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Thread: EOS R users please give me your feedback

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    EOS R users please give me your feedback

    Hi All

    I am considering a new camera body for an up coming adventure I have planned. I am looking seriously at the new mirrorless Canon EOS R, but mostly for wildlife photography and then mostly as a back up body.

    Has anybody recently purchased this camera and if so do you have any real life feedback?

    Cheers
    Kel
    www.kjbphotography.com.au

    1Dx, 1DIV, 200-400 f4L Ext, 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II, 70-300 f4-5.6L IS


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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    I picked mine up yesterday, Kel, and am yet to use it in anger. But some first impressions (from someone who has never owned or even looked through a mirrorless camera before).

    • The viewfinder is nasty, not a patch on even a small, cheap SLR's, and vastly inferior to (say) a 5D. But it is usable, and offers some advantages to compensate for the poor picture quality. Overall, I guess it's about what I expected: adequate for a second or third body, not something I'd want to use full-time.
    • Although very small and fairly light, this confers no real advantage. The weight and bulk saving is neither here nor there given the weight and size of a nice lens (particularly given the surprisingly large lens adaptor). I've been trying it out with a 35/1.4L and a 70-300L. With (say) a 40mm pancake it would be different.
    • Still on size, I reckon it's too small. There is no room on the back for the normal controls and it thus has no choice but to ape the cheap entry-level models' layout (600D and etc.) rather than much superior pro and semi-pro units. I have medium-large hands and it feels fine in the hand just to hold, but it is difficult to reach the back control wheel, which is up near the top right rear corner, and impossible to reach with your thumb while holding the weight of the camera with a normal grip, even given my longish fingers. You have to change your grip into a slightly awkward position first. No show-stopper, just one of many minor annoyances. I expect I'll get used to most of them in time.
    • The menu structure is exactly what you'd expect from Canon: beautifully thought out and as easy to use as you could possibly hope for, given the complexity of the system.
    • The control layout is not up to Canon's usual standard. It's messy and bitsy. Yes, part of this is that it's simply different, but it seems to me to be a poorly-thought-out design not yet ready for prime time. They will improve on it for future models, no doubt.
    • Thankfully, it is fairly customisable. With a bit of control tweaking, it is possible to arrange (for example) a spare button for setting ISO (out of the box you have to go through a menu) and another to centre the focus point (the lack of this ex-factory is a glaring design oversight). Thee EOS R also features a prominent movie button on the top of the body, right where you constantly press it accidentally - a dumb choice. But again you can reprogram this to do something useful, such as ISO.
    • The tilt-swivel screen is very nice to have, at least in a second body. (I wouldn't want one in my main body - too fragile and prone to moisture and the like. But great to have at least one body with this useful feature.)
    • No comment yet on focus point selection methods. I find the touch screen on my Powershot G9X II pocket camera very good; I suspect that this method (of the several available on the EOS R) will prove to be the best - but I wonder how practical it will be to keep taking the camera away from your face just to change focus points. I'll say more after more experience.
    • Only one card slot is a black mark. But we knew that already.
    • It chews through battery juice at a horrendous rate by DSLR standards, though I believe that is quite good so far as mirrorless bodies go.
    • No mention here of the main things: focusing, image quality, high ISO performance, colour balance. These can all be regarded as outstanding - at least equal to the 5D IV it takes its sensor from. Take them as read.


    I'll write more when I've had time to play a bit.
    Tony

    It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.

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    For wildldife, if I were planning to take bird in flight or insect in flight photos, I would hands down use my 5D Mk IV body. I categorise my 5D Mk IV body as a scientific instrument that can be used for a broad range of subjects that requires the full technical capabilities of the 5D Mk IV.

    Whilst I have used the EOS R for macro photography and bird photography, it has been under static conditions - see attached static bird of prey portraits with EOS R and RF 24-105mm F4 L lens, which performs so much better in terms of IQ than my now sold EF 24-105 F4L on my now sold 5D Mk III.

