- 30.3MP full frame sensor
- Ultra-high-resolution EVF
- Fully articulated rear viewscreen
- 5,655 focus positions
- 4K video
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There are so many good full frame camera options available for us with so many different price ranges. The mirrorless Canon EOS R is a full-featured full frame camera that just may be the best full frame camera for beginners.
In the past several years, we’ve seen the ranks of fairly inexpensive full frame cameras grow from almost non-existent to being a fast-growing market segment. This is great news for enthusiast photographers and anyone who has held off from entering full frame format due to price concerns.
Other considerations such as size and weight have also caused some to be hesitant about entering full frame format. Many of the pro-level full frame cameras are quite heavy and somewhat large.
What makes the Canon EOS R such a good choice for beginners in the full frame format? Is the Canon EOS R an entry-level camera or could pros and enthusiast photographers also benefit?
Here’s the Canon EOS R feature rundown:
This feature set makes the Canon EOS R a desirable camera even without it being low cost and compact. A full frame sensor with 30.3MP is amazingly capable, able to capture very high-resolution while also having great low light performance.
One thing that really stands out is the 5,655 focus positions for autofocusing it’s lenses. Not only is that an insane amount of usable focus points, they also work done to -EV 6 low light, enhancing its already superb low light performance.
What makes many of us sit up and take notice of the Canon EOS R as being in the running for best full frame camera for beginners is its very attractive pricing. To put it in perspective, the price of the body only is comparable to many high-end prosumer level APS-C or MFT format cameras.
If you're considering moving up from an entry-level crop format camera to something better, it makes perfect sense to add a little more to the camera buying budget and jump into full frame format.
The lenses you’re using on a crop format system can still fit and operate on the EOS R, but you’ll need an adapter and the camera will crop itself to the format of those lenses. So, while you may not lose all use of any lenses you already have, they will be limited, making it easy to see why we should also consider lens prices in our calculations of whether or not it’s worth it to change.
A great way to save money on any high quality digital cameras and lenses is to buy used photography gear from a reputable dealer that offers a warranty on the equipment. Right now on MPB.com you can find the Canon EOS R, a camera that is in current production, and many R mount lenses for a much lower price than brand new.
You will definitely want to stay with a dealer that has a good reputation and that offers returns and a warranty such as what MPB.com does. They won't even buy a camera or lens for resale that doesn’t pass their rigorous inspection by photographic equipment experts, so you know you’ll be getting a good camera.
Compared to a full frame DSLR, and even to many pro model APS-C and MFT cameras, the Canon EOS R is pretty compact. I wouldn’t call it small, but there is a very noticeable difference between the mirrorless Canon EOS R with 24-105mm R lens and the DSLR Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with 24-105mm EF lens, in both size and weight.
With full frame format mirrorless cameras, some of the lenses can still be as large or maybe even larger than comparable DSLR lenses, but the camera bodies and accessories are smaller and lighter overall.
Silent and Responsive
Canon EOS R is very quick and responsive in use and combined with its excellent low light performance and near-silent operation, it has become a favorite camera for wedding photographers.
It wasn’t designed as a full fledged professional level camera but I would have no problem using it as a prosumer and enthusiast camera. It is well built, rugged, and the controls fall to hand naturally, but it is lacking some things that a lot of hard users would prefer.
For those of us moving into full frame format from a crop sensor camera, the attractive price and smaller size and weight are likely to be the primary motivating factors for choosing the Canon EOS R, but there are some features that are either lacking or not quite what some of us would prefer.
In-camera image stabilization is a fantastic feature that mirrorless cameras make more available, but it isn’t in every mirrorless camera. The Canon EOS R is missing Canon’s IBIS (in-body image stabilization) function, though IBIS is available in the much more expensive pro-level Canon EOS R5 camera.
The memory card situation is limited to one SD card slot. Personally, I prefer 2 card slots or the more durable CFExpress format cards, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for anyone shopping for inexpensive full frame cameras.
The biggest limitation many users used to crop format cameras will notice is that the 4K video recording is limited to a cropped format with a 1.7X crop factor. full frame video can be captured in HD.
It’s a Fantastic Camera!
What all of this means is that the Canon EOS R camera may be the best full frame camera for beginners. It is certainly one of the more attractive inexpensive full frame cameras.
It has a fairly high-resolution sensor with great low light performance, is compact and lightweight, has near-silent operational capability, and opens you up to the fantastic line of new R series lenses.