Canon EOS RP Review
|Full model name:||Canon EOS RP|
(35.9mm x 24.0mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 40,000|
|Extended ISO:||50 - 102,400|
|Shutter:||1/4000 - 30 sec|
|Max Aperture:||4.0 (kit lens)|
5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8 in.
(133 x 85 x 70 mm)
|Full specs:||Canon EOS RP specifications|
EOS RP Summary
Big sensor, small price point. The compact EOS RP is Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera, and while it lacks some bells and whistles, the RP lowers the barrier of entry into the full-frame world in a big way. The Canon RP is one of, if not the most, affordable full-frame cameras on the market today, selling right at $999. With a 26MP sensor, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 4K video recording and a highly portable design, the little EOS RP is an amazing bang-for-your-buck camera.Pros
Very good image quality; Good high ISO performance; Fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus system; Eye AF with tracking & video support; 4K video; Good build quality; Excellent value.Cons
No IBIS; Sub-par dynamic range; Burst shooting tops out at 5fps; Poor battery life; Limited video features.Price and availability
The Canon EOS RP went on sale in March 2019, with an initial body-only retail price of US$1,299 -- the price has since dropped to $999 body-only. Two kit versions are also available: 1) an RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens kit with an original retail price of $2,399 (dropped to $1,899), and a kit with an RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM lens that sells for $1,899 (reduced to $1,499).Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
Canon EOS RP Review
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Canon EOS RP Conclusion
The compact Canon RP brings full-frame fun to a wider audience!
The Canon EOS RP bucks that trend, though it's not the first to do so technically. Sony's Alpha series of full-frame mirrorless cameras debuted with higher price tags well above the$1000 mark. Yet Sony cleverly continues to make and sell new, older-generation models at discounted prices, with one older A7 model at times dipping below the $1000 barrier. But with a brand-new starting price of just $1,299 -- that is now even lower at only $999 (yes, $1000 for a new full-frame camera) -- the Canon EOS RP is a fantastic bang-for-your-buck camera. Sure, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it's not designed as such. What it does have is a nice big sensor inside a relatively small body! If you're looking for a compact, affordable and easy to use camera that has a full-frame image sensor, the Canon EOS RP should be right near the top of your list.
So, with that, let's get the rundown on how this little Canon full-frame mirrorless camera performed in our testing...
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Canon EOS RP Product Overview
by William Brawley
Originally posted: 02/13/2019
Well, folks, we've got ourselves another one, another full-frame mirrorless camera. However, unlike the recent deluge of models, this Canon full-frame mirrorless camera sits towards the entry-level side of the spectrum for cost. Interesting times!
Now, when it comes to the history of digital cameras, especially full-frame digital cameras, the terms "full-frame" and "entry-level" have never really gone together. Historically, full-frame cameras are spec'd for the enthusiast- and professional-level photographer markets, with tough-as-nails construction, high-res sensors, fast burst rates and more, and with high price points to match. Both Canon and Nikon have made lower-tier full-frame DSLRs, with the 6D Mark II and D610 lines, respectively. However, despite being their least expensive full-frame cameras, they each started at $2,000 body-only. That's a serious chunk of change, and by and large out of the price range of most "entry-level" photographers.
The Canon EOS RP, however, bucks this trend. The EOS RP is small and lightweight yet keeps some degree of weather-sealing and comes in at a very affordable $1,299 body-only price point. And it has that ever-enticing full-frame sensor. If memory serves, this is the most affordable, new full-frame digital camera released to date.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/2.2, 1/1000s, ISO 100
Now, for the caveats. Does the Canon EOS RP have all the bells and whistles? No, of course not. It doesn't have an ultra-high-res sensor, it doesn't have insane continuous shooting rates, it doesn't have every video format under the sun, nor does it have nifty features like IBIS, High-Res multishot mode, or A.I.-powered AF tracking. But it was never designed to have such features. It's an entry-level camera, one designed for new full-frame users, stepping up from a smartphone, point-and-shoot or crop-frame camera. It offers a healthy but more simplified feature set all packed into a compact and lightweight camera that doesn't obliterate your budget.