    In terms of handling, the more I use the EOS R the easier and more intuitive it becomes. My first few outings were plagued by the clumsiness of becoming familiar with it's controls and limitations.

    I have missed shots with the EOS R that I would have got with the 5D Mk IV due to speed of AF and the responsiveness of the real time 5D optical viewfinder and the occasional delay in the EOS R VF.

    I really like the EOS R electronic VF and use it 99% of the time rather than the rear LCD. The EOS R EVF can display an image and also AF under really dark conditions so you can see the subject clearly when compared to the 5D Mk IV optical VF.

    The flippy screen is very useful for low down shots like the EWD, again with the RF24-104 F4 L lens.

    There are some innovations such as Touch & Drag AF as well as the MF Bar that require practice to get used to and these also polarise users - they either love them or hate them; I love them but they still require some re-familiarisation after using the 5D Mk IV extensively and then picking up the EOS R after a few weeks of not using it.

    For my own needs, the EOS r and RF 24-105 L F4 combo gives me an excellent walk around system that somehow, my older 5D Mk III with EF 24-105 L F4 never satisfied in terms of size, weight and lens IQ.

    Cheers

    Dennis

    IMG_0779 Crop 1200.jpg

    IMG_0783 Crop 1200.jpg

    EOSR4537 Crop 1200.jpg

    EOSR4552 Crop 1200.jpg
    Last edited by nardes; 12-04-2019 at 11:30am.
    Dennis

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    Here are a couple of passable semi-macro shots taken with the EOS R and RF 35mm F1.8 Macro lens but again, for serious 1:1 macro I would use my 7D Mk II or 5D Mk IV and Canon 100mm F2.8L.

    However, the EOS R and RF35mm F1.8 is a very handy, lightweight system for just throwing in your bag for a casual day's outing.

    Cheers

    Dennis

    IMG_2698 Crop 1200.jpg

    IMG_2632 Crop 1200.jpg

    IMG_2683 Crop 1200.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is a rare and somewhat lucky in-flight shot that was taken with the EOS R and Canon 100-400 Mk II as I only had the EOS R with me on that outing.

    Cheers

    Dennis
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by nardes; 12-04-2019 at 11:42am.

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    Here is a Galah taken at ISO 8000 (thousand) with the Canon 100-400 F5.6L Mk II and Canon EF x1.4 Mk III Extender as an illustration of the AF capabilities and IQ at 560mm and ISO 8000.

    I have attached the RAW SOC and a processed version.

    Cheers

    Dennis
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I should add that the only previous EVF I have used was that on the Canon EOS M series of mirrorless cameras, so the EOS R EVF is a huge step up by comparison. Maybe this is why I like it and Tony finds it does not meet his expectations?

    The EVF self-adjusts from Horizontal to Vertical Display format when you change the camera body orientation from Landscape to Portrait, so all the text appears the right way up.

    Also, you can look through the EVF and make on the fly adjustments to various settings, such as AF Method (e.g. 1-point, Expanded, Zone AF, etc.) , AF Mode (One Shot, Servo), Drive Mode, Metering Mode, etc. without taking your eye from the EVF or trying to find buttons to press.

    However, as I use the 5D Mk IV mostly, I do find myself pausing to re-acquaint myself with some of the EOS R controls if I haven’t used it for a while.

    Cheers

    Dennis
    Last edited by nardes; 12-04-2019 at 7:58pm.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nardes View Post
    I should add that the only previous EVF I have used was that on the Canon EOS M series of mirrorless cameras, so the EOS R EVF is a huge step up by comparison. Maybe this is why I like it and Tony finds it does not meet his expectations?
    Oh, I wouldn't go so far as to say that, Dennis. Ergonomically, my expectations were quite low, and thus far the EOS R has met them. But I'm OK with that. So long as it does the two things I mainly want it for, I can (probably) live with its limitations.

    These are (a) - focus in ridiculously low light for rainforest birds (typically using flash and tripod). While I haven't tried that out yet, I hear from Bryan at TDP (and your good self) that it is outstanding in that regard - even better than the excellent 5D IV I currently use for the task. If it does that and nothing else, it's worth the money.

