Interview: Understanding the Canon EOS R

Apr 29, 2012
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If a pro video producer wants to buy a nice stills camera that will also serve as a backup video camera, however, he / she may be turned off by a 1.7x, jello ridden crop. Pro video producers were very excited about FF HD video when the 5DII enabled it 8 years ago and this same functionality with newer 4K video is what is lacking in Canon’s current generation of FF 6D/5D class cameras now. Not to mention, the video quality is just not that sharp or inspiring.

With FF 4K 60p, pro video producers (and many hobbyists) would buy these things en masse for the purposes I described above.
As a video producer, I'd ideally like a 1.4x or 1.5x crop to match the C200 I use as an A camera. Not a FF camera. I certainly dont care about 60fps, which the A camera does, but is probably used less than 1% of the time on it. Most important feature in a B camera for interviews etc for me would be reliable AF as I wouldn't be operating it a lot of the time. Which would rule out everyone but Canon at the moment. I'd also really like the colour science to match my A camera, so if I had an FS7 I'd think about an A7s and if I had an EVA1 I'd look at the GH5. But I don't feel the need for a B camera 90% of the time, and if I did I'd take one of the C100s or the 5d4 with me.

B cameras for production companies and indie filmmakers is not a mass market. It's a very small niche. Understanding things like this is why Canon sells lots of cameras.

People (including me) loved using the 5Dm2 for picture only work (music videos etc, not really documentaries) not just because of the large sensor, but because it made interchangable lens systems for video affordable for small independents. Suddenly you could use fast primes, TSEs, macros, superteles etc to create all kinds of images that previously required serious amounts of money (whether shooting 16/35mm film or something like the old Red One). And the low light performance (especially with an f1.2/f1.4 prime) blew away the EX1/HVX200 style cameras that we'd been using before then.

Looking back to the 5DMii, it had relatively soft 1080p video with horrible moire, hell, at launch you couldn't even change aperture in video mode, let alone record at 120fps, IBIS, 4K, DPAF etc. It was used on features, tv etc... And you think the R is going to be unuable as a B cam?

If you cant take inspiring images with just about any contemporary camera the problem isn't the camera. Sorry.
 
If a pro video producer wants to buy a nice stills camera that will also serve as a backup video camera, however, he / she may be turned off by a 1.7x, jello ridden crop. Pro video producers were very excited about FF HD video when the 5DII enabled it 8 years ago and this same functionality with newer 4K video is what is lacking in Canon’s current generation of FF 6D/5D class cameras now. Not to mention, the video quality is just not that sharp or inspiring.

With FF 4K 60p, pro video producers (and many hobbyists) would buy these things en masse for the purposes I described above.
It seems that you are quite expert in video with ML/DSLR cameras and strong opinion against 4K crop. So please tell me what is wrong with the crop? You want exact 4K pixels and you get exact 4K pixels. Field of view is narrower that FF, so what? It is supposed to be narrower because it is meant to match that of what you can get from a Super-35 "pro" camera. Want wider view? Use wider lenses. Want shallow DoF? Use faster lenses. Want to stand in front of camera and shoot yourself? Well that is where the usability gets a question mark and complaints arise!
 

neuroanatomist

Spends too much time on this forum
Jul 21, 2010
23,360
399
Understanding things like this is why Canon sells lots of cameras.
Conversely, many of the commentators on this forum haven't got a clue about the realities of these markets.


If you cant take inspiring images with just about any contemporary camera the problem isn't the camera. Sorry.
Never apologize for stating the truth. :)
 
Likes: syder
Aug 31, 2018
5
4
Can anyone speak to how the EOS R handles Eye-AF through the EVF with an external flash? In other words, could I capture images using Eye-AF, while looking through the EVF, in conjunction with strobes?

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I shoot on an old 7D and use its outdated phase detection system. Am truly excited about Canon's mirrorless systems and better AF performance, especially for Eye-AF and Face Detect AF, as long as they work while looking through the EVF + using strobes.
 

Firillu

Zika Virus
Feb 16, 2017
13
5
Pluto
Interesting comments. As always, many people cannot unshackle themselves from their brand and tribe biases.

I've been using Canon for 35 years and pretty much the only brand I know and am confident with. I earn my living using Canon gear. I don't want to trash the brand and devalue the re-sale value of my gear.

