Canon EOS R

Interview: Understanding the Canon EOS R

HardwareZone had a chance to sit down with Canon executives and discuss the development of the Canon EOS R. They covered all the topics a lot of people seem to care about, like the omission of IBIS and the 1.7x crop in 4K shooting.

Why is there no in-body image stabilization (IBIS) in the EOS R?

Shoji Kaihara: We had to look at the balance of the entire camera, like the size and other aspects. Based on that, it’s not something we are able to include in the EOS R at this time. We are quite aware that there are pros and cons to that.

Why does the EOS R shoot 4k video with a 1.7x crop?

Shoji Kaihara: 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.

How long has the EOS R been in development?

Shoji Kaihara: The mirrorless discussion has been going on for quite some time inside Canon. It’s about achieving the level of mirrorless performance that Canon can be proud of.  Read the full interview

As with any product, there will always be trade-offs in development to reach certain price points and usability balance. I think we’re seeing that with the first Canon EOS R camera body. I suspect some of these perceived limitations will be addressed in future system cameras.

Preorder the Canon EOS R at our exclusive affiliate partner Adorama

Aug 21, 2018
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#2
None of that is at all surprising. They used existing/old technology and therefore have all of the limitations of their current camera systems now present in their brand new mirrorless.

I know many people will defend anything Canon does, but there is no question that Canon offers much less for the money vs. their competitors. And with the EOS R, they have clearly committed to continuing this.

I've only ever used Canon. I like my Canon cameras. But I also like the benefits of new technology and forward thinking. I unfortunately have to take a loss on my glass collection as I transition to a competing brand. EOS R is not a bad camera, it's just not a great camera. And at it's price point, it offers poor value. :/
 
Jan 26, 2017
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#3
I thought the full interview was interesting. The Canon executives somewhat shed light on the positioning of the camera in their line when discussing why things like the joystick and control wheel were removed in favour of the M.Fn bar (emphasis mine):

"Shoji Kaihara: Even though existing functions are popular, if we add on different functions, it downgrades the operability of the camera. That’s the reason behind some of the features not appearing on the EOS R.

But when you look at the price of the EOS R, you can tell where it’s going for. It rests between the 5D and 6D. That’s the market we’re going after, so those are the users we were thinking about. And thinking about these users, we thought this was the right balance.

It’s not like we stopped making those functions available. We’re expanding our series if you will. In other words, those functions will still be in place. If we were to develop this into a more professional line, there’ll be other functions that best serve that market. It’s about having the best operability for each range of cameras.
"
 

lenspacker

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
Sep 7, 2018
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#4
.... ok, thats some explanation, that they can`t .... but for what reason are there other companies (Nikon, Sony, Fuji ....) who can ..... the only thing I`ve heard from the CEO ??, is that CANON is not able to this or that... but not why they are unable to do it - - - that is a very unsatisfactory response .... at the moment I have no need to change my system - and in future we will see, what CANON is able to do.... :unsure::unsure::unsure:
 
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Likes: nitram

zim

EOS 7D Mark II
Oct 18, 2011
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#5
You beat me to it amorse that was my biggest take away from this

"It’s not like we stopped making those functions available. We’re expanding our series if you will" - DSLRs are not EOL any time soon.

" If we were to develop this into a more professional line, there’ll be other functions that best serve that market. It’s about having the best operability for each range of cameras." - This R does not have the best operability (whatever they deicide that to be) for what Canon consider a 'Pro' camera.

Good times!
 

BeenThere

EOS Rebel T7i
Sep 4, 2012
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#6
.... ok, thats some explanation, that they can`t .... but for what reason are there other companies (Nikon, Sony, Fuji ....) who can ..... the only thing I`ve heard from the CEO ??, is that CANON is not able to this or that... but not why they are unable to do it - - - that is a very unsatisfactory response .... at the moment I have no need to change my system - and in future we will see, what CANON is able to do.... :unsure::unsure::unsure:
How would the “Why” Canon can’t do something now explanation help you. When they can, they will. Camera companies are not clones of each other. Competition spurs companies to do more. If you get impatient, move on. Sales figures also Spurs development and innovation.
 