    (b) Provide the tilt-swivel screen I missed ever since my Nikon Coolpix 4500 days. (Pretty much only for macro.)

    Oh, and perhaps (c) provide me with hands-on experience in the mirrorless world. My expectation is that I'll remain a DSLR man more or less forever, but it's good to sample other things from time to time and avoid getting too set in one's ways. (As an example of this, I have persevered with the little viewfinderless G9X II, which I hated at first, and have come to rather like it.

    In the end, if I hate it I'll sell it, but I don't thin k I will. I reckon I'll keep it handy for those two tasks I mentioned, and between times use it for other odds and ends. I generally run four bodies, so assuming the EOS R gets a gurnsey in the starting 4, I might retire the ancient 5D II, or possibly my beautiful old 1D IV which, although it takes as lovely a picture as ever and is a joy to hold and use, is a pain from the bulk and weight point of view.

    Kel, like me, is a DSLR man through and through. Will he adapt to an EOS R if he picks one up soon? I reckon he might feel the same way about it that I do - i.e., rather mixed. But it's early days yet, and I have a lot to learn about it yet.

    (PS: the EF 24-105, in my opinion, has always been an uninspiring lens. I've had a couple of them and while there isn't really anything wrong with them, they just don't have that "gosh! factor" so many other Canon lenses do. It is nice to hear that the R mount 24-105 finally gets it right. Maybe Canon will do an EF 24-105/4L III that (unlike the II) knocks my socks off.

    (PPS: Kel, when I get back to Victoria, we should meet up and you can borrow my EOS R for a week or two to see how you like it.)

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    Thank you for the great write up Tony and Dennis. I am a little conflicted on where to head with a new camera body. I never really fell in love with a 5DsR I owned and so sold it around 12 months ago. I have recently booked a trip to Kenya for Feb 2020 will always take my 1DX but I was looking for a lighter second body.

    I think before I make any decisions I may take you up on your offer Tony and spend a few hours with your EOS R. As you rightly pointed out, I am a DSLR man through and through but I am interested in dipping my foot in the mirrorless world.

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    Might also be worth having a look at these EOS R YouTube videos by Tim Boyer, a wildlife / bird photographer.

    Birds.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cRmyz-34Gg

    Birds in Flight.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWGUIrEe3q8

    Cheers

    Dennis

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Went out for a little landscaping today. Rather ambitiously, I started with the EOS R as the primary camera, paired with the 24-105, and aiming to give it a good workout.

    Well, that lasted about two minutes. Looking at a nice subtle waterscape of the Huon River ... bleach. That electronic viewfinder is, no two ways about it, horrible. Switched back to the ancient 5D II, primitive AF system and all, just to compare and ... well ... I didn't have the heart to switch back. Inside 5 more minutes, the 5D II was back on the 16-35, the 5D IV was doing prime time, and the trusty old 1D IV got the 100-400. I was planning to give the R a try for macro work later on, but discovered I'd left the macro lens at home. So the shiny new toy spent the rest of the day in the camera bag.

    Sigh.

    I daresay I'll warm to the EOS R eventually, just as I did to the G9X II, but it's going to take a major revamp of my habits and expectations. Damn it, I like to see what I'm taking pictures of.

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    I slipped out again yesterday, and the EOS R got more of a workout. This time I used it with a 70-300L, and enjoyed the experience. I generally use a 100-400 for my long landscapes (usually with the 1D IV, though sometimes the 5D IV) and love it. The one thing that bugs me is the gap between the 24-105 and the (effective) 130mm of the 100-400. You'd think the little 30mm focal length gap wouldn't matter but I run up against it often.

    Anyway, I gave the EOS R and 70-300 combo a go instead. Lovely and light, a joy to hold. For some reason the horrid EVF doesn't bother me as much at the longer focal length - perhaps because you are looking at a small area and the colour tones don't vary as much as they do at (say) 35mm. The controls remain awkward and nothing like as intuitive as any of the pro and semi-pro SLRs (that missing back wheel remains a design mistake in my view) but I'm growing accustomed to them and can do most of the things I need to do, at lest for landscapes. It might be quite a while before I reckon I'm quick enough to use it for birding, but there is plenty of time for that.

