Today we are going to talk a little more about mirrorless cameras. Nick, we had you on a little bit ago to talk about the Nikon Z and Canon R cameras that were announced and released late in 2018. I don’t know about you, but I took plenty of heat from that episode. In prepping for it I sourced a few of the technical specs from some sources that had been pretty solid previously and a few of them turned out to not be quite right. Plus, I heard it from the fanboys out there for both brands. They are sooooo loyal to their brands that they could be stealing candy from babies or robbing banks and they would be in favor of it!
Nick, I thought I should have you back to talk about the new Canon EOS RP camera that was announced here in early 2019 because I wanted a buddy to be in the quicksand with me! So thanks for agreeing to join me!
Before we dive into the specs of the RP, I want to talk about brand loyalty.
Camera Brand Loyalty
We have talked about brand loyalty on the podcast before. I am AMAZED at how much brand loyalty there is for cameras. There has to be some kind of psychology that explains this phenomenon that I have seen up close very regularly. If there is someone trained in that area that could help me make sense of this kind of absurd loyalty to a camera brand, drop me a line because I would love to have you come on the show and talk about it. It is insane to me. It doesn’t make sense.
We have talked on the show before about brand loyalty, or at least how we are all “victims” of marketing at the very least. There are ads in everything these days, and yes I realize the irony that I am saying this on a podcast episode supported by ads – thank you Squarespace for sponsoring this episode! Still, I want to talk about how marketing leads to brand loyalty.
Nick, do you feel like you have loyalty to a particular brand of anything? I am not talking about being sponsored by a brand, that is something I think is a little different. I am talking about being so enamored with a brand that if you are truly honest with yourself you might be a little blinded by it? Doesn’t have to be camera gear, but it would make this part of the episode more interesting if it was.
Nick: Honestly, the bigger the company, the less likely I am to feel brand loyalty. In my experience the smaller companies out there, always have better customer service, and tend to just care more about the customers. When it comes to camera brands, or lens brands, those are large companies I dont feel and loyalty to at all, but some of the smaller companies out there, like Shimoda, Breakthrough Photography etc, these are the companies I am loyal to. But it has to be based on the product. Luckily these companies have amazing products which makes loyalty a whole lot easier.
Jeff: The biggest photography related brand loyalty I think I have right now is Godox/Flashpoint. I am in love with that flash equipment. The XPro controller, the TT600 entry level flashes, the AD200 flash strobes. I love it all. I don’t think I would take it all the way to fanboy level, but the brand has earned my respect and I have to admit the only reason I gave any of it a chance was seeing pretty much all of my photographer friends switch to it.
I would like to think that I tried it out over the Yongnuo branded equipment, which I was very happy with, because of that gentle push I felt from the photography communities I engage with but I chose to switch because the product was that impressive. It made it worth repeat investing my small hobbyist budget for photography in flash equipment and I just love it every time I use it.
Do you think that makes me a fanboy Nick?
Nick: Actually I am a big fan of Flashpoint stuff as well. The price of product makes it very very attractive, but often times its just hard to compete with those Chinese made product prices. Sometimes there is a cost of supporting a china based companies, often times they are stealing the designs of other companies from around the world, but just doing it cheaper. Leofoto is an example of this, total Really Right Stuff rip off.
Jeff: How about when you switched from Canon to Sony. Do you think you stayed with Canon as long as you did because of marketing and/or brand loyalty?
Nick: Honestly no, I never had any loyalty to Canon. The main thing that kept me from switching was, i didn’t want to switch too soon, before there actually was something better out there, I feel like I timed it right.
Jeff: How about now that you are with Sony. Do you think you feel a significant amount of brand loyalty to Sony?
Nick: No not really. I will say that Sony has at least, noticed me, whereas Canon had no idea who i was nor cared. But If Nikon or another company comes out with something that blows away Sony I wouldn’t hesitate to jump ship.
Jeff: Long-time listeners to the show will know that I am a Canon shooter, but I don’t consider myself to be a Canon fanboy at all. I do really like my Canon 7DM2. I have said it a lot on the show, and will continue to say it for a while, I hope that someday my skills are so good that it is the camera in my hand that is limiting me. I haven’t reached that point yet. But I don’t feel a serious amount of loyalty to Canon. It was the right kind of camera for the right price when I was I was buying it.
In fact, with the way I dabble in every time of photography and do it on a small hobbyist budget, I think I would probably be slightly happier with the Nikon D500 right now than I am with the Canon 7DM2. It seems like there is a little bit more dynamic range in the D500 that would mean a lot to me without giving up anything I know of that I have in the 7DM2. So what keeps me with Canon? The cost and effort to switch.
I saved for years to buy some decent glass and the thought of having to sell it all off and buy it all over again is not remotely appealing. The Harmon finance committee would never approve of buying the new gear and then selling the old gear, they know that once I have the new stuff I am not very inclined to sell off the old. So I would have to be without a camera for a bit and I really just hate selling things. Plus, I am not convinced that it is SOOOO much better on the other side to be worth the pain.
It is just interesting to me to hear from the fanboys that are clearly so loyal to their brand. Whenever I talk about gear I hear from them and now that I can see it in that light it is actually a little entertaining.
