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Canon EOS R8 R50 Hands-On Review Foto Koch
Reading time: 12 minutes - February 08, 2023 - by Lennart Filthuth

Canon EOS R8 & R50 Hands-On

There is news from Japan again! This time, Canon is launching two new system cameras, each with a matching kit lens. In this article, you can find out what the two cameras can do and how they fit into Canon's RF lineup.

The new Canon EOS R8 - Canon's new bestseller?

Today we're going to show you the brand new Canon EOS R8, an entry-level full-frame camera for just under ?1,799 (MSRP) that, in addition to the new 24-megapixel sensor, takes many of the features of the R6 II and combines them with the compact form factor of the now somewhat aging EOS RP.

In our video, we explain what the camera can do, who it's for, and what new lens has been introduced to go with it.

Canon EOS R8 & R50 Touch & Try at Foto Koch

Body & external features of the EOS R8

When we look at the camera from the outside, you could almost confuse it with the, now somewhat aging, EOS RP... and that is also its biggest reason for purchase. So it's not that you're confusing them, but its due to the compact form factor of course. Compared to the RP, however, the body has become a bit more rounded and modern. What stands out a bit is the new, larger viewfinder with smart-shoe, as well as the split button layout for photo and video mode, which is what we are used to from the new Canon cameras. With this, Canon has finally created a uniform operating concept, which we very much welcome

Housing Canon EOS RP (left) vs. EOS R8 (right)

Sensor of the R8 and the R6 II

The Canon EOS R8 actually inherited a lot from the R6 Mark II, so let's take a look at how the two cameras are similar and how they differ:

There are three key aspects that the R8 has inherited from the R6 II and that starts, as I said, with the sensor and image processor. Canon's new 24-megapixel full-frame sensor is installed here, which, paired with the DIGIC X image processor, enables all the essential functions of the R6 II. In concrete terms, this means that we get the same image result from the R8 for considerably less money, both in photography and filming. There is one restriction for the video mode, but we will get to that in a moment.

Continuous shooting speed

The second key aspect is the continuous shooting speed, as the R8 can also shoot at up to 40 frames per second in electronic shutter. In the mechanical shutter, however, it only manages 6 instead of 12 frames per second due to the lack of a first shutter curtain.

Best autofocus in its price range?

With such a high continuous shooting speed, the autofocus naturally plays a big role and well, what can we say, it is completely identical as well. From people, animals to cars, trains and planes, everything is here and thus the R8 clearly has the best autofocus in its price class at the current state. We have already seen a similarly good deep learning autofocus in the slightly cheaper R7, but it is not yet capable of detecting trains, planes and horses.

Other software features

The software support goes even further, however, as beyond autofocus we find the R6 Mark II's feature set to be high. In addition to focus bracketing and stacking, panorama and drag-along assist, and RAW burst mode, the new HDR mode for moving subjects is also on board. Key connectivity features, such as UVC/UAC USB streaming in full HD and new cloud support, offer a fast and future-proof workflow, especially for content creators.

Canon EOS R8

  • lightweight mirrorless system camera
  • 24.2 megapixel full frame sensor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • up to 40 fps with electronic shutter
  • maximum sensitivity ISO 102,400 (expandable up to 204,800)
  • 4K videos from oversampling
  • Rotating and swiveling touchscreen

R8 vs. R6 Mark II - What can't the R8 do?

So. This all sounds really good, but of course Canon had to cut back a bit on some points to allow for the much lower price and compact form factor.

Smaller battery & no IBIS

What may not be immediately obvious from the outside, the R8 is still powered by the smaller LP-E17 battery and has no matching battery grip. Much more important, however, is the lack of IBIS, meaning the image stabilizer built into the body, which is very important, especially for video and slow shutter speeds. Most RF lenses from Canon still offer an image stabilizer, but this is much more powerful in combination with the camera's IBIS.
Also important to know is that we only have one UHS-II SD card slot on the new R8, so no redundancy is possible.

A video all-rounder?

The R6 Mark II also comes out ahead in the video department, because while popular video features like Zebras, Focus Assist, or even False Color and Breathing Compensation are included, 6K RAW at 60 fps is not possible on the R8. Considering the small body and small battery, that probably wouldn't be a good idea anyway, because the recording time is already somewhat more limited at 4K than with the R6 II due to heat.
The good news for all filmmakers: Canon has retained both 4K 60 fps without crop with the full 6K sensor data, as well as Full HD slow motion at 180 fps. This makes the R8 a really strong video camera after all, despite the lack of IBIS.

Canon EOS R8 vs. R6 Mark II

Canon EOS R8 vs. R6 Mark II

Although the EOS R8 is effectively an R6 II Mini, there are one or two differences. Here is an overview of what the two cameras can do and where they differ:

Both cameras offer:

  • 24.2 MP full frame sensor
  • DiGiC X processor
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF, -6.5 EV with DeepLearning algorithm
  • 4K 60p oversampling from 6K sensor data (without crop)
  • Video assist functions (e.g. zebras, breathing compensation, false color)
  • 180 fps with FHD video
  • 40 frames/second with electric shutter
  • Connectivity and cloud support e.g.: UVC/UAC USB streaming in Full HD

The EOS R6 Mark II also offers:

  • 12 frames per second in mechanical shutter (the R8 can only do 6 bps there)
  • larger LP-E6 battery (the R8 has the smaller LP-E17 battery)
  • In-body image stabilization (IBIS)
  • 2x UHS-II SD card slot (the R8 has only one)
  • Possibility to use a battery grip
  • 6K (RAW) video via HDMI (no 6K and no RAW video is possible with the R8)

Learn more about the R6 Mark II here.

