Canon's new EOS-RP camera isn't for everyone, and that's okay

Canon's new full-frame mirrorless camera works well for entry-level photographers.

Image: Canon

It was rumored that Canon was going to release a so-called "entry-level" full-frame mirrorless camera on February 14. Well, I noticed some links in my news feed late in the evening of people unboxing Canon's newest camera. Next, Canon's official Instagram account posted the news about its new mirrorless camera, the EOS-RP, just prior to midnight.

Good news, right? Well, that depends on who you ask.

The tech specs have the photography community up in arms with rage, and I don't think this is fair.

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What is the EOS-RP?

The Canon EOS-RP is a full-frame mirrorless camera aimed at beginner photographers looking to make a camera upgrade. Ideally, beginner photographers start shooting with their smartphones, point-and-shoot or beginner DSLRs such as the Canon Rebel series. The camera does not offer as many high-end tech specs such as fast image processors, 4K video shooting or high dynamic range. It does come equipped with a full frame sensor, not an APS-C sensor, which is much smaller than high-end professional image sensors. Although the RP sensor leads to a few differences in image performance, but nothing that limits the photographer. The sensor leads to a few differences in image performance, but nothing that limits the photographer.

The EOS-RP doesn't have the mirror in the body found in DSLRs. This leads to a much smaller (and lighter) camera body as well as the awesome ability to have an electronic viewfinder to make composing and properly exposing your photo much easier.

Tech specs make photographers rage

The specs on this full-frame camera are modest. You're getting a body that's smaller and lighter weighing approximately 440-grams. The image sensor is 26.2 megapixels with dual pixel autofocus. The body also offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity as well as a vari-angle screen.

The rage coming from the photography community is based on a few tech specs such as:

  • Cropped 4K video recording
  • Lack of high frame rate video recording option greater than 60 frames per second
  • Meager high-speed frame rate for shooting stills (five frames per second)
  • No C-LOG video format for optimal color grading of video
  • RF lens mount means new lenses to buy to replace old lenses
Image: Canon

All of those complaints are valid.

Regarding video, it's a common standard to shoot in 1080p HD with 24 frames per second, as it's a traditional cinematic look film lovers enjoy. It's nice that this frame rate is available in 4K, but unfortunately, the cropped footage reduces the field of view.

Many beginner content creators will want to shoot video beyond those tech specs and would also like to shoot higher frame rates such as 120 frames per second. The higher frame rate also makes a slow-motion video look much better in post-production. So yes, valid complaints photography community.

The new RF mount introduced with the EOS-R mirrorless camera last year gave us some pretty awesome lenses. Unfortunately, your old lenses won't work on the mirrorless body unless you purchase a mount adapter. So there's additional cost built into the purchase of the EOS-RP on the lens front, but it may be worth it.

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A camera for a few

The photograph community must remember that this camera isn't for everyone. It's an entry-level camera--an entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera, at that. This is Canon's attempt to introduce mirrorless technology to photographers getting their feet wet in this craft without costing them a substantial amount of money (The pricing could go down maybe another $200.).

Canon isn't trying to please prospective 5D or 1DX customers. Those models are for the seasoned professional. Think of the EOS-RP as the camera you buy your budding family photographer early in their career. It's a step above the Rebel T7 and offers a slightly better focus point array than that of the 6D Mark II. The limitations of the specs can help the budding photographer grow by forcing him or her to lean on their own eye for composition and the fundamentals of exposure. There's no need for them to get lost in the world of tech specs if they're only going to produce images that are boring to a viewer.


You can preorder the EOS-RP starting at $1,299 at your favorite online camera retailer. Be sure to consider the lens options available in the packaging. Canon states the RP will begin shipping in early March 2019.

Will you place an order for the RP? If not, why? Tag me on Twitter with your thoughts. I've reached out to Canon for a review unit and will share my experience here with you all if I get my hands on one.

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