Now that Canon has released its full-frame mirrorless EOS RP camera for just $1300, let’s take a look at how it compares head-to-head against the Canon EOS R. The two cameras actually have a lot of differences under the hood, both minor and major, in everything from autofocus to sensor characteristics. The EOS R comes out ahead of the EOS RP in most respects – but at $2200, is it worth the difference in price?
Canon EOS RP versus EOS R Specifications
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS RP||Canon EOS R|
|Sensor Resolution||26.2 MP||30.4 MP|
|Image Size||6240 × 4160||6,720 × 4,480|
|Sensor Size||35.9 × 24.0 mm||36.0 × 24.0 mm|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 8|
|Max Buffer Capacity||Unlimited (both RAW and JPEG)||47 RAW images with UHS-II card|
|Native ISO Sensitivity||ISO 100-40,000||ISO 100-40,000|
|Boosted ISO Sensitivity||ISO 50, ISO 51,200-102,400||ISO 50, ISO 51,200-102,400|
|Dust Prevention When Changing Lens||No||Yes|
|Viewfinder Type||OLED (Electronic / EVF)||OLED (Electronic / EVF)|
|Viewfinder Coverage and Magnification||100%, 0.7×||100%, 0.71× (0.76× with 50mm lens at infinity)|
|Storage Media||1x SD (UHS-II)||1x SD (UHS-II)|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5 FPS max with autofocus locked, 4 FPS with full AF||8 FPS max with autofocus locked, 5 FPS with full AF|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 to 30 sec||1/8000 to 30 sec|
|AE Bracketing Range||±3 EV||±3 EV|
|Number of AF Points||4779 AF points selectable||5655 AF points selectable|
|AF Detection Range||-5 to +18 EV (assuming an f/1.2 lens; less range with smaller aperture lenses)||-6 to +18 EV (assuming an f/1.2 lens; less range with smaller aperture lenses)|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/180||1/200|
|Video||3,840 × 2,160 (4K) @ up to 25 FPS||3,840 × 2,160 (4K) @ up to 30 FPS|
|1080p Video Max Frame Rate||60 FPS||60 FPS|
|HDMI Output||4:2:2, 8-bit||4:2:2, 10-bit, C-log|
|4K Video Crop Factor||1.6×||1.74×|
|Audio Recording||Built-in stereo microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
|Built-in stereo microphone|
External stereo microphone (optional)
|LCD Size and Type||3.0″ Tilt-Flip Touchscreen LCD||3.15″ Tilt-Flip Touchscreen LCD|
|Dual Pixel AF||Yes||Yes|
|Dual Pixel RAW||No||Yes|
|LCD Resolution||1,040,000 dots||2,100,000 dots|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2,360,000 dots||3,690,000 million dots|
|Battery Life (in room temp.)||Worst-case: 210 (EVF only, smooth mode), Best-case: 270 (LCD only, Eco mode)||Worst-case: 350 (Power saving off, EVF only), Best-case: 560 (Power saving on, Eco mode on, Rear LCD only)|
|Weather Sealed Body||Minimal Sealing||Yes|
|Weight (Body only, includes cards and battery)||485 g||660 g|
|Dimensions: Length × Width × Depth from Grip to LCD (excludes eyecup)||132.5 × 85.0 × 59.4 mm (5.22 × 3.35 × 2.34 inches)||135.8 × 98.3 × 67.7 mm (5.35 × 3.87 × 2.67 inches)|
|MSRP Price||$1299 as introduced (pre-order)||$2299 as introduced (check price)|
As you can see, there are really only a few areas where the EOS RP beats the EOS R: size, weight, and price. The other differences in the RP’s favor are small, such as the unlimited buffer (largely a factor of the lukewarm 5 FPS max frame rate) and a slightly better 4K video crop factor of 1.6× rather than 1.74×.
At the same time, many of the differences between these two cameras are quite minor. 4779 versus 5655 autofocus points? Not a big deal. 0.7× versus 0.71× magnification viewfinder? Also doesn’t matter. Even the difference in sensor resolution is hardly a major point in the EOS R’s favor, since 26.2 megapixels and 30.4 megapixels are practically indistinguishable in practice (though other sensor characteristics, such as low light performance and dynamic range, could matter quite a bit).
