Late last year, Canon introduced the EOS R, its first full-frame mirrorless model. Aimed at advanced enthusiasts and professionals, the (£2,349) EOS R represented Canon's long-awaited foray into the serious end of the market, but its high price tag limits its appeal. The Canon EOS RP is a far more affordable option (£1,399 body only), in fact at launch, it's one of the cheapest full-frame cameras on the market.
The EOS RP is much smaller and lighter than the (£1,349) EOS 6D Mark II, which is the Canon digital SLR closest to it in terms of specification and price. The lack of a pentaprism means the body is far more squat than a DSLR and its general size belies the fact that the body houses a full-frame sensor. The pronounced handgrip makes it comfortable to hold and while not boasting full weatherproofing, build quality is excellent. The LCD monitor is very good, sporting a high-resolution 3in touchscreen and sits on an excellent tilt-and-swivel platform. The EOS RP uses the standard Canon menu system, which is no bad thing, as it's cleanly laid out and comprehensive. The electronic finder is excellent, too, providing a large and bright screen with a comprehensive level of exposure information neatly displayed along the bottom of the screen.
Ease of use
The EOS RP boasts a very clean control layout, with all buttons and dials well-sized and clearly labelled. Canon DSLR users will feel at home with the EOS RP, while the set-up means even inexperienced users will find it an easy-to-use camera. Along with the on/off dial, the top-plate sports the exposure mode dial, twin input dials, a video record button and a M-Fn button, which gives quick access to a small number of key functions, just behind the shutter release.
The majority of buttons on the rear are found to the right of the LCD monitor, with the exception of the MENU button, located to the left of the electronic finder. Around the thumbrest are an AF-On button for back-button focusing, the partial meter/AE-Lock button and the AF point selection button. Positioned lower down is a four-way controller with a Q/Set button at its centre, along with the INFO, play and delete buttons. The Q button is the fastest way to access major camera functions including aperture, ISO, White Balance, AF mode, metering and image quality settings.
The EOS RP sports a 26.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, which is a variation of the sensor found on the EOS 6D Mark II. It features Dual Pixel AF, which aids the response and speed of autofocus. Image processing is handled by the powerful DIGIC 8 imaging engine used in the EOS R. The sensitivity range of ISO 100-40000 should cater for most needs and can be expanded as low as ISO 50 or as high as ISO 102400. 4K video is possible, although the 1.6x crop that is applied hinders wide-angle shooting and Dual Pixel AF isn't possible at this resolution. Another area where we'd have expected a little better is the maximum continuous shooting of five frames-per-second. The EOS RP boasts an extensive range of exposure modes covering the core four (program, manual, aperture- and shutter-priority) modes, Full Auto, Bulb and 12 Scene modes. The AF system is very versatile. The on-sensor Dual Pixel AF system boasts 4,779 AF points covering 88% of the sensor, with a claimed sensitivity down to -5EV. There are a wide range of AF modes giving users extensive options. The exposure system is comprehensive, with 384-zone Evaluative, partial, spot and centre-weighted metering.
The Canon proves to be an enjoyable and reliable performer. The autofocus system is fast and accurate in general use, while options like face detection work well. The touchscreen facility, which is excellent in other respects, proves very useful for quickly choosing a specific area of the frame. The Evaluative pattern produces consistent exposures, although scenes with large expanses of bright sky can lead to slight underexposure, otherwise, it can be trusted to delivers accurate results. Image sharpness is high, colour and tonal rendition is excellent and noise isn't an issue until you reach speeds of ISO 3200 or higher. Overall, the EOS RP proves to be a very consistent performer.
Canon's EOS RP is ideal if you want an easy and compact full-frame camera, although the size of the outfit is negated somewhat by the bulk of the RF 24-105mm zoom, which is large by any standards. Similarly-priced APS-C models offer more features and the number of RF optics is limited for the moment, but the Canon can be trusted to deliver excellent results.