Canon EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless System

Though it’s the last of the three major camera makers to introduce a full-frame mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS R system is anything but a rushed answer to Sony and Nikon. This is an extremely thoughtful camera, one that Canon clearly took its time to develop, and the proof of that is in the details of the first model.

We’re in Maui at the launch event and had our first hands-on experience with the EOS R tonight, and will have more time with it over the next few days. For now, here are the key takeaways from the introduction.

Preorder the Canon EOS R system on B&H!

New RF Lens Mount, Lenses & Adapters

The EOS R is built around a new RF lens mount. One of the main goals when designing the EOS R was to develop a new optical system that would enable its engineers to create optics that exceed the performance of Canon’s EF lenses, yet allow full compatibility with them and the new system. The RF mount has the same 54mm interior diameter as the EF mount, but the shorter flange back distance of the EOS R allows for larger diameter rear lens elements for RF lenses, which translates to better optical quality overall, improving sharpness and enabling faster maximum apertures. Four RF lenses are launching with the camera: the Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USMRF 50mm F1.2 L USM, RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM and RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM.

Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM

RF 50mm F1.2 L USM

RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM


We had the opportunity to shoot with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM briefly tonight, and a few sample photos are below.

All four of the new RF lenses feature a customizable Control Ring that can be used to adjust settings such as shutter speed, aperture and ISO without taking your eye from the viewfinder. The new mount also incorporates a 12-pin communication system which Canon states “provides faster and more in-depth communication between the camera and lens over existing Canon mount systems,” enabling features like the Control Ring.

Canon will also be offering not one but three mount adapters. The standard adapter is the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, which enables full compatibility with EF and EF-S lenses. The Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R offers the same compatibility but adds the new customizable Control Ring functionality of RF mount lenses to the EF and EF-S models. The third option, the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, allows you to drop in variable ND and circular polarizing filters behind the lens.

Canon EOS R lens adapters

Left to right: Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

Smarter Controls & An Innovative New Exposure Mode

Canon’s Senior Technical Specialist Drew MacCallum walked us through a few of what we think are those details that show the thoughtfulness Canon brought to the development of the EOS R.

The first is the Multi Function Bar, a small touch-sensitive control strip at the top right of the back of the camera. It can be customized to quickly change one of a variety of camera settings by touching and dragging your thumb to move through the options. We’re looking forward to spending more time exploring the options of this feature over the next few days.

Canon EOS R back

Back of the Canon EOS R. At the top, to the right of the viewfinder, is the new Multi Function Bar, a small touch-sensitive control strip that you can customize.

The second feature that was a highlight for us is a new exposure mode, Fv. Think of Fv as the ultimate Program mode. MacCallum thinks it will be the only exposure mode we use, and showed us why. Fv is the best of Av (aperture-priority), Tv (shutter priority) and manual exposure, all in one. When in Fv mode, the camera starts in full auto exposure, but you can use the camera’s command dials to change the aperture, for example, and you’re now in the equivalent of aperture-priority exposure, meaning that the shutter speed and ISO are set automatically for your selected aperture. If you subsequently also set the shutter speed, the camera is then essentially in manual mode, with only the ISO being adjusted to achieve the correct exposure. At any time, you can instantly reset one or both of your selected settings with a single button press—all without actually changing your exposure mode. It’s genius.

More Key Specs Of The EOS R

The EOS R is a 30.3-megapixel CMOS sensor camera with Canon’s DIGIC 8 processor, and can shoot up to 8 fps. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system has 5,655 manually selectable AF points and can function at apertures as small as ƒ/11. When used with ƒ/1.2 lenses, this system is able to achieve focus in low-light conditions as dim as EV-6. And when used with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens, Canon states that the AF system can lock on in as little as 0.05 seconds, “making it the fastest autofocus speed in the world.” The camera also features silent shooting ability when in single-shot mode.

Canon EOS R top view.

Top view of the Canon EOS R. The OLED display is white-on-black by default. but can be switched to black-on-white.

Build quality of the camera and general ergonomics are top-notch, comparable to Canon’s professional DSLRs. It feels solid, properly weighted and very comfortable to hold. Controls are simpler than on cameras like the EOS-1D X Mark II, which is to be expected for a camera that’s intended to have wide appeal. The touch screen LCD also helps make the camera’s deep options more readily accessible and intuitive. Canon positions the camera not necessarily as a replacement for your DSLR, but as a complement to your imaging system.