    And some of the pictures were lovely. It will never make a full replacement for a real SLR, but it will have its uses alongside them, I reckon.

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    Thank you for the feedback Tony. I will be interested how you go when you decide to do a little birding with the EOS R.

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    New Member st87's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    Not to hijack this thread, but does anyone still use the old Apple Aperture program? If so, do the RAW files from the Eos R work with it?
    Supposedly, Aperture supports CR3 files but would hope to hear some success stories.

    Sent from my F8331 using Tapatalk

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    I can't answer your specific question, ST, but I can tell you that the EOS R provides the facility to save in CR2 format if you wish. I need to read up on it properly, but my understanding is that there is no advantage to CR3 format unless you want to use compressed raw files, and CR2 would work every bit as well.

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    New Member st87's Avatar
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    Thanks Tannin,

    Wondering if you can help me with something else.
    Getting a family member to help look into getting the camera for me and I'm trying to decide whether I really need the control ring adapter. I get that it adds an extra convenient control, but it's not cheap.

    So on the camera itself, there are two existing dials. One for the shutter speed behind the release, and let's call the other one the "thumb dial".
    I assume that by default, it's for the Aperture control.

    I'm wondering:
    1. Can the thumb dial be changed to control ISO and the control ring be set to control Aperture?
    2. Without the control ring, what steps do I take to change the ISO settings? (looking at pictures, it's not a dedicated button like my 5D2).

    Cheers in advance!

    Sent from my F8331 using Tapatalk

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    Cheers ST. I chose not to get the control ring. I'm not sure if that was a good move or not. On the one hand, the EOS R is awkward and fiddly to use and an extra control wheel (or ring) would be useful. On the other hand, it has all the controls you actually need and, with a bit of time spent setting the thing up nicely, these are reasonably easy to get at and use.

    The control ring adaptor is another couple of hundred dollars, and if you are going to spend another couple of hundred dollars to make it nicer to use, why not spend a bit more again to do the job properly by getting a 5D IV, which is much nicer?

    Think about it: the 5D IV is exactly the same as regards image quality; has a significantly superior focus system (we grant that in some respects the EOS R AF is better - overall though, the 5D IV autofocus is faster, more precise, and more reliable in a variety of situations); the 5D feels better in the hand; and the 5D control setup is vastly superior. Compared to any standard Canon SLR (i.e., anything except the cheap little plastic ones) the EOS R is cramped and awkward to use. It's perfectly functional, there is not much you can't do with it, but you are stepping back to control functionality not much better than that of a sub-$1000 200D. My beef with the rear dial on the EOS R body is that you have to change your grip to get at it. I suspect that the lens ring would be equally awkward. Compare with (for example) your 5D II, where the rear dial falls naturally under the thumb and is instantly accessible.

    I'm not sure how much of an improvement the ring would be. It would probably be easier and more natural to access than the awkward rear dial if you are using small lenses, but no advantage at all with longer lenses because with anything past about 50 or 80mm, your left hand is supporting the lens and not close enough to the body to turn the ring without changing grip. So if you shoot with (say) a 24-70, the ring could be pretty good. With a 70-200, it might be a bit useless. With a 500/4, out of the question.

    I'm a bit confused by your use of the two dials, ST. Most people use the main dial for aperture, and the rear dial for exposure compensation. I reckon you must be shooting in manual where, on the 5D II, you have no choice but to have the setup as you described. (Drives me spare! Why on earth Canon decided to flip aperture control from the main dial to the back dial just because you are in M instead of Av, I have no idea. It would only make sense if most people normally used Tv mode, and hardly anybody does. On all the newer bodies, you can swap those functions back where they belong. (7D II, 5D IV, EOS R, probably the the 6D II and 80D as well. Oh and the 1 Series cameras have been able to do this since forever.)