Canon EOS RP Specs
- Single SD memory card slot. UHS-II supported cards, use SDHC/SDXC
- 26.2 megapixel full frame sensor that looks like it is exactly the same as the Canon 6DM2
- Lightest and most compact full-frame EOS camera
- 4,779 phase detect Dual Pixel auto focus points that work down to -5 EV in one shot mode. Can select by touch screen or joystick (joystick is back!). No dual pixel AF in 4K and it even moves away from phase detect (faster and more accurate) to contrast AF when shooting 4K
- ISO 100-40,000
- Max shutter 1/4000. Max sync 1/180
- 5fps IF: Shooting with a fully charged battery in One-Shot AF mode at a 1/500 sec. or faster shutter speed and maximum aperture (depending on the lens), at room temperature (73°F/23°C), without flicker reduction, or image stabilization (depending on the lens).
- With Servo AF: Max. approx. 4.0 fps (shooting speed priority)
When set to reduce flicker: Max. approx. 4.0 fps
- Low-speed continuous shooting (Tracking priority) Max. approx. 2.6 fps
- Supposed to be able to shoot raw with high speed continuous to a UHS-II SD card without buffering until the card is full
- 4K (UHD) 3840 x 2160 24fps ??? video and 1080p 60/30 but no 24??. 4K is cropped 1.625x (I did the math myself because I saw conflicting reports, smaller crop than the R which is 1.75x because the sensor produces still images that are 27% smaller). Goes to 720p with EF-S lenses (R doesn’t do that)
- 3 inch 1.04 million dot touch vari angle (fully articulating) LCD
- OLED 2.3 million dot EVF
- WiFi and Bluetooth
- LPE17 battery gives you 250 shots using rear LCD and 210 using EVF. CIPA DC-002 standard came out in 2003:
- Factory settings.
- Power on, move the zoom lens, take up to 10 shots within a 30 second period, power off. Cycle through that as many times as you can until the battery gives out.
- The number of shots is how many of them made it out to the memory card.
- Price: $1,300 for the body only. $100 for the EF-EOS R adapter (you get it for free if you pre-order).
- RF 24-105mm F4 L IS $900 (backordered)
- RF 28-70mm F2 L $3,000 (backordered)
- RF 50mm F1.2 L $2,100
- RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM $450
Reaction to Canon EOS RP Specs
We reserve the right to change our minds about our reactions to the specs. If we ever get one in our hands we may decide we like things we didn’t expect and hate things we though we would like. Also, if you bought the camera and love it, that is awesome! Go forth and make awesome images.
- Single SD Memory Card: Give Canon a pass here, this is an inexpensive entry-level full frame camera. Single card slot is fine for that. The EOS R should have had two.
- Sensor: Disappointing that it looks like it is the same sensor as the Canon 6DM2. That is the only sensor either of us knew of where the dynamic range of the new sensor was actually tested to be slightly worse than the previous sensor. Shouldn’t work that way. Ever. Should allow photographers to make some incredible and beautiful images still, but the RP will probably have even less DR than the 6DM2.
- Auto Focus: That’s a lot of focus points, and Canon’s Dual Pixel AF tech is top notch, though not as good in mirrorless as it is on their DSLRs thus far. Being able to focus at -5 EV in one shot AF mode is pretty good, so that is nice. Love that the joystick is back for selecting focus points. Super disappointing that auto focus degrades all the way down the the slow and ineffective contrast detection when shooting 4K.
- ISO: Kind of meaningless these days. ISO from camera to camera isn’t really comparable and you have to do some testing of each camera to see how much of the range is useful. Not expecting significant low-light performance because the 6DM2 wasn’t jaw-dropping at initial release.
- Shutter: Not a big deal. No 1/8000 but not that big a deal.
- Frame Rate: Huge miss here. Practical frame rate is going to be limited to 2.6fps. That is just way too slow and means you won’t be shooting any sports with this camera for sure. The RP is way behind all of the mirrorless cameras on this. Huge negative.
- Video: Again some pretty big misses here. The 1.625 crop factor isn’t really a massive deal, but the auto focus problems mean 4K video is a pretty useless feature. Strange that the 24fps for full HD isn’t available. Goes down to 720p if you use an EF-S lens? What? Seems like this should have been an ideal vlogger camera but with the negatives on video it probably won’t be. Vloggers should go for the R.
- LCD/Viewfinder: Seems about half the quality of other mirrorless offerings. Probably fine. The rear LCD being fully articulating (flippy outty) is awesome and we wish other cameras did this. Too bad the video options pretty much stink.
- WiFi and Bluetooth: Need to reserve judgement here. Neither of us has used Canon Bluetooth before. WiFi from Canon wasn’t really very useable until the 5DM4, so maybe it will be pretty good. Or maybe Canon is crippling the RP here too like seems to be the case with so many other features.
- Battery Life: Abysmal. Again, the worst of any mirrorless camera based on the specs. Maybe some of the early Sony cameras were this bad too, but they aren’t today.
- Price: Excellent. Just what it should be to appeal to the target market with this camera, though the downsides are big enough maybe it is actually overpriced.
Who Is the RP For?
Maybe the landscape photographer who has Canon EF lenses and wants to check out the mirrorless side of things. Even then, better to save up a bit more for the EOS R. Besides that, we think there are better and even less expensive options for most photographers.
Jeff: Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo UC Including Link 370 ($170)