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  • Cheryl Tan

Canon EOS RP Review: The Right Camera at The Wrong Time?

Updated: Aug 19, 2021

The Canon EOS RP is the budget full-frame mirrorless camera in the new R series lineup, launched with the Canon EOS R in late 2018. A lot of the EOS R DNA is in the RP, but the biggest external difference you’ll be able to feel right away is the size.

The R is smaller than the RP, with a slightly shorter grip that might be too small for users with bigger hands. Even though extension grips are available, it’s definitely going to be a sticking point for some.

The button layout is simple enough even for users who are new to the Canon system. Dials felt great and buttons have a nice click to them; everything feels really comfortable in the hand. Although the build material is slightly different from the R, it still feels solid despite being a budget camera.

This camera has a 26.2MP CMOS full-frame sensor which is said to be the same as the Canon 6D Mark 2. It produces great images with really good image quality. ISO starts from 100 – 40,000 with expandable range, though it’s quite unlikely for a standard user to ever require anything beyond 20,000, a faster lens would be the better option at that point.

Dual Pixel Autofocus is available for photos and videos, and you’ll get full frame and Dual Pixel AF for videos in 1080p. Unfortunately, there is no Dual Pixel Autofocus for 4K videos, and there’s a heavy crop factor.

In terms of speed, continuous shooting at 5fps is more than enough for a budget camera. Action shots are usually in focus, with the lens affecting this quite a bit as well.

There’s not much of a learning curve using the EOS RP. Canon has implemented a full touch interface, which is great. The back display isn’t the best, but it’s bright and vibrant with no navigation or ghost press issues.

The Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) isn’t as great as the EOS R (2.36 million dots versus 3.69 million dots), but it’s still clear and bright enough with all the relevant information present. For day-to-day usage, the EVF works fine and most users won’t be able to tell the difference.

Image quality on this camera is amazing, with the same incredible colour science that Canon cameras have. But for RAW shooters, the JPEG images might look better as the dynamic range isn’t that great. So RAW shooters do have to take the time to nail down their exposure to get that perfect shot.

We won’t touch too much on video since this isn’t a camera for videographers. For casual videos, sure, it’ll work. But if you’re looking to film a documentary or a TV show, it’s not the camera for you.

A cool addition to the RP is eye tracking and face detect. Eye tracking works relatively well but you have to be close to your subject; if you’re far, it’ll just detect the face. It’s good enough for portraiture since in most cases, photographers will be up close to the subject.

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is the kit lens for the RP. The image stabilisation is a nice feature since the Canon EOS RP doesn’t have in-body IS. The lens has great image quality, is tack sharp and really punches above its weight class in terms of price.

It’s always good to have a zoom lens in your lineup, and the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM covers a good amount of focal lengths needed at prime lens quality. With f/2 throughout all focal lengths, this lens works great for landscape, street, portrait, night and other types of photography. There’s so much potential for all shooting situations.

Canon hits a homerun with their RF 50mm f/1.2L USM; the bokeh is creamy and beautiful. There is one problem though, and it’s not with the lens. It’s that Canon hasn’t designed a camera that can take full advantage of the optical qualities of the RF 50mm yet. The lens is heavy and not a small, pocketable lens, but the image quality is well worth the tradeoff in portability.

The question really is why Canon decided to release this camera now, when it’s unable to fully utilise the stunning image quality of the RF lenses. There aren’t many RF lenses out yet, and the ones that are out actually cost more than the EOS RP itself. It might have been a better choice to release a budget camera when budget lenses are available. The EOS RP is a great camera, don’t get us wrong, but releasing it now might not have been the best time for it.

The Canon EOS RP (S$1,999) is available at Canon’s online store and authorised distributors.


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