    Simply, the 5D IV has the best handling and control layout of any camera I've ever used, superior even to the 1D IV. Canon has been gradually refining the user interface ever since the pioneering EOS 10D in back 2003, and all that evolution shows. You don't have to think about it or fiddle with it, you just take pictures. For the EOS R Canon has chosen to throw a good part of that refinement out the window and try something different. Their aim, apparently, is to make something much smaller, presumably because they think that that is what mirrorless buyers want. Fair enough. Thus far, the Canon mirrorless UI strikes me (and a number of reviewers around the web) as an unfinished idea. It's half-baked. Is it usable? Sure it is. Is it as pleasant and intuitive as (e.g.) a 5D II? Not even close. (And note that the art has improved further since 5D II days - the 7D II, the 6D II, and the 5D IV all bring small but significant improvements to the control system.)

    On the EOS R, can you simply take pictures without fiddling and thinking about the machine instead of your subject? Not really. Come back when they get to the EOS R Mark III - Canon are very good at refining systems, bit by bit, and they will probably get this one right in time.

    I have been tinkering with the control setup on the EOS R for a couple of weeks now, working away at making it as usable as possible. Many of the controls are customisable, so it should be doable.

    The first thing I did was set most of the standard personal things - i.e., the same things I do with every camera - reverse back button focus, record both raw and JPG, shoot without card off, manual white balance, and so on. Everyone does this stuff differently, that's just my own preferences. Most of it is much the same on any recent Canon. Then I started hunting for ways to make the main controls fall easily to hand: aperture; exposure compensation; ISO, focus point.

    • Aperture is easy: in Av it's on the main dial, same as any other camera.
    • Exposure compensation lives on the rear dial which (as mentioned) is awkward to reach with your thumb but doable.
    • ISO is harder. The default method is for the tiny button next to the shutter (the one they introduced with the 7D Mark I especially for focus mode changes) to bring up any of five common settings: ISO, single/multi shot, servo/one-shot AF, and flash exposure compensation. It doesn't bring up the same one every time, it goes back to whichever of these you used last. You select your desired value with the main dial, switch between functions with the back dial (e.g., between ISO and FEC). It works, but it is fiddly and awkward. The finger contortion required to reach the back dial doesn't help.


    Also, there is a prominent red button on the top which, stupidly, is set up to switch on movie mode. Given its location, you pretty much can't avoid pressing it, triggering movie mode unexpectedly and really messing things up. That absolutely has to go. The first thing I did was set it to centre the focus point instead. Much, much better, but wouldn't it be more sensible to use it for ISO and one of the spare back buttons (such as the * thing) for centering the focus point? Sure it would be - but you can't! What is the point, Mr Canon, of having a control customisable when we can't set it to anything very useful?

    So the best I can do is assign the ISO to the * button on the back (a peculiar location for it, but better than nothing) and use the red button for centering the AF.

    Would the control ring be better? Yes, I think it would. Nevertheless, it's an expensive little extra, and that's money which would be much better spent going towards a 5D IV, which would be clearly superior.

    Having said all that, I plan to keep the EOS R. It's a cute little thing despite its annoying ways, and used the way I'm using mine - as a spare body used alongside several DSLRs - it performs a useful role. It takes wonderful pictures (same sensor as the 5D IV, remember) and I like using it. It's not up to scratch for doing the hard things (examples of these in a moment) but for the simple landscape photography I want it for, it does very well indeed.

    When I say "the hard things" I mean things which require rapid, accurate control manipulation (bird photography, especially with flash, and anything else where you are juggling multiple parameters), and I am a long way off being persuaded that the focus system is good enough to use with long lenses and small, fast-moving subjects. I very much doubt that the weather sealing is good enough to stand up in the field on a bad day. I don't trust it on wet days, and doubt its ability in (for example) steamy tropical heat. (Bear in mind that the flip-out screen is a factor here. As always with those screens, it's a trade-off between convenience when wanted and robustness. It's great to have one camera with one, but Canon don't fit them to their pro and semi-pro models for a reason.) And the EOS R eats batteries.