Canon EOS R8 with RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3

Canon RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

  • Zoom lens
  • nearly silent AF operation
  • powerful image stabilization for videos and photos
  • STM focus drive
  • small, lightweight body
  • ideal for shooting family groups, portraits, interiors and travel
  • near-circular 7-blade iris diaphragm that creates blurry highlights (bokeh)

LIVE expert talk about Canon's new products

Want more details on what's new from Canon? Join us as we talk with a Canon expert about the new cameras and lenses and answer your questions from the live chat.


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Canon EOS R50

The new Canon EOS R50 - entry-level APS-C camera

Canon has introduced the new R50 in addition to the R8. But why the R50 is more than just an M50 with a larger bayonet and for which target group it is particularly exciting, you can find out in our video!

Body of the Canon EOS R50

From the outside, the R50 is exactly what a camera in this price segment needs to be: it's small, light, and has a flip-up display for selfies and vlogs. In detail, we also have a microphone jack, a micro-HDMI port and an SD card slot.
The whole thing is powered by the familiar LP-E17 battery. Another new feature is the Smart Shoe, whose contacts are very useful for feeding a digital microphone signal. However, the hot shoe lacks a center contact, which means that an adapter must be used for external flash units. This is not so tragic, since the R50 also has a built-in flash.

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can buy the housing in white (just like the M50 back then).

Canon EOS R50 Housing

  • lightweight mirrorless system camera
  • 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • 12 fps with electronic shutter on the 1st curtain
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF II
  • EVF with 2.36 million pixels & comfortable grip
  • 4K UHD 30p video from oversampling of 6K sensor data
  • lightweight and compact with rotating and swiveling touchscreen

What can the new R50 do?

Of course, the inner workings of the camera are much more interesting, and here we would like to dispel the first suspicion right away. No, the R50 is not simply an outdated M50 technology in a new body. With the R50, we get almost the same performance here as we did with the R10 model introduced last year with a lower price and more features for photo and video beginners.

The 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor familiar from the R10 is used here, enabling some exciting features. 4K at 30fps is possible without cropping, though this becomes much more detailed again since the entire 6K sensor data is used here. Unfortunately, we have to do without 4K at 60fps here, since the casing is too small and thus too susceptible to heat development. However, this does not mean that slow-motion recordings are not possible, as the R50 offers up to 120fps in Full HD.

Smart software support

Much more interesting than the technical details, however, are the many different modes designed to simplify filming and speed up the entire creative process. The EOS R50 can create videos directly on edge, meaning the video files don't have to be shot or edited afterward, but can be transferred directly to the phone and shared on social media platforms. For all creators who want to use their content in both landscape and vertical format, there is the option of fading in the area for the vertical video on the display, so that the image section for both formats is right from the start.

The 2nd really new feature is the product presentation mode, which helps to better control the focus of the camera. A classic example here is presenting a new product in a selfie video. With this mode, the autofocus detects and tracks the face, but also detects when a product is held up to the camera and then changes the focus to the product very naturally.

Canon EOS R50 with RF-S 55-210mm

Autofocus of the Canon EOS R50

In terms of autofocus, however, even more has been done, because the R50 comes with the Dual Pixel Autofocus with DeepLearning algorithm, as we find it in all new EOS R cameras. It recognizes not only people, but also animals like dogs and cats, or even vehicles like cars or motorcycles. The camera can also automatically switch the priority between the subjects if you want it to. The R10, for example, could not do that yet.
The only thing we have to do without is the scene recognition of trains, planes and horses.

Other video features

We find it really amazing, what Canon presents us in the price segment on video features. For example, we have UVC and UAC USB streaming. This allows us to use the camera directly as a webcam for zoom meetings or live streams. Gone are the days of bad webcams and cumbersome HDMI to USB converters. Let's face it, those things don't fit on most laptops anymore without an adapter anyways.
In terms of stabilization, we unfortunately only have an electronic image stabilizer, since a full IBIS unfortunately doesn't fit in such a small body.

Canon RF-S 55-210mm f/5-7.1

  • compact, lightweight RF-S lens
  • digital Focus Breathing Compensation with compatible cameras
  • optical image stabilization up to 4.5 stops (7 stops with IBIS)
  • fast focusing for stills and smooth, steady focusing for video with STM focus drive
  • excellent closest focusing distance from 0.73m to 1:3.6 scale
  • versatile telephoto zoom range ideal for travel, sports and pets
  • suitable for APS-C cameras of the EOS R series
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Conclusion

The two new cameras have one big advantage in particular: the price.
Both the new EOS R8 and the R50 offer good and important features that have been missing from Canon's price segment so far. Both are the entry level - the R50 the entry into the photo and video world and the R8 the entry into the more professional full-frame.

However, the cameras still have one thing in common: they both have a bigger, somewhat more powerful brother (the R6 II and the R10) and are, however, the better choice for many, since the most important features have been taken over and there is only a narrow target group that is better served with the respective bigger brother.

We still have a comparison article of all EOS R models:

Canon EOS R cameras in comparison

More about Canon

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Conclusion

The two new cameras have one big advantage in particular: the price.
Both the new EOS R8 and the R50 offer good and important features that have been missing from Canon's price segment so far. Both are the entry level - the R50 the entry into the photo and video world and the R8 the entry into the more professional full-frame.

However, the cameras still have one thing in common: they both have a bigger, somewhat more powerful brother (the R6 II and the R10) and are, however, the better choice for many, since the most important features have been taken over and there is only a narrow target group that is better served with the respective bigger brother.

We still have a comparison article of all EOS R models:

Canon EOS R cameras in comparison

More about Canon

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