Likes: Jack Douglas
Aug 21, 2018
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#7
How would the “Why” Canon can’t do something now explanation help you. When they can, they will. Camera companies are not clones of each other. Competition spurs companies to do more. If you get impatient, move on. Sales figures also Spurs development and innovation.
I think it's just a matter of curiosity. But I Agree. Canon is likely going to be behind for quite some time. If we want/need modern features and performance, we have to face the fact that we must move on.
 
Likes: Etienne

Mikehit

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jul 28, 2015
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#8
.... ok, thats some explanation, that they can`t .... but for what reason are there other companies (Nikon, Sony, Fuji ....) who can ..... the only thing I`ve heard from the CEO ??, is that CANON is not able to this or that... but not why they are unable to do it - - - that is a very unsatisfactory response .... at the moment I have no need to change my system - and in future we will see, what CANON is able to do.... :unsure::unsure::unsure:
Why is is 'unsatisfactory'? Equally valid questions are:
Why can't Sony make a decent touch screen interface?
Why can't Sony make a decent waterproofed camera
Why have Sony put an inferior LCD and EVF in the A73?
Why can't Sony put in place a decent after sales network?
Why can't Sony put out a 600mm f4l?
etc
etc
etc

The answer is that different companies have different priorities. Anyone who expects differently is being over-simplistic.
 
Aug 21, 2018
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#10
We have modern features and performance. Just not the ones you are attracted by.
Fair enough. If you value ergonomics, rear tilty flippy screen and really simple menus over actual image quality and video performance, than I can understand the current appeal of Canon cameras I suppose.

For me the entire purpose of a camera is the output and I therefore value the highest quality sensor performance that I can get.
 

CanonFanBoy

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jan 28, 2015
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#11
Fair enough. If you value ergonomics, rear tilty flippy screen and really simple menus over actual image quality and video performance, than I can understand the current appeal of Canon cameras I suppose.

For me the entire purpose of a camera is the output and I therefore value the highest quality sensor performance that I can get.
And when you think you are getting it then what do you do when you think the next thing, released 6 months later is the highest image quality you can get? Are you actually good enough at it for the camera? How much of a sensor difference do you really think there is?

If your goal is actually "the highest sensor quality you can get" (an extremely broad and undefined by you statement), then maybe you should go medium format?

But then the question is: How good are you compared to the camera and how does it hold you back right now? Because, honestly in this day and age, the quality is determined by you... the photographer. So in what way is your current output not good enough and how is that influenced by the camera?
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
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#12
I know many people will defend anything Canon does, but there is no question that Canon offers much less for the money vs. their competitors.
Much less? That depends on your perspective. Sony being unable or unwilling to weather seal their bodies is Sony offering "much less for the money" in my book. You date a body but marry a lens collection. Since I can't trust Sony weather sealing claims on their bodies why should I trust them when it comes to their lenses? Is that a long term investment I would ever want to make?

As Mikehit pointed out, that's not the only point where Sony blows it. If their spec sheet matches everything you want and you don't care about any of their drawbacks, knock yourself out. Some of us have different needs and priorities.
 
Jan 26, 2017
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#13
Fair enough. If you value ergonomics, rear tilty flippy screen and really simple menus over actual image quality and video performance, than I can understand the current appeal of Canon cameras I suppose.

For me the entire purpose of a camera is the output and I therefore value the highest quality sensor performance that I can get.
If sensor performance is the only thing your value in a camera then I wouldn't wait on Canon in all honesty. Sensor performance is just part of the puzzle for Canon, and not the whole game. Sony is able to prioritize sensor performance because they manufacture sensors for many many applications, from their own cameras to cell phone cameras to vehicle backup cameras to other applications still. With sensor technology impacting so many parts of Sony's business, it makes sense for them to pump resources into that.