On paper, it's a solid little camera that appears both fun and easy-to-use. If you've been planning to step into the world of full-frame cameras, the Canon EOS RP makes a compelling starting point.
Let's dive into the details...
Sensor & Image Quality
Much like Canon's "entry-level" full-frame DSLR, the 6D Mark II, the EOS RP is based around a similar 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. It's not precisely the same sensor assembly, however, but is indeed extremely similar. According to our technical interview with Canon engineers, the EOS RP's sensor has redesigned micro lenses due to the shorter flange back distance used by the RF-mount compared to EF-mount.
Paired with its 26MP sensor, the RP utilizes a newer, faster DIGIC 8 image processor (the same one as in the EOS R) compared to the DIGIC 7 seen in the 6D Mark II. Despite the newer sensor, however, the ISO range of the EOS RP is identical to that of the 6D II; the native sensitivity range is 100-40,000, but is expandable to a low ISO of 50 and a high sensitivity up to ISO 102,400.
Though many advanced full-frame cameras offer higher-resolution sensors, such as the 30MP EOS R and 42MP Sony A7R III for example, 26MP strikes a pleasing balance of detail resolving power and manageable file sizes. The EOS RP, despite the entry-level design, offers a couple more megapixels than a number of other "base model" (yet still more expensive) full-frame cameras, such as the Sony A7 III and new Panasonic S1, both of which use 24MP sensors, though such a small difference in pixel count is hardly worth mentioning.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/1.8, 1/125s, ISO 100
One of the EOS RP's all-new shooting features is a built-in focus bracketing mode. With this easy to use mode, you can capture shots with deep depths of field without resorting to narrow, often sharpness-reducing apertures like f/22. In the menus, you specify the number of shots captured (between 1-999) as well as the degree of focus shift between each frame. Then, you need to put the camera on a tripod, focus on your "starting point" and fire away. The camera will automatically capture the image sequence. Now, unlike some camera from other manufacturers that have similar modes, the EOS RP will not composite the shots in-camera. You'll need to use Canon's Digital Photo Professional 4 desktop software to create the final image.
On the video side of things, despite the more or less same 26MP sensor as the 6D Mark II, the new Canon EOS RP now offers 4K video recording, in addition to the 4K Timelapse mode seen in the 6D2. It seems the new image processor now has the horsepower to support 4K video capture, which isn't surprising seeing as both the EOS R and EOS M50 utilize the DIGIC 8 chip and also offer various flavors of 4K recording. Unlike its bigger brother, the EOS R, the Canon EOS RP only offers 4K video at 24p (23.98 fps) and 25p (PAL mode). There is no 4Kp30 or higher frame rate options, though there are multiple frame rate choices for Full HD video, up to 60fps. It's also worth pointing out that 4K video on the EOS RP has a noticeable crop (about 1.6-1.7x), and the camera's maximum continuous recording time is limited to 29:59, for 4K and other resolutions. Also, unlike the EOS R, the RP does not support Dual Pixel CMOS AF for 4K video; focusing is contrast-detect only. Dual Pixel CMOS AF is available, however, for Full HD and HD video resolutions.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/2.5, 1/125s, ISO 320
It might seem a little odd that an entry-level camera offers 4K solely in a more cinema-focused frame rate, an option that more advanced video shooters would appreciate. According to Canon, higher frame rate options for 4K video might have necessitated a larger body design to deal with additional heat dissipation as well as increase in price. In order to prevent that, Canon capped 4K at just 24p/25p. For more casual video shooters, wanting smoother video of faster-moving subjects and less blurring, you'll need to dip down to 1080p for faster frame rates. However, if you're looking for a full-frame video camera that shoots cinema-friendly 4Kp24, the EOS RP could be a great choice at a low price point.
The EOS RP shown here with the optional accessory grip attached.
