We were a little taken aback by the launch of the Canon EOS RP. Instead of being a professional-grade version of the Canon EOS R (though don’t get us wrong, the pro Canon EOS R5 is on the way), the Canon EOS RP was a more affordable version of the company’s full-frame mirrorless model with a lower price tag.
Indeed, the letter ‘P’ in the model name stands for ‘Popular,’ which in the Japanese sense means ‘for everyone,’ making this the best Canon camera for enthusiasts and first-time full frame camera customers, respectively. For this reason, as well as its low price and tiny size, it wins a spot on our list of the best full frame mirrorless cameras that you can buy right now.
In spite of the fact that it has a huge full-frame sensor, the Canon EOS RP is remarkably tiny and delivers diverse photography capabilities in a portable package.
Thanks to a 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 8 image processor, the camera can capture both still images and UHD 4K video with a wide sensitivity range, ranging from ISO 100 to 40000, to accommodate shooting in a variety of lighting settings.
Continuous shooting at up to 5 frames per second is also available for photographing moving subjects. It also supports a sophisticated Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus technology, which includes 4779 selectable on-sensor phase-detection points for fast and precisely obtaining focus during stills and video capture.
Indeed, the RP has a great lot in common with the EOS 6D Mark II in terms of architecture, from the sensor all the way down to the feature set. Despite this, it is contained in a body that is the tiniest and lightest full-frame camera ever produced by Canon.
Canon EOS RP Specifications
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||6240 x 4160|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||26 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||27 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Full frame (35.9 x 24 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100-40000 (expands to 50-102400)|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||50|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||102400|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Fine, normal|
|File format||JPEGRaw (14-bit Canon CR3)C-Raw (Canon original)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||4779|
|Lens mount||Canon RF|
|Focal length multiplier||1×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||30 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramShutter priorityAperture priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe)|
|Flash X sync speed||1/180 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleContinuous (H/L)Self-timer|
|Continuous drive||5.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)|
|Modes||3840 x 2160 @ 24p / 120 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 60 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 30 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card (UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (via cable or smartphone)|
|Battery description||LP-E17 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||485 g (1.07 lb / 17.11 oz)|
|Dimensions||133 x 85 x 70 mm (5.24 x 3.35 x 2.76″)|
Build & Handling
The Canon EOS RP is distinguished by its small size, which is arguably its most remarkable feature. It weighs only 485g, which includes the battery and memory card, making it 175g lighter than the EOS R and 280g lighter than the EOS 6D Mark II.
In fact, the Canon EOS 800D/Canon EOS Rebel T7i would be the closest comparison, as they both weigh exactly the same (but are 532g with battery and card) and measure 131.0 x 99.9 x 76.2mm, which is significantly larger than the RP’s streamlined 132.5 x 85 x 70mm frame.
With the right lens, such as the Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 IS Macro STM or the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM with the EF-EOS R Mount Adapter, the camera feels almost as responsive and maneuverable as a Fujifilm or Olympus mirrorless system.
In contrast, when combined with bigger lenses, this advantage in compactness becomes a disadvantage. This is especially true when the Canon Rapid Fire (RF) line is comprised mostly of monsters like the 950g Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L and then 1,430g 28-70mm f/2L.
Some of the greatest Canon RF lenses are also, sadly, some of the largest and most costly lenses available on the market today. With the EOS R and beyond, Canon is definitely aiming its sights at the professional market (the Canon EOS R5 specifications are incredible), but let’s hope it doesn’t lose sight of the cost-conscious consumer market in the process.
When comparing the EOS RP to cameras like the Nikon Z6 or even the Canon EOS R, it’s vital to note that the EOS RP isn’t truly in the same class as those cameras. Thus, while its overall performance may appear to be unexceptional in certain ways, the RP really performs rather well for a camera in its category – notably when it comes to taking still images (as opposed to video).
Exceptional in terms of picture quality, file fidelity, and dynamic range, images taken with the RP are exceptional and behave quite similarly to those taken with the 6D Mark II during the editing process. Because the Digic 8 processor provides a little more oomph, there appears to be a little more detail in the shadows, but the levels are essentially the same across the two cameras.
While the RP’s burst mode of 4 frames per second in Servo AF or 5 frames per second in One Shot isn’t going to win any speed competitions, the camera can record up to 50 14-bit raw files on a UHS-II card before the camera begins to slow down, which is significantly more than average for a camera that isn’t designed for sports photography.
While the addition of eye-tracking with Servo AF is a wonderful addition, we found it to be less effective in practice than we had hoped. Sure, it’s a step down from the better technology that debuted with the Sony A6400(opens in a new tab), but in real-time shooting, it frequently resorted to basic facial tracking while shooting at anything more than close range.
It is Fujifilm’s response to this problem that the Fujifilm X-T30 features a Face Detect function, which allows you to choose the face in a scene you want to track using the camera’s autofocus system.
Although there were a few cases in which this became a problem, they were rather few and far between…. Even if we had concentrated on someone else’s child crossing the finish line at school sports day, rather than merely getting a pedestrian in focus instead of the street performer we were attempting to photograph in Camden, we would probably have been a little more disappointed with the results.
However, the autofocus system, in general, performs admirably, especially in low-light circumstances. In this aspect, the EOS R is a standout performer, while the RP is just behind it in terms of performance. In spite of the fact that we shot inside in some very dim conditions as well as during the twilight hours after the sun had gone down, the focusing system never failed us — it’s lightning-fast, pinpoint precise, and extremely trustworthy.
Users who were anticipating (read: desperately hoping) that this would be a professional-grade version of the EOS R to compete with the EOS-1D X or 5DS/R would almost certainly be disappointed with their purchase. It’s unreasonable to criticize the Canon EOS RP only on the basis of what it isn’t. That Canon managed to compress all of the power and performance of a 765g 6D Mark II into a 485g body while adding 4K video and mirrorless advantages like an EVF is a stunning feat of engineering.
If you’re wanting to move to a bigger sensor, a decent full-frame mirrorless camera at this price is a great option for anyone looking to keep the size and weight benefits of their existing APS-C models. Sony’s older back-catalog A7 models, which the manufacturer has chosen to maintain on the market, are the only serious price competitors for the EOS RP at this time.
Indeed, the EOS RP’s compactness may even make it more tempting than the EOS R for photographers that need to remain light and agile, like travel or street photographers, due to its smaller size.
After everything is said and done, the Canon RP provides a shooting experience that feels familiar and easy to Canon customers – and, thanks to the mount adapter EF-EOS R that comes included in the box, current lenses can be used right immediately. It is possible that the RP is a better match for EF-S lenses and the lighter EF glass than it is for the larger and heavier RF optics, in fact.
A souped-up 6D Mark II in a smaller body with an EVF and 4K video – even if 4K comes with trade-offs that make 1080p a preferable option for more serious video shooters – is what this camera is. The Canon EOS RP is a very competent still camera that delivers photos that are on par with those produced by any other body in Canon’s lineup. Those wishing to make the transition to full-frame photography would be well to investigate the Canon EOS RP.
Instead of being supplanted by newer full frame mirrorless cameras, the EOS RP has solidified its place as an economical, flexible, and incredibly approachable camera for first-time full-frame photographers, particularly in the portrait and landscape genres.