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A Complete Guide to Canon EOS R Mirrorless Cameras and Their Specifications

Canon’s development of mirrorless camera systems took place in two waves. Utilizing the EF-M mount and APS-C sensors, the EOS M system was first launched in 2012. This system was developed alongside Canon’s EF-Mount DSLR system. In many ways, the EOS M mirrorless system can be seen as Canon simply dipping a toe in the mirrorless waters. The cameras were capable, but the lens lineup was limited, and the EF-M mount was never capable of supporting full-frame sensors.

In 2018, the Canon EOS R system was launched with the new full-frame RF mount. This new Canon mirrorless camera system replaced the EF Mount DSLR system and the EOS M APS-C-only mirrorless system. The EOR R mirrorless system camera lineup started with the aptly named EOS R camera, and the cheaper EOS RP.

The R and RP cameras were a good starting point for the new system, but the EOS R mirrorless camera range really took off with the launch of the Canon R5, Canon R6, and the professional-level Canon R3. In 2022, Canon introduced the first APS-C cameras for the EOS R system, the R10 and the R7. A huge range of Canon RF lenses has been introduced to take advantage of these mirrorless camera designs.

Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera Release Dates

Occasionally Canon will do a “development announcement” for their EOS R cameras. Usually, this comes in the form of a press release with very basic information about the camera and a couple of photos. In those cases, you will see two dates in the second column. The first date is the date of the development announcement and the second is the date of the official announcement.

#Camera ModelRelease Date (MM/DD/YY)
10Canon R6 Mark II11/02/22
9Canon R705/24/22
8Canon R1005/24/22
7Canon R5 C01/19/22
6Canon R304/14/21 (09/14/21)
5Canon R607/09/20
4Canon R507/09/20
3Canon EOS Ra11/05/19
2Canon EOS RP02/13/19
1Canon EOS R09/05/18

Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera Specifications

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Canon Mirrorless Camera Details and Discussion

Use the links below to jump to a commentary on specific cameras. The cameras in this section are ordered by release date, with the latest Canon EOS R mirrorless cameras at the top.

Canon R6 Mark II

Canon R6 Mark II Key Features

  • 24.2MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Up to 40 fps shooting, 12 fps with mechanical
  • In-body image stabilization (8 stops)
  • 4K video up to 60p (oversampled from 6K)
  • 3.68M-dot EVF (120fps refresh)
  • 1.62M-dot, 3-inch rear touchscreen
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • Weather sealing

Should You Still Buy the EOS R6 Mark II in 2022?

Yes. The EOS R6 Mark II is Canon’s current mid-tier full-frame mirrorless camera. Without a Mark II version of the R5 yet, the R6 Mark II offers a more advanced autofocus system than its faster sibling and a faster continuous shooting speed. Although these two specifications don’t tell the full story, they are impressive enough that anyone looking at a Canon full-frame mirrorless lower in the lineup than the R3 should at least be considering the R6 Mark II.

Canon R6 Mark II Price Check:

Canon R6 Mark II – Amazon / B&H / Adorama / Lensrentals / WEX (UK) / Camera Canada

Canon R7

Canon R7 Key Features

  • 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Up to 30 fps shooting, 15 fps with mechanical
  • In-body image stabilization (7 stops)
  • 4K video up to 30p, cropped 4K/60p
  • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
  • 1.62M dot fully-articulating 3-inch rear touchscreen
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • Weather sealing

The EOS R7 launched in 2022 as the modern replacement for the 7D Mark II DSLR and sits atop Canon’s range of APS-C mirrorless cameras. The R7’s performance, paired with a 1.6x crop factor, makes it a compelling choice for sports and wildlife photographers on a budget.

There are many standout features in the R7’s specification list, but for me, the 30fps continuous shooting speed is the most important one for this camera’s target audience. The old 7D Mark II DSLR was incredibly popular amongst amateur wildlife photographers, but its 10fps continuous speed pales compared to the 30fps rate of the R7, as does its autofocus tracking accuracy.

