A Look into Canon’s Ergonomics

Canon Rumors Guy

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This article as been percolating in my mind for a while now, and as I got further into the various designs and Canon’s mentality, it became more of a synopsis of Canon’s methodology to date. The RF system has been very disruptive to Canon in terms of switching the mount and also the ergonomic design

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This is by far the longest article I've written. I could have wrote twice as much on this as well, but decided to pull back from the dark abyss. I hope you all enjoy it - just remember ergonomics are intrinsically a personal preference. Heck, some misguided souls even like Sony ergonomics.

There are 5 pages to this, so you have to click the page buttons at the bottom to advance the article. Something that Craig and I are experimenting with - we have some other things cooking for your reading pleasure in the coming months.
 
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Great article, and a comfortable length - didn't feel like it was dragging on.
Up To the R6 Mark II, Canon had the idea of keeping the off/on to the right side of the camera with the right side. I assume the thought was that you should be reaching up with your right hand to support the lens, so, at the same time, you can turn the camera on.
I'd wager to say you meant left/left hand here?

Looking at ergonomics at each camera on its own is a valid critique of their design. But I think a number of people particularly take issue with changes in camera ergonomics especially when they use multiple cameras in the lineup. Some people use an R5 and R7 for example, and I've heard it can be quite jarring when switching between the two bodies.

But, I'd say most people in the enthusiast/non-pro segment only own the one camera in a given range, so they get used to the ergonomics without worrying about overlap or confusion. But interested to see what others have to say. Great work Richard!
 
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Great article, and a comfortable length - didn't feel like it was dragging on.

I'd wager to say you meant left/left hand here?

Looking at ergonomics at each camera on its own is a valid critique of their design. But I think a number of people particularly take issue with changes in camera ergonomics especially when they use multiple cameras in the lineup. Some people use an R5 and R7 for example, and I've heard it can be quite jarring when switching between the two bodies.

But, I'd say most people in the enthusiast/non-pro segment only own the one camera in a given range, so they get used to the ergonomics without worrying about overlap or confusion. But interested to see what others have to say. Great work Richard!
thank you for the kind words - and thanks for the catch yes, left hand ergos.
and yes I'm one of those people that would work with the 7 and 5 series cameras interchangeably at the same time. so the consistency of those two lines for me on the RF system is sad.
 
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I personally loved the ergonomics of the 5Dmk4. It was so easy to find all the controls, very comfortable and very intuitive. It was the perfect size for my hands. I now have the R5 and it’s just to small to fit comfortably in (my) hands and the controls are clustered too close together and I’m always hitting the wrong buttons or feeling around for the correct one. I think Canon should have kept it the same size as the 5Dmk4. The only advantage to a smaller body would be for a hiker or someone traveling light. I do portrait photography and carry my gear (lots of strobes etc) in a collapsing wagon, so size and weight do not matter (often shoot with a tripod) however I do get though that people with small hands probably prefer that the R5 is smaller.
 
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Great arcticle!

I came from the 5D-Line and had a the original "R" parallel to it. The R was ok. But i liked the 5D-Line better. Touchbar was aweful o_O
Than i had the R6 an shortly after it i paired it with a R5. Great combination. Ergonomics felt great. It felt ok to let my 5D go.

I now switched the R6 to the R6II. I struggled a bit in the first weeks and often forgot to turn my R6II to off. Switched to movie-mode instead :ROFLMAO: But i got used to it. I now like my R6II very much. Only thing to complain: i like the concave formed joystick of my R5 more than the convex formed of my R6II.
 
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I really hate the idea that you can't get a top LCD mode screen unless it's the R5 and up, especially when you had it in the 20D, 7D and 6D. I'd really like to see it in the R6ii and R6ii along with the grip options for the R7. I think most people would be happy. I think Sony has set the bar for mirrorless cameras however it doesn't mean you have to copy their style. Anyhow, that's just my 2 cents.
Oh! and another thing, I know a lot of people didn't like the move of the power button, I think once they make it standard between all the new cameras it will be fine however, I hate the new joystick thingy button, I think having the jog wheel doubled as the joystick (like in the 80D) would have not only free up some real estate but because of the distance between the directional buttons, it gave better control of the autofocusing points when moving them.
In all Canon is still the king for ergonomics and menu design.
 
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I personally loved the ergonomics of the 5Dmk4. It was so easy to find all the controls, very comfortable and very intuitive. It was the perfect size for my hands. I now have the R5 and it’s just to small to fit comfortably in (my) hands and the controls are clustered too close together and I’m always hitting the wrong buttons or feeling around for the correct one. I think Canon should have kept it the same size as the 5Dmk4. The only advantage to a smaller body would be for a hiker or someone traveling light. I do portrait photography and carry my gear (lots of strobes etc) in a collapsing wagon, so size and weight do not matter (often shoot with a tripod) however I do get though that people with small hands probably prefer that the R5 is smaller.
I love the 5D bodies however also owning the 80D, I must admit it's more snug for my size hands so it maybe a thing of hand sizes but I get your point.
 
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Great article, and a comfortable length - didn't feel like it was dragging on.

I'd wager to say you meant left/left hand here?

Looking at ergonomics at each camera on its own is a valid critique of their design. But I think a number of people particularly take issue with changes in camera ergonomics especially when they use multiple cameras in the lineup. Some people use an R5 and R7 for example, and I've heard it can be quite jarring when switching between the two bodies.

