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First Look: Canon EOS RP

Hands on with a light and compact full-frame EOS camera
First Look: Canon EOS RP

While the other two mirrorless cameras I wrote about recently, the Sony A6400 and Fujifilm X-T30, are very capable and include powerful features, neither has a large, full-frame sensor like the one included on the 26.2-megapixel Canon EOS RP.

One of the things that stands out most of all with the RP is the price point: The EOS RP will retail for just $1,299 (body only) or for $2,399 with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM kit lens. So for those looking to get into working with a full-frame system but don’t have thousands to spend or, more importantly, would rather invest the money in lenses, the RP may suit your needs.

In addition to the price, another factor that makes this camera quite appealing is that it’s compact and lightweight: It weighs 1.07 pounds and measures 5.22 x 3.35 x 2.76 inches.

Additionally, being an R-series Canon camera, the EOS RP is not just compatible with the new RF series of lenses but is also “compatible with the existing collection of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses with the use of one of three optional RF EOS-R Mount Adapters,” says Canon.

First Look: Canon EOS RP
Some Canon lenses, like the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM kit lens, add bulk to the RP camera body. Yet because it’s a mirrorless system, the lenses still tend to be smaller than DSLR lenses.

Overall, I found the EOS RP easy to use. Canon also emphasized that this Canon would be very customizable and includes features like advanced bracketing to give you the ability to use focus-stacking capabilities in your workflow.

However, some features were underwhelming, such as the 5 fps and 3 fps with AF burst mode. That could turn off some event or weddings photographers.

The “Focus Stacking” mode is also new on this EOS, and I had a blast using it. To use the feature, I set the camera in the particular mode and set the aperture of the lens to ƒ/11 or so. Also, I used one of Canon’s DSLR macro lenses, the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, with one of the mirrorless R-mount adapters.

First Look: Canon EOS RP

First Look: Canon EOS RP

First Look: Canon EOS RP
I used the “Focus Stacking” mode, which is a new feature on this model that lets you automatically capture a specific number of images of the same subject but changes the plane of focus with each image. Then you import the set into software (like Canon’s Digital Photo Professional app), and it composites all the shots so that the entire image is in focus. As you can see, it’s powerful for those who want to do a lot of macro shooting.

I found the “Focus Stacking” mode worked very well as long as I didn’t open up the lens too much. For instance, when I set the camera at ƒ/2.8 and brought the image set into the software, it tended to only use a few of the images instead of the whole batch.

While overall the EOS RP makes a versatile camera for still photography, some videographers will be disappointed at the video features. For instance, it can only shoot 4K-resolution at just 24 frames per second. Some videographers may require more robust video features.

The Bottom Line 

The Canon EOS RP may be a great full-frame bargain, but its mediocre 4K video capabilities and slower burst modes may be deal breakers for some photographers. But once you decide which compromises you can live with, you’ll find that this small mirrorless digital camera will provide you with a wide array of powerful shooting options and excellent quality.

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