EOS R was Canon’s first attempt at a full-frame mirrorless camera. It is a hard endeavor that delivers good image quality and a premium experience, although the features it offers do not quite match its price tag in India, especially considering the competition such as Sony A7 III and Nikon Z6.
To appeal to a wider audience, the company has now launched its most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera – the EOS RP. The camera was announced in early February, and by the end of the month, it was already available in India. The EOS RP is a trim-down version of the EOS R, not only in terms of features, but also in terms of its physical shape. Only the price of the body is in rupees. 1,10,495, which isn’t too bad for a full-frame camera with a compact body. It’s time to dump her and move on.
Canon EOS RP Design
The body of the EOS RP instantly gives you a DSLR feel. However, unlike most full-frame DSLRs, it is very light at only 485g. The body is well made and the plastics look strong, but this camera doesn’t feel as premium as the EOS R. The dials above are also somewhat basic.
You will not find a secondary display or a new ‘mode’ button. Instead, the EOS RP has a traditional mode dial and two additional dials to change the settings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, since there is not much learning curve with this camera. You’ll find a dedicated button for video recording, a switch for locking controls and a multi-function button for quick access to drive mode, white balance, etc., just like the EOS R.
The camera has a decent selection of ports. You’ll find separate microphone and headphone sockets, a micro-HDMI port, USB Type-C and a flash sync terminal. The rear button layout is similar to the EOS R, but one thing missing is the programmable multi-function bar, but we didn’t miss it too much. Although we found it useful in EOS RP, its absence in EOS RP did not really hinder our workflow during shooting.
The OLED viewfinder is smaller than the EOS R and has a slightly lower resolution, at 2.36 million dots. However, we found it to be quite capable in most lighting conditions. Although the EOS RP doesn’t get a very comfortable i-piece, which we missed. There’s an IR sensor that uses the camera to automatically switch between the viewfinder and the LCD when you bring or remove the camera to your face.
The EOS RP has a single card slot, which is placed under the body, next to the battery bogie. It supports fast UHS-II SD card, which is good. The handgrip is pretty chunky, and we felt confident enough to handle this camera while shooting. There are also plenty of rubber cladding across the rest of the body to help with ergonomics. The rear 3-inch LCD has a 1.04 million dot resolution. Touch response is good, and works in live view mode as well as touch input menus.
Sadly, once you slap the RF lens, the lightness of the body doesn’t count too much. Canon has sent a 24-105mm RF lens with our camera, which pushes the total weight of the device above 1 kg. The combination is also very front-heavy, which makes shooting over a long period of time quite tedious. As good as the new RF lenses are, we can use a few lighter (and more affordable) zoom options in the RF family.
Canon EOS RP Specifications and Features
The Canon EOS RP has a 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and is powered by the same DIGIC 8 image processor that uses the EOS R. It includes dual pixel autofocus (AF), 4,779 selectable AF points, an ISO range of 100-40,000 (extended to 1,02,400 all), 5fps with one-shot AF, 4fps with burst shooting or Servo AF, and a maximum shutter 1 / 4,000 seconds speed. Unlike EOS R, EOS RP does not have in-body stability, so for steels, you have to rely on lens stability. For video, there is electronic stabilization.
This camera can also shoot 4K video but has a few small catches. Like the EOS R, your frame is heavily cropped (about 1.6x). Also, in EOS RP, dual pixel AF does not work in this resolution. Instead, the camera returns to Contrast Detection AF, which is terribly slow. Full-HD videos can be shot up to 60fps and there’s also HDR video support, but at a lower frame rate.
The camera can output 8-bit 4: 2: 2 video via HDMI, but it does not support Canon’s C-log recording format like the EOS R. Another missing feature is a dust-resistant screen for the sensor. This was very useful on the EOS R, as it allows you to change the lens with confidence while out on the field without having to worry about dust entering the camera.
Wireless connectivity is similar to what we saw in the EOS R. There is built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect the camera to the smartphone. It allows you to transfer pictures wirelessly and use your phone as a viewfinder for remote shooting.
Canon EOS RP performance and battery life
In our ISO testing, EOS RP has made a good start. The image was sharp up to ISO 1,600 where there was no noticeable artefact. After we reached ISO 6,400 the level of sharpness decreased a bit and the details also hit a bit, which is evident from the shaved place of the pencil. Pushing ISO has led to a steady decline in detail and image quality.
At ISO 25,600, there was visible sound in the shadow region, and the edges of the pencil were not as defined as they should have been. At ISO 40,000, the image was soft and the details were bad. There was a lot of noise in the film too.
The ISO performance is similar to our experience with Canon EOSR. In low-light shots, it is best to limit the ISO to 12,000 or below if you plan to cut your shots later.