However I can't help notice that Canon's attempt with mirrorless is noticeably late, and somewhat reluctant, and not exactly as up to scratch with other modern systems. Other brands seem to solve issues that Canon, at this point in time, cannot. IBIS is one obvious one.The choice of mount making it incompatible with APS mirrorless can also be an issue.

Again, I don't want to trash the brand. I love Canon, their reliability, and unparalleled vast choice of lenses. EOS R is not what I was hoping for.
 

Firillu

Zika Virus
Feb 16, 2017
13
5
Pluto
The EOS R sits between the 6DII and the 5DIV in the lineup based on features, has a 5DIV-like sensor, but is only 15% more expensive than the 6DII. Calling it a poor value is not sensible, it's nonsensical.
EOS R stands on its own. At this stage it is a one body full frame mirrorless system. The 5D and 6D are reflex cameras. For me it is not particularly good value, but other will see it differently according to their needs and expectations.
 

Firillu

Zika Virus
Feb 16, 2017
13
5
Pluto
it looks like Canon are yet to decide whether to introduce IBIS in future camera.

I find this to be very confusing, Shall I invest in IS lenses? Why miss a massive opportunity like this, and not make IBIS standard on every body of a new system?

it appears to me that Canon's R&D are not as capable as other brands'.
 
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neuroanatomist

Spends too much time on this forum
Jul 21, 2010
23,360
399
it looks like Canon are yet to decide whether to introduce IBIS in future camera.

I find this to be very confusing, Shall I invest in IS lenses?
To that point, I wouldn't be concerned. Other manufacturers have integrated lens IS and IBIS to add effectiveness, most likely Canon could do the same. Canon is part way there already, in that the EOS R uses data from the camera's gyroscopic sensors to enhance the effectiveness of lens IS.
 
Jul 14, 2018
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Shall I invest in IS lenses? .
I suppose it depends on what camera body you have and expect to have - given you seem unlikely to shift anytime soon to Canon FFM. Presumably you have made ongoing decisions about whether to buy IS lenses already, given that previous Canon FF cameras haven't had IBIS?
Remarkable how long you've stuck with them if you have such a poor view of their R&D over time.
 

neuroanatomist

Spends too much time on this forum
Jul 21, 2010
23,360
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However I can't help notice that Canon's attempt with mirrorless is noticeably late, and somewhat reluctant, and not exactly as up to scratch with other modern systems. Other brands seem to solve issues that Canon, at this point in time, cannot. IBIS is one obvious one.The choice of mount making it incompatible with APS mirrorless can also be an issue.
I'll point out that similar comments were made about the EOS M at launch – late to the party and underdressed, so to speak. Nevertheless, the original M was a major domestic success for Canon (#2 in sales at full price, behind only a 2-gen old, deeply discounted Sony NEX), and the M line went on to be globally successful.

I also think the RF / EF-M incompatiblity is an issue. But we should keep in mind that Canon has actual data that informed their decision, e.g. the fraction of APS-C DSLR users who bought EF lenses prior to buying a FF DSLR, etc., and so from their perspective it may have been a non-issue.
 
Apr 29, 2012
166
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it looks like Canon are yet to decide whether to introduce IBIS in future camera.

I find this to be very confusing, Shall I invest in IS lenses? Why miss a massive opportunity like this, and not make IBIS standard on every body of a new system?

it appears to me that Canon's R&D are not as capable as brand's.
Here's the reason a Panasonic exec gave for IBIS not being a part of the GH5s (it is part of the GH5, they chose not to put it in the newer, more expensive version):

Where in the cinema world do you see in body image stabilization? It’s just not a thing. The reason is heat dissipation. […]

Panasonic did a poll with the shooters they have designed the GH5S for, and they said “look, we are going to put this on a rig, we are going to put this on a stabilizer, we don’t need IBIS. It’s going to affect our image.”