Autofocus & Performance
Not surprisingly, much like the EOS R, the autofocus system on the EOS RP is powered by Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which uses phase detection pixels on the imaging sensor. The result is a fast, responsive autofocusing experience without any hunting or wobbling that's typical of contrast-detect AF systems. Using the RF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens, Canon claims a CIPA-rated 0.05s single-shot AF speed with the EOS RP. We've had a great experience with Canon's previous cameras with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and the Canon RP is no exception. AF is quick and accurate, and an overall similar experience to what we see with the EOS R. However, the AF system is slightly different than the EOS R's, not only due to using a different sensor, but also because there's a few new features as well.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/2.2, 1/60s, ISO 1000
For starters, the number of AF points is slightly less, however AF point coverage across the sensor is the same as the R. With the RP's 26MP sensor, there are 4,779 selectable AF point positions, whereas the EOS R's 30MP sensor offered a maximum of 5,655 manually selectable AF points. In total, the EOS RP has 143 AF areas divided across the sensor. Like the EOS R, AF coverage on the EOS RP spans about 88% of the frame horizontally and 100% vertically. Another slight difference is low light focusing; Canon's spec for the low-light limit for AF functionality is -5EV on the EOS RP, which is slightly less than the -6EV rating for the EOS R (both with an f/1.2 lens at ISO 100).
Despite the entry-level designation of the RP, there are few new AF features on this camera that don't (yet) appear on its higher-end sibling. For one, both the EOS R and the new EOS RP offer Eye-detection AF functionality, but whereas the EOS R was limited to just Eye AF in single-shot AF mode, the EOS RP allows for Eye AF with Servo AF (C-AF) mode as well, and with video! Sony cameras have long had this feature in a number of their cameras, and it's really great seeing this type of AF functionality appear in other brands. When it comes to portrait photography, especially on a full-frame camera like the RP, depth of field can get insanely thin. Having reliable Eye-detection AF modes will help make sure your portrait shots will be sharp, and sharp where you want them, the eyes.
Once the camera does lock onto the eyes, and if it can see both of the eyes, you'll see two small triangles appear on the screen/EVF on either side of the AF point. You can then manually tell the camera which eye to track focus on, which is rather neat and helpful. If the camera can't detect eyes, it'll default back to the broader Face Detection. Upon intial release, Eye AF on the EOS RP worked rather well, though it seemed to require faces be somewhat close or large in the frame for it to lock onto the eye(s) itself. Canon later refined Eye AF performance, with better detection sensitivity, in a subsequent firmware update.
The other new focusing feature is a new AF point mode called Single-Point Spot AF. Unlike the standard single-point AF mode, which offers a single yet relative large AF area, the new Spot AF option enables a significantly smaller AF point, making it a better choice for critical focusing.
For this photo, I used the new Spot AF option for the AF Area Mode setting, manually placed the AF point on the woman's eye, and used Servo AF to maintain focus through a burst of shots.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/1.8, 1/80s, ISO 400
When it comes to performance specs, it's very clear that the EOS RP is not a sports- or action-centric camera by any means. (Again, it's not designed to be.) For continuous shooting, the EOS RP can shoot up to 5fps in single-shot AF mode, or just 2.6fps with continuous AF in Tracking Priority (it'll do up to 4fps with Servo AF in "shooting speed priority" mode). Admittedly, those are rather measly burst rate by today's standards, but for a full-frame camera designed for entry-level users, it's not all that surprising. Is this going to be a go-to camera for the serious action shooter? No. But the camera should be quick enough for the mom or dad who wants to capture some action shots of their kid running around or playing sports. The EOS RP should be more than capable of handling those photographic tasks with ease.
While the continuous shooting speeds aren't anything to write home about, the EOS RP's claimed buffer depths are rather impressive, especially if you use a UHS-II memory card. With this high-speed SD card type, the EOS RP's buffer is basically unlimited (until the SD card fills) regardless of image quality setting. The only limit is when using simultaneous RAW + JPEG modes (either RAW + Large/Fine JPEG or C-RAW + Large/Fine JPEG) in which case, the EOS RP will capture up to 130 RAW+JPEG images or about 210 C-RAW+JPEG images.