Pairing the R7 with either the RF 100-400mm f/5-6.8 or the RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1 makes a formidable combination for outdoor sports and wildlife, including bird photography. Aside from the more affordable price point, here lies the primary benefit of the APS-C sensor 1.6x crop factor: These lenses on the R7 deliver an equivalent field of view to a 160-640mm lens, and a 160-800mm lens. Furthermore, they do it in a lightweight and reasonably priced package.

Canon R7 vs R10

The R10 is a cheaper and less powerful APS-C EOS R camera than the R7. Despite being priced at under $1000, the R10 has some excellent specifications, and some of them are good enough to catch the eye of those that might be considering the R7.

One such specification is the R10’s maximum continuous speed of 23fps. This sounds impressive, but I want to caution sports and wildlife photography fans. The R10’s buffer will be full after just 21 RAW images. That means at 23fps; you get less than one second of shooting before the camera coughs and splutters. This will undoubtedly cause you to miss some great shots. If you want to shoot sports or wildlife images, there is no question that you should choose the R7.

Should You Still Buy the EOS R7 in 2022?

Yes. The R7 is Canon’s current flagship APS-C mirrorless camera and only began to ship in the second half of 2022. If you want a fast APS-C mirrorless camera with excellent autofocus capabilities, the R7 is a great choice.

Canon R10

Canon R10 Key Features

  • 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Up to 23fps shooting (15 with mech shutter)
  • 4K video up to 30p, 4K/60p with crop
  • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
  • 1.04M dot fully-articulating rear touchscreen
  • Built-in pop-up flash

The Canon R10 was introduced alongside the R7 in 2022. With a price point under $1000, this is the Canon mirrorless to pick if you are looking for your first interchangeable lens camera. Combined with some of Canon’s smaller and lighter APS-C-only RF-S lenses, such as the 18-45mm kit lens, the R10 delivers excellent image quality in an affordable, lightweight package.

Should You Still Buy the EOS R10 in 2022?

This camera only started to ship in the second half of 2022, so it remains a current model with up-to-date features and specifications. It is Canon’s cheapest EOS R camera, picking up the mantle from the Rebel DSLR range by offering new photographers an affordable first interchangeable lens camera.

Canon R5 C

Canon R5 C Key Specifications

  • 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • Dedicated video tools including waveform monitoring
  • Active cooling for unlimited record time
  • 4k up to 120p
  • 8k up to 60p (including RAW internal recording)
  • 5.76M-dot OLED EVF with 120 fps refresh rate
  • 3.2″ 2.1M-dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • CFexpress Type-B slot and UHS-II SD slot
  • Same stills photo features as Canon R5, except no in-body stabilisation.

When Canon launched the original EOS R5, it was the first mirrorless camera able to capture 8k video. Unfortunately, it came with strict recording limits due to the heat generated by the data rates. In response to widespread industry criticism of the heat issues in the R5 during video recording, Canon created the R5 C. At first glance, the R5 C appears to be an R5 with an active cooling fan on its back. While that is true — the R5 C maintains all of the R5’s photography features — there is much more to it.

On top of the R5 C is a switch labelled Photo and Video. In photo mode, the R5 C operates like an R5 and uses the familiar Canon menu system seen in all recent stills cameras. Its 45MP sensor captures photos at 20fps in electronic shutter mode and up to 12fps with the mechanical shutter.

Flip the switch to video mode, though, and the camera boots up an entirely different system derived directly from Canon’s Cinema EOS line of cameras. A menu system that will be more familiar to users of cameras like the C70, C100, C300, C500 and C700 series. For the first time, this gives EOS R series camera users access to video-specific functions such as waveform monitoring, false colour exposure tools and the ability to define shutter speed by shutter angle.

