Last year Canon introduced the EOS R6 II, an upgrade from the original R6. Now Canon has put the EOS R6 II’s 24.2 megapixel sensor and fast Digic X image processor in a smaller and simpler body, somewhat reminiscent of its older entry-level model, the EOS RP. Thanks to the clever technology from the EOS R6 II, the Canon EOS R8 is a much better camera than the four-year-old EOS RP.
TESTRESULTS Canon EOS R8:
The EOS R8 shares many features with the R6 II, but at a lower price.
Introduction Canon EOS R8
In February 2019, Canon launched the EOS RP. At the time, that was the most compact and cheapest full-frame system camera on the market, and an affordable alternative to the EOS R with which Canon introduced the EOS R system. Since then, many cameras in the EOS R system have been added, but a new entry-level model for those looking to buy their first full-frame camera was not among them. The Canon EOS R8 changes that. With a suggested retail price of €1,819 (body), it is more than €1,000 cheaper than the EOS R6 II, with which, however, it shares much technology. Among other things, the R8 has the same 24 megapixel sensor and fast DIGIC X image processor, films in 4K resolution (oversampled from 6K sensor readout) and has the same autofocus system.
Construction and control
The body has changed little from the EOS RP, but with the addition of a new photo/video mode selector switch in the upper left and an on/off switch moved to the upper right.
As on the EOS RP, physical controls have been kept to a minimum. As a result, you will have to dive into the camera menu more often than with an EOS R6 II to adjust a setting. For an entry-level camera, that’s not so strange, but it’s something to consider.
The EOS R8 has the same full-fold touch screen as the EOS R6 III, with a resolution of 1.62 million pixels. The electronic viewfinder has a lower resolution: 2.36 million pixels instead of the 3.68 million on the EOS R6 II.
Due to its more compact size, the EOS R8 also contains a smaller battery than the EOS R6 II. This translates into a lower autonomy, measured according to CIPA standards: 290 shots when using the screen and 150 when using the viewfinder, compared to 580 and 320 with the EOS R6 II. The CIPA standard is an underestimate of what you will get in practice, but nevertheless, with the R8 you will need a spare battery sooner. There is also only one card slot for SD memory cards.
Perhaps the compact size also explains why the R8 does not have built-in image stabilization (IBIS). That is actually the main argument for choosing a more expensive EOS R camera anyway: image stabilization is really an advantage in a lot of circumstances.
As mentioned, the Canon EOS R8 has the same 24 megapixel sensor as the more expensive EOS R6 II, and the image processing system is also the same. That means we can expect the same image quality. It will be better than that of the EOS RP; although it has 2 more megapixels, it uses older sensor technology and an older image processor.
When using the electronic shutter, the EOS R8, like the EOS R6 II, achieves up to 40 shots per second. With the mechanical shutter, though, there is a difference: the EOS R6 II makes that 12 shots per second, and the R8 only 6. That’s because the R8 uses a simpler (and therefore cheaper) mechanical shutter.
The EOS R8 also shares some of the video capabilities with the EOS R6 II. It can shoot 4K video, derived from 6K full-width sensor recording, up to a maximum of 60p. The 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 H.265 output provides greater dynamic range in post-processing. Alternatively, HDR PQ and HDR Movie modes can be selected for HDR workflows. To counteract the focus-breathing effect when shooting video, the EOS R8 has a function that compensates the angle of view when the focus distance is changed.
The camera allows a maximum recording time of two hours for video recording in 4K or FullHD at 30p. In 4K/60p and 1080/120, the recording time is limited to 30 minutes.
The autofocus system of the EOS R8 is again the same as in the EOS R6 II. So you can take advantage of the excellent subject recognition. Which can focus on a chosen subject: people (body / face / eye), animals (dogs / cats / birds / horses), vehicles (motorsports cards and motorcycles / planes / trains), or automatically recognize the subject.
However, the EOS R8 does not have a joystick to quickly move the AF point or AF area. You do that via the touch screen, which is less convenient when keeping your eye in front of the viewfinder.
Like the EOS R6 II, the R8 in Raw Burst mode has the option of buffering images in advance: images are temporarily stored in the camera’s memory as long as you press the shutter button halfway, and written to the card when you press it fully. During filming, the camera can even buffer for 3 or 5 seconds.
Along with the EOS R8, Canon is releasing the RF 24-50mm F4.5-6.3 IS STM, a small and lightweight lens with 2x zoom. This lens is sold in a kit with the EOS R8. It includes a 4.5-stop optical image stabilizer.
Relative to competition
Compared to the EOS RP, the R8 takes a huge step forward in terms of image quality, speed, video capabilities and autofocus. The more expensive EOS R6 II gives you more physical controls and does have IBIS, which is a big advantage in certain situations. Its direct competitors at Nikon and Sony, the Z 5 and the a7C, both do have IBIS, but are limited in 4K video to frame rates of up to 30 fps.
Canon EOS R8
|ISO||100 – 102.400 (50 – 204.800 uitbr).|
|max. series speed||6x (mechanisch), 40x (elektronisch)|
|storage media||1x UHS-II SD|
|battery capacity||220 (EVF) of 370 (LCD) opnamen|
|dimensions||132,5 x 86,1 x 70 mm|
|weight (incl. battery)||461 g|
|reatil price||€ 1.819,- (body)|
Conclusion test Canon EOS R8
Compared to the EOS RP, the R8 takes a huge step forward in terms of image quality, speed, video capabilities and autofocus.
The EOS R8 is an affordable full-frame with Canon’s latest 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor. Compared to the EOS RP, the R8 takes a huge step forward in terms of image quality, speed, video capabilities and autofocus. In fact, it delivers the same image quality as the more expensive EOS R6 II and shares many features with that camera. Opting for the compact body of the EOS RP does mean fewer buttons and dials; the AF joystick in particular is a miss, as is IBIS.