Canon EOS RP Follow Up Review

Miss Universe Laos 2019 giving my RP a test drive. 😉 <3

So I’ve had the Canon EOS RP for 9 months now.  I think that’s enough time to give a pretty good opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of this camera.  I’ve found that you really have to “live” with a camera or lens combo for a good long time to figure out what it’s best at.  Even with film, you just can’t pick one for all occasions, there’s just too many variables out there in the wild.  I shoot so many cameras because to be honest, in some situations delivering photos is hard enough, so I need lots of tools to swap in and out, just like players in a sports game.  Some days the Nikon’s have a bad game and the Canon’s pick up the slack and deliver some great out of camera shots.  Sometimes the Sigmas are just outmatched (which happens a lot…) and I wished I’d benched them for a different oddball camera. 😉

So with that, here are a bunch more photos from different situations: work, weddings, different climates, seasons, times of day, etc.

(This is from the viewpoint of mostly using it for stills.  I’ll have a follow up post talking about using the camera for video. Spoiler: It’s actually very good!)

Again, my “reviews” aren’t meant to help anyone part with their hard earned money or pull you towards one brand vs another.  What works for me might not work for you.  My perspective is that I rarely leave for any shoot, work or otherwise, with just one camera.  There’s just too many cool camera+lens combos one can use these days, pulling from oh 100+ years of photography history.  If you can only get one camera or system, then perhaps the Canon EOS RP could be for you.  (For me a traditional DSLR is still king for pure photography) 🙂

First, the BAD:

This is an example of the EOS RP’s Silent Electronic Shutter, only accessible in the “Scene” mode. You have no control over aperture or shutter speed, only a simple brightness scale and it is only 1 FPS. Even with a powerful f/1.4 or f/1.8 lens in low light situations like speaking engagements in dark rooms, the Silent Mode likes to not use all the horsepower of the lens.  What really irks me about this mode is that it is really susceptible to banding from certain artificial light. I shrunk down the images so you can see that it really is impossible to fix, and thus you just have to delete the photo. The Sony A7III also had some problems with the Ga Aquarium’s lighting I’ve found. And Japanese camera manufacturers are wondering why no one is buying traditional cameras and are really struggling these days. We are still in the infancy of digital mirrorless technology since none of these cameras use global shutters. By the time those roll around, the cameras will have been priced out of the range of most normal folk, who smartly moved on to iPhones many years ago.

 

The Silent Mode also has a horrendously slow sensor readout. I shot with the 50mm 1.8 STM from a moving car. If you’ve never experienced this type of slow rolling shutter before, basically, no matter what the shutter speed has been decided by the camera (say 1/1000 sec) that matters not because of the slow readout speed. Basically the (relative) bottom of the sensor is behind what has already been captured at the top of the sensor. You don’t even have to be in a vehicle, you can still get rolling shutter by wobbling the camera too fast or having someone walk through the frame too fast.

 

Canon EOS RP Silent Mode and Rolling Shutter

 

Canon EOS RP Silent Mode and Rolling Shutter

 

Canon EOS RP Silent Mode and Rolling Shutter

 

Canon EOS RP Silent Mode and Rolling Shutter, with probably the best/worst example of skewing due to the slow readout speed

Japanese camera companies must want us to basically beta test and pay for the development of the next crop of mirrorless cameras.  It’s a product line that for them is much cheaper to make from a parts and assembly point of view.  But is it really?  They’ve been making DSLR’s for close to 20 years now, and that basically built on the legacy of film SLR’s for 50 years prior to that.  I will say again that for 90% of what I shoot, I could still get by with a D700 (circa 2008).  If the big two camera companies put that same design philosophy into digital mirrorless, combined with modular upgradeable sensors and a software OS ecosystem, well, they wouldn’t be fighting over the dwindling market.


Ok, enough of the Bad, here are the Good things I like about the Canon EOS RP:

The EOS RP and the 24mm f/1.4L really get along I’ve noticed. Much better than the 35mm f/1.4L. This one was at 1.4, but you really don’t have to shoot it at that f stop all the time. f/2.8 is really sharp with this combo. With the flip out screen, this lens really comes to life in angles that are not your standard look through the viewfinder (which to be honest, I and other old school photographers are guilty of doing too much)

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | The EOS RP doesn’t have the “best” out of camera color in my opinion, but it’s pretty close.  Again, if you asked someone to pick between an out of camera Canon picture and a unedited ugly Nikon jpeg, they’d probably pick the Canon most of the time.  (this is coming from a person who prefers Nikons!)