In my eyes, this makes the R5 C the first true Canon mirrorless hybrid camera. And the video improvements don’t stop there. The R5 C also includes a mini BNC connector for timecode input, allowing the camera to be easily integrated into a multi-cam shoot and a new hot-shoe that can provide power to an available XLR microphone adapter. On the video specifications front, the active cooling removes issues with 8K record times and allows the camera to shoot at up to 60p in 8K. A downsampled 6K mode and the ability to record Canon’s Cinema RAW Light format to the internal CFexpress Type-B card top off an impressive spec list.

While all of this sounds great for professional filmmakers, there is one significant specification change that will cause some people to pause. The Canon R5 C does not have the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) found on the Canon R5. The R5’s IBIS was CIPA rated to an impressive eight stops of compensation, so its removal will be a significant disappointment for anyone considering using the R5 C for still photography.

Canon argues that IBIS can cause jello-motion when the camera is used on a gimbal. While this is true, I can’t help thinking it would have been better to design a hardware IBIS lock. The lack of IBIS in the R5 C isn’t just an issue for photographers; it’s also an issue for vloggers and run-and-gun style filmmakers who use that stabilization instead of a full-sized gimbal.

Canon R5 vs R5 C

The R5 and R5 C are both competent cameras. If you are a filmmaker who only occasionally takes photos, the choice between the two is obvious, get the R5 C and be prepared to buy a gimbal for your handheld work. If you are a photographer who only occasionally shoots video, the choice is also evident; get the R5. It is a photo powerhouse and still capable of shooting incredible 4K video.

The difficulty in choice comes if you make your money in an even split between stills photography and filmmaking. In an ideal world, you’d have one of each, each able to draw on their benefits while acting as a capable backup camera to the other if you were to experience any issues on a shoot. If that isn’t a financial possibility, I will lean towards using the R5 C as the one-camera all-rounder. Although the lack of IBIS is a negative, don’t forget that DSLRs never had IBIS, and we all got on just fine with those for decades.

Canon R5 C vs C70
The Cinema EOS C70 also features an RF lens mount.

Any professional filmmaker considering the R5 C will be looking at the comparably priced Cinema EOS C70 too. Compared to the R5 C, the C70 features a full-sized HDMI port, built-in mini XLR ports, a full-sized BNC timecode connector, and, most importantly, built-in ND filters that can be engaged at the press of a button. On the other hand, the C70 is limited to 4K, cannot shoot still photos at all and uses a smaller Super 35-sized sensor compared to the R5 C’s full-frame sensor.

I think the C70 is a better choice for most professional filmmakers if you never shoot still photos. Yes, the Super 35 sensor is not quite as capable in low light. Still, suppose you want to pair the camera with professional cinema lenses and not native Canon RF lenses. In that case, there are significantly more Super 35 lens choices on the market or at rental houses. On top of that, the built-in ND filters of the C70 make life so much easier that, once used, it’s hard to go back to a video camera that doesn’t have this feature. 

If you have the funds, a C70 and an R5 C will make a killer combination. Both can shoot in Canon’s Cinema RAW Light format for easy colour matching, the C70’s XLR inputs can take care of audio duties, and the R5 C’s full-frame sensor can be employed in low-light situations.

Should You Still Buy the EOS R5 C in 2022?

Yes. This camera is still relatively new and remains top-of-the-line in hybrid video/stills cameras. If your focus is on video, with only occasional stills photography, get the R5 C instead of the R5. You’ll appreciate the extended record times, internal RAW video recording, the addition of the new Canon accessory shoe for the XLR audio adapter and the video-centric menu and assist tools such as waveform monitoring. Are you not shooting any stills at all? Consider the video-only Canon C70 for its built-in ND filters.

Canon R3

Canon R3 Key Features

  • 24MP Stacked full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • 30 fps electronic shutter (full 14-bit Raw)
  • 5.69M-dot EVF with Eye Control AF
  • No EVF blackout with electronic shutter
  • CFexpress Type B and UHS-II SD slots
  • DCI or UHD 4K video up to 120p
  • Raw 6k video recorded internally

The EOS R3 is the first flagship Canon mirrorless camera. While the EOS R5’s 45MP sensor and 20fps shooting speed satisfies the needs of many professionals, a great many also want a pro-sized body similar to the old 1-Series DSLRs, with increased robustness and weather sealing. The R3’s blackout-free viewfinder and 30fps electronic shutter make this the ideal camera for tracking sports action and fast-moving wildlife, which can be tricky with the R5. The larger pro-sized form factor also comes with a significantly increased battery life and the ethernet port required by wire service photographers at significant events such as the Olympics.

