The Canon EOS R system turns 3 and Lensrentals.com gives us a breakdown of its progression

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
1,097
861
Fair enough but how many people really wanted to use an outfit nearly exclusively with an adapter?

The sales records say: not many.

How many people would buy into the RF system, who didn't have EF glass? Zero, I think, would buy a new-mount body with old-mount lenses. Does anyone know a single such person?

And again I don't think it was the camera, so if it's not dislike of living with the adapter, what is it?

Note you're preaching to the choir, I shoot my R as much with a Leica M 35/1.4 as anything else! But you and I aren't "most people."
I still mostly use EF lenses.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
1,097
861
I could still see first time Canon or first time FF buyers jumping into the R and even more so the RP.
That surprises me because I really don't.
The RP was and still is a great entry point into the R system.
Even today, I have a hard time thinking that someone with no gear or past experience with Canon would choose the R over the A7 III.
(Unless they pick both cameras up and go with ergonomics.)
 

YuengLinger

EOS R5
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,541
1,997
USA
Would it be inappropriate for me to use this analogy: It seems as if we are still talking about hanging chads in the election of 2000?

(Sorry if this is a narrowly USA reference.)
 
  • Haha
Reactions: CanonFanBoy

CanonFanBoy

Purple
CR Pro
Jan 28, 2015
5,680
4,113
Irving, Texas
That surprises me because I really don't.
The RP was and still is a great entry point into the R system.
Even today, I have a hard time thinking that someone with no gear or past experience with Canon would choose the R over the A7 III.
(Unless they pick both cameras up and go with ergonomics.)
I would, because Vaio
 
  • Like
Reactions: EOS 4 Life

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,055
4,618
That surprises me because I really don't.
The RP was and still is a great entry point into the R system.
Even today, I have a hard time thinking that someone with no gear or past experience with Canon would choose the R over the A7 III.
(Unless they pick both cameras up and go with ergonomics.)
The EOS R is currently $200 cheaper than the a7 III. The RP costs $800 less than the a7 III. I have a very easy time imagining someone would pick a Canon FF MILC over a Sony.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EricN

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,402
4,031
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
...Even today, I have a hard time thinking that someone with no gear or past experience with Canon would choose the R over the A7 III...
I doubt there are many first time buyers for any full frame camera. Canon is trying to change that with the RP and if an even lower cost entry level camera is introduced that will appeal to some first time buyers. On this forum, we imagine that camera buyers are doing some type of analysis where they check off the various features, but in reality, I suspect most first time buyers look at price and also see what pops up when they plug in a few features and Google serves them up a selection of cameras. A lot of people probably buy Canon because they've seen ads or know someone who has one or they've heard it's the camera that most professionals use.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
I doubt there are many first time buyers for any full frame camera.
It really depends on what you mean by a “first time buyer”.

If someone has never bought *any* kind of camera before, or has only used a smartphone camera, then they might find something as apparently complicated as a FF MILC (even an RP) a bit scary, and would be more likely to get a pocketable camera with an integral zoom, such as a Lumix LX100 or a Powershot GX7. On the other hand if they are *upgrading* from a zoom compact to a MILC, they might be more attracted by an RP or a M200.

Most of these “first time upgraders” would probably choose a Canon over a Sony, as Canons are generally perceived to be more stylish and more enjoyable to handle. Features and performance are probably a secondary consideration for them.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
1,097
861
It really depends on what you mean by a “first time buyer”.

If someone has never bought *any* kind of camera before, or has only used a smartphone camera, then they might find something as apparently complicated as a FF MILC (even an RP) a bit scary, and would be more likely to get a pocketable camera with an integral zoom, such as a Lumix LX100 or a Powershot GX7. On the other hand if they are *upgrading* from a zoom compact to a MILC, they might be more attracted by an RP or a M200.

Most of these “first time upgraders” would probably choose a Canon over a Sony, as Canons are generally perceived to be more stylish and more enjoyable to handle. Features and performance are probably a secondary consideration for them.
I am not so sure about that.
Some people might just assume that the bigger one is better.
I would tend to think that most people would buy the cheapest Canon unless they are a Sony fan.
I do not think the average person even knows that Sony makes cameras but they are more familiar with Sony as a brand.
 
  • Like
Reactions: unfocused

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,402
4,031
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
Just a few random thoughts.

I think we on this forum tend to be condescending toward first time stand alone camera buyers, especially smart phone users.

A quick look through Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, etc., reveals some very talented people producing incredible stuff with smart phones.

Millennials who are buying a camera to take pictures of their kids and on vacation are a distinctly different group from Gen Z creators who want to step up from the iPhones because they have hit the limits of what they can accomplish.

Most Gen Z buyers have never owned or even seen a Powershot aside from the one that their parents tried to sell at a garage sale for five bucks.

While Millennials may be interested in style and experience, recent research shows Gen Z are much less so, having grown up during some pretty rough times.

