Well I have finally gone and done it. Having resisted buying a mirrorless camera for a couple of years now, I took the plunge at the weekend.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly all of the major camera manufactures seem to be putting all of their research and development funds into mirrorless. If you look at Canon's road map for the next few years, it is all about expanding the RF mount lenses and there are 5 new cameras planned for next year too. Secondly, more and more clients are using mirrorless cameras and I need to understand how they differ from a DSLR. There is a significant weight advantage in the bodies which is really important to me as I carry a lot of kit and any weight saving is very welcomed. Finally I am planning a year long project starting in January and want a camera that I can create blogs with in 4k.
Looking at the first point, with the research and development budget going into mirrorless then over time, the value of my DSLR's will continue to fall and I decided that now was a good time to offload a Canon 1DX, a 7D mk ii and various lenses. The net effect is that I have got money in the bank now along with a Canon EOS R in the bag with an adaptor so I can use my EF mount lenses and I have the 24-105 f4 L lens to boot.
I was quite vocal about the EOS R when in came out, especially as it only has one card slot. At the time I was doing quite a lot of weddings and needed the security of 2 cards slots to enable me to shoot redundantly. However as my business has grown and I am doing fewer and fewer weddings this no longer poses an issue. Especially as I still have and will continue to use the 5d Mk3 and 5DSR.
I did think about going for either the EOS R5 but discounted this as I would never use the 8k video and I don't need 20 frames per second, also the £4000 plus price tag was a little eye watering! The EOS R6 was another option but the 20 megapixel sensor was just not big enough to get the quality of landscape image that I need, especially when printing.
However the biggest factor was that there is a EOS R5S being tested at the moment and this is due in H1 2021. Rumours are that it will have an 80-90 megapixel sensor and increased dynamic range - now you are talking!!! A dedicated landscape and portrait camera will no doubt have a lower frame per second rate and the video functions would be as complex as the EOS R5 - we will wait and see on the price but my guess is in the range of £4000.
I took the EOS R out last night for a couple of quick night time shots. The first big advantage that I can see is that when framing an image up I can do this on the back of the screen in live view which is what I always do. However I can quickly look through the electronic view finder which lets me see any foreground interests much more clearly. Focusing also is very quick and easy. This morning I had a quick trip out before work and tested the camera with the native 24-105 lens and also adapted my 16-35mm f2.8 L iii which worked perfectly. The image above is a bracketed image that I took. Everything works really well and navigation around the menus is very simple. There has been a lot of criticism of the Touch Bar that the EOS R has and I can fully understand why this could get in the way. Easiest option for me was to disable it when setting up the customisable buttons.
So far so good then. Its always great to play with a new piece of kit. Until the EOS R5s is launched then my 5DSR will still be my goto landscape camera. The 5d mk 3 will continue to be the time-lapse camera of choice. The EOS fits somewhere between and I am really looking to see how it performs more at night. Lets keep out fingers crossed for dark and clear skies.