With the R3, Canon also introduced a new Eye Control AF autofocus system that scans a photographer’s eye to see where they are looking within the frame. This information is then used to improve initial focus acquisition speed and tracking accuracy. The data from the Eye Control AF system, combined with Canon’s improved AI subject detection algorithms (now including vehicle detection), significantly enhances autofocus on the R3 compared to any previous Canon camera. For years Sony was seen as the leader in mirrorless camera autofocus performance, but the Canon R3 finally levelled the playing field.

Although primarily aimed at stills photographers, the R3 has an impressive list of video specifications. Shooting both 4K 120p and 6K 60p, the R3 is the only other camera in the Canon mirrorless line, aside from the R5 C, with the option to capture the Cinema RAW Light file format to the internal CFexpress Type-B card.

Canon R3 vs R5

The 24MP sensor in the R3 is all about speed and low-light performance. The R5 sacrifices some speed for its 45MP resolution. Portrait, wedding, travel and landscape photographers will appreciate the R5’s resolution and features. For sports photographers, the no-brainer choice is the R3, where the 24MP resolution is still more than enough for a magazine spread and much more suitable for fast wire service delivery. Wildlife photographers have the most challenging choice when choosing between speed and resolution (R3 vs R5).

Resolution is important to those that make their money from print sales, and the 20fps speed of the R5 is no slouch compared to DSLRs, where 8fps was considered “fast’. However, viewfinder blackout during continuous burst shooting on the R5 makes accurately tracking a moving subject very difficult. It is too easy to lose your subject or make a mess of your composition. If you only shoot large, slow-moving mammals, you can use the R5 for wildlife photography. But, if, like most people, you occasionally aim your lens on a bird in flight or a predator chasing its prey, the EOS R3 is the way to go.

For some people, having to make this speed vs resolution choice is the downside to the current Canon EOS R camera lineup. Nikon and Sony professionals have the Z9 and Alpha 1 cameras capable of shooting 50MP images at up to 30fps. We’re hopeful that Canon will make this decision easier with the inevitable launch of a Canon EOS R1 in 2023.

Should You Still Buy the Canon R3 in 2022?

If you need a pro-sized camera body with the famous build quality from the old 1-Series DSLR days, buy the R3. This is canon’s fastest focussing, fasting shooting stills camera and comes with impressive video specifications. Yes, I think we will see a Canon R1 sometime in 2023, but I expect that camera to be a higher megapixel camera with a slower continuous shooting speed. The R3 is Canon’s answer for sports and wildlife photographers. The biggest challenge will be finding stock of this camera in 2022. You will almost certainly need to place a pre-order.

Canon R5

Canon R5 Key Specifications

  • 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • In-body stabilization (8 stops)
  • 8K video up to 30p
  • Up to 4K/120p
  • 20 fps electronic shutter, 12 fps mechanical shutter
  • 5.76M-dot OLED EVF with 120 fps refresh rate
  • 3.2″ 2.1M-dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • CFexpress Type-B slot and UHS-II SD slot
  • Weather sealing

The Canon R5 is the spiritual successor to the 5D Mark IV DSLR. Canon’s 5-series cameras have always been top sellers, and the first mirrorless iteration is no exception. With a huge 45MP full-frame sensor, 8K video options and up to 20fps continuous shooting speed, the R5 is an excellent choice for various photographic genres. Landscape, travel, nature and portrait photographers will love the resolution and much improved dynamic range from the R5’s sensor compared to older 5D DSLR models.