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | I also learned that the EOS RP really is tuned for the natural pastel palette you find at the beach. This is also straight out of camera.

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | A setting like this has always been in the wheelhouse of Canon cameras, even going back to the Canon 5D “classic.” Florida colors and sunshine really are made even more pleasing with Canon’s digital color choices

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | In artificial light I’ve found the Auto WB of the RP a bit too cool and tending to be easily polluted by green, but this is about standard for what you get. Still will not beat the 5D mk II for great food photos.

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + Auto Sears (Mamiya?) 55mm 1.4 m42 lens | Pretty much on Canon’s you don’t ever want to push the contrast slider all the way to the right in any of the Picture Profiles. This was a test, and yep, the RP still has blacks that get crushed too much in all the modes. This is out of camera, but in Canon’s DPP software, moving that slider really makes for bad looking images that don’t do Canon’s skin tones and color justice

 

EOS RP + Auto Sears (Mamiya?) 55mm 1.4 m42 lens

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s | Again this Picture Profile is the same as the shot above. A bit too contrasty for my liking

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s | I think this was on Standard Picture Profile

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s

 

EOS RP + Nikon 50mm 1.4 ai-s

 

EOS RP + Nikon 105mm 2.8 Micro VR | I even tested the RP to see if it could do good color negative conversions. It definitely has a slightly different, smoother look than my Nikon scans

 

EOS RP + Nikon 105mm 2.8 Micro VR | Color converted Negative

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 35mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | Like any camera, if you shoot in unflattering light, you’re going to get unflattering photos

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L | The main advantage of mirrorless is that you are looking at small real time screen instead of glass. This allows you to shoot into the sun and see flares, without the potential of losing your eyesight. WB and exposure can be fine tuned in there as well, the screen info even rotates as you rotate the camera. For many these advantages far outweigh things like lag, and not being able to really track a subject through an optical viewfinder. Myself, I still like looking at the world through glass. Exposure and color are easily (and should be) tweaked in post anyway,

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D | This is of course all manual focus, but with RP I mapped the up directional button to punch into the image so I can check focus. I’ve tried the focus peaking but I’ve found it to be more of a distraction. With 1.4 and that focal length, you’re dealing with pretty small margin of focus error on the operator side

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + Nikon 85mm 1.4D

 

EOS RP + 24-105mm 4L

 

EOS RP + 24-105mm 4L | Cloudy WB is what you would want to make it look like a warm Nikon/Sony sensor

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + 24-105mm 4L

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + 50mm 1.8 STM

 

EOS RP + 24-105mm 4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L

 

EOS RP + 24mm 1.4L


So in closing,

-the Canon EOS RP renders soft colors different than the 5D series; it’s susceptible to green tints from certain lights, and not magenta “tuned” like the older 5D series

-it really loves the beach and Florida light though

-silent mode is unusable in many situations due to banding and defaults to basic P mode and the Standard Picture Profile (but at least you can still shoot RAW)

-it’s still unable to push exposure or shadows not even to the level of a 2012 Nikon DSLR

-high contrast mode is garish and bad in both the camera and Canon DPP

-the RP has a really generous buffer for continuous shooting

-4K video locked down on a tripod with fall leaves is very nice, especially since the flip out screen saves hunching over.  It also allows for unique different angles.  I’ve found the video looks much nicer than the still pictures.

-works quite well with Nikon lenses, and gives it a different look, if you like manual focusing like me.  Silent mode only works with native Canon lenses though.

-it’s the smallest and lightest digital FF in my bag, but the on/off button is extremely frustrating and follows Canon’s odd design choices again for yet another generation.  This is a camera you constantly have to turn on or off to conserve power and needing two hands is an annoyance.  Plus that dial could have been used for something else more useful.

Other than that, hope everyone enjoyed some of the photos I’ve taken from spring, summer, and now fall.  I’ve used Canon digital for over 10 years and Nikon digital for well over 15 years, so I’ve definitely had lots of wrench time with these guys.  We can nit pick cameras and tools all day, but in the end it’s the prints and photos that matter.

Questions or comments, or would just like to chat about photography, hit me up via the contact form!

-Boon

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