Home Cameras/Lenses Canon Canon ups FF competition with downsize RP

Canon ups FF competition with downsize RP

C anon EOS-RP, Image Canon UK

Just a few months after both Canon and Nikon entered the full-frame mirrorless market with the pro bodies, Canon has surprised the market with a smaller, entry-level camera, the EOS RP. Rumour sites had assumed the “P” stood for professional. Instead, apparently it is for “Popular”.

C anon EOS-RP, Image Canon UK
C anon EOS-RP, Image Canon UK

Entry-level DSLR bait

The RP is aimed at crop-sensor DSLR buyers who find the new mirrorless full-famers too expensive. Yet the specification is impressive, with a 26MP sensor, weather and dust resistance, a variable angle touch screen and an OLED viewfinder.

The three little full-frame bears: Daddy DSLR 5D, mummy EOS-R and the new addition to the family, the EOS-RP. Image Canon.
The three little full-frame bears: Daddy DSLR 5D, mummy EOS-R and the new addition to the family, the EOS-RP. Image Canon.

In the UK the EOS RP body will cost £1,399 and a kit, with 24-105mm f/4 lens is a competitive £2,329. By comparison, the larger and more professional EOS R works out around £1,000 more expensive all round. You can see all the UK details here at Park Cameras. Full technical details are on the Canon UK website.


James Artalus at Practical Camera World reports on his hands-on experience with the new RP and is impressed. His verdict:

While its competitors are going to great pains to create increasingly advanced – and increasingly expensive – high end full-frame mirrorless cameras, Canon is catering to crop sensor consumers who are looking for a full-frame option that won’t break their back or their bank balance. The Canon EOS RP is a big success in this regard, offering full-frame functionality and 4K video in a package that’s notably smaller, lighter and cheaper than almost all its rivals. It’s far from an entry level camera, but it’s ideal an entry level full-frame camera.

James Artalus approves of the new Canon EOS RP

He does make the point, which has been rehearsed many times on Macfilos, that a small full-frame body can be overpowered by larger lenses. It’s the argument which is used to justify smaller sensors such as APS-C and, in particular, micro four-thirds. The overall size and weight of the system does matter and it’s why there is a continuing place for smaller sensors despite the emergence of strong FF competition.


There is a current trend to growth in the size of crop-sensor cameras to meet a demand from pro users who like a beefier grip on longer lenses, with the result that we are now seeing lightweight full-frame cameras such as the new RP which are smaller than the new breed of portly croppers.

Strangely enough, it could be APS-C that gets squeezed first. It is perhaps a little too close to full-frame for comfort. Micro four-thirds is sufficiently different, with its small system size and speed advantages, to ensure its long-term future. Olympus, for one, certainly thinks so and has made it clear that it will not venture into FF or medium-format.

Panasonic has hedged its bets, remaining in the m4/3 world while espousing the new full-frame trend. Fuji, with foresight, appears to have successfully jumped over the FF obstacle and is making inroads in the less-crowded world of medium format.


Without doubt, however, Panasonic and, probably, Nikon will follow Canon’s lead with smaller versions of their recently announced professional full-frame mirrorless cameras. Sony has already offered the choice since the introduction of the A9. It is an increasingly interesting market and it is anyone’s guess where we will be in a year or two years’ time.

What do you think? Is the full-frame mirrorless taking over the world? Is the DSLR on its last legs? And what of the future for APS-C and m4/3?

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  1. Well, I’ve just tried the Canon RP today, 1st March ..I thought it might make a good silent body for my Canon 85mm f1.2 ‘portrait’ lens (..currently used on a 6D and on a teeny EOS-M M3 (with an electronic viewfinder) making it almost a 135mm f1.2, or perhaps equivalent f0.9).

    Sadly – or rather stupidly – the RP works in ‘silent’ mode (..electronic shutter only..) in only a ‘Scene’ mode, in which the camera automatically chooses everything for you. So the photographer cannot choose the aperture (..nor the shutter speed..) in silent mode, and so you CANNOT set it to f1.2 – to blur away backgrounds – when using the RP in silent mode! ..So it’s absolutely pointless to use the 85mm f1.2 on the RP, unless you want to use normal ‘noisy’ mode!

    Incidentally, although the RP has a dial on the top for choosing P A S M modes and for C1, C2, C3 personal (Customised) settings, the almost-twice-as-expensive Canon R does NOT! ..It has only an unmarked dial to change modes, and you need to press a ‘Mode’ button, and then spin that unmarked dial to whizz thro’ P A S M and the C settings ..meaning that you cannot see how far you need to turn the dial to get to the setting you want!

    Furthermore, that unmarked ‘Mode’ dial, and its LCD display on the top of the camera, only works, of course, when the camera is turned on, so – unlike the cheaper Canon RP, which clearly shows what you’re set to, even when the camera’s off – you cannot see what setting you’ve chosen, or what the camera’s going to give you, if the camera isn’t already switched on!

    [Incidentally, vis-a-vis your comment above, Mike, EOS-M lenses will NOT fit or work on the Canon RP, nor Canon R, as those are full-frame cameras with a very short “flange-back” distance. The Canon M-mount-to-sensor distance is only 18mm, but the RF mount distance is 20mm, and so EOS-M lenses will be pushed further away from the sensor than they should be if you tried to use them on the Canon R mount, and thus they’ll focus close, if you could actually fir them on, but not to normal distances. And they are, of course, APS-sized lenses, not ‘full-frame’.]

  2. I find myself strangely attracted to this Canon. Strange, because I’ve never been attracted to any Canon camera before. I’ve always found them a bit clunky and cheap looking.
    The size of the RP, with that “little” 35/1.8 lens, seems very compact.
    I wonder how it would perform with all my old, screw-mount Leica lenses?

    • I read some “wow” comments on Facebook (I think from Mick Yates) extolling the EOS R as the perfect platform for M-mount lenses. If he is half right then the RP should be just as good, perhaps better because it is physically more suited to smaller lenses.

  3. Richard, I hadn’t realised this. I intended to do a little article on P in relation to Leica and this information will help make it more balanced.

  4. “Popular” moniker is not new for Canon. I had a Canon-P (also for popular) rangefinder in the early 1970’s. It was the lowest cost model from the Leica thread interchangeable lens cameras. A fine little camera it was too, though the stainless steel shutter curtain made a heck of a noise when you took a picture.


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