The camera’s balance of speed and resolution makes it the best all-rounder in the Canon mirrorless camera lineup, but the $3900 price point positions it as a camera for professionals or wealthy prosumers only.

Canon R5 vs R6

If you don’t need the 8K video or 45MP resolution of the R5, the R6 is a capable camera that shares much of the R5’s impressive autofocus system. The lower 20MP resolution of the R6 directly contributes to the outstanding low-light performance, moving ahead of the R5 in this area. Wedding photographers, astrophotographers and others who regularly find themselves shooting in lower light levels will find the R6 an excellent option.

Should You Still Buy the EOS R5 in 2022?

Yes, the R5 is still a current model and offers the highest resolution sensor in the Canon EOS R lineup. This is the perfect camera for professional landscape photography, travel photography, portraits and weddings. The 20fps continuous shooting speed makes it a reasonable option for occasional sports and wildlife photography. However, professionals in those areas will benefit significantly from the blackout-free viewfinder in the high-level Canon R3.

Canon R6

Canon R6 Key Specifications

  • 20MP full-frame CMOS Sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • In-body stabilization (8 stops)
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • 20 fps electronic shutter, 12 fps mechanical shutter
  • UHD 4K shooting at up to 60p, 1080 up to 120p
  • 3.68M-dot EVF
  • 1.62M-dot fully-articulated rear touchscreen

The Canon R6 was launched alongside the R5 to provide a more affordable full-frame option that straddles the line between consumer and professional specifications. Although the 20.1MP resolution might seem a little low, these are 20 of the best megapixels you can buy. In fact, the full-frame sensor in the Canon R6 is almost identical to the 20.1MP sensor from the Canon 1D X Mark III DSLR – a camera that costs three times the R6. And let’s not forget, 20MP is more than enough resolution for large prints or a double-page magazine spread.

The large pixel pitch of this lower resolution full-frame sensor ensures that it creates incredibly low noise levels at high ISOs, making it the ideal choice for photographers that shoot in dark locations using natural light.

The Canon R5 and R6 were the first Canon mirrorless cameras to feature in-body image stabilization, providing up to an impressive 8-stops of reduction. Even if you own a significant collection of older Canon EF lenses for your DSLR, many of which did not include image stabilization, considering the move to one of Canon’s IBIS-enabled EOS R cameras makes a lot of sense. Suddenly, with an EF to EOS R adapter, your old non-stabilized EF lenses can take advantage of up to 8-stops of shake reduction. This level of stabilization is game-changing!

Should You Still Buy the EOS R6 in 2022?

Yes. The Canon R6 launched alongside the R5 and is still a current model in the Canon EOS R lineup. For advanced amateurs looking for a full-frame Canon mirrorless camera, the R6 is the perfect choice when your budget won’t extend to the much more expensive R5 (R5 is approx. $1400 more than R6). The R6’s 20MP sensor is more than enough to produce print-worthy images, and its low light capabilities exceed that of the R5.

Canon Ra

Canon EOS Ra Key Specifications

  • Dedicated astrophotography camera with IR cut filter (656.3 nm)
  • 30MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • 3.69M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Fully articulated rear LCD
  • 5fps continuous shooting with AF
  • UHD 4K 30p video (cropped)

The EOS Ra is a dedicated astrophotography version of the EOS R. The camera’s sensor features a specialised infrared-cutting filter that makes it 4x more sensitive to hydrogen-alpha (Hα) rays in the 656.3 nm wavelength. The result is more vivid, deep-red hues when photographing nebulae during deep-sky nighttime photography. It also has a unique 30x image magnification feature in the viewfinder or when using live-view, allowing for more accurate nighttime manual focus.

All other specifications of the EOS Ra remain identical to those of the EOS R camera. Still, it should be underlined that you should not use this camera for anything other than astrophotography. Attempting to do so will result in photos that contain distorted colours.

Should You Still Buy the EOS Ra in 2022?

