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Two Months with the Canon EOS R

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2018 was a weird year and one that I’m glad is behind us. One highlight late in the year was Canon announcing the EOS R.

I had been shooting with my Leica M 240, one of my favorite cameras of all time, and my Fuji X-Pro, a camera I absolutely love with a sensor design that causes me grief (X-Trans). I was excited to hear both Nikon and Canon announce their entry into the full-frame mirrorless market, and ultimately I decided to go with Canon’s offering.

It has now been a little over two months since I received the Canon EOS R with the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. In the time I’ve had it, I’ve shot in my hometown of San Francisco, and I’ve taken the camera on trips to Charlottesville, New York, Palm Springs, and Joshua Tree National Park; all locations where the camera performed up to my liking.

I’ve gotten several questions and inquiries asking for my thoughts on the camera, especially since the early reviews have been so polarizing. Everyone I’ve met in person who owns the camera has loved it, including a couple of my close friends and coworkers who have switched from other systems back to Canon. I’ve written down a few thoughts that I’ve spent more time with the camera, along with a few photos I’ve created with it. I hope you enjoy them.

Gear

  • Canon EOS R
  • Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens

Thoughts

Great lens lineup. I bought the camera as a kit with the Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens which I took on my trip to Joshua Tree and Palm Springs. It’s an optically stunning lens and one that is versatile as well. Coming from a Leica M with a Voigtlander Nokton 50mm f/1.5 Aspherical lens, which is my favorite lens I’ve ever owned, I was missing some unique character from the RF 24-105. I picked up a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens for a decent price and felt a bit more comfortable shooting with a fast 50mm. Once again, this was closer to what I was looking for, but it still didn’t feel all that special. I then began searching for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM lens which I’ve been lusting after for years now. I finally picked one up a few days, and it hasn’t left my camera since. I love the way it renders images. A bit soft but with so much character.

Fantastic ergonomics. It’s sometimes amusing to see the EOS R next to its mirrorless rivals and wonder why it’s larger than the rest (especially since it doesn’t have IBIS), but once I pick it up and start shooting with it I remember why — it feels perfect in the hands.

Image quality is great. It’s always a pleasure processing Canon RAW files. The Sony RAW files used to be challenging because of the colors, and the FUJI RAW files were difficult for me because of the X-Trans sensor. The Leica RAW files were always great, but the additional resolution is a nice benefit.

Endless customizability. This is one of the most customizable cameras I’ve ever owned. I’m still getting used to all the different configurations and setups, but I’m enjoying the process of trial and error. The menu systems are a joy to use (especially compared to that of the Sony A7 series).

The look. After shooting Fuji X and Leica M for the past two to three years, I still feel a bit uncomfortable in some situations carrying around a camera that more similar resembles a traditional DSLR. Part of me feels like the camera makes me look too much like a tourist compared to the sleuth design and size of both Fuji and Leica’s cameras. This is purely psychological, and I’m sure other folks won’t have this concern at all.

Battery life is great. USB-C charging and data transferring is a game changer for traveling light, especially with the USB-C Apple MacBook Pro.

Photos

Final Words

The past couple of months with this new system have been a joy. I’m excited for the RF lenses and the new mount. The EOS R is the vector for the new technology that Canon is introducing in their lenses and I get the sense they have some exciting products in the pipeline.

I already have a trip to Spain and Italy booked and am in the process of a couple more where I’m sure I will be putting the camera to use.


About the author: Faisal Yaqub is an automotive and lifestyle photographer based in San Francisco, California. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Yaqub’s work on his website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This article was also published here.

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