The EOS R will be available in October with a list price of $2,299 for the body only, and in a kit with the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $3,399. Additional details about the camera and new lenses are in the official press releases below, and we’ll be posting additional photos and impressions of the camera as we shoot with it in the next few days.

Sample Photos Taken With The Canon EOS R and RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM



Optical Innovation Inspires the Next Leap Forward in Imaging

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 5, 2018 –Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the next revolution in the company’s long history of innovative and award-winning camera systems, the EOS R system featuring the newly designed RF mount. Recognizing the need to advance optical design, the Company sought to create a versatile and powerful new system that supports all current EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses[i], and also provides the optical advancements and engineering flexibility to build upon for years to come.

When Canon set forth to develop a new interchangeable lens camera system, they focused on three core optical principles: high-image quality, high-specification performance, and compact design.  Recognizing that optics is the foundation for any camera system, the RF mount was conceived to open new doors in optical design. Canon’s new RF mount features the same size diameter as the EF mount (54mm) and shorter back focus distance. This allows for lenses to sit closer to the sensor (the focal plane) and allowed Canon optical engineers to reimagine lens design utilizing larger rear lens elements to produce an image on the full-frame sensor. This new optical formula has paved the way for higher performing lenses. In addition, the Canon RF mount features a high-speed 12-pin communication system that provides faster and more in-depth communication between the camera and lens over existing Canon mount systems.

The EOS R system is designed for full, uninhibited compatibility with all existing EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses through the use of mount adapters[ii].  In addition, through the use of the optional Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter or Control Ring Mount Adapter these lenses, in fact, gain functionality.

“There has never been a time in history in which visual expression has been so prolific. Imaging, both still and video, are the communication mediums of today’s society. Much in the same way we learned to type in the past, today’s youth are skilled in shooting, editing, and visual storytelling in ways that only the masters of each craft were decades ago,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Knowing this, we needed to step back and design a system that delivers all the creative expression and functionality today’s youth crave, now and in the years to come.”

The First in a New System: The EOS R

The new Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera features a 30.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that is powered by the Company’s latest image processor, DIGIC 8, enabling shooting at up to 8.0 frames per second[iii]. The new camera inherits a lot from Canon’s legacy in both EOS and Cinema EOS. Video storytellers can capture stunning 4K UHD video up to 30fps and record in 10-bit 4:2:2 (with an external recorder). The EOS R also comes with the ability to shoot Canon Log, providing 12 stops of dynamic range, minimal loss of detail in shadows and highlighted areas and an increased range of choices when color grading. Users with an existing collection of Canon lenses will be excited to know that all EF and EF-S lens are compatible with the camera. In order to do so, photographers and videographers can choose between using one of three new mount adapters, each uniquely designed to meet the individual needs of the user.

The new Canon EOS R camera features Dual Pixel CMOS Auto Focus with 5,655 manually selectable AF points[iv], supporting AF at up to f/11 with a 384 zone (24×16) real-time metering system. With f/1.2 lenses, the camera astonishingly boasts AF sensitivity in low light in as little as EV-6. When using the RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens with the EOS R, the camera can focus in as little as 0.05 seconds with Dual Pixel CMOS AF[v], making it the fastest autofocus speed in the world[vi]. These features provide photographers and videographers with Canon’s most advanced AF system to date. The EOS R also features a silent shutter setting when shooting in single-shot mode; animportant feature for those who need to capture imagery without disrupting the scene. An upcoming free firmware update will enable silent shutter in continuous shooting mode as well.

“The EOS R system is not just a new camera or a new lens mount, it is a new design that will allow us to produce visual tools that were previously impossible, and allow our customers to tell their stories with greater depth, richness of color, and creative flexibility, in optically stunning ways.” states Kazuto Ogawa

Thoughts From the First Users

“I think every camera system has its place and it’s all about having the right tool for the job,” reported acclaimed outdoor photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Jimmy Chin. “The new EOS R system for me in particular is very useful for the kind of shooting that I do in the mountains, where I need to worry about the size and weight.  Having the option to use the new RF lenses or the EF lenses is really great.”