To me, there are only a few specific differences which really matter, and which tip in the EOS R’s favor: continuous shooting speed, HDMI video output, LCD/EVF resolution, and battery life. Weather sealing might make the list, although in practice I suspect that the EOS RP will be plenty well-sealed for ordinary use. (Canon claims the RP has sealing equivalent to that of the 80D DSLR, which I tested last year in rainy and sandy conditions without any problems.)
- HDMI Output: If you shoot HDMI video, the fact that the EOS R has 10-bit color and C-log is a clear step up from the RP’s 8-bit color without C-log. This doesn’t apply to all photographers, or even most of them – but plenty of people will end up buying the RP for video and Youtube purposes, at which point these differences can matter.
- Continuous Shooting: In terms of continuous shooting, neither camera is a speed demon, especially when you want to autofocus during a continuous burst. The EOS R goes up to 5 FPS, and the EOS RP goes up to 4 FPS. If you don’t need AF from shot to shot, the difference is clearer in the EOS R’s favor, with 8 FPS versus 5. This difference might be important depending on your genre of photography, but, again, not all photographers will care.
- LCD and EVF Resolution: One factor with a broader impact – though maybe a shallower one – is that the EOS RP has a lower-resolution LCD and lower-resolution EVF than the RP. The RP’s LCD and EVF are still plenty high-resolution for detailed image previews, but the shooting experience with the EOS R will be a bit nicer between the two.
- Battery Life: At best, the EOS R gets 560 shots per charge, while the EOS RP gets 270. At worst, those numbers are 350 and 210 respectively. This puts the EOS R at about double the battery life of its sibling. You can always carry an extra battery if you have the EOS RP, but then you’re missing out on some of the weight savings.
- Other Differences: At this point, since the EOS RP has not yet shipped, there may be some differences in favor of either camera that we have not yet tested. For example, the RP’s sensor may not have the same dynamic range or noise performance as the EOS R, since it is based on the older generation sensor of the 6D Mark II. Or, perhaps its autofocus system – though seemingly similar to the R’s – has some major unknown flaws. However, in pure specifications, the comparison above shows that the EOS RP holds its own against the EOS R, despite the price difference. It’s not ahead in many ways, but it is rarely far behind.
Size Comparison and Ergonomic Differences
Beyond specifications, the EOS R and EOS RP have surprisingly similar control layouts, with just a few important differences between them. Before I cover that, however, here is quick size comparison between the two cameras:
As you can see, the EOS RP is significantly shorter than the EOS R, in large part because the viewfinder area is not as tall. However, the grip on the EOS R is also noticeably taller than that of the EOS RP. It makes sense that Canon would ship the RP with a small extension grip included; if it did not, some photographers would undoubtedly find the grip uncomfortable.
Now here is a top view (also to scale) to demonstrate the control differences between these two mirrorless bodies:
Most of the top controls are very similar between these two cameras. In terms of differences, the EOS R has an additional top information panel, and an associated “illuminate” button. The other major difference is that the Canon EOS R has a “Mode” button within one of the command dials, while the EOS RP has a traditional PASM mode dial instead. The locking mechanism for the associated command dial is also different.
Now let’s take a look at the back of these two cameras:
As you can see, the buttons on the back of the two cameras are nearly identical. The EOS R has a touch slider at the top near the viewfinder, while the RP does not, but otherwise there are no meaningful differences between the rear controls of these two cameras.
This means you should not make your decision between the EOS RP and EOS R based on button layouts. Aside from a couple minor differences, these two cameras will handle the same.
If you are on the fence at all, you should get the EOS RP. For $1000 in savings over the EOS R, you can buy some great lenses or other accessories that take the RP to the next level.
However, there is a reason why the EOS R commands a higher price, and the differences between these two cameras certainly will matter for some photographers. For starters, the EOS R has Canon’s newer 30.4 megapixel sensor, while the RP’s sensor is an older generation 26.2 megapixel option that historically has not performed quite as well in terms of noise and dynamic range. Beyond that, the EOS R has a faster frame rate and higher video specifications, as well as better battery and higher-resolution screens. If you are a videographer or wedding photographer, for example, the EOS R’s benefits might be worth the extra price. For most other types of photography – especially if weight is a concern – go for the Canon EOS RF. It is one of the best values in full-frame cameras today, with a worthy feature set to help you capture photos of nearly anything you can think of.