Considering that the Canon EOS RP and EOS R are both older, less expensive Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras, you may be wondering which one is right for you. 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 is more advanced than the EOS RP, but is it worth the difference in price?
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS RP||Canon EOS R|
|Announced||February 2019||September 2018|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 8||DIGIC 8|
|Resolution||26.2 MP||30.3 MP|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.9 x 24.0 mm (Full Frame)||36.0 x 24.0 mm (Full Frame)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||5.76µ||5.36µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||Yes|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||No||No|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 100|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 40,000||ISO 40,000|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-102,400||ISO 50-102,400|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||No||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||Yes||No|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||No||No|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/4000||1/8000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||30 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||5 FPS||8 FPS|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||5 FPS||8 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||No autofocus at 5 FPS (autofocus at 4 FPS)||No autofocus at 8 FPS (autofocus at 5 FPS)|
|Buffer Size (Raw)||50 frames (5 FPS)||47 frames (8 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity (Standardized to f/2, ISO 100)||-3.5 EV||-4.5 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/180||1/200|
|Curtain to Protect Sensor at Shutdown||No||Yes|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||8 bits||8 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||8 bits||10 bits|
|4K Maximum Framerate||25 FPS||30 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||60 FPS||60 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||1.6x crop at 4K||1.74x crop at 4K|
|Chroma Subsampling||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)|
|Video Recording Limit||30 min||30 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||SD (UHS-II)||SD (UHS-II)|
|Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)||3.0 in||3.2 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||1.04 million dots||2.1 million dots|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2.36 million dots||3.69 million dots|
|USB Type||Type C 2.0||Type C 3.1|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||210 frames||350 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||250 frames||370 frames|
|Battery Life (Eco Mode)||270 frames||560 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||485 g (1.07 lbs.)||660 g (1.46 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||133 x 85 x 70 mm (5.2 x 3.3 x 2.8″)||136 x 98 x 84 mm (5.3 x 3.9 x 3.3″)|
|MSRP, Body Only||$1000 (Check Current Price)||$1800 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Canon EOS RP Used Prices||Canon EOS R Used Prices|
As you can see, there are really only a few areas where the EOS RP beats the EOS R: mostly just size, weight, and price. The other differences in the RP’s favor are small, such as a slightly better 4K video crop factor of 1.6× rather than 1.74×. Although, I do like that the EOS RP has a focus bracketing mode for focus stacking.
At the same time, many of the differences between these two cameras are quite minor. A 3.0″ vs 3.2″ LCD? Not a big deal. 1/200 flash sync speed vs 1/180? Neither is great, but they’re too similar to really 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 almost indistinguishable in practice.
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.
- 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.
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. No wonder it’s so easy to find extension grips on the market for the EOS RP; without one, some photographers would 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 the big 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 example, 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, the EOS R’s benefits might be worth the extra price. For most other types of photography – especially if price is a concern – go for the Canon EOS RP. It is a great value, especially now that it’s older and is selling for excellent prices on the used market.
If you want a newer camera, you may want to check out a camera from the EOS R8, R6, or EOS R5 lines instead.