Design & Ergonomics -- Hands-On Experience
The design of the Canon EOS RP is, not surprisingly, similar to the EOS R, with a matte black color, angular lines and contours and an altogether compact design with a protruding handgrip. In terms of its size, the EOS RP is noticeably smaller than the EOS R. The body is thinner, the grip is smaller and the entire camera can easily rest in the palm of your hand. In fact, it's rather amazing that Canon's managed to cram a full-frame sensor in there. The length of the camera body is, for example, quite similar to that of the Canon T7i!
However, despite the smaller size, the camera is still amazingly comfortable to hold. The grip is still large enough to comfortably wrap your hand around, and the contours fit the hand nicely. The camera body isn't as tall as the EOS R, so those with larger hands will likely find their pinky finger having to rest underneath the camera. Canon has thought of this issue, though, and will sell a small screw-in grip accessory that adds a bit of height to the camera and grip, while retaining access to the SD card and battery compartment and providing a 1/4-20 tripod socket.
When it comes to controls, the EOS RP doesn't offer much surprises. It features a pretty standard array of buttons and controls for an entry-level camera, including front and rear command dials, a 4-way directional pad on the rear, a touchscreen display, and a few dedicated (yet customizable) buttons on the top and rear. Overall, the array of controls are similar to those of the EOS R and are situated around the camera body in similar locations.
There are a few notable differences between the RP and R when it comes to external features. On the top-deck, you'll notice the EOS RP lacks a secondary OLED status display screen, but perhaps most notably, the EOS RP features a standard PASM mode dial in place of the EOS R's odd Mode Button control setup. For users of most other DSLRs, Canon or otherwise, a standard PASM dial is a much more familiar control, and so it makes sense to have this command mode dial on the entry-level EOS RP. The Mode Button on the EOS R works fine, but as we found, it takes at least two operations to change shooting modes, whereas it would be much simpler and faster to use a traditional PASM mode dial.
The Canon EOS RP (top) compared to the EOS R (bottom)
Looking at the rear of the camera, those familiar with the EOS R will notice the lack of the somewhat controversial Touch Bar control. Given the smaller size of the camera body and the large LCD screen, perhaps there simply wasn't room to fit that Touch Bar on there. However, given the lukewarm reception to that control on the EOS R, we're not going to fret too much over its absence on the EOS RP. The Touch Bar felt underutilized and frankly a little awkward to operate. The EOS RP camera, therefore, works just fine without it.
The EOS RP uses a 3.0-inch TFT LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1.04-million dots.
As mentioned, in the hand, the camera feels really nice. It feels solid and well built, much like we've experienced with most other Canon cameras. Despite its "entry level" designation, the EOS RP does feature some degree of weather sealing, more or less on-par with the 6D Mark II from what we were told. The camera body is constructed out of sturdy polycarbonate with a machined magnesium alloy chassis on the interior; it's not a full mag-alloy body. Regardless, the camera feels light, comfortable and very robust in its build quality, and it's great to have a little reassurance that you needn't worry about a bit of dust or rain.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/1.8, 1/3200s, ISO 100
The electronic viewfinder on the EOS RP is not as large nor as high-res as the EVF on the EOS R, but it is quite nice. The EVF here is only a 0.39-inch OLED screen with 2.36-million dots of resolution, whereas the EOS R used 0.5-inch OLED display with 3.69 million dots. The EVF on the RP isn't extremely large (0.70x magnification), but it's large enough and crisp and generally works very well. By default, the EOS RP sets the refresh rate to 60fps or "Smooth" as the menu says. This uses more battery power, but offers a smoother, more lag-free, more real-time shooting experience. You can, however, set the EVF to a power saving mode, but that drops the refresh rate significantly, creating a noticeably laggy, stuttering experience. Unless you're in dire need of saving battery life, we'd recommend keeping it on the "Smooth" EVF setting.
