Mirrorless cameras are taking over the market as the tech is simple, futuristic and is taking up less space. While Sony currently dominates the mirrorless full-frame camera department, Canon isn’t going to let it get away without a fight.
Canon debuted its entry in the mirrorless full-frame camera race with its EOS R back in 2018 and now it has given us a much more affordable EOS RP. It is supposed to be the mirrorless equivalent of the 6D Mk. II DSLR. The target audience includes enthusiasts, who haven’t reached the professional status yet and are looking for an entry-level full-frame camera.
So how does the Canon EOS RP stack up against the competition? Let’s take a look at the specs and features of this device and find out.
Design & Build
Similar to most DSLRs, the EOS RP features a polycarbonate outer shell with rubberized bits for gripping. It is strengthened from the inside via a magnesium alloy frame that also helps it keeping the weight down. Since it doesn’t have a mirror reflex mechanism, the EOS RP benefits from having an overall smaller package that easier to handle. The body is also weather sealed so you can take it out in the rain.
Speaking on ergonomics, the grip is excellent. Canon is well known for making good camera grips and this is no exception. Another thing that Canon does well is button and dial placements. You have a shutter button in the front, two dials at the top to control the aperture and the shutter speed and a mode change dial right next to them. You also get a manual function button on top that can be programmed to control anything. Towards the left of the standard hot shoe mount, you a rather unique-looking on/off switch.
Come to the back and you’ll find the electronic viewfinder on the top, accompanied by a proximity sensor. Below that, you get a 3.0″ TFT LCD touchscreen that can swivel and rotate to any position you like Towards the right of it, you get a direction pad with some media controls. I would’ve personally preferred if the aperture adjustment dial was integrated around the direction pad as it is in most Canon DSLRs but I guess this works too.
Under the lens, the Canon EOS RP has a 35mm, full-frame sensor that has a resolution of 26.2MP. The result of that is excellent and sharp looking pictures, especially in low light. Speaking of low light, the ISO on the RP can be cranked up to a whopping 40000, though I wouldn’t suggest going over 12800.
Powering all the image processing is the latest DiG!C 8 processor that allows up to 5 frames per second of continuous shooting. For live view and video, you get the famous Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus that, dare I say it, is the best there is. The transitions between focus are smooth and cinematic, just the way they should be.
As far as video recording is concerned, you can shoot in 4K but only at 25fps, which seems to be a bummer. It doesn’t end here as you also get an APS-C sized crop while shooting 4K. Dial it down to 1080p and you finally have to option to shoot in 30 and 60fps. However, then you can’t shoot at 25fps. Canon cameras were never best in the video department and this hasn’t changed our minds.
Battery life also isn’t great on the EOS RP as it uses the 1040 mAh LP-E17 battery, found in most entry-level Canon DSLRs. However, while this battery may perform decently in DSLRs, it doesn’t go well with mirrorless. This is because the sensor on a mirrorless camera always has to be on for you to access the electronic viewfinder. On the EOS RP, this battery is rated at a maximum of 370 shots on a single charge, which is abysmal, if you compare it to the competition.
Fortunately, while the EOS RP may seem to be a let down with videos and battery life, it makes for it in connectivity. On it, you get mic-in and headphone jacks along with a USB-C and micro HDMI ports. Along with tethering purposes, the USB-C port can also be used as a charging port via an adapter, which is really useful.
As far as wireless comms are concerned, you get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. They can be used to trigger external flashes, remotes or even intervalometers. One thing that sets Canon apart from other brands is its Canon Camera Connect smartphone app. It can be paired via Wi-Fi to your camera and act as a viewfinder and wireless shutter release. If you’re in manual mode, you can also change settings like the ISO, shutter speed and even the aperture through it.
Price & Verdict
At $1299, the Canon EOS RP is definitely a bit towards the expensive side considering it’s intended to be an entry-level full frame camera. What’s worse is that by default, it supports Canon’s RF lens lineup, which isn’t that vast. In case you’re already a Canon user, you can use your EF and even EF-S lenses but you’ll need to buy an additional adapter for those, which would just add to the cost and complexity.
Same is the case with the USB-C charging. Out of the box, you only get a standard external battery charger but you have to pay extra to get the USB-C adapter, which is absurd. If you ask me, a Canon EOS 6D Mk. II may be less portable, but it does a much better job of being an entry-level full frame camera than the EOS RP, so you’ll probably be better off with it.