Canon EOS RP: verdict
When you consider that Canon had no full-frame mirrorless models even just a few months ago, it’s hard not to be impressed with what it’s managed to do here. The EOS RP is a very compact and lightweight full-frame camera with a capable feature set, a generally sound performance and a very reasonable asking price. How many manufacturers can claim the same thing right now?
With the threat from rivals growing particularly strong in the last few months, it was clearly important that Canon brought a model like this to market as quickly as possible. And while the camera feels more complete and well rounded than the original EOS R, the fact that Canon is bundling the EOS RP with the EF 24-105mm designed for its DSLR line can be seen as an admission that it just doesn’t have the right lenses for this camera just yet; the kit option with the native RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is currently almost £1000/$1000 pricier than the body on its own.
That’s not to say the RF optics so far haven’t impressed – they certainly have from what we’ve seen – but where the portability of the system and cost to the prospective buyer is concerned, Canon has some work to do. From its roadmap, it also doesn't look like any compact alternatives that would fit as a default kit lens appear to be on the way, although it may well unveil other lenses outside of those slated for release over the next year or so.
Of course, you may already own (and are happy to use) EF glass, or you're satisfied with the RF selection right now, in which case the EOS RP makes more sense. True, there are a handful of limitations to many aspects of the spec sheet, and it's a shame there's no AF lever, or controllable silent shooting, for example. But for every negative there seems to be a positive, and the most impressive thing is that this all comes at a much lower price than expected. With a strong core and a sound performance, it's hard to argue with that balance. Let's just hope the range develops in a way that will support the professional user as much as those drawn to this camera.
Canon EOS RP: competition
Sony Alpha A7 II
While the A7 II was updated with the third-generation A7 III not too long ago, the A7 II is still very much available and closer in price to the EOS RP. And, despite its age, it can still put up a decent fight, with a 24.3MP full-frame sensor and 5-axis, sensor-based, image-stabilization system, although video recording tops out at Full HD quality and it's heavier. If you have a little more budget, the A7 III is well worth a look.
Read our in-depth Sony A7 II review
Despite having a sensor with a lower 24MP resolution, the Z6 is considerably more expensive than the EOS RP, although it offers much faster 12fps burst shooting, a higher-resolution 3.69million-dot viewfinder, a higher-resolution LCD screen and far stronger video specs. Having been announced just ahead of the Canon EOS R system means that the two formats are pretty even with regards to available lenses, although the Z6 mirrors the EOS RP in its compatibility with older options designed for its SLR and DSLR models.
Read our in-depth Nikon Z6 review
Panasonic Lumix S1
While we’re yet to review the S1, it certainly looks like a very credible challenger to the EOS RP. On the upside, it edges ahead with sensor-based image stablization, far superior 4K video specs (including 60p capture), 9fps burst shooting and twin card slots, together with a wonderfully detailed 5.76million-dot electronic viewfinder. It is, however, significantly larger and heavier, and more expensive too.