Although the EOS Ra has been discontinued, it is still available to rent from Lensrentals in the US and can occasionally be found on the second-hand market. This is a highly specialised camera that most people do not need. You do not need this camera to photograph the milky way or the Northern Lights. A regular camera will do just fine.

Even if you need a dedicated astrophotography camera for serious deep-sky imaging, you don’t necessarily need to get the EOS Ra. If you can’t find a discounted second-hand EOS Ra, an even better option, albeit more expensive, is to buy a Canon R6 and have an IR conversion done by a professional. The sensor on the R6 delivers improved low-light performance compared to the EOS Ra and will ultimately provide an even better result.

Canon Ra Price Check:

Canon RP

Canon EOS RP Key Specifications

  • 26.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • 4K up to 24p (cropped)
  • 4 fps continuous shooting with AF
  • 2.36M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Fully articulated 1.04M dot touchscreen

The original EOS R camera was an essential first step in Canon’s transition from DSLR to mirrorless. Still, they needed a camera at a lower price point to accelerate the widespread adoption of the new RF mount and the growing lineup of RF lenses. The EOS RP was just that camera. Using lessons learnt from the EOS R and pairing them with a lower-resolution 26MP sensor, the EOS RP was a massive hit for Canon, winning praise from reviewers everywhere for its price-to-image quality ratio. 

Despite its bottom-of-the-EOR-R-lineup status, it still packed headline-grabbing features like 4K video recording and over 4000 autofocus points. So impressed was I by the EOS RP that I bought one and used it for several years to create the review photos for this website alongside my final Canon DSLR, a Canon 5D Mark IV. Canon’s tactics worked on me and many others.

The cost of the camera was Canon’s clever move. At launch, the EOS RP carried an aggressive price tag of just $1299. Something that was, at the time, completely unheard of for a full-frame camera. At that point, the cheapest Canon full-frame DSLR was the Canon 6D Mark II, which retailed for $1999. Nikon’s most affordable full-frame mirrorless, the Z6, and Sony’s a7 III were $1999. Suddenly, Canon’s new mirrorless camera system looked much more attractive to a broader audience.

Not long after its launch, the street price of the RP dropped even lower and eventually fell below $1000. Although history will remember the EOS R as the revolutionary first camera in the EOS R range, I’d argue that the cheaper EOS RP became more important by accelerating the adoption of Canon mirrorless cameras.

Should You Still Buy the EOS RP in 2022?

The EOS RP is still a good buy in 2022. It is readily available at retailers for under $1000, making it the cheapest way to get a Canon full-frame mirrorless camera. It is not as fast as the similar-priced EOS R10 and, therefore, less suitable for those that want to shoot sports or wildlife. Buy the EOS RP if you’re on a tight budget and want the wider field of view provided by Canon’s RF lenses on a full-frame sensor.

Canon R

Canon EOS R Key Specifications

  • 30MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Pixel AF
  • 3.69M dot OLED viewfinder
  • Fully articulated rear LCD
  • 5fps continuous shooting with AF
  • UHD 4K 30p video (cropped)

When it launched in 2018, the EOS R was a revolution for Canon. Although they had experimented with mirrorless cameras in the form of the APS-C-only EOS M platform, the EOS R camera, and the launch of the new full-frame RF lens format signalled their intentions: Mirrorless cameras were the future, and EF-mount DSLRs would not be around much longer. The EOS R’s 30.3MP sensor, 8fps shooting speed, and 5,655-point autofocus syetm were eye-opening for a camera with such a reasonable price point.

Should You Still Buy the EOS R in 2022?

The Canon EOS R was revolutionary when it launched in 2018, but it now looks long-in-the-tooth in 2022. If you’re on a tight budget and can find a well-priced second-hand copy, it’s a decent camera for those desperate for something with a full-frame sensor. However, I think most people will find the new EOS R7 a better all-around package despite its smaller APS-C sensor. Alternatively, you can sometimes find full-frame EOS R6s on the second-hand market for roughly the current retail price of the EOS R. The R6 is a considerably more capable camera than the Canon EOS R.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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