Most Gen Z buyers expect that a stand alone camera will be equally usable for both video and still photography, as that what they've come to expect from phones. They also expect it to seamlessly connect to the internet and offer easy uploads of images and video, something that all the camera manufacturers have been late to the party with.

I think Canon has really struggled over the past decade or so to try to figure out products that will appeal to the next generation of photographers. I've actually been kind of embarrassed for them looking at some of these attempts, which scream "A bunch of us old guys designed this because we think it's something we can sell to these young whippersnappers."

I'm actually optimistic that with the dual fisheye lens, Canon has finally hit on something that Gen Z creators will find useful. I'm hoping that it will be the first in the line of many innovations that will leave me scratching my head, but which will show they finally are starting to get it.
 

SwissFrank

from EOS 1N to R
Dec 9, 2018
659
369
I still mostly use EF lenses.
Fair enough, but just to be clear, how many people who don't have EF lenses buy an R camera, maybe one RF lens, and buy several EFs that would be likely to be replaced with RF versions?

I probably wasn't clear about it, but my entire point was that as far as I could see, the R was almost designed to sell exclusively to EF owners, and that it's low sales numbers and early discounting probably tell you more about the lenses Canon offered at the beginning, than any intrinsic fault of the R.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EOS 4 Life

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
26,055
4,618
I probably wasn't clear about it, but my entire point was that as far as I could see, the R was almost designed to sell exclusively to EF owners, and that it's low sales numbers and early discounting probably tell you more about the lenses Canon offered at the beginning, than any intrinsic fault of the R.
Realistically, the slow uptake of the R series says more about the popularity of mirrorless. In 2018, mirrotless comprised only~38% of the ILC market. They just weren’t all that popular yet, and adoption takes time. Consider also that the most likely Canon customers for the R were 5- and 6-series owners, and the 5DIV and 6DII were only two and one year old, respectively, when the R launched. The (perceived lack of) native lenses was a minor issue, if it was an issue at all.
 

entoman

wildlife photography
May 8, 2015
440
477
UK
Realistically, the slow uptake of the R series says more about the popularity of mirrorless. In 2018, mirrotless comprised only~38% of the ILC market. They just weren’t all that popular yet, and adoption takes time. Consider also that the most likely Canon customers for the R were 5- and 6-series owners, and the 5DIV and 6DII were only two and one year old, respectively, when the R launched. The (perceived lack of) native lenses was a minor issue, if it was an issue at all.
I think the R was mainly aimed at people “upgrading” from Rebels and 70/80D DLSRs, rather than 6D/5D series users, as the R simply didn’t offer sufficient plus points over the 5D series in particular, to tempt people away.

The 5D series had twin card slots and was probably perceived as having a much tougher build quality than the R, which also may have contributed to a reluctance to switch to the R.

Finally, most of the reviews were pretty critical of the slide-bar thingy on the R, which came across as a badly executed gimmick rather than a useful control.

Of course there were early adopters and even a few pros who added an R just to see how they got on with mirrorless, but I believe that the bulk of Canon DSLR users read the R reviews and decided to wait until Canon had sorted out any potential bugs in their FF entry model. Lack of IBIS probably caused a fair number of potential R purchasers to switch to Sony too.

None of this is meant to imply that the R was a bad camera. It has a good sensor and can produce excellent images, but I decided against getting one for the reasons given above, and I believe many others felt similarly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: neuroanatomist

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
1,097
861
Fair enough, but just to be clear, how many people who don't have EF lenses buy an R camera, maybe one RF lens, and buy several EFs that would be likely to be replaced with RF versions?

I probably wasn't clear about it, but my entire point was that as far as I could see, the R was almost designed to sell exclusively to EF owners, and that it's low sales numbers and early discounting probably tell you more about the lenses Canon offered at the beginning, than any intrinsic fault of the R.
Weirdly, people were asking for Canon to make a mirrorless camera with an EF mount.
By including the EF adapter, that is pretty much what Canon did.
I find the people who have to absolutely have 100% RF lenses just as odd.
To me, the ability to adapt EF lenses so well is what makes the RF mount so great.
Comparing the RF mount to the E mount just on native lenses seems silly to me.
 

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
347
734
Fair enough, but just to be clear, how many people who don't have EF lenses buy an R camera, maybe one RF lens, and buy several EFs that would be likely to be replaced with RF versions?

I probably wasn't clear about it, but my entire point was that as far as I could see, the R was almost designed to sell exclusively to EF owners, and that it's low sales numbers and early discounting probably tell you more about the lenses Canon offered at the beginning, than any intrinsic fault of the R.
Well, I already answered that that was exactly what I did - bought one RF lens and then bought only EF lenses after that. The fact that the camera could use EF lenses - and actually offered 2 adapters that improved the experience of using EF lenses - made potential buyers not care very much at all about the RF lens lineup. The R became very appealing BECAUSE of the control ring and especially the filter adapter, thus making it even more appealing to buy used, cheaper EF lenses. At least, in my opinion, you have it completely backwards. But then again, I am not a gear-head that needs the latest gear and will pixel peep to see if a new RF lens is 5% sharper than its EF counterpart.

