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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.

  7. #7
    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.)

  8. #8
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    Brian500au's Avatar
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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

  10. #10
    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.

  11. #11
    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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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.

  12. #12
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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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