Having internal IBIS is going to increase the noise because of the heat. It’s just one more way to reduce noise in this camera'

So we have people on this thread crying about how they need the absolute best image quality, whilst also whinging that a feature which increases noise (and therefore reduces image quality) isn't present. :unsure:

As with most things in life, there is no best fit for all situations. The R doesn't have IBIS. It has a slightly bigger than ideal crop for video (1.7x vs 1.4/1.5x). It probably wont look good if you whip pan a lot (rolling shutter - tbh I've never really had this as problem because I almost never whip pan). If you shoot a lot of slow motion there are far better options out there. On the other hand, it does have DPAF, face/eye tracking, the really useful MF focus guide feature, touchscreen AF, unique and exciting RF lenses, clog, it will output a 10-bit 4:2:2 BT2020 image via HDMI, and the EF adapter with a drop in variable ND filter. The last one of those is potentially a huge time-saving/quality-of life improvement for people who can't afford a cinema/video camera with built in NDs and who're doing time-critical work and is unique (AFAIK) to the R at present.

Those may not be the specific features that you want, they aren't actually the specific features that will make me rush out and buy a camera right now (although tbh I don't really want to buy another camera at the moment), but they will be what a large section of people do want. If you dont need DPAF, never have the need for NDs and don't like the RF lenses but do really want IBIS and to shoot really, really spectacularly wide angle video (which distorts people horribly, so isn't something I often need, unlike with landscape/architectural photography) look at another brand. Just dont pretend that any manufacturer hits all of the useful features that other brands/models offer.

You could cobble together a fantasy camera with your dream list of features drawn from bits of each manufacture's offerings: DPAF, EF lens breadth, Canon colour science Arri colour science, with a Sony BSI sensor Red Monstro sensor, A7Sii high ISO performance, IBIS, REDcode RAW codecs, GH5 slo-mo Phantom v2640 slo-mo capbilities, built in NDs, XLRs, SDi out, all with a list price of less than $2k... But that camera only exists in your imagination.
 

Firillu

Zika Virus
Feb 16, 2017
13
5
Pluto
I suppose it depends on what camera body you have and expect to have - given you seem unlikely to shift anytime soon to Canon FFM..
Actually, I'm keen on full frame mirrorless, but not necessarily to ditch my 5D Mk4 as yet. For my work, a mirror and prism can't be beaten by an electronic viewfinder just yet. Of course I am yet to test the EOS R for that.

Remarkable how long you've stuck with them if you have such a poor view of their R&D over time.
As I said, Canon has been extremely good for me. I have zero knowledge of what their R&D is up to and I assume you the same. However my view is that Canon is not the top of the heap with innovations as it once was.
 
Oct 23, 2017
13
5
As a video producer, I'd ideally like a 1.4x or 1.5x crop to match the C200 I use as an A camera. Not a FF camera. I certainly dont care about 60fps, which the A camera does, but is probably used less than 1% of the time on it.
I feel the exact opposite concerning everything you cited here. I actually want my B camera to posses a slightly different look than my A cam (but with the same color science so they still match). I absolutely want full frame video. I love having the option of getting that shallow depth of field when I need it and being able to capture a different mood and tone than my C200. Having quick access to a full frame camera on set just gives you more creative options for storytelling. It’s one of the big advantages the FS7 has. Being able to use that speedbooster and get that full frame look on that camera is just awesome. The image is beautiful.

And when I shoot b-roll I probably shoot 60fps more than any other frame rate. Premiere conforms 60fps to 24fps automatically and I like the option of being to overcrank any shot I need when I want to.
 
Jul 14, 2018
58
23
As I said, Canon has been extremely good for me. I have zero knowledge of what their R&D is up to and I assume you the same. However my view is that Canon is not the top of the heap with innovations as it once was.
Well, given you 'don't really follow other brands', commenting on the state of Canon's R&D seems a bit of a stretch.

But, in fact the EOS R shows perfectly well where Canon's direction is going, particularly with the new lens mount. The thing about 'R&D' and 'development' is that they happen over time. The EOS R is the first of what will certainly be a new range of bodies to support the new mount. Everyone, including Canon reps, are saying this. The EOS R seems to be a mid-range first step. For a lot of people (potentially including me after I see some detailed reviews with production models) it will represent a good expansion path from lower range FF or crop bodies. Others with existing higher range FF bodies, or particular needs (eg video or higher frame rates), will likely wait (if they can) for higher spec'd FFM bodies. The (particularly innovative and unique) EF lens adaptors are a plus for me in that equation.
 

scyrene

EOS 6D Mark II
Dec 4, 2013
2,255
111
UK
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I can't help notice that Canon's attempt with mirrorless is noticeably late, and somewhat reluctant, and not exactly as up to scratch with other modern systems.
You mean FF mirrorless, right? The M series has been around for years. And late? The same time as Nikon and apparently Panasonic? Only later than Sony, you mean.

