Canon EOS R Review for Filmmakers

 
 
 

In this review I share my experience testing the Canon EOS R for filming videos.

I talk about the 4K crop, the quality of the 720p slow motion files, using this camera for vlogging, how to turn it into a mini cinema C200, and pontificate about the future of Canon's mirrorless cameras.

 

Cropped in 4K Mode

I’m used to a 1.6x crop on my canon cinema cameras, which are true super 35 sensors, so 1.8x crop in 4K mode on the Canon EOS R is similar to me. I know a lot of people complained about it because yes, it would be great to get full-frame 4K downscaled from the entire sensor like Panasonic and Sony are doing, but give Canon time and they’ll do the same.

One of the reasons I’m okay with the crop is that you can use any EF or EF-S lenses using the adapter. If you need to film ultra wide, then put on a lens like the 10-18mm or the 17-55mm f/2.8.

 

Vlogging with the EOS R

This is the best Canon vlogging camera on the market right now.

I’d get one of the two lenses above for vlogging since they are both wide and are image stabilized.

You can also turn on two different image stabilization modes too beyond what your lens might be doing already.

It is lightweight and makes me want to pick it up and just start filming on a SwitchPod.

 
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EOS R + SwitchPod

A perfect sized vlogging rig.

 

Mini Cinema Camera or C200

Since the EOS R has Canon Log (with 12 stops of dynamic range) and can even film in 10-bit when using an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja V.

When I was filming videos on the EOS R I would put a monitor on it (like the SmallHD Focus 5” OLED) and it felt like a mini C200. It also has great “pro video” features like focus peaking and focus guides. As well as great continuous autofocus and face tracking.

The electronic viewfinder has 3.7 million dots and is a joy to use for filming to stabilize it with your eye or when it is too bright to see the LCD screen.

 

Slow Motion

The 120 frames per second option is to film in 720p, but it actually looks really great because of the high bit-rate of 160 Mbps.

Playing it side by side with other 1080p slow motion from Sony cameras or the Canon 1DX Mark II, it looks just as good. Even upscaling it to 4K it still holds up.

 
 

My Favorite New RF Lens

The new 35mm RF lens is a joy. At only $500, it has been macro focus abilities and is image stabilized, which really helps for filming video.

It is also much lighter weight than the other new L-series lenses.

 

What I Don’t Like about the EOS R

There were a handful of things about the EOS R, specifically ergonomically, that bothered me.

  • Switching between photo and video modes is too slow. You have to hit mode, then info, then scroll to the video mode you want. There is no quick flip switch like there normally is.

  • The record button is a nightmare to press (so I changed the shutter to start recording).

  • The trackpad isn’t fun to use. I would probably only use it to control ISO when filming videos.

  • No “true” in body stabilization (which you’re getting from Sony and Panasonic).

  • Bad rolling shutter in 4K mode.

 
 

Summary

You should compare the EOS R to other brands at the same price, but if you’re like me and have mostly Canon cameras and lenses and don’t want to change brands, this is a great camera for video.

If you want to watch my review of the photography features, you can go here to watch that. Or to watch an in-depth interview with my wife, who is a wedding and portrait photographer about her experience with the EOS R compared to using a 5D go here.

 
 
Caleb Wojcik