Seriously, do you really think that very many people, when making the possible decision to switch to mirrorless Canon, didn't understand that it would take many years to create a lens lineup that even came close to rivaling their EF lens lineup? When I bought the R, it was 100% because of the camera.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SwissFrank

Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
347
734
That surprises me because I really don't.
The RP was and still is a great entry point into the R system.
Even today, I have a hard time thinking that someone with no gear or past experience with Canon would choose the R over the A7 III.
(Unless they pick both cameras up and go with ergonomics.)
First time ILC buyers are in all likelihood going cheap DSLR. Every time I check Amazon, the cheapest Canon DSLRs are dominating the top of the list, with the M50 also up there. Until the price drops another $300-400, even the cheapes FF is not going to compete.

For first time Full-Frame buyers, however, they might indeed go with the Sony - but I think that has a lot more to do with the way Sony and their fan network have inundated YouTube and the internet with all the positive Sony and anti-Canon and Nikon talk. I remember one post started on some interent forum from a camera newbie looking for advice. They started off by saying something to the effect that "I did a lot of internet research and I guess it's pretty clear that Sony makes the best cameras."

I had to laugh and cry when I read that. Laugh, because having owned (briefly) the first 2 generations of the Sony A7 series, I knew how crappy they were compared to Canon and Nikon, and cry, because propaganda and misinformation works (as if we needed more evidence of that...).

I currently don't even own a Canon camera (but did for over 25 years, and still have a couple lenses) having sold my R and bought a Nikon Z5 and a used Z7 this past year. I also own an Olympus E-M1 II, so I speak with some experience with many of the major brands and not as a fanboy. Unless a buyer was primarily a wildlife and Birds in flight shooter, Sony would be the last brand I recommend. Their AF for moving subjects seems to be top of the line from all I have read and seen, with Canon very close with their newest offerings. Other than that, I can't think of any aspect of the camera that I think Sony competes well with. Ergonomics and ease of use are important in my book, as are little things like dust removal (Sony still has big problems according to many users and a recent article on Petapixel (perhaps?). They are facing a lawsuit here in NY because their shutters are failing far in advance of their spec sheet number of actuations. Their EVFs (while often industry leading in DPI) often just don't look as good as lower DPI EVFs (according to a couple reviews I read that speculate that Sony uses cheaper glass in their EVF, which makes sense.) In my opinion, aside from the AF, and of course the sensor IQ, Sony is more interested in having a spec list that exceeds the other brands, rather than making sure those specs are top-notch quality. And if you want their sensor IQ, than you can always go NIkon, which is one reason I did, as well as because at their price points, the Z5, Z6 and Z7 seem to be to be the best bang for the buck, unless you really need the top of the line AF for BIF.
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,402
4,031
68
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
Canon has done better than anybody.
Actually, Fuji has done the best. It's Instax quickly became the best selling camera in the world. And, it's not boomers buying it. Not sure you can say Canon has done better than Apple, GoPro or DJI. But yes, between Sony, Nikon and Canon, Canon has done at least as well as the others. But, for Gen Z, that's like saying that one dinosaur is doing better than another.
 
Last edited:

SUNDOG04

EOS 90D
CR Pro
Mar 1, 2015
120
81
I think the R was mainly aimed at people “upgrading” from Rebels and 70/80D DLSRs, rather than 6D/5D series users, as the R simply didn’t offer sufficient plus points over the 5D series in particular, to tempt people away.

The 5D series had twin card slots and was probably perceived as having a much tougher build quality than the R, which also may have contributed to a reluctance to switch to the R.

Finally, most of the reviews were pretty critical of the slide-bar thingy on the R, which came across as a badly executed gimmick rather than a useful control.

Of course there were early adopters and even a few pros who added an R just to see how they got on with mirrorless, but I believe that the bulk of Canon DSLR users read the R reviews and decided to wait until Canon had sorted out any potential bugs in their FF entry model. Lack of IBIS probably caused a fair number of potential R purchasers to switch to Sony too.

None of this is meant to imply that the R was a bad camera. It has a good sensor and can produce excellent images, but I decided against getting one for the reasons given above, and I believe many others felt similarly.
As a 6D user I, I don’t find the R appealing. I do mostly landscapes, but would want a body with IBIS. An R5 is way too expensive, a great camera but for my use a Z7 would be a better value. In reality, I don’t make large prints, so an R6 should be excellent. But I refuse to use adapters and it would give similar results as a cheaper Z6 (orZ6II). So I will just continue to use what I have and hope the 6D lasts a long time. Not that I would not love to go to mirrorless, but, on a fixed income, and no matter what I do, it would be expensive. Not meant as a putdown to any of this mirrorless cameras or lenses (but zero interest in Sony). For now, I will just keep watch the market, see how things develop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stevelee