If you need a complete camera system and value reliability and flexibility, then buy Canon. For people who need to hold and use a heavy camera for hours on end in poor conditions, those usability features can become the difference between getting a shot and missing it. A camera body which enables a photographer to have a higher keeper rate or shoot in conditions where other cameras fail provide (in my opinion) more opportunity for many users than some of the features it is missing.

Different tools for different users though - that's the benefit of competition!
 

Act444

EOS Rebel T7i
May 4, 2011
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#14
To each his own, but I still like Canon colors the best of the major systems out there. The one time I tried out a Sony A7R, took a few shots and I disliked what appeared to be a red cast on skin tones. It wasn’t a bad camera, but that stood out to me - more PP work.

The Canon system has its shortcomings, but so do the other systems as well. We each have to weigh the pros and cons of each system and choose which best suits our needs. If needs change over time, and suddenly another system begins to make more sense, then so be it. I plan to stick with Canon for now, but I will admit that if the transition to mirrorless really takes hold, I’ll give Nikon Z a look as well. The smaller lenses and IBIS (and the higher res of the Z7) I find interesting as well. But as someone invested deeply in Canon EF, I want to see what plans Canon have for the RF series.
 

dtaylor

EOS Rebel T7i
Jul 26, 2011
914
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#15
Fair enough. If you value ergonomics, rear tilty flippy screen and really simple menus over actual image quality...
The R out resolves the A73 and has better color science. The A73 has a little more DR at base ISO. High ISO is practically a wash. If pushed to choose, Canon's 30mp sensor is as good at 32000 as the A73's at 25600, so slight advantage to Canon.

It's disingenuous to suggest that someone buying the R doesn't care about "actual image quality." From where I'm sitting Canon's 30mp sensor wins that contest versus Sony's 24mp sensor. And if you're truly that concerned about IQ you're shooting a 42/45/50mp sensor, or medium format digital.
 
Aug 21, 2018
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#16
Two things.

1.) I'm not trying to defend Sony. I'm not implying Sony is the best. My statements are referring to Canons position among all camera manufacturers right now. In fact, I'm looking at both nikon and sony right now as they seem to be the best options for me.

2.) In terms of sensor performance, I'm looking for more high iso performance and dynamic range. I do mostly low light and high iso stuff (concerts, events, etc.). I have worked with my canon raw files and also sony A7III raw files. Say what you want, but the Sony files are much better quality and offer much more workability in post for my purposes.
 
Likes: Foxdude
Nov 2, 2016
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#17
Unless there is a great need, I’m always wary of buying the first product of a new line of any product. We all should know that the first product is always eclipsed by the successor. With all the complaining I’ve seen the past few weeks, it would seem that some people really believe that this camera model is the best Canon can, or will do. It should be obvious that it isn’t.
 
Aug 21, 2018
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#19
No way.

I use my 5D4 as a mirrorless camera roughly 30-50% of the time and it's fantastic.

Given that the EOS R is cheaper, there's little support for your claim.
You're comparing Canon to Canon. Of course EOS R is a good value proposition compared to the 5DIV. In many ways it's the same camera for a thousand dollars less.

Comparing EOS R to the full frame mirrorless competition is where its value misses the mark. Drop the price to $1999? Not so bad any more. It is not a premium offering over its competition yet commands a price premium. Less or even the same for more money = poor value.
 
Sep 19, 2010
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Ottawa Ontario
#20
Fair enough. If you value ergonomics, rear tilty flippy screen and really simple menus over actual image quality and video performance, than I can understand the current appeal of Canon cameras I suppose.

For me the entire purpose of a camera is the output and I therefore value the highest quality sensor performance that I can get.
I, too, am disappointed in some of the EOS-R specs, but don't underestimate the importance of ergonomics and ease of use. Awkward, hard to use cameras will cause you to miss many many shots and videos that you would have otherwise captured with a well-designed camera. And some cameras can be so frustrating to use that you'll just stop picking them up before too long.