    Would you want to take one on safari with you Kel? Well, as a second camera, perhaps. It's very small, perfectly OK for landscapes and such use, and can be put away in your bag if it rains. I will probably take it to Sri Lanka with me, possibly in place of the 1D IV. In bad weather, I'll still have the 5D IV and the 7D. Just remember that it eats batteries and it's not as robust as a 1 Series or a 5D.

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    Once again Tony thank you for taking the time to write up some great reviews. Luckily I do have some time on my side to make up my mind. I am never a big fan of buying the first generation body - but I do need a second body to travel with at the end of the year and thought why buy yesterday's technology when Canon are now putting all their $$$ in developing the mirrorless body and lenses.

    The up side to the mirrorless revolution is of course lightly used 5DIV's are starting to appear on the market at very good used prices and as you suggest a fourth generation 5D might be a better buy than a first generation EOSR.

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    Hi Tony,

    Thank you for your detailed review.
    Ah so you call it the REAR dial. Gotcha. Not an ideal placement, but it's not that bad either. Before my first dSLR, my camera was a Fuji S9000. The ONLY dial was placed at exactly the same position, and I used it to control both shutter and aperture. Eventually, you'll get the hang of just shooting with your thumb there.

    Yes I get that the 5D series is still superior. You're probably going to scream at me for this, but I actually decided on the EOS R mainly for the Eye AF feature. Figured that feature would be greatly useful for me as it's been something I've envied on the Sony users for a long time. When shooting the more intimate portraits on a large aperture, I find that sometimes, focusing using the centre, then panning at half shutter for composition before taking the shot - that travel distance sometimes can slightly alter your focal point by a small fraction. If this Eye AF feature is as accurate as what Canon and some reviewers claim, I feel it is definitely worth a shot.

    I've read a review saying that the EOS R is slow because it "only" offered 8fps continuous drive. Call me out of touch, but coming from the 5D2, that is super fast to me lol!

    I had hoped Canon would just make a full frame mirrorless without trying to tackle on making a smaller camera. I really don't mind big. What I do mind is the compromised ergonomics coming from a smaller size, exactly as you have raised above. The result is an EOS R - not that much smaller when you consider the lens you put on, but small enough to make it less intuitive to function. In some ways a disaster, and in a twist of events, I've actually been telling people around me to avoid the EOS R. It's their first full frame mirrorless - there's bound to be improvements. But alas, I have my first wedding photo shoot booked in November (pretty much the scenario you mentioned up there, Brian!), I need a second body, I want the Eye AF feature, and I can't see a Mark II coming out anytime soon.

    The only drama I'll have is constantly switching between a 5D2 and the R. The controls won't be as identical as it would have been if I bought a 5D4, for instance. But, I should be fine. I hope.

    So that probably settles on why I've chosen to take a risk with the EOS R. As for my original question about customising the dials, I didn't quite get the answer I was looking for. I think it's because I didn't clarify one thing. I shoot manual full time. I have tried switching between shutter and aperture priority modes in the earlier stages, but somehow, just keeping it at full manual felt more at home for me. I don't think I'll be changing this habit anytime soon.

    So, what I want to do is to set the front dial for shutter, the rear dial for ISO, and the control ring for aperture. Do you think it can be customized this way? Or am I completely misinterpreting the functionality of the rear dial?
    Last edited by st87; 30-04-2019 at 9:02pm.

  19. #19
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by st87 View Post
    Ah so you call it the REAR dial. Gotcha. Not an ideal placement, but it's not that bad either. Before my first dSLR, my camera was a Fuji S9000. The ONLY dial was placed at exactly the same position, and I used it to control both shutter and aperture. Eventually, you'll get the hang of just shooting with your thumb there.
    Actually, I won't, and I don't reckon you will either. You have to change your grip such that your thumb is no longer in the form-fitting groove designed for it and is, instead, running vertically up along the ridge. It isn't natural or comfortable, so you only do it for as long as it takes to change a setting. Worse, when you position your thumb to use the rear dial, you are placing it awkwardly over the three rear control buttons (AF on, *, and the square one I can never remember the name of). It's just bad design. Canon will sort it out ... for the EOS R Mark II or III.

