Canon, one of the leading manufacturers of digital SLR cameras, was late to enter the mirrorless camera game. It introduced its first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, the Canon EOS M, only in 2012—six years after Leica released the Leica M8.
However, six years after the launch of the Canon EOS M, the company finally launched its first full-frame mirrorless, the Canon EOS R, in late 2018. Just five months later, in 2019, with the Canon EOS R.P.
Both these devices are Canon’s most affordable full-frame mirrorless cameras. The Canon EOS RP is cheaper than the EOS R – but is the latter really better than the former? let’s find out.
Specifications: Canon EOS R vs Canon EOS RP
Although these cameras are already over three years old at the time of writing, they are still highly capable imaging devices. This is because no amount of computational photography can compensate for the physical size and capabilities of the camera lenses that you can attach to these camera bodies. These are the types of lenses you need to meet every situation.
However, there are some key differences in the cameras themselves. Here are the specifications of the Canon EOS R and the Canon EOS RP.
On paper, the older Canon EOS R outperforms the newer Canon EOS RP by a lot. It has a higher pixel count, more focus points, a bigger screen, and is also environmentally sealed. The only advantage the latter has over the former is that it is 25% lighter and slightly shorter.
While the Canon EOS R has impressive specifications, it is also Canon’s first foray into the full-frame mirrorless camera category. As such, it is visible in some aspects of the camera. For example, Canon experimented with a touch-sensitive multi-function bar, while it ditched the physical mode dial.
According to Digital Photography Review, many photographers find that some of the button placement and front dials on the EOS R are difficult to reach. In addition, single-handed users had difficulty operating the camera’s controls with their right hand while maintaining an adequate grip on the device.
On the other hand, the Canon EOS RP’s lightweight and small frame is very easy to hold, even if you have large hands. However, if you pair it with a larger lens like the Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM or the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM it becomes a bit cumbersome and difficult to balance.
Still, the Canon EOS RP is an excellent camera for those who want a full-frame backup camera or are upgrading to a full-frame camera for the first time.
Canon EOS R and EOS RP in Videography
Although both mirrorless cameras can record 4K video, the older EOS R gives you more quality options. It can record up to 4K@30, while the EOS RP can only record 4K@24. The older camera could also record at 120 frames per second, but only at a disappointing 720p.
Still, both cameras disappoint due to the lack of in-body image stabilization. In addition, both devices suffer from the rolling shutter effect and have difficulty with autofocus. You also get significant cropping with both devices when recording 4K video, which makes it difficult to capture detailed scenes.
You can use any of these cameras if you are in trouble, it is not recommended. But if you’re only shooting video occasionally but still want a full-frame mirrorless camera for photography, either option will do.
Canon EOS R vs Canon EOS RP: Which is more affordable?
When the Canon EOS R launched, it cost $2,299. This amount was only slightly more than the $1,999 cost of the mid-range full-frame Canon EOS 6D Mk II, but significantly more affordable than the $3,499 starting price of the Canon EOS 5D Mk IV.
However, since then its price has come down. Today, you can get the Canon EOS R with the RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM Kit Lens for $1,899. If you’re opting for the body-only option, you only need to shell out $1,599 on the Canon website at the time of writing, down from a list price of $1,799.
On the other hand, given that the Canon EOS RP is Canon’s entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera, it’s still a far more affordable option. It launched for $1,299, but the Canon EOS RP now costs $999 for the body-only configuration. You can get the Canon EOS RP with RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM Kit Lens at its launch price.