Canon EOS R8 is the successor of EOS RP pricewhich means it’s now the cheapest entry into Canon’s full-frame eco-system – or will be when the RP model dries up.
The camera shares many similarities with the RP, mostly in terms of design, but at the core, it shares the same sensor and features. EOS R6 Mark II. This means that it can produce large images and at a very low cost.
The question is, what corners have to be cut to get to that price? And is it possible to save almost $1000 by choosing this camera over the R6 Mark II? We were glad to know.
Canon EOS R8
As one of the most affordable entry-level bodies in Canon’s entire ecosystem, and one of the most compact and light bodies on the market, the R8 is an interesting option. There are a few niggles – we would have liked to have physical controls with IBIS, but the result is good. And that is the most important thing.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Excellent frame sensor
- Excellent autofocus
- More than 4K60 seedless
- 40fps bursts with electronic shutter
- There is no joystick or dial
- There is no IBIS
- Small battery
- Dimensions: 132.5 × 86.1 × 70.0 mm
- Weight: 414 grams
- Weatherproof construction
- Simple controls
As mentioned in the beginning, the EOS R8 shares the same design as the RP. This means it’s the most compact full-frame camera, and Canon says it’s the lightest body it’s made to date.
This is great for portability – one of our biggest complaints is shooting full frame and the weight of the gear, and this body helps to keep your bag on the go. However, there are problems with the design. It doesn’t look or feel too expensive, and we’d expect something with a technical sheen when buying in this price bracket.
The simple controls, usually taken from RP, were difficult for us to get used to. There are no AF selector buttons, you just have to tap the screen to change the focus area, and there is no rear wheel.
We usually make our ISOs from the rear wheel, and without such input, the next thing is to map the ISO to the function button and use one of the control wheels. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a compromise we can do without. We can happily carry that extra weight if it means a couple of physical administrations.
The grip is good, and like many other Canon bodies, a lot of care has been taken to ensure that it is well made. It’s easy to shoot with and use the kit lens, which is also the most compact and lightest of all-frame lenses, but we can’t compare it to other Canon lenses.
The battery is also small, it uses the LP-E17 battery which is only 7.5Wh. We didn’t find this to be too painful to work with, but if you’re planning on using this camera as a professional project, you’ll want to keep a spare. There are no battery options available at the moment, either.
So, the compromise is obvious, but we can’t say how exciting it is that a full-frame camera can be so small and light. The body is only a few grams heavier than our little one Image of the GX9with its tiny Micro Four Thirds sensor.
Compatibility and appearance
- Single SD card slot
- Micro HDMI, 3.5mm headphone and mic sockets, USB-C
- Drive 3-inch 1.62 million dot LCD
- 0.39-inch 2.36 million dot 120Hz OLED EVF
Despite the small chassis, the connection is very good. The only thing that differentiates the R8 from its bigger brothers is that it has a small SD card slot, not the two slots found on most mirrorless cameras.
This means you still get 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, a USB-C port for charging and file transfer, and a small HDMI output for video. Full-color HDMI would have been nice, but since you don’t get one of those on the R6 Mark II, there was no chance of it appearing here.
The interface is very similar to the one shown below Canon EOS R7you get a 2.36 million dot OLED EVF with 120Hz refresh rate and a 1.62 million dot flip-out touchscreen LCD.
The LCD responds to touch, but the sound quality isn’t exceptional – there were a few times where we missed attention because we were judging by the display alone. However, it does the job and was used well on a bright day. The fact that it comes out means that it is suitable for users who want to take selfies.
The EVF is much sharper, and a better way to view your final images. The 120Hz refresh rate means it feels smooth and natural to use.
Photos and videos
- Full CMOS sensor – 24.2MP standard
- Up to 40fps burst shooting / 6fps with the first electronic curtain
- Up to 4K video 60fps / 1080p 180fps
- 4:2:2 10bit format with CLOG3
Since the sensor is the same as the one in the R6 Mark II, as is the processor, we were pretty sure we’d be happy with the R8’s results, and we certainly were.
There are two major changes with the R8. First, there’s no sensor-shift IBIS, so all IS models rely on lens or digital stabilization (which comes with a large crop).
Secondly, there is a new locking mechanism for this model. Instead of using a regular shutter, the R8 is electronic on the first curtain, and a mechanical shutter completes the exposure – similar to Sony A7C.
In general, we didn’t see much difference with this locking system. However, it is good to know that it is very loud. The biggest difference you’ll find is that the R8 can shoot up to 6fps burst, compared to 12fps on the R6 II. Of course, if you go to full power, you can quietly shoot a very hot 40fps, with any camera.
We tested it with the RF 24-50mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens, which is impressively light and compact, but it doesn’t really show off the full potential of this camera. However, it is a type of mirror that is useful to have in your collection for those times when you don’t want to be weighed down by your gear. The large sensor means you still get great depth of field, even if you’re shooting at f/6.3.
Another feature from the R6 Mark II is the ability to track autofocus. We found it very interesting on that camera, and it’s also interesting here. You can choose from a wide variety of options, allowing you to control everything from planes and cars to animals and people.
When it comes to video shooting, the EOS R8 offers crop-free 4K video shooting at up to 60fps, and the results are excellent. It’s worth having a bit of toast at this point, thanks to its small chassis, but we didn’t run into any problems ourselves. Of course, we prefer to stick to short clips, though.
Slow motion is the same as the R6 II, too, offering up to 180fps at 1080p resolution. It’s useful, but the image quality needs a hit. For the most part, we recommend using 4K60 footage in a 30fps frame rate when you want to slow things down.
There are two standard levels of digital photography available in the camera, standard and enhanced. The standard method will remove some of the vibration, and plant less, while the addition works better, at the cost of a larger plant. It doesn’t quite match the good IBIS performance, but we were surprised by how it affected our shots – there are no corners to be surprised by.
If you want to get into full-frame photography or filmmaking with a Canon camera, the EOS R8 is hard to resist. It offers many of the same features as the EOS R6 Mark II, and it does so for much less. Think of the glasses you could buy with that money!
There are a few things we don’t like, the simple controls being the biggest. We especially missed the rear wheel on this model, and a larger battery would have benefited the product. No more IBIS, but this turned out to be less of a problem than we thought.
Looking at the Canon series. The R6 Mark II is definitely a better and better all-round camera, and it solves all of our problems with this model. But the more expensive it is, the more difficult it is to justify the cost. Compared to the R7, well, no contest, we’d pick the R8 any day.
It’s the competition from outside the Canon family that makes things very difficult, especially when you look at the camera as a camera. Lumix S5II, which solves all our problems and is very low in cost. It’s not lightweight or compact, however, and it won’t do 4K60 without a grain.
And that’s it. The R8’s dimensions are a big part of its appeal, and considering the few shortcomings that play into it, it’s highly recommended.