RF 24-105mm f/4L IS: 105mm, f/5, 1/1250s, ISO 100
While we're on the subject of battery life, it should be noted that the EOS RP does not use the same LP-E6N battery pack as the EOS R and many other Canon DSLRs. Instead it uses a smaller, less powerful LP-E17 like that of the EOS M cameras and a number of the Rebel-series DSLRs. This is likely a cost-saving or space-saving measure (or both), but needless to the say, the battery life on the EOS RP isn't fantastic. The CIPA rating is around 250 shots per charge with the LCD and 210 with the EVF, using default modes and not the "ECO" LCD or "Power-saving" EVF mode. Real-world use, however was better than the CIPA rating, and we were able to get about 300 or so shots with a single battery in addition to spending a lot of time diving into the menus. For casual shooting, the battery life is likely just fine, but we'd recommend getting an extra battery or two if you plan on extensive or longer shooting periods. On the other hand, the Canon EOS RP supports USB charging, which is fantastic and lessens the "range anxiety" of the smaller battery packs if you're going to be out for a long time away from the battery charger. The caveat being that you then need to bring a portable battery pack with a USB port.
Connectivity, Power & Storage
Like the EOS R, the new RP offers only a single SD card slot, though this isn't all that shocking given its entry-level placement. The card slot is also UHS-II compatible like its higher-end sibling.
As mentioned earlier, the EOS RP supports in-camera charging via USB using the optional PD-E1 USB Power Adapter. And with an AC adapter and DC coupler the EOS RP can be continuously powered. (The PD-E1 USB Power Adapter cannot power the camera.) The RP uses a newer reversible USB-C terminal, but it's a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed port. A Mini Type-C HDMI port, 3.5mm microphone input and headphone jacks, as well as a remote control terminal for wired remotes are also provided.
When it comes to wireless connective, the EOS RP features the standard combo of built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy. With the Wi-Fi connection, users can remotely operate the camera as well as transfer media to a paired smartphone or tablet. The BLE technology also helps facilitate not only an easy Wi-Fi connection between devices but also can maintain a constant paired connection allowing for quicker, easier transferring of images.
RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro: 35mm, f/1.8, 1/2500s, ISO 100
Canon RP Pricing & Availability
The Canon EOS RP went on sale in March 2019, with an initial body-only retail price of US$1,299 -- the price has since dropped to $999 body-only. Two kit versions are also available: 1) an RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens kit with an original retail price of $2,399 (dropped to $1,899), and a kit with an RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM lens that sells for $1,899 (reduced to $1,499).
• • •
Canon EOS RP Field Test
The compact, well-priced EOS RP is a great entry-level full frame camera
A cheap shot. A choice for easy sales over innovation. A lame duck.
But while there are some issues with the camera that of course should be noted, these over-the-top claims of the RP's ineptitude are largely overstated. They are based on expectations set far too high and on rumored specifications and wanton hopes (on that note, I've already gone on the record citing the poison that are rumor sites, so I won't go into that here).
When you look at the RP for what it is, what it is designed to do, and who it is designed for, it's hard to be upset with it. It produces high-quality images, has a pretty reliable autofocus system, makes good looking video for those just interested in having it as a feature, and is, of course, a full frame camera.
Read Field Test
Canon EOS RP Video Features & Analysis
It shoots 4K video, but it's not a versatile hybrid camera
Where am I going with this? When looking at the Canon EOS RP, though it is a camera capable of video capture, its overall video features, or lack thereof, do not make it a compelling option if you're primary focus is video. The RP brings a lot to the stills capture area for entry-level photographers who want access to full frame, but most will find that it's best to pretend the RP cannot capture video, so disappointing you will find the experience.
The EOS RP doesn't take bad-looking video for the most part, but the problems with the camera are rooted in the perplexing choices Canon made in the implementation of its abilities. In our Field Test of the RP, I mentioned the most irritating design choice on the camera when looking at its video capabilities lies in limited frame rate options:
In The Box
The Canon EOS RP body-only retail box (as reviewed) includes the following items:
- Canon EOS RP Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)
- Canon LP-E17 Lithium-Ion Battery Pack
- Canon LC-E17 Charger for LP-E17 Battery Pack
- Canon R-F-5 Camera Cover
- ER-EOSRP Strap
- Limited 1-Year Warranty
Buy the Canon EOS RP
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12.1 MP (117% less)
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