In daylight landscapes, the EOS RP captures excellent detail and the exposure is well managed. Even when shooting under bright sunlight, the shadow details have a good balance and the highlights are not over-exposed. Small objects in the distance show good detail, which is visible when you zoom in all the way The colors also look vibrant and the skin tones are well managed.
The Canon EOS RP can also shoot HDR stills, capturing multiple exposures and combining them for a dramatic effect. You can choose how much you want to change the exposure level between different shots and add effects to get an artistic look.
The macros also look great, with sharp edges around the object in focus, excellent color reproduction, and good bokeh, even with the f / 4 lens we were using for this review. You get a good selection of focus options with a face and object tracking mode It works very well, and the camera does a good job of keeping your subject locked.
There is IAFO, which works decently as long as you are close to your subject. With the EOS RP, Eye AF now works in Servo AF mode, which was not the case with the EOS R.
Burst shooting is not a powerful suite for this camera, as 5fps is almost passable. Also, this is only with single-shot AF, which means the focus is only locked in the first frame. Switching to Servo AF reduces the speed to about 3-4fps, which is not very useful when shooting moving objects. The camera has a very good frame buffer for burst shooting, as it saves 161 frames in our experiment with more room.
However, it also took a while to capture so much, since the explosion rate is not that high. After a while, holding the shutter button became tedious. If you give your shots enough time, you may be able to take some good shots using burst mode. Thanks to the sensor’s decently high resolution, you can create some very heavy crops and still get a usable image.
In low light, the EOS RP captures decent details, unless you push the ISO too far. Dual pixel autofocus tends to be faster but we noticed some prey while shooting in extremely dark conditions. Low light landscapes can be a little grainy. At ISO 40,000, the photos may still be usable, but we wouldn’t recommend cutting them out because the details are too soft.
Video performance is good at 1080p. The dual pixel AF offers smooth transitions between subjects, the clips are crisp and detailed, and the colors are well presented with a good dynamic range. You can adjust the level of tracking and autofocus sensitivity depending on whether you want a fast or slow focus-shift effect. The touchscreen works well for framing your shots, and you can use it as a touchpad when using EVF.
The EOS RP can also shoot 4K video but with some great compromises. For starters, it can only do 25fps, so the footage looks a bit isolated if you move around. There is no stability, and your frame has been cut quite heavily. The worst part though is that you can only use contrast detection autofocus, which is painfully slow, even in sufficient light. In low light, the videos have visible sound and the image lacks good sharpness ISO 25,600 when shooting in 1080p and 12,800 when shooting in 4K.
The Canon LCD has a pretty conservative battery life rating of just 250 shots per charge when used. However, we were able to easily shoot about 480 stills and a dozen short video clips on a single charge, which we did not expect. The camera runs with an external battery charger, but you can use a Type-C power source to charge the battery inside the camera. Canon recommends using its PD-E1 USB power adapter for in-body charging.
The Canon EOS RP is the company’s most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera, and it makes this type of sensor much more accessible to many users. It has power, such as light body, easy-to-master control, a functional touchscreen and very good image quality in good light. Canon’s dual pixel autofocus works great for still and 1080p video, and with an optional adapter, you can use your existing Canon lenses with the new RF mount.
However, we think that the price of this camera in India is still a bit high. Roughly just for the price of the body, you can get a lot of good APS-C cameras (including lenses) like the Sony A6500 and Fujifilm X-T3. If you factor in a 24-105mm lens, the price is around Rs. 2,00,000. It costs a lot of money, especially considering that you can get the Sony A7 III with a 28-70mm lens for just Rs. 1,52,999 online. To distinguish this camera from the EOS R, Canon retains a number of features from the EOS RP, with dual pixel autofocus being the largest when shooting 4K video.
The EOS RP is a fun camera to use and we like its simplicity. If you have an existing Canon lens, all you need is an EF mount adapter and you can use them with this camera, saving on the cost of a new RF lens. However, it is really hard to ignore the other options – both APS-C and full-frame – which are available at almost this price, most of which offer better features than the EOS RP.
- Rs 1,10,495 (body only)
- Rs 1,99490 (body + RF24-105mm f / 4L IS USM lens)
- Light and sturdy body
- Good quality stills in daylight
- Reliable autofocus system
- Fully pronounced LCD touchscreen
- Decent battery life
- Not suitable for 4K video shooting
- Slow burst shooting
- Current RF lenses make the body heavier
- A little expensive
Rating (out of 5)
- Construction / Design: 4
- Image quality: 4
- Video quality: 3.5
- Performance: 3.5
- Value for money: 3
- Overall: 3.5