But, I'd say most people in the enthusiast/non-pro segment only own the one camera in a given range, so they get used to the ergonomics without worrying about overlap or confusion. But interested to see what others have to say. Great work Richard!
I think that in this hybrid world switching between photo and video it made sense to switch the buttons.
I just hope they don't switch the articulating screen design. It's perfect as a side screen for video and even better for portraiture when acquiring different angles, thank God gone are the days of lying on the ground to get that dramatic look with a bride. I found it funny that all people talked about was using it for vlogging when most of use portrait photographers used it to get better angles of our framing. Just hope they don't touch it. It works find.
 
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I don't see anything wrong with the R6ii layout. Canon always prefer the mid-high end model's ON/OFF switch to not be touched easily. As a R6 user I'm sure I will get used to R6ii easily.

R7 wheel-joystick combo is a interesting design and I think it should implement on all lower end models. However I can see people with big hands(especially big thumb) hate this design.
 
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Bob Howland

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I personally loved the ergonomics of the 5Dmk4. It was so easy to find all the controls, very comfortable and very intuitive. It was the perfect size for my hands. I now have the R5 and it’s just to small to fit comfortably in (my) hands and the controls are clustered too close together and I’m always hitting the wrong buttons or feeling around for the correct one. I think Canon should have kept it the same size as the 5Dmk4. The only advantage to a smaller body would be for a hiker or someone traveling light. I do portrait photography and carry my gear (lots of strobes etc) in a collapsing wagon, so size and weight do not matter (often shoot with a tripod) however I do get though that people with small hands probably prefer that the R5 is smaller.
I'm at an age where I want smaller and especially lighter camera bodies. I purchased an R7 and R6-2 and stopped using my 7D, 5D3 and 5Ds because they feel like bricks now. I had used the 5D3 and 7D for a decade. And, yes, I have small hands.
 
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Canon Rumors Guy

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It took me a few months to really feel comfortable with the R3 as Richard mentioned in the article. Muscle memory is wild after a decade plus of shooting 1d bodies. There are only a couple of things that still annoy me, but that's likely a me problem.

The R50...... while I love the camera... where the back AF button is drives me nutty. Tiny camera, big hands... but it's too far to the right IMHO. It was also $500 and is pretty great for what I want it for.

Continuity will be coming, and it'll be based on feedback.
 
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reefroamer

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Jun 21, 2014
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I find the most un-explainable change to be the off-on switch rotation. For most R bodies, you rotate the switch left/up to ON and right/down to OFF. Suddenly, on my R8, you rotate the switch left/up to OFF and right/down to ON. Thus, off-on is completely reverse on different bodies. Shouldn't, at the very least, the OFF-ON switch movement be the same, regardless of switch location?
 
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Canon Rumors Guy

Canon EOS 40D
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Jul 20, 2010
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I find the most un-explainable change to be the off-on switch rotation. For most R bodies, you rotate the switch left/up to ON and right/down to OFF. Suddenly, on my R8, you rotate the switch left/up to OFF and right/down to ON. Thus, off-on is completely reverse on different bodies. Shouldn't, at the very least, the OFF-ON switch movement be the same, regardless of switch location?
I had no idea about that with the R8.... very strange change.
 
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This article as been percolating in my mind for a while now, and as I got further into the various designs and Canon’s mentality, it became more of a synopsis of Canon’s methodology to date. The RF system has been very disruptive to Canon in terms of switching the mount and also the ergonomic design

See full article...
I found your article quite interesting. The full size chip on the original 5D brought me into the Canon world - the chip in a more affordable camera. The ergonomics kept me here. Before I closed the deal on my R, I took a look at Sony. When I found my fingers could hardly fit between the lens and the grip, I set the camera back down on the counter. The EOS R became my first mirrorless camera. The shutter that protected the chip from dust during lens changes was worth the price of admission! I quite liked the bar. I programmed the safety where you had to press on it for a second before it worked, then I'd use it to change my ISO. Having said that I don't really care whether it comes back or not. The lens ring was intriguing at first - until I bought the RF 70 -200. Instead of the ring being on the far end of the lens it was on the camera end. So I turned its funcion off and moved on. Now I've moved onto the R5 and eventually fine tuned it to a point I really like. The too button is the usual shutter release. I also hold it halfway down to activate the lens ring to change my ISO. The horizontal dial at the top is for f-stop, and the large dial at the back can be used to quickly dial between the eye-auto focus and my general focus. I love it! But the best ergonomic part of the camera is still in the ability to comfortably hold it by the grip without fear of dropping my investment.
 
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Del Paso

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Aug 9, 2018
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I personally loved the ergonomics of the 5Dmk4. It was so easy to find all the controls, very comfortable and very intuitive. It was the perfect size for my hands. I now have the R5 and it’s just to small to fit comfortably in (my) hands and the controls are clustered too close together and I’m always hitting the wrong buttons or feeling around for the correct one. I think Canon should have kept it the same size as the 5Dmk4. The only advantage to a smaller body would be for a hiker or someone traveling light. I do portrait photography and carry my gear (lots of strobes etc) in a collapsing wagon, so size and weight do not matter (often shoot with a tripod) however I do get though that people with small hands probably prefer that the R5 is smaller.
Agree!
But, even when hiking, I far prefer the size of the 5 D IV over the R5/R6.
Not everybody has baby-hands, these cameras are hard to use without protheses like battery-grips or body "extensions". Isn't it a bit silly having to graft a piece of cast aluminium on a camera so one can comfortably handhold it?
How about a normal-sized EOS R* ?
 
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