The Canon EOS R8, which sits below the Canon EOS R6 II and has many of the same characteristics, has recently joined the market. This camera may raise the bar for what the greatest entry-level mirrorless cameras should be able to do.
The new full-frame EOS R8 features a body that is comparable to the EOS RP’s entry-level and boasts performance that is mostly on par with the mid-range EOS R6 II. Its pricing is in line with its features, right in the center of the price range between those two cameras to provide users another Canon full-frame mirrorless alternative in a system that is constantly expanding.
In our Canon EOS R8 vs EOS R6 II article, we’ve outlined the significant distinctions between the EOS R8 and the EOS R6 II individually. In light of the limited time we had with the R8 before to its introduction, this hands-on reflects our first thoughts. We’ll bring you our comprehensive review after we’ve had more opportunity to properly test the R8.
EOS R8 by Canon: Design
Canon’s smallest full-frame mirrorless camera, the EOS RP, shares a chassis in essence with the EOS R8. With a memory card and battery installed, it loses a further 24g to become the lightest device on the market at 461g.
Despite its compact size, the EOS R8 has a respectable EVF with a 120 fps refresh rate and the OVF (optical viewfinder) simulation mode, which was initially introduced in the EOS R3 and is intended to allay the concerns of those switching from DSLR to mirrorless. HDR is used in the simulation to bring out shadow features that could be easier to detect with an optical viewfinder.
Also, the camera has a responsive vari-angle touchscreen, which is a feature hybrid photographers of days want, and which gives vloggers and other content producers a real alternative.
There aren’t many lenses available that fit the EOS R8 comfortably in the hand given how little the camera is and how big full-frame lenses may be. The new 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 collapsible kit lens makes sense since the EOS R8’s architecture allows it to work better with tiny lenses.
On paper, the new kit lens may not seem exciting, but it works wonderfully with the EOS R8. In fact, it’s one of the lightest full-frame combos on the market at around 700g for the camera and lens combination. Larger front-heavy lenses will pull at the wrist because this camera is “short,” so hopefully more compact lenses are on the way.
A further indication of a hybrid future for the EOS R system is the dedicated photo/video switch, which is also present on the EOS R6 II. The smaller body, however, simplifies the control layout. There has a basic D-pad instead of a rear wheel, no joystick, and fewer customisable buttons.
Given how little settings are available on the camera’s exterior, several shooting modes, such as Raw Burst, are hidden in the main menu, which is a world you’ll need to get accustomed to. But, there is a useful Guided UI, and there is room on the outside for an HDMI connector and a remote control, as well as a mic input and a headphone jack. In conclusion, the EOS R8 packs a ton of features into a body that is essentially entry-level.
Performance and features of the Canon EOS R8
The EOS R8 is a camera that outperforms its competition thanks to the same CPU and picture sensor as the EOS R6 II.
Action enthusiasts will love the class-leading 40 fps burst shooting with the electronic shutter; however, with the electronic first curtain, this speed is just 6 fps.
The Raw Burst mode increases your chances of catching quick action sequences that are difficult to predict by shooting for one second at 30 frames per second with 0.5 seconds of pre-capture before pressing the shutter. You may select the best frames to preserve from a roll of those 30 saved frames.
Another impressive feature is the autofocus system. We once again have Dual Pixel CMOS II AF with tracking AF available for all modes from Canon, which has a long history of providing outstanding autofocus for photos and videos. The EOS R8 has a variety of subject-detection AF options for people, animals, and vehicles, just like the EOS R6 II, and luckily has the alternative of automated detection to make those decisions for you.
The AF zone size may be changed using Flexible AF to best fit your subject. While Flexible AF may be used with Eye Tracking, you’ll start to rely on it for accurate focusing in scenarios like a portrait session where your subject doesn’t fill the frame. Moreover, Canon asserts that autofocus is reliable for precise focusing down to -6.5EV, which is extremely low light.
The EOS R6 II offers an advantage in a number of areas, including battery life. The EOS R8 only provides half as many frames at a CIPA rating of about 400 from a full charge. Moreover, the EOS R8 features just one SD card slot as opposed to the EOS R6 II’s dual slots.
A multi-function shoe for compatibility with a variety of accessories, such as an external flash, 2.4GHz WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, and MFI for direct connection with an Apple device, in addition to Android smartphones, are other available connection possibilities.
Image and video quality of the Canon EOS R8
The Canon EOS R8 has the same 24MP full-frame sensor as the EOS R6 II, so there are no surprises in terms of image quality. The EOS R8 is positioned as an all-purpose camera with sensitivity up to ISO 102,400, producing clear images in practically all lighting conditions—daylight, candlelight, wherever.
Although the EOS R6 II provides 6K video recording directly, video resolution is up to 4K / 60p without a crop, oversampled from 6K footage for crisp detail. 180p at Full HD may be used to create some powerful slow motion effects. There are so many different video options, it’s amazing.
The Canon Log 3 color profile is included; it is likely the most widely used of Canon’s video log profiles due to the fact that it is the easiest to work with and gives a wider dynamic range than the flatter Canon Log 2. Nonetheless, grading C Log 3 footage is a breeze after you get the exposure right, which is made simpler by utilizing the fake color tool that is provided here.
Several aspects of the EOS R8 are at work, and they have an indirect impact on image quality in some circumstances. Because the camera lacks in-body image stabilization (IBIS), you have fewer shutter speed options when shooting handheld and still get clear images.
Moreover, handheld video recordings are shakier when IBIS is absent. Although there is electronic video stabilization, it falls short of IBIS and requires a little reduction of the image.
CONCLUSION FOR THE CANON EOS R8
Given the EOS R8’s price and size, logical tradeoffs include the lack of IBIS, a scaled-down camera body, and battery life that isn’t up to pace with the EOS R6 II’s.
But, appearances may be deceiving, and the EOS R8 is a powerful camera. The same 24MP full-frame sensor as the EOS R6 II is included, along with a quick Dual Pixel CMOS II focusing system, a 30fps Raw Burst mode, and up to 40fps continuous shooting.
The video specification is extensive as well, with no record restrictions and 4K up to 60p oversampled from 6K. (although the battery will have something to say about that).
It has a decent price tag and is a very capable performance housed in a beginner-friendly body. It costs the same as the more capable but crop-sensor EOS R7. Yet when you put it all together, it’s actually not totally apparent for whom the EOS R8 is intended. We’ll undoubtedly learn in the upcoming months when reviews and customer feedback start to trickle in.