“I was instantly impressed with how quickly the EOS R was able to focus,” remarked celebrated fashion photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Lindsay Adler. “Whether my subject was moving or I was shooting in near-complete darkness, I had no problem getting tack-sharp focus in every shot.  It was a relief to know my gear wasn’t going to hold me back from executing my vision, but instead it would really help me to execute this vision.”

“For us, it’s all about getting the shot no one else can get, and a lot of this has to do with the camera,” says Devin Graham, director and filmmaker behind YouTube’s DevinSuperTramp. “The new EOS R will become one of our main cameras.  It has a very small footprint, yet is able to create amazing images. As for the lenses, the new RF 28-70mm F2 has just become one of my all-time favorites.  I’ll be bringing it on every project.”

Conveniently placed just to the right of the EVF, Canon has introduced a new Multi-Function Bar that will allows users to more easily access their customizable settings, such as AF, ISO and White Balance. Users will have the option to either slide or tap the bar to gain access to the settings and adjust on-the-go as they deem necessary depending on each particular shooting situation.

Answering the demand for enhanced mobile editing of RAW image files, Canon is also announcing a new application, Digital Photo Professional Express (DPP Express). In combination with an updated Canon Camera Connect App, DPP Express enables users to send, view, edit and process CR3 RAW files on their iPad[vii]. A free download of the app will be available October 2018.

Additional noteworthy features of the EOS R Camera include:

  • RF Mount Compatible with RF Lenses and EF/EF-S Lenses
  • Built-in EVF with 3.69 Million Dots, Vari-angle Touchscreen LCD and Dot-matrix LCD Panel
  • ISO range of 100-40,000, expandable to 102,400
  • USB 3.1 in-camera charging support
  • Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® providing easy sharing to compatible smart devices and social media sites
  • Single UHS-II SD card slot
  • CR3(RAW/C-RAW) and Dual Pixel RAW Support
  • Dust and weather resistant

Availability and Pricing

The Canon EOS R full-frame mirrorless camera is scheduled to be available in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $2299* for the body only. It will also be sold as a body-and-lens kit with the new RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens for $3399*.

To learn more about this system, including in-depth educational tutorials, please visit



Canon Also Introduces Three RF Mount Adapters, Providing EF & EF-S Lenses with Full Compatibility and Enhanced Functionality with the New EOS R Camera

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 5, 2018 –  Helping to rewrite the rules of visual expression,Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced a variety of new RF lenses and accessories to accompany the newly announced EOS R Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera System. The four new RF lenses are built around Canon’s new RF mount, which features a large 54mm diameter and shorter back focus distance than on current EOS DSLR cameras. The new RF mount enables new possibilities in optical design and lens formulation, allowing for faster and lighter lenses with higher performing optics.

The four new lenses, the Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM, RF 50mm F1.2 L USM, RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM and RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM capitalize on the robust optic foundation of Canon’s new EOS R system. The design behind Canon’s new EOS R camera and RF lens system started with the concept of the optimal rear lens element diameter and shorter distance (back focus) for a Full-Frame image sensor.

With over 130 million EF lenses in circulation since Canon launched the mount in 1987*, the Company is enhancing the possibilities for its loyal customers who own and love their EF glass. Canon is introducing three RF Lens Mount Adapters that expand the capabilities of existing EF lenses when paired with the EOS R camera. The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R allows photographers to utilize the full breadth of Canon’s EF, EF-S, TS-E, and MP-E lenses on the newly introduced EOS R camera system. The Control Ring Mount Adapter adds a customizable control ring via the adapter that provides photographers with added functionality to their fingertips. The Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter now easily places circular polarizing or variable neutral density filters behind the lens, opening up new options for lenses such as the EF 11-24mm where using optical filters were previously not an option.

“Knowing exceptional optics are a vital tool in shaping the image a photographer captures, Canon designed the EOS R camera system from the ground up with optics as the starting point,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Canon is very excited about the world-class optics we have developed to marry with the new RF mount. With our rich history and more than 130 million EF lenses being used across the globe, Canon optics will continue to be at the forefront of our digital imaging development now and into the future.”

New Canon RF Series Lenses

Three of the newly announced Canon RF lenses are counted among Canon’s top-of-the-line L-series optics; incorporating rugged, dust and water-resistant construction. All four new RF lenses feature a customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO.

The Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens, the world’s first standard zoom lens with an f/2 aperture[i]is excellent for capturing landscapes, weddings and portraits with its large aperture for stunning bokeh. Initial testing within Canon has shown this new lens to produce better optical image quality and sharpness over similar focal length EF-series lenses, including the extremely popular and highly regarded EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM.

A portrait photographer’s must-have, the Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM lens sports an ultra large-diameter f/1.2 aperture and Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC) technology to dramatically reduce flares and ghosting. This amazing new lens is capable of rendering subjects life-size on the full-frame sensor with its minimum focusing distance of only 0.59 inches.

Photographers seeking an all-around utility lens for the new EOS R camera system need to look no further than the Canon RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM lens. Coming in nine percent shorter in length than the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, this compact lens employs a CIPA standard of 5 stops of IS and is equipped with NANO USM technology, the first L-series lens with the technology. This small chip-shaped ultrasonic motor is engineered to help deliver high-speed, smooth, precise and near-silent operation, plus full-time manual focus (when using one-shot AF).

A fast, wide-angle single focus lens, the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM lens is an excellent option for photographers looking for an affordable compact lens. Featuring a maximum shooting magnification of 0.5x, the lens can easily shoot macro photography of subjects such as flowers, food and even insects. The lens also utilizes a CIPA standard of 5 stops of IS and is compatible with Hybrid IS, compensating for both angular and shift camera shake.

Enhanced Capabilities for Canon EF Lenses

Thanks to its large lens mount design, Canon’s new EOS R series camera system delivers new capabilities in both design and function, but for existing Canon lens owners it does something incredible. It enhances the capabilities of existing EF and EF-S lenses with full compatibility and in some cases, enhanced functionality when paired with one of three RF mount adapters.

Canon lenses are historically top-rated, and the Company is looking to help customers gain even more value in their investment with three new RF mount adapters.

  • The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R is a standard adapter that provides full compatibility with EF lenses. Autofocus, metadata, and Optical Image Stabilization on EF lenses all continue to work seamlessly with the new EOS R camera through this adapter.
  • The Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R continues full EF lens compatibility with the addition of a customizable control ring. Functions that can be assigned and adjusted by the control ring include aperture, shutter speed, ISO speed and exposure compensation.
  • In addition to full EF lens compatibility, the Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R allows for lens filters to be used behind any EF lens and help photographers conveniently utilize variable ND and circular polarizing filters with any EF lens.

New Speedlite Series

Canon is also introducing a new compact and lightweight Speedlite, the EL-100. Designed for photographers who are just beginning to use an external flash or are in need of a secondary unit, the new Speedlite delivers both soft and natural lighting reproduction. In addition, the EL-100 can rotate upwards and to the left and right enabling photographers to bounce the flash off of nearby ceilings, walls or surfaces.

Additional Features of the Canon Speedlite EL-100 include:

  • Maximum Guide Number of Approx. 85 ft./26m at ISO 100
  • 24mm Wide-angle Coverage
  • Optical Wireless Flash Function (Sender and Receiver)
  • Flash Exposure Control Including Support for Stroboscopic Flash and Continuous Shooting Camera-linked Functions Including Interlocked External Flash Power On/Off
  • Mode Dial with AUTO Position

Availability and Pricing**

The Canon RF 50mm F1.2 L USM will be available in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $2299. The Canon RF 28-70mm F2 L USM, RF 24-105mm F4 L IS USM and RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM will all be available for purchase in December 2018 for an estimated retail price of $2999, $1099 and $499.99 respectively.

The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R will be available for purchase in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $99.99 and $199.99 respectively. The Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R will all be available for purchase in February 2019 for an estimated retail price of $399.99 with a variable ND filter or $299.99 with a circular polarizing filter.

The Canon Speedlite EL-100 will be available for purchase in October 2018 for an estimated retail price of $199.99.

For more information on the new Canon RF lenses and accessories, please visit

Wes is the editorial director of Outdoor Photographer. He joined the publication's staff in 1998.

His interest in photography began as a fascination with his dad's Canon AE-1 when he was a kid, and grew into a more serious occupation in college when he switched majors from communications to fine art. He graduated with a degree in photography from the University of California at Santa Cruz.