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Usual disclaimer applies.  As Canon have yet to make me an ambassador (wink wink nudge nudge) this is purely opinion based on what I have seen or read about the Canon EOS R, and haven’t touched one (yet).  We’ve known for a few days that Canon were going to release the Canon EOS R, their first full frame mirrorless camera, as the leaked specifications and images filled the interwebs, but it was officially announced today.  My first thoughts on the leaked images were this camera was not as attractive as the Nikon Z series recently announced.  However it’s probably more important how a camera feels and performs in the hands and I can’t pass judgement on either of those yet.  But having now seen the Canon EOS R in better images and videos it actually looks like a nice camera and keeping theme with the current EOS line up.

I have some initial thoughts though on this announcement, and this comes from a guy who is passionate about stills, so I will glaze over some of the video details.  But if the Nikon Z series caused any backlash on the internet it was for their use of a single card slot (which Canon have also done), but if initial indications are anything to go by then I think the Canon EOS R is going to be famous for cropped 4k video.  This seems to be attracting the most noise at the moment, but people like to pick holes initially.  As a stills guy it’s not something that bothers me or I fully understand the implications of, so would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this.

Going back to design, I would still edge the Nikon Z series of the Canon EOS R, and yet I have always liked the Canon SLRs over the Nikon design thus far.  It terms of design though there are definitely some intriguing options in the Canon with the new ‘multi function’ bar and ability to have control on some of the lenses/adapters.  It’s interesting to me that Canon have been bold enough to try something new whereas Nikon’s approach has been familiarity.  I’m not saying either approach is wrong or better, but if the EOS R were to ever compliment my current EOS SLR to be able to go between bodies say for a wedding, familiar control would almost definitely be a benefit.  The biggest issue I have though is the rear screen on the Canon, in this day and age the bezel looks wide.  I appreciate this is nit picking, but the display on the Nikon Z series seems more seamless.  This might be because Canon have opted for a display that comes out and rotates, maybe an advantage over the Nikon which just tilts.  But again as a stills shooter the tilt action on the Z series would probably be enough for me.

On paper the Canon EOS R undoubtedly has some impressive specifications.  Auto focus points are astounding (though I’m not sure I need 5,000+ points) and at 8fps at 30 mega-pixels it certainly isn’t a slouch.  It just feels to me Canon have tried to pitch this camera somewhere in the middle ground, and I think this comes with a compromise.  It’s neither a high mega-pixel beast like the Nikon Z7 or a high frame shooting beast like the Sony A9 with 20 frames per second.  I’m sure this is Canon’s intention, to pitch it somewhere where it will appeal to many, and there maybe another body around the corner.  But you have to admire Nikon’s approach and using the same body with two different models aimed at different audiences.  The other compromise is price.  The Canon EOS R is more expensive (based on pre-order prices) than the Nikon Z6.

So it goes without saying if money was no object, sure I would buy a Canon EOS R.  It makes sense given my existing knowledge of Canon and investment into the system.  However if money was really no object then investing in Nikon glass and the Nikon Z6 would really appeal to me, I’ve never been a chaser of mega-pixels.  But it will be interesting to read the initial reviews on both of these systems.  More importantly though it is an exciting time for photographers.  The two main players have now stated their intent in the full frame mirrorless market.  Sony and Fuji can no longer have all the fun, and this new competition will only be a good thing for the consumer.  The mirrorless future looks exciting…

What are your thoughts?