instead of serious work. For serious work, Canon recommends professionals to look at their more advanced camera models.
However, if you look at the price and then start to compare Canon to its rivals in somewhat similar price range, offerings from Sony, and Nikon are much better for a Full-frame Mirrorless camera. In fact, micro four-thirds touting FujiFilm with its XT-3 is easily able to beat the Canon EOS RP in most departments. Depending on these factors, I think that you have enough to decide if you want to purchase the Canon EOS RP as your new camera.