That’s it. I’ve Gone Mirrorless!
I did it — I went mirrorless this week when I bought the new Canon EOS R Mirrorless body and I’m super-psyched. I mentioned this on “The Grid” this week and I had a flood of questions, so I thought today I answer some of the most common questions I’ve been getting about the switch. Here goes:
Q. Why did you wait so long?
A. Mostly because of all the rumors about Canon coming out with a pro-level mirrorless camera later this year, but my fear is the pro-level one when it comes out, will be more than I need (more megapixels, a lot more money, heavier, etc.). Plus, I have my Paris Workshop coming up next month, and while I could rent one from LensProToGo.com, I already know I really like the EOS R, and when I saw a great deal on it on B&H Photo, I finally pulled the plug and bought it.
Q. I thought you already had a EOS R?
A. That was just a loaner from Canon. They let me try one for 60-days when it first came out. I’ll say this. It worked — I wound up buying one. I also borrowed one from CPS (Canon Professional Services) for my Aircraft Carrier Trip last month. On
Q. What does it do that your Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t do?
A. It actually takes almost an identical image, since I believe it uses an updated version of the 5D Mark IV sensor, but it has so many things that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t, like a fully articulating pop-out rear LCD touch screen. I shoot a lot down low for my style of shooting (often on a Platypod), so being able to move that screen anywhere I want was a very big thing for me (that LCD screen is a higher resolution than my 5D Mark IV’s screen, too). There are a half-dozen other things that the EOS R does, that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t (stuff like the new Eye-AF feature, 4K screen grab, an assignable
Q. OK, give me one more thing.
A. That’s not a question (it’s more of a bossy order), but I do a lot of long exposures, and it has a really nice feature where you use its touch screen to take the shot (no cable release necessary) and then it times your long exposure for you on the big LCD screen [with big easy-to-read numerals).
Q . So, does your 5D Mark IV now become your backup camera?
A. Yup, pretty much. I sold my old 5D Mark III (which was my backup camera) and my old 16-35mm f/2.8 lens on eBay and those pretty much paid for my upgrade. Now my 5D Mark IV will be my backup camera in most cases, but I could still see me using it for studio work. I’m not sure how I feel about an Electronic Viewfinder in the studio — I’ve done it, but not enough to make a final call.
Q. Does it tether to Lightroom Classic yet?
A. It does, but only for the past few days. Tuesday’s Lightroom Classic update included the ability to tether the EOS R into Lightroom. Whew! Just in the nick of time.
Q. I always thought Canon sent you all your cameras for free?
A. I hear that a lot (saw some comments that said that same thing on The Grid this past Wed). Unfortunately for me, they do not. I have to buy them, but again, B&H Photo had it for $300 off, so I bit (thanks B&H). Really glad I did.
Q. I see from the picture up top that you bought the Control Ring Mount Adapter. What does it do, and why did you get it?
A. The Adapter part lets me use my existing Canon lenses on this new mirrorless body. The Control Ring part lets me assign a camera function to a ring that goes around the adapter. For example, I like to assign Exposure Compensation to that ring. My hand is already right there, so it’s incredibly convenient. I fell in love with that feature when I had the loaner. It’s so brilliant, I’m surprised someone else didn’t think of it first.
Q. How do you feel about the Electronic Viewfinder?
A. I’m getting used to it. It’s definitely different and it has a few nice features to it, but if given a choice I still like my regular
Q. How much lighter is it than your old body?
A. Not enough to matter. Around 1/2 pound. It is physically a smaller camera, but for the most part, the whole “Mirrorless is lighter” thing on any platform (Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.) is pretty much negated by the fact that as soon as you put a nice f/2.8 lens on it, it’s about as heavy as your old DSLR rig. I didn’t go mirrorless for lower weight anyway (especially since it really doesn’t exist in any meaningful amount); I did it for all the other reasons (well, that and the fact that it’s pretty much the future).
Q. Will you be buying any new lenses for it?
A. I will. When they release a 70-200mm (which apparently they have already officially announced is coming this year), hopefully, I’ll be getting that one, because it actually is smaller and lighter. Also, the lenses I’ve tried that Canon has made for their Mirrorless line so far have been absolutely stellar. Crazy, ludicrously sharp. So, in short “I’m in.”
Q. Have you talked with other EOS R users about their experience with the camera?
A. I have, and I haven’t talked to a single one that doesn’t absolutely love it. Plus, when I did a post about this on Facebook, lots of folks who already have (or literally just got their EOS Rs) shared comments about their love for this new mirrorless.
Q. Hey, Scott, I saw a number of comments over on your Facebook page today asking “Is this a sports photography camera?” So, is this a sports photography camera?
A. I’m gonna say “not really.” Of course, it will take a picture of whatever you aim it at, and at 8 frames-per-second it’s faster than my old 5D Mark IV (at 7 fps) which I have used as my 2nd camera for some pro sporting events, but it’s really not made or, or aimed at that market.
Q. So you’re not giving up your 1Dx?
A. I am not. I bought this EOS R to replace my old 5D Mark III, not my 1Dx. By the way — a used 1Dx is a stellar deal for sports or wildlife photographers, as I think it’s one of the best cameras ever made (the only thin beating it, in my opinion, is the 1Dx Mark II). You can get a used one in good shape at BH for around $2,600. Amazing low noise and like 14 fps. You’ll see this camera at every major sporting event.
Q. But it only has one card slot. How will you possibly manage to shoot with a card with only one-card slot?
A. Somehow, I’ll manage. I have a number of bodies with two slots and rarely do I ever actually put two cards in them. Over the years I have had a memory card go bad. Thankfully not many, but it happens. Maybe once every three years or so. In every case, I’ve been able to retrieve all the images
Q. Anything you don’t like so far?
A. Its battery life. It’s not awful, but it ain’t great. Not nearly as good as my 5D Mark IV’s battery. I generally carry 4 extra batteries (in my awesome little Think Tank Battery Holder), so it’s not a big issue, but I do wish the batteries lasted longer. Also, although you can just tap the rear screen to set focus and move your focus point, I miss the little rocker switch dial thingy from my 5D Mark IV. The EOS could use a few extra buttons for stuff like that.
Q. When are you going to share some images from the EOS R?
There ya go.
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