Having bit its teeth into the mirrorless camera market, with the EOS RP, Canon now aims to rope in the baby boomers.
The EOS RP is the brand’s most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera yet. In fact, it is the cheapest of its kind by any brand that itself puts it in a unique position of interest and importance in the market.
Smaller than the EOS-R, Canon’s latest entrant fixes some of the bugs while making it alluring for beginners to dip their toes into the world of beautiful bokeh, 4K video and low-light photography that will show smartphones who’s boss! The 26.2MP, 35mm full frame CMOS sensor captures colours and skin tones unlike most other brands, keeping them natural and true-to-life.
Partnered with the Dual-pixel system that Canon does so well, getting a sharp yet evocative picture is never too difficult.
Design and build: For everyone in the family
It’s compact size doesn’t mean it compromises on ergonomics or build quality. The lightweight magnesium body is best suited to a 35mm lens but our test sample came with a 24-105mm f/4L and while it adds considerable zoom, it also upsets the weight balance. The family of RF lenses is growing rapidly but if you wish to use any lens from the EF family too, an optional adaptor will get the job done.
The small-ish battery is rated at 250 shots which is on the lower side but you can achieve a range of 300-400 if you use it wisely, switching it off between shots. But what exacerbates the problem is the lack of a battery percentage or remaining shots indicator on the screen. You better have a spare handy on a busy day capturing the beauty of the beach.
One of the things Canon does so well over the competitors is the menu interface and in this case, the 3.0in fully articulating touchscreen. It’s as responsive as your phone and makes a swift case of moving around the settings without hunting for sub-menus. Tap to focus works effortlessly and the resolution and accuracy of the screen is something to note too.
Features: Fingertip controls
Besides the main control dial, you have two other dials that can be used for aperture and shutter and also be customised. The custom ring on the RF lenses marked by a red ring are a great way to manually fix exposure on the fly! Image quality is solid with excellent focus tracking and natural looking colours. Eye AF locking is great and with decent speed but the EOS RP isn’t for sports or wildlife photographers with its 4fps burst mode and lack of IBIS (In-body image stabilisation). Focus stacking works well by taking multiple shots with various focal points and combining them for a single shot.
Image quality: Picture almost perfect
JPG or RAW, images always look brilliant shot on the EOS RP with a creamy bokeh that makes every portrait exponentially more dramatic. Canon’s 4779 phase detection points do a fantastic job of keeping the subject in focus and giving you control over the aperture for excellent low-light results too. ISO up to 25,600 is standard but can also be expanded to 1,02,400 but anything above 40,000 is noisy. That’s not a complaint though and if you know your hardware, you should get by with excellent results with even ISO 4000 most of the times.
With the new eye-tracking AI, the EOS-RP moves into 2019 but it has some idiosyncrasies. Like, it doesn’t record 1080p video at 24fps and does 4K only at 24fps! Low-light performance is good but you’ll need the right lens. For the vlogger though, the articulating screen, headphone jack and mic input make it a great tool to have in your bag at all times.
Canon EOS RP verdict
Aimed at the first-time full-frame shooters, the Canon EOS-RP is a fantastic camera, no doubt. It focuses fast, shoots with some of the most natural looking colours i’ve ever seen, offers a great selection of lenses old and new (with EF-mounts) and that gorgeous EVF and OLED screen are bonuses. But, lenses that offer versatility are as or more expensive than the body itself and take the price point right in the pro category. Venture in for indulgence, then.