    8FPS "slow"? Strewth. I agree with you. 8 FPS is plenty for most uses. I've happily used 5 FPS for birds in flight. Nothing wrong with 8 FPS. (As a matter of detail, I haven't used the EOS R on anything except single shot yet. Not in any hurry to do so: given its focus system, viewfinder, and control limitations, it's a camera best used for single shot-type subjects (portraits, landscapes, architecture, macro) which it does well, and best avoided for action (sport, wildlife, journalism).

    Now onto my major beef. I just spent two days - two days mark you messing about with the EOS R trying to get the electronic level back. It worked beautifully (once you figured out how to turn it on, which is non-trivial), albeit looking over-large and over-fancy. (It has corrected the very plain, arguably over-simple display of the 5D IV and 7D II, but gone too far the other way. They will get the next one right, I guess. No big deal anyway.)

    But then, for no known reason, it simply stopped working. No display. I went over and over the menu system, searched on-line repeatedly, watched various tedious videos hoping to find the critical hint. Mostly, I just used the 5D IV and the 7D II instead, every now and then pulling the EOS R out to have another crack at fixing the missing EL display. I was on the point of resetting the whole thing to the factory defaults, followed by sending it back to Canon to be repaired when I finally stumbled across the cure this morning. It turns out that the EL doesn't display if you have Eye AF on. Somehow we had accidentally turned Eye AF on - not difficult to do with the R, which has a less clear and obvious AF control system than the DSLRs - and, with no hint of an error message, the EL simply did not work. You can go round and round forever in the menus, making sure it is definately switched on in six (count 'em, 6) different places, and it doesn't say a word: just leaves you utterly baffled.

    Seriously, what person in his right mind would go looking for the fix for a non-displaying electronic level in the viewfinder display by experimenting with different autofocus modes?

    Apparently, a firmware fix is theoretically possible, though I haven't checked if Canon have done it yet. But now that I know about it, it's not a problem. I'm not interested in eye detect AF anyway - I seldom shoot humans, and if I do, I just use the same techniques I use with birds and mammals. These are probably non-optimal for human subjects, but they are the ones I know and have been using for 20 years, so (for me) they are the easiest thing to do.

    Thinking about your use-case, ST, I reckon that the first thing to work out is whether the Eye AF will work as well as you hope. If I find myself up in NSW anytime soon, you'd be most welcome to try mine out. (We avoid big cities and probably won't be going into Sydney, but we may well be on the south coast and hinterland before too long. Not sure yet.)

    Anyway, assuming that the Eye AF does what you want (and given that this feature is important for your use), then in your shoes I'd be going for the control ring. Three dials: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. What could be simpler? You can certainly put ISO on the lens ring (per my reading), and I know from experience that you can put the other two on the two body dials. Can you do it the other way (aperture on the ring, ISO on the rear dial)? I think so. Let me try it out on mine . . . . . . yep, you can. Sweet. Notice that this will put the least-used exposure function (ISO) on the most awkward dial, and the most used ones (aperture and shutter speed) on the easiest controls to reach (main dial and lens ring). (Writing this makes me wonder whether I should have got the control ring. Then I remember my long lens habit and decide that it wouldn't have suited me after all.)

    How about switching bodies? You'll get used to it. I switch between bodies all the time - 5D II, 1D IV, 7D II, and 5D IV; with the recent additions of the G9X II and now the EOS R. I still struggle a bit with the last-mentioned two, but I'm getting the hang of them. Just be sure you get your EOS R (or other new camera if you go a different way) in plenty of time before your November shoot. Nothing worse than mucking about with half-understood new equipment under pressure to produce results.

  20. #20
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    PS: I just updated to the latest firmware (1.2) from what I had (1.0). The problem reported above has not been fixed.

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