Other brands seem to solve issues that Canon, at this point in time, cannot. IBIS is one obvious one.
And vice versa, right? You want to be fair, don't you.
 
Likes: nchoh
Jan 11, 2012
236
0
Here's the reason a Panasonic exec gave for IBIS not being a part of the GH5s (it is part of the GH5, they chose not to put it in the newer, more expensive version):

Where in the cinema world do you see in body image stabilization? It’s just not a thing. The reason is heat dissipation. […]

Panasonic did a poll with the shooters they have designed the GH5S for, and they said “look, we are going to put this on a rig, we are going to put this on a stabilizer, we don’t need IBIS. It’s going to affect our image.”

Having internal IBIS is going to increase the noise because of the heat. It’s just one more way to reduce noise in this camera'

So we have people on this thread crying about how they need the absolute best image quality, whilst also whinging that a feature which increases noise (and therefore reduces image quality) isn't present. :unsure:

As with most things in life, there is no best fit for all situations. The R doesn't have IBIS. It has a slightly bigger than ideal crop for video (1.7x vs 1.4/1.5x). It probably wont look good if you whip pan a lot (rolling shutter - tbh I've never really had this as problem because I almost never whip pan). If you shoot a lot of slow motion there are far better options out there. On the other hand, it does have DPAF, face/eye tracking, the really useful MF focus guide feature, touchscreen AF, unique and exciting RF lenses, clog, it will output a 10-bit 4:2:2 BT2020 image via HDMI, and the EF adapter with a drop in variable ND filter. The last one of those is potentially a huge time-saving/quality-of life improvement for people who can't afford a cinema/video camera with built in NDs and who're doing time-critical work and is unique (AFAIK) to the R at present.

Those may not be the specific features that you want, they aren't actually the specific features that will make me rush out and buy a camera right now (although tbh I don't really want to buy another camera at the moment), but they will be what a large section of people do want. If you dont need DPAF, never have the need for NDs and don't like the RF lenses but do really want IBIS and to shoot really, really spectacularly wide angle video (which distorts people horribly, so isn't something I often need, unlike with landscape/architectural photography) look at another brand. Just dont pretend that any manufacturer hits all of the useful features that other brands/models offer.

You could cobble together a fantasy camera with your dream list of features drawn from bits of each manufacture's offerings: DPAF, EF lens breadth, Canon colour science Arri colour science, with a Sony BSI sensor Red Monstro sensor, A7Sii high ISO performance, IBIS, REDcode RAW codecs, GH5 slo-mo Phantom v2640 slo-mo capbilities, built in NDs, XLRs, SDi out, all with a list price of less than $2k... But that camera only exists in your imagination.
47MP FF with 4K 60P and IBIS from Panasonic
https://www.dpreview.com/news/91596...l-frame-mirrorless-cameras-with-leica-l-mount

100MP MF with IBIS from Fuji
https://www.dpreview.com/news/49933...p-medium-format-with-phase-detection-and-ibis
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,074
277
The key word is 'developing'. They don't have it yet.
Sony also has IBIS for FF sensor but from what I read it is nowhere as good as the 5 stop IBIS that Olympus/Panasonic has. And Canon have indicated they have some form - and the link Syder gave simply supports the comments Canon gave as to why they did not include it on the 'R'. IMO this highlights the differences in design philosophy between Canon and Sony - Sony will release it anyway simply to say 'look what we've got guys' (nothing wrong with that) whereas Canon wants it to meet a certain standard before they release it: nothing wrong with that either unless you are spec-hunting measurebator.
 
Likes: ScottO
Jul 29, 2017
52
12
25
Exeter, UK
"When developing the EOS R, we looked at all the hardware we had in the pipeline. When we look at the image processor and CMOS sensors that we have — we have restrictions, unfortunately, and that’s why we ended up with the 1.7x crop."

Then stopping using your own sensors. the 1.74x crop was bad back in 2016, what makes you think it's fine in 2018? If your sensors are the bottleneck, use something else.